Friday, December 25, 2015

Your gift for the holidays: Today through Sunday: DS Kane's Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie series, only $0.99!

To find justice for those he loved, a man finds himself at the center of a dangerous global conspiracy…

When Jon Sommers finds out his fiancĂ© Lisa Gabriel died in a terrorist bomb attack, he is visited by spymaster, Yigdal Ben-Levy, who throws Jon’s life into chaos, when he tells him that Lisa was not a fellow graduate student but a Mossad spy sent to bring h...im to Israel. Ben-Levy convinces Jon to seek justice for Lisa’s murder by joining Mossad and going after Tariq Houmaz, her killer.
Shortly after training, Jon’s entire new team is executed by the bomb maker, who murdered Lisa, and only Jon escapes the massacre. As he leaves the scene, Jon finds himself captured, threatened and turned into a double agent for MI-6. When his Mossad handler, Ben-Levy learns this, he wants Jon dead as an example to other Israeli coverts.

If being a hunted double agent isn’t enough, Jon comes across information in his spying for MI-6 that suggests Israel is in impending danger from Houmaz. To stop this catastrophe, Jon must put together his own team, one he can trust with his life. Can Jon bring justice to Lisa's murderer, or will millions of lives be lost?

$0.99 on KINDLE:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0029J0/

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A better analysis of eBook Sales in 2015 – Up Or Down?

Friends -

As someone who is involved in the publishing industry on a daily basis, and has so far accrued five Amazon Bestsellers over the last two years, I perform market research and consume market research of other suppliers. This article by Alex Newton answers questions I've discussed with my wife, Andre Brown, President of one of the most prestigious and successful literary agencie. My contention has been that the NY Times article on ebook sales slowing was based on a small sample that failed to include Amazon, and that Amazon is the majority seller of published books.

Please read on to see what has actually happened. Looks to me like the market is larger in total real estate, more competitive and more price sensitive. Trad pubs have located their real estate to the very high-end, where there are fewer purchasers. Lower unit sales therefore are a self fulfilling prophecy. This means that self publishers and small indies who price within the band of largest unit sales are growing. And, right now, that's where I live. I can sell 5k to 7k in unit sales a month, up by nearly 1,000% over last year. My feeling is that the NY Times article was based on selective and inadequate research. If your opinion differs after reading this article, please let me know, at dskane@dskane.com. Here's the text of the article, which I have permission to reprint:

 

eBook Sales 2015 – Up Or Down?



December 2015 — It was just another case of “don’t believe everything you read.” It all began with a New York Times front page article in late September detailing how ebook sales are declining, and print books are far from dead. NYT reported that “Ebook sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year,” based on a report by the Association of American Publishers.” Read how misinterpretation by mainstream media led to a totally misleading picture of the ebook market.

Before we go any further, let me ask one question: Who could have a vested interest in making people believe that ebook sales are falling, and print books are seeing a renaissance? – Right. The big publishing houses.

This post here makes no claim whatsoever that the NYT article was in instigated by the traditional publishers’ lobby. The author, Alexandra Alter, is a renowned author of the New York Times and has covered the publishing industry for both the NYT and the Wall Street Journal for years. The NYT’s point of view should be as independent as mainstream media can get. Still, it is ironic that the Big Five book publishers have their U.S. headquarters in New York City, where the “media snowball effect” started.

Other mainstream media picked up the NYT story and spread it. Soon, many Facebook groups and bloggers joined in the general doom and gloom mood for ebooks. All of a sudden, there were blog posts and commentaries that discussed “The End of An Era” in the ebook market.

There is only one problem: The original New York Times article that got the snowball rolling relied on insufficient and misinterpreted data.

AAP eBook Sales Data Questionable

The “market data” was based on a sample of 1,200 publishing companies, all members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The bulk of the revenues in this sample come from the “Big Five” publishing houses.

The point is, the reported sample is simply not representative of the U.S. ebook market. The most dominant player, Amazon Kindle, which arguably controls about 67% of the U.S. ebook distribution, is not entirely reflected in the sample.

The website Author Earnings did a terrific job at dissecting the ebook sales numbers for the U.S. market: The AAP’s 1,200 publishers account for no more than 50% of Kindle revenues and around 32% of ebook unit sales on Kindle. Their share represents a rapidly declining portion of the ebooks that are sold through the market-dominant Kindle platform.

By contrast, self- and indie-published ebooks, as well as Amazon’s own-published ebooks, continue to gain share on Kindle.

And as for the Kindle store as a whole, Amazon told the Wall Street Journal that sales “are up in 2015 in both units and revenue.”

eBook Sales Are Declining For The Big Five – Not For Amazon

Thus, when the AAP reports “declining ebook sales,” they are, in essence, reporting the eroding ebook market share of the Big Five. Specifically, Simon & Schuster (CBS Corporation), HarperCollins (NewsCorp), Penguin Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann and Pearson), Macmillan U.S and Hachette Livre.

Their declining share in the ebook market does not come as a surprise. In fact, it has largely been self-inflicted. Over the last one and a half years or so, the Big Five struck new ebook distribution deals with Amazon. They seemed to get what they desired: the right to set the prices of their ebooks and avoid the substantial discounts the online retail giant often applies. Since then, the major publishers have been raising their ebook prices so they can keep their print sales up and reduce “cannibalization” by their corresponding ebook editions. The bullet backfired, though, because ebook readers are price sensitive. The new agreements resulted in higher ebook prices and a decline in units sold.

There may be root causes other than pricing, too, but the net result of all these developments is reflected in the latest ebook sales figures announced by these large publishing companies:

  • Publishers Weekly recently reported on the decline in digital sales at HarperCollins (11.8% drop in digital sales, mainly ebook-driven) and Simon & Schuster (where E-book sales are estimated to have declined about 17% in the quarter.)
  • Pearson reported “weaker ebook sales” at Penguin Random House in the press release on their recent quarterly results.
  • Hachette has just reported that their overall sales in the United States have decreased by 4.2% in the third quarter ended September 30 vs prior year. Ebooks accounted for 24% of total book sales in the first nine months of 2015, down from 28% for the same period in 2014. If you do the maths on this, we are talking about an 18% decline in their ebook sales

The facts speak for themselves. It is mainly the big traditional publishers that have problems with their ebook sales. Amazon, self-publishers and indie-publishers continue to gain share.

Total eBook Demand – Up or Down?

The analysis above makes it clear how the market shares are shifting in the U.S. ebook market. This leaves the question, though, whether the size of the cake, i.e. the total ebook market, is growing or shrinking.

Weighing the reports on the (unrepresentative) AAP numbers against Amazon’s statements on its ebook business, it is highly likely that the ebook market has continued to grow in 2015.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable sources for this. We already discussed the issues in the AAP numbers. The market research firm Nielsen also offers an ebook market panel called Pubtrack Digital. Yet, the numbers from this group seem even more “unrepresentative” than the AAP data; Pubtrack follows unit sales data supplied by only 30 US publishers – excluding Amazon.

In late September 2015, Fortune magazine wrote: “Ebook sales aren’t falling: Amazon is winning, publishers are losing.”

Whatever the case may be, it is highly unlikely that total ebook sales growth was anywhere near the growth of ebook supply. Therefore, proper niche selection (and creation) is more important than ever before.

Of course, the ebook market has matured. It has become tougher. That has been the case for at least two years, if not longer. It does not come as a surprise to any publishing industry professional.

Let us look at some facts:

Unrestrained eBook Supply

The number of English-language ebooks available on Kinde as of December 1, 2015 was 3,259,072. Exactly one year ago, that number was 2,489,639. In other words, the supply of books has been growing by approximately 64,000 titles per month or 31% in one year’s time. This rate of new titles has been relatively constant over the last 24 months, fluctuating between 55,000 and 75,000 new English titles every month. If this rate continues like this for the next 12 months, we will be looking at a growth of the supply of ebooks of 20-25% for 2016.

Five of the 30 main book genres have seen above-average growth in ebook supply:

  • LGBT eBooks +200%
  • Comics & Graphic Novels +119%
  • Teen & Young Adult +63%
  • Romance +42%
  • Children’s eBooks +41%

No wonder that competition is reported being tougher than it used to be, especially in these genres. As a result, prices have shown an almost continues decline in Romance and LGBT to price points around and below $2.99 even for the Top 100 bestsellers on Kindle.

eBook Prices – Mixed Developments Based On Genre

I believe there has never been any significant pricing power for ebooks on the supply side, except for highly technical genres (medical, law, etc.) where books can command anything between $9.99 and $200.00 and up.

The fact is that the average price of the Top 100 titles across 27 of the main Kindle genres was $6.17 per November 1, 2014. Twelve months later, the same average is $6.74. In other words, ebook prices, at least in the indicator Top 100 increased by 10% across the board.

Of course, there were winners and losers. Given the over-proportional rise in the supply of books described earlier, three genres saw a significant drop in price levels compared to a year ago:

  • LGBT eBooks -22%
  • Romance -20%
  • Comics & Graphic Novels -12%

eBook Market Saturating

The ebook market is a mature market, no doubt. Let’s look at the following ratios:

On the supply side, Amazon displays close to 15 million English language paperback and hardcover titles per November 29, 2015. This is 4.6 times the number of available Kindle ebooks.

Probably coincidentally, on the demand side, the total U.S. publishing trade revenue is also about 4.5 times value of the ebook market (within the AAP sample).

Most authors and publishers will confirm: the ebook market has matured and become increasingly saturated. Growth in supply is outpacing the growth in demand.

The result is a highly market competitive environment. At K-lytics, we track the sales performance of more than 2,800 book genres and sub-markets. Then we compare the level of sales with the degree of competition as measured by the number of available titles in each sub-market.

The result? Out of more than 2,800 Kindle categories analyzed the K-lytics ELITE database, some 15% show an attractive “sales-to-competition” ratio. These are the profitable niches you should go after if you are an author or publisher who is in the game for profits and wants increase the odds of success (see exhibit below.)

PO K-lytics ELITE book strategy map November 2015

Ebook publishing has become like drilling for oil: lucrative for those who have the right technology and know “where to dig”, less fruitful for those who do not.

Self-publishing and platforms such as Kindle have torn down any barriers to entry in the ebook market. Unfortunately, this has also torn down any barriers to low quality and junk books that keep flooding the market. Although Amazon has shown some signs of fighting at least fraudulent ebook uploads in KDP, the amount of “ghostwritten crap” that gets uploaded as “books” is still staggering. Consumers and the whole industry would hugely benefit from an introduction of a quality stage gate in the Kindle Direct Publishing process—but this is another topic for another day.

The Show Will Go On

So do I believe in “doom and gloom” for ebooks? – No.

Whatever the macro-picture is, the answer for the individual indie author will remain what it always has been:

  • Write good quality books
  • Do so in quantity
  • Select your niches carefully (i.e. write for markets where demand is high and competition as low as possible)
  • Market the books aggressively
  • And hope for a bit of luck

Happy publishing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Take a Spy Home for the Holidays

Ah, yes... It's that time of year.

I want to thank everyone who read one of my books this year. You, my readers, are the reason why I write. I hope I've given you something worthwhile to think about. This year, we distributed over 33,000 copies of Spies Lie books!

The month just passed was a milestone for me. First, I was a NaNoWriMo member. I got a head start on CypherGhost, Book 7 of DS Kane's Spies Lie series. I'll be busy with that new book for at least the next nine or ten months. It's about a war between the hacker community and the government.

Also, just now being released: ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series. The paper version is now available at Amazon, and the ebook versions should be out in the next two weeks.

Finally, for those of you in Florida: On December 29 at 7:00 p.m., I will have an author event at Vault 39 Wine Cellar, 4580 Donald Ross Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. I'll be selling and signing paper versions of the Spies Lie books. Those who purchase one of my books will receive free wine and snacks, And, I will read passages from several of my books.

I hope the coming year brings you joy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

We’ll Always Have Paris

My thoughts lay today with the people of Paris, France. The ISIS attack last week, preceded by the Charlie Hebdo attack a few months ago, has shown that the  terminal disease called Islamic fundamentalism is at least as grim and deadly an undertaking as the Spanish Inquisition was, six hundred years ago. These events also punctuate the claim of atheists who, like myself, believe that religion is the most implacable cause of mass murder.

Imagine, as John Lennon proposed, there is no religion. Yes, there might still be occasional wars. Economic fundamentalism causes a few of those, but it is second to religion. But religious exterminations, of which there have been ever-so-many, would simply not exist.

Is there any reason to believe in god, when if you do believe, you must then reconcile that being’s existence, with world events such as those in which groups like ISIS and Islamic fundamentalist groups target peaceful, soft targets. No real “god” would permit this, and therefore, there must not be any entity called god out there. Those of you that pray are simply applying wishful thinking to the world.

Don’t pray for Paris. Do something tangible about it. Contribute some money to help the victims. ISIS consists of deluded human beings, who are motivated more by hopelessness than by their religious beliefs. I believe two additional things: First, every time we poke our noses into the Middle East, we make things there much worse. Taking an active role again in the mess we’re have already created won’t end the turmoil. The United States should assist those countries we call our allies, but not supply a presence. Second, ISIS must be exterminated, but it is not our role to do that. It is the role of the real stakeholders, the governments of neighboring countries that feat being overrun. So, not our job.

In an earlier blog entry, after spending two weeks in the Middle East a few years ago, I stated that “The Middle East has Always Been a Time Bomb.” No longer. Now it is the Middle East is exploding all over Europe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blog Tour for DS Kane's Baksheesh (Bribes), Book 5 of the Spies Lie series

Would you like to know more about what a former spy does after he's no longer serving his country? Of course you would. If this is your guilty pleasure, drop by any of these web sites where I'm being interviewed this week and next week:

All of my tour stops are listed here:  
November 9: 
It's Raining Books
November 11: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin' - review only
November 11: 
The Voluptuous Book Diva
November 12: Queen of the Night Reviews 
November 13: 
Reviews by Crystal 
November 16: 
Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews 
November 17: 
Christine Young 
November 18: 
BooksChatter 
November 19: 
Room With Books 
November 20: 
Long and Short Reviews 

I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cover Reveal: DS Kane's ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series

Yes, DS Kane's ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series will be released soon... in early December, 2015. The manuscript is currently being copyedited by master copyeditor Karl Yambert.

But, to whet your appetite, here's ProxyWar's cover, designed by the legendary Jeroen Ten Berge:

Decades in my past, I lived in Manhattan, three blocks south of the United Nations. In this cover, you can see the UN General Assembly building with it's row of flags dotting the left side of the cover, and the tall Secretariat Building  on the right side of the cover. Also visible are the two figures, a shooter on the right of the title, and a body lying under the title. The bleak, bare winter trees punctuate the scene at the top right edge.

I think this cover tells you enough to keep you shifting your weight on the balls of your feet, thinking, "Okay. Now, I want to read the story!"

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews selects DS Kane's Baksheesh (Bribes) as a top book!


I just received another email from the folks at Kirkus Reviews (Anna Cooper):


"I just wanted to send the good news that your most recent review for "Baksheesh (Bribes)" was selected by our Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 10/1 Issue. Congratulations! Your review will appear as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of the magazine which is sent out to over 5,000 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.) Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it's a great honor. "
Note that its predecessor book in the series, GrayNet, was featured in Kirkus Reviews 9/15 Issue.

If you'd like to read the unexcerpted reviews of either book, pick up Kirkus Reviews (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/).

 
Here is an excerpt of the October Kirkus Review of Baksheesh (Bribes):
 
“In the fifth installment of the Spies Lie series, former covert operative Cassandra Sashakovich is finally ready to settle down with her family, though a plot to start World War III threatens to pull her back into danger.
At the conclusion of the fourth installment, GrayNet (2014), Cassie had barely survived being shot by an assassin determined to collect a bounty placed on her head. As she recovers both physically and mentally, Cassie, her boyfriend, Lee, and their adopted teenage daughter, Ann, plan for a new life in a new city under new identities. Hopefully, none of their old enemies—many of whom are still hungry for revenge—will find them. Cassie decides to sell her consulting agency, The Swiftshadow Group, to the Israeli mercenary Avram Shimmel and to finally put her obsession with great food to good use by opening a restaurant. Yet an obstacle arrives in the form of Amos Mastoff, the U.S. vice president who becomes president when the president-elect is assassinated the day after the election. Mastoff plans to make Christianity the sole religion in the world by wiping out Israel and rest of the Middle East via a few well-placed suitcase nukes obtained from a Russian arms dealer. The Swiftshadow Group must utilize all of their very special skills to stop Mastoff and his cronies before they wipe out half the world. To do that, they need Cassie’s talents as a hacker. Author Kane shows no sign of running out of wild plot twists and corrupt figures out to destroy Cassie, not to mention the world… readers will be swept away on the tidal wave of sexy, espionage-laced prose...the large ensemble of colorful and incredibly damaged characters… the reappearances of some seemingly forgotten central characters from the pre-Cassie books in the series.”

 

 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Humble Thank You for the Promo Results for DS Kane's Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series

From September 21 through 23, 2015, I offered free Kindle copies of DS Kane's Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series to readers FREE. I am truly amazed at the results, and wish to thank everyone who downloaded the book.

Amazon distributed 7,735 copies of Swiftshadow over the three days. Over 100 of those were paid sales. I am forever in your debt for the popularity of my books. I am especially thankful for the 15,000 of you who already own the two books that preceded Swiftshadow.

Total sales of my books for for this year currently exceed 23,000 copies. My sixth book of the series, ProxyWar, is currently in production and should be available before Christmas. My superb marketer, Rebecca Berus of 2MarketBooks.com, is arranging promos for the three books that follow Swiftshadow. And, I'm currently outlining the seventh book in the series. I hope I can retain your interest as the series continues on.

And once again, thanks for your interest in my books.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Swiftshadow, Book 3 of DS Kane's Spies Lie seres is FREE!


For FREE at eBooksHabit.com
Swiftshadow
by DS Kane

Get This Book for FREE 
(today and tomorrow only)
When Cassandra Sashakovich, a bright but arrogant economist and consultant, is in Riyadh completing a financial forecasting assignment, her cover is blown by a mole from her intelligence agency. A covert agent whose call sign is “Swiftshadow,” she barely survives an encounter with a hit man and escapes to Washington, where she is fired by her agency for becoming a liability.
Hunted by terrorists who fear she may have hacked details of their pending operation, Cassie must identify the mole and neutralize the terrorists to recover her life. She finds help in the arms of another rogue agent, Lee Ainsley, and learns how to deal with life on the run from a homeless teen, Ann Silbee.
From Riyadh to the halls of power in Washington, from New York’s homeless to Hong Kong’s center of technology, from the remnants of Silicon Valley to Al Qaeda’s Afghanistan, Cassie desperately races against the clock to expose plots by both her own government and the terrorists; an operation that could result in the deaths of millions of Americans. Cassie must come to terms with her own nature, find and use skills she never knew she had.
But even if she survives, will the experience change her into someone worse than those who want her dead? And if she survives is there some way for her to emerge more mature and self-reliant, no longer a naive tool of her country?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The link to Kirkus Reviews September 15 issue...

So, here's the link to Kirkus Reviews September 15 issue where Graynet, Book 4 of the Spies Lie series by DS Kane is one of the featured reviews:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ds-kane/graynet/

And, if you are two busy to click the link, here's the entire review:

KIRKUS REVIEW


In the fourth novel in the Spies Lie series, an array of foes is still out to kill former covert operative Cassandra Sashakovich, despite her efforts to settle down with her boyfriend and adopted daughter.
At the close of the previous installment (Swiftshadow, 2014), Cassie had successfully overseen the deaths of the two terrorist brothers who had tried to kill her. However, just because Tariq and Pesi Houmaz are dead does not mean Cassie’s problems are over. Her boyfriend, Lee Ainsley, has been sent to Guantánamo Bay under false charges, and while she’s able to blackmail the government in order to free him, her actions don’t make her any new friends. In fact, the president of the United States himself wants her dead. Despite this threat, Cassie attempts to settle down in suburban Maryland with Lee and adopted daughter Ann Silbee, a homeless teenager she met in the tunnels underneath the streets of New York while on the run. Unfortunately, Lee and Ann clash immediately, both still suffering from traumatic events in their pasts. To top it all off, there is a third Houmaz brother, and he wants revenge for his brothers’ deaths. When a call for Cassie’s assassination is posted on GrayNet—a website that allows visitors to bet on life and death with potentially huge payouts—thousands of professional killers and desperate amateurs set out to be the one to deliver her head to Houmaz. Author Kane continues to deliver solid thrills chock-full of international intrigue and shocking ideas that get the conspiracy wheels turning. The addition of Ann to the sprawling cast heightens the stakes even further. Cassie remains a frequently frustrating protagonist; she’s so stubborn and demanding to those she calls friends, it’s a wonder she has any. Yet her ingenuity and will to survive against such insane odds will make readers root for her nonetheless.
Nonstop action and suspense starring the definition of a strong female lead.

Monday, September 14, 2015

DS Kane's Latest News

I just received an email from the folks at Kirkus Reviews (Anna Cooper):

Your review for “GrayNet" was selected by our Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 9/15 Issue. Congratulations! Your review will appear as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of the magazine which is sent out to over 5,000 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.) Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it's a great honor.

If you'd like to read the entire, unedited review, pick up a copy at Kirkus Reviews (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/). 

==================
ProxyWar, Book 6 of DS Kane's Spies Lie series, is now complete and I've sent it off to the copyeditor. It's looking good to be
available around Thanksgiving time.

==================

With Book 6 out of my critical path, I've started on Cyberthief, Book 7 of the Spies Lie Series.
My research for this one included lessons in Black Hat hacking. It's good to be back to a world I once lived in.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BookNook.biz reviews DS Kane's Spies Lie series

Kimberly Hutchens of BookNook.biz reviewed DS Kane's Spies Lie series on their blog:
http://www.booknook.biz/announcements/ds-kane-s-deathbyte-is-amazon-bestseller
Wow! A great and quite thorough review. Give it a read, ad if you like what you see, subscribe to her blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Baksheesh (Bribes)

Today, Kirkus Reviews posted their review of Baksheesh (Bribes), Book 5 of the Spies Lie series:

“Author Kane shows no sign of running out of wild plot twists and corrupt figures out to destroy Cassie, not to mention the world…readers will be swept away on the tidal wave of sexy, espionage-laced prose…More wild, violent adventures in the world of international espionage.” – Kirkus Reviews

Link to DS Kane's NPR interview: What It's Really like to be a Spy

KALW FM, (NPR San Francisco). On the Aug. 16, 2015 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, listen to the interview with DS Kane, former intelligence service undercover operative and author of Blood Ridge on what it’s really like to be a spy.

Listen to the interview with this link: http://kalw.org/post/work-marty-nemko-whats-it-really-be-spy

Friday, August 14, 2015

DS Kane to be interviewed on NPR Radio this coming Sunday (8/16) at 11 a.m.


Would you like to know what it’s like to be a covert operative? DS Kane will be interviewed by Marty Nemko on KALW 91.7 FM (NPR Radio, San Francisco) this Sunday, August 16, 2015. Tune in to Work with Marty Nemko and listen for just over half an hour and get an inside look at what it takes to be a spy.

Kane will answer Marty Nemko's questions, including these:
  • I’d imagine that if deception is key to being a spy, you need to be a good liar.  Are black operatives trained on how to avoid their lies being detected? If so, what do they teach you?
  • Has being an undercover asset made you more or less trusting of people in your real life?
  • Is there a cyberthreat that particularly worries you?
  • You said there are over 1,200 intelligence services in the U.S. Why so many?
  • The relationship of the US to Arab states seems to be getting stronger while getting weaker with Israel. Is that affecting how US intelligence services and Israel’s, the Mossad, are working together?

If you are in the San Francisco Bay area, you can listen to KALW 91.7 FM (NPR-SF). If you are an out-of-towner, listen on-line at http://kalw.org/listen-live.









Friday, July 31, 2015

Thank You to DeathByte readers!


A brief note of thanks to all who got their copy of DeathByte, Book 2 of the Spies Lie series by DS Kane, during the promo that ended yesterday, July 30, 2015.
This book got to number 1 on two of Amazon’s BESTSELLER lists and number 23 overall. We sold almost 7,400 copies in just 3 days!

Please enjoy your copy, and if you have a few minutes, post a review at Amazon and or Goodreads. I’m forever in your debt. If you have questions on anything you find in DeathByte, please ask via email or Facebook.

Friday, July 24, 2015

DeathByte, Book 2 of DS Kane's Spies Lie series FREE next week!

That's right. The kindle version of DeathByte, Book 2 of DS Kane's Spies Lie series (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2LLKSC) will be FREE July 28 through July 30 at Amazon.

So, if you've already read Bloodridge, Book 1, or even downloaded it but not yet read it, then this is your chance to continue the adventure. Take a spy to the beach with you this summer!

“A dizzying spy story for readers with clear minds and steely constitutions.” —Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baksheesh (Bribes), Book 5 of the Spies Lie series is an Amazon Bestseller!

Baksheesh (Bribes), Book 5 of the Spies Lie series is an Amazon Bestseller! During the first day of the promo, this volume made it as high as number 47 for Amazon's Thrillers / Assassinations genre.

Now, every book in the Spies Lie series has been on the list. Wow!

If you haven't read these, take a spy with you on vacation or to the beach: Bloodridge, DeathByte, Swiftshadow, GrayNet and Baksheesh (Bribes).

Meanwhile, I'm busy working on your Christmas present: ProxyWar, Book 6. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ThrillerFest!

This week was great. First, I got the Kirkus review for Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series by DS Kane:

"In the third installment of Kane’s (DeathByte, 2014, etc.) Spies Lie series, a covert operative–turned-fugitive must use her formidable intellect to figure out who betrayed her to terrorists.

Brilliant young economist and computer hacker Cassandra Sashakovich takes a job working for an unnamed U.S. intelligence agency, feeding false economic reports to terrorist organizations and hacking into their financial resources. However, when a mission in Riyadh goes terribly awry after her cover is blown, Cassie finds herself being burned by the agency and left for dead. Utilizing every shred of her considerable ingenuity, Cassie goes into hiding and starts a secret consulting firm, hoping she can dig deep enough into the world’s dirty laundry to figure out who might be the agency mole that gave her up to the terrorists in Riyadh. What she discovers shocks her and forever changes the way she sees international intelligence. Teaming up with rogue security analyst Lee Ainsley and an army of mercenaries, Cassie decides to get revenge—both on the terrorists who destroyed her life and the U.S. government that let them... In Cassie, Kane has created a female protagonist who bears a striking resemblance to the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, from her extraordinary hacking talents and resourcefulness to her fluid sexuality and tendency to be targeted by evil men who underestimate her ability to survive... “Cassie felt his hand touch her robe, slip inside, and grope her breast, squeeze a nipple. When his other hand reached between her legs to stroke her, her legs grew unsteady.”

...the high stakes and dizzily paced action will hook genre fans from the first page.  — Kirkus Reviews"

Andrea and I were in Washington DC for the 4th of July, watching the fireworks outside the White House. Then on to Manhattan for THRILLERFEST!

CraftFest was very insightful, but Thrillerfest itself was Amazing. Kathy Antrum had been after me for over a year to attend, telling me I'd make some important connections. And, I did. I think it was a bit overwhelming. Meeting Lee Child, Steve Berry, Karen Slaughter, John Sanford, Kevin Hurley, Andrew Mayne, Dr. Richard Krevolin, James Scott Bell, David Corbett, Brenda Novak, John Raab, Myles Knapp, Simon Toyne, Anthony Tata, Andy Harp, Samuel Octavius, Tom Young, among so many others. It made me a better writer. Thanks, Kathy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baksheesh now available in both print and ebook, from Amazon and bookstores

Your long wait is over. Baksheesh, Book 5 of the Spies Lie series is now available in both print and ebook, from Amazon and bookstores, and in print from bookstores by order.

This book concludes the Sashakovich mini-series within the overall Spies Lie series. All your favorite characters return, and there's backstory some of you have requested on how the fall of the Soviet Union helped mold Cassandra's parents and also her. Jon Sommers returns, and there are some major twists that will delight you. This book also sets up ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series, projected release date in December, 2015.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bloodridge sells thousands of copies in three days, reaches # 38 overall and #1 in political and military thrillers


Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie series (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0029J0) was FREE at Amazon  (ebook) for three days. The price has since returned to $3.99. If you have ever wondered what it’s like to walk the path of a spy, that was your chance to try it without any risk.

During the last day and a half, 7,397 copies of this BESTSELLING ebook were acquired for free. It was as high as #38 overall at Amazon and number 1 in both political thrillers and military thrillers.
 
If you were one of the lucky readers who acquired a copy, please accept my thanks. If you have read Bloodridge, please consider writing a review of the book and posting it on Amazon and/or on Goodreads. As its author, I'd greatly appreciate this favor.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Trouble with Technology

We’re finally past Moore’s law. Gordon Moore claimed, decades long ago, that the number of transistors which could be placed on a microchip doubled every eighteen months, and because of that, the life cycle of a tech product was eighteen months before a replacement with improved tech was practical.

But, technologists discovered that the S-curves of new product replacements were each built on top of the previous product’s S-curve, making the life cycle for a practical replacement less and less. This placed a severe impact on product testing cycles. From a one-year testing cycle several decades ago, tech products have gone to nearly no testing cycle now, with the only exceptions being the FDA and the cycles for operating systems like Microsoft Windows. Most tech products are now tested by customers, after purchase.

With no testing cycle, “zero-day” flaws have become more common. A program that you bought might now sit in your computer, and contain bugs that make it easy for a hacker to exploit. If you install it, soon, your bank account might get hacked, and your identity might be stolen. As you sit and wonder what has happened, the IRS sends you a letter requesting you return the refund they claim they sent you… but you never received. Suddenly, your home is set for auction. Banks want you to repay credit cards you never applied for or received.

Over a hundred-fifty million Americans have had their identities compromised. Almost all of us are unaware of their “problem.” The hospitals, banks, stores, utilities and other companies that permitted the identity thefts might not have even reported the problem. As a consumer, you have little recourse.

Technologies that might have prevented the thefts are often left unimplemented, because they cost too much, need their own testing cycle, or require personnel the company no longer employs.

In the United States, our own government is pro-business, anti-consumer. The people we elect to represent us have little interest in what happens to us; after all, only our votes count. Since crypto that might help us has been deemed to be able protect terrorists, I believe our representatives have been more responsive to intelligence agency requests to “back door” our computer products, even though this makes us easier targets for hackers.

Technologies will continue to evolve and become more complex. Corporations will continue to squeeze all the cash they can from the development cycles of their products.

In order to remain safe, it’s incumbent on us, the consumers, to find ways to protect ourselves. Remember, caveat emptor! Buyer beware!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Release planned for late June, 2015! Whatcha think?


I received tis last night from Jeroen Ten Berge, my cover designer. I think it's his best work: A wedding with the couple shown within the sights of a sniper rifle. Don't worry; it's not a romance novel. As I've said before, "There's no retirement for spies... except death."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letter from Bill Clinton

Today, I received a letter from William Jefferson Clinton about DS Kane's Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie series. Read on:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series by DS Kane hits Amazon's BESTSELLER List

From March 19 through March 21, Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie series by DS Kane was on Amazon's BESTSELLER List, as high as number 10 in Technothrillers and number 17 in Espionage.


During that three day span, Swiftshadow's positon exceeded that of other popular thriller authors, including:


  • B, V. Larson (Techworld, #21, Dust World #29, #69, Extinction #31, Swarm #33, #56, Annihilation #46, The Dead Sun #47, Conquest #36, Exile #41, #53, Rebellion #42, Storm Assault #50, Conquest #51, Tech World #19, #21, #49, Battle Station #61, Empire #62, Army of One #77, Starfire #85)

  • James Patterson (Private Vegas #16, #25)

  • Dale Brown (Starfire #36)

  • William Gibson (The Peripheral #45, #68, 95)

  • Bob Mayer (The Gate #41)

  • Tom Clancy (Rainbow Six #54, #70, Threat Vector #52, #55, Locked On #65, 80 Cardinal of the Kremlin #67, Debt of Honor #76, Red Storm Rising #90, Clear and Present Danger #93)

  • J. A. Konrath (The List #75)

  • Michael Crichton (State of Fear #86)

  • Mark Greaney (Back Blast #72)

  • Chuck Palahniuk (Beautiful You #81)

  • Daniel Suarez (Daemon #81)

  • Dan Brown (Digital Fortress #93)

Thanks Rebecca Berus of 2MarketBooks.com, my marketing guru. And thanks, to everyone who bought a copy. Thanks to all who read and reviewed it.

All my reviews for Swiftshadow are five-star!