In which I’ve grown, maybe?

Today was the kind of day that would have generated a 3,000 word post two years ago, and right now I just don’t have the energy.  Still trying to find an alternative to Amazon for printing Click, so don’t count that out just yet.  In the meantime, I’m too exhausted to live right now so head on over to Patreon and sign up for a new book.

Speaking of Amazon…

20111004144517I got an email about their Kindle Scout program the other day; does anybody know anything about it?  It appears to be a crowdsourced approach to publication, only Amazon is your publisher and not just a distributor.  (Note to non-indie writers.  There’s a big difference.  I publish my books.  Amazon’s my distributor.)

Anyway, it appears that the program’s been around for a while– I got the impression from the email that it was a new thing– so I’m surprised that I’ve never heard of it prior to getting the email last week.  Have any of you fiddled around with this at all, either as a reader or a writer?  Anybody have a book out there that could use a nomination?

What it seems to be to me is less a control on quality of the work and more a test of which authors already possess a long enough arm online to drive “nominators” to the site– which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I doubt I can compete even if I had a book at the moment I wanted to nominate, which I don’t.  We’ll see what happens when the Skylights sequel comes out, sometime next spring.

As of about twenty minutes ago, I’m entirely Amazon exclusive.  It may be that the other retailers haven’t realized that the plug is pulled for a day or two, but I’ve pulled everything down this evening other than Amazon.  I have some ideas for promotions that I’ll be letting y’all know about in the next few days.  I’m hopeful that things will work out the way I want them to.

Meanwhile, Malumba is easily outpacing Sanctum in terms of pre-orders so far.  I’m starting to hear from alpha readers already and so far the response has been impressively positive.  I didn’t have super high hopes for this one to do much, but I’d love to be proved wrong.  Check it out!  Just $4.95!


This is the second day in a row, and the third out of the last five, that I’ve gotten mail from these people.  This one was addressed to both my real name and my pen name.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have mentioned it this time around, but 1) they cunningly dodged my new “don’t even bother opening their mail” policy by sending me a postcard this time and 2) they include numbers that give some insight into just what a shitty deal their original “Ultimate Publishing Package” is.

I won’t be mentioning them again unless it’s really entertaining.  But nonetheless:


Here we learn that they want to charge you $237 to print a hundred copies of a fifty-page book.  The original cost, remember, was $1600, less a $601 “discount,” to $999.  Of course, no one anywhere actually writes fifty-page books, and if I were to self-pub Skylights through them it would cost me an additional $746 on top of the not-actually-$999-it’s-really-$1118.40 cost that their “Ultimate Publishing Package” entails.

In other words, $1864.40– nearly two thousand damn dollars— for a hundred physical copies of a book that I’ll never be able to move and a bunch of other services that I can either a) do for myself because they’re free or b) when bought in bulk, which this company is certainly doing, are minimal in cost.

That is a lot of profit, kids.

Then again, they spend a lot on postage.

Okay, seriously, that’s enough now.


This is from the same fuckers who wanted a thousand dollars from me last week to do some shit that I could do for myself for free.  This person appears to not be aware that they sent me the previous letter, and holy shit they’re not even trying.  I hate this company a lot.

I will not turn the page over.  I also will not even open the next letter.


SunplusWanna do me a favor?

I’m looking for beta readers– at least a couple, but a few more is fine– for my novel Skylights, due to be self-published in ebook form in June.  It’s already in pretty good shape, but it wants for one more pass before I push it out to the universe and I figure I might as well have a couple of other folks take a critical eye to it before I release it into the world.

Specifically:  Skylights is a roughly 100,000 word novel (over 400 pages in traditional paperback size) about the first few human missions to Mars.  I’m looking for people who enjoy science fiction, but don’t feel like you have to have everything Heinlein wrote memorized or anything.  I’m asking you to commit to getting the novel read and some sort of written critique (a couple of pages, maybe, and if you like more is fine?) back to me within a reasonable time frame– say, by the last week of April.  For this I will thank you in the novel itself; I’m not actually offering any real compensation.  I don’t need line edits or anything like that; my wife is a former editor and the manuscript should still be awfully clean, although if you find something and want to point it out that’s fine; I’m mostly looking for story-level critiques.

I’m planning on sending out .PDF files, but if you’d like it in some other format we can figure that out.

Interested?  Let me know in comments.  I don’t have any particular ideas for who I want but folks whose names I recognize are a bit more likely to be chosen if for some reason I end up with a ton of volunteers.