Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Kindle



RevolvingDoorFor lots of years now, I’ve spent every Christmas putting together an original short story to share with anybody who cared to read it. It’s a little tradition of mine that I love doing, and I’d feel pretty crummy if I ever stopped it. This year, I’ve done it again. But this year’s story is going to be different in several ways.

Making Santa: Advent is — to begin with — not a short story. It’s just a hair too long to give that title, tipping into the “novella” range. So there’s that, first of all.

Second, it’s not quite a self-contained story. Oh, it can be read in and of itself. It doesn’t end with a big cliffhanger or anything, and if these characters never appeared again, I don’t think anybody would feel particularly cheated. However, that’s not the intention. Advent is the first book in what I’m planning as a quartet. Next Christmas (God willing) should bring you the second volume, Christmas Eve. That will be followed by Twelve Days and, finally Epiphany. Now those three novellas have not been written yet, but I’ve actually got them mapped out (and not just in my head) in far greater detail than I usually do my stories, so I’m feeling pretty confidant that they’re going to happen.

The third thing that’s different is that, for now at least, the book is going to be exclusive to the Amazon Kindle device. I mentioned a few months ago that I was considering doing some Kindle-exclusive volumes to take advantage of their promotional machine, and I’ve decided this is the time to do it. For those of you who don’t have a Kindle or a device with a Kindle App, I’m genuinely sorry. If it helps, I fully intend to release the quartet as a combined print volume once all four of them are written.

Then there’s one last thing — the price. I’ve always given my Christmas stories away, initially at least, for free. And I intended to do that with this one too. But on Christmas Eve, once I finally had it up and in the Kindle Store, I went to the section of website where I could set the book as being free for a promotional period and — lo and behold — it didn’t work. I kept getting an error, “this service unavailable at this time, we are trying to fix this problem, please try again later,” blah blah blah. And like someone who didn’t have health insurance, I spent the next three hours meticulously punching in the information on the website in a desperate attempt to set the two-day “free” window I intended for Christmas Day and the day after. And finally, it came through! Finally, it worked!

At 12:10 a.m. Christmas Day had already begun, and it was too late to start a promotion on that day.

If you’ll allow me a brief moment bereft of Christmas cheer, I definitely wanted to find someone at Amazon and make them use that universal health coverage at that instant.

So instead, guys, today the book is carrying its usual price. It’s still just a measly $1.99, nothing to fine folks such as yourselves. But — but if you want to wait a little bit and pick it up after Christmas, the book will be available totally for free on Dec. 26 and 27. I also intend to run another free promotion on this one next Christmas, just before Christmas Eve is released.

Oh geez, I guess I should tell you a little about the book, shouldn’t I? Well, obviously, it’s a Christmas story, and it’s a weird one even for me. Nicholas Grace and 199 other men abducted by a group of allegedly-benevolent aliens. These advanced lifeforms, having achieved perfect harmony on their own planet, now travel the universe hoping to help younger worlds evolve by supplying them with something they lack, something that’s missing. An icon, for example, a symbol of hope, a character for the world to latch on to.

Nick Grace is one of 200 candidates to become Santa Claus.

Making Santa: Advent is now available for the Amazon Kindle and on any device with a Kindle App.

Hope you enjoy it, guys. Merry Christmas!

(And thanks, as always, to the awesome Jacob Bascle for the cover art!)


Amazon Exclusivity?’s Kindle Direct Publishing, the service I use to put out all of my eBooks in Kindle Format, is offering yet another service that previously has been unavailable to self-publishers like myself. It will now be possible to easily arrange for your books to be sold at a reduced price for a promotional period — essentially, put them “on sale” — that will automatically scroll back to the regular price after a designated period of time. During this period, it will also appear on the Amazon site as being at a reduced price, something which is psychologically important in the mind of the shopper. There are a few other things available that work as promotional tools, the sort of thing that may snare new readers or people on the bubble about checking out my work, which is a great thing. The wrinkle? To partake in this service, the book must be enrolled in the KDP Select program, which means that it must be exclusive to Amazon’s digital platform, and not available anywhere else. No Nook. No iPad bookstore. No Albanian Digital YakNet Reader. (I… I don’t know what they have in Albania.)

In the past, I’ve always argued strongly against digital exclusivity for self-publishers. Let’s face it, my audience is small enough as it is, it didn’t seem to make sense to limit the potential size even further. Recently, though, I’ve been rethinking this position. Here’s the thing guys: although I never feel comfortable discussing exact numbers, I can tell you this much — my sales last month on were over ten times higher than my sales on all other digital platforms combined. And this is normal. I’ve got no idea why this is. Have Barnes and Noble fans instituted a silent boycott against me? Do iPad readers take umbrage at the fact that I use a Kindle Fire? Or are there simply so many more people with Amazon readers that their audience is that much bigger, and the ratio is perfectly normal?

Fact is, I don’t know. And what’s more, as a writer, I make a terrible businessman. (This is among the reasons I am only a part-time writer.) I find myself wondering now if it would make sense for me to sacrifice that ten percent I’m getting from the other stores in the hopes of reaching out and grabbing a bigger chunk of the Amazon pie. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I’m going to try to do my homework on this, get testimonials from other writers, crunch some numbers, look up what “crunch some numbers” means, stuff like that. But the important thing here is that I’m seriously considering it.

Now you Nook people who may be upset if I take this route, there’s one surefire way to keep it from happening. Get your Nooks and your Nook Friends and have them buy Nookbooks on their Nooks to Nook with. Also, y’know, maybe write some reviews of the books on the Barnes & Noble or iTunes stores to ratchet up the sales. If those numbers were even close to Amazon’s, I wouldn’t be considering this at all.

But for now, I gotta be honest, I think it would be foolish of me to not at least consider this.


The Pyrite War — now digitally AND in print!

You asked, friends, and I answered. BESTSELLERMy new novel The Pyrite War, a #1 bestseller on*, is now available in print! The print edition has all the same text as the eBook, along with the following features:

  • Paper
  • Wireless transfer from the page to the reader’s eyes
  • Fully resistant to electrical surges and electromagnetic pulses
  • A photograph of the author on the back cover attempting to look all dark and brooding

And much more! So if you’ve been waiting to read The Pyrite War in print, it’s now available at!

For the rest of you weirdos with your “e-readers” and your “fiber optic cables” and your “macrobiotic diets,” there are two ways to get your fix, with more on the way. If you’ve got an Amazon Kindle or any device with a Kindle app, it’s available in the Kindle Store. If you’ve got a Nook, a Kobo, or any of those other readers, you can buy the book at in a variety of electronic formats! Basically, you can bring the book to you in any form other than carrier pigeon, and I’m working on that as soon as I can figure out how many of them it takes to carry a Kindle tied to their ankles.

Spread the word! The Pyrite War is well and truly here!

*-For a very brief period of time in a ridiculously specific category that it doesn’t, technically, belong in.



AssociatedPressure_HiYou fans of Siegel City have waited a long time between visits to that town, and I really do appreciate your patience. As we speak, I’m working on the final draft of the new book, The Pyrite War, which I hope to have out later this year. But before that, I’ve got one more taste of the city, the last Siegel City short story before the next Siegel City novel, a very short piece called Associated Pressure.

This story is a quick visit with Copycat and company in the days immediately following the Battle of Simon Tower. With so much changing in town, the new LightCorps holds a press conference to explain what’s happening to the public. Problem is, one of them (guess who?) has some trouble keeping his story straight.

There will be two ways for you to get this new story. You see, I wrote Associated Pressure specifically for a special edition comic book put together by the fantastic folks of the New Orleans Drink ‘n Draw Society — a group of local writers and artists that I’m very proud to be even tangentially associated with. This Saturday, as you may know, is Free Comic Book Day in North America, the annual event when comic book publishers and stores give away thousands of special edition comics to their customers, old and new. This year, the Drink ‘n Draw guys thought it would be fun to put together a book of stories by the local talent for us to give out at the FCBD events. If you’re in the New Orleans area, I’ll be at BSI Comics in Metairie giving away copies of the book, as well as recording a Showcase podcast and selling paperback editions of Other People’s HeroesThe Beginner, and Opening Night of the Dead.

“But Blake,” you say, “I don’t live in New Orleans. I don’t live anywhere near New Orleans? As a devoted Siegel City completist, how can I possibly obtain this new story for my electronic book collection?” Funny you should ask that, friends. Even if you’re in New York, Cucamonga or Walla-Walla, Washington, from May 4 through May 8, you’ll be able to download Associated Pressure from the Amazon Kindle store absolutely free. Got a Kindle? An iPad? A smartphone? A computer? (If you don’t have any of these things, please tell me how you’re reading this blog, I’m intensely curious.) Then you can download the free Kindle App and buy any and all of my books, and snare this newest story for nothing at all.

Sure, you could go there now and plunk down 99 cents for it, but I’m asking that you don’t do that. I want Saturday, Free Comic Book Day, to be the big download day, the day everybody gets it and bumps it up the sales list. The higher its place on the list, the more people will see it, which will lead to more downloads, which will hopefully lead to more downloads of the paid books, which will eventually get me featured on Oprah’s Book Club, which will make me stupidly wealthy and allow me to achieve my lifelong dream of taking a bath in silver dollars.

You, friends, can make that happen.

Oh — and did I mention that the eBook edition of Associated Pressure also happens to include the first chapter of The Pyrite War? That’s right, guys, I’m sneak previewing you.

So on Saturday, if you can, come on down and get the book from BSI. If you can’t — or even if you can, for that matter — download Associated Pressure on Saturday, May 4. And as always, the best way you can help is to write a review on Amazon or your own blog.

And thanks, as always, to the enormously talented Jacob Bascle for providing the cover art!


Christmas 2012: The Ghost of Simon Tower

GhostofSimonTower2It’s time again, my friends, for my annual Christmas gift to you, a new short story. And this year, we’re going back to Siegel City and Josh Corwood. Every Christmas Eve the heroes of Siegel City come together to raise a glass to their fallen friends. On Josh Corwood’s first Christmas among them, he learns of an apparition that has haunted Simon Tower for years… a mysterious, nameless phantom, who may hold some of the Tower’s biggest secrets yet. This short story continues the tale of Other People’s Heroes with a gateway into the past of Siegel City, and a glimpse into its future.

So how do you read this story, do you ask? It’s simple, guys. If you’ve got your Amazon Kindle, it’s available in the store right now for a mere 99 cents. But just between you and me, the reason I charge even the 99 cents is because you can’t make a book free on Amazon unless it’s enrolled in their special program, which I’ve decided not to do for reasons.

The Ghost of Simon Tower in the Amazon Kindle Store ($0.99)

But let’s say you don’t have a Kindle… or you don’t have 99 cents, because your kid needed that Tickle-Me Emilio Estavez doll I hear all the kids are crazy for this year. I feel you, my friend. Now before long, the book should be in the Sony Reader store, the Kobo Store, the Nook store, the iPad store, but all of those things take a bit longer than Amazon. So for the rest of you, friends, the book is now available at, and at Smashwords, for a limited time, it’s absolutely free. Yep, for the whopping price of nothing, you can download the book in any format you want, ready to load on your Nook, your Kobo, your iPad… and yes, even your Kindle. And if you don’t have any of those, there’s also an option to read it in PDF format or HTML, right there in your web browser. So if you’re a fan of Siegel City and Josh Corwood, there is literally no reason not to check the book out right now.

The Ghost of Simon Tower in the Smashwords bookstore (FREE!)

As always, my friends, I ask just one favor of you. If you like my work, please post a review of it online — at Amazon, Smashwords, wherever you happen to get it. Reviews help the book get attention, attention gets more sales, more sales means Blake can keep writing stuff like this. And after some of the hints I drop in The Ghost of Simon Tower, I think you’re really going to be excited to see what I’ve got planned for 2013.

Special thanks to the great Jacob Bascle, who once again has come through with a great cover for the book! Merry Christmas, everybody!



Opening Night of the Dead

Combining the wit of the Siegel City stories with an offbeat look at horror stories, Opening Night of the Dead is my little twist on the zombie tale.

From the back cover:

The Climax Studios Festival of Fear is a Halloween tradition, but with monsters roaming the theme park and a monster movie filming on the adjacent film lot, what hell will break loose when a real zombie surfaces and starts biting? When you can’t tell who’s alive and who’s undead, can a stuntman, a makeup artist, a sleaze-slinging blogger and a pair of former cops stop the end of the world from sneaking off the studio lot and infecting all of California?

Available now:


Everything But Imaginary #437: Happy Birthday Superman (or) More Thoughts About Digital Comics

Only a nerd of my stature could start with February 29th, Leap Day, roll it into a birthday party for Superman, and wind up talking about deficiencies in the Amazon Kindle Store as opposed to other venues for digital comics.

Because that’s how I roll.

Everything But Imaginary #437: Happy Birthday Superman (or) More Thoughts About Digital Comics


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 248: Avengers Vs. X-Men and a Valiant Return

Blake and Erin talk about books both with and without pictures this week. New Kindle Convert Erin points you towards the “Black December” sale from the good folks at horror publisher Permuted Press, and Blake urges all writers to throw their support behind Operation eBook Drop. In comics chat, we discuss the passing of Jerry Robinson, the return of Valiant Comics and Marv Wolfman’s Night Force, and the next big thing at Marvel, Avengers Vs. X-Men. In the picks, Blake triples with Animal Man #4, Hack/Slash Annual #3, and Snowy Joey and the Christmas Dinosaurs. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 248: Avengers Vs. X-Men and a Valiant Return


Your assignments this weekend…

Okay, guys. The weekend is here, and there’s a ton of great stuff to be done. Thor is finally in movie theaters, all over the country fairs and festivals are starting up, and I’m told that there are things called “baseball” and “fresh air” going on all over the place. Awesome sauce.

But there are two things you really ought to do this weekend, and they’re really simple, and they’ll cost you a combined total of 99 cents if you do ’em both. First of all, as I mentioned on Wednesday (and a few weeks ago, and every year before that on this weekend), Saturday is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. You go to any participating comic book store and there’ll be special edition books there. Stuff for the parents, plenty of stuff for the kids, and a lot of fun to be had by all.

If you don’t know where the nearest participating comic shop is, just go on to and punch your ZIP code into the comic shop locator. Bring your friends, bring your family, and try to buy a little something too (because those free shops do cost the shop owners money).

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Which is wonderful and joyous and we should all do very nice things for our moms. But if you’ve got yourself an Amazon Kindle or any device with a Kindle app on it (such devices include iPads, iPhone, iTouches, Android phones, Blackberries, PCs or Macs) you can get Scott Sigler’s new collection of short stories, Blood is Red, for a mere 99 cents. Sigler is one of the best purveyors of sci-fi, thriller, and horror fiction in the New Media realm that I’ve gotten so engrossed in, and there’s no doubt this collection of eight stories is something I’m really looking forward to.

Now the book is actually available for purchase now, but if you’re reading this when I post it on May 6, don’t buy it yet! That’s because Sigler is trying to make May 8 what he calls One Bad Motha’s Day. Hit Amazon on Sunday at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific and buy the book then. The way Amazon ranking works, the more sales happen in a given period of time will help boost the book’s rankings in the Kindle store, which gets the book more exposure, which (hopefully) translates into more sales. Help a brother out, and get Blood is Red on May 8.

(And don’t forget, while you’re there, that you can get my book, Other People’s Heroes, as well. Just $2.99. And frankly, I’m not as picky about when you buy it.)


So let’s review…

Okay, so I hear a few of you STILL haven’t bought Other People’s Heroes yet in its brand new, shiny, sparkling clean eBook format. What’s up with that? Let’s just run down the different places you can find it:

And pretty soon it’ll be available in the iBooks store as well.

But y’know what? I was thinking about my first eBook recently, the Christmas-themed short story collection A Long November. It was originally released at the Smashwords store, where of course it was available in a Kindle-compatible .MOBI format, but I’d never placed it in the Amazon store itself. This, I realized, was madness. So a few days ago, i placed that book in the Amazon store as well. So here are all the places you can buy A Long November:

And A Long November is ALREADY in the iBooks store!

And y’know… even that isn’t everything I’ve got available. There are two short story collections out there with a tale or two of mine, and a comic book as well. In fact, you can find just about everything I’ve got currently available on the recently updated Blake’s Fiction page.

So what’s next? Well, I’m pounding away on the revisions to The Beginner. Once I’ve finished, I’m going to run it through a few kind editorial-type volunteers, then I’ll make it available in all them there eBook formats as well.

And after that?

A conversation the other day with my lovely girlfriend Erin has got me thinking a lot about the heroes of Siegel City all over again. And I think it’s time for me to step back to a story I’ve already written once, but realized long ago needs to be started over from scratch. A tale called 14 Days of Asphalt.

I’ve got a lot of work to do.


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