Tuesday 27 November 2018

Why Do Traditional Published Books Cost So Much?

Take a look at Amazon's Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store.

Do you think you could separate the self-published titles from the traditionally published ones?

I think you could.

With very few exceptions, you probably aren't going to find a self-published e-book with a regular (non-promotional) price of over $5. Conversely, very few traditionally published e-books will have a regular (non-promotional) price of less than $10.

Conventional wisdom tells us that's because traditional publishing companies have to pay for professional editing, cover design, and marketing... Hmm, but don't indie publishers also pay for all those things?

The truth is, traditional publishers have to pay staff and shareholders. They pay their authors too, of course: 20% royalties, twice a year.

But for the same amount of work, self-published authors earn 60% royalties, monthly. And as a reader, don't you want to see your favourite author make money? Maybe even quit his or her day job one day?

Next time you're looking for an e-book, take a look at price. Instead of paying $9.99 for your next read, is it not possible you'll get more bang for your buck, and do more good for authors, by buying two great reads for $4.99 each?

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Dungeons and Dragons Month Two: What an Epic Tournament!

Last month, I blogged about the first of our new monthly D&D sessions.

Well, the second one happened last Saturday, and it was even more fun than last time!

Continuing on our quest for the four legendary weapons, to defeat the four legendary dragons, our intrepid party stumbled upon a town holding a grand tournament. The grand prize was, coincidentally, one of the legendary weapons we were seeking. Naturally, we felt compelled to enter.

Along the way, we picked up a new party member, a half-elf rogue played by my brother, who will be joining our sessions from now on. Unfortunately, we didn't win the tournament (I think the DM had intended for us to win, but the dice went against us, and she had to improve the rest of the session).

Now, we're stuck trying to figure out a way to get the person who did win to part with his prize, so we can continue on our quest.

Nothing beats in-person, tabletop roleplaying, because absolutely anything can happen. In a video game, or even a board game, you're restricted by what the game designers intended, and you have no way of thinking out of the box. But in a tabletop RPG, you can do things that DM never imagined you would, and it's up to her to improvise and figure out if it works or not. There really is nothing like it, and now I can't wait for the next session!

Monday 12 November 2018

Smashwords Has a New Homepage! Celebrate With $1 Off Memoirs of a Guardian Angel

In case you hadn't noticed, indie e-book retailer Smashwords launched a new homepage last week. Personally, I think it's really cool! I was worried that they might do away with the nice, clean interface I've come to appreciate from them, but they haven't. The homepage has been modernised, though, to include things like bestsellers, trending now, and featured deals.

Check it out.

How about a special offer to celebrate?

So for a limited time, you can get $1 off (that's 50%) of the list price of my Urban Fantasy novella, Memoirs of a Guardian Angel, at Smashwords.

Click here to visit the book's page at Smashwords, and then click the "Buy with coupon" button.

Here's the synopsis for the book:

Do you believe in Guardian Angels?
Have you thanked your Guardian Angel today?
I never did... now I wish I had.
Now I understand the hard work and difficult situations they face every day. That car that veered off course, the knife that slipped or even the close call when you nearly tumbled from a tree.
It wasn't good luck that saved you, it was me.
My name is Adam and I'm a guardian angel.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Free Shipping at Booktopia

Are you in Australia or New Zealand?

You may be interested to know that you can get free shipping on all my print books at Booktopia, between now and 12 November.

Click the image below to see my books there.

Here's how it works:

Place an order and spend a minimum of $17 before Midnight, Monday the 12th of November, 2018 (AEST and NZST) with the promotion code FESTIVE, and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

The promotion code field where you enter the word FESTIVE is on the last page of the checkout just before you complete your order (Payment and Review). Under Order Summary, click the plus symbol to expand the section so you can enter the code**.

Please note: You may need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your free shipping discount if it has not automatically applied it.

Note: the above text was copied verbatim from an e-mail Booktopia sent to me. E&OE. ;-)

Friday 2 November 2018

The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor (Book Review)

You know what makes a good mystery? When you're completely bowled over by the ending, but as you look back at all the clues the author sprinkled into the text up to that point, everything makes perfect sense.

That's what it's like in The First Time I Died. It's only the second of Jo Macgregor's mysteries that I've read (the first being Dark Whispers), but I'm beginning to see a pattern: you know the first person you suspect? The first one you're absolutely, 100% sure is the culprit? It's not them.

Maybe next time, Macgregor should throw us a curve ball by making the killer the first person we even begin to have an inkling about!

While I enjoyed the story, it isn't as good as Dark Whispers. It's not as dark, and the psychological aspects aren't as well defined. It's almost as if it's more... immature.

But probably makes sense, in a way. The first half of this book is written in alternating chapters of "Then" and "Now". "Then" being ten years ago, when our heroine was a teenager. Those chapters are written in a very YA style, because they're meant to appeal to young adults. The other chapters, when she is an adult, can't really be too "adulty", or the book would be confused about its target audience.

Still, this is a great mystery, with a smattering of paranormal activity as our amateur sleuth receives cryptic messages from beyond the veil. Definitely a treat for fans of the whodunit.

My Review: 4 / 5 stars

About the Book

The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone. 

When Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown for the holidays, she vows to solve the mystery of the murder which shattered her life ten years ago. 

But then the unexpected happens — she dies in an accident and gets brought back to life by paramedics. 

Now she’s hearing words, seeing visions and experiencing strange sensations. Are these merely symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and an over-active imagination, or is she getting messages from a paranormal presence? 

Garnet has always prided herself on being logical and rational, but trying to catch a killer without embracing her shadow self is getting increasingly difficult. And dangerous, because in a town full of secrets, it seems like everybody has a motive for murder.

Fast-paced and riveting, The First Time I Died is a suspenseful and haunting crime story with an supernatural twist.

Great reading for fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware and Liane Moriarty.

Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy.