Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Eighty

asteria khan engI have just uploaded on Amazon my 80th self-produced ebook – you might have heard about it, it’s called Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan and it is the second episode in the Adventures of Asteria, my sword & sandal series.
The story was originally published in Italian in the summer of 2016 – almost exactly two years ago – and was the last thing I wrote in Italian for years.

Now the series is coming back in English – you can get the first book, Asteria in the Court of Minos either on Amazon or on Gumroad.

asteria 1 engConsidering the times that Amazon usually has, I guess volume two will be out by the weekend – and I’ll upload a zip file with the mobi, epub and pdf versions on Gumroad too.
My Patrons will get a discount, but you knew that already.

Eighty ebooks is a lot of words.
And that’s not counting my traditionally-published work – those should be nine volumes, if I am not mistaken, not counting my participation at multiple-author anthologies and collections of essays.
A whole lot of words.

And there will be another dozen titles coming out before the end of the year.

A fair chunk of this work – 26 titles, to be exact – were published under an alias.
They are selling better than the remaining titles in my name.
I guess that should tell me something.

Indeed, my next big project – should the publisher accept it – will be published with another alias.
Diversify the offer, you know.

But in the meantime… eighty ebooks.
Not bad, all things considered.
But the best, of course, is yet to come.

And now, a little music…

 


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AMARNA on Amazon

Amarna preview smallMore oompa-loopa shenanigans: last night, Amazon informed me that the first episode of AMARNA is now live.
And what about the disappearance of my files and the long silence afterwards?
Nothing – this will remain a mystery forever.
And it’s somewhat fitting, don’t you think?

But let’s look at the bright side: AMARNA is available on Amazon, too.
More choice for my readers, hopefully more sales.
Everyone’s happy.
Possibly Jeff Bezos’ oompa-loompa’s too.


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Cynical and Gone

angelsFor the second time in a month, something happened to Cynical Little Angels.
First, in the last week of September, the ebook was blocked by Amazon/KDP because somebody had reported it as stolen – that was not my story, they said, I had copied it from somewhere.
A blog, they said.

Turned out the incriminated blog was Karavansara – where I had posted an excerpt of my book to, you know, try and sell more copies.

I had to write to Amazon and clear the issue.

But now Cynical Little Angels is gone, completely.
It does not show on searches, it does no longer appear on my author page, and even the link KDP gives me for the product page of the ebook leads nowhere.
I get a “page missing” notice and the photo of a fluffy dog.
Amazon wants me to buy a puppy.

I am waiting for a reply to my inquiries.
The whole situation is quite frankly, irritating.


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#PoweredByIndie: my plans for October

Well, it’s not every day Amazon – yes, that Amazon – asks for your help.
And yet, this morning I got a communication for an initiative Amazon just launched: a celebration of Indie authors, throughout the month of October.

powered

And being myself, sometimes, an indie author (or an author/publisher – sort of a D&D multiclass), I think this is a swell idea.

So here’s what I will do – as I noted in a previous post, I’m overworked at the moment, but I will do all I can to read and review at least one indie book a week throughout October, and then post using the above hashtag, #PoweredByIndie, in order to let it have the widest circulation possible.
I’ll also collect a few posts I made in the past about some great indie books, and overhaul them somehow.

And no, I will not push my own books – if there’s something I learned as an author/publisher is that by talking about good work by other authors I usually get a boost in sales anyway. There, the best of both worlds. Who knows, maybe it’s karma at work.


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OK, sorry but I have to share this.
I just got the best review ever on Amazon…

I can’t understand the enthusiasm of the previous reviews, the text is too short for an evaluation. Yeah, sure, it seems to be well written, but what evaluation can I make??

And so he went and gave it a One-star rating.


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Chinese poetry and Michael Bay

A few hours back I was chatting with my friend Lucy about one of the trickiest part of publishing.
Synopses, Amazon calls them.
But I prefer blurbs.
You know, the digital equivalent of the book’s back cover copy.
The text that’s splattered under your book details on the Amazon page, and probably you attach to your ebook as part of the metadata.

It’s not the first thing the readers sees about the book – title, cover, author name and price come first – and yet it’s important as hell.
Because if it’s true that often the cover sells the book, the blurb has the all-important purpose of tipping the scales, helping the undecided to go on and shell out their hard-earned money.

There might be a job, in there – blurb-writer.
A sure-fire, 100%-hits writer of blurbs could sell them for five bucks per copy and make a living out of it. Continue reading