Thank goodness the promotion is over!

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What many of today’s readers conveniently forget, or are wholly ignorant of, is the fact that getting your hands on a free copy of any book is a privilege, not a right!

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To that end, the one time only five day promotion for this book ended at midnight California Time – that’s 8am this morning, here in the UK. From now on, if you want a copy you will have to open your wallet, set the moths free, and spend money buying it like everybody else.

Here are the two main links – Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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The following is the breakdown of the free copies taken:

Amazon US – 46

Amazon UK – 5

Amazon Germany – 2

Amazon Japan – 1

Amazon India – 3

The burning question now is how many of the fifty-seven free copies will actually be read, let alone reviewed? I’ll know the answer when I see movement on KDP’s Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read, along with any review posted on the book’s relevant Amazon page.

For your information, 170 pages equals one copy of the book read. So I’ll know exactly how many of you actually bothered to read it. Back in the real world, past experience dictates that the numbers of pages read, and the reviews, will be pitifully low. So how about proving me wrong for a change. After all I gave you a free copy out of the goodness of my heart. So now its time for you to do the decent thing by me in return, don’t you think? Read and review it!!!

😉

What is the point?

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Get your copy of Céleste’s love story by clicking on the cover above if you buy from Amazon.com. For anyone in the UK, here is the link.

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Now to the point of this post.

To paint you a picture of publishing today, typical for Indies, sales of Céleste’s love story are practically non existent at thirteen copies, eleven of them bought via Amazon in the US, one in Australia, and one here in the UK. In other words – situation normal these days for the vast majority of fulltime Indie writers like myself. At that rate it will take me years, possibly decades, just to get back the money spent on taking the gamble to get a professional cover done!

Normally when I offer a book for free to promote it, hundreds of copies are taken up by people who love to get something for nothing, even if they have no intention of actually reading the book in question. Not this time. Just thirty – truly pathetic!

Even the pre-publishing promotion period only resulted in one copy eventually being bought. As for the reviews – she has a measly two.

Click here to read them.

Why do I bother spending months writing a book, all the while promoting it, not to mention spending money, which I can ill afford, if no one wants to read it? Why do any of us for that matter?

Because we love to write, even if you can’t be bothered to read the end product, that’s why!

The hackneyed excuse often used here in the UK for not reading any given ebook is “Oh, I only ever read real books.” What complete and utter tripe! Whether it appears for sale as an electronic file, on paper, or carved in marble – a book is still a book!!!

It’s funny how people are always quick with their praise whenever we writers offer snippets from the book we’re working on via our blogs or webpages. But when it comes to actually buying a copy, suddenly they vanish from the face of the Earth!

Are you one of those of whom I speak?

Help Céleste out by doing something that completely goes against the grain for you, especially if you live here in the UK. Buy an ebook copy of her story at $2.99 US, or £2.06 UK.

PS Goblin Tales is another glaring example of zero sales, despite it being praised up hill and down dale by some of those who bought and read them in their original form, prior to my updating them.

PPS – Without significant sales of Céleste, which by the way is extremely well written (ask Nicholas Rossis and Derek Haines if you don’t believe me). At the moment I am seriously considering publishing no more books in the future.

Talking to one or two other long time published writers within the Indie writing community, like me they are also considering the same thing. We don’t need the aggravation, angst and heartache of constantly having to bang our heads against a damned brickwall each time we bring out another title. Will we carry on writing? Of course. But only for our personal enjoyment and that of our dear friends, who are mostly fellow writers.

Unless you are totally indifferent to the plight of an Indie writer, you will have deduced by now that I’m not exactly enamoured with the reading public at the moment. Mind you its not just me who feels this way. All writers find themselves between a rock and a hard place, while hoping upon hope to be read – which is all any of us want, truth be told.

Believe it or not, even our brothers and sisters working for traditional publishing rarely if ever earn more than £11,000 pa – a figure well below the poverty line, but positively stratospheric compared to the average Indie earnings of maybe £100pa, if we’re lucky.

Years ago when my fellow writer and good friend Derek Haines and I started out, the ebook world was our oyster. It was good while it lasted…

😦

More News Concerning Céleste’s Progress

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Well, things have finally gone the way I wanted them to regarding the cover for my latest W.I.P Céleste. As you can see from the above advertising banner, (click on it and the Kindle cover below to see them in more detail) I finally found someone prepared to come up with the cover quality the story demands to make it stand out from the crowd.

The cover artist’s name is Alexios Saskalidis who can be contacted at https://www.facebook.com/187designz. He was recommended to me by my fellow scifi author and friend, Nicholas Rossis. As you may have guessed, like Nicholas, Alex is domiciled in Greece. He is the one responsible for all of Nicholas’ excellent book covers. I can tell you this, I’ve already told him that he will be getting all my future trade if the eyecatching cover below is anything to go by. He doesn’t come cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but quality is always well worth the price paid in my book, if you will pardon the pun.

I know I’m once again onto an absolute winner when it comes to Céleste, as I was three years ago when I came up with a timely story written around the dire predictions about the end of days when the New Ager fraternity misinterpreted why the Mayan Calendar had ended in 2012, in my novel The Seventh Age (which became a best seller by Indie standards, at well in excess of 200,000 sales).

Since then it has become more difficult to attrack potential readers for any book. This new story deserves to be given the same chance if it is to succeed in what has now become a saturated marketplace. Ask any other full time author you care to name and they will all tell you the same thing; no matter how good the story may be, these days unless a book’s cover attracts the attention of potential readers, you are quite literally wasting you’re time…

Alex has been producing high quality covers for years. Therefore he is full of ideas. In this case he came up with a much better alternative to what I had in mind for the cover. So far, apart from the above banner which is one of three I will be using as pre publication advertising until I finally publish Céleste sometime next year, he has aready provided me with the Kindle version of the cover shown below. Using the material I supplied to him (blurb, bio and my mug shot), he has also created the paperback version. But until I finish writing the book and can give him the final page count, along with the CreateSpace template size I have finally settled on, which will be the standard paperback size, (5×8 inches) understandably he is holding off from sending the finished product to me.

CELESTE cover 8,5 x 11In the meantime Céleste has taken an entirely different direction to the way I originally intended. To begin with I saw it as being a ‘dyed in the wool’ science fiction tale, full of adventure and dangerous situations. But I’ve now gone down an entirely different route, largely thanks to the way the characters are interacting with one another. Apart from the ongoing love affair between Céleste and the mission commander David O’Leary, there are now two more slowly emerging from among the ranks of the remaining crew members aboard Apkallu.

Why have I decided this is the way to go rather than sticking with hard core scifi? Well, I was reading another of Derek Haines’ informative articles the other day concerning what sells in todays world of books and what doesn’t. From the research information he came across, it turns out that by far the most popular genre being bought and read these days is romance, (over 80% of the market). So to appeal to that readership I’m combining the three romances as the main thrust of what is essentially still a science fiction story at heart.

By the way If you think that the stunningly beautiful Céleste looks like trouble as she moodily peeks out at you from the cover, I can tell you that she very definitely can be, especially when provoked. Even though I’ve just finished putting the finishing touches to the fourth chapter, already two of David’s crewmates have fallen foul of her – one of them twice.

Well that’s about it for now. I realy must get back to it, as chapter five now beckons. So far the word count stands at 20,843. It’s pointless me giving you the number of pages as I’ve yet to transfer the text to the CreateSpace Word template I’ve decided on. Having grown heartily sick of Createspace endlessly bleating on about my sending them an A4 sized .doc file, I experimented with a larger size of template the other day and the page count then came out at thirty-eight, way more than the standard A4 page count of twenty-two of the original file. I’ve a feeling that if I did transfer it to the new template at the moment, it would easily exceed fourty pages already.

So in the meantime if you will excuse me, I’ve got the intricacies of three romances to be getting on with.

More later folks,

Jack

😀

Definitely a wood for the trees moment?

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This post follows on from the other day – https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/a-message-to-the-slackers/ where one of the commenters (Ken Thackerey) questioned my thoughts on reviews being the author’s only real means of knowing how many people actually read a free copy of a book. He got me thinking further on the subject.

***

Why do some books become best sellers? Is it the fact that the author promoted their book, hoping for sales, by initially giving it away once it was published? Perhaps it’s because the author publicised it on every book and social media site, not to mention their blog? Could it be because the author let it sit for a while in preorder mode, prior to publication? Maybe its the cover? Maybe its the fact that it was edited by a professional, or that a lot of money was spent having it promoted? Each one of them is standard practice, and yes they all help. But only up to a point. Might it have anything to do with genre? Not necessarily.

Then the penny finally dropped. It’s none of them or any combination you care to come up with. I’ll tell you why some books succeed while the rest don’t. It’s only taken me twenty years to finally figure it out. Call it a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees if you like. It’s blindingly obvious once you see it. The answer was staring me in the face all the time from the books in my library. It’s in yours too.

In this day and age, no matter the genre, or how much time and effort you put into bringing that story to life to make it stand out from the crowd, what any book needs is reviews. It doesn’t matter how good the story might be. Nor does it matter how eye-catching the cover is, or how much money was spent on having it promoted. To become popular, and therefore by osmosis, to be considered a best seller, if it doesn’t have glowing reviews prior to publishing, quite simply you are wasting your time. I’m not talking about those written by the general public after a book is published. Instead I’m talking about presale reviews.

Look at the cover of any book coming out of any traditional publishing house. Whether the author is a known quantity or a newcomer, all trad publishers ensure that each book they put out receives a smattering of excellent reviews prior to publishing, one or two on the front cover. Others inside after the title page, and maybe one on the back cover along with the author’s bio. It’s simplicity itself when you think about it.

What about Indies? Does this apply to them as well? Emphatically yes. I known what I’ll be doing with my next novella or novel before I publish it. Oh, and no more free samples…

😉

From now on it’s entirely in your hands!!!

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The one and only chance anyone had to get themselves a free copy of my latest scifi novella The Guardian, is at an end. As I mentioned in the previous post read hereat the end of its promotional period I said I would give the story its final edit. Well I did. Yesterday (Monday) I uploaded the totally error free version to Smashwords, Creatspace and KDP, prior to it coming online at full price.

How do I know it’s error free? Trust me, if it contained so much as a single error Smashwords would have immediately rejected it. When it comes to quality control they are extremely particular, more so than Creatspace or KDP even know how to be!

To buy your eBook copy in the format of your choice on Smashwords click here

To buy your Kindle or paperback copy at Amazon.com  click here

To buy your Kindle or paperback copy at Amazon.co.uk click here

With so many new books coming out daily, it came as no surprise to me whatsoever how few free copies were actually downloaded. The days of a free copy of any book in a promotion being taken up in its hundreds or even the low thousands are well and truly over thank goodness. In The Guardian’s case, over the five day period one hundred and five free Kindle copies were taken. If you are interested in sales statistics, here is its final rating at the end of the promo.

Amazon.com rating:

#27 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > Science Fiction

#1517 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction

Amazon.co.uk rating:
#7,003 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

#21 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > Science Fiction

In Amazon.com’s case the best it placed was nineteenth in the top one hundred free list. In Amazon.co.uk’s case it achieved even better at sixteenth.

***

Well that’s it. I can do no more, except to continue advertising it on numerous social media sites, and here on my blog from time to time. Now its fate is in your hands. You need to read and review it. If you don’t, it will wind up among the millions of unread books out there. Even if science fiction, or in this case – erotic science fiction, isn’t necessarily your bag, the very least you can do is to help spread the word by reblogging this post, and by uploading the above links on your Facebook page and Twitter feed as well as any other’s you may contribute too. Plus, don’t forget to recommend it to a friend.

PS – If you do decide to follow Chris-The Story Reading Ape’s example (thanks Chris, much appreciated) by writing a review, please make sure that you post it separately on the Amazon site for your country as well as Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, both on the Kindle and paperback versions. Why? Because any review posted on Amazon.com does not automatically get added to the Amazon site you purchased your Kindle or paperback copy from in your respective countries, and vice versa. While you are at it, don’t forget to add your review on Smashwords (click on the link above) as well pretty please.

PPS – now its high time this writer took a much needed rest until next year.

Thanks

😉

 

The Guardian Is Now Available For Purchase

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Click on the cover to go to Amazon.com

Well, here it is folks. The Guardian is now available for purchase in paperback. You can order your copy on any Amazon site as well as on Createspace. If you are one of the minority of people who never buy anything online, (I’m acquainted with one or two of them) but would still like to purchase a copy, simply go to your local bookshop and ask them to do it for you. All you will need to provide is the following information:

The Guardian by Jack Eason

ISBN-13: 978-1515213611
ISBN-10: 1515213617
BISAC: Fiction / Science Fiction / Adventure

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If you buy directly from Createspace or your nearest Amazon outlet it will cost you US$5.38, or your country’s equivalent (£3.45 here in the UK) plus postage and packaging.

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You will note that I’ve changed the cover. While I still like the original cover pictured above, to give The Guardian a decent chance to attract readers across the world, I decided to go with the more professional looking one seen at the top of this post. One or two of my fellow writers pointed out that to their way of thinking, the original gave the impression of it being a cover more suited to a horror story, instead of an erotic science fiction tale.

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Will it appear as an eBook? Given the way books offered in that particular format instantly attract internet trolls and pirates, especially when offered for free in any online promotion, I’m sorry to disappoint any of you but it won’t happen in the immediate future. In six months or so, if and when I do decide to offer it as an eBook it will be via Smashwords.

So for now my muse and I are taking a much needed R&R break until next year. We’re both worn out. Go on, buy yourselves a copy, you know you want to. Don’t forget that like any other book out there, The Guardian needs reviews, be they good, bad or indifferent to help sell them.

😉

Derek Haines’ Latest Novel Is Out

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My good friend and fellow author Derek Haines, has just released his latest novel. If you enjoy reading his posts here on my blog, then I guarantee that you will love to read his books.

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When one door closes, there is alway another, all too ready to slam you in the face!

It doesn’t take long to destroy your house of cards life, when there are those around you who are ready to blow an ill and vengeful wind your way. In Sam’s case, his secure, stable and perhaps, even boringly comfortable suburban life is turned on its head in a matter of hours. Within days, his life is twisted beyond belief, and with the passing of only a few short weeks, his life is well on course for complete and utter destruction.

Yet, no matter the evil one perceives in others, in the end, it is often one’s own deeds that come back to haunt you. Being no angel, Sam discovers that he can’t walk away from his own mistakes, misadventures and misgivings, although his conscience would prefer to blindly ignore his own failings.

His only possible means of escape comes by sheer chance, and an accident, yet he is so blinded by bitterness and hate that he shuns his one true hope of a possible return to reality, and normality.

In doing so, he exposes himself to having his life torn to shreds.

Through his own selfish and inescapable mistakes, he is to be savagely cut to pieces, by three ill and very vengeful winds, who all wish to render their revenge upon him.

Read Cut In Three – a very noir and bitter account of life in the all too real.

Derek's cover

Click the cover to get your copy from Amazon.com

Another Teaser For You

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As many of my faithful blog followers and readers already know, I’m currently writing my latest work in progress, a science fiction novella, entitled The Guardian. While I am thinking about what will happen next in the story, I’m constantly doing rewrites, polishing what I’ve come up with so far. While many writers, especially those new ones hoping to break into this tough game we all play, don’t do it, this technique is by far my preferred way of working these days, as slow as it undoubtedly is.

At long last I can say that I’m satisfied with two parts of the future package, the cover shown above, and the hook to entice potential readers. So, here for your delectation is the hook that will appear along with the novella once I’ve published it (eBook only) on Amazon, later this year. Let me know what you think.

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Combine the mysterious disappearance of not one, but two groups of technicians in a remote Olivine mine situated in the Ganges Chasma on Mars, during the twenty-second century, together with two illusive sinister characters, plus a scorching love affair between the hero and a member of his team, and what have you got? I’ll tell you – a tale you know you must read.

***

More later

😉

The complete collection so far

OnetTurning Point7th ageForgottenThe Next AgeGoblin Talesursus-front-coverCataclysm

With the exception of Onet’s Tale, which is no longer available, either as an eBook or in paperback, all you have to do is to click on whichever eBook you are interested in to go to its corresponding Amazon.com link. If you don’t normally buy via Amazon.com, you can always find the eBook link you seek by first of all clicking on the relevant page link for you in the following list.

Nothing could be easier.

***

If you live in the Netherlands, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.nl/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-9603400-8105154?__mk_nl_NL=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Germany, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason&rh=n%3A530484031%2Ck%3AJack+Eason

If you live in France, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/280-2910619-3635906?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Spain, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.es/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/277-9237284-1409746?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Italy, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.it/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-3173850-6452712?__mk_it_IT=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Japan, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-0278014-1105143?__mk_ja_JP=%E3%82%AB%E3%82%BF%E3%82%AB%E3%83%8A&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in India, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in Canada, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/184-3433483-4301906?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Brazil, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.br/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-7535102-2859815?__mk_pt_BR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Mexico, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.mx/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-5143004-3863603?__mk_es_MX=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Australia, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-2168353-7357751?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

You can also find links to my books on AuthorsDen

The Latest Progress Report for The Guardian

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If you read the lovely Jo Robinson’s post yesterday on getting bored with your current WIP, https://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/do-you-love-your-book/ all is not lost. It might just be that you are nearing the end of the particular WIP, even though you don’t realize it.

What do I mean? Read on…

***

I’ve finally realized after many sleepless nights and endless hours of thought that my current science fiction WIP – The Guardian in all likelihood will end up as a long short story. In fact, the more I think about it – it’s a given. Each story always dictates its own length. Despite what many may think, the writer often has no say in the matter. Why? Because once we start a story in a specific way, it inevitably guides you towards where it needs to end, regardless of what you want. In other words, the story is in charge, not you.

In this particular instance, one thing and one thing only brought me to this conclusion. The Guardian’s natural fast pace. The very thought of trying to maintain such a pace until I pass the eighty or one hundred and fifty thousand word mark, simply doesn’t bear thinking about. I did that once many years ago to the detriment of my health, never again. Yes I could have written endless pages of totally boring, nauseous descriptive prose and mind numbing dialogue. But that’s not me these days. That’s not the way I write any more. After many years I’ve finally seen the light!

For the handful of individuals who actually bought and read my scifi novella Cataclysm, (published last year) who got in touch with me privately, the one thing that the majority of you communicated was the fact that I kept it uncluttered and fast paced.

Maintaining a blog like mine soon teaches you how to convey what you want to say with the bare minimum of carefully chosen words.

Many writers still prefer to delude themselves into thinking that writing between eighty and one hundred and fifty thousand words is the only way to go. Not necessarily so, especially in this day and age. The times we live in along with reader tastes have dramatically changed in the last ten years or so, in favour of the shorter literary work. Both of the aforementioned are signs which no writer can now afford to ignore.

Think about it, how many times recently have you read a book from beginning to end, only to forget what it was all about by the time you eventually arrived at the last page, or far worse, wound up totally confused from information overload? Even the top one percent of writers hate having to artificially fill a manuscript merely to keep their literary agent, editor and publisher happy.

I recently learned that busy commuters across the world are my main reading group these days. Fifteeen years ago it was my contemporaries. Times definitely change…

As an Indie, I now only have to please myself and the wishes of the modern commuting reader who wants a fast paced story, paired down to the essential nitty gritty, and of course, told well. So now that I’ve finally made the decision, based purely on the way the story is panning out, I’ll be heading towards the first of several possible conclusions. I’ll settle on which one over the next few weeks.

I’ve only ever written one novel (back in 2003) that exceeded one hundred and fifty thousand words. The fact that writing it led to my suffering a total mental breakdown brought on by the stress of it all, which damn near ended me, should be a salutary lesson for anyone contemplating writing such a lengthy work.

The novel in question became my first published work back in 2010. It was a science fiction space opera entitled Onet’s Tale. While it still appears on Amazon, it is no longer available. Besides my paperback ‘author’ copy, and my Kindle one, I still have it as an unedited .pdf file for anyone who wants to read it. If you want an unbiased view about it, ask Chris The Storyreading Ape what he thought. He read the .pdf version.

I’m not an old stick in the mud. I do take notice of trends. Now I’d better get back to it. If anyone thinks that writing is easy, tell them to just try pairing down a story to its absolute essentials as I did with Cataclysm last year, and am currently doing with The Guardian, to suit a specific emerging eBook market – the busy commuter. The things we do for our readers eh?

PS – because it will be a long short story, when the time comes I’ll price it at a mere US$0.99. If Amazon allowed it, I would like it to be even cheaper. But unfortunately Amazon doesn’t do Permafree.

Be good…

😉