Ebook Special Prices!

I decided to hold a “Taxes Are Done, Done, Done!” sale and put a few of my books on special for a limited time. Thus, for a limited time, you can get:

Edit: That sale is now over. But everything below is still true.

Meanwhile, the prices are coming down on my other books sold through E-reads. It’s taking a while for the price drops to trickle down, but in the Kindle store, you can now get:

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.

Interview at Two Ends of the Pen

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.

Interviewed Today at Kindle Author

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.)

New Book Projects

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.)

The Heart of Dog

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.

With a Little Help from My Friends!

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!

Read an Ebook Week 2011 (March 6–12)

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

Check out all the other authors, too!

Other Author Blogs of Note

posted in: ebooks, publishing 0

I’ve mentioned before that I’m active in a group of writers who, like me, are promoting their formerly published backlist books as ebooks. Our group is called Backlist Ebooks. Many of the members blog from time to time on the subject, and I thought you might like to check out some of their blogs. They work in a variety of genres. Here’s a starter list:

Doranna Durgin
Gerald M. Weinberg
Marsha Canham
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Jill Metcalf
Terry Odell
Maryann Miller
Patricia Rice
Pati Nagle
Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett
Karen Ranney

There are lots more authors listed on the main Backlist Ebooks webite. More authors are joining all the time, so keep checking back.

Surprise Peace Offering to Authors from Amazon and Macmillan

posted in: Amazon, ebooks, publishing 0

Many of you will remember the Amazon Buy-Button Removal War of one year ago, in which Amazon decided—in a dispute over new ebook contract terms—to blast Macmillan US by taking down all of their books, paper and e, from their catalogue. I was one of thousands of writers affected, and the memory still stings.

Well, according to this post at E-reads.com, Macmillan and Amazon have jointly decided to make reparations to authors for their estimated losses on ebook sales during that week. I don’t know how they’re calculating the estimate; I haven’t gotten my royalty statements yet. But I do appreciate the gesture. (Realistically, I don’t expect it to make much difference to me, as the reparations were only for the loss of Kindle-book sales, and where I think I got whacked the most was in my newly released paperback of Sunborn. Still, it’s a gesture they didn’t have to make.) Further, in the letter to authors reportedly enclosed with forthcoming royalty statements, Macmillan’s Sargent offers to amend ebook royalty rates to its authors to the somewhat higher, now-semistandard rate of 25% of net receipts. (That’s still not quite where they should be, in the opinion of many, but it’s a clear step in the right direction, and I’m pleased to see it come as a willing offer from publisher to author.)

Change of topic, but still on publishing and books: a reader helpfully pointed me toward this fascinating blog series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, called The Business Rusch. (This link will kind of put you in the middle, but she has some links in the article to good places to start, depending on your interests.) A must-read for authors!

Guest Blogger Today at Star-Crossed Romance

I’m traveling again today, offering a guest blog at Star-Crossed Romance—a blog for lovers of science fiction romance. While I’m not considered a romance writer by anyone, romance is nonetheless an important part of my writing. Why? (Do I really have to say why? Maybe I do.) If you’d like to know what I have to say about it, go take a look at
http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-jeffrey-carver.html.

By the way, one of the editors of the blog has just reviewed my novel Neptune Crossing. You can read the review on the same blog, at
http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2011/01/review-neptune-crossing.html.

Go pay them a visit. They’re nice people.

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