Wednesday, December 30, 2015

OTP’s most popular books in 2015


What defines a good book? It can be many things: a good villain, a courageous protagonist, a solid plot, compelling minor characters, masterful prose, an unexpected twist, a memorable romance, an enduring theme.

We have books with all of these characteristics, and no matter what you seek in a good story, you’ll find a book that has it in our bookstore.

What defines a popular book? By one definition, it’s sales. As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share the list of our bestsellers in 2015. Not all of these books were published this year, but they were the titles readers sought most frequently as the months rolled by.

The variety in these lists is a nice showcase of the different genres that OTP does well and proof that our authors will reach a wide range of readers and preferences when they publish with us.

Best “out of the gate”

These titles sold the best during the month in which they were published.

#1

The Black Band by Albert vande Steeg (2015) The half-inch wide black velvet band that is placed around the Peace Officer’s badge symbolizes the grief and pain that grips the heart behind the badge. The Black Band begins at the graveside service of Officer Augustino as he is laid to rest. The sound of the bagpipe drifts over the departing crowd as they drift back to their duties fighting crime, corruption or mourn with friends and family. 

The story brings the reader into the hearts and lives of these cops at work and at the cop bar where they tell stories to unwind and try to make sense out of the lives they lead. The stories bring insight into the anxiety while working their beats and at home where wives and children wait to hear news of which officer was slain. The Black Band portrays cops at work, catching burglars in the act of committing crimes, discovering evidence of a robbery/homicide during a routine parole check and attempting to clean up prostitution and drug dealing.

#2

LaCour's Destiny by Robert Downs (2015) Sam LaCour hasn’t given up on men, even if they’ve given up on her, and she doesn’t give up on her colleagues either, even when a dead body turns up, and she faints in front of the cameras, her family, and a television audience.








#3 (tie)


The Crossing by C. Ed Traylor (2015) The Crossing tells the story of Racheed Ul-Bashar, a Pakistani whose grandfather and sister are killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan. Driven by revenge, Racheed develops a minutely detailed plot, a synchronized strike on three American cities on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. He contacts Juan Rodrequs, a violent, ruthless drug cartel leader in Juarez, Mexico, who agrees -- for a price -- to help by moving terrorists and supplies across the border.

All goes well until Diego Garcia, a trusted ally and confidant of the cartel leader, is stopped in Illinois for a speeding violation while transporting 400 kilograms of cocaine. Facing significant prison time, Garcia becomes an informant for the FBI Terrorism Task Force to save himself. But unbeknownst to him, the other terrorists, or the task force, Racheed and his partner decide to enter the U.S. at a different location, forcing the FBI Task Force to scramble. Will they be able to eliminate the threat to some of America’s largest cities and most cherished attractions?

Black Indian, Red Heart . . . (White Justice) by Frederick H. Savage (2015) Set in the Civil War era, this novel takes the issues of slavery and injustice head on. The main character, Colton Sage, is the son of a runaway slave and an Indian woman. He is born free into a world of unending prejudice and bias. He grows up to become one of the most notorious Indian outlaws in the land, the infamous "Black Bat from Hell."

This is a no-holds-barred account of the events that led up to the Indian war of 1862 and the largest mass execution in US history. Not for the fainthearted, this historically engaging work of fiction is told with a series of cliff hanger chapter endings and a "can’t put it down" story line.

#4

A Convenient Death at San Diego by John O'Hagan (2015) In the tumultuous and violent territory that is Alta California, young Father Juan Ibarra, a Franciscan/physician finds himself called upon to solve not just one, but two murders. This is not what he anticipated the life of a medical missionary would be. Was it an act of revenge by an outraged Spanish army officer? Perhaps a “falling out among thieves” or maybe simple retributive justice meted out by the people themselves? 

While his medical skills are being put to tests he never imagined and he tries to sort out some very confused facts Father Juan finds himself swept up in the political, cultural, and sexual revolution which is having a convulsive effect on the territory. In all of this, he is drawn to the shamanistic practices and cures of the very people he had hoped to educate. Perhaps they have something to teach him about medicine.

#5 (tie)

Always a Kicker by Jeff Zwagerman (2015) A horrific accident happens when Zander is fifteen years old. It shapes the next twenty years of his life. His wanderlust and passion for uncommitted relationships seems to be a direct result of his girlfriend’s death. But something was nagging at his core and it was telling him that past events were not what they appeared. Zander’s seemingly pointless life leads him from a small town in Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska and finally to Frisco, Colorado.

The people he meets may finally give him some meaning to an unfulfilled life. Then the unthinkable, a private investigator tells him Sara Jane may be alive. But he always knew that. Always A Kicker is a story of dealing with events of the past and learning to make your own luck by taking life head on even when dealt a rotten hand.

Bright Morning Star by Tom Coffey (2015) Set in the early 1900s in a familiar but faraway country — the United States in the early 1900s — the novel follows the story of Emma Pierce, the quintessential “new woman” of the times. Talented and sharp, she is the confidante and “right-hand man” to her father, the head of the prestigious Seneca Institute, where she struggles to balance her father’s expectations with her growing sense of independence. This balance is tested when she meets Caleb Johnson, the charismatic son of a revivalist preacher, whose views on religion are anathema to her father’s free-thinking sensibilities.

The test proves to be too much, and Emma finds herself estranged from her father, separated from Caleb, and embarking on an ambitious new career as a magazine writer in New York. Emma is assigned to cover the case of a soldier returning to America from the war in the Philippines. He has been court-martialed for violent crimes against civilians and faces a 20-year prison sentence. But the case is personal -- the convicted soldier is Caleb Johnson, who is refusing to talk about the events that resulted in his conviction, and Emma, as determined as ever, vows to discover what led this honorable man to commit atrocities.
 

Ingram bestsellers

These titles sold the most through our distributor.

#1


The Black Band by Albert vande Steeg (2015) The half-inch wide black velvet band that is placed around the Peace Officer’s badge symbolizes the grief and pain that grips the heart behind the badge. The Black Band begins at the graveside service of Officer Augustino as he is laid to rest. The sound of the bagpipe drifts over the departing crowd as they drift back to their duties fighting crime, corruption or mourn with friends and family. 

The story brings the reader into the hearts and lives of these cops at work and at the cop bar where they tell stories to unwind and try to make sense out of the lives they lead. The stories bring insight into the anxiety while working their beats and at home where wives and children wait to hear news of which officer was slain. The Black Band portrays cops at work, catching burglars in the act of committing crimes, discovering evidence of a robbery/homicide during a routine parole check and attempting to clean up prostitution and drug dealing.


#2

Fall in Love with an Orange Tree or a Book by Shirley S. Hickman (2013) As they work in the orange groves, Elena Hernandez’s parents are suddenly taken away by uniformed men. Elena believes that immigration has deported them back to Mexico. Only seventeen, she is left to care for her younger brother, Miguel, and sister, Lupe. Elena dreams of graduating but may have to leave school to support her family. When a mysterious caller demands money for her parents’ return, Elena is afraid that Rodriguez, the labor contractor who hired her parents, is behind their disappearance. Should she go to the police and risk deportation or stay in the shadows and spend the rest of her life working in the fields?


#3

Greenfellas by Robert Lopresti (2015) Greenfellas is the comic tale of Sal Caetano, a happy man who's the brains behind a New Jersey Mafia family and expects to be made a boss soon. But everything changes on the night his first grandchild is born and he hears a news report claiming that by the time she grows up, climate change will have wrecked the world. Sal decides to use all of his Mafia skills to save the environment, but change turns out to be harder than he thought it would be. Soon he is fighting for his life with rivals inside and outside of his own family -- not to mention the FBI, which holds a grudge against him.  



#4

Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time by Dale Lovin (2014) When brutal assaults target a former prosecutor in Los Angeles and an FBI agent in New Mexico, it becomes apparent that revenge is the motive, stemming from the trial and conviction of a white supremacist for murder of a black man. Religious fervor fuels a torrent of crime as purveyors of hate launch a campaign of violence to punish the persons who led the investigation and trial of the convicted supremacist.





#5

Lincoln 9 by David Freedland (2014) Lincoln 9 follows the career of Lieutenant Scott Hunter, the consummate cop who rises to the level of responsibility to lead a team of detectives on a mission aimed at connecting the clues and solving crimes. The story conveys the pressures associated with working within an organization that hires only 4 percent of its applicants, and whose efforts result in perennial accolades for achieving the lowest numbers of violent crime. Readers who enjoy the challenges of attempting to solve crime dramas will appreciate the first third of the book, which provides opportunities for the suspect’s identification. In addition, it introduces a look behind the curtain of secrecy shielding the role played by special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams in the development of leaders.

Top Kindle sales

These titles were our most popular ebooks.

#1

No Bells by F.M. Meredith (2012) Rocky Bluff reels with the news that a woman’s body was found buried in a shallow grave, and the culprit of a series of home break-ins leaves a peculiar and disgusting calling card. Detective Milligan develops some concern that his partner has rushed to judgment on the case they are working, and the wrong person is accused of the crime. Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem -- she’s the major suspect in the murder case.




#2

Final Respects by F.M. Meredith (2015) Mortician Stuart Honich dreams about sinking his teeth into the flesh of his tormentors -- his boss's daughters. Being a cop was something Doug Milligan wanted since childhood, but his wife hates his profession and Doug will soon have to make a difficult choice. Publicity hound Rick Strickland, will do anything to further his career and is having a secret affair with Liz Phelan, a divorcee with a drinking problem. The murder of the Milligans' babysitter begins a series of events that could lead to the destruction of the entire Rocky Bluff Police department as well as many innocent citizens.


#3

Reservations by Richard Paolinelli (2015) This novel is set in a land deeply seeded in beliefs and legends, where someone is eliminating the leaders of the Navajo Nation disguised as the trickster Coyote. Whoever it is has the Navajo President squarely in his sights, and everyone else “seeing things.”

As the body count rises, the FBI sends in their best man, Special Agent Jack Del Rio, to put an end to the killings -- a white man who is not trusted nor wanted. A decorated hero for thwarting a terrorist attack in London, Del Rio finds himself in a completely different world among the three Reservations -- Navajo, Hopi and Zuni -- located in the Four Corners of the American Southwest.

When the past and the present collide, only one leader shall remain.

#4

Until the Sun Rises by Channing Whitaker (2015) Eighty years ago, a wealthy Midwest family returned home from a magic show, after which neither they, nor the magician, Malvern Kamrar, were ever heard from again. When several bystanders died in their mansion, the house was sealed. After nearly a century of rumors and haunted stories, for a live TV event the mansion will be opened, allowing five contestants to spend one night and win their share of a million dollars. The contestants: a psychic, a high-tech ghost hunter, a Hollywood scream queen, a local woman, and a skeptic, fuel excitement as each tries to solve the mystery.

Upon entering, the journal of the family patriarch, Vinton Drake, is discovered, illuminating the mystery, rooted all the way back to Vinton’s service as a medic in WWI, when he first met the magician. Departing from the familiar haunted house tale, this story explores the very nature of belief in the supernatural, with consequences more frightening than any ghost story. Intensity sours when the contestants discover their lives, and thousands more, are in genuine peril. Is the mansion haunted? What fate befell Malvern and the Drake family? And will the contestants uncover the truth in time to save themselves?

#5

No Vacancy by Amy M. Bennett (2015) An ominous note is shoved under the door of the Black Horse Campground store just as Corrie Black and her staff finish celebrating the first “no vacancy” day of the season. But is the note meant to be a warning . . . or a threat? When a man suspected of writing the note is found dead in a cabin, it seems that the threat is averted. Until the man's identity is revealed. Someone from Corrie's past. Someone who knew a lot about the Black Horse family . . . a lot more than even Corrie knew.

With the help of Bonney County Sheriff Rick Sutton and former Houston PD Lieutenant J.D. Wilder, Corrie has to dig into the past, into secrets that her parents kept, to find out who is threatening her and the Black Horse Campground and what it is they want from Corrie. But the deeper she digs, the more she finds out things that could change her life forever . . . if not end it!

Top Amazon sellers

These titles were the most popular in paperback on Amazon.

#1

Lincoln 9 by David Freedland (2014) Lincoln 9 follows the career of Lieutenant Scott Hunter, the consummate cop who rises to the level of responsibility to lead a team of detectives on a mission aimed at connecting the clues and solving crimes. The story conveys the pressures associated with working within an organization that hires only 4% of its applicants, and whose efforts result in perennial accolades for achieving the lowest numbers of violent crime. Readers who enjoy the challenges of attempting to solve crime dramas will appreciate the first third of the book, which provides opportunities for the suspect’s identification. In addition, it introduces a look behind the curtain of secrecy shielding the role played by special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams in the development of leaders.

#2

The Black Band by Albert vande Steeg (2015) The half-inch wide black velvet band that is placed around the Peace Officer’s badge symbolizes the grief and pain that grips the heart behind the badge. The Black Band begins at the graveside service of Officer Augustino as he is laid to rest. The sound of the bagpipe drifts over the departing crowd as they drift back to their duties fighting crime, corruption or mourn with friends and family. 

The story brings the reader into the hearts and lives of these cops at work and at the cop bar where they tell stories to unwind and try to make sense out of the lives they lead. The stories bring insight into the anxiety while working their beats and at home where wives and children wait to hear news of which officer was slain. The Black Band portrays cops at work, catching burglars in the act of committing crimes, discovering evidence of a robbery/homicide during a routine parole check and attempting to clean up prostitution and drug dealing.

 

#3

Always a Kicker by Jeff Zwagerman (2015) A horrific accident happens when Zander is fifteen years old. It shapes the next twenty years of his life. His wanderlust and passion for uncommitted relationships seems to be a direct result of his girlfriend’s death. But something was nagging at his core and it was telling him that past events were not what they appeared. Zander’s seemingly pointless life leads him from a small town in Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska and finally to Frisco, Colorado.

The people he meets may finally give him some meaning to an unfulfilled life. Then the unthinkable, a private investigator tells him Sara Jane may be alive. But he always knew that. Always A Kicker is a story of dealing with events of the past and learning to make your own luck by taking life head on even when dealt a rotten hand.

#4

A Duty to Betray by Kelly Moreno (2014) Mental health professionals are required by law to keep patient disclosures confidential, yet the law also requires them to “warn and protect” anyone their patient is likely to harm. A Duty to Betray plunges Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, a young psychologist just beginning his career, squarely into the middle of these two seemingly irreconcilable legal obligations.

Set inside the famed Camarillo State Hospital on California’s Central Coast, A Duty to Betray draws the reader into this legal, ethical, and ultimately moral dilemma when Mr. Tran, one of Dr. Ruiz’ patients, reveals a potentially lethal secret during therapy. Cat and mouse confrontations between the two thrust the “tell — don’t tell” conflict into sharp definition since Dr. Ruiz knows that, either way, his decision will have deadly consequences.

#5


Dragon Sutra by Richard Marranca (2012) While wandering around Asia, Jason comes to Cambodia, where he’s drawn into a dangerous underworld and political violence. He and Rachany, a beautiful woman he met at the Russian Market, are pursued by a mysterious foe. They flee across Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand through exotic tribes, ancient cities . . . and end up in Burma’s rebellion.

The beauty and luster of passion and love is counterpointed by the darkness of the criminal underworld and the Cambodian holocaust. Will the fateful past destroy Jason and Rachany? Will their affections flower amid the corruption and violence?

6 comments:

Nancy LiPetri said...

Way to go, Dave Freeland! Am so impressed and recommend that book, as he knows. And congrats to all the other authors! Exciting stats to motivate us all.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Most interesting! And of course my two old books did well, I think, because of promotions I was doing. But who knows. Congratulations to everyone on the list.

Carolyn Niethammer said...

Congratulations to these authors. These sales didn't happen by chance; the authors got out and hustled. Maybe they can share their tips for promotion.

JL Greger said...

Congratulations isn't the right word to the winners. I think the rights words are: WELL DONE.
Janet

Billie Johnson said...

Yes, congratulations...and well done!! And they very often DO SHARE their tips for promotion on our email LOOP, OTPAuthorConnection!

It's getting so I can almost predict the strong sellers based on which authors participate on our LOOP!

So if you are hoping for more sales in 2016, get in the LOOP habit! A the minimum, you can just lurk. And if you are worried about bulking up your email, select the DIGEST option...which consolidates a full day's posts into one email.

Billie

Thonie Hevron said...

This is a must for new authors to read. I get some of my best marketing ideas from this blog--venues, events, and such that OTP authors write about.