Busy Day Yesterday

My downloads page took on a whole new look yesterday. I spent the whole day pounding the keys, revamping and reordering the page to reflect the shift in emphasis from a whole bunch of free stuff…to some free stuff, plus purchase links for my new, low-cost ebook editions. Dreamweaver and the html got a workout, and so did Word as I created new sample PDFs of all the Chaos books, plus Eternity’s End. I’m now giving out excerpts of the first 8-10 chapters, which I hope will let folks decide if they like the story enough to drop a few bucks on the whole story in their preferred format.

Eternity’s End isn’t quite ready for upload of its ebook yet, but it’s close. I’m working with a cover designer on this one, and I’ve been working hard at trying to nail down the concept and the art pieces that will go into it. I hope to have the book up for sale in the next couple of weeks.

To celebrate all that work getting done, I took another crack at something I started a couple of weeks ago—writing a new afterword for the Sunborn ebook from Tor. They’re fixing some typos for me, and letting me add some value to the for-sale edition of the book while I’m at it.

And finally…some work on a particularly thorny subplot in The Reefs of Time, which—fear not—I am still hard at work on.

If you haven’t visited my downloads page in a while, I invite you to take a look.

Oh yes—I had a nice dinner with my family, too!

Free Downloads Ending. Wait—What?

It’s true. Driven by my insatiable desire to keep a roof over my head, I’m cutting back on my free-download offerings. Starting this week, I’m shifting my website to samples and purchase links for the Chaos books, and the same with Eternity’s End. I’ve already got my own Starstream Publications editions of the first three Chaos books—with new afterwords—for sale in all of the major stores for a very low price (Eternity’s End coming soon). But even a very low price isn’t competing well with free.

I’ve been running the free-downloads experiment for more than two years now. Here’s my conclusion: The free downloads have significantly expanded my audience, and enabled me to meet some very nice people electronically. But they haven’t done much in terms of pay. Yes, some people have been generous with Paypal donations, and some who liked the books have gone out and bought my other ebooks—and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. But the theory that free downloads drive sales of books, which apparently works for some writers, does not seem to have clicked for me. I don’t regret offering the downloads—not a bit—but now it’s time to try something new.

I’m asking all other sites that host my free downloads to remove all except Neptune Crossing. (I’ll still let them offer that first hit for free, heh-heh.) I’ll provide big enough samples of all the books for new readers to give them a good, fair try—not like those weenie samples you get at a lot of stores, where most of the sample is ^%$@ front-matter, not the actual book.

And I’ll keep the prices low.

With the holidays coming, I’ll be offering some specials. But one thing at a time. I’m posting this right now as last call for alcoh—errr, free books!

(Note: Short stories and Battlestar Galactica will remain free in some ebook formats.)

New Amazon Store for Backlist Ebooks Authors

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I was away a little longer than I expected. But I’m back.

More news on the growing effort by writers like me to adapt to the changing world of books and publishing. The fledgling group I joined not too long ago, Backlist Ebooks, has taken another step toward making it easier for you to buy low-cost ebook editions of its members’ out-of-print books. The group is a loose collection of authors who have taken matters into their own hands regarding their previously published, out of print books—and are reissuing them through avenues such as Amazon Kindle’s self-publishing shop and Smashwords. Those of you who buy ebooks for the Kindle platform might want to check out the Backlist Ebooks store, for links to authors in a variety of genres and their low-cost ebooks (mostly around $2.99 a book).

Last Day for Halloween Special!

Don’t forget! Through October 31, you can get the first three Chaos books for 25% off at Smashwords, in multiple formats–complete with all new Afterwords on their writing. Just use these coupon codes:

For other participating authors and coupon codes, head over to http://www.facebook.com/BacklistEbooks and click on Sale at the top.

Halloween Sale at Backlist Ebooks

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A bunch of authors, yours truly included, are offering books from their backlists for 25% off at Smashwords, as part of the October sale at Backlist Ebooks. To see the list of participating authors and get the coupon codes you’ll need, head over to http://www.facebook.com/BacklistEbooks and click on Sale at the top. (Or, if you prefer not to go to Facebook, you can go to http://backlistebooks.com/.) Take a look! There’s mystery, SF and fantasy, romance, and I don’t know what all. The sale runs through Halloween.

The Infinite Sea at Kindle and Smashwords

I’ve just released a new ebook edition of The Infinite Sea, the third book of The Chaos Chronicles, to the Amazon Kindle store—and to Smashwords (from which it will migrate to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobobooks, and the Apple store). With this release, all of the Chaos Chronicles are now available for instant download in the Kindle store. Come to think of it, with this release, all of my novels are available in the Kindle store. Most of them are available in other ebook stores as well. For a complete list, see: http://www.starrigger.net/ebooks.htm.

I’ve been fiddling with the covers to make them display better at thumbnail size. (I may revisit them later, but for the moment, I think I’m done fiddling.) Here’s The Infinite Sea:

Halloween Special!
From now through October 31, you can get the first three Chaos books for 25% off at Smashwords, in your choice of formats. Just use these coupon codes:

Authors Together — Backlistebooks.com

I recently joined a band of authors from a variety of genres to jointly promote our backlist books that we’re putting back into circulation as ebooks. The group is called Backlist Ebooks, and it includes SF and fantasy writers (such as CJ Cherryh, Vonda McIntyre, and Doranna Durgin), mystery writers, romance writers, and others. Many of the authors are award-winners, and all the books being promoted were originally published by traditional publishing, but have since either gone out of print, or were otherwise unavailable as ebooks. This is a new effort, but the list is growing steadily as more writers hear about it. Check it out!

There’s a web site: http://backlistebooks.com/ and a Facebook page, where you might pick up some interesting news from the authors. Starting Saturday, many of the group will be sponsoring a 25% off Halloween promotion on their Smashwords titles. That includes my three Chaos Chronicles books at Smashwords

On to Smashwords

Neptune Crossing is now available on Smashwords, from which it will go out to the Sony ebookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Apple store, and others. $2.99, in a variety of formats.

I’ve tweaked the cover a little, because the red type just didn’t display well on the store pages. (Scroll down a couple of posts to see the original.) Wondering a little if I should hire a professional to make it look better—a couple of people have told me they didn’t care for it very much—but I’m not sure. What do you think?

Neptune Crossing — Smashwords edition

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