Smashwords is an e-book-distribution platform based in Los Gatos, California. It is designed to be used by independent authors and publishers, and has been going since 2008. Self-published authors like me simply upload their manuscripts as electronic files to the Smashwords service, which converts them into e-book format for reading on various devices. Smashwords allows writers to appeal directly to readers without having to deal with gatekeepers such as agents and editors.
I’m a writer who publishes my books all by myself. The easiest, best, and most lucrative way to do that for me is to upload my books as data files to be sold as ebooks. I’m always interested, therefore, in what predictions people are making for the future of the ebooks industry. I was reading the Guardian the other day, and just such a story caught my eye. The headline is eye-catching, and it turns out to be a pretty good summary of what is actually said in the article.
My blog posts are usually just a bunch of carefree escapism and sci-fi shenanigans, with occasional angry barbs at Trump sprinkled in. This post is not like that. It is a lot heavier, and deals in part with my thoughts on a very disturbing subject. It deals with gun violence in the USA. Now is the time to click away if you are not in the right frame of mind to handle that today.
Just a few days ago I got an email from my eBook distributor - Draft2Digital - telling me that the book sellathon (apparently that’s not a word) called Christmas is approaching, and that if I want my latest book to be part of that particular maelstrom definitely a word, I would have to upload the text file and cover by 11th December. They are predicting that the flurry of pre-Christmas releases and the special holiday hours at online eBook stores will result in some delays.
I have been hammering away at the keyboard for months, gradually grinding out Drifter Prime, the latest installment in my epic sci-fi series of novels. Just to give an idea of where I am, here are a few words that I have written today. This is a scene where one of the main characters, Altia, faces off with one of the antagonists, Admiral Haygon, with whom she has some history.
I have written a zombie novel, called Death Sense, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Unfortunately the zombie genre has become such a joke it is regularly used as a source of fun on TV shows such as New Girl. One of the characters is writing a zombie novel, and the show’s writers put in every stupid thing they can think of. We even hear parts read out on the show, such as, “Zombie zoo, zombie zoo, zombie zoo, zombie zoo, who let them zombies out that damn zombie zoo.
I am going to need a cover star for the fourth book in my Dark Galaxy series of sci-fi novels. I was looking through some of the 3D spaceship models I have created over the years, and I found a nice one that I did a couple of years ago. It’s still very rough, but I think it will make a nice cover. I have uploaded a render of my spaceship to Blender Artists.
I’ve been spending the last few days lurking on the forum pages of Kboards. There is a lot of interesting information there for an indie publishing writer, like me. One of the tips I found was to use a site called instafreebie to give away copies of my books for free. The idea is that people read the first book in a series and then go on to read the whole trilogy.
Today my latest book has appeared on Amazon, and that always puts a nice big smile on my face. It’s a book about the coming of the Zombie apocalypse, and the start of the fall of society. Back in April I posted about how I was writing a zombie book. As is often the case with books, I had been writing it for a while, and thinking about it for a long time before that.
The very first book I ever published was The Pet Dragon, and it has been available on numerous platforms for several years now. It can be bought, for example, from Smashwords, the very first site I used to get it out to an audience. It has never before been on Amazon, however, except as a print on demand paperback. At last I have gotten around to trying to do something about that.