The Price of Fame

Beware Book Pirates!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been running an Instafreebie promotion (where science fiction readers sign up to my newsletter and receive a free copy of my novel, “FACES OF JANUS“).

Then Google Alerts notified me that the novel was available on a few pirate sites. I checked and found that one site claimed not only to have my novels but also every anthology I ever was published in. Some charge for their copies (and keep the income). Others hand out copies for free. Forever.

I explored a few pirate sites’ extensive book lists. Some of these pirates claim to have as many ebooks as Amazon! Most likely, these were cover shots only and downloaders would get a nice virus instead of my book. (Be warned!)

As my free offer was limited in time and scope, I was at first unhappy about this. But I decided to ignore it, because… Continue reading

Snippets

KINDLE/NOOK AND NOVELS GIVEAWAY COMPETITION

The contest I announced last week is now over and the winners’ names will be released next week. So keep those fingers crossed.

REVERSALS

(Apologies to followers who received a draft copy of this post, sent in error last week. And this contains an update.)

It’s well known that book reviews are important to readers making buying choices. My two Janus Paradisi novels enjoyed a straight flush of 5-star reviews and I was a happy man!

Of course, I’m eager for more reviews and took a look to see if I’d garnered any. I found the opposite: a whole bunch of reviews had vanished.

Of course, I queried this with Amazon: no reply.

I queried again: no reply – for a few days.

Then came the good news: Amazon reinstated those reviews after investigating. Thank you, Zon!

I want to make it clear that I strongly approve of Amazon’s campaign to stamp out fake and bought reviews that boost a rich author’s lousy book to top position, misleading book-buyers. I guess I was just collateral damage, but anyways, Amazon refunded me the stars and so now I’m happy again.

An author friend suggested I’d drawn attention by being a new author with 100% 5-star reviews. So now I’m hoping for a few 4-stars… although it feels odd to be wanting worse reviews to enhance credibility and sales.

Ah, well. Such is the modern world.

SUCCESS STORY: DAVID BRADLEY

I had to mention this. You have to hand it to this guy: following a long list of acting appearances including the Harry Potter movies, Captain America, and Broadchurch, he’s been in both Game of Thrones and Dr. Who.

Well done, that man! And he’s from Yorkshire! Just like me.

So we’ll be looking for his appearance in Westworld soon?

Happy reading, until next time.

 

Blurb Versions: One Plot, Three Stories

 


I’m offering Faces Of Janus free for a couple of weeks for sci-fi fans’ summer reading enjoyment.

(Grab it here or click the image below.)

Writing the short descriptive blurb for the promotion was hard. (Hell, I took 60,000 words to tell the story and now you want it in 70 words?) You see, there are three different stories in the novel, intermingled with the main plot. Although I hope everyone gets equal value from the overall experience, each protagonist’s story might appeal more to a specific type of reader:-

  • Zag: the spy, assassin, womanizer = adventure (Guys)
  • Katya: lost girl with secrets and thwarted love = coming of age/frustrated romance (Young Adult)
  • Angel: achiever, powerful and successful woman = ambition/drive (Post-YA)

I show the alternative blurbs below this image of the text I chose. Let me know what you think of them and if they are too overly-targeted or just market-segment themed 😉


Alternative 1: For the guys…

2091: Earth is dying.

Agent Zag Bishop penetrates a corporate conspiracy to expose the truth about the space program.

With affections divided between his powerful boss, Angel Flores, and Katya Ulyanov, the young recruit with a secret past, Zag seeks to join humanity’s greatest adventure.

Spies, lies, assassins, intrigue, corruption, romance, betrayal, mistrust, hi-tech and space travel.

Grab it now!


Alternative 2: For the YA (young adult) reader…

2091: Orphan Katya Ulyanov escapes the desert camps and earns her place as a security agent. She falls for her boss, Zag Bishop, lover of the agency’s manager, Angel Flores.

Hiding a secret past, Katya struggles with her conflicting emotions and nightmares, and Zag’s mixed messages.

Zag and Angel discover the true objective of the corporate space program and plan to leave for a paradise among the stars.

Will Katya win through the intrigue, corruption, romance, betrayal, and mistrust?

Will she grab a place on humanity’s greatest adventure? Will Zag stand with her?


Alternative 3: For the Post-YA female reader…

2091: Security company chief, Angel Flores, has risen far on a dying Earth.

She takes agent Zag Bishop as a lover when her affair with the agency’s owner wanes.

Together, they discover the truth about the corporate space program and plan to join humanity’s greatest adventure among the stars. But Zag is attracted to a young recruit, Katya Ulyanov, a girl with a secret past.

Can Angel overcome the corruption, betrayal, and distrust to gain Paradise?


So what do you think? (Comments below.)

For more background on the key players, see the interviews they gave in an earlier post.

And Happy Reading!

 

Janus Challenge: New Cover!

With a roll of the drums… Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……. BOOM! NEW COVER!

I described my two newbie cover design mistakes in my previous post: genre-specific features and trilogy consistency. So let’s move on. Spoiler warning, more confessions…

I found the original “Janus Challenge” cover conveyed an optimistic wistfulness as the ship headed for the wormhole. I loved it.

BUT… as with everything you love (chocolate, sleeping late on weekdays, vacations…), there’s always a reckoning (weight gain, unemployment, the dreaded return to work…) Continue reading

Catchup

Yes, I’ve been very quiet online recently.

images (2)Family affairs kept me on the move between Luxembourg and UK for a month or more, while I worked on my final edits for “JANUS CHALLENGE“, my second novel in the Janus Paradisi series.

Expect more about “JANUS CHALLENGE” very soon.

It’s so hard to blog or write dialog while driving up and down the UK’s congested Continue reading

Insights on a Launch

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Interviews with Janus Security Corporation personnel

Angel Flores : Executive Officer

“I worked hard to get from a favela to the executive floor of JCorp tower. Huge office, wonderful view, penthouse suite… I had always aimed for the stars. It was just a metaphor, until one day… If I had stuck to my job and my affair with the company owner… But I am not made that way. Satisfaction leads to stagnation. I am just not made that way.

“It started with a few odd coincidences and my curiosity making me dig deeper. Or perhaps it started with my affair turning tedious. Or both. Perhaps it was Zag being there at the right time when I needed someone strong.

“Anyway, one day the real stars came within reach. How could I not grasp that opportunity with both hands?

“Zag? Yes, he was crucial to my plans. How did I feel about him? He was… everything. Did I show him this? Not enough, perhaps. I am just not made that way.”

Zag Bishop : Operations Manager

“I’d been trouble as a kid in the lower city. The military fixed that, or most of it. Then contract work I can’t talk about. Then to JCorp and Angel. Happy times. I loved them both. Did she love me back? I’m not good with emotion. I blame the work I did.

“So this space conspiracy thing came along and turned everything on its head. Would it have been better to quit and get a new job? Who knows? I’m tactics, not strategy. The strategy was Angel’s, from the start. The kidnaps and killings? Just part of the job.

“With Earth falling to pieces, escape to the stars seemed a good idea. Escape with the woman I loved. Sounded good. But which woman?”

Katya Ulyanov : Operative

“I had a secret. A dangerous one. A secret that could get me thrown into the desert. And I’d fallen for a damned cop. How did he feel about me? I knew how I felt about him. One day I hated him, the next… I guess I’d been let down too many times. He said I had a trust issue. No wonder, with my past.

“So I decided to be the best operative Zag had. I did a few crazy things to get his attention. It didn’t help that my PTSD, my other secret, kept getting in the way.

“Then the space thing came along. Changed everything.”

Faces of Janus” : launched November 6, 2016 Available from your local Amazon store

Spooky Times

31-days-of-october

Well, that Brexit thing was a blast. Britain will pull out of the EU (European Union). To some, it’s like Hawaii pulling out of the US of A. (It isn’t.) And lots of lies on all sides, it seems.

Gosh! Anti-establishment folk, politicians and urban elites telling lies? Unbelievable! Spooky times!

Continue reading