The End Begins

In THE HOLLOW MARCH we learned the folly of WAR

Hollow March eBook Cover 2

the terror of ISOLATION

Sketch by Matthew Watts.

Sketch by Matthew Watts.

and the CHAOS of REVENGE

Sketch by Matthew Watts.

Sketch by Matthew Watts.

but now we learn what will come

when even FAITH falters against the backdrop of

AT FAITH’S END!

Now available!

Now available!

Today was the big release date! Thanks to everyone for their support in the process of building and launching this second step in what will hopefully be a life filled with many such literary moments.

Copies are available in both e-book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FOHAT2I) and paperback (https://www.createspace.com/4470845)–links will be announced and added later as the print version comes to more retailers. There was an initial issue with print copies that delayed it somewhat, which has since been resolved.

Authorgraph

If there’s one thing I’ve passed along in all these years, I sincerely hope it’s that this little writer likes shiny new things. Well, alright, in all honesty that’s probably not the only thing, probably not even the biggest of things, but it’s today’s topic so I had to talk it up proper-like.

As the title has likely tipped you off, the subject today is a little gem called Authorgraph. Now, I had heard about this nifty gadget back when it was still called Kindlegraph, and I’ll admit I was slow to hopping on the bandwagon, but I have since come around. And so we begin with…

English: The second generation Amazon Kindle, ...

Poor, lonely Kindle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Premise

One of the feelings we bibliophiles seem to love is the ability to personalize our literature. Already, we want to lose ourselves in the story, to become characters and be carried away, to different times and different places. We read because we love. What we read sticks with us, becomes engrained in our soul–and hopefully makes for some witty quotes at those fancy dinner parties (because who doesn’t love a fancy dinner party?). As such, it’s no surprise that the opportunity to take such a book, something we already love, and make it all the more special by adding a personal note from the mind behind it.

It’s why book signings are so popular. For the little guy, it’s an opportunity to help bolster one’s name; for the already popular it can mean an opportunity to connect with hundreds of fans, and share a joint passion.

Yet e-books put a bit of a kink into that plan. Who wants to be the fellow left out? All your friends have the scribbles, and all you got was this t-shirt–well, that and the Amazon Fire saying, “Well sure, they have a signature, and a book, but can they play SOLITAIRE on that book? I didn’t think so.” Things could hit a boiling point.

Conclusion? Not good at all.

Enter: The Authorgraph

The Authorgraph is a way to keep the e-readers in the loop. The more observant among you may have notice the new button the side of this page. Say: hi, button. Through Authorgraph (and that button), readers can request a signature from an author, to be delivered to their e-copy, and consequently, the author can take his time and personalize it to his liking. Low and behold, by the end of the week you could have a gracefully (hopefully legible–some of us write like doctors) signature adorning your e-copy, and you never need feel left out again.

Which, in a long and rambling way, is my way of saying: for those of you wonderful folks that took a chance on an indie author and bought up a copy of The Hollow March, I can now sign it for you, pretty as you please. Just follow this link, or click on the button.

Revelry in Artistry; A Few Good Announcements

Sometimes, there is simply no substitute for art. Oh, the words will capture the image for you. Sing into existence the very fabric of the worlds that bind, but there is something to be said for actually seeing. Books will paint you a thousand pictures over their course. Yet it is one that captures that initial glance, which teaks curiosity and twists the mind inside-out with glorious wonder.

Bearing that in mind, it is with great pleasure today that I kick off the month of November with an art-related announcement. Today marks a re-release of The Hollow March onto all Amazon-based retailers, complete with spectacular new cover art by the same artist that gave the book its first touch-up: British artist Matthew Watts.

Ring out the old…

Hollow March eBook Cover 2

…bring in the new!

This one’s a bit lighter than the last, you may notice, and that means less trouble with details lurking in the shadows. Light or dark, it certainly still captures Watts’s mastery of scenery intensely well! Just look at that detail. Gone too from this edition are the encamped plains of Idasia, traded for a more intense mountain capture–but I hope the storm of the thing still sings to you all.

To check out the art in more detail, and to get yourself a shiny new read, check out a copy of The Hollow March today at:

And if you like the art, give Matthew’s ego a boost with some heartfelt e-mails to matthew_watts18 (at) hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk

I would also like to take a moment to announce another upcoming gem: the one year anniversary of the Hollow release! In honor of the day, from December 4th to 5th, e-book copies of The Hollow March will be 100% free on Amazon’s kindle network. So if you’re one of those that’s been hemming and hawing this will be your chance. A Goodreads event has also been set up to offer reminders to those potentially interested…

As ever: may literature light your way, gentle readers! And remember: an extra moment for a  review in the aftermath can help a lowly writer’s day flourish.

The Fall of Giants

It is a curious and oft-repeated consideration that man has a knack for hastening his own destruction.

So it is with the publishing industry. Honestly, there’s no reason for it, no need for it, but still publishers convince themselves down roads no sensible man would walk. It’s been a long-time discussion in the literary field: Amazon vs. Traditional Publishers, e-books vs. print, the question of whether the big publishers could honestly self-destruct, plunging the literary world into further uncertainty. Until recently, as much pain and stupidity as they might reap (and really, they’re skilled at it), I never thought the publishers could actually die. Not entirely, as some shout.

But if you hadn’t heard, publishers have committed a blunder of monumental proportions. Five of the Big Six (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon and Schuster; only Random House escaping) recently conspired with Apple to price set the e-book market, in an effort to stab at Amazon, and also to, as many see it, gouge the e-book market out altogether. Atrocious as that is, they also managed to get themselves caught through acts of blatant stupidity.

Whoops.

A Justice Department lawsuit has followed. While the news reports they are trying (desperately, almost, as some articles seem to paint the tone)  to settle this out of court, either way the publishers are screwed, and I’ll tell you why. Their price manipulation broken, all they have succeeded in doing at the end of the day is to appear (by which I mean, showing rather nicely) desperate, galvanize the elephant in the room—Amazon, and consequently give Amazon exactly what it wanted all along: the ability to determine market pricing.

 

Sir Salman Rushdie

Author Salman Rushdie, public domain image care of Wikimedia Commons.

According to author Salman Rushdie, of course, the US Justice Department “wants to destroy the world of books.” I think that’s taking it a little far, but there’s many that feel that way–livelihoods, as well as an already threatened industry, are about to take some major hits. It doesn’t change the fact of illegality in these publishers’ actions.

What’s more, if this thing actually goes to court, well, let’s just say the publishers can’t really afford a drawn-out lawsuit right now, nor the bad press it would bring. Or, I suppose I should say, the additional bad press it would bring. Apple would survive without trouble, of course, because they’re Apple–this is probably little more than a roadbump for them.

Now, I’ve heard some sources debate whether this anti-competitive behavior could actually be pro-competitive. It’s not, but unfortunately, things have devolved to a point now where we have but one of two choices—and both of them end in monopoly.

The publishers and their anti-competitive mindsets would have given all the powers of a monopoly to Apple and anyone aligned with them.  Unfortunately, in failing, they manage to achieve the same exact effect, but without any of them reaping the benefits. Instead, they eliminate competition on the market because Amazon will, in the power vacuum , spring forth, and become the monopoly in turn, reestablishing a firm and commanding hold on the e-book market.

Makes for good news, of course, but a pretty rotten situation.

What’s still worse, at least, for publishers? Even if they weather the Justice Department lawsuit, they already face a class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of all e-book customers, that could run them damaged into the billions—a crippling prospect at such a critical juncture.

But the people at Amazon are probably doing a little dance right now. What about you?