Harbinger Free During Read an Ebook Week @ Smashwords

RAEWbanner1Ebook retailer/distributor Smashwords is holding their annual Read an Ebook Week from March 2-8, 2014.

I’m joining in the celebration this year by offering Harbinger for FREE and Suture at 50% Off.

They’re both available in Epub format, but should be easily convertible with a number of free programs as they are DRM free.

You can see my books on my Smashwords Author page.

In order to receive the discounts, you need to enter the applicable coupon code during checkout.

To receive Harbinger for free, enter coupon code RW100.

To receive the 50% discount for Suture, enter coupon code REW50.

Remember, these codes are only good from 12:01am March 2nd to 11:59pm March 8th. After that, the codes expire and the books will be full price once again. I admit, I don’t often offer discounts on my books, so this is a great time to pick them up if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing them.

And hey, since you love to read, be sure to check out Smashwords’ special category for Read an Ebook Week which lists all the books that are available at a discount. The full catalogue can be browsed at https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/

So hit Smashwords the first week of March and get a year’s worth of reading for an amazing price.

And as always, if you pick up the books from The Bleeding Worlds, let me know what you thought either via social media, or by filling in the contact form on this website.

All the best,

JR

And happy reading!

My Books Have Been Pirated

Pirate skull and bootyBeing an Indie Author is an odd thing.

So far, most of the work on my books has been done in-house. My wife and I designed the covers, I did all the formatting for the eBooks and print versions, and the editing/beta reading was kept to a few close, and trusted, individuals. When the books released, they flew off into the ether and the only way I knew anyone was reading was by sales and comments left on websites.

It’s a very solitary production.

I never see lines of fans, nor do I have thousands of ratings and/or comments. When I walk into a bookstore, none of the staff are excited. Heck, I hardly have over a thousand followers on Twitter.

So to have Google alerts send me an email directing me to a website where someone requested pirated copies of my books, and then see said link, is odd. Someone wants to obtain my books illegally? Why?

My initial reactions is to freak out-a mix of anger, sadness, and disbelief-and mourn all the lost sales.

Then I take a deep breath, and think about the times I’ve seen Neil Gaiman talk about piracy. He basically equates it to book lending.

As we avid readers know, book lending, either from friends, or from libraries, has been an integral part of author discovery for ages. I think, Perhaps this link will lead more fans to my other work.

Then a pissy inner voice screams “But the friggin book is only $2.99!”

Which is true. My books cost less than a specialty espresso drink at Starbucks. I remind the voice you can buy songs for $1.00, and those get pirated all the time. Price doesn’t seem to be a factor.

That same voice grumbles, “It’s easy for Neil Gaiman not to care, he gets a fat advance and always ends up on the NY Times Bestseller list.”

Yes, that’s true too. The only money I make is from copies sold.

I ask the voice, “What would you have us do?”

“Email the website. Threaten lawyers,” it responds.

“But we don’t have a team of corporate lawyers.”

“They don’t know that,” it sneers.

I stroke its back, taking time to massage the shoulders.

“Here,” I say, “have a cookie.”

“Mmmmm…Cookie…”

From where I stand, I have three options

  1. I could contact the website and request they remove the link.
  2. I could ignore the link and act like it never happened (not likely, as I’m writing a blog post about it).
  3. Or, I could accept that it’s out there and trust the reading community to make their own decisions.

My novels have never had DRM (Digital Rights Management). I did this because I’d heard of readers having a hard time reading a legally purchased novel on multiple devices. But I also did it so friends could share the books and maybe find me some new fans in the process. Based on that intent, which has existed since my first book was published, option three best represents who I am.

In fact, here’s the link to the pirated version of Harbinger.

I’ve downloaded the file myself. It’s complete, but it’s not the most recent format. Still, the story is all the same. According to the website, it’s been downloaded ninety-nine times.

Just to avoid lawsuits, I’d like to point out I can’t guarantee how long the link lasts, or the safety of it. It’s strictly a Use at Your Own Risk kind of situation.

All I would ask (well, hope, really) is if you decide to download Harbinger, and enjoy it, that you be kind and purchase Suture. As I said earlier, the only money I make is from copies sold, no one has paid me an advance.

So there you go.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go medicate that pissy voice of mine. He’s going to blow a gasket when he finds out I posted that link while he was eating his cookie.

All the best,

JR

A Breakthrough

Hey.

I know, I suck at the blogging thing. I’ve been away for months, and all I’m going to deliver is something short and sweet. But I suppose if I did more of those on a regular basis, I’d actually have a living blog instead of this stale, past its expiry date by a week, one.

Anyhow, last night I had a revelation about book three. There was a big issue I was trying to tackle and I didn’t know how to resolve it in a way that made sense and remained true to the series. Well, it came to me last night. Thank the Lord.

There’s about 13,000 words committed to Scrivener at this point. Unlike everything else I’ve ever written, it’s not in a chronological order. I have the first chapter, the ending, and a scene that occurs late in the book. I understand some people write like this all the time, but it’s just weirding me out.

I’ll try to write more often (both the blog and the book). Just thought someone might like to know book three is underway.

All the best,

JR

Revelation Game – Update & Cover

Hey everyone.

So my new novella, due out September 17th, has just returned to my hands from Beta/Edits. A little polishing needed, but not too shabby. I really did have fun with this and I’m looking forward to putting it out to the world and seeing how it does. It’s very different from The Bleeding Worlds, which has me both excited and very nervous.

Speaking of The Bleeding Worlds, now that this novella is nearly out of my system, I have started work on Book Three! It even has a title. Well, I suppose it could change, but it’s stayed strong and definite in my mind for a few months now. So, just to put it out there, book three of The Bleeding Worlds will be called Resonance. The current plan is to focus exclusively on it until release day. When will that be? Well, I’d love to give a definite date, and be able to stick to it, but I’m not sure right now. I’ll have to see how the writing goes. My hope is to have it out in the first few months of 2014. There will be far more updates as the writing progresses.

Finally, just to spice up this post, here’s the cover for my novella, Revelation Game.

Revelation Game Cover

I hope you’ll give it a chance when it releases on September 17th. For the foreseeable future, it will be an Amazon exclusive and only available in eBook format.

All the best,

JR

Does the Creator’s Opinion Matter?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a religious debate. It’s in regards to an idea I was introduced to via a video on YouTube (link will be at end of post).

Background

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, or my Twitter/Facebook/YouTube feeds, you’re probably aware that I am a fan of anime (Japanese Animation). One of my favorite series of all time is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Evangelion (Eva, or NGE, for short) was an anime in the mecha genre released by Gainax in 1997. Depending on who you talk to, it either revolutionized anime or was a narrative mess. Regardless, it has had a long and lasting impact on the fan base and particularly on the mecha genre.

The video I recently watched was in regard to the creator of Eva, Hideaki Anno, being quoted as saying he didn’t understand all the fuss. That in his opinion Eva was a simple show with a lot of symbols and such thrown in just to make it look cool. The video then asks a simple question; Even if that is what Anno thinks, does it matter?

Creators, not Interpreters

I’ve published two novels and have several more works either underway or in the planning stages. Each of them means something to me. I’ve tried to weave meanings into them that may never be apparent to anyone other than myself. But does that give me the right to tell every reader what their own interpretation and meaning is?

Assuming we release art (by which I mean all forms of expression) for more than just profit, we must be seeking an emotional response from the people who view and consume that art. Art is conversation, not lecture. If I wish to convey a specific message and it fails, I have no one to blame but myself. On the other hand, if a reader finds an entirely different message that means something to them, who am I to say they are wrong?

Our personal interpretation of art and evaluation of its merits is informed by our own experience and emotional core. Since no two people have lived an identical life, there is bound to be a difference of opinion. If anything, that prospect thrills me. I find it disheartening that any creator would devalue their own work, and their fans’ opinions, in such a way. Besides, if a work contains symbols and archetypes that are just thrown in without any thought to how they belong, the audience is generally intelligent enough to realize it.

Once my words are on paper, my job is finished. I won’t be hovering over your shoulder as you read, pointing out my intended subtext (good thing too, that would be creepy). Some will love the words, others hate them. To some, the words will speak to them, while others will be left feeling cold. That is the nature of art, and I have no place to tell someone whether they are right or wrong.

This also speaks to the cardinal rule of authors, which is to not make comments on the reviews left by readers. Certainly, if the review is nothing but personal attack, issue should be raised, but when someone presents a well thought out and balanced criticism, it shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, it should be heeded. There are many unfortunate instances where authors didn’t keep their mouths shut. Their insistence that the audience was wrong did nothing but damage their careers and alienate the very people they supposedly wanted to reach.

In Harbinger, I left a few dangling ideas and story bits. I did that because I wanted the ideas planted, but didn’t want to fully address them until Suture. These dangling ideas were probably the most cited issue people had with Harbinger. And so, in Suture, I sought to leave no dangling ideas. By the end, characters are in precarious positions, and there’s still one or two mysteries left, but they are ongoing ones, not one off sentences that are never addressed again. You the readers, who voiced your opinions, made me change mine. In the same way, Bleeding Worlds Book Three might be influenced by the response to Suture. Like I said, it’s a conversation.

So if you’re an artist, make the best art you can. But realize the moment it leaves your hands, your exclusive right to say what it means is at an end. And if you are a consumer of art, let your heart tell you what it means without fear of being “wrong.”

Talk further soon,

JR

Suture Release Date

Hey everyone.

Mark your calendars–Suture releases on Tuesday, August 6.

For real this time. No more delays, no more teasing.

Watch for the first chapter to be posted later this week.

Thanks again for hanging in there with all the delays. My second beta reader/editor gave the book high marks and said it was far better than Harbinger. I hope you feel the same.

All the best, and talk to you soon,

JR

Suture Cover Reveal – and a new Harbinger cover to match

Hello everyone. So I’m managing to keep my promise and returning with further news regarding Suture, The Bleeding Worlds Book Two.

The specific news today is to reveal the cover for Suture.

While I enjoy the cover Harbinger has sported for the past eight months, writing Suture made me want a change. I hesitated to do it, but I wanted new covers that would feature the series title more. So my cover designer and I went back to the drawing board and came up with the following….

harbinger-new-small-res

And now, for the cover of Suture…

suture-cover-web-res

The male models are images by GraphicPAStock http://graphicpastock.deviantart.com

All other photography and editing by Carolyn Macpherson.

Hope you all like the new covers. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.