East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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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.


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.


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.


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


The Hand of Isfet (the cover)

The Hand of Isfet, my new collection of stories about Aculeo & Amunet will be released in ebook form on the 22nd of September (as you can see from the nifty count-down thingie here in the sidebar) – but it can be pre-ordered through Amazon as of now (and you save a buck on the final retail price).

The book has been long in the coming, but I’m quite proud of the final result.
It features a great cover, and it lines up five good tales (if I say so myself).

I’ll do a pair of posts on the stories, the characters and all the rest, but for starters, here’s the cover… Continue reading

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Amazon Kindle pre-orders and peace of mind

asteria 1So, now Amazon lets me offer my ebooks for pre-order*.
Basically the idea is, I upload my files like I always did, and then I can set the publishing date as far as 90 days later.
You can buy straight away, but it will be delivered to your reader on the set date.
Nice and smooth.

I did a small experiment, in August, using a novelette I wrote, in a new series of sword & sandal stories for the Italian market – it’s called Asteria alla Corte di Minosse.
I talked about this story when I was writing it, as part of a bet with a friend and colleague.
The response was good, so much so that my ebook made the Amazon top 100 in the Fantasy category on the strength of the pre-orders alone.
Now that was heartening.

On the other hand, a lot of readers expressed some perplexity – what’s the purpose of pre-ordering an ebook?
After all, the good thing about ebooks is, I see something I like, I click and I’ve got it on my reader straight away.
No delivery times, no waiting, no hassle.
Why wait up to 90 days to get the file? Continue reading