Posts Tagged ‘eBooks


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.


Last chance to get ASSOCIATED PRESSURE for free!

AssociatedPressure_HiLast chance to get ASSOCIATED PRESSURE for free on your Amazon Kindle! This new Siegel City story, set in the world of OTHER PEOPLE’S HEROES, is a great introduction to a new cast of characters. The eBook edition also contains a special bonus — the first chapter of the upcoming Siegel City novel THE PYRITE WAR. Tomorrow the price goes back to 99 cents, so grab it now!


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!


Christmas Content Countdown

Hey, guys. Obviously there’s an AWFUL lot going on with me right now, both in my personal life, at work, and in my writing. I’ll actually let you guys know a bit more about that last part in a few days. But in the meantime, the countdown to Christmas has begun, and I thought I’d just remind you guys that I’ve currently got two Christmas themed eBooks available and I’ve got a wedding to pay for.

First up, a for a mere $2.99 you can get A Long November, my anthology of Christmas stories written from 2000-2008, including the novella A Long November and nine short stories, some of which do tie in to the Other People’s Heroes or Beginner/Opening Night of the Dead universes, others which are more standalone. Here are all the places online to find it:

Second, last year I got into the eBook game big-time, including the release of a new short story set in the world of Other People’s Heroes. Christmas in Las Vegas in a world full of superheroes gives us the short story Lucky Penny. And there’s a bonus short in there as well, a sci-fi yarn called Stowaway. Here’s where you can find this 99-cent quickie:

And in the next few weeks, you can expect to find a few more Yuletide goodies from me. Is Santa Super? will be the next “Obligatory Everything But Imaginary” collection, rounding up several of my holiday-themed columns and features from around the internet. And as I’ve done since 2000, I’ll have a new Christmas story for you as well. This time it’s going to be a new OPH story, The Ghost of Simon Tower. Because screw Halloween, there’s no time like Christmas for a ghost story.

Keep your eyes open, tell your friends, and check out these books, guys. Hope you enjoy them, and I hope you come back for more stuff from me very soon.



Mutants, Monsters and Madmen-NOW AVAILABLE!

Last year, you guys may remember that I spent the entire month of October watching and talking about assorted scary movies, chronologically tracing the evolution of horror films from the 1920s up until the present day. I really enjoyed that little project and I think a lot of you did too. And now, as Halloween approaches again, I’m ready to launch the next stage of that project, my new eBook Reel to Reel: Mutants, Monsters and Madmen.

This eBook collects the 35 essays I wrote last year, plus five brand-new ones written just for this collection. Over the course of this book, I look at how the things that scare us have grown and evolved over the last century, dishing on some of the greatest, most influential and most memorable scary movies ever made. This eBook, available now for a mere $2.99, is hopefully going to be the first in a series, in which I’ll tackle different cinematic topics the same way.

If you read the essays last year, check this one out and enjoy the new ones. If you haven’t read any of them, dive in now for the first time. And tell all of your horror movie-loving friends about it as well! After all, the reason I decided to write this book in the first place is because I wanted to read a book like this one, but I just couldn’t find one. The market is out there, friends. Help us find each other.

(And lest I forget, thanks to Heather Petit Keller for the cover design!)

You can get the book now in the following online stores: (for your Kindle or Kindle app) (for every other eBook reader)

And in case you’re wondering, the movies covered in this book include:

*The Golem (1920)
*Nosferatu (1922)
*The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
*Dracula (1931)
*Frankenstein (1931)
*The Mummy (1932)
*Freaks (1932)
*Cat People (1942)
*The Fly (1958)
*Peeping Tom (1960)
*Psycho (1960)
*Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Terror (1962-New in this edition!)
*Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
*The Haunting (1963)
*The Birds (1963-New in this edition!)
*Wait Until Dark (1967)
*Night of the Living Dead (1968)
*Last House on the Left (1972)
*The Exorcist (1973)
*The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
*Jaws (1975)
*Carrie (1976)
*Suspiria (1977)
*Halloween (1978)
*Alien (1979)
*The Shining (1980)
*Friday the 13th (1980)
*The Evil Dead (1981)
*Poltergeist (1982)
*The Thing (1982)
*A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
*Return of the Living Dead (1985)
*Hellraiser (1987-New to this edition!)
*Child’s Play (1988-New to this edition!)
*Misery (1990)
*Scream (1996)
*Ringu (1998)
*The Blair Witch Project (1999)
*Saw (2004)
*The Cabin in the Woods (2012-New to this edition!)


Announcing… The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary!

Well guys, it’s been about twelve minutes since I launched a new product, so it’s time, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve been reading comic books since about 1985 or so. Since 2003, I’ve been writing about them over at and various other places all over the internet. And now, because absolutely nobody is demanding it, I’m presenting my new series of collected features from the corners of the web, The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary.

The idea is simple: every couple of months, I’m going to gather up five or six columns, essays or reviews from my somewhat vast archives that fit a chosen theme. I’ll do a little bit of editing, add some footnotes to give them necessary context and to inject a little additional commentary, and then put them in the e-book stores of the internet. The question, of course, was what to call this not-at-all-new series of columns. Taking a page from the great Bill Watterson, who chose the title The Essential Calvin and Hobbes for a book that collected two previously published books of comic strips which themselves had previously been published in newspapers (and was therefore not even remotely essential), I decided The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary had a nice ring to it.

Today I present the OEBI Vol. 1: A Revolving Door in Heaven. As the solicit text I wrote states:

When a superhero dies, nobody thinks they’ll stay dead. When a superhero kills, everybody gets up in arms. When someone close to a superhero bites the bullet, no one knows what to think. A REVOLVING DOOR IN HEAVEN is a series of handy essays about the phenomenon of death (and life) in mainstream American comic books.

The Obligatory EBI is not a money-making proposition for me, it’s a name recognition thing, so I’m offering the volumes as cheap as I possibly can. In the store, where you can get it in any format for whatever e-reader you happen to have, it’s a whopping zero cents. That’s right, absolutely free. In the Amazon store, you can’t set a book for free unless you meet some very specific criteria involving where the book appears digitally and exclusivity and sacrificing a Peruvian tree frog at midnight on the winter solstice… long story short, this book isn’t eligible. So I’ve set it at the lowest price Amazon will allow, 99 cents. But fingers crossed, Amazon will notice it’s free elsewhere and price-match… they do that sometimes.

Anyway, however you want to get it, the book is available now. Check it out, tell your comic-lovin’ friends, and feel free to suggest topics for future volumes!

A Revolving Door in Heaven at
A Revolving Door in Heaven at



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:

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