I thought perhaps you might appreciate a helping hand

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In order to assist all of you in deciding whether or not you will actually want an Ebook copy of my crossover novella Céleste, pictured above, pay attention!!

To clarify, at the moment there is absolutely no point whatsoever in you trying to look for it. I thought I’d better make that point crystal clear as some people think its already available. NOT YET – BE PATIENT!

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it is right here on my blog, along with its Amazon.com link.

In the meantime to help you out a little more, I have the greatest of pleasure in publishing for the first time anywhere, the carefully considered impressions of three of today’s finest writers in their respective genres, in the order in which I have included them on the novella’s second page, where you will find that I have hyperlinked their respective names back to one of their own books in grateful thanks. They will also feature together with the blurb as its online description (in that instance, minus the hyperlinks of course) once I have submitted it for publication.

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“Eason’s best work yet, his new book Céleste combines romance and science fiction in a story that has a twist on every page” – Nicholas Rossis

 
“Romance beyond the stars abounds in this sensuous sci-fi, entwined with mission, morals and lust. Eason takes us to a place where human desire dwells in mankind and aliens alike, no matter how many light years away” – D.G. Kaye

“Jack Eason never rests. When he is not knee deep in archaeology, or wandering around forests in elf fables, he is busy combining sci-fi with a little added romantic spice” – Derek Haines

 

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One last thing, if any of you are hoping I will offer it for free at some point – sorry, but that will not be the case where this novella is concerned. I invested a lot of money in commissioning its cover, which I need to recoup. You don’t do that by giving the book away now do you?

So, there you have it. As you saw, Nicholas, Debby and Derek loved reading it, hopefully you will too…

More later,

Jack

😀

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…

😉

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.

😉

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…

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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…

😉

Visualising My Female Characters

When it comes to the female characters in my books, I grow extremely fond of every one of them, even the evil ones. What can I say, when it comes to my fictional women, whatever they want me to say about them, happens. You would comply too if you have ever tried putting words in your female character’s mouth that you know full well she would never ever utter, or tried forcing her into a particular situation which a woman like her would never ever willingly enter into.

Believe me, when you live with one of them in your head as I do each time I write a book, for the sake of your sanity and a quiet life, you do as your character demands. If you think you are creating a character, forget it, your not. They creat and reveal themselves. All you as the writer have to do is listen to what they are saying. Having said that, before you reach for the phone to call the men in white coats to take me away in a straight-jacket, no I’m not mad. I’m just a writer.

It helps me enormously if I can either find a photograph of a particular individual closely resembling who I have in mind, or perhaps even an illustration or painting. For instance, in my best selling scifi adventure novel The Seventh Age, I needed to get a clear image in my head of the principal female character, an alien who tracks and protects the hero Nick Palmer, wherever he goes. It wasn’t until I was reading the late Mac Tonnies’ blog one day, that I came across the artwork for the cover of his book The Cryptoterrestrials, which I immediately bought a copy of, and thoroughly enjoyed reading. Staring back at me from the cover exactly as I had always imagined her, was the hauntingly beautiful face of Ithis, the androgynous alien inhabiting my mind at the time.

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When it came to writing my recent novella Cataclysm last year, the story has two strong feminine characters, Arianna a beautiful example of the third gender, who the hero Gilbert Briggs, falls head over heels in love with, and her nemesis Taliva, another member of the same Apex race as Arianna whose ancestors are responsible for creating mankind, as a docile slave race in the novella. In both cases it helped when I found two particular photographs. The one I used for Cataclysm’s cover depicting Taliva, is actually a photo of a mannequin.

Cataclysm

The other photograph which I came across while looking for an image that said Arianna to me is this one. The fact that the beautiful human being pictured is a real life Arianna, is neither here nor there.

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On the other hand when it comes to any of my male characters, I don’t need any form of visual representation. I find them much easier to come to terms with. All I need is to get their various physical characteristics, character traits, faults and prejudices etc firmly fixed in my mind for the duration of the write.

As for my current work in progress, The Guardian, when it comes to my latest heroine I’m still looking for a photograph that says Lynne Crawford to me. So if anyone knows of a photograph, illustration or painting, depicting a beautiful full bodied woman with honey blond hair in the form of a crew cut hairdo…

In the meantime the picture I currently have of her in my head will have to suffice. Not to worry. One day soon I will eventually find a representation of her, just as I did for all my others, hopefully before I’m halfway through writing my WIP.

😉

Goblin Tales is now available in time for Christmas

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Click on the cover to go to Amazon.com

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If you live in the UK here is its link –

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Click on the cover to go to Amazon.co.uk

***

I’ll give it a month or so before I upload it to Creatspace for the paperback edition.

Happy Christmas reading.

🙂

Cataclysm – now available in paperback

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Cataclysm is now available in paperback as well as an eBook

Click on the cover for paperback or the highlighted word for the Kindle version

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars A challenging, passionate book November 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cataclysm carries distinct echoes of Daeniken’s Chariots of the Gods. The premise is exciting, if somewhat familiar: an ingenious scientist builds a time machine and uses it to discover the truth behind humanity’s creation. What sets apart Cataclysm from similar books is the author’s passionate take on various subjects, from religion to third gender rights. For many, this will be the book’s strongest point.

However, it occasionally meant focusing on one subject but skimming through another. For example, the time travelers come across a city in the Black Sea, 3 mil. years ago. I expected a detailed description of such an amazing discovery; instead, the whole episode is over in a few pages. Oh the other hand, the hero’s apartment is described in exhaustive detail, and an anti-religious speech takes up a number of pages. Similarly, the ending felt somewhat rushed, with a strangely indirect resolution.

Still, if you’re not easily offended and are looking for a challenging, passionate book and an interesting story, this is a book worth checking out.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Yarn! November 7, 2014
By Derek
Format:Kindle Edition
Jack Eason spins another of his ripping yarns in, Cataclysm. His rich knowledge of history along with ancient myths and legends thread through each page, and true to his unique storytelling style, it is punctuated with the occasional pithy dash of the language and dry humour that marks his Kiwi and English upbringing. While Cataclysm has an element of science fiction to it, it is in the historical facts, and myths, which are intertwined with the present that make this such a good read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and ponder! November 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I was lucky enough to be a Beta Reader of this book prior to publishing and can tell you that it is not JUST a ‘science fiction / time travel / action / thriller / romance with a difference’ story that will grip you from the start and keep you gripped throughout.
It will also make you wonder if there might be an element of truth behind the premise of the fiction.
5.0 out of 5 stars Controversially revolutionary November 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an example of an extraordinary author with a voluminous knowledge to share. Cataclysm is a wonderful beginning of a series that will captivate the world. Jack has dealt so well with some difficult topics and expounded upon them quite eloquently. I am thoroughly invested in this concept.
Thank you Jack

Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults” is about to be reborn

Goblin Tales

The Updated Cover For Glob’s Tales

Almost there folks. I have five more tales to rework. Thanks to the artist who conceived the original picture I used for both versions of the cover for Glob’s Tales – Alexey Kuznetsov, and a good friend in the US who worked his magic by changing the wording on the book Glob is reading, you see before you the updated cover. The white lettering is my humble contribution. 😉

Click on the new cover to see it properly, as with the map below.

As for the Goblindom map, thanks to Duncan Niall Boswell, the person responsible for drawing it, it has also been updated.

The Time Before Map

Updated map of Goblindom

Because Amazon has no plans whatsoever of updating all existing bought copies of Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults”, or any other eBook come to that, once Goblin Tales is ready I’m left me with only one choice.

I’ll delete the original from my list of books for purchase on Amazon and replace it with this updated version. For any of you who have bought a copy of the original version, and graciously left a positive review using your own name and not a pseudonym, if you want a free .pdf or .mobi copy, let me know here and we’ll work something out. The easiest way would be for you to give me your email address and your electronic file preference. If you are worried about making your email address public, don’t be. Just add it in a comment below this post and I’ll copy and paste it before removing it. 😉

Hopefully once people no longer see the ‘for adults’ bit, they will feel inclined to buy a copy and enjoy reading it. Deleting the original, means that all of the twenty five reviews on Amazon.com, and the ten on Amazon.co.uk will also disappear. This cannot be helped. If any of you were responsible for the positive reviews, may I suggest that you go directly from here to your respective Amazon sites and copy them, so that once Goblin Tales is up and running, if you feel like it, you can then paste your review once again.

Don’t worry folks, I won’t be updating Goblin Tales again. So in a week or so, it will be adios to Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults”, and a hearty welcome to its reincarnation.

PS – here’s hoping the damned trolls, pedants, armchair critics, grammar nazis and literary snobs leave it alone this time…

😀 😀 😀

Progress Report 14

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My new cover. Just click on it to see it properly

As you’ve all been so patient, with only two chapters to go I thought you might like to be among the first to see the cover for my new adventure novella Catacylsm. Once again I have created it myself.

Yesterday I showed it to two professionals I know, one a leading American cover artist, the other an American graphic designer with over thirty years experience. Both of them specialise in digitally created book covers. In each case the cover met with their approval. Words like ‘stunning’ were uttered, not by me, but by them which did a lot to boost my ego. It’s always gratifying when experts heap praise on your work, don’t you think? These days a cover must be ‘eye catching’ to attract readers. This one certainly is.

Before you ask, no it is not a digital painting. It is a photograph, just like all of my previous covers. It took me ages trawling through my favourite site for photographs – Morguefile.com free stock photos to find the one I wanted. I resized it, improved the quality of the photograph then applied the lettering, all by using my Corel Paintshop Pro X6 64 bit programme. Next I checked the end result in thumbnail and eBook sizes using another indispensable tool I rely on – Calibre.

Here’s hoping that when it appears on Amazon, Cataclysm will be favourably recieved. As I have said previously, if the trolls, armchair critics and pedants want to tear it apart, they’ll have to buy a copy just like everyone else. Just remember that thanks to them, there will be no free giveaways with this one.

When I upload the Kindle version to Kindle Direct Publishing in a month or so, I’ll be pricing it at US$3.00. The cover size is large enough (2000 x 3000 pixels) to suit CreatSpace when I get round to uploading it to them for its paperback version. What the paperback price will be, all depends on their pricing regime. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know.

Once I have finished writing it, it will be down to my faithful team of Beta readers to give the novella the once over while I go about that all important final edit. If any of them think that something needs changing, that’s the time when I will do it.

Meanwhile I am relatively happy with the the way the ‘blurb’ reads at present. Here it is:-

Nothing is every straight forward. Consider what would occur if the origins of mankind, together with many of the preconceptions we hold dear concerning religion, were proven to be false. How would you react? At the end of the twenty-first century, time travel became a reality. Humanity was about to get an unwelcome wakeup call. For hundreds of years history books went unchallenged and all religious beliefs were considered to be inviolable, never to be questioned, until the era of the Teleportation Gate. 

Now I’d better get back to the penultimate chapter. Things are really beginning to hot up.

More later…

PS – Even Chris the Storyreading Ape approves.

PPS – The woman on the cover is exactly how I envisioned one particular character – beautiful but deadly.

😀 😀