Shadow of an Empire Cover Reveal!

Here it is, readers! The official cover for Shadow of an Empire, releasing June 1st!

book_cover

Yeah, that’s it! This wonderful piece of art was created by the stellar Michal Kváč, whose site you can access at that link! I highly recommend them!

Now, if you’re a patreon supporter, that means head on over to my patreon page, because you guys are getting the full size image available both with text and without text as a 5K wallpaper. Trust me, it looks awesome. That’s a patron-supporter early bonus … the rest of you will have to wait a while.

But there it is, in all it’s golden glory. Shadow of an Empire will be available for pre-order soon!

 

Oh, and you guys may have noticed, but the site looks a little different now … Just some nice thematic changes.

The History of One Drink

Greetings and salutations readers! I’m hard at work trying to wrap up Jungle‘s first draft (it is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a jungle), but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep you guys in the know. And today, I’ll be doing that with a recap of the creation of One Drink!

Yes, this post was a Patreon reward. Supporters got to see this all the way back in May. Now that Halloween is almost upon us, however, I feel that the time is right for a revisiting of One Drink with its ghosts and its necromancers and—of course—its straightforward protagonist. Where it all came from, how the first book came to pass, and naturally, what came next.

If you’ve not read One Drink, then be forewarned that this post contains spoilers. Seriously. For a 99-cent book that’s been out for almost five years now. Nudge nudge, why-haven’t-you-just-read-this-already? There’s a link to it right here!

But yes, spoiler warning.

And now? Let’s take a look at the history of One Drink

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Price and Profit

So I learned something rather embarrassing a week ago.

Since the release of Colony, one of the more common questions I’ve received from fans about it has been “How should I purchase your book in order to make sure you get the largest cut of money?” Which is actually a pretty valid—and thoughtfully appreciated—question. This question comes from a reader who isn’t just concerned that they read a book, but that the author of said book is able to support themselves to the next one. Some of you may be scratching your heads even so, though, thinking to yourselves “Wait, I thought it was just an ebook?” Well it is, but there are two ways you can acquire it.

The first is to simply impart money to Amazon.com ($7.99 in this case, unless there’s a sale going) for a digital, DRM-Free copy of Colony. And for many readers, that’s what they do. However, I’m also a fan of putting my books up on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Program, which is kind of like a Netflix for books, and that means that it’s also available to those paying for the KU program to read whenever they want. Now, KU pays authors, but the question from these readers is “Which way pays you more?”

And it turns out, in giving my answer, I screwed up.

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Kindle Unlimited, LTUE, and Other Things

KINDLE UNLIMITED

So, I actually like seeing reads for my books on Kindle Unlimited. Especially for Colony. And not just because Colony is long enough that I pretty much make the same amount of money off of a KU read as I do a purchase. Nor because I like KU—which, for the record, I do; it’s as close as we’ve gotten to “Netflix for books” so KU readers, enjoy! But because it’s one of the closest available methods I have to tracking reader’s reactions to my work short of reviews, ratings, and sales.

See, KU gives me, the author, access to the daily page count totals for each of my books. Someone read 100 pages in a day? I can see that. Not who it was, nor when save a date, but I just get to see that someone’s reading my book.

The thing is, I can sort of track someone’s engagement with my books. And I can see how, over a few days, they get sucked further and further in, until reading Colony is all they’re doing. The first day, someone will read maybe 100 pages. The next day they’ll read 100 more. Then the day after that … they’re reading 150. Following that? 300. From there it turns into a sprint to the finish—we’re talking 500 or 600 words in a single day.

I love seeing these little patterns in my KU readers. It’s a good way to tell how readers are being engaged with my books—they’re getting caught up in the action as the book moves towards the end! Granted, I still get those who read through the entire 1100+ page work in a single day, which is also good and fun to see, but it’s pretty satisfying to “see” a reader go through this progression of “Okay, this is pretty good” followed by “Okay, this is really good” to “Drop everything I need to know how this ends now!

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Colony Now Up For Purchase

colony-finalThis is it! The pre-order copies have all gone out, and now Colony is now available for purchase on Amazon.com. Buy it, and it’ll go right to your Kindle App. DRM-Free too.

It’s also available on the Kindle Unlimited Library, so if you’re an Amazon Prime user or KU reader, you can grab a copy ASAP and start reading. If you’ve not heard of the KU Library, it’s basically a Netflix-like service for books. Basically, if you want to read Colony, you’ve got some good options for doing so!

Anyway, you can click the cover there to your right to take you right to it!

A corporate investigator who doesn’t trust his employer.
A mercenary gun-for-hire with a talent for violence and a willingness to shoot first.
And a white-hat hacker who doesn’t know when to quit.

Three independent contractors brought together for one unusual job. Five years ago, master programmer Carlos Rodriguez retired. Now his old employer wants him back.

Quietly.

It’d be a lot easier if he hadn’t left Earth.

A Sci-Fi Epic Adventure of 333,000 words, or roughly 1100 pages.

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Unusual Events Giveaway! (Now Closed — Winners Forthcoming)

Unusual EventsHey there! You! Yes you! Would you like to win a free copy of the short story collection Unusual Events? Of course you would! If not, but you still love the excitement of entering things, well … you could always hand it over to someone else who would!

So, why would I ask? Because I’ve got a copy to give away! And someone is going to get it! Pretty straightforward, pretty simple. Name in a hat sort of stuff.

Okay, maybe not quite so simple. After all, for me to pull a name from a hat, there need to be names in the hat for me to blindly grasp for, and that’s where you, reader, come in. See, in order to give a copy of Unusual Events away, I need two things: An entry to draw from said hat (note: blind drawing may not actually be from a hat), and an e-mail address (to giveaway the book to).

So, here’s what we’re going to do. If you wish to enter the giveaway, then simply leave a comment below (which will require you put in an e-mail address  I can see) saying something to the effect of “I want to enter the giveaway!” That will give you one name in the metaphorical hat.

Would you like to receive a second entry? Then share this giveaway post via one of the share buttons at the bottom on Facebook, Twitter, or the like (and make sure you mention that you shared it in your comment, because this I can’t see outside of the total number of shares, so honor system). That’ll give you a second entry.

How about a third? Yes, I’m allowing you to get up to three entries for this one! All you have to do is in your comment, answer this question in its entirety: If you could share a one-hour lunch with any character (and yes, I mean any) I’ve ever written, who would it be, where would you eat, what would you talk about, and why? Tell us all about it! That’ll get you a third entry! (Oh, and, as always, keep the event civil. Nothing innapropriate. That’ll get your post deleted. Sorry)

And if you’ve never read anything of mine, you can always head over either my sample page, Amazon page, or elsewhere with my writing (try links) to get some samples).

Get your entries in now, because once Midnight PST hits, this contest is closed forever! Then, all the entrants names will be put in a hat, the winner drawn, and a lucky winner will get a copy of Unusual Events all for themselves (and if I get enough entrants, I may just go ahead and add a few more prizes, so the more the merrier!)

So … clock’s ticking! Enter below!

The Question of Value Part 2 – Responses

Wow. What a weekend. Views for The Question of Value continue to pour in from every corner of the web, from everywhere from news aggregate sites to tumblr. And with those views came comments, questions, concerns, and even discussion.

Now, I did my best to read each of the reactions I got to The Question. In fact, I even went as far as to not just read the aggregate listings and response pieces, but comments posted there as well. And while some simply retreaded things that had already been discussed (one even tackled the dead horse subject I pointed out I was going to ignore … so I did ignore it) I found there was a lot being said.

The conclusion? I may have been the one to voice it, but this topic, this question of how we value the mighty ebook is not something that I alone have been thinking on. There are a lot of you out there who’ve got opinions and thoughts on the matter. Even better, a lot of these thoughts overlap and coincide. For example, in comments I read just here, on my sister blog, and in one response post, at least five different people brought up the topic of resale. Several brought up durability (and at least one amusing comment brought up multiple people citing that an ebook couldn’t be read in a shower by asking how they were reading normal books in one). DRM was addressed, as was licensing in general. And do you know what I learned most of all in reading all of these?

The market is failing the readers.

Okay, now that might sound like a harsh judgement to pass, and perhaps I could voice it differently (also, that could be taken way out of context, so aggregate sites, you do not have permission to use that line without context). When I say market, for the most part, I’m not referring to the books themselves, or what the authors are producing, though in a way, we share part of the blame.

No, what I’m referring to here is the actual market and the way ebooks are being handled. That is what is failing the readers.

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