Mark Terry

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yes, again. THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK, the first Derek Stillwater novel, is FREE on Kindle for the next two days. Tell your Kindle friends.

Monday, August 20, 2012

More E-Book Stats

Just something to ponder.

As you remember, about two weeks ago I made the first Derek Stillwater novel, THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK, free as an Amazon Kindle e-book for 24 hours. In that 24-hour period it was downloaded 8,576 times. Awesome.

Last week, I put the first Austin Davis novel, HOT MONEY, for a free download for 24 hours. It was downloaded 506 times.

Yes, that's amazingly different.

Then, over the weekend, I put my children's fantasy novel, THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS, for free download for 72 hours. In that period it was downloaded 665 times.

Okay. I don't know why they're so spectacularly different.

I have a few guesses.

1. There are 6 possible books to download for the Derek Stillwater series, so people saw it as a potential opening for a bunch of reading. Maybe.

2. Most likely, because THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK has a number of very good reviews on the Amazon website, with an average of about 4-1/2 stars, as well as a Kirkus review. I've heard that the reader reviews matter and it's probably true. The cover is good, very similar to the cover it had when it was first published by Midnight Ink in trade paperback.

3. In terms of HOT MONEY, I'm not sure. I think the cover art is good, but maybe readers don't respond to it. Maybe the idea of a political consultant as a main character turns people off. Maybe the idea just doesn't work for readers. I honestly don't know. It's never sold terribly well and then I found I had difficulties even giving it away. That does make me question the wisdom of writing another novel featuring Austin. We'll see. I'll be doing further freebies with this book over the next couple months.

4. THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS. I was surprised by how slow this went, although the overall numbers were okay by the end of three days. I honestly suspect the issue here is that kids just aren't reading tons as ebooks. At least not yet. I think the cover art is particularly good, I think the concept is good. It's possible the book description doesn't quite do a good enough job. There's one review and it's quite good. My guess on this is simply that kids don't download ebooks, free or otherwise, their parents do, and their parents aren't interested. There may be other factors I'm not aware of.

It does make the PITCHFORK download seem significant, though. And I'll be doing that again over the next couple months.

It also makes me think I might want to focus on Derek Stillwater novels and action/adventure/espionage-type books of that sort, since that's clearly where my readership is.

THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK ....... 8,576 downloads in 24 hours
HOT MONEY................................ 506 downloads in 24 hours
THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS...665 downloads in 72 hours (pretty evenly spread, too, about 220 per 24 hours)

Friday, August 17, 2012


Yes, THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS, is FREE as a Kindle e-book for today (Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th). If your kids (or you!) love Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels or Kane Chronicle novels, they'll like THE BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


My first novel to feature political consultant Austin Davis, HOT MONEY, will be FREE as an e-book on Kindle starting sometime after midnight August 16th. Check it out! And yes, I am working on the second Austin Davis novel titled Capitol Secrets.

I can best describe Austin Davis as a private investigator whose clients all happen to be Washington, DC politicians. Or as he says, "When a politician wants a problem spun, they hire a political consultant. When they want a problem to go away, they hire me. I know where the bodies are buried. Sometimes because I'm the one that buried them."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interesting Stats

Interesting to me that the title to get the biggest initial bounce from offering The Devil's Pitchfork for free for a day and getting over 8000 downloads in 24 hours was ... well, The Devil's Pitchfork.
Units Sold
Units Refunded
Net Units Sold
Units Borrowed*
Free Units-Promo**
Free Units-Price Match***
2Dire StraitsB007HS9GB226026000
4Hot MoneyB0045U9R3C404000
5Monster SeekerB003QHZ6VC312000
6The Battle For AtlantisB003QHZ7V61028000
7The Devil's PitchforkB003LSTW3E912894685730
8The Fortress of DiamondsB005HVZ96M202000
9The Serpent's KissB003NUQRA648048000
10The Sins of the FatherB008DYXZ0M35035000

Friday, August 10, 2012

What I've Been Reading

Okay, so here's the last ten...

1. Monster: Nightrider's Vengeance by JD Nixx
Otherwise known as JD Rhoades when he writes crime novels, this is SF. Sort of. Way in the future, the powers-that-be decided to genetically engineer a bunch of super soldiers. For psychological purposes, they genetically engineered them along the lines of archetypal nightmares - vampires, werewolves, and zombies.

The main character is supposedly the sole remaining vampire. Once the powers-that-be realized that the vampires (Nightriders), were getting out of control, they developed a virus that wiped them all out. Except her. And with her lover, who is a genetically engineered medic, she goes a-hunting for the people who wiped out her brethren.

Frankly, this book is so much fun it should be illegal. You've got your space battles, your land battles, your vampires, your werewolves, your zombies, your sex, your violence, your artificial intelligence run-amuck computers, revenge, exotic planets, all well-told with a non-stop slam-bam pace. I'm not really a huge SF reader, but when Nixx comes out with the next book, I'm there.

2. Red Shirts by John Scalzi
More SF. In this case, sort of satire. Everyone by now knows that "red shirts" refers to Star Trek's habit of dressing disposable away-team members in red shirts. in Scalzi's novel, a new science officer on a starship notices that certain people always seemed to die in horribly weird (ice worms, anyone?) ways on away missions. And, in fact, large segments of the ship's crew became noticeably scarce whenever the Commander or Captain come looking for away-team members.

Hilarious. Although the book seems a little thin, it's also called "A novel with three codas." It's the three codas that elevate this book to something far more than it would be otherwise. Highly recommended.

3. Damage Control by John Gilstrap
I had some issues with John's last book, but not with this one. When a group of teenagers and their chaperones are on a missionary trip in Colombia, they are kidnapped and held hostage. Jonathan Grave and his partner Boxer go in to rescue them, only to find a far more complicated conspiracy going on involving the CIA and the church. This book moves without taking a breath. Loved it.

4. The Third Gate by Lincoln Child
A techno-thriller involving Egyptian crypts and a giant archaeological dig in a giant swamp in Africa (whose name eludes me), a main character who calls his job title an "enigmatist," a doctor whose researches near-death and life-after-death experiences. It's a good book, probably not his best, but I enjoyed it.

5. House Blood by Mike Lawson
Everyone's favorite political bagman, Joe DeMarco, is told by his boss to look into the murder conviction of a friend's son. So, Joe, being a good little bagman, does so, becoming deeply entangled in  a conspiracy involving a drug company and international clinical trials. I really liked this one.

6. The Trust by Norb Vonnegut
I wrote about this earlier. Good, not great, but the stuff about how money filters through charities and foundations is fascinating.

7. Bloodline by James Rollins
His latest Sigma Force book and, I think, probably his best. We learn more about the mysterious Guild, what their missions is, where they come from. The science in this book involves longevity/immortality, as well as AI robotics with swarming behavior. As in all Sigma Force books, there are about 3 (at least) intersecting plotlines, all racing along until they intersect with a satisfying and explosive finale. Absolutely loved this one.

8. Star Wars Legacy: Volume 2: Shards
This is a graphic novel, as it says, Volume 2 in the Legacy series. It is also a nearly incomprehensible mess. The "Shards" in the title refers to the fact that each chapter of this book is pretty much a different story. In other words, in the series, this introduces about 10 plot lines that presumably will intersect further along the series. Some of them were interesting, some of them were, WTF?, and I didn't know what to make of it.

9. The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott
The sequel to his first novel to feature former CIA agent Sam Capra. In the first book, Adrenaline, Sam's wife apparently turns traitor and disappears with his newborn son. He becomes entangled with a worldwide criminal group known as the Nine Suns, and, eventually, with their counterpart, the supposed good guys, the Round Table.

In this book Sam, with Mila, hunts for his son. A parallel plotline is a hacker called Jack Ming holds a notebook full if details that could destroy the Nine Suns, so they're hunting him, too. So the Nine Suns contact Sam and tell them if he tracks down Jack Ming and kills him, he will get his son back. He is teamed up with another woman whose child is being held for ransom as well, who is supposed to do the hunting while Sam does the killing. Meanwhile, there is a million dollar ransom on Mila's head (she's with the Round Table), so there are assassins coming out of the woodwork, some who think Sam can lead them to her. Complicated? Yes. Fast-paced? Yes. And, to its credit, I liked Adrenaline reasonably well, but hated the McGuffin, the technology at the end of the book that was supposed to cause a horrible terrorist attack. No such problem in this book. Gritty, fast-paced, quite moving in many ways, and we learn far more about Mila in this book. I was impressed by how well Abbott is able to deepen characterization while keeping the pace moving.

10. Sink or Swim by Paul Levine
This is a short story featuring Solomon & Lord, the 2 squabbling lawyers from a couple of Paul's books. It's fun, light, and a reasonably good advertisement for the other books in the series.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Free Downloads

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I made THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK available on Kindle free for about 24 hours. How does that translate into downloads?

Here's the number. In 24 hours 8564 people downloaded THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK.

The purpose of this, of course, is that some of those people - hopefully a LOT of those people - will either read the book, love it and go buy the rest, or, I suppose, be obsessive-compulsive enough that they go and buy the others whether they've read the first one or not.

I have no idea what percentage of those 8564 people will even read the book (I have my suspicions about free downloads, because I've downloaded a number and don't always read them, at least not in a timely fashion). One way or the other, 8564 people who didn't necessarily know who Mark Terry was now know he's a thriller author.

Because of the Kindle program I enrolled this book in, I can do 4 more days of free in a 90-day period. I debated doing it free for 5 days in a row or spreading them out and decided I'll spread them out. We'll see how this shakes out.

I'll know whether it makes any kind of difference at all simply by looking at my overall sales. If they increase, particularly if there's a big jump, then yeah, cool. If not, well, still, 8564 people who didn't know who I was (necessarily) now have some idea. Turning that awareness into book buying and then into fans, well, that's a different matter.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Starting somewhere around midnight Pacific Time of Monday August 6 (3:00 AM Eastern Time, give or take), the first Derek Stillwater novel, THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK, will be FREE for about 24 hours as a Kindle e-book. Yes, FREE!

So, you know, if you have a Kindle (or Kindle app on your phone, your iPod, on your computer, etc.), and you haven't already read The Devil's Pitchfork, hey, now's your chance.

Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you passed this on to anyone you know who might be interested. I.e., readers of thrillers, suspense novels, espionage novels, action-adventure, that own Kindles.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Thinkin' Out Loud

August 2, 2012
I've got about 90 minutes left before I go on vacation. I suppose I should dig in on that white paper...

Instead, here I am.

Miscellaneous thoughts.

1. I recently went to a Sanchin-Ryu karate workshop called CGM's Dojo. CGM stands for Chief Grand Master, and in this case, that means CGM Robert Dearman, who developed Sanchin-Ryu. He was running the 4-day workshop. I made it to one day. I got a ton out of it, but one of the things he said was he doesn't think about having opponents or bad guys or enemies. He thinks of them as partners.

I think that's quite true in Sanchin-Ryu. But as I stood there, my mind did what it often does, it went on a trip. And that trip went political. Because I thought of a time when the Republicans and the Democrats (or even Federalists, if you go back long enough) referred to each other as the Honorable Opposition. Or perhaps Loyal Opposition.

In today's current climate of politics, I don't see that. It's "us" against "them" and it sucks. I suspect, actually, it's always been that way in American politics, it's just that the veneer of civility has been worn away (particularly in an election year). I sort of miss it. At least they were pretending to be on the side of the American public, even when it was really all about who gets their own way.

Of course, there's a lot to be said, I think, for British Parliament, where they shout and yell and boo. At least everybody knows where they stand, right? And in the Japanese Parliament fist-fights have been known to break out. I'd sort of like to see a little fistfight between Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner. And there are certainly some politicians I'd get a lot of satisfaction out of kicking in the balls.

2. The other day while walking the dog Leanne and I took Frodo down to a spot in one of the nearby lakes for him to splash around a bit. Two doors down was a woman I know who used to work at the gym I go to. An older woman, at least in her 50s somewhere (possibly 60s). She's always been an attractive woman. She was with a boyfriend and she was wearing black nylon high-cut shorts and a string bikini top and, frankly, from my perspective of 48 years, looked great.

I was reflecting, however, on the difference between "I want this guy to want to have sex with me" versus "I want to have sex with this guy." I suspect women of all ages often have the prior thought without necessarily having the second. Which explains a lot in modern culture and also why men are often so totally screwed up about women.

Of course, maybe I'm totally wrong about this. But I would suggest to women that, if doing the first but thinking the second, it's useful to know that men, pretty much all the time, are only thinking the second.

3. I discovered THE WORST thing about ebooks recently. I guess it falls under the broad umbrella of DRM, but here's what it is. I wanted to loan my wife Stephen King's 11/22/63 and found that it wasn't loanable on the Kindle. Some publishers just don't allow it. Period. You want someone in your family to read it, or let a friend read it, tough. Either loan them the entire Kindle or have them buy a copy of the book themselves.

Which makes me kind of actually think, "Well, fuck you, publishers!" We've got 3 kindles in the house and two of them use the same account. So what happened was Ian is reading a paper book, so he loaned Leanne his Kindle for the week so she could start reading it.

[and by the way, even if you can loan books, it's usually a one-time thing. If I understand what I'm doing with my own ebooks, they're DRM free, so you can do what you want to with them. To-date, I don't think they're being copied and sold by the millions in China. Stephen King's, maybe. What irks me most about it is that it's rather a joke. Bootleggers and large-scale pirates aren't going to be stopped by DRM. That's why God invented hackers. It's the rest of us who are inconvenienced.]

On occasions, I miss paper books. Except the smaller print. I have gotten sooooo used to a large font size with the Kindle.