Tag Archives: Kindle

Take two looks …

25 May

Take a look to the left, and a look to the right. See something twice?

Yes, it’s The Man with Two Eyes, now available for Kindle and in paperback.

The second Nascent Payne mystery sees our eponymous hero investigating the death of the daughter of his former commander, only to find out he’s been here before.

What’s that mean? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. Get your copy

Still in the works

12 Mar

The White-Silver HouseTwo books are still in editing.

In late November, I completed the final drafts of The White-Silver House, which is the fifth and final book of the fantasy series, The Day Magic Died. Soon afterward, I also completed The Man with Two Eyes, the second Nascent Payne mystery.

I turned those over to my team of critical readers for their input. I have not received input from even half of them yet.

I don’t blame them, however. For one thing, they’re all volunteers. They’re doing this to help me.

It’s also important to note that four of the five had major life changes in the last few months: an unexpected move; a new child; new jobs; etc.

The Man with Two EyesSo I am trying to prod them without being a pest – which is a tough balancing act when you’re already sort of a pest like I am. I’ll keep you posted …

A chance meeting in Austin

10 Mar
Photo by Daniel Mayer

Photo by Daniel Mayer

I’m headed back to the place where everything changed.

Two years ago I was well along in drafting my series, The Day Magic Died. I just had no idea what I would do with it.

It seemed it would be problematic for publishers. I was a first-time novelist, and it’s tough to break into book publishing. It’s also not so much a series of five books, as it is a single huge story in five volumes. I was thinking I probably had to at least have a couple of the volumes written, and all of them drafted, before a publisher would look at them.

Even then, it seemed unlikely that a conventional publisher would commit to publishing all five books.

That’s where my thinking was when I went to South by Southwest, and met Hugh Howey.

I didn’t know who he was until I went to a panel on the future of publishing. He was on the panel, representing independently published authors, because he was — and is — a highly successful independently published author. I was intrigued by what I heard, so I went to his book signing afterward. There weren’t many people there, so I was able to talk with him for a while. Maybe too long. Eventually he told me that he had to go use the restroom.

But what I learned was enough for me to decide to publish my series, The Day Magic Died, for the Kindle and in paperback, myself.

Four things you may not know about Amazon

26 Nov

I wanted to clarify some things about ebooks and Amazon. And hopefully that’s what this post will do. If things get confusing, blame Amazon for using the same words to mean completely different things …

You can share ebooks

The House in the Old Wood

Share my books — please!

I have mentioned this before, but Amazon has recently enhanced this ability to share ebooks.

If you buy an ebook, or get it free, you can often share it. Just like a regular book. Authors get nothing when you do this, but go ahead and share it anyway. Why? If an author is still trying to build an audience, like me, you’re helping our chances in the long run when you share a book. If an author already has an audience, and by that I mean they’re selling a lot of books, they won’t miss a little revenue. In fact, most authors are not in this for the money (which is a very good thing). They’re in this for the reader. So share away. More information from Amazon.

Some authors and publishers do not opt into this system. That’s fine. I think it’s their loss – and I think it demonstrates what they think of readers – but that’s their right.

By the way, Amazon calls this “Lending for Kindle.” Clearly, they were trying to avoid any confusion whatsoever when they allowed Amazon Prime users to borrow books, and named that the “Kindle Owners Lending Library,” right?

Oh, and the recent enhancement? Now you can share books with another person (and up to four “child accounts”) as part of the Kindle Family Library. (Not to be confused with the Kindle Owners Lending Library, because that’s something completely different, or Lending for Kindle, which, despite the completely different name, is similar. Ugh.) This is better than sharing a book by lending it; under Lending for Kindle you lend a book for 14 days, and during that time you can’t read it. But the Family Library is unlimited. Find out more.

Want an ebook? Get a massive discount

Karia's Path

Get the ebook for less

If you buy the paperback version of a book from Amazon, you can usually get the Kindle version for almost nothing – free to $2.99. It’s called Kindle Matchbook. All of my books are eligible for Kindle Matchbook, at 99 cents. So if you bought a paperback, and then you get a Kindle, say, for Christmas, you can make that switch inexpensively.

Look for the Kindle Matchbook note next the book cover, near the pricing information at the top of an Amazon listing. (I should note here that Kindle Matchbook is a clever name, but it seems odd that Amazon did not use the word “lending” or “library” when they named this feature.)

Authors get paid when you “borrow,” too

The Hall of the Prophetess

Borrow away!

Sort of. There’s a healthy caveat with this one, depending on which service you use to borrow a book.

Remember, authors get nothing when you are loaned a book through Lending for Kindle or Kindle Family Library.

But Kindle owners using Amazon Prime get one “free” borrow every month. (That’s called the Kindle Owners Lending Library. And that’s completely different from the Kindle Family Library, and from Lending for Kindle. Gosh, somebody buy Amazon a thesaurus, please.) If you use KOLL for one of my books, I get paid when you download it.

And if you’re using Kindle Unlimited, you get unlimited downloads. Since people could, in theory, download thousands of books, Amazon doesn’t pay authors on download. It pays when people have read 10 percent of the book. So under Kindle Unlimited, authors get paid when you actually start reading the book. (Why they didn’t name it the Kindle Unlimited Library, I don’t know.)

What my “sort of” does not mean is that authors get “sort of” paid. If a Kindle book price is reasonable, the amount authors get from each sale is not far off what they receive for each “borrow.” When Kindle Unlimited resulted in a massive increase in “borrows,” Amazon put more – and then more – money into the pot that authors split for borrows.

You can follow authors

The Dwarf's Legacy

Get notified about what comes next!

Here’s an easy way to be certain you don’t miss out when an author releases a new book. And it has nothing to do with lending or libraries.

  1. Go to their Amazon Author page. Not all authors have one, but if they do, there are at least two ways to get to it. One way is to go to the Amazon listing for one of their books and “hover” your mouse over it. If they have an Author page, you’ll see a popup (eventually) that says, among other things, “Visit Amazon’s [Author Name] page.” Click on that. Or search for their name on Amazon. Usually the second result will be their author page.
  2. Look on the left, just below their photo. There should be a yellow bar that says, “Add Favorite.” Click on it. Now you’ll be notified if they release another book.

With The White-Silver House and The Man with Two Eyes on the way, you may want to do that at my Amazon Author page.

 

Five (or ten) ways to help an author succeed

24 Nov
Karia's Path

Book 2: Only five reviews, and none marked “helpful” … You can help …


If you’ve found an author whose books you like, you probably want to read more books by them. And if you want to read more books by them, you may need to help them succeed. But how? It’s actually quite easy to help, and not that hard to do a little extra …

1. Show your friends. It’s great to tell your friends about an author you’ve found or a book you’ve read. Please keep doing that! But if you really want an author to succeed, you might want to take it a step farther, and show your friends why you like the books or author. You can do that by sharing your books with them. You know how to do that with a paperback. But did you know you can also share most independently published ebooks? That’s because authors like me want you to be able to share our work. We’re hoping to build a bigger audience. So go ahead. Of course, you can also buy the books for your friends. That’s great, and greatly appreciated. Just don’t feel like you have to.

2. Like the author’s Facebook page and/or follow their Twitter feed, and share/like/comment/retweet. Many authors – including me – have a blog and a presence on Facebook, and perhaps a Twitter feed or other social media. You can help us by liking posts, sharing them, commenting, retweeting, etc. Those actions all make the posts more visible. Want to really help by taking it a step farther? Go to their Facebook page or blog, and seek out posts you would want to share. Do it regularly. Probably not every hour. Perhaps not even daily. But once a week or so would help. Here’s the Facebook page for my series, The Day Magic Died.

The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway

Just one review so far, and I know three whole people have read it!

3. Review their books. I encourage you to write a helpful review – one that potential readers will find useful. Reviews on Amazon are great, but some people don’t trust them. Goodreads is another great place to post reviews. You probably should not post the same thing in both places, but you can follow the same helpful guidelines. If you really want to help, go the extra mile by reviewing more of their books. Like many authors, I am getting several reviews on the first book of my series, but few on the rest. Have you read them? Then please review them. Here are links so you can review Karia’s Path, The Hall of the Prophetess, The Dwarf’s Legacy, and my first Nascent Payne mystery, The sort-of Murder of Fiona Galloway.

4. “Vote up” helpful reviews. Amazon displays “the most helpful” reviews first. How does Amazon know which are the most helpful? By the number of people who have voted to designate a review helpful or unhelpful. Please take note that Amazon is not asking you if you like a review or if you agree with it. They’re asking if it’s helpful. So I’m not asking you to mark favorable reviews as helpful or unfavorable reviews as unhelpful. Simply look at the reviews for an author’s books, and if one or more of them provide enough information to help you make a good decision on whether to purchase, mark it or them as helpful. Want to do more? Mark reviews you don’t think are helpful as unhelpful. (I should add … please do not abuse this system to “vote up” good reviews and “vote down” bad ones. Or vice-versa, as another author did to me. Too bad this power is not given just to grown-ups.) You can use the links above to see reviews for my books, and find the buttons to mark them helpful or unhelpful.

5. Contact the author. So maybe you just want to say you liked the book. Or you have questions. Perhaps you spotted a typo that needs to be fixed. Authors love to hear from readers. Most authors hear from readers far less than you might think. And most authors are far more open to constructive criticism than you might think, too. That, by the way, is how you can really help. If you spot what you think is a problem in a book or a series, and you really want to help, speak up. Here’s a way to contact me.

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