Free eBooks Available for Read an eBook Week

Just letting you know that Kayelle Press is happy to participate in Read an eBook Week. They feel it’s important to promote any kind of reading as it really can set the imagination free, if you let it.

Unshackle your mind by downloading their free ebooks during the promotion — 4 March 2012 (starts at one minute past midnight) to 10 March 2012 (ends at 11.59pm, USA Pacific time).

The Land of Miu — always free!
The King’s Riddle — free for one week only!
Hope Anthology — free for one week only!

Get them for FREE from Kayelle Press’ Smashwords page during the promotional period mentioned above only.

Also, I am offering the Speculative Realms Anthology for free as well. Head over to the Speculative Realms’ Smashwords Page to download the ebook for free.

Reminder: Don’t forget to use the coupon code, which will only appear on the individual pages for the books during the promotion period, when completing the checkout process.

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National Year of Reading Special Offer

Happy New Year! I hope all your dreams come true in the next twelve months. More importantly, I hope you are happy, healthy and stay safe.

2012 is the National Year of Reading. It’s a year to encourage people to read more or simply to learn to read better.

With this in mind, I am offering ebooks for download at the grand price of nothing! That’s right, they are free for the taking, but you must use the coupon codes listed below at the check out. And you must do this before 31 January 2012, as that’s when the offer expires.

First up, is the Speculative Realms anthology:

Promotional price: Absolutely Free!
Coupon Code: YR74C
Expires: January 31, 2012

Secondly, is the Hope anthology:

Promotional price: Again, Absolutely Free!
Coupon Code: HJ58A
Expires: January 31, 2012

All you have to do is follow the link to the respective pages at Smashwords, click on “Add to Cart”, type in the coupon code above and download the version that suits you best. Then, add the file to your ereader and start reading.

And finaly, there is The Land of Miu, which is always free but I felt compelled to ensure you knew that. For this ebook there is no coupon code, just go to “The Land of Miu” Smashword’s page and download the version you want.

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

Free eBooks for Summer/Winter

Cat's Eyes speculative-realms-coverI’ve heard that some people only read in the summer and others love to read in front of a warm fire during winter, so it seemed appropriate for me to add my ebooks to the Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale July 1-31 because as Smashwords have so rightly acknowledged, “It’s summer in the Northern Hemiphere, and winter for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.”

And if people really love to read then why not give the ebooks away for free!

So that is what I’ve done. You can get a copy of Cat’s Eyes and/or Speculative Realms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way right now for free. But this deal is only valid until 31 July 2011.

Click on the book covers above to be taken to the ebook of your choice. Or, grab a copy of them both. Membership to the Smashwords website is free, so it will cost you exactly nothing but a few minutes of your time.

If you enjoy the ebooks, please take a moment or two to write a quick review. It would be much appreciated.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to see what other free ebooks you can find.

Read an E-Book Week Special Offer

ipod-touch-stanzaTo celebrate Read an E-Book Week, people everywhere are promoting ebooks and encouraging their readers to try this new(ish) form of reading. As a result of this, Speculative Realms is offering the anthology at the special price of $1.49 if you use coupon code RAE25…let’s make that $1.00 using coupon code RAE50 instead, but hurry as the offer expires on 13 March.

To take advantage of the offer, head over to Smashwords, use the coupon code mentioned above, download the version that suits your needs best and start reading. It’s that simple.

Happy ebook reading. 🙂

Anthology Available for $US1

The anthology, Speculative Realms, which includes my story Where Strength Lies, is now available in many ebook formats. These formats include epub for iPhone, iPod Touch, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook and most mobile apps; mobi for Kindle and many handheld devices; pdb for Palm Pilot devices, PalmOS, Symbian OS and several others; and, then there’s pdf, rtf and plain text for use on computers and some other devices.

If you purchase an ebook before the end of the month (in any format available at the Smashwords website) and use Coupon Code ST94L at the checkout, you will receive your copy of the anthology for only $US1. What a bargain! But hurry, because as I’ve already said, the offer expires on 31 January 2010.

Visit the Speculative Realms page at Smashwords to find out more.

New eBook Formats Available Soon for Speculative Realms Anthology

I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately, but it’s been absolutely necessary. I’m under contract to get some work done by the 25th of this month…and it’s looking as though I’ll make the deadline. 🙂

Speculative Realms is proud to announce that by the end of this week, the anthology will be available in many more formats. They are:

epub
An open industry format, supported by the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, most mobile apps [Stanza, Aldiko, Shortcovers], and many other reading systems.

Sony Reader (LRF)
LRF is the format used on Sony Reader ebook devices.

Kindle (.mobi)
Mobipocket is an eBook format supported on Windows PCs and many handheld devices.

Palm Doc (PDB)
PalmDoc is a format primarily used on Palm Pilot devices, but readers are available for PalmOS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Smartphone, desktop Windows, and Macintosh.

PDF
Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a file format readable by most devices, including handheld e-readers, PDAs, and computers.

RTF
Rich Text Format, or RTF, is a cross-platform document format supported by many word processors and devices. Usually pretty good at preserving original formatting from Word documents.

Plain Text
Plain text is the most widely supported file format, working on nearly all readers and devices.

More details, including location where these can be purchased, will be announced as soon as they are available to the public.

The Road Divides and I Must Go Astray

The return to work has seen me fall behind in my blogging as it means I, once again, am getting up very early and doing a lot of travelling. This week, being my first week back, has left me feeling tired, too tired to write or even think about writing…much! And I’m even having trouble keeping my eyes open enough to read. Strangely, I don’t seem to have the same trouble with Bejeweled 2 on my iPod Touch. 😉

Next week will be different. It has to be because I stand at a place where the road divides. I already know which road I must take. Unfortunately, it will take me away from Whispering Caves, but only for a short time. In fact, the road is quite short and if I don’t hurry to do what needs to be done I’ll find myself falling over a cliff at the end of the road. Sounds bad, doesn’t it, but I’m dramatising the situation for your benefit.

This road is a necessity. It’s for the anthology and I’m very excited about the new direction we are going in. However, that grand news will be announced on another day so be sure to return here in a week or so to find out what the fuss is all about – you might even get yourself a bargain!

Anthology On Special at Amazon

Yes, the Speculative Realms anthology is on special over at Amazon. At the time of this post, it was selling at $11.19, however, I saw it for $5.88 last week, so the price is slowly creeping back to the recommended price of $15.95.

My story “Where Strength Lies” is included in the anthology. It’s about a woman who would do anything to save her young son, even go against strong mages who are determined to take him from her. But mine is only one of the stories in the book. You’ll also find a story about a young man stepping into Hell to say what he needs to say to his deceased father, but those who go to Hell are not allowed to leave and this young man isn’t even dead! Then there’s the story of the evil girls who play with the minds of the occupants of a dilapidate house in the wilderness. Not to forget the stories about the man who battles a dragon, the man who must shout when he can’t even talk to save the woman he loves, and the mage with women troubles.

If you haven’t got a copy of the anthology, then now is the perfect time to purchase a copy…while the price is low.

Author Interview

No, this isn’t the first day of the month and it’s not the usual author interview that you would see on this website. Today, I’m announcing that I’ve been on the receiving end and have given an author interview. The results can be found over at Allie Boniface’s Website.

Be sure to check out the contest details because there are freebies being given away, including a copy of Speculative Realms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, if you want a chance to win, make sure you leave a comment over at Allie’s website (although I really won’t mind if you leave a comment here too!) 😉

Anthology Woes: Amazon Try to Rule the World!

When I started out on the Anthology Project (back in early 2007) I did so with enthusiasm and excitement. For several years, I had been trying to help writers become published and finally, I believed, I had found the way to do just that.

Whilst receiving and reading submissions for the project, I was also spending hours and hours combing the internet to find the right printer for the job. There are so many printers out there, but when I read the small print I was surprised by the charges involved and the odd terms that didn’t sit right with me. I continued my search, widening it to include reading what other people’s experiences were and this narrowed the market for me considerably.

From memory I ended up with three possibilities. None of them were perfect, but these three sounded better than all the rest and the reviews were more positive too. For reasons I can’t remember, I settled on Lulu. I set about creating an account and started a “fake” project so that I knew the process well before doing the real thing. In all honesty, the process was mostly painless even if it was time consuming.

The anthology was published on 25 July 2008. And that’s when my excitement truly started to wane.

Suddenly, everyone at Lulu was complaining that the distribution service had changed; it had gone downhill…and quickly. It is clearly stated on the Lulu website that books published by them will appear on Amazon and other online bookstores within 6 to 8 weeks. The anthology appeared within three weeks so it wasn’t an outright lie. However, it showed an “out of print” status and no one, no matter how eager, could purchase the book. Although I was aware a problem existed I didn’t know (or understand) the depth of it…or the ramifications. I am, after all, a writer, not a publisher. But that is no excuse and I realise now that I should have made it my business to know what the problem meant. Anyway, the anthology has now been published for 16 weeks and the status remains unchanged even though I have been in contact with Lulu repeatedly in this time.

No wonder the service had suddenly become “free”. If they (meaning Lulu) had charged for the service then they would have been faced with a lot of unhappy people demanding their money back – me alone with them. I feel they knew the problem was bigger than they were letting on and that’s why they dropped the charge and this knowledge angers me more.

Having said all this, I understand that Lulu is between a rock and a hard place. I don’t think they wanted or intended for this to happen to the people who use their service – not at the beginning. I also believe that there is nothing much they can do about it, which presents a problem for the anthology (but I’ll get back to this later).

Amazon is the real problem. They have become greedy and are trying to squash print on demand books being published by anyone but themselves. If a POD book isn’t printed by their subsidiary then they will not list it on the website (or they will, but the “buy” button will be deactivated so they may as well not list it, in my opinion). From what I’ve learned, this only applies to the books distributed from about six to eight months ago. Those already in the system are not affected.

If the people at Amazon want to be jerks, fine. I’d be happy to ignore Amazon from this day onwards and buy my books from other online bookstores instead…and I would encourage everyone else to do the same thing because, quite frankly, Amazon isn’t the “be all and end all” of the publishing (or reading) world.

But…the other bookstores are listing the book as unavailable too! Why? What reason do they have? Are they sheep? I’ve contacted a couple of them and their response is that they want copies of the book sent to them so that they have them in stock. Why? POD means the book is printed as needed. It never runs out of stock. They don’t need a stock pile. Honestly, I have no idea what the hassle is and I’m finding the whole mess frustrating and pointless.

At this point, I would like to clearly state that I do not recommend Lulu in any way, shape or form. I would never use them again. Ever! If you had any brains you wouldn’t either. It’s not worth the stress.

What does all this mean to the anthology?

In hindsight, if I could redo this project from scratch there are certain things I would change. Of course, experience is talking now. I didn’t have any experience when I started this project back in January 2007, but now I’m older and wiser.

The main change I would make would be that I wouldn’t pay for the stories and artwork in royalties. That is the biggest mistake I made. I would have been better off paying outright for the stories and artwork and having a contract for world wide exclusive rights for the first year and then the right to continue publishing the book, but allowing the authors to submit the stories elsewhere. If I had done this I wouldn’t be bound by a contract that has literally killed the project. You see, it’s because of that contract that I can’t pack my bags, walk away from Lulu and start afresh with a POD company that doesn’t have the hassles Lulu has. In order to do this, it would mean I would have to apply for a new ISBN (because Lulu owns the current one). With the new ISBN I could apply a new cover, fix anything that might be wrong with the current book and then publish a second edition. The contract doesn’t allow any of this to happen because it’s for the first edition only. The second edition would require a new contract and, to be honest, I’m not keen to go there.

Right now, that means two years of planning, reading and publishing (and I don’t mean just me here either) has been…for what? To me, it feels like a waste of time. Maybe the others don’t feel that way, but when I was bubbling over with excitement two years ago I wasn’t imagining the frustration I’m experiencing now. I was imagining speechless joy and wonder. Believe me, this experience doesn’t come close to that.