Monthly Archives: August 2012

Insert Something Funny Here

Huh? What? Um. *looks on desk for something to stall the Beloved Reader with. Wonders about waving paper clips on the Shiny Thing Principle*

Wait! I know what i was going to do. After not being able to publish Book 2 in April, and deciding it might be best to publish it with Book 3, I did do the new (Fourth) edition, minus every damn typo i could root out.

But i forgot something – I was going to  discount Book 1 when i published the next 2. I didn’t publish, so never discounted.

And someone just said it’s AUGUST. Yeah, it’s called focus, and it’s something i learned to do in a large noisy family. The large noisy world can often be tuned out.

On the down side, sometimes i forget that other people or even that the world is there.

So, as my penance, because i’m a very bad renegade Catholic, I decided to discount the book now.


Wait, you don’t have an e-reader? Free ones for Windows or for Mac are available. I have tried a few, and frankly the Kindle for PC does very well, so those links are to free Kindle software. Yep, you can test-run an e-reader on your computer – Adobe do one but their copyright protection is so intrusive it was a joke, so i won’t link to it.

It’s one of the reasons i publish with Smashwords. No DRM protection means it’s easy for the reader to replace the book if they accidentally wipe it, or want it on their work computer or phone too.

Ahem, without further ado.

Price discount from $4.99 down to $2.99. That’s a cut of… um… well, i wanted to do half, but to make sure the Apple iStores sell for the price i fix, it has to be $x.99.

I’m celebrating over a year of people reading my work, and so far no abusive messages.

Polo Shawcross is currently romping through Book 3, trousers down as usual. I just chopped 20,ooo words so you know it’s going well. I once killed Book 1 completely, and rewrote from another point of view. Which is how “The Birthday Dragon” came into being.

Thanks again to everyone who bought Book 1, the Birthday Dragon, and especially to those who did reviews. If you’d like to do one, if you’d like to see their witty reviews or read a free sample (20%, which is enough for the average commute as the book itself is over 120,000 words), it’s all on the same link.

Polo Shawcross wishes for a new life, but the Birthday Dragon brings a ghost who says he’s not one, a best friend who thinks he’s gay, and a very bad reputation. Polo’s crazy extended family keep trying to kill him, and he becomes an unwilling party to treason. Adventure with more than one twist, set in a vivid new world where Men might be Dragons.

Or as David Willanski put it in his Smashwords review…

If JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Jane Austen and Phillip K Dick were to collaborate on a book, they might write something like this.

Someone asked me this week how many people have read the book. Quite honestly I’m not sure.

  • People who’ve downloaded the sample/the book: over 200. (But some people have had several downloads due to tokens running out and me giving new ones, so cut about 5 off.)
  • Freebies downloaded from competitions and various giveaways: about 40.
  • People who’ve said they’ve read it: about 20.
  • People out of those 20 who did reviews: 11
  • Anyone who hated it didn’t bother saying so.
  • Two people said they were feeling guilty cos they hadn’t read it. [Update: and a week later, another person told me they were too. I said it was probably going to work out well if they procrastinated until i finished Book 3, because it’s always nicer to read a trilogy when you have the set.]
  • People who said they’ve re-read it: a surprising number of the 20 readers.


So how do you choose an ebook? Well, you wouldn’t buy a paper book without looking at first page at least (unless you knew the writer very well). So never buy an ebook without doing the same. I’m quoting an edited version of a previous blog of mine here…

A word to the wise: never buy an ebook without reading a sample. You wouldn’t buy a paper novel without opening it up and looking at the first few pages.  If you like the sample, go ahead, but NEVER rely on reviews.

I’ve had a good look at my e-published competition on the web, and frankly a lot of it’s a joke. On you, if you buy it without reading some of it first.

People fake reviews (and reviewers).  The same writers are faking reviews all over the net – Goodreads act very promptly if you can prove the reviews are fake, but nobody bothers banning the writer from their sites…..

Of course, people get suckered by this, and you’ll see occasional reviews by those who’ve made the mistake of not reading samples, saying the other reviewers are lying, but it’s up to you to spot that one.

You see, the moment the ‘author’ sees a negative (real) review, they’ll add a bunch of fake reviews, 5 star ones, to bump that nasty review down – or just republish their book as a slightly different name. I’ve seen the same book under three different names. [Editor’s note: up to 5 at last count]

However, it’s easy not to get suckered – read the sample, and only buy if if grabs you.

If there’s no sample, shut the page. Either the writer is a newbie who will learn to let people open their bo0k, or they’re trying to rip you off.


Meanwhile, I’ll be working on the next two. Book 2 is finished, Book 3 is underway, and i’m planning release in the next six to eight months, say early 2013. If i can do it sooner, i will.

Oh – and though i said reviews mean nothing? I’m really proud to be top of the Highest Rated Epic Scifi Charts (at least i was as of 17 August, 2012, it may have moved since then).

copyright 2012