More International Ebook News

E-reads, publisher of  nine of my backlist novels, recently announced a huge joint venture with Gollancz of England to add many of their SF titles to the Gollancz ebook list—something like 400 titles. Gollancz has long been one of the premier publishers of SF in the British market, and this will further enrich their list even while it offers a new look and imprint to the E-reads books. The hope, of course, is that this will also boost UK sales for the books being added to the Gollancz list. 

Because my own E-reads books (From a Changeling Star [nice plug at E-reads], Down the Stream of Stars, The Rapture Effect, and six others) are a part of this deal, I’m also hoping that this will help those books find a new audience among the British readers. 

On another front, my own Starstream Publications edition of Sunborn finally has its finished cover, which you will see on the World Edition on sale in Kindle UK/DE/FR, in the iTunes store outside the U.S., and at Smashwords, where it’s offered to non-U.S. readers. (Inside the U.S., the Tor edition is the one to look for, available pretty much everywhere else.)

Here’s the cover Pat Ryan created for me:

And here are some links to help my friends outside the U.S. find it:
Smashwords
iTunes: Canada | UK | Germany | France | Australia

(For some stupid reason it’s not on my author pages in the international
iTunes stores. But those links will get you to it.)

Sunborn World Edition (epub) — At Last!

This has really been a long time coming. If you’re outside the U.S., you can now get a legit ebook of Sunborn, the fourth book in The Chaos Chronicles, in epub format. I got the Kindle version up in the Kindle UK | Kindle DE | Kindle FR stores a few weeks ago, but the epub version (for Nook, Sony, Stanza, iBooks, and a plethora of other platforms) has finally hit the stores. It’s been approved in the Apple iTunes stores in Canada, Australia, the UK, France, and Germany, in DRM-free editions. You can also get it from Smashwords, though I’m contractually obligated to say: If you’re in the U.S., you should buy the Tor edition instead, available from the usual outlets.

Edit: Here are links to Sunborn in the iTunes international stores: 

Edit: the above cover was the placeholder until the final cover was done.  Here’s the new cover:

Sunborn World Edition in Kindle UK/DE!

International readers! You can now buy Sunborn (The Chaos Chronicles #4) in Kindle format outside the U.S.! This has been a long time coming, and it’s mostly my fault, because I didn’t realize for a long time that Tor only had U.S. ebook rights. Anyway, I’ve put a lot of time into trying to make sure everything is right in this ebook version. (If you find any typos, please let me know.)

You can get it now in the Amazon UK store and in the Amazon Germany store.

(Hmm. I just discovered that Tor has a Kindle edition in the German store. That’s a mistake and should be coming down soon, as Tor doesn’t have rights in that geographical area. You should buy the Tor edition in the U.S. and the Starstream version outside the U.S.)

This cover is temporary, by the way, until my crack designer can get to doing a more polished version.

This Starstream edition is DRM-free, and readers of other formats are welcome to convert it to suit their needs. (Calibre is an excellent free program for converting formats and much more.)

An ePub version is coming soon to the Apple store, and that will also be DRM-free.

Cool Things in Space

We might not have the space shuttle anymore, but there’s a lot to be psyched about in space. Here are a few, in case you haven’t heard about them.

Antimatter Orbiting the Earth?
Sounds crazy, but it could be for real. Scientists working with the Pamela spacecraft (Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics, in case you were wondering about the name) report that they have found antiprotons in orbit around the Earth, apparently gathered into bands similar to the Van Allen radiation belts. While not in large enough concentrations to cause passing spacecraft to go boom, the researchers note that they could be a source of fuel for future spacecraft.

Water Flowing on Mars?
Could be. New studies of images from Mars orbit sure look a lot like seasonal flows of water. If it’s the real deal, this could mean liquid water close to the surface, and that could mean a greater likelihood of life on Mars. Now, not a million years ago.

Beer in Space!
Now we’re talking. Yeah, people—including NASA types—are really looking into the possibility of beer in weightlessness. Very serious stuff! They’ve already done parabolic flight testing!

Star Trek Theme Park in Jordan?
Okay, this isn’t real space, but damn. King Abdullah II of Jordan is the main investor in a proposed Star Trek theme park, which has secured $1.5 billion in funding. Plans are to build it in Aqaba, Jordan. King Abdullah, you see, is a Trekfan, and even got himself a cameo appearance, back before he was king, in Star Trek: Voyager. You’ve gotta love it. But I haven’t even made it to Universal Studios yet!

By the way, one reason I haven’t posted in a while is that I’ve been really busy writing. I’ve also finished the proofing of text for the World Edition of Sunborn (crazy problems with Word losing styles, which I’ve finally gotten under control). Look for an announcement soon on that!

Sunborn — World Edition Ebook

I’ve known for a while that folks outside the U.S. have been unable to buy the Sunborn ebook, at least in the Kindle store. All this time, I thought it was a glitch at Tor. Turns out it was a glitch here at the Starrigger Ranch. It seems Tor only holds U.S. ebook rights. This discovery has caused yet another flurry of consternation and ebook production here at Starrigger Central, as I gear up to publish an international edition, for readers in the rest of the world.

This involves several steps:

  1. Preparing the actual ebook. (I can’t just put up the Tor-designed ebook, and I’ve learned a lot about formatting since I put up the free edition, a couple of years ago. So there’s work involved.)
  2. Preparing a cover. My designer, Pat, is booked up until mid-August. I don’t want to wait that long to release the world edition, so we’ll have a temporary cover until then.
  3. Figuring out where to publish it. There’s Amazon.UK and Amazon.DE for the Kindle editions. But the ePub version is trickier, especially if I have to block sales in the U.S. I’m exploring some options right now.

That said, I hope to have it up in a couple of weeks. So if you’re outside the U.S., and you’ve read the first three Chaos books and have been wondering why the hell you can’t buy the fourth, please be patient just a little longer!

Starrigger HQ out.
 

Google Ebookstore Opens

Long promised, the Google Ebookstore opened its doors this week. Naturally, I went to take a look. Also naturally, the first thing I did when I got inside was to see if they had my books. To my surprise and delight, when I clicked on Science Fiction, I found Sunborn on the first page! Whoa, wasn’t expecting that. Further examination found most of my other publisher-issued books. Unfortunately, they’re not all on one page, because some of them are under Jeffrey A. Carver and some are under Carver, Jeffrey A. (The sort of thing that drives you crazy. But they’re there, and we’ll get it straightened out eventually.)

What’s the big deal with Google Ebooks, besides their being one more bit of competition for Amazon? That’s a little hard to parse out, because the information on the site isn’t exactly crystal clear. I know this: you can buy books in PDF or Epub format, and you can read them while tied to the web, and you can read them on a wide variety of devices. There’s a feature that will somehow enable you to patronize your favorite independent bookstore, while buying ebooks from Google. (How that works, I don’t know yet.) There will be books from indie authors, and from backlist ebook types like me. But that’s really murky at the moment. (First report I heard from an author who had tried was…waiting…waiting…for the system to respond. Still waiting…)

Bottom line, I’ll probably get my self-reissued ebooks up there in time. But I’m going to wait for things to shake out a little bit first.
 

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.)

Neptune Crossing Goes Kindle

Now—for the first time in human history!—you can download my novel Neptune Crossing direct to your Kindle, and start reading in seconds, from anywhere in the solar system that you can get Whispernet!  All for a mere $2.99, DRM-free.

This won’t seem earthshaking to those who have downloaded the book for free from my website. But for the Kindle shoppers who, until now, could browse their way wirelessly to my Kindle page and find Sunborn, but not the first three books of The Chaos Chronicles, I hope it’ll make a difference. Strange Attractors and The Infinite Sea will follow. As will uploads to other stores.

Here’s the new cover, designed by yours truly, with the help of Chaoscope. Hope you like it. [Edit: I’ve changed the type color. I liked the red, but it just didn’t show up clearly enough online. Here’s the old and the new.]

Writing Sitrep

Promises, promises. I swore I’d keep you informed how work was going on the new book, which in case you’re forgotten is called The Reefs of Time, fifth volume in the Chaos Chronicles. The answer is: slowly, but steadily. Life continues to get in the way sometimes. Especially life with kids and a mortgage. But I’m solving problems with the book one by one (story problems, I mean), and it’s getting there. This time I’m dealing with time travel—yes, in the Chaos universe, which is the same as the Starstream universe introduced in From a Changeling Star and Down the Stream of Stars. The starstream itself comes into play in this book, as well as the center of the galaxy, where the Survivors lurk. It’s my first real foray into time travel, and I’m finding that possibilities and complications pop out of the woodwork every time you turn around.

The really good news is that I realized just this week that I was enjoying working on the book a lot more than I have for quite a while. That’s the best news of all.

Meanwhile, to help pay the bills, I’m working with another author on a nonfiction project (as a paid consultant editor-writer, not as primary author). It’s taking us into some interesting areas of the law—and, as it turns out, the BP oilspill. Eeesh, what a mess!

It’s nice sometimes to retreat to my fictional pan-galactic world. 

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