My friends at Backlist eBooks have organized another big ebook sale, this time with 50-plus authors participating, and nearly 200 titles discounted—this week only. Genres include Mystery & Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, SF/Fantasy, and more. These are all books from traditionally published authors who have self-republished their backlists as ebooks. Most of their books are low-priced to begin with, but this week, they’ll be even lower. Even though I just had my own special a few weeks ago, I’m participating as well. Go to the Backlist eBooks specials page to see the complete list and get the coupon codes to buy the books at Smashwords. (In most cases, you’ll need to copy and paste the codes from there into the Smashwords shopping cart.)
Edit: An extension of the sale to the Sony store, previously reported here, fell through for complicated reasons. Maybe next time.
I’m sorely tempted myself, even though my e-to-read pile is already causing my virtual shelves to sag.
Yes, there are dragons in them stars. And now, for the first time ever, my two dragon novels—Dragons in the Stars and Dragon Rigger—appear together in one volume, just out in ebook, Dragon Space: A Star Rigger Omnibus. Science fiction with a fantasy dimension! This new book appears under my own imprint, Starstream Publications, in cooperation with E-reads, which publishes the novels separately in ebook form.
Both books were published in paper by Tor, just before I got started with The Chaos Chronicles. The story—set chronologically in the Star Rigger universe sometime after Panglor but before Star Rigger’s Way and Eternity’s End—really started with a short story, “Though All the Mountains Lie Between,” that I wrote for an Orson Scott Card-edited anthology, Dragons of Darkness (though the story actually appeared first in newspaper format in the Science Fiction Times). You can read it here. Dragons in the Stars, which includes the events of that story, recounts the journey of star rigger Jael LeBrae, whose life is changed by an encounter with dragons in the “mountain region” of the hyperspatial Flux that riggers navigate between the stars. With that meeting, Jael becomes caught up in an age-old prophecy claiming that “One from outside” will come and speak her name to a dragon, and in so doing bring upheaval and a new beginning in the dragon realm. Jael has a life to live as a star pilot, but she finds she is bound inextricably to Highwing, the dragon who befriended her and whose life she later holds in her hands.
In the sequel Dragon Rigger, we experience through the dragons’ eyes the war that is tearing the realm apart. For there are more than just dragons here; there are false dragons, and ifflings and false ifflings, and the tormented spirit of a captured rigger. And seeking control of all, there is Tar-skel, the Nail of Strength—a being from beyond the realm who seeks to spin all of the magic of the dragons into a web of power and deceit—encompassing not just the dragon realm, but all of the Flux where the riggers fly, and all of the layers of normal-space that lie beyond. Into this war, Jael must return. If the prophecy is correct, only she can lead the realm out of the impending darkness. But if the prophecy is correct, the price of that victory is her own death.
In their original publication, Dragons in the Stars did very nicely. But Dragon Rigger—a personal favorite of mine!—suffered from a series of distribution and marketing snafus, and never really found its audience. Both have been out of print in paper for many years, but they returned as E-reads ebooks two years ago. This is their first publication in one, low-cost volume—complete with the map that graced the paper editions. I’ve been working on it for months, and I’m delighted to have a new cover design by Pat Ryan, based on the original work from artist Jael (no relation to the protagonist!).
Dragon Space is available right now in the Kindle store, in multiple formats at Smashwords, and is “processing” in the Nook store. Over the next few weeks, it should start showing up in the Apply, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel ebook stores.
Please give it a look, and tell all of your dragon-loving friends!
What with one thing or another, I never got around to posting my Easter greetings to everyone. So, thinking in a time-travel fashion (ghoststream, as it is called in the still-nascent Reefs of Time), I will now wish all of you Happy Easter! And Happy Passover! And if you don’t celebrate Easter or Passover, and even if you’re allergic to chocolate bunnies, I hope you had a great weekend, anyway.
During the weekend, my Chaos omnibus got a nice featured mention on Spalding’s Racket, the indie-book-oriented blog of writer Nick Spalding. His blog is well worth perusing, if you’re interested in seeing work by some writers you might not know yet.
Family members have been coming and going here. Allysen was gone for two weeks and has returned. Alexandra was home for a week and has left again. Julia was gone for a week and has returned. Talula, our house guest, was here but just left on a trip. Me, I’ve just been settin’ here coughin’ on the pollen and wonderin’ why God or evolution invented allergies, anyway. (But grateful for the Roombas and Scooba.) And wondering, why does our attic smell like mildew? Please tell me we don’t need a new roof. (But I think we probably do.)
Here for your amusement are a few fun pages that appeared recently at Syfy.com:
Maybe you can show them that lower prices are better! Those prices should appear in all the other stores eventually–I hope sooner rather than later.
Watch for an announcement soon about Dragon Space, my new omnibus of Dragons in the Stars and Dragon Rigger. I recently put the cool map created by Ellisa Mitchell on my website, here. It’s being incorporated into the new ebook, as well. I’m just waiting for the cover art to be finished. I’m very excited about it.
Today I’m the interview subject (Don’t hurt me!) at a blog called Two Ends of the Pen, which is worth looking at if writing interests you at all. (I mean the blog is worth looking at, though I would hope you find my interview interesting, too.) My host at Two Ends is Debra L. Martin, who it turns out is just a stone’s throw down the road from me, at MIT. This one focuses on writing, and also some of the differences between publishing the traditional way, and the indie way. For a look, go to http://twoendsofthepen.blogspot.com/. (Here’s the permanent link.)
Speaking of MIT, my friend and SF colleague Joe Haldeman is scheduled to be interviewed this Thursday on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan from 3PM to 3:40PM. According to his wife Gay, he’ll be talking about the effect his experience in the Army (and presumably in Vietnam) has had on the rest of his life. Definitely should be worth a listen.
Moi is interviewed today at the Kindle Author blog, a spot that features a lot of authors who publish at Kindle and elsewhere, both indie and traditional. (Their main focus is indie, but these days the lines are really blurring. Many traditionally published folk, like yours truly, have a second—or maybe third—foot planted in the indie category, too.)
Anyway, I won’t repeat here what I said there, so why don’t you take a look at the interview? Here’s the permanent link, but if you go to the main page (at least today), you can read my interview and then scroll down and read some other interviews, as well. A fair number of my fellow Backlist Ebooks authors have been sighted there in recent days.
(In other news, tax time is still right around the corner, and I’m now immersed in the Quicken Sargasso, bringing a year’s worth of business records up to date. I’m a walking example of the assertion that some people never learn.)
I got an email from a reader not too long ago, asking if I was ever going to write a sequel to my star rigger novel Eternity’s End. That got me thinking that I haven’t posted an update lately on what I’m doing in terms of new book projects. So here you go, a writing sitrep.
First of all, the answer to the question is yes, I plan to write a sequel to Eternity’s End. I started jotting down notes for it before that book was finished. The question is, when—because I first have to finish The Chaos Chronicles. So, yes, but don’t start asking at the bookstore quite yet.
Right now, I’m dividing my time among three projects:
The Reefs of Time The next Chaos book is still coming—still a lot more slowly than I’d like. For the benefit of people who haven’t heard me say this before, part of the reason for this is some serious challenges in my family’s life in the last year, and part of it is that it’s a complex story. We’re going back with Li-Jared to his homeworld of Karellia, along with Bandicut. In related events, other members of the company are journeying back in time, way back in time, and to the center of the galaxy to boot. And there’s always that question, are Julie and Bandicut ever going to meet up again? And what’s this about Dakota? And a fracturing of authority among the Shipworld Masters? Ai caramba. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.
Neptune Crossing Audiobook Have I mentioned this before? My wife Allysen and I have undertaken as a little “side project” to produce a full-cast audio production of Neptune Crossing. She started the ball rolling as a birthday and Christmas present, and we’re now in the early stages of production. The voices include both of us (Bandicut and Julie), our daughter Julia (Napoleon and possibly Copernicus), and a number of folks from around town with drama or reading talent. I probably shouldn’t name names at this point, but we have an experienced reader with a fabulous voice doing the narration for us, and we’re still trying to figure who of our other volunteers are best for some of the other parts. I think this is best characterized, at this point, as a semi-professional production. We hope to get a salable audiobook out of it, and certainly serialized podcasts, but we’re under no illusions about the work ahead of us. Our model of how this is done is the wonderful productions by our friend Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio, and Bruce has generously offered us advice from his own experience.
Dragon Space—a dragons omnibus ebook My omnibus ebook of the first three Chaos Chronicles volumes has been so successful, I’m now preparing a combined ebook of Dragons in the Stars and its sequel Dragon Rigger. Those two books are already out in individual E-reads editions, but E-reads has generously allowed me the rights to do my own omnibus under my Starstream Publications imprint. I’m close to finishing the formatting of the book files—it’s astounding how long that can take, even when you start with files you think are in good shape (partly because I keep learning tricks that help make well-formatted ebooks)—and my favorite cover designer is working to fit me into a busy schedule.
And every once in a while, it hits me—Oh frak!—tax time is right around the corner!
(If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why.)
One of my writing friends, Doranna Durgin, has a beagle named ConneryBeagle who’s sick and has expensive vet bills. Doranna put together an anthology of SF and fantasy dog stories, all proceeds to benefit Connery. She’s written a bunch of stories herself, but nine more reprints were contributed by her writing friends, including Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, John Mierau, Fiona Patton, Jennifer Roberson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John Zakour, and me. Do check it out. It’s only $3.99 at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.
I wonder if you folks would be willing to help me out a little. Many of you have been remarkably supportive, and have even gone so far as to buy my books. (Thanks!) What I’m asking now is not that you buy my books, but that you help other people buy my books.
Common wisdom has it that word of mouth is the best way to sell. I always love it if you tell your friends and relatives and near-relatives about my work. Now I’d love it even more if you’d help tell some strangers. Here’s how: by posting reviews, and by tagging.
I’m going to talk now of Amazon, but I’m sure there are variations of this in a hundred places. If you know them—please, by all means. Anyway, here’s Amazon, and here’s what I’d love you to do: go to my Amazon Kindle page. From there, you can click each of my ebook titles, which will take you to the product pages.
Once you’re on each book’s page, you have the option of posting a review. Please don’t do anything that you’re uncomfortable with, or that isn’t honest. But if you’ve read the book in question, and you liked it, and feel moved to post even a very brief review, that would be wonderful. Still, reviews are just one way to help.
Amazon has a tagging feature for each book. Those tags help select books shown to browsing customers. There’s no value judgment. The tags simply characterize the books: this one’s about alien contact, or artificial intelligence, or rutabagas in Spain—whatever’s appropriate. My books already have these tags. What I’d like you to do is agree with them. The more people agree with tags, the more weight the tags carry in searches. Here’s how:
When you get to the page, type “tt” quickly—just the letter T twice. (Edit: Click on the page first. You can also just scroll down, but you have to scroll quite a ways.) That’ll take you right to the tags, and open up a little dialogue with the existing tags. (You might have to be logged in as a customer.) If you just check all those tags, or copy and paste them into the little box, then click Save, you’ll register another vote for the tags. It might offer you a chance to Agree with them, or to See All the tags. That’s a good thing to do, too. If a lot of you do that for me, it should bring my books to more people’s attention. You don’t have to say it’s a great book, or lie about how you stayed up all night reading it, or anything like that. Just agree that I know what the books are about. Add more tags, if you like. (Edit: If you feel comfortable clicking the “Like” button, that’s helpful, too. You can also do this in the Nook store.)
This is a big favor to ask. But if you have a little spare time and would be willing to do it, I’d be eternally grateful. You might not be literally saving my life, but you sure could help me push this writing business one step closer to actually earning a living! Big thanks!
It’s March again, and that means it’s time to celebrate Read an Ebook Week! Lots of authors and publishers are offering free books, discounted books, and other promotions. Click Partners to get a list of links. Some of them offer daily giveaways, so stop back regularly this week.
I’m offering Neptune Crossing for free again, just for this week, from my website—and also Battlestar Galactica: the miniseries novelization (in epub and PDF).
From my Smashwords page, you can get both free and discounted offerings this week only, if you use these coupon codes (RA…) in your cart:
Neptune Crossing — free — RE100 Eternity’s End — 25% off — RAE25 The Chaos Chronicles: Books 1-3 omnibus — 25% off — RAE25 Reality School (short fiction) — free — RE100 Strange Attractors — 25% off — RAE25 The Infinite Sea — 25% off — RAE25 What Gods Are These? — free — RE100