All my science fiction books have now been reduced to 99c, and they’re now on Kindle Unlimited as well. As promised, I’ve also set up the free book schedule on Amazon. Starting January 19, 2021, Miira will be free for five consecutive days. The other five books are scheduled to be free as per the following table:
As you can see, the last book ends its free run on April the 3rd. I had to mess around with the dates a bit to make sure it didn’t finish on April Fool’s Day! -cough-
The 99c price point is so no one who wants a book misses out. If possible, though, please grab the book[s] during the free promotion. And it goes without saying that I would love reviews, any kind of reviews, even critical ones.
And finally an apology. I’ll be talking about these books a lot in the weeks ahead. I’ll try not to bore you silly, but there’s only so many ways of saying ‘read my book’. Bear with me!
I’ve reached a point in my writing where I’m stuck. It happens. So what do you do when your writing is stuck? You read, of course. But who in hell can afford $10 USD for an ebook?
I read 99.9% Indie only and noticed a price hike from $3.99 to around $5.99 USD a while ago, but suddenly this morning, I discovered that a great long list of Indie authors are pricing their books around the $10 mark. Given that I’d already bought most of their books at the ‘normal’ Indie price, I was shocked at the sudden leap.
After rejecting book after book because it was simply too expensive, I finally thought to look at the book details and…doh. Without fail, these previously Indie authors are now ‘published’ by a company.
Indie to traditionally published… I understand. No matter how much we may extol the virtues of being an Indie – creative freedom, product control, more money – a part of every author wants to be traditionally published. Why? Because of the validation.
We still think that traditional publishers are the doyens of good taste and literary value, the way they used to be before publishing became a big business like any other. Even those who know that’s not true succumb to the siren song of validation.
I get that. What makes me furious is that these publishers are reaping the benefits of ebook sales without having done any of the work. And it’s loyal readers like me who suffer because we cannot afford to spend that much money on ebooks. Or any books for that matter. Not when we often read two books a week.
I’m also angry at the fact that it’s the pandemic that’s brought about this price grab by publishers. They can’t get their ‘normal’ books out there because most bookshops and retail outlets are closed, so they hoover up ebooks that cost them next to nothing, and suddenly they have a cash flow again.
The third thing that makes me spitting mad is that these previously Indie authors who had it all – money coming in, fans by the thousand, control of their art and their future – have probably signed away their copyright for ‘life plus 70 years’.
What happens when this pandemic finally ends, and most of them become the equivalent of midlist authors? Will the publishing companies be grateful that these authors gave them a cashflow for next to nothing? Or will they consign them to publishing limbo as they did with a previous generation of midlist authors?
Okay, I tell a lie. I do not care what happens to these authors. I care about me and readers like me. So…having struck a heap of authors off my to-be-read list, I’m asking you guys for recommendations, but true Indies only, please!
I love scifi, first and foremost, then fantasy, then thrillers, and murder mysteries. Can you recommend a good Indie for me to read? Someone who doesn’t charge $10 for an ebook?
As a reader, I’m loyal, and if I like the author, I will read everything he or she has ever written. My Kindle is testament to that.
I read one of Melinda Clayton’s book some time ago [psychological thriller ], and I read C.S. Boyack’s, ‘Serang’ just recently, so I know both writers are great value. But I need more, so please tell me about your favourite Indies in the comments.
I only found out about this five minutes ago, so I suspect I’m not the only one who doesn’t know that all printed books published by Australian authors [whether Indie or Traditional] must be deposited [donated for free] to the National Library of Australia within 1 month of their publication.
This is a legal requirement.
Luckily, digital books – i.e. ebooks – only have to be deposited ‘if requested’. The following infographic was taken from the National Library of Australia website:
I was a little panicked until I looked carefully at that infographic. ‘Offline’ basically means anything physical – like a hardcover or paperback etc. ‘Online’ means anything digital – like an ebook.
This means that when I finished proofing all my books, I’m going to have to send a copy of each one to the library. And that means I have to find a local POD printer as a matter of urgency as the transportation costs from CreateSpace are steep.
Does anyone know of a POD printer in Melbourne? Actually, forget that, anywhere in Australia would be nice.
In my previous post – Miira, a sneak peek – I proudly displayed the cover I’d created for the first book of the print version of Innerscape. There would be three books in all – a proper trilogy – and the five, original episodes would be split between them:
Book 1 = Innerscape, Episodes 1 and 2,
Book 2 = Innerscape, Episodes 3 and 4,
Book 3 = Innerscape, Episode 5
As Episodes 1 and 2 focused mainly on Miira, I decided to call book one ‘Miira’, with a sub-title along the lines of:
book 1 of Innerscape, or
episodes 1 and 2 of Innerscape
And because it all seemed perfectly clear to me – how could it not when I’d been thinking about little else for weeks? – I assumed that it would be clear to everyone else as well. Dawn’s comment on the post brought me back to earth with an almighty crash. She asked:
“is this going to be a reprint / new imprint / new version of Innerscape….or fresh and new Miira ?!!“
That was the moment I realised how ripe for confusion my airy ideas for the print version had become.
A few seconds later, I realised something much, much worse – with brand new covers and a new name for each book, confusion would be the least of my worries. ‘Scam’ and ‘con’ would be more like it. The last thing I want is for anyone to buy Innerscape twice, but if someone who’s read Innerscape and knows me personally – like Dawn – can ask if this was something new, then how could I expect a complete stranger not to ask the same question…and be angry at the answer?
I’ll be honest, I didn’t sleep very well last night. I desperately want to hold a real live book in my hands, and I really like the design concept I came up with for the print version trilogy, but my original decision to publish Innerscape as a serial has finally come back to bite me on the bum. If I upgrade the ebooks to mirror the print version, readers can rightly accuse me of making a greedy grab for more money. Yet, even if I leave the ebooks exactly as they are, having such a different looking print version will still cause confusion.
Then, I had a thought. Amazon allows you to bundle print and ebook versions together! If I did that, maybe it wouldn’t matter…
Ah, but which ebook episode would I bundle? And would Amazon even allow it when the print and ebook versions aren’t exactly the same?
It was around my third cup of coffee this morning that I had a better thought, at least I hope it is. What if I leave the ebook episodes as they are and simply create one, single omnibus edition of the whole story? As an ebook, it won’t matter that Innerscape is huge, and so long as it’s clearly labelled as an ‘omnibus’ edition, there should be no confusion…
Or would an omnibus ebook simply add to the existing confusion?
I seriously don’t know any more. I really, really need some feedback on this one. And please don’t hold back out of kindness. If I get this wrong, complete strangers are going to be much less diplomatic than any of you. 😦
Apologies for the misleading title – I haven’t killed off Innerscape. The post mortem is actually about the lessons I learned while publishing Innerscape last year. You thought it all went smoothly, didn’t you? -sound of maniacal laughter-
This is a must read article for both Indie authors and readers alike.
Why? Because these scammers are gaming the Amazon ranking system, which hurts authors. But by clogging up the Top 100 lists with bullshit books, they’re also:
a) tricking readers into wasting their money or
b) making it even harder for readers to find good books to read.
If you have not been a victim of one of these scammers, you’re lucky. I bought what I thought was a classic Alfred Bester sci-fi novel only to discover it was a ‘study guide’ masquerading as the actual book. I was…not pleased. Believe me when I say these bastards are getting away with small scale fraud a million times a day!
Please read the article, and if you’re convinced this is a bad thing, make a noise because it’s time the silent majority sent a message to Amazon that this is not good enough!
It’s almost midnight but I just had to share this with you. It’s a demo of a new whiz bang innovation called ‘Booktrack’.
The idea is to provide a soundtrack, or sound effects, that will be synced to the ebook you read.
I’m not sure whether the sound in the demo would enthrall me, or annoy the hell out of me, but suddenly the wild idea I had about including my Two Steps From Hell writing music with my story doesn’t seem so wild any more. In five years time this technology may well be common place. Yay, technology!
Ok, I admit it – the title was me trying to be clever but if you stick with me all will be revealed!
Candlepower or candela is a way of measuring luminosity and dates back to the days when we used candles. So 20 candlepower would be the equivalent of the light provided by 20 candles [all lit of course]. And then along came Edison with his electric light bulb. Now candles are relegated to the utility draw where they wait, unused and unloved until a birthday cake comes along or a blackout or a romantic dinner for two.
Sadly, the advent of e-readers like the Kindle is going to do to books what the light bulb did to candles. Books may not become collectors’ items for a generation or two yet, but we can see the demise of the mass market paperback already in the sales figures coming out of Amazon. Ebook sales are soaring as more and more people like me discover how convenient and cheap ebooks are. In the past I would only buy books written by my favourite authors because here in Australia books can cost up to $30 AUD. Each. That is an investment not an impulse buy. With my Kindle though I can buy an ebook by an unknown author for as little as 0.99c.
And this brings me to the meaning of my title – I have downloaded 20 ebooks in the last month thanks to Kindle power. Of that first 20 I have read 19. I will probably never finish that last unread book because it was not well written and annoyed me. In the past I would have agonized over wasting the price of a book but now I can happily move on to the next promising story because none of them cost more than the price of one decent latte.
Cost is not the only benefit of ebooks though; freedom to explore is just as important. In the last month I have discovered some wonderful new writers – Mary Robinette Kowal, Candy Korman, Lord David Prosser, Stephen Faulds – many of whom are self-published indie authors whose books never appear on the shelves of traditional bookshops. Without ebooks I would never have discovered them. For that alone my Kindle has been worth the investment but it has other, less obvious benefits as well. I’m getting horribly short-sighted so the ability to adjust the font is a god send. Now I can read in comfort without having to wear those horrible reading glasses that make the world swim whenever you look up from the page. Another benefit is that I can sling my Kindle in my bag and take it with me wherever I go – without feeling as if I’m carrying a brick in my bag!
I still love the look and feel of real books and I always will but in the future I will be choosing the ones I want to own and keep in a very different way. Instead of browsing the shelves of bookshops and taking a punt on a book that ‘looks interesting’ I will be reading the ebook version first. If it lives up to expectations and is a ‘keeper’ then I will buy the hard copy version and give it a home on my own bookshelves. That is the power of the ebook. That is the power of my Kindle.
Something is always lost when new technology comes along so I feel sad to think that my great, great, grandchildren may only see paper books in museums but it’s always better to swim with the tide than to drown trying to swim against it. Vive le livrel!