I just learned that Ernest Kinoy. one of the most honored writers in TV history, passed away this week. I was fortunate enough to work with him on two episodes of DIAGNOSIS MURDER.
Dick Van Dyke really wanted us to do an “important” episode of DIAGNOSIS MURDER and felt we should get a “major” writer to do it (I suppose we could have been offended by that…the implication that we were doing mediocre episodes and were mediocre writers, but we chose not to take it that way). William Rabkin and I, who were the show runners at the time, were glad to do it. We saw it s a chance to not only work with a writer we admired, but also to get some critical attention. So we decided to aim high, to find an acclaimed, award-winning writer from the “golden age” that Dick would immediately recognize and respect…but that would be an honor for us to work with as well. Whoever we chose also had to be a writer with episodic experience, someone who wouldn’t have a problem working with continuing characters and delivering a story that worked within our franchise. That narrowed the field a bit. Our first pick was Ernest Kinoy but, to be honest, we thought he’d turn us down flat. After all, this was the guy who wrote Skokie, Roots, Murrow and Victory at Entebbe and classic episodes of such dramas as The Defenders, Naked City, Route 66 and Playhouse 90.
So we gave him a call…and to our astonishment, he was genuinely interested. We sent him some episodes of our show, as well as some issue-oriented story areas that we were kicking around. He immediately jumped on a notion we had about HMOs…insurance plans that require patients to use specific hospitals and doctors and that leaves life-changing medical decisions in the hands of bureaucrats who are more concerned with the bottom line than patient health.
Kinoy’s only hesitation was that it had been decades since he’d written an episodic teleplay and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to pull it off. He had no reason to worry. The guy was pro…one of the greats of our business.
He delivered a powerful story and a terrific script, entitled First Do No Harm, that stood out as the only episode of the show that didn’t have a murder. Yes, someone died, and Dr. Sloan investigates the death, but the perpetrator was a system, not an individual. The script captured the voices of our characters…but it was Kinoy’s voice that really came through. His dialogue had a unique cadence, one that Dick embraced. It was a real thrill for us, professionally and personally, to work with him, although it was long distance, by phone and fax.
We liked the experience so much that we invited him back to do a second episode the following season…another issue-based story, this one about assisted suicide…and it gave us the chance, as an added bonus, to reunite Dick with Kathleen Quinlan, his co-star in the film The Runner Stumbles, his most dramatic role. Dick relished the part and we relished working with such a gifted writer. It was the last episode of season 6, the final episode that Bill and I produced of the series, and it was a great way to go out.
The two episodes ended up being Kinoy’s last, produced credits. I hope he was as proud of the episodes as I am.
I’m so excited! It’s pub day for THE JOB, the third book in the Fox & O’Hare series that I co-write with Janet Evanovich. The book is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia…and if you want to get signed editions, autographed by me and Janet, copies are available from Target, but you better hurry, they are going very, very fast.
We had a lot of fun writing this book, which gave me an excuse to visit Nashville for research and stuff myself at Monell’s restaurant three nights in a row. The action in this story also takes Fox & O’Hare to France (where my in-laws live, so I have visited often), Spain, Portugal and Turkey. I’ve been to all of the locations in the book except for Lisbon and Istanbul, but I had friends in both cities who were able to visit all of the places we wanted our characters to go and take lots of pictures for us. And we did a ton of research reading books, watching documentaries, and spending hours on Google Earth, an author’s best friend.
All of our “regular” characters return along with some new members of the team, recruited just for this mission (and one of them is going to make a return appearance in our fourth book).
We’ve also just released a “prequel” short story, THE SHELL GAME, that reveals how conman & thief Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare first met…and the exciting con that that started their relationship. I didn’t have to go far to research this one…it’s set in Los Angeles, a city that Janet and I know well. It’s an ebook exclusive that you can find at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore.
Meanwhile, we’re already hard at work on the fourth book in the series. I’ve already taken a research trips to Oahu and Las Vegas…and will soon be heading to Hong Kong & Macao…all to add that extra touch of authenticity to the Fox & O’Hare adventures. I can’t wait to hear what you think of THE JOB and THE SHELL GAME. Please let me know!
Here are a bunch of questions I’ve received lately about Monk. There may be spoilers ahead.
I just saw an episode of Monk that revealed Trudy’s killer as a college professor she had an affair with and had his baby. In your books you keep saying the murder hasn’t been solved. Can you explain? I still have several of your Monk books to read so the answer may be in the unread books. Thanks on advance for your feedback. Darla
That’s not the case. My books came out while the show was still on the air. The first book of mine that acknowledges the solving of Trudy’s murder is Mr. Monk on Road. I wrote four more MONK novels after that…all of which acknowledge that Trudy’s murder has been solved.
First of all let me begin by telling you what a big fan I am of the Monk TV series AND your books. I was so upset when the TV series ended but your books allowed me to go on ‘watching’ it. One thing that I’m curious about though: why did you have to make Randy Disher leave for New Jersey? He was one of my top favorite characters in the series (I actually love all the characters and especially Sharona too). Anyway, just wanted to know why you had to replace Randy with Amy – you can tell I don’t like change much! 😛
Thanks! Nyain from South Africa.
Disher left San Francisco for New Jersey in the final episode of the MONK television series, so I was just picking up where they left off.
I JUST READ “MR. MONK AND THE TWO ASSISTANTS” . I HAD NO IDEA THIS SERIES EXISTED. I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO SEE THE TV SERIES GO ON FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS OR SO. THIS IS THE NEXT BEST THING. I CAN ACTUALLY VISULIZE THE CHARACTERS AS I READ THE BOOK. I LAUGH OUT LOUD. I INTEND TO READ ALL OF YOUR “MR MONK” BOOKS.
I HAVE READ ALL OF PARKER’S BOOKS. HIS BOOK COVERS ALWAYS SHOWED HIM IN A LEATHER JACKET AND BOSTON BALL CAP. I REMEMBERED THAT WHEN READING ABOUT “LUDLOW’S” BOOK COVERS.
I ENJOY YOUR WORK. TRAVIS
Thank you so much, Travis! I hope you continue to enjoy the MONK books. Your note reminded me that I need to change my author photo and put on a leather jacket.
how about you write a book with Mrs. Monk still living, perpetrating the neurosis later found in her kids? I would read it..!
Sorry, I am not writing the books anymore…and if I was, I wouldn’t write that.
I recently read the new novel Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad. It really sucked. […] Please, please reconsider coming back and writing another Monk book or at the very least talk to Hy Conrad and tell him where he’s gone wrong. I will have to content myself with rereading all your Monk novels. I miss the old Monk.
Thank you, I appreciate your kind words but I am done with Monk… It’s Hy’s series now and I wouldn’t presume to tell him how to write it. That said, I have to disagree with you. I think he’s doing a great job.
I am trying to find someplace that I can purchase the entire series of the Monk books, and keep hitting dead ends. Just wondering if you might know somewhere that this may exist. […] They are too expensive to purchase individually, and I’m hoping to get a better deal by finding the complete set.
You didn’t look very hard. You can find complete sets on ebay…or partial sets that you can buy to create a complete set…or you can find them from used book dealers on the Internet for as little as 1 cent each. I think you just wanted me to send you 15 books. Sorry, I don’t do that.
through reading janet evanovich’s books, i discovered you and the monk books. is the book, mr. monk on the couch, the last book of the series?
No, the last of the 15 Monk books that I wrote is Mr. Monk Gets Even. That said, Hy Conrad has continued the series and has written several more great books.
I find Monk irritating and wish you would write a book where he’s normal.
Well, then it wouldn’t be Monk book, would it? I think people read the Monk books because they like the Monk character. If you remove what makes him Monk, then he isn’t Monk any more.
I get lots of questions and complaints about my Monk novels. Here are just a few recent ones.
In Mr Monk On The Couch there’s an attack on the ACLU that reads like a personal aside. I sure hope you really don’t feel that way. They are a wonderful group that does a lot of good works and deserve support and praise. You’ll thank me later for this pointer.
It wasn’t a personal aside. The book is written from Natalie’s POV and her views don’t always reflect mine. Nor do Monk’s. Nor do Stottlemeyer’s. Nor do the murderer’s. I often write characters who have opinions and beliefs very different than my own. It would get pretty boring if all I wrote about were characters who were identical to me.
I really enjoyed your book Mr. Monk on Patrol. You named the officers in the book Officers Lindero, Woodlake, DeSoto, and Corbin which are strikingly similar to the roads in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys corresponding to Lindero Canyon Rd, Woodlake Ave, DeSoto Ave, and Corbin Ave. Considering that based on your website you are from Calabasas, I can’t help but ask if the officers are named after the roads along the Ventura Freeway (US 101) as I, myself, am from the Conejo Valley. Thank you very much!
Yes, of course they are named after Ventura Freeway exits. If I could have snuck in Tampa, Topanga, and Winnetka, I would have. What amazes me is that you are the first person who has noticed!
You are an amazing writer, but please could you tell me why Trudys daughter isn’t mentioned in the recent books? In the last TV episode, Mr Monk found out that Trudy had a daughter and he met her and was besotted with her, but there’s no mention of her since, I am intrigued to know why?
She appears in one of my books, Mr. Monk on the Road, but she was not a character I was interested in exploring any further…nor was I much interested in that relationship. I had plenty of established characters and richer relationships to explore. I just didnt see where I could go with her character that would be much fun…or tie into solving mysteries. You’ll have to ask Hy Conrad, who is writing the books now, why he hasn’t chosen to use her.
I want to read all of the Monk books, but I don’t which ones came first and which ones came later or how many there are. Help!
Help has arrived. Here are the 18 Monk books in order, mine and Hy Conrad’s, along with some trivia about them that you might find interesting.
Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants (2007) This book is unrelated to the MONK episode that brought back Sharona, which came several years after this book was published.
Mr. Monk in Outer Space (2007) Some characters in this book might be familiar to readers of my novel Dead Space (aka Beyond the Beyond). Monk’s brother Ambrose also has a significant role in this novel.
Mr. Monk Goes to Germany(2008) Several of the “assistants” that Natalie meets with in this book were originally introduced in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. Monk’s adversary Dale the Whale makes an appearance in this novel.
Mr. Monk is Miserable(2008) This book is a direct sequel to Germany and picks up right where the previous book left off.
Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop (2009) – There is a call-back in this novel to the MONK episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather,” which I wrote with William Rabkin. There are also some in-joke references to the TV series Mannix and Murder She Wrote.
Mr. Monk in Trouble (2009) There are many, many in-joke references in this book to western authors, television series, and movies, and even radio shows. An excerpt from the book was published as The Case of the Piss-Poor Gold in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2009
Mr. Monk on the Road (2011) This is the first book set after the final episode of the TV series and features Monk’s brother Ambrose in a big way.. Excerpt: Mr. Monk and the Seventeen Steps, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2010.
Mr. Monk on the Couch (2011) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Sunday Paper in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, July 2011
Mr. Monk on Patrol(2012) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Open House in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in December 2011. This book features the return of Sharona and Randy Disher.
Mr. Monk is a Mess (July 2012) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Talking Car, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine May 2012. There is another call-back to the TV episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather” in this novel.
Mr. Monk Gets Even(January 2013) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk Sees the Light inEllery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2012. Dale the Whale and Monk’s brother Ambrose return in this book, which was my final novel in the series.
Mr. Monk Helps Himself (2013) This is the first book in the series written by Hy Conrad and picks up where my books left off. It’s based on the first, unproduced draft of what ultimately became the episode “Mr. Monk Joins a Cult.”
Mr. Monk Gets On Board(2014) This is based on an unproduced episode written by Daniel Dratch. Monk creator Andy Breckman was always trying to get me to use it for one of my books, but I just didn’t feel comfortable basing one of my books on a script that I didn’t write. But Hy helped plot the story in the writers’ room with Dan, so that’s a bit different than me tackling it. Plus Hy makes some call-backs to Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico, an episode that Bill and I wrote.
Here’s a guest post from my friend Kate Goldstone, a big fan in the UK of crime shows, crime novels and everything noir, who has finally discovered Diagnosis Murder, the TV series that I wrote & produced…and the series of eight novels that I wrote based on the show.
I don’t know about you, but TV-on-demand has changed my life. Whoa girl, that’s a bit evangelistic, isn’t it? Yup, but its true. Instead of flipping in increasing desperation through millions of channels looking for something cool to watch – a worldwide phenomenon, I should think – at our place we dive right in and immerse ourselves in entire TV series (which is also available now on DVD!). And Diagnosis Murder has been a telly experience of epic proportions, all 178 episodes of it.
Watching the Diagnosis Murder complete series
Lee was the executive producer and principle writer of the Diagnosis Murder series, which made our adventure into medical crime drama even more exciting. We knew the writer/producer personally. We don’t usually have that kind of connection to the shows we watch. So what’s Diagnosis Murder about? As the plot summary on IMDb says:
“Dr. Mark Sloan is the chief of staff at Commmunity General Hospital. Even though his duties as a doctor keep him busy enough, he still finds time to help the police solve murders (Mark’s father was a Los Angeles police detective). He is assisted by young doctors Amanda Bently and Jesse Travis, as well as by his own son Steve, who took after Mark’s father. Together they solve some of Los Angeles’ toughest murders.”
Us Brits do it pretty damn well. The Scandanavians do it beautifully. But top quality US crime drama is something else altogether. You lot tell great stories. And watching a series back-to-back is a completely different experience from drip-feeding your thrill-starved imagination bit by bit, week on week. .
Watched in action consecutively, a series’ characters are more colourful, with more depth and subtlety. You don’t forget the plot, spending half the next episode puzzling over who did what, to whom, why, when and where, wondering “who on earth is that bloke?”. Freed from all that tedious brainwork, you can relax and enjoy the ride in its full glory. Fine detail assumes greater importance, backgrounds and landscapes have more meaning and relevance. It’s richer, deeper, broader, a million times more absorbing and lets you appreciate the programme makers’ skills to the full.
The only problem is, it’s like a good book – you can’t put it down. If I had a pound for every night we’ve crawled into bed far too long after bedtime, eyes gritty and stinging, with heads full of murder and mayhem, I’d be a rich lady by now. As it is, I’m just knackered. But boy, have I had fun.
Diagnosis Murder IMDb – Outstanding mystery medical crime drama
Watch the first few Diagnosis Murder episodes in a row and you’ll be hooked. It’s so popular there’s even a roaring trade in Diagnosis Murder fanfiction, some of it uncomfortably X-rated. There are literally hundreds of guest stars listed on the show’s Wikipedia page. And the stars of the show, including Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke, Victoria Rowell and Scott Baio of Happy Days fame, are developed beautifully throughout the series. The plots are satisfyingly twisty and turny, the science bits are fascinating and the stories don’t date. All the hallmarks of top quality crime fiction entertainment, and great fun.
“Diagnosis Murder is an excellent medical drama without all the blood of those other medical shows. Dick Van Dyke is classic. Dr. Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke) is always interesting being the chief of internal medicine at Community General Hospital and still finding time to help his son, Detective Steve Sloan (Barry Van Dyke), solve homicides as an unofficial consulant to the LAPD. Every episode they manage to find themselves in the middle of a murder, and wittily solve it. It just never gets old. This is just purely a superb show. I’m am very glad that they decided to put Diagnosis Murder on DVD. Many more people need to discover the fascinating addictive show of Diagnosis Murder.”
But there’s more…there are Lee’s Diagnosis Murder books. Which means I am in heaven.
Diagnosis Murder novels
Lee wrote eight novels based on the Diagnosis Murder TV show. I’m currently working my way through them. And it’s another completely different experience. I was unable to get the TV actors out of my head as I read the first few chapters of the first book, The Silent Partner. I suppose that’s kind of inevitable when you’ve just watched 178 episodes in a ridiculously short space of time. But then I got lost in the reading, which is exactly what should happen when you enter a jolly good book. I’m developing my own images of the characters now that I am half way through The Death Merchant, the second in Lee’s series. They don’t look or sound like their TV counterparts. I’ve made them mine. That’s books for you.
Oddly enough, the TV series also dovetails cleverly with Lee’s Monk books, with two of the characters he created for The Death Merchant turning up out of the blue in Mr Monk Goes to Hawaii and Mr Monk and the Two Assistants. I love it when that happens, when two fictional worlds collide. It makes their reality seem even more alive, populated with comings and goings that are hidden from the reader or viewer, in the imaginary background. Almost uncanny.
5 Diagnosis Murder TV movies for bereft DM obsessives
Movies, books, TV shows. If that lot doesn’t fuel your obsession with classic TV crime drama, I don’t know what will. Give Diagnosis Murder a whirl. Just don’t blame me if you lose sleep because you can’t leave the TV remote alone, can’t put the books down, can’t walk away from the movies. With a bit of luck it’ll keep you off the streets and out of trouble for a few months.
What keeps you up nights?
Breaking Bad, Dexter, Deadwood, The Wire, Justified. They’ve all kept millions of us awake long past bedtime. What’s your latest crime TV series obsession, and why?
There are lots of reasons why I write mystery novels and thrillers… To entertain myself. To make a living. To tell a story. But sometimes it’s not easy to put my butt in the chair and write. But then I come across a Goodreads blogpost like the one from author Richard Wheeler…and it’s a big motivator.
Each day I read to my wife a couple of chapters from one of Lee Goldberg’s Monk novels, based on the TV series about the obsessive-compulsive San Francisco detective Adrian Monk.
My wife, Sue Hart, is in an assisted living place three blocks from my home. She spent half a century as an English professor, specializing in Montana literature and other fields, before her short-term memory began to fade.
She loves the Monk novels. She had been unfamiliar with them until I started reading them to her in her room, and now she laughs and smiles right along with me, as I spin out the story for her.
There is a genius to the Monk novels. Mr. Monk is crazy and outrageous– but we don’t laugh at him, because there is the pathos about him, and what we feel is tenderness toward him, no matter how peculiar he seems.
These reading sessions, which light up my wife, have made me aware of how gifted Lee Goldberg is as a novelist and storyteller. There is something about reading a story out loud, and catching the response, that tells me more about the work than if I had read it silently to myself. And it is telling me that Lee Goldberg is a splendid storyteller with a great sense of the human condition.
I am touched, and very flattered, by Richard’s post. I’ve received quite a few letters from people who read my books while going through chemotherapy, or healing from an injury, and they tell me how much the laughter, or the mystery, or the adventure has helped them deal with, or forget, the pain. That’s just amazing to me. So now I think of those people whenever I sit down to write.
The “second season” finale of THE DEAD MAN, the series of action/adventure/horror novels that William Rabkin and I began two years ago, premieres on January 21st with REBORN, an action-packed, six-part Kindle Serial written by Kate Danley, Phoef Sutton and Lisa Klink. This story is big in every sense of the word… and if it succeeds, then THE DEAD MAN will most likely return in the Kindle Serial format for it’s “third season.”
Here’s the story:
Tanis Archer is facing a miserable 25th birthday. She’s a part-time barista in her sixth year at Dallas Community College. Her life is going nowhere, fast.
Because on her way to work, she loses control of her car and is killed in a horrific crash. That should have been the tragic end of her story. But days later, she wakes up on a cold morgue slab…and soon learns that miraculous resurrections have brutal side effects. For starters, there are people around her who look as if they are decomposing from the inside-out, victims of their rotting souls. Even worse, it’s no illusion. What she is seeing is real, a shadowy part of the world where the bloody battle between good and evil is being fought every day by Matt Cahill, an ax-wielding “dead man” and his rag-tag army of supernatural freaks.
And she’s being asked to join him.
Obviously that’s not how Tanis wants to spend her after-life–she’d rather party with her new-found abilities–but an unimaginable horror is rising from the Black Sea, and she might just be the only person who can save humanity from an agonizing, never-ending nightmare…
REBORN features a fresh, colorful heroine in an action-packed, darkly funny tale of adventure and terror told by an incredible dream team of award-winning, widely-acclaimed writers: USA Today bestselling author Kate Danley (The Woodcutter), Emmy Award winning screenwriter and novelist Phoef Sutton (Cheers, Boston Legal), TV writer/producer and author Lisa Klink (Star Trek Voyager, Painkiller Jane), New York Times bestselling author and TV producer Lee Goldberg (The Heist, King City), and two-time Edgar-Award nominated writer William Rabkin (Monk, Psych).
About six month ago, I gathered all the authors at my house and we broke the story the way we would in a TV series “writers’ room.” Like Bill and I, Phoef and Lisa are professional television writers…but this was a new way of working for Kate, but I think she liked it. We had a white board up on the wall, plenty of junk food, and only a general sense of where we wanted to go narratively. And then we brainstormed. By the end of the day, we had a story, which we divvied up into thirds for Kate, Phoef and Lisa to write. A couple of months later, when the three parts came in, Bill and I tied them together and smoothed out the rough edges, as we’ve done many times before on scripts on the various TV series we’ve produced.
We think REBORN send THE DEAD MAN series in an exciting new direction….and we hope fans of the series will agree!
Stella Green is one of my wife’s closest friends. Stella showed me the manuscript for her novel Awakening Snakes. The book was great, and her voice was so strong and self-assured, that I couldn’t believe it was her first novel. So it was a no-brainer for me to offer her an assignment writing the 21st Dead Man novel. Her novel, The Rising Dead, has just been released by Amazon’s 47North imprint…and is the final “regular” installment in the bi-monthly series before the series returns with REBORN, a big Dead Man Amazon Kindle Serial that’s coming in early 2014. Today I invited Stella to talk about her experience writing The Rising Dead…
When Lee asked if I wanted to write a Dead Man book, I wasn’t sure I could write an action book, but I certainly wanted to try. Who doesn’t like stories with tortured characters battling evil, especially when the bad guys are rotting from the inside out?
My biggest hurdle came quickly — the plot. A detailed outline was something new for me. Of course, this type of planning is absolutely necessary in a book series with multiple authors. Unfortunately for me, the group of fine writers that proceeded me had already put Matt Cahill through many varieties of Hell. Most of my ideas were shot down because they were similar to those of other writers who were in different stages of finishing their books. Some of my other inspirations were, well, let’s just say Lee wasn’t feeling them — especially the ones with pirates. Working with someone else’s characters is quite different than working with your own. You have to respect the world they’ve created. After a few weeks of flailing, I wondered if I was ever going to get it right, but Lee didn’t give up on me. Eventually something better came along: the Stranger.
I liked the idea of a character who had lived a dark and difficult life — like Matt Cahill’s — for hundreds of years. A person would either go mad or become extremely hard. During drives through the desert between Los Angeles and Phoenix I’ve seen dangerous looking drifters. They make me remember to lock my car doors; they also make me wonder what their stories are. I began calling my character the Stranger because I hadn’t decided on a name. Later, I realized he had worked hard to isolate himself and become the unknown, so I let him stay The Stranger.
Lee and Bill were open to a new character, and with their help, I finally had that detailed outline. The actual writing flowed. Now I understand the value of all that prep work.
So I think I’ve finally got an angle on those pirates that Lee is really going to love…
In the mean time, here’s more on my novel The Rising Dead. I hope you like it!
Matt Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own. Now he’s on a dangerous quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become…and engaged in an epic battle to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.
In the blasted hell of the Arizona desert, Matt hitches a ride with a young couple who meets a terrible fate that he’s powerless to stop. The bloody encounter leads him to a mysterious stranger with a terrifying history…who may know the reason for Matt’s resurrection and hold the key to finally ending his lonely quest. But first they must survive in an unforgiving wasteland to do battle with a gang of heavily armed smugglers who trade in human flesh.
My novel THE WALK, originally published by Five Star in the early 2000s, was a critical success but a commercial failure that went quickly out of print. I republished it on the Kindle in 2009 and it has become a bestseller, selling over a hundred thousand copies. As recently as last month, it was #1 again on Amazon. Today, Amazon is featuring the book in their announcement of the new Amazon Matchbook program.
Today, Amazon launched Kindle MatchBook, a new benefit that gives customers the option to buy—for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free—the Kindle edition of print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Over 70,000 books are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook, with more being added every day. Now customers can visit www.amazon.com/kindlematchbook to see all of their print books that are eligible for the Kindle MatchBook edition. Customers can also see when a book is eligible for Kindle MatchBook on the book’s detail page.
The program was announced on September 3 with over 10,000 titles. Since then, thousands of popular books likeHeaven is for Real, The Things They Carried and TheWay of Kings have been added from major publishers such as HarperCollins, Macmillan, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Amazon Publishing, Wiley, Chronicle Books, and Marvel, as well as thousands of titles from Kindle Direct Publishing authors likeThe Walkby Lee Goldberg and Falling Into You byJasinda Wilder.
“It’s been great to see the positive response to MatchBook from both readers and publishers,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. “MatchBook enrollment has grown from 10,000 to 70,000 titles in just a few weeks and we expect it will keep expanding rapidly in the months ahead.”
Today my seriesThe Dead Man joined Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, and the works of Kurt Vonnegut among the many “franchises” in Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, their fanfiction publishing program. Now anyone can write, publish and sell Dead Man stories and novels on Amazon…and earn significant royalties.
I know what you’re thinking. Is this the same Lee Goldberg who has been railing against fanfiction on this blog for years?
My problem with fanfiction has always been that it is copyright infringement… that people are ripping off characters and stories that they don’t own without the permission or involvement of the creators or rights holders.
Well, now Amazon has cleverly solved that problem.
Everyone who writes in the Amazon Kindle Worlds are doing it with the consent of the rights holders…and both parties, the fanfiction writer and the rights holder, are profiting from the relationship. In fact, the Amazon Kindle Worlds are more akin to tie-in writing than fanfiction (but I’ll have more on that in a few days, when I do a Q&A interview here with the executive in charge of Amazon’s Kindle Worlds).
You can find out more about how you can contribute to The Dead Man Kindle World here. In the mean time, you can read the very first Dead Man Kindle World title… Joseph Nassise’s Eater of Souls.