The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’m finally getting a short break from the Dangerous Straits book launch tour, so today’s post is just odds and ends of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good

Thanks to my friend and HS classmate Debi for sharing this photo of her enjoying her spring break vacation on a nice warm beach (Hawaii, if I recall her saying–might be wrong).

Debi H. reading Dangerous Straits on the beach

The Bad

Spring may not come to Minnesota this year! 😯  Other than a few days in the 60s since late March, we’ve been struggling to stay above freezing on many days! It’s worse in northern MN and North Dakota (huge blizzard the other day) because they still have lots of snow on the ground. Snow showers were flying around town all day yesterday (thankfully no accumulation).

Don’t get me wrong, I love Minnesota. But in the age of climate change, we’ve been getting used to Spring being in full swing by now, with green grass, flowers blooming, people walking and biking and playing outside in shorts and tees. This weather does not compute. I should have at least five or six rounds of golf under my belt by now, but I’ve only played once so far–and that was on a cold windy day. 🙁 As T.S. Elliot said, “April is the cruelest month.”

The Ugly

Amazon is a necessary evil for authors in today’s publishing world. So I reluctantly offer my books to buyers through Amazon’s website. Some people call Amazon the 800-lb gorilla of bookselling for good reason. Indie bookstores hate what Amazon has done to their profitability. Publishers often get frustrated dealing with them. Authors often hold their noses when they list books with Amazon or publish through Kindle Direct Publishing. Mainly because Amazon operates so secretively, has onerous rules that must be followed, collects God-knows-how-much data on anyone who visits the website, and takes what many believe to be far too big of a slice of the profits from authors who sell via Amazon.

I haven’t had a problem with Amazon until now. Dangerous Straits has been available in print since late January (almost three months). Yet Amazon claims my publisher ( and Ingram ( a worldwide distributor of print-on-demand books), haven’t submitted the proper files or forms or whatever to allow Amazon to offer the book directly to customers at the list price of $16.95. For the last two weeks, Booklocker and Ingram have been trying to clear up this problem. Unfortunately, Amazon apparently either refuses to believe them or keeps telling them they’ve made some sort of undefined error. The net result? Dangerous Straits is only being offered on Amazon by third-party vendors who have likely bought the book for $16.95 somewhere else and are now offering it for as much as $25 on Amazon’s website.

Amazon screen shot of DS

Why It’s Ugly

I don’t fault the third-party vendors for “price gouging” if they actually bought the book and are reselling it. Good luck getting that price. But I AM LOSING SALES FROM AMAZON CUSTOMERS. They’re usually price conscious and don’t want to pay a premium price for a book from a non-big-name author. Especially when they see my other books are priced at $16.95! 

How You Can Help Make it NOT UGLY
  • Buy Dangerous Straits from your local independent bookseller. Most have websites where you can order books. Then simply pick them up during your next visit to the physical store.
  • Buy Dangerous Straits online from me. Simply click the Buy Now button below and I will send you an autographed copy with a couple of bookmarks for $20 and FREE SHIPPING. That’s my normal price for in-person book signings, and you don’t have to travel anywhere to meet me in person.


  • Buy Dangerous Straits from me in person at one of my live events. Check the Events & Appearances page for the event nearest you.
  • Buy Dangerous Straits from They had no trouble listing the book at $16.95 from day one.

And remember, no matter where you buy my books, I will always donate $1.00 per sale to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern MN. 

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