Free Novels are Free

I’m not sure that everyone knows this, but you can get all of my novels for free right here on the blog. Just select the series from the Novels tab and then click on whichever book you want. These are the same texts you pay money for in ebook format, except that these are in plain text format (.txt).

What, you don’t like to read a text file? Well, you can purchase them in any ebook format from three vendors, including directly from me. So, if you prefer the ebook format, you have that option. And you wind up supporting me when you buy the books, which is a good thing. It lets me continue to publish more books.

But not everyone is rich enough to purchase books. So they go off to pirate sites and steal them. By offering my own books for free, I essentially take the pirates out of the picture. If you want to read my books for free, then do it right here.

There are even some folks who would rather listen to my books. I don’t sell audio book versions of my novels. However, if you have the novel in plain text, you can feed it into a program and have your computer read it to you. If you have the time and are technical, you could even generate your own ebook from the text version. As long as you don’t sell it, I’m all for rolling your own.

Null Pointer at TWiT Studios

My alter-ego, Johnny Batch’s book, Null Pointer was gifted to the Chief TWiT – Leo Laporte this weekend by my good friend Nate McIntyre. Not sure how much cooler my birthday month could have gotten. I mean, a mention in Linux Journal and having Leo get a copy of my programmer Mystery novel is just about unbeatable. Thanks Nate for passing the book on, I hope he enjoys it and passes it on to fellow geeks. You can get Null Pointer on Kindle for just a buck, or get the paperback for under ten dollars.

Free Short Story on Kindle

You may or may not be aware that I sometimes dabble in the Mystery genre. Today and tomorrow you can sample that side of me, as written under my pen name – Johnny Batch; by getting The Safe Cracker for free on Kindle. The story features Detective Bill Plait from my novel, Null Pointer.

This is a gritty, crime drama about a man who breaks into safes legitimately who gets drawn into a deadly robbery scheme by a sexy woman and her wacked out crew of misfits.  The story was inspired by a good friend of mine who is a real safe cracker. I was so fascinated by his tools and abilities I created this fictional account of someone who opens safes for frustrated owners who have forgotten their combinations.

If you like crime stories, you’ll enjoy The Safe Cracker. If you want to read more please check out Null Pointer, a novel about a programmer turned amateur sleuth. Now only .99 cents in the Kindle store!

February Kindle Numbers

Time once again to disclose the sales numbers for novels and shorts I have on the US market. The UK market was far less and all the other foreign markets resulted in no sales. The novels and the anthology were all selling at $2.99 and the short stories were all selling for .99 cents.

The red numbers are for free downloads from products that were listed for free for up to three days on the Kindle Select program. As you can see, nobody purchased those products when they were not free. Big goose eggs in the Sold column for those items. However, the Halo Effect did result in 3 sales of short stories that were not given away.

# Title Downloaded Sold
1 Null Pointer (novel) 667 0
2 Ocherva (short story) 86 0
3 Red Allen (short story) 94 0
4 Silicant Remorse (short story) 0 1
5 Starforgers (novel) 0 61
6 Starstrikers (novel) 0 28
7 Tales From Ocherva V1 (anthology) 0 1
8 The Outlaw (short story) 80 0
9 The Renoke (short Story) 0 1
10 Tyrmia (novel) 0 27

It was a decent month for the novels that were not on sale. Three of them sold over 20 which is some kind of record for me. Well, it ought to be anyway. Combined with the UK numbers, I was averaging about 4.5 books a day. Slightly down from the 5 per day in January.

For March, I’m changing things up again. This time I’ll be raising the prices of the novels from $2.99 to $6.99. No, I’m not crazy. I’m experimenting with pricing and a bit with marketing. I won’t be doing any free give away’s for the novels in March. The short stories are still going to be free one every weekend.

Raising prices above five US dollars is something I’ve never tried. Some people have reported increased sales with higher prices, others have report reduced sales but level income, due to higher profits. I’m using March to test the upper limit of ebook pricing for me personally. If  the market totally falls off to nothing, I’ll adjust the pricing and try again next month. I have that kind of flexibility because I’m not making enough off these things to earn a living at it. If I were, I’d be much less flexible.

I’m also considering rotating my books in and out of the Kindle Select program every three months. This will let me turn on books for the Nook market while they are out of the Kindle Select program. But they will still be for sale on the Kindle, just not in the Select program. Something tells me that this could actually work, especially for those who have three or more books out.

Come on back in April and see how I did with the higher prices.


Red Allen on Kindle Select

My Sci-Fi short story, Red Allen, is FREE for today and tomorrow on Kindle Select. This is one of my favorite stories about the legendary test pilot from the novel Starforgers. Set on an arctic starbase where Red must discover why a venerable starfighter is having mechanical problems.

This is also the kick off of my FREE WEEKEND series. You can get this fine short story free all weekend. Next weekend I will be offering up another short story and so on and so forth all through March. If the program is successful in bringing exposure to my novels and short stories, I’ll of course keep it going after this two month trial period.

Also of note, my Mystery novel – Null Pointer is also back on sale for this weekend. It’s about a programmer who must find a killer who strikes his victims over the internet. This one is not SF, it’s just a regular Mystery with a programmer as an amateur detective.

There is a good possibility that if you enjoy Science Fiction, you might be in the computer science field or Information Technology. Every single programmer who has read Null Pointer has enjoyed it. Some programmers say it’s one of their favorite books because it portrays them in a realistic manner. If you are a programmer, you should really check it out. How can you miss when it’s free?

If you read and enjoy Null Pointer, come back and read the short story – The Safe Cracker, featuring Detective Plait.

Null Pointer Free Today and Tomorrow

My foray into the Mystery genre, Null Pointer, is FREE today and tomorrow. It’s written by my pen name: Johnny Batch. This is not a Science Fiction book. It’s all Mystery. The protagonist is a programmer who investigates the mysterious death of his cubical mate.

If you’re into programming, or just love tech stuff this book will appeal to your inner geek. If you like a good Mystery, this will fill that need too. If you only like SF/F and never read outside that genre, then don’t bother. It will bore you to tears.

Anyway, it’s free for two days, so why not give it a try?



Johnny Batch, Who’s He?

Sometimes authors like to write in different genres and when they do, they write under a pen name. The reason for doing so is to not confuse the core genre audience. If someone is known for writing SF, and then suddenly writes a traditional Mystery, they would probably confuse readers of both genres. That is what I believe is happening to my sole Mystery novel, Null_Pointer. People find out about N_P and then come upon this site which is all about SF novels and they get confused. Or worse yet, they assume N_P is a SF/Mystery novel.

Null_Pointer is a good book. It attempts to introduce Mystery readers to the more geeky profession of programming. But at it’s core, it is a traditional Mystery. It is that core audience that I will attempt to capture the attention of with the rebranding and re-release of N_P next Spring. In the meantime, I will be writing the next Joshua Jones Mystery novel, tentatively entitled – Kill Dash Nine. KD9 will be a darker, more intense novel and it will pit Joshua against a serial killer who happens to be a nerd. Deadly combination.

KD9 and Null_Pointer will appear as novels written by my pen name – Johnny Batch. JB blogs over at with a blog entitled “The Batch Files”. As you may have noticed, the attempt to appeal to geeks is still in full effect when I picked that particular name. In the coming week or so, all references to Null_Pointer will come off of this particular blog and slowly, as we rebrand it, N_P will appear on JB’s site.

Wait, now you’re writing two novels? Yes. Don’t look at me like that, plenty of authors have more than one iron in the fire. For me, one will be a Mystery and one will be a SF book. But if you come to this site, you will only hear me talk about my SF books. If you go to the JB site, you will hear me talk about the Mystery books. I will put a link on this site to the Johnny Batch site, to make it easy to go from here to there. But there will not be a link going from Johnny Batch’s site to this one. It’s not that I think it will be a secret who JB is, it’s just that I don’t want to confuse the Mystery readers.

So that’s the latest from Boise. How ‘about them Broncos! ;-)