Thursday, December 27, 2012

Life Learning in 2012

I want to thank everyone who bought a free copy of The Knights of Derbyshire during the Kindle sale and raised the ranking. All told I gave away about 2000 copies, which I would not view as losses at all given the free Kindle book market and the fact that this is a series of books to buy. 

Things I Learned This Month:
1. That copy-editing can never be good enough. Georgiana and the Wolf went through every possible check before it could be published and there's still a major typo in the print edition that will be changed in January. No one else has found it yet except the person who pointed it out to me - my mom - so I can't blame myself or my three levels of editors too much. Actually, there's still a contest going that the first person to find it gets a free copy of the revision. So that's impressive in its own way. 

2. That I think the Amazon market is nuts and may be crashing. Maybe letting everyone throw their S&M werewolf Celtic historical fiction for 99c wasn't a good idea, but even Amazon can make mistakes. And I can't complain too much, having joined the ranks of self-published Createspace authors. Book 6 isn't doing as well as Book 5. To some extent I expect that, given that in a series there's going to be diminishing returns with each book outselling the next one as readers drop off or don't find the new ones, but I would feel better if it was doing well. Since it's been hard to find reviewers with a book so late in a series, I can't say people aren't buying it because of bad reviews. I think the market is just flushed with JAFF, and I don't have a massive publishing house's publicity machine behind me, so that's that. Also, weird fact: Book 3 has always outsold Book 2. I don't know why.

3. That they now make kosher Hannukah Houses so Jews don't feel left out of the Gingerbread House phenomenonThis is true. The main reason for my never building a Gingerbread house is that the sets are never marked kosher and contain unkosher frosting or candies, but one Jewish company put an end to that. The result: A stale vanilla cookie of a house. The frosting was good though.

4. That I can still surprise myself with my writing. I sold a horror short story to Dybbuk Press for an anthology, details upcoming but unrelated to Jane Austen. The surprise isn't the horror part (I've always written sci-fi/fantasy) but the short story part.  

5. That Tibetan thangka painting will always test my endurance but still be worth it. I've gotten pretty good at painting and drawing clouds and pretty much nothing else.

6. That this is not going to be a post for the ages. I think I'll just bail.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


My fifth book, The Knights of Derbyshire, is now free on Kindle until Thursday! So please buy it buy it buy it. Owning a Kindle is not required. In fact you can just download it and delete it for all I care (OK I do care a little bit) because it will raise my rank and more people will see it.

If you haven't sampled the series, this is the ideal way to do it. It's a lot of people's favorite book out of all ten, and there's a long introduction to catch you up with the events since Pride and Prejudice.


Amazon actually made me go through a lot of hoops to get this up for free (which is why it isn't available on other eBook formats until February, sorry). Something about how giving away all their books is destroying their business model? That sounds about right. If you've ever been wondering how Amazon can sell all books at a loss, by the way, it's because they make their money in other things, primarily electronics. So undercutting the book market to achieve massive domination of publishing is a worthwhile effort for them. I'm not saying I support it (though as a massive book buyer who picks up tons of used history books from them, I financially support it) but I admire their business savvy. Also I can't get my sci-fi sold to a publisher because they're all broke and not buying anything. There's a connection here - I'm sure of it - but I'm too excited about this sale to bother discussing it here.

I confess Book 5 isn't my favorite book in the series. That distinction goes to Book 8, The Chrysanthemum and the Rose, followed by Book 10, The Last of the Wine, followed by this book. But in terms of being a fun, relatively quick read, it's probably the best. And a lot of fans think it's the best. Brandy Scott thinks it's the best and she's edited every single book.

Andre the Giant wants you to buy this book.
If pass up on this offer, please submit one of the following reasons for your lapse of judgment:
1. You were away and there was no internet except the hotel room connection and what the hell, that was like $20 an hour or something crazy like that, is that how they make all their money?
2. You already own Book 5 on Kindle because you paid for it (this is the correct answer).
3. This is your first visit to the internet ever and you don't understand it at all. Sorry about all the porn you're going to find in a few minutes by typing anything else into Google.
4. You're a visiting alien species and you've already determined that a free copy of the book will not help you conquer anything. (If so, how do you know for sure?)
5. You're that baby from the commercials with Jimmy Fallon who hates free stuff. Confusing baby.
6. English is not your first language. It's not even your second language. You're not having a successful time reading this sentence.
7. You're waiting for the anime.

To conclude, I love you all. I'm not sure that's really true but I wanted to end on a less aggressive note. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Georgiana and the Wolf Now Available!

Georgiana and the Wolf, the sixth book in the series, is now available.

Buy it in paperback.
Buy it for Kindle.
Buy it in all other eBook formats.
It should soon be available at Kobos and B& if it is not already.

A mystery unravels unravels in a rural town in France...

INSPECTOR ROBERT AUDLEY, rising star of the Parisian police force, is called to rural France and the estate of the Marquis de Maret to solve a murder. If his job wasn't hard enough with little evidence and few leads, suspicions point to a creature neither man nor wolf, but something in between.

As rumors of vigilantes and monsters fill the countryside, Audley investigates the connection between the Marquis and the local seminary, a finishing school for proper English women. The Marquis's betrothed, Lady Heather Littlefield, and her best friend and companion Georgiana Bingley seem somehow involved. Are they the next targets of the murderer? Or are much more mysterious forces at work?

In Altman's fifth installment of the The Darcys and the Bingleys, she continues Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice through the character of Georgiana Bingley, daughter of Charles and Jane Bingley of Chatton and Derbyshire, during her eventful and possibly disastrous year at the Robinson School for Women.

Enjoy! And please, please take the time to review it on Amazon if you have a chance.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lookin' Pretty Sweet

This isn't the official publication post because Amazon and Smashwords still have to sort out what pages connect and where are the files and process the latest version of the cover, but Georgiana and the Wolf (book 6) is now published.

Paperback (may be temporarily unavailable due to cover alterations)
All Other eBook Formats

Createspace, Amazon's POD publisher, is not so great with the cover trim, as the back tends to bleed into the spine. Their answer to this problem was, "Make a less complicated cover." And what, not let my readers have a sweet-ass bookshelf display?

Guess which ones had a different publishing company!
Three things you guys should look out for:

1. This blog will have an official publication post where I will be giving away a copy or two, maybe even one in paperback if I can manage it (it costs me money). So stay tuned to comment in that post and win! Because I don't get a lot of comments so you will probably be the winner.

2. I'm saying goodbye to Austen Authors, but I have one final post later this month and will be giving away eBook and paperback copies of the book, so if that's on your blog watch, check it out. I will also repost it in my Facebook Group so that's what you should be subscribed to, that group, because that's where the action's at anyway.

3. BOOK 5 (The Knights of Derbyshire) WILL BE FREE ON KINDLE FOR FIVE DAYS THIS MONTH. Those five days will probably be Dec 23-27th. Even if you don't own a Kindle (...yet) you're welcome to download a free copy and read it on your computer. Or just have it, because you can and it's free. Needless to say I will post when it's free the moment it becomes free, give or take a few hours of processing. Please, please take advantage of this. I had to unpublish from Smashwords and this whole mess just to get into the Kindle Select program for three months to do this for you guys.

4. There is no fourth thing on this list.

5. Happy Hannukah!