Don’t Tell Anyone!

Can you keep a secret? No—what are you doing?? Didn’t I just say, keep a secret? For God’s sake, don’t share this with anyone! No, stop!

(This is Bizzaro-Jeff. Regular-Jeff is off drinking himself senseless for the holiday or watching reruns of “Spock’s Brain” or I-don’t-know-what. Asleep at the switch, whatever he’s doing. So, I’m having a little fun at his expense…)

You know his book, Neptune Crossing? I just made it free again—everywhere!—and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t noticed! [Cackle—hee-hee—!] Oh, sorry about the drool; I do that sometimes when I get excited.

You know what this means? If you download the Kindle version? You know that audiobook he’s always yammering about, the one narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, who he claims won a Grammy, whatever that is? Well, if you “buy” the Kindle copy, you can get the $24 audiobook for frickin’ $2.99! Do you believe that? $2.99! That’s like, practically, nothing. Oh, they’re going to take a bath on this one, after you all run out and buy it. I can’t wait to hear them shriek!

Go! Do it! Now!  (But remember—don’t frickin’ tell anyone, and don’t share this post!  Now, what’d I just say??? And especially don’t tell D/u/f/u/s/-/J/e/f/f/ Regular-Jeff.)

Why are you still here? Go and get it!

Here he comes! I’m outta’ here!

 

Dragons Fly Free!

Big news for dragon lovers! Today, Dragon Rigger is FREE in ebook, for a limited time only. With a little help from my friends at Bookbub, another boost from the folks at eBookDaily, and (I hope) the help of all of you in spreading the word, I hope to put a lot of copies of Dragon Rigger in a lot of new readers’ hands!

Dragon Rigger is science fiction, but with a distinct flavor of mythic fantasy. It’s one of my favorite children! If you like interstellar space stories, I hope you’ll like it. If you like dragons, I’m sure you’ll like it. It’s the sequel to Dragons in the Stars, and is part of the much larger Star Rigger Universe.

If you don’t already own a copy in ebook, now’s the time to grab one. And please let others know! Thanks!

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google | Smashwords


Free Range Panglor!

The tide waters have receded, and I am back to my usual shenanigans. Today I am mercilessly giving away ebooks of my novel Panglor, to anyone who will take a copy.

That’s right. Panglor’s story is FREE, for a limited time only, in just about every ebookstore you can ask for. Buy it now! It’s free! It’s almost like not buying it at all! (But you still have to “buy” it to get it for free.)

If you are a regular listener, you know that I have done this sort of thing before. In fact, last May 21st, I ran a Bookbub ad for Neptune Crossing free, and over about a week and a half, there were something like forty-thousand downloads. That’s a lot of new readers and potential readers. (Even I realize that not everyone is immediately hunkering down to read their free downloads. But you know what, it turns out a lot of them did.) That last giveaway, intended to /s/e/t/ t/h/e/ h/o/o/k/ i/n/t/o/ entertain readers who were previously unaware of The Chaos Chronicles, was a big success. Sales were up for a good two, two and a half months after the ad.

Just to clarify for the sake of you aspiring writers hoping for fame and fortune, this does not mean I’m getting rich. I could still earn more in just about any other line of work, except maybe teaching. But sales are going nicely indeed, and I’m getting occasional gratifying emails from appreciative readers who discovered those books via the free intro.

So I’m trying again, but this time with the Star Rigger Universe—which is a more loosely bound collection of stories than the linear Chaos series. Panglor is the first book, at least in the chronology of the future history, but after that, the order is not intuitively obvious. I’ve spent much of the last week, when not fighting back floodwaters, writing all-new “from the author” notes at the end of each book, suggesting the next read in the series—and putting in appropriate excerpts of the recommended next book. Time consuming, that, but I hope in the long run it will help readers find their way in an enjoyable tour of the Star Rigger Universe.

In just twelve hours since the Bookbub ad ran, there have been over 21,000 downloads—in the Kindle store alone!

So what are you waiting for?? Queue up and buy your free book!

How Many Ebooks Can We Give Away? And Why Would We?

The ebook in question is Neptune Crossing, which has been my free loss-leader for several years now. I ran a Bookbub ad on it the other day, to try to goose interest in the downloads, which had dwindled to a small handful every day. The result? Over 32,000 downloads in two days! Zounds! (About three fourths of the free downloads are at Amazon Kindle, and the other quarter are spread out among B&N Nook, Apple, Google, and Kobo.)

Why would I want to do such a crazy thing? Ha-ha, crazy like a fox! (A smart fox, I hope, not a rabid fox.) The answer, of course, is that I hope everyone who reads their free copy will be so eager to read the next books in the series that they’ll fall all over themselves rushing to buy them. Stampede! That’s what I’m talking about.

So is it happening? Well, paid sales went up the same day at Amazon Kindle. Not out-of-the-ballpark up, but nicely and encouragingly up. At the other stores, I haven’t seen any change whatsoever. Is that because of the sheer weight of Amazon, or because of some difference in the algorithms of how books are shown to customers in the stores? Wouldn’t I like to know.

Anyway, time will tell. People need a chance to read the books, after all. I hope it looks interesting enough that they won’t put it on their to-read pile and forget about it. Excuse me a moment while I shout:

“Hey, folks who downloaded Neptune Crossing! I hope you read it and like it! And if you do, please leave a review! And try the next book in the series!”

And thank you.
 

Reality Runs Free!

Actually, I don’t know if reality, per se, is running free, but my book Reality and Other Fictions, is free in ebook for the month of August! Really!

Why would I do such a crazy thing? Because I want more people to give a try and see if they like it. And if they like it, maybe they’ll give it a good review somewhere.* And they might even try some of my other books, while they’re at it.

*Please do! It hardly has any reviews in the stores. And as I’ve said before, reviews matter.

Here’s what it’s about, according to the blurb writer (me again):

Five science fiction stories to ignite the imagination.

Explore an Earth being devoured by entropy, in the ultimate runaway environmental crisis. Dive the depths of the sea to prevent the mother of all oil spills. Rocket into space as a tourist. Mine the asteroids with your enhanced border collie, in the can-do spirit of classic science fiction. These stories appeared in publications as varied as Science Fiction Age, F&SF, and the Boston Sunday Herald. They include Carver’s first published short fiction, and his most recent. With new introductions, all from the author of The Chaos Chronicles and Eternity’s End.

Contents:
Reality School: In the Entropy Zone
Of No Return
Seastate Zero
Rocket Ride!
Dog Star

There’s a pretty big range of types of story in this one, and I hope you’ll find something to your liking. It’s free to try! And for that matter, to keep.

Right now it’s free at Book View Café, Kobobooks, and Smashwords. Soon it should show up free at Nook and Apple. If you see it free there, you could do me a big favor by going to Amazon and reporting a “lower price elsewhere” (scroll down to Product Details)—in hopes of getting them to make it free, too. (You can’t do that directly at Amazon, unless you go into one of their exclusive programs, which I prefer not to do.) Thanks a million. Oh, and grab a free copy while you’re at it.

Amazon | Nook | Apple — free soon!

(Okay it’s free at Kobo again. Still waiting for Nook and Apple, though, and I can’t make it free at Amazon until it’s free at one or both of those places. Amazing how hard it can be to give something away.) 
 

New Covers, Going Free, and Like That

My friend Rich Bowker blogged recently on the reasons for making a book free for a limited time. He doesn’t mention what I think is the main reason for giving away books, which is to introduce your work to new readers who you hope will become returning regulars. But he makes a good case for doing it for the reviews you hope the giveaway will generate.

I’ve had Neptune Crossing free for a long time now, in hopes of introducing new readers to The Chaos Chronicles—and there are three more books already available for said new readers to spend their hard-earned money on (with one more in the writing, and one last book planned). And it seems to be working. But reviews are definitely important, too, and if you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books, I hope you’ll take a few moments to post a review (or several!) at the store where you shopped, or Goodreads, or another social networking site. Careful readers (or maybe I should say, compulsive readers) may note that I’ve been gradually updating my ebooks with requests at the ends for the appreciative reader to click a link and post such a review. They really make a difference—partly in guiding other potential readers, and partly because they can affect sales algorithms and whether a particular book will be accepted into a promotion such as Bookbub or The Fussy Librarian. Your vote counts!

Another thing I’ve been doing lately is getting some new covers made, to replace my early and rather crude efforts on the Chaos books. Here’s the new one I’ve just uploaded for Strange Attractors!

I still have The Infinite Sea to do. I’m still searching for the right image.

Grab Dover Beach for Free Today

My friend Richard Bowker’s excellent future private eye novel Dover Beach is a Nook free ebook today. If you don’t already have it, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy right away and read about Walter Sands, book-lover and P.I. in the post-war shambles of Boston. I recently reread it, and enjoyed it just as much as I did when it first came out. It’s well worth paying for, but today you can download it for free.

Rich also took the opportunity of this listing on the Barnes and Noble site to give my own Chaos Chronicles omnibus a shout-out, so I’m sitting here rubbing my hands together, waiting for the gold to spill into my lap. Thanks, pal; I won’t forget you when I’m rich and famous.

Comet ISON: John Bandicut?

It took a loyal reader to point it out to me: The coming close encounter of Comet ISON with the sun is kind of reminiscent of a fateful ride taken by John Bandicut in my novel Neptune Crossing. (Tip of the space helmet to Kyle Michael Jeynes for noting it on my Facebook page.) Of course, in Bandicut’s case, he and the quarx Charlie were chasing the comet.

If you haven’t read Neptune Crossing, you should. I need the sales! No, actually it’s free, pretty much everywhere fine ebooks are to be found. Or, you could take the plunge and buy it in a high quality omnibus with the next two books in the series. Only $6.99 for three complete novels! A steal, even if you can get the first one by itself for free!

Seriously, though, ebook sales have been down something fierce the last few months. It’s been true for me, and I’m hearing it from a lot of other writers, too. Maybe it’s the economy, combined with organized governmental dysfunction. Even our local beer and wine store reports a recent sales slump. If people aren’t buying likker, you know there’s a problem!

So, support your favorite author and buy a book today. Or, maybe even better, recommend your favorite author to someone who hasn’t had the pleasure yet. Your favorite author will thank you.

Help the Launchpad Astronomy Workshop

Speaking of great causes, if you like science fiction that actually gets the science right, there’s nothing better than the annual Launchpad Astronomy Workshop, which since 2007 has been training writers in the basics, as well as some of the finer points, of astronomy. In the early years, when I attended, Launchpad was paid for by grants from NASA and NSF. Now, funding is scarce, and the workshop needs a helping hand from people who care. Science fiction, after all, provides inspiration for future generations of scientists, as well writers, artists, and readers of all kinds. 

If you’d like to help, there’s just one more day left to make a donation to the crowd-funding of this important program. There are all kinds of free books available to reward donations—all donated by author or publisher-alums of the program (like me!) Check out the donations page and get a free book while helping a great cause!

For Some Very Good Free Ebooks…

Show us your Nook! Or your pretend-Nook, if you don’t have a Nook. From now through Dec. 31, a bunch of authors, including the one attached to my fingers, are giving away a free ebook from Book View Café. All you have to do is visit Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s Live Journal page at http://alfreda89.livejournal.com/. She has the instructions there. The idea is you post a picture of yourself with your Nook to Cat’s Livejournal or Facebook page, and in return you get some coupon codes for free books. Just go to Book View Café to collect. Nothing to register—just use the coupon codes to download epub editions of the books.

I’m giving away Eternity’s End, a Nebula finalist. You’ll also get Cat’s Fires of Nuala, Vonda N. McIntyre’s Starfarers, and Jennifer Stevenson’s King of Hearts, all in DRM-free epub editions. (Which means, among other things, that if you have a Kindle pretending to be a Nook, you can easily convert the epub to mobi-Kindle format with Calibre, a free program.) See Cat’s page for a list of other participating authors.

Here’s where you can go to collect your epub copy of Eternity’s End once you have your coupon code: http://bookviewcafe.com/bookstore/bvc-author/jeffrey-a-carver/.

Hurry! Before we run out of ebooks!