Posts Tagged ‘eBook



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!)


Blake’s Weekly Roundup: March to War

All this week I’ve continued the character countdown to my next novel, The Pyrite War, launching on September 10. Here’s who we’ve met this week…

Also last week…



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!



My project for this weekend will be getting the final version of The Beginner ready for you guys. The text is done, the cover is done. All that remains is to format and upload everything to the assorted websites I use to sell Other People’s Heroes: that means Kindle Direct Publishing (for you Amazon Kindle users), (for you folks who use all of the other eReaders) and CreateSpace (for anybody who likes an old-fashioned paper copy).

Like Other People’s Heroes, this will be an edited version, but this one won’t be as heavily edited as OPH was. No new scenes, very few changes to the copy. Mostly it’ll be a matter of copy editing and polishing. Like OPH, though, I’m planning to throw in a little bit of bonus content. In the case of The Beginner, I’m going to include one of my Christmas short stories, “Promise,” which longtime readers will know has a very direct connection to the events of this novel.

And, like OPH, it’ll all be for the low, low price of $2.99. Well… the eBook will, I’m not sure what the price point will be for the paper version yet. But I’ll keep you in the loop. Spread the word!



A Long November and Other Tales of ChristmasA Long November and Other Tales of Christmas

A Long November was written as my National Novel Writing Month experiment for 2005 and became my first Podcast Novel. Duncan Marks is just like you — sick and tired of Christmas coming before the Thanksgiving turkey even comes out of the oven. But this year, a Spirit of the Season takes him on a journey that tests his resolve… and upon which Christmas itself may rise or fall. This short story, along with eight other Christmas themed stories of mine, has been collected into an eBook, including a new introduction and notes on each story.


Got a kindle?

Okay. You’ve got a Kindle, but you don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up a Smashwords account just to buy Other People’s Heroes. I get that. I hear ya. I listen.

But OPH is now available in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Really. Check it out: Other People’s Heroes in the Kindle Store!

Newly revised! Newly expanded! Two new short stories!

And whether you read the book the first time around or you’re getting it brand new, folks, do me a favor. Hit me with an Amazon review, please. It really does help to boost the profile of the book and find new readers.



The Beginner breaks free!

I’m happy to inform you, friends, that I have reacquired all publication rights to my second novel, The Beginner. Like Other People’s Heroes, the removal of this book from the catalog of my former publisher is at my request. There were various reasons I was unhappy with the publishing arrangement, none of which are worth discussing here, although a simple Google search for the name of the company will show you exactly why I no longer wish to be associated with them. (Sadly, these Google searches had not get gained prominence when I signed my initial contract, lo those many years ago.)

I’ve told you before my intention to rerelease Other People’s Heroes as an eBook, on all available formats, as soon as possible. Now that The Beginner is officially mine again, I intend to do the same, after taking the time to review the manuscript and maybe punch it up just a little, the same as I did for OPH. I know it would be remarkably difficult to interest a new publisher in these two books, considering they have an existing publication history, but frankly I’m too proud of them to let them languish in the depths of my hard drive, never to be seen again. Expect OPH soon, hopefully within the next month. Not sure when I’ll get to The Beginner (Im still hard at work on revising Opening Night of the Dead, and that takes writing time priority at the moment), but I do think you’ll be able to get it for your Kindle or iPad before the end of the year.

This is, I sincerely believe, the best thing both for these books and for my future as a writer. Thanks for sticking with me, my friends. I hope you’ll come along to see where all this takes me.

(By the way, if you happen to be a publisher that actually would be interested in any of these projects, ignore everything I said and e-mail me at


Evertime Realms: Beginning Year Three

Hey, everyone. It’s that time again, it’s the two-year anniversary of the launch of the modern incarnation of Evertime Realms, and again, the website has continued to evolve over the past year. The introduction of Time Travel Tuesdays has been fun, and the launch of my (second) podcast, the Evercast, has given me plenty of work but has me very excited for a project I hope to kick off in just a few weeks.

But today, I thought it would be fun to go back and do what I did last year, and give you a list of the top ten articles from Evertime Realms over the past two years. Although there are holdovers, list has changed up quite a bit, which is probably a good thing. In descending order…

10. Halloween Party: Mickey’s House of Villains — In the first Halloween Party after I moved shop here to the ‘Realms, I reviewed this direct-to-DVD Disney film based on the old House of Mouse TV show. Over the past year, people have continued to visit this old review, and it’s moved into the #10 spot on my list.

9. Toy Stories: Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before? — This photoblog from April of 2009 has climbed into the #9 spot. In this feature, one of my “Toy Stories” series, I looked at different versions of the same character, and compared different paints and different sculpts side-by-side.

8. Toy Stories: DC Universe Infinite Heroes-Lotsa Toys — Another “Toy Stories” feature from December 2008. This was kind of a catch-all feature for me. I’d gotten a lot of figures in the time between Halloween and Christmas, but hadn’t gotten around to doing a photo feature on them. On Dec. 30, I covered them all at once.

7. DC Universe Infinite Heroes — The prototype of the “Toy Stories” features was this post I made just after I discovered the existence of the toy line. It shows the first three Infinite Heroes figures I got, and I think it shows that although I’m not a great photographer, I’ve at least improved.

6. LEGO Batman and Mini-Nightwing — This post from September 2008 showcased some of the McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys that were released to accompany the premiere of the LEGO Batman video game, as well as a Mini-Mate set featuring Nightwing and Starfire.

5. Kanye West Hates Reading — This post, which I made just days before last year’s list but had already secured a spot in the top 10, followed a few days after the noted scholar Kanye West made some comments about how worthless and useless books are… comments made as he was preparing to release his own “book.” My thoughts on worthlessness are similiar, when you apply them to Kanye.

4. What Your Teacher is Really Thinking — The most recent post on the list clocks in at number four. Just under a month ago, in a moment of exhaustion, I put together this feature telling you the truth about what we teachers really think while the students are hard at work.

3. Halloween Party: Who You Gonna Call? — The last “Toy Stories” feature in this list, I promise. During the 2009 Halloween party, I did this feature about a set of Ghostbusters Mini-Mates. The continued popularity of this feature proves something of great importance: people still realize that the Ghostbusters kick ass.

2. What I’m Reading: Sheldon — This post from my first week online is still holding onto the #2 spot two years later, and all the credit belongs to Dave Kellett. I used the post to talk about how much I love Kellett’s webcomic, Sheldon. Less than an hour later, Kellett had posted a link to my blog post from his own website, and his legion of fans checked it out. It was my first exposure to a shocking increase in my views for the day.

1. Where I Find Free eBooks — Going back to February of this year we find the post that has overshadowed all others on this site, garnering some 10,000 more views than the #2 post on this list. (Not a typo — TEN THOUSAND.) As a Kindle owner, I’ve made it a mission to hunt down different websites where I can find free (legal) eBook content. In February I listed some of those sites, and that blog post caught on like wildfire.

Come back next summer, gang, and I’ll give you the top ten list Mark III.


The night before vacation…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of Mardi Gras. So tomorrow (early) I’ll be boarding a plane and heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, to spend five magical days with my girl Erin there. So how am I spending my last night in Lousiana for a few days?

  • Packing, first and foremost. Although for me, packing always seems to entail cleaning out as well. Going on a trip seems to be the only time I take all the junk paper, used pens, and other assorted debris out of my computer bag. I’m trying to get away with only having my one checked bag and my computer bag with me on this trip, and I think I’ll be able to pull it off. I’ve even secured an extra shirt and pair of underwear in my computer bag in case my luggage and I wind up having to take different flights. I’ve made the traditional list of everything that needs to be packed and almost all of it is. But I know that somehow I’ll find something I missed.
  • Searching for eBooks. The main reason I believe that I’ll be able to eschew my usual carry-on backpack for this flight is because I won’t have a huge sack full of books to read on the flight with me. Instead, I’ve got my trusty Kindle. And although I already have over 400 titles on the device, I’m bopping around several websites looking for other free content to upload, because who knows what I’ll be in the mood to read after the current book I’m nearly finished with? I’m searching a variety of sources, including the sites I mentioned in my shockingly popular Where I Find Free eBooks post of last week, and other sites that people have directed me to since reading that one.
  • Podcasting. Since I was unable to get together with any of my crew this weekend to record, I dashed out a shortened episode of the 2 in 1 Showcase podcast. I’m going to upload it after I finish this post, and then send it out into the internet. I take my podcasting duties seriously.
  • Watching the Winter Olympics. As you probably know by now, I dearly love the Olympic games, both summer and winter. Oddly enough, I think I actually like the winter games a little bit more. The summer games are great, but something about watching events taking place amidst the snow and ice — an utterly foreign concept here in Louisiana — makes it almost like I’m watching another world.
  • Sleep. Well, soon enough. I’ve got to get up at 4 a.m. to catch my flight, after all. But for now, I’ve still got so much to do…

Where I Find Free eBooks

As I often mention my Kindle (the eReader of my dreams), I’ve often found myself explaining that an awful lot of the content on my particular device — 375 different files at present, most of them full-length books  — was come by perfectly legally, and totally free of charge. I’m A bit of a fanatic about this. It comes from being a writer myself, I suppose, but I refuse to support illegal downloading — books, movies, music, what have you. Every eBook that I’ve downloaded for free falls into one of two categories. Either it’s offered legitimately by the author or publisher, or it’s a book in the public domain and no longer under copyright by anybody. And if you think this would limit my options, you’re very mistaken. Here are some of the sites where I find my eBooks, totally for free.

  • — Surprisingly, there are an awful lot of books available free of charge from Amazon. Many of them are public domain books, others are the first book in a series which is about to launch a new volume, and others are simply unknown authors trying to get an audience built. I’ve found some gems here.
  • Online Novels — This page is a directory of books available for free online, and links to many, many other sources. It’s good if you’re looking for a specific book or genre.
  • — The self-publisher’s best friend,, offers several books as a free PDF download. By the nature of the site, pretty much all of the authors are unknown, but you can find good stuff if you look.
  • — The site that hosts my own eBook, A Long November, hosts books both by self-publishing authors and by several small publishers. Many of them are free, and others are labelled “you set the price,” which basically means the download is free, but they accept tips.
  • Free Kindle — This site takes versions of books created by Project Gutenberg and releases them in Kindle format. The PG books are public domain, and I’ve gotten a lot of classics here. Frankenstein, Dracula, Charles Dickens, Williams Shakespeare — lots of old, good stuff.
  • — Like Smashwords, this site hosts a lot of self-published authors. Like Free Kindle Books, it has a lot of stuff in the public domain. Not every book, however, is available in every format. So make sure you’re downloading a book that will work on your device, whatever that happens to be.
  • — Not actually an eBook site, but partnered with Smashwords, is the place where authors go to distribute their work as free audiobooks, in podcast form. My first podcast novel (also A Long November) came out through Podiobooks, and I hope that when I’ve got Cross-Purposes ready to go, it will find a home there too.

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