Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

I’m thinking of entering ‘Lament for the Living’ into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award thingy.  What is that? I hear you ask. Well my friend, I’ll tell you….

I don’t really know. I think it’s a lot of self promotion and blah blah blahing with some sort of prize at the end that may or may not result in fulfilling my wildest dreams. No, wait, thinking about it that was winning the lottery and becoming uncontested ruler of the world, which I think is outside the scope of the Breakthrough Novel Award.

Considering that the Amazon best sellers list ranges from romance to literary porn I don’t really see ‘Lament for the Living’ making much of an impact, but let’s give it a go anyway.

This is where you come in, oh faithful reader and confidante. I have to include an excerpt of the book in the application. So from you I would like suggestions of which section you enjoyed the most, what part had the biggest impact on you, what scene really gripped you?

You don’t need to remember what chapter, paragraph, line etc., just drop a comment saying something like “The bit where…..” and I’ll know what you’re on about.

Thanks for your input and your continued support.

All the best

David

So you got a Kindle for Christmas?

Or another e-reader such as a Nook, Kobo, Sony ereader or perhaps even an Apple iPad or Android tablet.  Whatever you got, Merry Christmas.

And I have a Christmas present for you too, whether you have an ereader or not. For today only (that’ll be Christmas Day 2013), you can download for free all my work.

Santa

The Deluge of EliasThe Deluge of Elias, a future dystopian short is only available on Kindle, and you can find it here: http://smarturl.it/TheDelugeOfElias

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Hannibal House, a hHannibal Houseorror tale set in West Wales, follows a young American as he searches for his roots, but finds more than he bargained for. You can get this from Smashwords using coupon code: UE59Q to discount it to *FREE* https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/283929

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Lament for the LivingAnd what about Lament for the Living? My first full novel, set three years after the destruction of society, Lament for the Living follows the survivors and their struggles with the past, present, and future. Oh, and it has zombies in. You can get this from Smashwords using coupon code: AZ25E to discount it to *FREE* https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/313539

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All my titles are published by TBFmedia.com and are only available through the associated links. Lament for the Living is available in paperback via Amazon http://smarturl.it/LamentForTheLiving or if you’d like a signed copy then they are available direct from TBFmedia: http://www.tbfmedia.com/lament-for-the-living/signed-copies/

Remember, you can read any of these titles with or without an e-reader by using the Kindle reader App for your PC/MAC, or Adobe’s Digital Editions software.

Merry Christmas everyone

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The Cardboard Has Arrived

Book Boxes

In preparation for the signed copies of ‘Lament for the Living‘ being despatched (July 4th) the book boxes have arrived, ready, and waiting.  They weren’t due until tomorrow, so it was a surprise, but a pleasant one.  Now I just have to resist the urge to wrap random books just for the hell of it.

Keeping Track of Signed Copies

Should I ever become proper successful at writing good (unpossible?) I’ve come up with an ingenious way of ensuring that signed copies don’t end up being bootlegged.  The impetus to put measures in place was after I saw that someone had, on Amazon, put a second hand copy of ‘Lament for the Living’ for sale for £15.  That just seemed stupid to me since you can buy a brand new copy for £6.50!  Anyhoo, I came to the conclusion that what this person was actually doing was this:  When someone buys their copy for the ludicrously inflated price, they then buy a copy and send that on to their buyer and make £6 profit.

And when I say “I’ve come up with an ingenious way” I mean that my glorious other half thought of it.

Now I’ve got no problem with someone making a profit, but that is ridiculous when I only make pennies from each paperback sale.  It’s okay, put your violins and hankies away, I always knew that would be the case.  But it got me thinking, how can I limit similar “profiteering” on signed copies – especially when you can get a signed copy direct from me at a reasonable price.

Initially I’d decided to number the copies.  Buy then there’s the issue of counterfeiting.  What’s to stop an unscrupulous person from simply getting hold of a copy, signing it and numbering it?  Nothing, that’s what.  What are the chances of someone going that far?  Fairly slim.  But I like to futureproof the things I do.

So as well as the copy number, I’ll also be putting a small doodle on a random page.  Those two details will ensure that any copy that falls into your hands at some future date will be 100% totally legit and verifiable.

Cool eh?

Oh, and while we’re here…. BUY MY BOOK!  http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography/

Proof Copy Received – Lament for the Living

I received the physical proof copy of ‘Lament for the Living’ today.  And here it is:

lamentfortheliving

I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

If you’d like to get your very own paperback copy then you can get it from here: http://www.createspace.com/4248918

For all other ebook formats then check out the official publisher’s page: http://www.tbfmedia.com/lament-for-the-living/

For those new to the party:  Lament for the Living is a post-zombie-apocalypse story of the survivors.  If you’ve had enough of special forces bad asses using their massive arsenal of weapons to battle their way through hordes of undead, then this is the book for you.  It’s all about the normal people and their struggles with survival in this new dystopian world.

The Proof is in the Pudding

And by pudding I mean post, and by post I mean mail.

Yes, the physical proof of ‘Lament for the Living‘ has been despatched and is winging its way to me. It should arrive by the 13th of June.

When I submitted the files the ‘experts’ tweaked the cover art because there were “live elements” that were outside of the trim zone, and the spine was too wide. Which was odd, because in a previous career life I was a printer. That means that I know how to set up artwork, and definitely know how to set up bleed.

digiproff

The above is the digital proof and on closer inspection I can see that the eye no longer runs off the side of the cover, there’s a bout 2mm of white space so I’ll have to check what the physical proof looks like (it was fine when the bleed was there….). One thing that I will need to adjust though is that the main title is not centred correctly. That will be corrected prior to publication.

In the meantime, Lament for the Living, Hannibal House, and The Deluge of Elias are all available in ebook formats. For more information go here: http://www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography/

Don’t Undervalue Your Work!

Don’t undervalue your work!  That’s right, there’s even an exclamation mark to show that I’m serious, and maybe on the verge of shouting.  Where has this come from?

A group that I’m a member of on LinkedIn had a post from someone saying that they’ve “caved in” and are putting their books on for $0.99.  I won’t be following suit.  My short stories are currently $1.25 and (sorry to mix currencies here) but ‘Lament for the Living‘ is going to be £2.99 (about $4.50).

Why?  Why price my work so high?  I hear you cry.  I’m not.

You may even have spluttered some of your coffee over your laptop or iPad.  How much was that coffee?  If you’re reading this while sitting in a coffee shop then I’d imagine that it was at least a couple of bucks, what about that muffin (yeah, I can see you, Jellybelly)?

Let’s say you paid $5 for your coffee and muffin (maybe more, I don’t know, I don’t go to coffee shops).  Why did you pay that?  Probably because you like it, and you know the quality of the goods.  Good answer?  Now let’s look at why it cost you $5.  Do you think it cost the coffee shop $5 to serve you?  Of course not, but as a business they have to make a profit.  Depending on how busy they are, the unit cost to the business is probably somewhere around $1.50.  That’s $3.50 taxable profit (unless you’re Starbucks, in which case it’s $3.50 profit in the UK).

Now let’s look at the ebook.  Traditionally published authors charge anywhere from $7 – $17 for the ebook version of their work (sometimes even more).  They justify the costs (like every other business) by citing the cost of overheads – the author royalties, editor costs, agent costs, artwork, formatting, design, and advertising.

Do you think an indie, or self pubbed, author does not accrue those same costs?  Maybe scrub out the agent cut for many.  But every other business expense applies, and I, for one, treat my writing as a business.  Sure, I write for pleasure, but it’s still a business (everyone would jump at the chance to make a living doing something they love).  When I make a sale, the taxman is going to want his cut (unfortunately I’m not in a position to enjoy the tax avoiding schemes of the rich and powerful).  Before that there’s the time I’ve spent planning and writing the book.  Then the cover design, the editing, the formatting, the advertising. Should I not bother factoring any of that in because I’m not traditionally published?

It seems there’s an expectation for indie authors to essentially give their work away, until they become “known” or blag a contract.  I’m not giving my work away (well, I will, but you’ll need to like a page, or do a review for a free copy).  I’ll do sales and giveaways, but I won’t bargain bucket my work.  As the series continues, book one will probably go to $0.99 or even free, until then it’ll be priced appropriately.

What do you think about ebook pricing (especially relating to indie authors)?

Don’t forget, ‘Lament for the Living’ is out on May 10th – get a sneak peek at the first chapter for FREE!
LamentForTheLivingpreview

Currently it’s .prc (DRM free for Kindle) or .pdf only.
Kindle/.prc – Download Here
PDF – Download Here

Download, read, enjoy. Let me know what you think.

While you’re waiting for ‘Lament for the Living’ to be released the following titles are also available:
Hannibal House by David Nicol   The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol
For more information and purchasing links please visit:
www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography

Why the Resale of e-books Isn’t Evil

Recently there have been a number of alarmist posts made on the interwebs about companies (Amazon being one of the them, but Amazon is ALWAYS one of them…) planning to allow users to sell their second-hand e-books.

People have been really throwing their toys out of their prams over the issue. Or non-issue as I like to think of it. I know that some of you are you wondering what I’m on about here so I’ll do a quick recap on the issue:

  • All creators have the right of first sale, it’s part of copyright in that when their product is sold (for the first time) they get their cut.
  • Until recently there wasn’t the technology to allow the resale, or second hand market, for electronic goods.
  • It’s apparently a back-door for pirated copies (and we all know that piracy funds terrorism (!)).
  • The main argument, especially where DRM is used, is that the first purchaser is an “end-user” and so they are only licensing the product for their personal use, so resale is VERBOTTEN!!!!!! (yes I went over the top with the exclamation marks there, but it was for comedic effect).

Now I’m not going to go into any of those points because frankly, each of them is a choice for the individual copyright holder/publisher to decide on. Personally, I’m not going to put DRM on my future works (unless required by certain outlets…. Amazon) because I think it’s limiting and frustrating for the reader. “Surely you’re worried about piracy?” I hear you gasp. Well…. no. Not as much as I am about alienating readers in the first place.

So why am I not bothered about the re-sale of e-books? Or more specifically, why am I not worried about the re-sale of MY e-books? There are two reasons:

  1. I’ll have earned what I consider to be my entitlement via the ‘right of first sale’. I think it’s fairly obnoxious to expect to be paid when someone sells that book on. 
  2. I actually see the option to re-sell e-books as another revenue opportunity.

Wait! What? You heard me! Now put your brain in gear. As an reader, how many copies of an e-book do you legally own? That’s right, as many as you legally paid for. Now, as an author, how many copies of your e-book do you legally own?……. Okay, let me help you with that one. It’s somewhere between infinity and whatever comes after that.

See where I’m going with this yet?  These re-selling services operate by allowing you to sell any copies you legally own. With e-books (as long as you haven’t stupidly sold your publishing rights), as an author you own an infinite amount of them. You can create them at will, which means that you can also sell them at will. So why should a canny author be bothered about these services when he/she can use them as another revenue stream.  Log on, see how much your book is going for in the second-hand market, put a load of copies up for sale at a competitive price. A percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing. Simples.

I’d love to read your thoughts on the issue.

Don’t forget, ‘Lament for the Living’ is out on May 10th – get a sneak peek at the first chapter for FREE!

Currently it’s .prc (DRM free for Kindle) or .pdf only.
Kindle/.prc – Download Here
PDF – Download Here

Download, read, enjoy. Let me know what you think.

While you’re waiting for ‘Lament for the Living’ to be released the following titles are also available:
Hannibal House by David Nicol   The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol
For more information and purchasing links please visit:
www.tbfmedia.com/bibliography