Tag: Amazon

Get it in gear, non-Amazons!

Ugh, so frustrating! It’s been three weeks since I submitted Singularity Deferred to the various ebook distributors. Smashwords put it up pretty quickly, and so did Amazon. (Helps when you’re as meticulous as I was getting the formatting exactly right, I suspect.) But the others, Barnes and Noble, Sony, iTunes, are really dragging their heels. (Even Kobo has it up now.)

Thing is, I’ve been waiting to really promote the novel until it’s available from all locations. I mean, it’s kind of self-defeating if you promote and advertise “available where ebooks are sold,” and everyone with a Nook, or a Sony…whatever, or an iPhone/iPad who tries to get it can’t find it. What chance is there of them coming back a week or two later to check if it’s available? Slim? Meet None.

*sigh* It’s just frustrating, is all.

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No Kickstarter, but Singularity ebook is a go!

Update 1: Added Amazon Kindle links.

Okay, so the Kickstarter project to get the novel Singularity Deferred didn’t go over so well. That’s fine; it was something of a long-shot. So, we move on to Plan B: While I won’t be able to crowdsource the funding from contributors (who would have received the book as well as incentives), I’ll simply put out a first edition e-book to raise the funds. This will allow me to possibly succeed in two ways:

1. If the sales of the e-book go really well, then that’s all I’ll need to rely on and the funds from that will go to the professional graphic design and artwork, layout, marketing materials, and print run. But, if after a while the income isn’t as great as it might be but the feedback is positive, then…

2. I can use that feedback and garnered book reviews posted where it’s purchased (Smashwords, BN.com, and Amazon*) to help give a second Kickstarter attempt more promise. And, whatever funds gained from the e-book sales, would help mitigate what I would need to generate from Kickstarter contributors to complete the print project.

So, if you want an exciting scifi adventure to read, spend a mere fraction of what you would in a Nook or Kindle store e-book and purchase and download Singularity Deferred! Then, when you discover how much you’re enjoying it, go back and post a review, if you would. It’d certainly be appreciated!

And while you’re there, buy an additional copy or two to give as gifts! Everyone wins! 🙂

(*At this moment, the review processes to add the novel to BN.com is still going on. But if you have a Nook or even a Kobo or iPhone/iPad, copying the EPUB you buy from Smashwords should be a breeze!)

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Farm-grown Spam

SF novelist Jim Macdonald has an article, “Fence Your Stolen Content at Amazon.com“. He discusses the threat of e-books as becoming the new breeding-ground fir spammers and search engine scammers:

“With the cost of self-publishing approaching zero thanks to e-publishing, and with content-farms being depreciated by Google, it seems that spammers have taken to e-publishing.”

As someone seeking to start a career with e-publishing as a significant cornerstone in the foundation, this bothers me a lot. As a user of the Internet since around 1995, I’ve seen the war against spam and pernicious Web advertisers get messy. As someone who has worked in IT in some way since 1998, I’ve been on frontlines fighting spam and blocking advertising. And, as a Web designer, I’ve had to fight hard to get sites as high as legitimately possible on search results while competing with unscrupulous content farms.

As someone who has spent his entire adult life, both personally and professionally, fighting with spammers and scammers, the prospect of having to continue the fight as a writer, wearies me greatly.

On the glass-half-full side, I have seen a great deal of improvement in the last 15 years in the war over e-mail spam. There was a time, before client spam filters and ubiquitous e-mail server filters, when I considered giving up e-mail altogether as the ratio of spam to ham in my inbox was 75/25. Now, the amount of spam I get barely annoys me.

The current hated weapon is the content farm. Do a search on Google for nearly anything and many of the hits you’ll get back will be to About.com or Suite101 or similar pages that have simply copy-and-pasted a page of generic info about your desired topic, and then filled it with product links and ads. Sadly, the war against these isn’t going too well.

And that’s the threat Macdonald sees in e-publishing — do a book search on Amazon.com for a particular topic, and find several cheap e-books… that have the same generic, boilerplate content as seen in similar pointless works across the ‘net. The legitimate author becomes a squeak in a sea of static.

Things change, and e-mail spam is a surprising example of things changing for the better. I have hope. Sadly, I don’t think it’ll improve until it gets much worse — and I have the impeccable timing to jump right into the fray.

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“The End of the Beginning” now released!

mbrane10

M-Brane #10

My new short story has been published! I’m, oh, just a little excited.

The story, “The End of the Beginning,” is in the latest edition of M-BRANE SF magazine, issue number 10. You have a few quick, easy, and inexpensive methods of getting it:

Visit this URL: http://mbranesf2.blogspot.com and on the right-hand side you’ll find the options:

  • Buy it in print through Lulu for $7.95 (direct link)
  • Buy a single PDF copy for $2.00
  • For the Amazon Kindle for $2.99 (direct link)
  • For the MobiPocket version for $1.99 (direct link)
  • Subscribe to a year of M-BRANE SF for $12! (A real steal!)
  • (You can also just donate to the writer’s fund; I’m sure they’d really appreciate it!)

(NOTE! As of this writing, the Amazon and the MobiPocket versions aren’t yet available. If you want it for Kindle or Mobi-compatible reader, please check those sites in a couple days or so.)

“The End of the Beginning” was a fun story to write. It started with my musing about the eventual heat-death of the universe and just flowed from there in just an hour. (Plus, of course, some significant time editing to make it at least slightly readable.) As for the rest of the stories in issue #10, can’t say. I haven’t read it yet as the second it came available ti started writing this post. 🙂 But the stories found in issue #1 (which you can get for free) and #9 are varied and interesting!

Anyway, if I may beg, please support struggling authors and the publishers that give them a voice and buy yourself a copy! 🙂

Moon City Review 2009Don’t forget, you can also get my first published story, “A Price in Every Box” (huh, I’m sensing a theme in my titles) in Moon City Review 2009. It’s available for $15.95 or through Amazon for $12.44. That story is kind of a contemporary fantasy, or maybe slipstream if you will. The book itself is a very eclectic collection of all different genres, including poetry and photography. So if you don’t like all SF, give Moon City Review a try!
(And keep your eye open, sometime next year the book Confederate Girlhoods: A Women’s History of Early Springfield, Missouri will become available. I helped edit it and contributed a little original text for it.)

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