Was it truly worth my while?

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Céleste: Love, Hate, Revenge and Danger among the Stars

It never is. But then again I suppose it entirely depends on your point of view. With just thirty-seven copies taken over the five days of the giveaway, you would be forgiven for wondering if it was worth while setting up the exercise.

However, what having a five day giveaway does do at the very least is to make one or two more individuals aware of your writing, even though they normally wouldn’t dream of looking for your work because your one of those dreadful Indie persons who publishes computer files and not real books…

If one or two of those individuals who got themselves a free copy over the past five days, actually bother to read and review it, then perhaps it did do some good after all. Despite everything, I must remain optimistic. After all, for my sins, I am a full time writer.

From my personal point of view there is one positive when it comes to low numbers. It pretty well guarantees that the usual crop of brain-dead individuals who hate any book they’ve read for nothing, will not be venting their spleens about it on Amazon or its adopted child Goodreads any time soon!

Would I ever suggest holding a five day free giveaway of your book or books to any other writer? Not really. I’m sure you will agree that the kind of individual who thinks that spending US$2.99 is too much to pay for an e-book, preferring instead to get it for nothing, is hardly the kind of individual we hardworking writers wish to encourage.

The tightwads will be out of luck when I publish my current historical fiction WIP Autumn 1066 as a paperback later this year. There will be no free copies, other than those I give to my crop of beta readers! Nor will I be spending hundreds of pounds having an eye catching cover created for it, unless it’s initially bought in its thousands, (not much chance of that happening these days for an extremely short historical fiction)! Having said that, if it does sell well as a plain covered paperback, purely because of its content, I will consider publishing it in Kindle form, and having a glossy cover especially designed for it.

Let’s face facts, if a story doesn’t sell itself, there is no point whatsoever in pouring good money after bad by trying to improve its visual packaging in an attempt to make it stand out from the crowd in an already saturated marketplace! The only publications with pretty pictures I know that sell well are called glossy magazines or Bimbo fodder to you and I. When it comes to pictorial covers, those of us who have been in this game for several decades are all guilty of changing them in the past, hoping to shift more copies. Does it majorly improve any book’s chances? Rarely if ever…

Several of my writer friends still constantly change their book covers hoping to catch the prospective reader’s eye. Obviously they have more money than sense. Certainly more than I can lay my hands on. I tried it last year and I’ve yet to get back the considerable amount of money I spent on the above cover through sales. Before you ask, no you do not earn royalties from giveaways, nor pages read of free copies as far as I’m aware!!!

Click on the above link in red to buy your copy from Amazon.com.

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Totally Irrational Thinking

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The one thing that every writer, whether traditional or Indie, whose books are published in e-book form have in common, particularly in non American markets like here in the land of the literary curmudgeon where the printed book is still preferred, is the vehement prejudice against the relatively new publishing format we choose to use. Because they hate the idea of the e-book, they are missing out on so many great tales. Whether they like it or not, the e-book is the next evolution in the history of publishing.

As far as they are concerned, if they can’t hold a book in their hands and physically turn the pages, from their completely illogical point of view the electronic file is not a proper book.

What utter bilge!

I wonder if any of them realise how totally irrational they sound? Whether they like it or not the e-book is here to stay.

Before the first seed change in publishing occurred when the printing press was introduced to the UK in the fifteenth century by William Caxton, the only way itinerant storytellers could pass on their stories was by word by mouth. What the printing press did was to collect their stories in one place, the printed book, for everyone that could read and write, long after the stories would have disappeared when the storyteller eventually died.

Despite the gate keepers, today’s storytellers can be published in a format available to literally everyone who owns a smart phone, laptop, desktop, tablet or a purpose-built ereader such as the Kindle. What the traditionalist stick in the mud’s simply fail to understand is that they are a rapidly diminishing minority.

From the point of view of today’s publishers, it makes good financial sense to publish in e-book form rather than paper. This is a second seed change in publishing that is slowly being accepted by all five major publishing houses. From their point of view, if an e-book doesn’t sell they haven’t lost much financially, unlike remaindering, where to sell the printed copies in stock they have to offer them at a much cheaper price. Either that or pulp thousands of them after taking a financial gamble on what they thought would be the next best seller.

If the publishing houses fully adopt the e-book, it would not surprise me in the least if they cease incentive payments in the form of a financial advance to writers they are considering signing up in the future. Every publishing house is driven by the fact that to remain solvent, above all else they must make a profit. If they spend a lot of money on their stable of writers, they need to recoup it for every book they publish before they show a profit and can afford to pay out royalties. That simply does not occur with an e-book…

A thought just occurred. Maybe the reason why curmudgeons hate the e-book so much is because they cannot bend the ereader back on its spine like a paperback, nor fold the top corner of a page over to act as a book mark. What do you think, am I right??

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Criticism versus Reviews

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What any writer dreads the most are attacks by members of the public, often with an axe to grind…

In days gone by every writer knew that the only individuals who offered opinions about their work were journalists working for leading newspapers, in the guise of literary critics. Back then they encapsulated the essence of a new work of fiction in one line of carefully chosen words taken from the text in question. Never once did their newspaper’s editor allow them to speak harshly against a given work. Instead, they chose to beguile future readers with the use of a single sentence from the book in question as an enticement like the following:

“A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

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Sadly those days are no more. Today, every reader has the freedom to criticise by writing whatever they believe is a review, knowing that they can get away with blue murder, then posting it on book sites such as Amazon. Most are not true reviews at all. Instead what you will see are endless examples of critiques, or far worse! The vast majority believe it is their god given right to tear apart any and every book, in particular ebooks by both traditional and indie authors.

It isn’t! All you are doing is showing your ignorance to the world at large. Some, not all, make it their business to harangue the author of the work they have just written about. A small number will insist that they could have made a far better job of writing the story!

To all of them I ask this – how many of them have ever written anything longer than their own signature I wonder? Have any of them ever had a book published? How would they feel if the boot was on the other foot? Would they feel outraged about the product of all their hard work being considered rubbish by hateful individuals? These people who go on the offensive are too cowardly to use their own name, preferring instead to remain anonymous by hiding behind a pseudonym.

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Are Amazon’s published authors being shafted?

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From their published author’s point of view the answer has to be yes!!!

While the realists among our ranks (myself included) know we will never gain fame and fortune despite our best efforts, when you become a published author you would be forgiven for thinking that once your book(s) has been accepted and published that you are entitled to receive royalties for each copy of your book sold.

That used to be the case with Amazon until they decided to change the rules to save themselves having to honour their side of the agreement in favour of the far cheaper alternative from their point of view – Kindle Edition Normalized Pages!

While the idea of being able to read as many books as you can each month for very little outlay (Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited) may appeal to the avid reader, do any of them for one moment bother to ask themselves whether or not the authors of those books are being provided with royalties for each copy of their book(s) sold by Amazon? I seriously doubt it!

While its true that we do receive a pittance in the form of a few cents for every page read, we do not receive royalties for books sold under the Kindle Unlimited program! In essence what we are subjected to thanks to our books being advertised in Kindle Unlimited is nothing short of blatant exploitation by Amazon!

While we all reluctantly give away a few free copies while promoting a work, regarding it as a necessary evil, what Amazon is doing is outrageous! In essence they deliberately abandoned paying royalties to each author in favour of KU and their cheap skate pay per page read scheme. Did it increase the number of copies bought? No! Nor does the giving away of hundreds of copies in a free promotion, despite what some pro Amazon pundits may say!

As a published author I will never ever obtain a copy of anyone’s book using KU. To do so would be to deprive my fellow published authors of the monetary acknowledgement for their literary endeavours – in other words, their royalty payment. As readers I strongly urge you to consider doing the right thing as well. Buy your copy!

I know there are many tight-fisted individuals who would argue that by getting books using KU they save money, and that in effect they are buying their copy.They could not be more in error if they tried! So the next time you chose a book to read consider paying for it.

DO NOT HIT THE BIG YELLOW ‘READ FOR £0.00’ BUTTON!!!

Before you ask – yes I do have some free copies of ebooks. In total they number less than eight, each one sent to me by their author as a complimentary copy…

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It’s inevitable whenever you publish…

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Hi kiddies, I’m back on the offensive once again.

The following is a classic example of what happens when a Troll goes on the attack by looking for the next title on their hate list:

The text does not flow. I was frequently jolted by missing punctuation and poor sentence structure.
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In this particular instance, the targeted book is my scifi love story:

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Céleste: Love, Hate, Revenge and Danger among the Stars.

And yet, despite the above pathetic attempt to rubbish the book by a specific troll living in Vermont, one Sligo McKluge, when he delivered his blatantly obvious attack, the book continues to receive nothing but praise by those who have actually bought and read it from the beginning to the end. Which begs the simple question – why the hell does Amazon still allow bitter and twisted morons like McKluge to comment in the first place?

Before the peace and brotherly love set jump in to defend him by preaching about the fundamental rights of the individual, insisting McKluge was merely exercising his/its/her/their right to express their personal opinion according to the section on the democratic right to freedom of speech in the first amendment of United States’ Constitution, I would remind you that like every other successfully published author of my acquaintance who are constantly targeted by total fwits like McKluge, I can tell you that that particular argument does not wash! It is nothing more or less than a load of old horse manure, especially when authors do not have the right to veto all one and two star reviews. Or better still, like Facebook, be allowed to block certain people from commenting, or in this instance reviewing!!!

PS – according to KDP, its being read in the US at the moment McKluge, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

Bah Bloody humbug

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Two more reviews…

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Despite everything here are a two more reviews – this time from Amazon Australia

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I loved reading Celeste, where for me Star Trek meets a more current way of thinking, keeping it smaller and simpler in some ways yet much more complex and deep in others. Fascinating turns everywhere from steamy relationships, danger, a ship that comes to life, to meeting different yet familiar entities that have mastered the power of thoughts. A nice not seen before (by me) creative touch at the end, and yes, l would like to find out what happens after, hint, hint 😉
PollyEsther

 

By Chris Graham TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 March 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

A well thought out Space Trek, brief but plausible encounters with Aliens, touching on why they don’t seem to be keen on contacting us, the evolution of an Artificial Intelligence, a look at the origins of some ancient myths and a touch of Romance.
All the boxes are ticked in this latest Sci-Fi tale from author Jack Eason.
Will there be a sequel?
I’d like to think so.
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The top revue is from PollyEster in Australia. The second is from our hairy friend Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape here in the UK. Both of them are followers of my blog. For which I am eternally grateful.
A few more positive reviews like these and I might just be tempted to write a sequal. So get buying and reading people…
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Here is the first UK review

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

If you like your action fast paced this is for you. A beautiful ancient mystical being, an English Archaeologist and an ever changing band of misfits and rogues working together to save the world from a count down to an apocalyptic end.
A secret society and an evil god, trying to stop them from achieving their aim. Working against the clock to reactivate an ancient machine, it takes them across the globe. Will they make it? Love, treachery, heroism and around the world action – what’s not to like? This would make a great movie.
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Now come on the rest of you, follow Kate’s example. Read and review it!
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