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UPDATE: I’ve taken the price lower. See below for details …

UPDATE NO. 2: It’s now available for the Nook. Go here!

Something new for you e-book devotees:

Available now at the Kindle store and in a variety of formats at Smashwords is a three-short-story bundle called This Is Butte. You Have Ten Minutes. Cost: $2.99 99 cents.

(The bundle will eventually work its way to B&N Online and the Apple store, but that rests with factors beyond my control. When it’s up in those places, I’ll post an update.)

Here’s the lineup:

This Is Butte. You Have Ten Minutes.

A traveling salesman, stranded by a broken-down car, hops a late-night bus home and learns hard truths about himself and his life as he rides along with a motley group of fellow passengers, among them a woman with a mysterious past.

Alyssa Alights

A teenage runaway lands in an unforgiving city far from home and finds an unlikely friend in a homeless, self-styled vigilante.

Star of the North

Ray Bingham subjugated his own dreams when he beat a man to death. Imprisoned for twenty-three years, he imparts hard-won lessons of living with regret to a young fellow inmate, until his act revisits him in a most unexpected way.

These stories are part of a larger collection that I hope to release in the next year or so. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them linked; a better description is that they have relationships — some casual, some direct — with each other. All try to dig at the central notion that we’re not alone. Even if we deserve to be. Even if we want to be.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check them out.

Thanks for your consideration.

Here’s what the production side of books has come to for this independent publisher:

After months of toil by Carol Buchanan on her new novel, Gold Under Ice, and weeks of toil by both of us in getting it just so for print, we’ve been celebrating its arrival as a real, honest-to-goodness book that anyone can buy.

The champagne (well, virtual champagne — she’s in Kalispell, I’m in Billings) had scarcely been consumed when the work began anew. We have e-book editions to get out there!

I’m proud to say that the work is nearly done. I uploaded the Kindle version to Amazon this morning, and it should start showing up live on the site in the next couple of days. We’re also queued up with a Smashwords version, which is available as a standalone at the site and will eventually make its way to other e-retailers and reading devices, among them Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the iPad.

I say it a lot, but it’s worth repeating: It’s a fascinating time to be involved with publishing, as an author and as a publisher. Scary and intense and all-consuming, yes, but fascinating and fun, too.

Exciting news today: My second novel, The Summer Son, has been acquired by AmazonEncore, the new publishing arm of the online giant.

The book will emerge sometime in the early part of 2011. It is available for pre-sale in print and Kindle versions.

To say that I am thrilled to be joining up with AmazonEncore is, perhaps, to understate the matter. Beyond good writing and a compelling story and a bit of luck, a book needs powerful marketing to make inroads with readers, and AmazonEncore boasts an unparalleled worldwide reach and a proven ability to match books and the people who love them. AmazonEncore has been making a splash of late by giving second chances to independently released books, publishing a handful of original manuscripts (as it will with mine) and, more recently, striking a deal with author J.A. Konrath that left industry tongues wagging (also choice reading is Konrath’s rebuttal to that Publishers Weekly article). Publishing is an area with few sure-fire bets, but here’s one of them: Whatever the future holds, Amazon is going to be a major player. I’m gratified to be able to jump aboard.

(Just as an aside: At some future date, I may have to write a memoir of publishing with the working title Dude, WTF? Consider: Wrote my first novel in 24 days. Self-published it. Got picked up by a regional publisher and re-released in less than a year. Won some nice notices. Some really nice notices. Prepared to launch my second novel with my own literary press. Hooked up instead with an ascendant publisher with unmatched insight into consumer behavior. All in a little more than 18 months. I’m blessed, and very, very, very fortunate.)

As noted above, this move does scuttle my earlier plan to make The Summer Son the initial release of my small literary press, Missouri Breaks. That publishing venture is still a go, however, and I anticipate being able to soon make an exciting annoucement about a couple of forthcoming books.

In the meantime, with my schedule suddenly cleared of all the production duties I had anticipated, I now find myself in the happy position of being able to spend the next few months of waiting out The Summer Son by getting down the road with Novel No. 3.

Thanks for riding along.

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