Category Archives: Kindle


That sums up my current mood, one I expect to continue throughout the day as people wonder why I’m grinning ear to ear. But here it is… a FIVE STAR REVIEW from Red Adept Reviews!

Anyone familiar with Red Adept’s blog knows she does not give stars out lightly. She’s known for her honesty and her hard-hitting reviews. I consider a 5 star review from her as a great honor and reading her impression of my book makes me happy beyond words.

Oh, and BTW, I now have Last Exit In New Jersey available for various other ereaders and computer downloads through Smashwords.

(So who out there knows the reference in today’s post title?)

Ebook pricing, sales and the value of readers…

Yes, folks, I cut the price on Last Exit In New Jersey. Oh did I cut the price, all the way down to $0.99!

Why? At $2.99, which isn’t high by any measure, sales had been respectable, steady and building. But I’d gotten to thinking, and decided to try a bit of an experiment. My costs are no different no matter the price I set. However, based on Amazon’s royalties structure if I set my price below $2.99 my royalties would drop from 70% to 35%. Translated, that means at $0.99 it takes 5.8 sales to equal the royalties of one sale at $2.99. Still, if the lower price attracted more readers  I had the potential to gain more fans who might just tell some friends about this new book they enjoyed. So long as my sales rose at least six to one, I would still come out ahead in the long run.

The flip side of this is the ‘perceived value’ issue. There are many authors out there who insist they’ve offered up their hearts, souls, blood, sweat and tears, years of their lives, relationships, sanity, you name it, to the altar of their craft. Their writing is the embodiment of all they have sacrificed. Surely this is worth more than the price of a cheeseburger on the value menu and readers will respect that. Moreover, readers, seeing a bargain-priced book will automatically assume the author lacked confidence in their work. It had crossed my mind that readers might get that impression, but as I said, this was just an experiment. I’m extremely confident in my book. The cover (first impression) is sharp and the title memorable and unique. The blurb (second impression) is professional and intriguing, and the book itself (final impression) delivers a story filled with great characters, genuine dialog and a plot that doesn’t let up from page one to the end, all well written and precisely edited. It’s not to say I didn’t put my heart and soul etc. into my work, but in my opinion the best writing in the world is nothing if no one ever reads it. Readers (at least my potential readers) aren’t judging books based upon the level of suffering that went into their creation – they’re looking to be entertained.  I’d love to see my writing career take off and pave the way for future books and limitless cruising time, but that has to start somewhere and for now I’ll be happy to see my book sales buy some boat parts. The bottom line: Nothing is set in stone. I’d see how things went and then decide whether this was a win or fail. I could always change the price back.

I’m happy to report that it didn’t take long to see results. In fact, literally overnight my sales increased to more than ten times what they’d been. Ten to one. The math is easy. Ten times more exposure to new readers, ten times more potential fans, ten times more chances for word of mouth to spread. That easily makes up the difference in per-book royalties and then some. My rank on Amazon skyrocketed, which in turn makes it easier for more readers to find my book in the first place. It’s fun seeing the sales number rise, knowing there are so many more people out there reading my work. In making my book more affordable to readers I’ve gained a larger audience and, in the end, higher overall earnings. I think it’s a win-win for everyone. Might some of those readers still bought my book at the higher price? Perhaps. But it’s just as likely others might not. They’d be missing out on a great book and I’d be missing out on a potential new fan.

I was discussing this in a forum last night, and Lexi Revellian, a writer from the UK, reported seeing much the same results after trying the same thing with her novel, REMIX. She said it perfectly when she wrote: “Readers are taking a chance on a new author. Let’s make it less of a decision for them.”

My choice in pricing doesn’t mean I put any less value on my work, only that I put greater value on my readers.

It’s the “Only in New Jersey Kindle Cover” Contest!

Straight from the highways of New Jersey, it’s the coolest, most unique Kindle cover out there! Take the tough, durable black sailcloth from the convertible roof of one genuine Garden State pedigree Ford Mustang; hinge it with the extraordinarily strong webbing from that very same convertible. Line it with luxurious red satin brocade, add one genuine state of New Jersey license plate, and you’ve got a Kindle cover that’s been down the road and back!  Not only will the N.J. Mustang Kindle Cover protect the precious contents within; it’s a Kindle cover you won’t find anywhere else!

click on image for larger picture

click on image for larger picture

There’s only one thing: it’s not for sale! The only way to get one of these amazing covers is to enter the “Only in New Jersey” Kindle cover contest!  It’s fun, it’s easy, and there’s no purchase necessary!  Simply email me the name of the song Annabel is singing along to in the beginning of Last Exit In New Jersey  — it’s not all that far into the free sample —  and you’ll be entered into a drawing for your choice of the amazing Mustang Kindle cover. If you prefer a more subtle style, the N.J. Mustang Kindle Cover is also available in an ‘Unlicensed’ version.

click on image for larger picture

click on image for larger picture

For anyone wondering what keeps the Kindle in, it’s secured by Command strips to a smooth plastic panel within the cover. This keeps the Kindle attached firmly, yet leaves it completely removeable with not a mark left behind.

All entries must be received by September 30th. Send your answers to: cegrundler(at); be sure to put “Only in New Jersey” into the subject line. Emails will be numbered in order of receipt and I’ll email you back with your entry number confirmation. On Friday, October 1st a random number will be selected though  I’ll post a screen-shot by 12 noon and announce the winner.

But WAIT!    There’s more! 

If you are the lucky winner and you also emailed me which song is playing in Stevenson’s Mercedes, (yes, you do have to read beyond the sample for that one) you’ll also receive a special bonus prize. And finally, if you’re the lucky winner and you ALSO posted a review and/or mentioned Last Exit In New Jersey on your web-site or blog, you receive TWO bonus prizes!

Note: The actual New Jersey license plate the winner receives may vary; the one pictured here once graced a former car of mine. Your cover will be made for you and you alone to fit your specific Kindle, whatever the model. No Mustangs were harmed in the making of this cover. In fact, the Mustang that generously donated its top to this contest is now sporting a new roof and looking fine.

COMING SOON – The first “Only in New Jersey” Contest!

Free stuff is cool! Free stuff from New Jersey is double-cool! So bookmark this blog because over the coming days I’ll be announcing the rules and prizes for an exciting give-a-way, including an amazing ‘only in New Jersey’ Kindle Cover Contest!