World of Digital Publishing

The World of ePublishing

Rex Royale
Publishing date: May 2012

I’d like to share with you plans to expand topics I write about in A Year and a Day.  As I’ve mentioned at the tag ending of posts, I also write mysteries and romantic suspense novels published on ereaders like Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Book, tablets like Apple’s iPad, Sony’s Reader, and smart phones. I have new books and short stories I’ll be releasing the next couple months.

To give you a little background, I was a speechwriter in the U.S. Senate and senior editor for a large trade association in Washington, D.C. in the 1980’s.  During that time, I started free-lancing articles for newspapers and magazines like the Washington Post, Washington Star, Baltimore Sun, Washingtonian Magazine, and Campaigns and Elections. 

RedBrick Press

I wrote a series of articles about the early microbreweries which were popping up mainly in Colorado, northern California, Oregon and Washington. I interviewed entrepreneurs recreating beer styles from earlier in American history: amber lagers, cloudy heifeweizen (wheat) beers, pale ales, hoppy India Pale Ales (IPAs), porters, stouts, and Holiday beers.

I started a publishing business, RedBrick Press, in 1987 and published my first book, “Star Spangled Beer: A Guide to America’s New Microbreweries and Brewpubs,” which won a national award as the best self published book of the year. I followed with a beer cookbook, “Great Cooking with Beer,” and three travel guides:  “Brewery Adventures in the Wild West,”  “California Brewin,’”  and “Brewery Adventures in the Big East.”

When the micro brewing was experiencing explosive growth in the 1990’s, I began a monthly business newsletter, The Erickson Report.  I left the publishing business in 1998 and changed careers and worked for a national brokerage firm in Silicon Valley. I retired last year and started writing A Year and a Day.

Mornings Without Zoe

Changing careers did not stem my desire to write.  But when I did resume, it was to write fiction.  My first novel, “Mornings With Zoe,”  was a romantic suspense novel about a young woman who leaves lovers and husbands, travels to another city, and starts  a new life with a new identity.  Although I never interested an agent to sell my novel to publishers, I kept writing short mysteries and novels.


I was finishing a murder mystery, “Rex Royale,” in 2009 and discovered the emerging epublishing world.  I decided to return to self publishing through a start-up company in Los Gatos, CA called Smashwords which distribute books to digital retailers.  For free!  Within a few days, Smashwords was distributing my novels and short stories to Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad, Sony’s Reader, as well as my Smashwords Web Page and Amazon’s Kindle.  Sales were initially meager, but they grew slowly and today are selling in the U.S., the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Loving the underdog 

My fascination with epublishing is similar to what I found with craft brewing.  Both new industries were started by entrepreneurs using new technology to enter the market with new products in industries dominated by major players.  Craft brewers took on major brewers Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Millers.  Digital publishing challenged the domination of the six largest New York publishers like Simon & Schuster, Harper & Row, and Random House.

I’m intrigued by visionaries who tilt at windmills.  Most of us love to cheer the underdog and support them with our purchases.

Rex Royale

In the next couple weeks, I’ll be publishing Rex Royale, a mystery about a Las Vegas casino mogul whose body is recovered from a lake in northern California near Mt. Shasta.  A San Francisco Chronicle reporter recruits a young woman who free lanced business articles about Royale and had a secret affair with him.  While they investigate, the reporter and free lancer discover more crimes and dark secrets in a small town in Northern California.  They dance around each other in middle chapters until they eventually get entangled.  The novel has lots of local color, subplots, and a twist at the end.  Murder, money, and sex in a beautiful setting.  Good summer beach reading.

Digital publishing

I’ve been following the dramatic upheavals in conventional publishing and rapidly evolving world of digital publishing. What I’d like to do is to periodically report on writing and publishing topics, including what I’m reading and writing.  I follow several blogs and Web sites and will share hyperlinks so you can read original sources.

I’d like this to be a place to share your experiences in reading.  What are you reading and how — the conventional way or on mobile devices?  If you have a table or ereader, has it changed your purchasing decisions and how you read books?
Physical books are not going away.  Bookstores, however, are shrinking.  Those who survive will be in specialize in genres (cookbooks, travel, mysteries) and offer special services, books signings, and events. These are dynamic changes brought to us by technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity. I hope you’ll support this evolution of A Year and a Day and want to learn more about digital publishing.  I have a lot of information to share with you about digital publishing and how it is changing how people read.  It’s pretty exciting.

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Next:  Auckland


Please share these links with writers or readers who might be interested.

In addition to writing this travel blog, I write international thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels.

I’m currently writing a thriller series based in Milan featuring the anti-terrorism police, DIGOS, as they track down domestic and international terrorists.

If you’d like a free ebook of my first thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan,  please sign up on the left side bar.  I just need your name and email address; tap enter to send.

The second book in the series, No One Sleeps, was published as an ebook in December and a paperback in June.  You can find my books at Amazon and all digital book sites.  Paperbacks of Thirteen Days in Milan and No One Sleeps can be ordered at bookstores around the world.

I’m researching Book 3 in the series, Cadorna Station, this summer in Italy.

You can also sign up for my email newsletter at my web site.

Find my books in Apple’s iBookstore
At Amazon including # 1 Kindle best seller “Perfect Crime” 
Twitter: @JackLErickson

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