I am continuing work on Dark Galaxy 5, Blood Star, but I haven’t written a single word yet. As I mentioned in a previous post, first I’m reading through the preceding four books in the series. I finished Galaxy Dog over a week ago, and I have now just finished reading Iron Dart.

Interestingly, I just found out that my books are available on Walmart to buy as eBooks, including Galaxy Dog from Walmart, and Iron Dart at Walmart. It will be interesting to see how many eBooks Walmart actually sells.

Anyway, I am making notes as I read through my books – about ideas I want to revisit and such like – and that notes file of text is already a few thousand words long. So even though Blood Star hasn’t officially started being written yet, I still fell like I am doing important preparatory work.

Just as with Galaxy Dog, I also discovered a few little changes I wanted to make – a comma here, an apostrophe there – and to make those changes meant reuploading the manuscript to the various distribution channels I use. The new, improved version of Iron Dart should be available soon as the files available on the various eBook stores update.


I also wrote recently about how I’m flirting with the idea of offering direct downloads of my books. I noted that I didn’t want to do all the hard stuff of handling payments and downloads myself, so I was looking for a service that would handle that for me. The service I have decided to try out first is Selz, simply because they have the most generous free package. They offer a plan for five products at zero dollars per month. Five books isn’t much, but it is difficult to argue with the price.

I signed up, and initially they asked for only an email, name, and password. But then a further screen appeared and asked me if I was more interested in buy buttons, a hosted store, or one of their other options. I chose the buy buttons, and then a third screen appeared, which asked me what kind of business I ran.

I chose publisher from the options, then told them that I’m specializing in books by choosing from the next menu of options, and then – on the sixth or seventh screen of questions, at this point – the site asked for a bunch of other stuff, including my income. Why the hell do they need to know my income? Thy also wanted my phone number, and this was not an optional field. I typed some random numbers and hit continue. But my enthusiasm for Selz was really starting to wane by this now.

Finally, all the questions were over an a backend appeared, with a banner at the top telling me to choose a plan. I clicked the banner and was taken to the page where you choose a plan. There are three options, seventeen dollars a month, twenty-three dollars, and thirty-five dollars. There is no zero dollar option. You have to scroll right to the bottom of the page and read the small print to see that if you don’t choose any option, and if you limit the products you sell to five or less, you can operate a Selz account for free. It’s confusing, but technically the free option is available. I was not impressed at being forced to work hard just to select the option I wanted.

I navigated away from that page again without choosing anything, and I assume therefore I signed up with the zero dollar plan. Then I went to set up getting paid, but I couldn’t find those options in the backend anywhere. I had to search Google to find out what to do. Anyway, according to the page I found on Google, before I could even give Selz my details, I would have to jump through a few more hoops. The instructions on the page are:

Step one - set up card payments using Selz Pay, step two - get approved to sell on Selz, step three - fill out the verification details form, stage four – wait for a check dome by Selz that my products don’t breach their terms… …and then, and only then can I give them my payment details.

I decided to abandon the experiment right there and then. Me getting paid should be a priority for the company, not something I have to work hard to enable. Me getting paid seems to be very much an afterthought for them, and so I navigated away from their site. I guess I really should get Spiralcat Books working the way I want, before I invest more time on experimenting with digital downloads.


Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy)

Start Reading the Dark Galaxy Trilogy

Galaxy Dog is an epic space opera. What starts as an ordinary invasion of an alien planet, brings to light an ancient archaeological site of huge importance. A young man called Knave makes a life-changing discovery there and rises from a lowly position as an infantry trooper to become a player among the powers of the galaxy. This is the story of his rise, and the story of the fierce and independent woman and the feisty robot who help him.



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