May 27, 2013

For the past six months I have been busy with the new Akitada novel, DEATH OF A DOLL MAKER. This has been released on Kindle. I also decided to work on another novel, THE LEFT-HANDED GOD, which may strike my readers as a drastic departure but was really a labor of love. Though I wrote it in 2007, I had saved the book for better times in the publishing world, but these are slow in coming, and it finally seemed better to let it see the light of day. This book also will be released this summer.

The fact that I have shifted to self-publishing has puzzled and dismayed my readers. I made the choice when it became obvious that no publisher would do anything for me, and at best would just publish the Akitada books to sell to libraries to make a profit without incurring costs for promotion. I can do better than that myself.

Readers seem most disappointed that they cannot buy print books any longer. This has caused me to take a look at POD publishing the books in trade paper editions. I hope to take some time to explore this before starting another novel.

In this context, I continue to create my on covers. This work, while time-consuming, is enjoyable. I have a background in art, both by formal education and because I used to be a hobby painter, and I certainly know the historical background of my novels better than commercial artists.

Sales of electronic books have eroded very badly since self-publishing has opened the floodgates of cheap or free book offers. These days, even modest sales are driven by reader reviews. As in the past, the continuance of a favorite series depends on reader support. If you like a book, please post a review.

And if you want to be notified of new releases, drop me a line from this web site.


June 20, 2012

Since posting last, Iíve been very busy finishing THE SWORD MASTER. This novel is finally done and already up on Kindle and Nook. Without wasting further time, I returned to the Akitada novel I was working on when THE SWORD MASTER so rudely interrupted. In between the furious pace of writing, Iíve tried to learn the ins and outs of electronic publishing.

A revolution of sorts is underway, and few of us know how to play the game. It is a game, in that Amazonís various promotional techniques present trial and error, and social networks are equally complex and tricky. Iíve decided that social networks, alas, are not the answer, and itís getting harder to make a go of it on Amazon. In the future, Iíll look into print publishing, but for the time being, it seems best to get as many titles as possible on Amazon and elsewhere.

In that context: please be aware that stories may appear separately and also in the collection (more on that in the short story section). Also the new novel THE SWORD MASTER tells the story of Hachiro. Of necessity, a few chapters may read like those in the HOLLOW REED trilogy, where he played a subordinate role but had some experiences that were important to the new book. My apologies if this presents a disappointment. It may be that HOLLOW REED may need recasting. THE SWORD MASTER is more important to me and may lead to a series.

Other news concerns the release of a brand new Akitada story, ďConfessionsĒ, in the November edition of ALFRED HITCHCOCKíS MYSTERY MAGAZINE. This will be on the stands August 28. During August, Iíll also write a blog for the Magazineís Blog site ďTrace Evidence.Ē

Now back to work!

December 3, 2011

The past months have brought more disappointments. In spite of all efforts, I have not found a publisher who will continue the Akitada series. Iíve decided to carry on on my own by publishing electronically.

In contrast to the sad state of things in the U.S., my French publisher continues to publish two imprints of the series and is also taking it to electronic publication. It may be that there is greater reader interest in France, but certainly the French publisher has made much greater efforts to publicize and promote than any of my American or British ones. In this country, Iím dependent on reviews and word-of-mouth advertising by my readers. So, let me remind you again to post reviews on Amazon.

The new Akitada novel DEATH ON AN AUTUMN RIVER went up on Kindle today. It was preceded last month by a collection of Akitada stories, AKITADA AND THE WAY OF JUSTICE. Four of my stories are also up individually on Kindle and Nook for readers who like to sample first. They are priced at a modest 99 cents each. I hope to add a few more as time goes on.

We must hope that electronic sales will convince a publisher that the series is indeed viable and should also be in print.

Happy Reading!


In case you have wondered about the chronological sequence of the books and stories: THE DRAGON SCROLL is the first Akitada novel and was also written first. For some reason, my previous publisher wanted to start with RASHOMON GATE. I am very glad that Penguin is committed to the series as it is meant to evolve. The correct sequence of the novels is: THE DRAGON SCROLL, RASHOMON GATE, BLACK ARROW, ISLAND OF EXILES, THE HELL SCREEN, and now, THE CONVICT'S SWORD.  The short stories are not written chronologically and take place at different times of Akitadaís life.  In the short story collection, however, they are organized chronologically. The collection is under consideration for publication.  Of course, ďAkitadaís First CaseĒ will remain the earliest event of his career. I hope you will also enjoy the young and still unmarried Akitada in THE DRAGON SCROLL.

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