The Rising Now on Kobo and Nook

Just a quick update to let you know that The Rising is now available on the Nook and on Kobo e-readers as well as the Kindle. If you’re wondering why no Apple version it’s because I don’t own a Mac computer, so I can’t do Apple Store self-publishing stuff. I could go through other sites to get that, but I don’t really care about Apple. When Apple starts allowing someone with Linux to access it’s store, then I’ll care. Don’t hold your breath.

The Rising Cover 2-15-16


Ocherva Short Story Free on Kindle

My first published short story, Ocherva is FREE on Kindle for the next five days. This story was featured in the anthology Barren Worlds from Hadley Rille Press. If you like this story, please go and pick up the anthology, you won’t be disappointed.

This Space Western story is the first to feature the main character of the Starforgers Era trilogy from the Star Saga. Devon Ardel is the fast shooting, hard drinking sheriff of the Stellar Ranger unit on the barren, Outer Rim moon of Ocherva. This is what happened when she first got to the moon and how its mysterious features changed her forever.

Free Ebook Strategy Shift

Evolution of ReadersCreative Commons License John Blyberg via Compfight

I’ve changed up how I now use the Kindle Select Program. My novels and the anthology are now off the program and available in as many ebook stores as I can get them. But my related short stories are still in the Kindle Select Program. Instead of offering a short story free for the weekend, I have made it free for a solid five days. This means that you won’t see it for free again for about 90 days. But each week, I will feature a new story, so in a month you could get as many as four stories for free.

I wasn’t seeing any value to having the stories available for only two days out of the week. As for the novels, the Halo Effect that I was seeing when I offered them for free, is now no longer effective. Amazon changed their ways in the last few months and now offering books for free is kind of useless. Not sure what they were trying to do there, but they lost my books because of their changes.

The good news for most readers is that now only the short stories are exclusive to Kindle and all the other books are more widely available. Savvy readers will just buy the anthology and get most of my shorts on their chosen non-Kindle platform.

Ereader vs Phone

Day 179/365- Kindle   Galaxy Nexus

Roger Luo via Compfight  Sean Kelly via Compfight

I have recently come to a startling conclusion about my ebook reading habits. I don’t use my Kindle 3 nearly as much as I do my Galaxy Nexus phone, for reading ebooks. Before I had the Nexus phone, I used a Droid. The screen on the original Droid was small and not very comfortable for reading. But I read on it anyway because it was convenient. Standing in line or sitting and waiting for a haircut were perfect times for reading on the Droid.

But whenever I wanted to sit back, relax and read a good novel, I reached for my Kindle 3. It was bigger and easier to read than the tiny Droid screen. I could also take it outside whenever I wanted and I had a built-in light on the leather case, so I could read inside at night too. It was my default ebook reader.

Then I got the Nexus phone and much to my surprise, I find myself picking up the phone to do my reading and not the Kindle. I never imagined that the bigger screened Nexus phone would have changed my reading habits, but it has. Another reason I reach for the phone more than the Kindle is proximity. I usually always have my phone with me and I don’t have to get up and find it. Who knew I could be so lazy?

I have no problems reading on the Kindle 3. I love the experience. It’s singular and focused, just like a real book can be. No distractions, just me and the voice of the author in my head. I still use it to read, but just not as much as I used too.

The Nexus phone has the Kindle app and it also has the Nook app and a bevy of other reading apps. So my options of what to read expand when I’m reading on the phone. But that’s not really a big deal for me as most of my ebook library is on the Kindle.

What was interesting to me was that more and more I’ve passed on the Kindle and just read on the phone. Even when both were in reach on the couch. Sometimes it was whatever was closest but usually, the phone won out on the distance battle. In examining my reading activity on the phone, I realized that I was doing more than just reading a book on it. I was reading the news and checking in on Twitter and Google Plus. These are activities that you can’t really do on a Kindle 3.

But they are activities you can do on a tablet. So would I use a Kindle Fire or some other tablet as much for my reading? No way to tell, since I don’t own a tablet of any kind. However, I think the phone will win that battle too because of the convenience factor. The phone is still always closer to me in my pocket than any tablet would be.

I just found this interesting as a reader and thought I’d point it out to my fellow writers and readers. Will the larger screen phones start to compete with ereaders and tablets in your home?


Free Short Story On Kindle

This week’s free Kindle short story is Ocherva. An origins story about Stellar Ranger Devon Ardel’s first day on the desert moon. If you have read Starforgers, you will be familiar with Devon and her Rangers. This is where Devon’s Devils started.

The story was first published in the anthology Barren Worlds edited by Eric T. Reynolds for Hadley Rille Books.


Silicant Remorse Free Short Story

This weekend’s free Kindle short story is “Silicant Remorse“. If you download that story, it includes a second short story called, “Rock Collection”. Rock Collection is my most successful short story. It has been read by over 3,000 people and also holds the unique distinction of being my most rejected story of all time. Nobody wants to buy it, but readers sure enjoy reading it.


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.