The future of Barnes & Noble

Some of you have been asking my opinion regarding new Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt’s plan for the struggling book retailer.

Daunt plans to make B&N stores stripped-down versions of what they currently are. The model here is the airport bookstore on one hand, the local, neighborhood bookstore on the other.

In other words, small bookstores that carry about the same inventory as the book section of the nearest Walmart, Costco, or Kroger.

So why do you even need a bookstore, if Walmart already stocks about the same number of books? 

Daunt is British, and this might be a viable strategy for the British retail market, which is decades behind that of the United States.

It isn’t a winning strategy for the US, where Amazon dominates by virtue of its wide selection, low prices, and economies of scale.

Daunt clearly has no plan to compete with Amazon. He plans to compete with…small neighborhood bookstores that have already gone out of business in most of the U.S.

Forgive me if I’m underwhelmed.

FREE horror: new in Kindle Unlimited

Just in time for late summer reading, I’ve added these horror titles for you to enjoy FREE in Kindle Unlimited:

(Click the links to view them on Amazon.)

Revolutionary Ghosts

The year is 1976, and the Headless Horseman rides again. A dark fantasy horror thriller filled with wayward spirits, historical figures, and a 1970s vibe.

12 Hours of Halloween

Halloween night 1980: The suburbs are haunted, as three young friends endure twelve hours of nonstop supernatural terror. Will they survive the night?

Eleven Miles of Night

Would you risk your life and sanity on the most haunted road in Ohio for a $2000 prize?

Hay Moon and Other Stories: Sixteen modern tales of horror and suspense

16 horrific tales filled with monsters, ghosts, and deadly people. For fans of Stephen King’s short story collections.

Luk Thep: a horror novella

An American executive in exotic Thailand. An evil spirit that follows her home. Supernatural mystery and terror on two continents.

You can read all of the above titles for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Not a member of Kindle Unlimited? Check out the FREE trial!

‘Revolutionary Ghosts’ $0.99 sale: update

Thanks to everyone who purchased the book  yesterday.  I’ll leave it at 99 cents throughout today, and reset it to the usual ($3.99) price tomorrow.

Also, a reminder that the book is always free in Kindle Unlimited.

If you are not a member of Kindle Unlimited, check out the free trial.

Birthday number fifty-one

Since my birthday only comes around once per year, I had might as well announce it. Today I turned fifty-one.

Decades, literally, have passed since I was sentimental or celebratory about this day. I have long subscribed to the late Andy Rooney’s dictum: Twenty-two or twenty-three is the last birthday that is really worth making a fuss over.

That said, I don’t necessarily dread this day, either. And neither should you, if you’re getting on in years.

Time is going to pass whether you like it or not. You need to make terms with that fact. If your entire self-identity is founded on being a cutting-edge youngster, you are going to be miserable for most of your life (unless you plan on dying very young, which I don’t advise).

For my fifty-first birthday, forget the corny celebrations. Forget about the “ironic” black balloons, too.

At my age, having passed the half-century mark, a birthday takes on a new significance: I have cheated death for more than half a hundred years. This day (assuming I live through it) is a finger raised at the Grim Reaper.

But I won’t allow myself to get too cocky—even on my birthday. True, I have outwitted and out-lucked that skull-faced figure with the scythe for 51 years, as of today.

But there’s always tomorrow, and he’ll be back.

The return of cassettes

Cassettes Are Back, and It’s Not About the Music

I wouldn’t have expected this one.

I remember cassettes well, of course. (I even owned a few 8-tracks, as they were being phased out, in the very early 1980s.)

There are a lot of things that I miss about the last century, but the hissing, easily tangled audiocassette is not one of them. (That and typewriter correction fluid.)

As the above-linked article states, the big selling point of the cassette was its distinction as the most portable audio format, under the technological constraints we faced in the 1980s. No one loved them for their sound, or their reliability.

Get your house on Amazon, too

Amazon Is Now Selling an Expandable Tiny House That Requires Zero DIY Work

I might have to give this one some serious consideration. There’s nothing I hate quite as much as working around the house. 

Check out Amazon pre-fab houses here 

FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

For a limited time: a tale of horror, American history, and coming-of-age. 

The year is 1976, and the Headless Horseman rides again!

Steve Wagner is an ordinary Ohio teenager in the year of America’s Bicentennial, 1976. As that summer begins, his thoughts are mostly about girls, finishing high school, and driving his 1968 Pontiac Bonneville.

But this will be no ordinary summer. Steve sees evidence of supernatural activity in the area near his home: mysterious hoof prints and missing persons reports, and unusual, violently inclined men with British accents.

There is a also a hideous woman–the vengeful ghost of a condemned Loyalist spy–who appears in the doorway of Steve’s bedroom. 

Filled with angry spirits, historical figures, and the Headless Horseman of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Revolutionary Ghosts is a terrifying coming-of-age story with a groovy 1970s vibe.

Read it for FREE in Kindle unlimited, or for just $2.99

Don’t have Kindle Unlimited? Try Kindle Unlimited for FREE!

Luk Thep: Chapter 11

Jane had been asleep for several hours when she saw the image of the little village. She was alone in the dream (at least at its beginning) without any guides or emissaries from that world. Nevertheless, she knew immediately, instinctively, that the sun-baked collection of thatch and bamboo huts was a village in Thailand—a village not far from Bangkok, in fact.

Continue reading “Luk Thep: Chapter 11”

Luk Thep: Chapter 10

Jane and one of the night-shift security guards overcame the language barrier enough so that the latter could summon a taxi for the former. Jane was half-asleep by the time the taxi driver dropped her off at her hotel.

Jane’s first inclination was to go directly to bed. It was now a little past 10 p.m. local time. Then she realized how famished she was. If she went to sleep without eating anything, she would feel intolerably weak and light-headed in the morning.

The hotel restaurant was still open; this was Bangkok, after all. Jane ordered a spicy fish-and-rice dish, the sort of fare that could be found in practically any restaurant worth its chops in Southeast Asia. Continue reading “Luk Thep: Chapter 10”

Read ‘Blood Flats’ online or on your Kindle

Or in paperback, from Amazon.

Looking for something fun to read? Follow my online serialization of Blood Flats.

Blood Flats is a gun-blazing tale of good and evil, set in the badlands of Kentucky. Blood Flats is also available as a paperback or ebook.  (See below).

New serial thriller: ‘The Eavesdropper’

Three of your coworkers are planning a murder. Will you stop them, or become their next victim?

 

The Eavesdropper is a workplace thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Follow the online serial version here. Or get the entire book at Amazon in the format of your choice.

A ghostly read with a 1980s vibe: FREE for a limited time!

Do you like supernatural coming-of-age stories? Do you like stories set in the 1980s?

Then check out 12 Hours of Halloween:

On Halloween night, 1980, three young friends must face a Halloween curse. Their familiar neighborhood becomes a ghostly landscape filled with witches, vampires, and supernatural creatures!

You can read 12 Hours of Halloween here on Edward Trimnell Books for a limited time.

Click here to start reading it for FREE!

 

(Don’t like to read online? You can also get the book in various formats, if that’s what you prefer!)

Another Kennedy tragedy

Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, has died.  Ms. Hill was only 22. She would have graduated college next year.

At the present time, there are no details regarding the circumstances of her death. News reports, however, mention that she was suffering from depression.

A generation ago, when JFK and RFK were more recent memories, there used to be talk of a “Kennedy curse”.

You’re rolling your eyes, I know. But the fact remains: An uncanny number of Kennedys have died young: JFK, RFK, Joe Kennedy Jr., JFK Jr., and now Sairose Kennedy Hill.  These unusual deaths span more than seventy years–from World War II to the present.

Whatever your beliefs about the Kennedy curse, or the political shadow of this powerful family, no one should lose their life at twenty-two.  Our prayers go out to her family and loved ones.

Sairose Kennedy Hill, 22, RIP.

New in online fiction: time travel

Read my time travel story, Last Dance with Emma.  Completely free here on the site.

The story is from my Hay Moon short story collection, which you can get on Amazon in a variety of formats.

Is the Internet going to video?

Some people certainly think so.

I was listening to an Internet “guru” the other day, who basically sees the future of the Internet as one video clip after another. Fahrenheit 451, here we come!

But here’s a counterargument from just last year:

People are constantly putting videos up with little to no content that can REALLY benefit their intended audience. They just don’t understand that nobody’s going to sit there for 20 or 30 minutes listening to them go on and on and on without having real content. These video sales pitches are just becoming overwhelming on social media. It’s happening on Facebook too; I haven’t quite seen it on Twitter yet, but it’s coming. And with Instagram Story, you’re going to see more and more and more of that. Here’s what it boils down to: How do we make what we do relevant — especially to the audience that we’re trying to reach?

Business2Community.com

There is a lot of video on YouTube, but most of it is pointless. Tell me: Does anyone who isn’t a bored 13 year-old really want to watch Pewdiepie? 

Video has its place. As I’ve admitted many times, YouTube is absolutely great if you want to learn how to fix your leaky commode. I also prefer video for things like Photoshop instruction, which are inherently visual.

But for most objectives, in the fields of both instruction and entertainment, YouTube-style video provides little or no improvement over text (unless your audience is completely illiterate).

And in many cases, text is demonstrably superior. You can skim through a page of text. Skimming through a 20-minute YouTube video, on the other hand, is almost impossible. 

The Eavesdropper: Chapter 12

It occurred to me that I had overlooked the obvious: In large companies like Thomas-Smithfield Electronics, difficult personnel issues were handled by human resources departments. And if a conspiracy between my boss and two of my coworkers to kill our group admin didn’t count as a difficult personnel issue, what did?

So the very next morning I sent an intentionally vague email message to Anne Hull. Anne was a mid-level manager within the human resources department. She was high enough on the ladder to make things happen, but she wasn’t so high up the corporate food chain that she would pass me off to an underling.

Within less than an hour, there was an email from Anne in my Lotus Notes inbox:

“Why don’t you stop by at 10:00 a.m. My office is on the first floor, in the HR area.” Continue reading “The Eavesdropper: Chapter 12”

Eleven Miles of Night: Chapter 9

Jason was thankful to learn that that the Shaman’s Highway was not going to be eleven miles of unbroken forest. 

But the woods were certainly dense in places. There were spots where thick, fanning tree branches overhung the road and plunged him into nearly absolute darkness, despite the full moon. There were long stretches where the forest rose up steep hillsides and plummeted into deep ravines. The geography here being unfit for habitation, Jason supposed that these sections had never been altered much by human hands. This again brought thoughts of the Shawnee and their rumored burial grounds.

However, he also saw signs of humanity that were more familiar and comforting: fields of ankle-high corn, barns, and farmhouses. The moonlight glinted off the aluminum roof of a farmer’s barn; there was enough illumination for him to read the biblical verse that the farmer had painted on the side of the structure, along with a crude painting of an American flag. You’re out in the country, he told himself. But there are people living in these parts—even if there aren’t as many people as you’re accustomed to.

Continue reading “Eleven Miles of Night: Chapter 9”

Luk Thep: Chapter 8

“Would you like me to give you a ride to your hotel?” Khajee asked. 

When Jane hesitated in her response, the Thai woman laughed and said, “Oh you probably thought that I was going to take you on the back of a moped!”

“Not necessarily,” Jane said. That would have been her first thought, though. Mopeds were ubiquitous in the cities of Southeast Asia—Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, and, of course, Bangkok. The truth was that as tired as Jane was, she simply hadn’t had time to fully contemplate Khajee’s offer.

Continue reading “Luk Thep: Chapter 8”

Kobe Bryant, novelist?

I wouldn’t have called this one, but…why not?

Bryant gave fans a heads up about the novel in a July 19 Instagram post.


“This novel is a powerful coming-of-age tale and enchanting sports fantasy about finding your inner magic,” he wrote. “With the world turned against her and the orphanage at stake, Legacy has to learn to use her passion for the game to rise above those around her and shine.” 


Bryant is set to release a second book titled “Epoca: The Tree of Ecof” on Nov. 12 about “two children from opposite sides of the tracks” who form an incredibly close bond to fight evil together.
Bryant came up with both stories that were each written by Annie Matthew, a former professional squash player before she began penning novels.


Back in November, it was reported the 40-year-old would be releasing a total of five books in 2019 and 2020.

Atlanta Black Star

One interesting aspect of this story is that Bryant is essentially self-publishing the book(s). The novel will be published through Granity Studios, which Bryant owns.

Why is this so interesting? Is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe that Kobe Bryant, with his public footprint, couldn’t get a traditional publishing deal?