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Friday, August 29, 2014

It's Coming!

I am nearing completion of my second book. This one is much shorter than Five Times Vengeance and in no way related. It is "Thoroughly Offensive." In fact, those two words are in the book's title. Think on that one for a while.

It should be published within a few months. It'll be interesting if Amazon tolerates it. It'll cause quite a stir.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time to make my ebook FREE

Ok, this'll be short. I decided to make Five Times Vengeance FREE.

First, I started at $2.99, then dropped it to .99 cents, and now I'm going to make it free on May 1, 2013.

It seems people aren't willing to pay their hard earned money for a first-time author. I don't fault anyone for that. Oh, I'm sure many people have paid for first-time authors, but remember, I don't pay for 5-star reviews. I refuse to sink to "paid-for-reviews."

In the meanwhile, I think I'll put FTV on Goodreads. I don't know anything about that website, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Talk at you later,


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Smashwords...My Rant.

Well, it is one month later, and my little test has some interesting results.

My conclusion is that Smashwords is not all it's cracked up to be. Let me be clear, for this test, I gave Five Times Vengeance the same amount of promotion that I did when on Amazon.....not too much.

I thought that with all the other retailers that Smashwords shipped to, it would be a given that I'd sell a few more copies. Not so. Amazon still sold more of FTV than all the other retailers (half a dozen) at Smashwords.

I mean, FTV could be the next Lord of the Rings (which it isn't) but no one will know if they don't even know it exists. But that is a burden that falls solely on me. And I feel it should't. Yes, you heard right. I feel that it should fall primarily on either Amazon or Smashwords to promote my book. Allow me to explain.

How often do you see R.A. Salvatore or Stephen King or John Grisham promoting? Look a little further down the line and you'll see Walmart and B&N promoting their book...after all, they're the ones that are going to make the money.

But wait, Amazon and Smashwords DO promote books, and if you do your research, you'll see they only promote the "popular" ones. They give tons of time to books that are selling like hotcakes. Why? Because the more books they sell, the more money they make. Huh. What a concept. Precisely my point.

Perhaps they should begin featuring books by first-time authors. Perhaps they should spotlight these authors instead of bending over backwards for long established indie authors who do not need any help getting the word out there about their books.

Also, even in my short time in the self publishing arena, I've come to know it is rampant with immoral behavior. And the behavior I speak of is paid-for, solicited reviews. DAMN that makes me mad. You know what I'm talking about. Some book that has 147 - 5 star reviews, 67 - 4 star reviews, 5 - 3 star reviews, and zero 1 or 2 star reviews. And the 5 star reviews are like, "The best book I've read this year. I can't wait for the sequel. Read this book immediately." And when I read a sample, it was pure garbage. Pure, unadulterated crapola. It was then that I knew (from extensive research) that the author either got all their Facebook friends to give 5 star reviews, or paid for 5 star reviews. And because of all those 5 star reviews, Amazon and SW then feature the book, leaving us morally upstanding authors in the dark.

If I were to start a self publishing website like Smashwords (which I just might do...seriously) I'd feature new authors, totally scrap the corrupt reviewing system, and really focus on promoting.

Whew! End of Rant.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Smashwords Update

 So far on Smashwords, I have sold 2 copies of FTV and had 12 downloads (preview of the first 20%) and one 4 star review.

I appreciate the 4 star review very much. Thank you.

Book 2 is in the works, but it's taking a back seat to a short story I am writing. The short story is a thriller/horror story that may never see the light of day. Here's why: as in FTV, I like to explore the alternative to what is expected and what is generally accepted.

Not too many "good" things happen in my world. I prefer exploring the shadowy, dangerous regions. My short story is so "out there" that I fear it may break decency laws in all 50 states and I'll have the FBI knocking on my door. Only time will tell. After I attempt to publish it, I'll get back to Book 2 of the Guild of The Five.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Free Epic Fantasy at Smashwords

Here's the coupon code so you can download Five Times Vengeance for free. It can be downloaded through Monday, February 4th.


Just enter that code here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Smashwords Experience (Part 1)

OK, after waiting 3 months for my Amazon KDP contract to expire, I published Five Times Vengeance on Smashwords.

Actually, it was surprisingly easy. The one thing that had me worried was their "meatgrinder" technology that automatically vetted your book for formatting errors. Too many errors, and your book was excluded from their "Premium Catalog." Whatever that means. But hey, I wanted in...not sure what it was that I wanted in to, but I like the word "premium."

A few days later, I was approved. Simple as that. Follow their formatting rules, and you're in. I used the "Nuclear " method. Basically, you copy your book to notepad and it strips out everything. Paste it back into a Word document that is set up accordingly, and you have a perfect book.

So far, I have been in the Premium Catalog for 4 days and sold a whopping 2 books at 99 cents and had 10 samples downloaded. Those 2 books made me $1.60. If I sold 2 on Amazon, I would have made a paltry 70 cents.

I'm going to look into this "Coupon Code" that Smashwords has.It will give anyone visiting this site a code to download my book at a discount..or for free. I'll let you know.

All in all, so far, I give Smashwords a grade of a solid A.

Jason Lee

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Amazon KDP Select vs Smashwords.

The Battle Royal is about to begin.

After 3 months of exclusivity on Amazon's KDP Select, I have sold under 10 copies of Five Times Vengeance.

Now that the contract has ended, I will be uploading the novel to Smashwords. This upload will have a few inaccuracies corrected that were pointed out to me.

It will be interesting to see what happens after 3 months on SW. Smashwords distributes to multiple retailers, and hopefully that will result in more exposure, and more sales.

I will be devoting the same amount of marketing effort now as I have been in the last 3 months with Amazon so as not to skew the results.

As always (and I'm sure this is why I sold less than 10 copies) I refuse, I refuse, I refuse to pay for reviews. Not that I"m a cheap skate, but to me, it seems kind of sleazy. Sure, it could be said to be a form of advertising, but I'm not ready to advertise that way.....yet.

10 copies and honest vs 20,000 copies and sleazy..........hmmmmmmm. For now, I'll just rely on the court of public opinion and not slip a few bucks under the table to get the court to rule in my favor.

I'll keep you updated on the SW progress.

Jason Lee.