Where to Buy Tom Henry

Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer

For months we’ve been struggling to make my book as available as possible. As of yesterday another piece fell into place when Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer became available on Apple’s iTunes store. So now, when you click on the “Buy the Book” link anywhere on my website, www.authorhendricks.com, you’ll be presented with a menu of selections.

If you want to download the ebook, you can do so from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Kobo. Whether you have a Kindle, Nook, Sony, or any other kind of electronic reader, there are choices available for you. No matter which you choose, the price will be $2.99.

If you’d rather hold a printed book in your hands, you can purchase the paperback from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and diesel eBook Store. The paperback price is $11.99, but it sells at prices ranging from $8.98 to $11.99. I don’t understand their pricing algorithms, but I’m pleased when vendors choose to discount my book.

If you’re one who likes to try before you buy, you can read part of the book for free on your computer or e-reader. From www.authorhendricks.com you can download the first 50+ pages in Kindle, Nook (ePub) or PDF formats. That free download begins with the Forward. Or, you can sample the book for free from Amazon. Just go to their page where Tom Henry is offered and click on “Send Sample now.” It’s been a while since I looked at it, but I believe their sample starts with Chapter One and extends farther into the book.

There is still no audio book of Tom Henry available, but the writing of this very blog was interrupted by a phone call from a professional book performer, who will send me follow-up information. So we’ll see what the future holds in that regard.

I’m still waiting on news of the results of Henry’s recent Parole Board hearing. I’ll let you know what I know when I know it.

Thank you for viewing my blog. Please return often. I value your comments.


David Hendricks


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Where Can I Buy Tom Henry?

Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer

For months now, when friends and family have asked, “where can I buy your book?” I’ve been saying, “Only Amazon.” Now I have a fuller answer!

Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer is now available online as an ebook ($2.99) and online and in stores as a paperback. The ebook is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but very soon—possibly by the time you read this—it will also be sold by Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, and more!

The paperback ($11.99) can be bought online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but also at all Barnes & Noble brick and mortar stores. Unfortunately, they don’t carry it in stock, but step up to their order desk and they’ll have it sent to your home or to the store—the latter at no charge—within two or three business days. Independent bookstores will also be able to order Tom Henry, but not Books-A-Million.

A funny thing happened that I don’t quite understand—but I’m not complaining. A couple of weeks ago Barnes & Noble reduced their online price of the paperback from $11.99 to $7.65, then just a few days later, Amazon matched that price. As I say, I don’t know why, but I’m happy Tom Henry now costs less.

On a related note, next week I’ll fly to Central Illinois to talk to a few media outlets about Tom Henry. The timing is right for such a trip, both because the book is just now becoming available on multiple platforms, but also because Henry’s parole hearing is scheduled for March 21.

I know that Henry would appreciate the prayers of those of you who pray. For those who have written him since reading the book, thank you.

If you’d like to write a letter to the Parole Board in support of Henry Hillenbrand, it needs to be mailed by March 6. It should be addressed to:

Illinois Prisoner Review Board
319 East Madison Street, Suite A
Springfield, IL 62701

It should be mailed to:

Uptown People’s Law Center

4413 North Sheridan

Chicago, IL 60640

Thank you for viewing my blog. Please return often. I value your comments.


David Hendricks


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Bad Reviews of Good Books

Tom Henry: Confession of a KillerBook reviews have become increasingly important in this age of self-publishing. My webmaster asked me to shorten Tom Henry’s Amazon reviews for this website and, while doing this task, I came across a delightful blog on bad reviews of good books.

So far Tom Henry has only garnered good reviews—friends and family first, you know—so I thought I’d write this blog before I get the bad reviews I’m sure are coming, at which time this blog might appear to be sour grapes. I’ve captured a few I really like, but I include the link below so you can read the rest.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

“Obviously, a lot people were smoking a lot of weed in the ’60s to think this thing is worth reading.”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951)

“So many other good books…don’t waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed.”

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

“While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt.”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

“It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)

“The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs.”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

“This book gets my nomination for the most overrated book in American Literature. It is trite, saccharine and false…. In short, I despise this piece of garbage.”

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929)

“This book is like an ungrateful girlfriend. You do your best to understand her and get nothing back in return.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

“I don’t see why this book is so fabulous. I would give it a zero. I find no point in writing a book about segregation, there’s no way of making it into an enjoyable book.”

I’ll end with the longest but probably the best:

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926)

“Here’s the first half of the book: ‘We had dinner and a few drinks. We went to a cafe and talked and had some drinks. We ate dinner and had a few drinks. Dinner. Drinks. More dinner. More drinks. We took a cab here (or there) in Paris and had some drinks, and maybe we danced and flirted and talked about somebody. More dinner. More drinks. I love you, I hate you …’ ”

Here’s the link, so you can read them all: http://www.themorningnews.org/article/lone-star-statements

Thank you for viewing my blog. Please return often. I value your comments.


David Hendricks


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Tom Henry, now a Book with Real Paper Pages

Hi friends. This is my first blog for a while. During the holidays Gazel and I were on vacation. We traveled to Davao, the southernmost of the three large Philippine islands, to relax and visit family.

Now we’re back home and, since we closed the office at the end of the year, we’re back to working in our home offices. To me it feels like I’m retired, which I suppose I am until next August, when my agreement not to compete with the company who bought HOPE Orthopedic expires and I’m free to once again work in my chosen profession of orthotics and prosthetics.

Waiting for me upon my return was the first printed paperback proof of my book. Finally! I spent a few days of slow reading, searching for typos. I found two and neither interfered with readability, so I accepted it. Just last Friday I got notice that the paperback version is now for sale on Amazon.

So Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer is now available in paperback and as an ebook! Whether we do a hardcover version or an audiobook will depend on interest.

Thank you for supporting me in my journey as a first-time author. Now it’s on to six months’ retirement, during which time I might start work on my second book. Or play golf. Or ride my Harley. Or read. Or sleep.

Thank you for viewing my blog. Please return often. I value your comments.


David Hendricks


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Amazon and CreateSpace: the Good and the Bad & Ugly

Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer

The newest Fortune magazine features Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, as the 2012 businessperson of the year. Jeff, it turns out, has built his business by being customer oriented. “We innovate,” he says, “by starting with the customer and working backwards.” In this way he has revolutionized the book publishing business. His board meetings are legendary. Before discussions can begin, the executive team takes as long as 30 minutes to read a six-page printed memo in silence.

I like Amazon. As a Prime member, I take advantage of free shipping, quick service, and low prices. So, when I completed my true crime book, Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, it was a no brainer to publish it with Amazon as an ebook. That was in October. The process of putting it on line was quick, and they promised it would be available within 48 hours. How modest of them! It was available in minutes.

That’s fine for people who have Kindles or tablets or smart phones—well, I guess that’s pretty much everyone—but many people still prefer to curl up with a paperback. I understand. I used to feel that way myself. So with Christmas season approaching, I knew I needed to get Tom Henry printed … uh, I mean on paper. Amazon owns a POD printer, so why not stay in the family? How far can the apple fall from the tree?

Turns out this apple never grew on that tree and it’s not in the same orchard. CreateSpace is Amazon’s POD printer. POD means publish on demand. It’s the direction printing is headed these days. In the case of book printing you send an electronic file to a machine, which it prints, trims, folds, collates and stacks. At the same time it prints and folds the book cover, then both cover and guts pass through a binding machine and you have a book. The beauty of the process is you can print 500 books, 25 books, or if you like, one book. That’s what they mean by “on demand.” It’s a green process. You print only the books you sell. No overruns, no remaindering—no waste.

Even better, the setup is electronic. I email them a manuscript and an art file and their computer formats it and, voilà, it’s ready to print. With an Amazon company, it should be a matter of hours, but with CreateSpace—not so much.

On October 29 I emailed them the manuscript. Three weeks later (November 20) they emailed me a “mock-up” of the first two chapters for me to verify the formatting. I returned it with minor changes. A week and a half later (November 30) I got it back. I was now frantic to get the book out for Christmas shopping, so I called CreateSpace.

“It’s not exactly what I want, but I can live with it,” I said. “I don’t want to waste any more time. How soon can I take Christmas orders?”

“Well, sir, now we need two to three weeks to format the rest of the book.”

“But it’s done by computer.” I said.

“Yes, and it takes two to three weeks,” they said.

I took a deep breath. “So what’s the next step?”

“When we finish formatting it, we’ll print one copy and mail it to you for final approval.”

“What about the cover?” I said.

“We need the artwork for that.”

“I have the artwork,” I said. “I just need to know the spine width. When will you know that?”

“When the book is fully formatted,” they said.

“But your computer does that. Don’t you have a formula based on the number of pages?”

“Sir, your book is not the only one we’re doing. We’re busy.”

“OK,” I said. “I get the first printed copy a few days before Christmas. If I approve it, then how much longer before someone can order it?”

“It takes a week to put it on Amazon.”

“But that’ll be too late to order it for Christmas!”

“Yes, sir.”

In fact, it will have taken them all of November and all of December to prepare to print a book from two files—a Word file and a PDF.

I think perhaps Jeff Bezos needs to call an emergency six-page-memo board meeting at CreateSpace. The memo will be on customer service. And I have a tip for Mr. Bezos.

Don’t let CreateSpace print it.


Thank you for viewing my blog. Please return often. I value your comments.


David Hendricks


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The Business of Writing

Yesterday I published a book on Amazon. Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer. So I guess that makes me a writer. But really, I’m a businessman. Anyway, as a new writer, I made a discovery the other day, when I went to an Orlando diner and ordered eggs Benedict.

“Good choice,” the waitress said as she scribbled on her order pad. “And to drink?”

“Coffee, black.” I opened my Kindle Fire to read.

“You’re always reading,” she said.

“Yeah, but this time it’s my own book.” I grinned at her. “I’m doing the final proofreading on my Kindle to catch any formatting problems.”

“You’re a writer? Wow! I know a writer,” she said.

“Don’t get too carried away. First let’s see if anyone wants to read my book.”

“I do,” she said, “and I want it signed.”

“Well, it’s going to be an ebook,” I said. “You can read the first five chapters free on my website, but then you’ll have to buy the book to read the rest. As soon as you do, it downloads to your phone or tablet—or computer.”

“I don’t want to read a book on my phone or computer. Aren’t you going to have a printed book?”

“Yeah, but that’ll be a month from now. It’ll be POD—print on demand—so you’ll still have to order it online. It won’t be in bookstores.”

“Well, I’ll just wait. When it gets printed, bring me in a copy—and I want it signed. Wow, I know an actual author!” And she skipped away, happy as could be.

Nothing abnormal about that, right? Well, suppose you meet a friend you haven’t seen for a while.

“Hey! How are you?” you say. “You still doing engineering?”

“Yeah,” she says. “I just designed a machine that’ll revolutionize carpet cleaning. Took me two years.”

“Cool,” you say.  “Let’s get together for a cup of coffee sometime and catch up. Bring along a copy of your drawings for me. And don’t forget to sign them.”

Sound ridiculous? But that’s the same thing the waitress was asking me to do. What makes it OK with a book but not with design drawings?

As I said, I’m a businessman. I design orthopedic braces. I’m paid well to do that. I stopped doing that the last two years to write this book. Decades before that, I spent two years getting the story. OK, I was in prison at the time, so don’t count that. But in the late ‘90s I spent a year traveling around the Midwest conducting interviews and writing an early draft. Since then, I’ve paid editors for revisions, a graphic artist for the cover, and others to format the e-book and paperback.

So, that’s three years of time and thousands of dollars and now I’m supposed to buy the book, sign it, and give it to her—for free! Amazingly, she didn’t even think she was out of line. More amazingly, neither did I. Her request was socially acceptable.

So I ask my fellow authors—now that I am one—what’s going on around here? Isn’t a writer’s work product worth anything? Perhaps this thinking comes from the old days when publishers paid advances on royalties and gave authors a few copies to give away, but in these e-times when the big six are dying and indie is what’s left, I’m guessing writers will need to become more businesslike or there’ll be a new twist to an old saying.

In academia it’s publish or perish; in writing it’ll be publish and perish.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you visit often. Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, is now available as an e-book on Amazon. Paperback, Special Edition Hardcover, and audio-books are coming.


David Hendricks


Quotes on Writing

This morning I came across a quote I liked in Sol Stein’s Stein on Writing. Discussing the need for a writer to bare his soul, he quoted writer Red Smith, who said, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

Over the years, when I’ve come across quotes that resonated with me from my reading, I’ve marked them for later inclusion in my file of quotations. So, for today’s blog–and specifically on the subject of writing–here are some quotes from my reading, in no particular order.

“Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by any competent journalist or historian.” Joseph Pulitzer

“Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.” Samuel Johnston

“A critic is a man who knows the way, but can’t drive the car.” Kenneth Tynan

Headlines in two newspapers, The LA Examiner, William Randolf Hearst and The LA Times, General Harrison Gray Otis; same day, same year, same edition, same trial:

  • Examiner: Cops Kill Two in Cold Blood
  • Times: Criminals Open Fire on Officials

Later edition:

  • Examiner: Witness Tells How Police Assassins Wait in Ambush.
  • Times: Witness Admits Being in Pay of Hearst—Yellow Journalism

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Thomas A Edison

“Art and ideas come out of the passion and torment of experience; it is impossible to have a real relationship to the first if one’s aim is to be protected from the second.” Mass Culture and the Creative Artist, James Baldwin

“Ninety percent of writing is re-writing.” Ernest Hemingway

“In every work of genius, we recognize our own reflected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.” Walden, Henry David Thoreau

“The prime difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction must stick to possibilities.” Mark Twain

“Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great or original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.” William Wordsworth

“Books, like babies, are easy to conceive but hard to deliver.” Andrew Greeley

Advice to those who would achieve immortality: “Either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met.” Disorderly Conduct, Abraham Lincoln

I trust you enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed resurrecting them.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you visit often. My upcoming book, Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer, will be e-published in September.


David Hendricks