Goals for the Next Six Months

I’ve already discussed that I want to enter the James White Award and though I initially said that I would enter 50% Match?, they story I initially entered into Arcfinity, I’ve had a change of heart. I’m sure I have discussed this before but a couple of years ago I started a short story about a young boy who keeps having strange waking dreams in which he sees himself dressed as a nobleman on a sailing ship. Each dream sequence gets weirder, making it quite clear that this isn’t from anywhere or any time on Earth. Continue reading

“The Weight of Reason” now available on KDP

weight of reason 2

Yes, at long last I have bitten the bullet, given it one final edit for typos and to tweak the text and finally listed it for sale on Amazon.

You can now buy The Weight of Reason on your local Amazon website. Unfortunately, it is available only on Kindle at the moment due to the exclusivity terms and conditions of being in the Kindle Select programme. This gives extra benefits such as royalties from the lending programme, promotion on the Kindle store and higher royalty rates from Amazon Brazil and Amazon India. Continue reading

The Urge to Blurb

Enjoying the sunshine yesterday afternoon (one of the perks of being self-employed), I thought about what the advertising blurb would be for The Weight of Reason. Blurb, for those of you who do not know, is the short description that goes on the back of a book explaining what it is about. It is also the description that goes on the Amazon website. Typically around one hundred words, it is the point at which a reader will decide to buy or not to buy. We may not judge a book by its cover, but we do judge it by its blurb. Continue reading

Self-Publishing Dilemmas: My Attempt at Artwork for “The Weight of Reason”

Feel free to mock my poor effort but this is the sort of thing I was going for. I used Paint.Net, took a photograph of Toronto skyline (to which I own the copyright), moved around some buildings, blurred the skyine, inverted the colours and added some clouds. I like the smoke effect: It wasn’t intentional but if you know the context of the story it fits perfectly. I’m not sure about the ocean yet and I want to play around with that aspect of it a little more. I may not use this cover at all, I still may end up cold-calling a few potential artists on Deviant Art and show them that as an idea. It is quite a striking image but would you be curious to read a book with such a cover? What draws you in? What don’t you like? Suggestions please! Continue reading

Book Review: The End – Visions of Apocalypse (SFFWorld 2012 Anthology)

I’m reviewing this as a personal favour for one of my favourite blogging buddies, Nila E. White who is part of the SFFworld.com forum. Thanks guys for the review copy!

This is the sort of production that is really going to take off with the advent of digital publishing. Previously confined to small circulations in a fairly limited geographical radius, productions such as this anthology should go from strength to strength in the coming years – and about time. So what about this, the first volume from SFFWorld.com? Continue reading

Nook to enter UK market

US book seller Barnes & Noble are entering their rival Nook device into the UK market and it will be sold exclusively through chain store John Lewis Partnership. There isn’t much competition here at the moment in the ebook reader market. Amazon has the majority share and the Kobo, which sells exclusively through WHSmith, has not fared as well in the UK as it has done in North America. The Guardian suggests that Amazon Kindle sales represents a wapping 90% of the market share. Continue reading

Where is Arc 1.3?

By my reckoning it is late.

Arc 1.1 was released on 15th Feb 2012.
Arc 1.2 was released on 24th May 2012.

It is a quarterly magazine so surely Arc 1.3 should be out by now? I have received no communication on this, there is nothing on the Arcfinity tumblr and I’ve not received a single update about upcoming content. The competition link is still on the tumblr page and that closed sometime in July.

There is also nothing on The Tomorrow Project website.

Anybody know anything?

Some sales figures to chew over – ebooks

Carrying on from yesterday’s discussion, on the trends of buying ebooks and the effect it is having on the market, we have some sales figures today from The Grauniad.

Sales of ebooks are increasing and compensating for the decline in physical books. I would assume that this trend is here to stay. Book sales in general – when we combine the sales of physical and digital formats – are down just 2%. There are many aspects that could affect this so any hint that people are starting to read less (as more reactionary newspapers than The Graundian might suggest) could be affected by economic factors. On a side note, I would be interested to know what the equivalent sales figures are for second-hand book sales. If these have increased, it could indicate that the decline in sales of new books is for economic purposes.

Some food for thought anyway.

A view from the other side – epublishing

In amongst all the doom-mongering of Amazon monopoly and of epublishing in general, there is an alternative view in which the publishing houses are dinosaurs who can – yet refuse – to avoid their own extinction to preserve a monopoly they feel entitled to. Strong stuff, but this is the view of Barry Eisler in this article for The Guardian.

There are some incendiary points in there as well as a completely irrelevant aside about the US Department of Justice’s conduct on political prisoners but this section caught my eye:

Continue reading