Gordon A Kessler is a former US Marine parachutist, recon scout, and Super Squad team leader, with a bachelor's degree in creative writing. He is a Master Instructor for Johnson County Community College, National Academy of Railroad Sciences, and the BNSF Railway. He has taught novel writing for Butler County Community College, English Composition for Hutchinson Junior College and has previously indie-published the thriller novels Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, and a book about the novel-writing craft, Novel Writing Made Simple. He is a founder and former president of the Kansas Writers Association and tries to stay connected to writers and the writing industry by doing speaking engagements at writers conferences and for writers organizations, and has does his own "The Storyteller" seminar in Wichita, Lincoln (Nebraska), Kansas City, and other Midwestern cities based on his Novel Writing Made Simple book. His websites, www.WritersMatrix.com and www.IndieWritersAlliance are landing pages for writers to help them in their writing endeavors.
Although it's available in both hardcover and paperback, the potential for the eBook versions, especially Kindle, is really incredible. The largest bookseller in the world is now Amazon. In May, their sales of Kindle eBooks surpassed all of their print book sales for the first time. Amazon has only been selling eBooks for four years! At a recent writers conference, best-selling thriller novelist Steve Berry (he has 40,000,000 books in print, worldwide) said that he expects sales of his books in electronic form will make up 60-75% of his book sales this year. He's just one of the many brand-name authors whose eBook sales have now surpassed his paper book sales. Some of the big names are actually going "indie" realizing they can publish their books electronically, themselves, offer them at a reduced price, and make a much larger royalty than they can by going through their Big NYC Publishing Houses. And now, anyone, no matter how talented, can publish their work for the world to see.
So, what I foresee in the future of bookselling is both exciting and frightening. Here's what my crystal ball says:
1. Many of the large publishing houses will fail, trim the fat or diversify in creative ways.
2. Most of the small houses will fail, or find a niche that keeps them attractive to customers.
3. Agents and literary agencies will have to reimagine and reimage themselves—perhaps taking on the roles of eBook formatters, publishers and promoters, especially for the authors who don't know their way around the eWorld.
4. Brand-name authors will jump ship, a bit like J K Rowling has done, making her own website in order to promote and sell her own eBooks and related novelties.
5. Amateurs writers will race into the ePub world, cranking out poorly written and edited crap as fast as they can upload it. The only way readers will be somewhat assured what they're buying is going to be worth their time and money (their ten to fifteen hours of reading time will become much more valuable than the $.99 they pay for the eBooks) is to check other readers' online reviews.
6. Brick and mortar stores will continue to fail—go bankrupt—but some will diversify, looking for products to go along with what books they sell, including eBook readers. They'll still have the calendars, stuffed animals, toys and coffee table books, and even a few of the hardcover as well as paperback books (mostly the larger trade paperbacks that can easily be POD) that a few holdout readers will purchase because they love the feel and smell of a paper book. The larger stores will have book vending machines, like a few do in Europe, that will actually POD after a credit card swipe, while the customer waits.
7. It's the old Mom and Pop bookstores I fear for the most. Already having a difficult time making a go, their diversification will be critical.
8. Then what about the libraries? We'll always need, or at least want libraries...won't we?
These fast-food Generations Y and Z are on hyper drive and Gen X is riding their coattails. The younger generations love all these electronic gadgets and games, it's their way of life, now. Technology is growing so fast, I think anyone can see where it's going: except for a very few maintenance works, a stay at home/beach/park workforce, who can order anything online and get it delivered immediately electronically or rush shipped next day. The only reason for them to get go through their front door is for recreation—and many won't be so interested that because of the wild, and incredibly realistic electronic games that are now being, and will be, introduced—coming with 3D TV screens, entertainment centers and incredible audio affects.
I don't know if what I'm expecting to happen, will happen. I do know that the changes we'll witness in the next five years will most likely be unimaginable. "They" say, you can't live in the past. I say, you can't live in the future until it's here. Live for today, because the future is anyone's guess. Authors with quality fiction, keep putting those books out to as many people you can. EBooks are the near future for bookselling. Although I see but a dim future for the printed book, don't burn them just yet—keep them in a safe dry, place. When that impending massive Solar flare fries all electronic circuits, we'll be glad we can strike a match and read those wonderful-feeling and smelling paper books by fire light.
Please check out Brainstorm, Jezebel and Dead Reckoning, all available on sale now at $.99—you can even download a 20% sample for free, if you're not sure you want to spend the buck.
In Brainstorm, Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word.
After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him and his world twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and friends turn against him. Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the Free World.
Time is running out: Weller, Sunny and thousands of innocent citizens are facing nuclear devastation. Major “Jax” Jackson and a U.S. Air Force Para Rescue team are their only hope—but how can Jax and his PJs save them all, armed only with nonlethal weapons?
Sounds like an exciting novel. Here's what people are saying about Brainstorm.
“...as exciting and fast-paced as a thrill ride on a dive bomber, a maelstrom of action, violence, murder and mayhem, way too much fun to put down...based on an actual black CIA program known as ‘Project Stargate. Kessler...really knows his stuff. An outstanding novel.”— Douglas Preston, bestselling author of The Codex, Relic and Book of the Dead and many more.
"...a wild ride into the reality of human consciousness...a kickass adventure story that will have you thrumming through the pages well into the night...handled with stunning effect."— James Rollins, bestselling author of Black Order, Sandstorm and Map of Bones as well as many others.
Gordon, thank you for being a guest today. Where can readers find you online?
Please go to my website at www.gordonkessler.com and email me with your comments or questions. Also visit www.ReadersMatrix.com for some top quality fiction written by the best of "Indie" Authors.
May the Kindle (Nook, Kobo or Sony Reader) be with you!
All other formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61873?ref=readersmatrix
Don't forget to comment on this blog post. Gordon will be giving away the winner's choice of a basic Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader or Nook to one randomly drawn commenter. If you would like to read an excerpt, click on the "Read More" link below.
“He left you behind to die, like he did several thousand other folks. You don’t have anything to fear from me. You probably passed my little group in the stairwell. We just want to get out of here, just like you.”
Again they eyed each other. This time one of them said, “I told you. I told you they were going to blow this place.”
“Shut up,” said one of the guards in the middle. I figured he must be in charge.
“Come on, Top,” the first guy said. “We don’t have much time.”
“All right,” the leader said. “But we’re going to kill this ass, first.” He raised his gun, and I felt like I’d run out of options. They all wore the copper-lined helmets—my psychic gift would be useless.
I yelled out to my zombies in a bottom-of-the-barrel attempt, “Get them.”
The few of my night-shirted morons that I could see standing on the other side of the stairwell doorway window stood motionless, but it bought me a second as “Top” glanced back toward my group of blanks.
His head cocked and he grinned. He turned back to me, his rifle barrel aimed at my chest.
* * * * * *
Fast forward, Harvey says.
And I go into future mode.
The world is in slow motion. Although my thoughts shift to high gear, I cannot move faster than my adversaries. But I see their movements in advance and know when they will make them.
As the gunman squeezes the trigger, I lurch to one side. Two bullets exit the muzzle of his gun, spinning out with smoke and nitrate debris. My body edges to the side, feeling as cumbersome as a huge aircraft carrier, and the tiny missiles, like torpedoes in the water, come at me. The first will clearly miss. The second bullet becomes a tremendous concern, for I see its green tip and know that the leader’s weapon is loaded with armor-piercing rounds. Guessing what I now wore was likely the latest generation of armor, it still wouldn’t guarantee against penetration from a zippy little 5.56 X 45 mm round at close range, let alone armor piercing. Ten feet away, I twist my torso, a fast jerk in real time, a snail’s crawl in my fast-forward vision. And the projectile zips to me, my side twisting back mere centimeters to avoid it, and it strikes me. The bullet enters the body armor, and although the blood is yet to flow, the blazing pain yet to be felt, I know that it has found flesh.
Hoping it has not ruptured a vital organ, I continue the twisting into a spin, getting out of my assailant’s aim, then leaping toward the initial gunman.
The entire group begins to bring their guns to bear on me.