smashwords

The Smashwords 2017 Summer/Winter sale is now on

If you’re a science fiction fan and love all things space opera, you’ll be interested in free books, right?

All four of my Sinclair V-Logs ebook volumes are currently FREE until July 31st.

Details of how to claim your 100% discount are on the books’ Smashwords pages.

Here are the Smashwords links to all four of the Sinclair V-Logs.

Floxham Island

Bygora Vandos

The Trials of Nahda

Fetish

 

Happy reading.

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We have lost control of our book details at Amazon

I noticed today that we are no longer able to log into our books’ details via Author Central at Amazon. We can no longer do any of the things we used to be able to do, like change the blurb, add a bold tagline, make sure the line spacing of the blurb was right, add a character outline or a review. I used to do all those things but now I can do none of them. I have no access to them, other than via the publishing platform dashboard, which does not allow me to bolden or underline, and always removes line spaces.

Just another of the rapidly increasing number of reasons never to publish with amazon ever again. I never have any of these problems at Smashwords or Lulu.

Fuck you Amazon, fuck your owners, fuck your governors, fuck your shareholders, fuck your grandmothers, and fuck the horse you rode in on.

The Trials of Nahda ~ Sinclair V-Log PA884/R

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The third volume in The Sinclair V-Logs is now available for your e-reader

Many thanks once again to JL Stratton for doing the cover.

 

You know the difference between fantasy and reality, right?

Sam Sinclair thought so too, until his boss sent him to Nahda, to arrest a museum researcher for stealing an ancient artefact.

Until the pair find themselves trapped deep below an abandoned fusion reactor, Sam had never had occasion to doubt what was real and what was not.

As events unfold, forcing him to embrace the possibility that what he always believed to be just fantasy, could indeed be very real, his life comes crumbling down around him.

Finding himself now a fugitive of the law, left for dead by his prisoner, and still trapped within the underground city, Sam struggles to accept the evidence of his own eyes.

Some things are impossible aren’t they?  Sam thought so too, but what he experienced forced him to look at the universe in a different light.

The Trials of Nahda can be purchased at Amazon and Smashwords on the following links.  Paperback copies will be available in a few days.

Amazon usa

Amazon uk

Smashwords

 

Parting ways with Smashwords

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Today marks the ending of a relationship that has been good. It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend you’ve become comfortable with, and although you feel sad, you suddenly realise that now you can take more notice of all those other fish that people say are in the sea. They are there too.

A few days ago, I published my ninth novel, A.W.O.L, a sci fi romance. All my previous eight novels have been published in both paperback and e-book formats, and this new one is no different. For the last eight books, I have used multiple publishing platforms, to increase my visibility around as many sites as possible, and this new books is no different. For the last eight books I have used Smashwords as one of e-book publishing platforms, but this new book is very different.

Smashwords have always been one of my favourite publishing sites, because of their distribution, which has always been pretty fantastic. The trouble with Amazon, is that although most people buy from there, Amazon only make ebooks for the Kindle. Not everyone uses a Kindle. Some folks use iPads, iPhones, Palm readers, Nooks and loads of other e-reader devices. For these other e-reader devices, you need sites that produce e-books in the appropriate formats for these e-reader devices to use. There are loads of sites that sell e-books for all these other e-reader devices. iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, Diesel and many others, and Smashwords distributes your book to many of these. Up until recently, they were the only one who had such a wide distribution.

Many authors hate Smashwords, and are quite happy to vocalise their hatred. The upload process, what Smashwords calls ‘the meatgrinder’ is unnecessarily difficult, and any deviation from an extremely strict formatting process, results in refusal of your file. They do produce a free book to guide you through their formatting process, and if followed very strictly, upload should go without a problem. There is zero margin for error or creative expression in your formatting though, which is another annoying thing.

Smashwords also insist you list them as your publisher on your copyright page, which is one of the main things everyone hates about them. Not content with taking a cut of your royalties, they also require to be your publisher.

Up until now, I have never had any problems uploading to Smashwords. It has always gone through first time and I’ve been perplexed as to why so many other authors all say they have so many problems. I now fully understand all those other authors, and join them in their hatred.

My Word subscription ran out, and I could not afford the £80 needed to renew it, so I used Kingsoft Writer to format A.W.O.L and uploaded to Lulu, Createspace and Amazon KDP without a problem. I always do two formats for ebook, one for KDP and one for Smashwords, as they require totally different formatting, and this time was the same. When I tried to upload the file to Smashwords however, it refused it, saying that the file was an application/KSWPS file with a .doc extension. Not only do I not have the first clue what a KSWPS file is, I’ve no idea how to change it. So I paid for renewal of Word, which meant I could not pay the rent that week, and opened the file in Word, and saved it again from there, renaming it completely. Smashwords still refused to accept it. I then copied the document into a fresh word document, and totally reformatted from scratch, entirely in Word, saved from Word and renamed again. Smashwords still refused to accept it.

smashwords capture

I got in touch with their support, and heard from a guy called Kevin, who asked me to send him my content and cover shot files, which I did. He then said they uploaded fine when he tried, but they won’t when I try. He finally admitted that he hasn’t a clue why this is happening.

Having ranted about this on my facebook page, someone gave me a link to a page called Draft2Digital, which is an ebook publishing platform who distribute to iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. With nothing to lose, I took a look and uploaded the book, which was accepted straight away and is now for sale at those three outlets. It seems that the only way Smashwords distribution is better, is because they also distribute to Sony ebooks and Diesel.  Pfffffft……….!

Draft2Digital will do your title page, copyright page, table of contents and end papers for you (about the author, other works by etc) if you haven’t done them yourself, and there is no style guide you have to follow, and no demands for them to be listed as your publisher. Just upload your formatted file and away you go. They are also trying to secure distribution with several other well known ebook sites, so they will soon have a distribution network to beat all others.

I have sold a few books at Smashwords, but not so many that I’m not prepared to leave when there’s a better service available. My book has been available through Draft2Digital for just a couple of days, and already there’s been a sale. I’m happy with them so far and have no intention of fighting with Smashwords anymore.

The eight books that are already up at Smashwords can stay there, but I will not be using them again in the future. This has put me off them for good. I will use Draft2Digital for my future books and will recommend them to everyone. If Smashwords wants to get back into favour with authors, they need to shake themselves up. Their meatgrinder is too hard to navigate, the demand for listing as publisher is just wrong, and the famous lack of support is just not acceptable. Sites like Draft2Digital show how easy it is to provide a service without making the process difficult, and more publishing sites like them will pop up as time goes on.

Bye bye Smashwords, you suck cock.  I won’t miss you, and I’m happy with all the other services that are available now.

UPDATE – April 3rd

Today I got another email from Kevin, saying that the only thing he can suggest is to try uploading via Firefox, even though I hate it.  If it still won’t work, then he said “it obviously wasn’t meant to be.” So I very reluctantly downloaded Firefox (I detest it with a passion) and tried the upload. The file uploaded without a problem, just to make me look like a twit. Apart from not liking my title being all capitals, and making me change it to Awol (with initial capital only), it uploaded smoothly and is now in the queue for pro catalogue review.

I will wait until it is safely accepted in the pro catalogue before deciding whether to delete it from Draft2Digital, as it might cause a problem with the distribution. D2D distributes to B&N, Kobo and iTunes, and so does Smashwords, so the fact that the book is already at those locations with D2D might cause a hiccup that Smashwords doesn’t like.

Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords – my links and codes

I’m once again enrolling my books for Smashwords’ Read an Ebook Week.  Between 2nd to 8th March, you can get all  my books at 50% off using the following links and discount codes.

Please note, The Lilean Chronicles: Book One ~ Redemption, is permanently free at Smashwords.

To purchase any of The Lilean Chronicles at 50% off, use this link. These are the discount codes you will need.

Book Two ~ The SleepingTK67R

Book Three ~ Changing FacesNC58L

Book Four ~ Avalanche EffectMF72G

To purchase either of The Sinclair V-Logs at 50% off, use  this link. These are the discount codes you will need.

Floxham Island GR34C

Bygora Vandos –  NY85N

To purchase Acts of Life at 50% off, use this link and discount code RB24K

To purchase Delectus Morbidium at 50% off, use this link  and discount code HS66M

I hope you enjoy Read an Ebook Week.  Once you have enjoyed your new ebooks, please take a few moments to leave a review at Amazon.

On the impossibility of finding free ad space for non-amazon books.

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Today, I decided to try to find some free ad sites for the book I have on perma freebie at Smashwords and all it’s distribution destinations, (B & N, iTunes, Sony etc).  I found a page full of information about sites offering free advertising for free books, but every single one of them refuses to list books that are not at Amazon.

Now, all my books are listed at Amazon, but the site won’t allow me to list them as free.  I think it’s racist, because I’m from the UK and Amazon won’t allow non-usa books to be listed as free.  This sucks but there’s nothing I can do about it, c***s..!

Why this total lack of interest in all of the other millions of free books out there that just happen to be free at sites other than Asshole-azon?  This is a niche that needs filling, and quick.

Another thing that bothers me, is that most of the sites also demand that your book has a certain number of reviews.  The lowest demanded was 4, the highest, 20.  Readers just don’t leave reviews anymore, and most indie authors (and some trads) are paying for reviews, either directly or by issuing bribes such as giving away Asshole-azon vouchers, kindles and even tacky  home spun jewellery made out of old coke cans and spit.  No one but indie authors takes any notice of reviews anymore, poor dears.

It’s a good job I didn’t start writing because I wanted to make money or get famous, us real genuine writers write because we have to write, not for any egotistical reasons.

There really needs to be a few sites willing to list books other than Asshole-azon books.  There must be some folks out there with the technical know how to do  it.  Even if they charge a couple of dollars to list Smashwords books that don’t have reviews, many of us real writers would be willing to pay a nominal charge.

 

Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M now available

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My brand new novel Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M is now available to purchase in both paperback and e-book formats from Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu and Ganxy.  All the links are on the Floxham Island page (link below or click the link at the top of the page).

Sam Sinclair thought this was just another run of the mill job. As a freelance law enforcement operative, his job is to find the target and deliver them into the hands of the Law Enforcement Agency. When his law enforcement contacts asked him to find Professor Nembier who they believed had murdered nine of his co workers out on a secluded archaeological dig on Agrillia 3, he fully expected to have the job done quickly. Finding the Professor was the easy part and was to become the beginning of a terrible nightmare for Sam and his companions.

Delivering his prisoner to Floxham Island Prison should spell the end of the job for Sam and some much needed time off but once he and his companions find themselves stranded upon the strangely deserted prison planet and discover the horror that has recently taken place there, it soon becomes his worst nightmare. Facing the horrors that lurk in the dark whilst avoiding those that dwell in the light, Sam discovers that a new killer is amongst them.  As their numbers dwindle, Sam races to find the killer and secure the lives of those still surviving amidst the terror that is Floxham Island.

Click here to Visit the Floxham Island page

New Halloween Anthology

I am delighted to show you this brand new Halloween inspired short story collection.

Over on facebook, a group of talented writers got together for a Halloween flash fiction competition.  The stories in this collection are some of the entries and some from those of us who donated prizes for the winner.

My story, Meet the Parents can be found at chapter 69.

All Hallows Eve is FREE to download from smashwords.  Click here to visit smashwords for All Hallows Eve.

I’ve joined the Amazon fetish club

Since I’ve been writing I’ve learned many things, all of which have value somewhere, somehow.  Until now, I’ve published my books via lulu and smashwords and avoided Amazon.

The reason I’ve left Amazon alone is because I’m English and live in the UK and to publish via Createspace (Amazon’s paperback publishing platform) and Kindle (its e-book publishing platform) you need to have a USA tax code or they stiff you for 30% of all profits for their tax.  The complexity of getting such a code as always put me off, until I discovered the shortcut (which I explained in my previous blog here).

So now I have my EIN code I decided to join Amazon and get my books up there.

One of the things I’ve learned since I’ve been writing is that the book world seems to have a very strong Amazon fetish and unless your work is available there, you’re ignored or not taken as a ‘serious’ self pubber.  I don’t know why this should be but it is, so it’s a case of join up or be left behind.

I’ve spent the last fortnight reformatting all 3 volumes of The Lilean Chronicles for Amazon and finally tonight I got the last one uploaded.  Sometime tomorrow I’ll be able to post the links and stand up with the rest of the ‘real’ writers with my head held high and shriek

…..”I’VE JOINED THE AMAZON FETISH CLUB”…..