Crime Fiction: Brash New Kid on the Block

Brash Kindle EBooks

By Paul Levine

Crime Fiction authors Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman remind me of Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. And no, neither Lee nor Joel has a mustache.

crime fiction chaplin
Charlie Chaplin wanted to control his own work.

Ninety-five years ago, Chaplin and Fairbanks (along with Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith) opened their own studio: United Artists. They’d been working for the big-name studios and thought they could do a better job making movies. They also wanted the creative control that the commercial studios wouldn’t give them.

crime fiction...fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. bears a strong resemblance to Joel Goldman in the sense that they both wear hats.

Brash Books Bursts Onto the Scene

This month, Goldberg and Goldman, both highly successful writers in the crime fiction genre, opened “Brash Books,” a new publisher of ebooks and paperbacks. They are already offering selections from crime fiction stalwarts Bill Crider, Dick Lochte, Dallas Murphy, Barbara Neely, Bob Forward, Tom Kakonis, Noreen Ayres, and others. Here are some of the paperbacks.

The Brash Books tagline is…well, brash: “We Publish the Best Crime Novels in Existence.” Oh, how the ebook revolution has turned the publishing industry upside down. Twenty years ago…make that ten years ago, this would not have been possible. The cost of production and distribution of “dead tree” books would make wanna-be publishers blink.

Crime Fiction Rookies Welcome

While the initial offerings are from established crime fiction writers, Brash is opening the door (or transom?) to unpublished authors, too. Go here to see how to submit your work.  Why do I think they’ll be deluged with manuscripts?

Well, there are lots of unpublished authors out there, some of whom are very good. There is also a contingent of formerly published crime fiction writers who can no longer get a contract with a New York publishing house. But as some doors close, others open.

Crime Fiction Back in Print

In my case, the ebook revolution gave second life to many titles that were long out-of-print in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Those books are now alive and well on Amazon. There’s another benefit for the writer, too. By giving re-birth to the first book in a series — in my case, “To Speak for the Dead” (1990) — electronic publication opened the door to fresh NEW ebooks and paperbacks. Again, in my case, the tenth book of the same series, “State vs. Lassiter” (2014).

As for Brash Books, let’s look back at United Artists a moment. It remained independent for nearly 50 years, producing everything from “The Three Musketeers” with Fairbanks in 1921 to “A Hard Day’s Night” with the Beatles in 1964. I’m hoping Brash Books is around for a half century, too.

Paul Levine

Kindle Matchbook…and Other Bargains

Jake Lassiter in his study?

By Paul Levine

Amazon keeps amazing me.

On July 22, 2000, I purchased “Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War” by Bob Greene in hardcover from Amazon.

On March 4, 2002, I purchased “The Wise Women of Havana” by Jose Raul Bernardo in hardcover, also from Amazon.

Kindle Matchbook: Oh, Those Insanely Clever Computers

No, I don’t remember buying either one. Amazon’s smart computers just reminded me under the Kindle Matchbook program, in which many titles which you previously bought in hardcover or paperback are now available as Kindle downloads at $2.99 or less.

At first I was puzzled. Why would you want another copy, albeit electronic, of a book you already read? I don’t know! But you do want the ebook if it is priced right, according to Amazon’s flawless research. Yes, I know. It’s a little scary. Amazon probably knows what you ate for dinner last night and what movie you’re going to buy next week. Love Amazon or hate Amazon, can we agree that founder Jeff Bezos is pretty much always the smartest guy in the room?  (He was the valedictorian of Palmetto High School’s Class of 1982 in Miami, then added a Princeton degree in computer science (duh!) and engineering).

For more info on all the bargains available, and to find out if books you’ve bought over the years from Amazon are available for bargain e-book prices, take a look at the Kindle Matchbook homepage. (The publisher has to agree for its products to be in the Kindle Matchbook program).

Disclosure: Several of my works are available for 99 cents each under Kindle Matchbook, if you now buy (or previously bought) the books in print form. The list includes “State vs. Lassiter”, “Lassiter,”, “Ballistic,”, and “Habeas Porpoise,” among others.

Kindle Matchbook logo

Which brings me to all the other bargains available on Kindle. Here, I’m talking about the Monthly Deals ($3.99 or less), the Daily Deals, the Countdown Deals, and Kindle Exclusives. Take a look at the Kindle eBooks homepage, and you’ll see what I mean.

Kindle Matchbooks bargains
Lots of Bargains on the Kindle Ebooks Homepage.

As this is written, in Monthly Deals, you can buy Faye Kellerman’s “The Ritual Bath” for $1.99.  Likewise, in Daily Deals, you can get Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Hillbilly Heart” for $1.99. Earlier this week, it was James Lee Burke’s “Light of the World” for $2.99. The Monthly Deals are extensive, broken down into categories including “Mystery and Suspense,” “Romance,” Literary Fiction, “Science Fiction,” “Biographies and Memoirs,” and “Children’s Books.”

Other Deals: Countdowns and Exclusives

The Countdown Deal is a new and intriguing feature. Ebooks go into bargain “countdown” for a week, starting at a huge discount (often for 99 cents) then usually go up in price gradually through the week until they resume the original price. Here’s the Countdown Deals homepage, which of course, changes every day as new books are added and others drop out of the deal.

Today, you’ll find Elle Lothlorien’s “Alice in Wonderland” for $2.99, Julie Smith’s “Jazz Funeral” for $1.99 and my “Solomon vs. Lord” for 99 cents.

Kindle Matchbook bargain
99 Cents…What a Bargain!

Then, there’s the Kindle Ebooks Exclusives, books you can only find on Amazon. Here’s the Exclusives homepage. My books have historically done very well on the Exclusives Best Seller list.

Bottom line, whether it’s the Kindle Matchbook program or one of the “Deals,” there are ebook bargains to be had every day.

Paul Levine