deborahjross: (Default)

Happy September EBook Sale!

Special sale prices on Kindle editions of Jaydium, Northlight,Azkhantian Tales, Tranfusion and Other Tales of Hope, Other Doorway: Early Novels, and Ink Dance: Essays on The Writing Life.



Nook editions will be on special sale shortly.
deborahjross: (Shield #1)
Chris Dolley on Book View Cafe -- how we got started, how we work cooperatively, our successes and challenges.

We find that cooperation works surprisingly well. Part of this comes down to our selection procedure where ‘plays well with others’ is seen as an essential prerequisite to membership. Plus volunteering is catching. When you see people giving up their time to help you with your book, guiding you through the maze of book production and giving you marketing tips that you’d never even thought of…you feel compelled to return the favor. As one of our newer authors said recently, “This place *rocks.* I’ve never been so supported in my writing career!”

An Author-run Publishing Co-op With a Record of Success | Publishing Perspectives
deborahjross: (Jaydium)
Orycon ate my weekend, so I failed to connect with the internet last Friday to blather about Chapter 18 of my serialized sf novel, Jaydium.<\i> The question of whether vertebrates in general and mammals in particular (our heroes included) qualify as persons is debated.

Deborah J. Ross: Jaydium, Chapter 18
deborahjross: (piano)
Today's blog is up at Book View Cafe:

Gatekeeping in the World of Ebooks | Book View Cafe Blog

Excerpt:

What’s wrong with a situation in which anyone who’s thrown together 80K or even 50K or 150K words, formats it, puts it up as a Kindle edition, promotes it all over the social media sites, and sells a bunch of copies (or a whole big bunch of copies)? Isn’t that how the market works, by giving readers what they’re looking for?

The problem I have with this scenario, being enacted thousands of times over the various epublishing venues, is not so much the flood of unreadable or barely-readable books making it increasingly difficult to find the ones I want. It’s the disservice it does to the newer writer.

Each one of us has a unique perspective, a precious voice that is ours alone. As Edith Layton said, “No one else in the wide world, since the dawn of time, has ever seen the world as you do, or can explain it as you can. This is what you have to offer that no one else can.”
deborahjross: (Northlight)

Book View Cafe is holding a "Dog Days of August" sale through the 15th. See the specials page for our markdowns or use these coupon numbers at checkout for the books listed below:

  • Beyond Grimm, Shadow Conspiracy I, Shadow Conspiracy II, Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls, Dragon Lords and Warrior Women, and Brewing Fine Fiction: DOGDAYSANTHO
  • Nancy Jane Moore’s Changeling and Flashes of Illumination: DOGDAYNJM2012
  • Pati Nagle’s Immortal: AugustDog-Immortal; Swords Over Fireshore: AugustDog-Swords; and Pet Noir: AugustDog-PetNoir. Glorieta Pass is also half off, with no coupon required.
  • Jeffrey Carver’s Reality and Other Fictions and Dragon Space: DOGDAYJC2012
  • Chaz Brenchley’s Dead of Light and Light Errant: DOGDAYCB2012
  • Deborah J. Ross’s Jaydium and Northlight: DOGDAYDJR2012
  • Linda Nagata’s The Bohr Maker: SUMMERHOUSE
  • Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s Fire Sanctuary, Hidden Fires, and Fires of Nuala: DOGDAYKEK2012
  • Jennifer Stevenson’s A Taste of You: DOGDAYJS2012
  • Laura Anne Gilman's Practical Meerkat’s 52 Bits of Useful Advice for New (and Old) Writer: DOGDAYLAG2012
deborahjross: (Default)
Today's installation of Chain Mail - conversations with Book View Cafe authors -- tackles the question of electronic publishing and the future of books. Here's my answer:

I’ve long since given up making predictions. Most of the time, I have no clue why one book sells and another doesn’t (well, okay, I have lots of clues as to why some books don’t sell). But here’s what I believe:

People will always want good stories. They’ll want to hear ’em, read ’em, see ’em (theater, films, etc.). They’ll want to act them out. We are a story-telling species. The medium is far, far less important than the story. Flexibility/adaptability/range are the keys to surviving uncertain times.

Paper books have been around for a long time, and still offer strengths that other media don’t. Durability is one, as we have no electronic storage medium that rivals the centuries that acid-free paper lasts. Books offer physical pleasures that ereaders don’t (at least, so far) and (getting wilder here) people who grew up with books are less likely to completely discard them than people who grew up with computers. So we have overlapping generations of book-pref and computer/edevice-pref.

We’re definitely in a shakedown period of electronic publishing. Some of what’s going by the wayside should stay there, but often, good stuff risks becoming lost as well. It will take a while for new systems to emerge, and for errors to correct themselves.

One of the greatest potentials for epublishing is the rebirth of the midlist. This is where the most imaginative, risk-taking writing lives. These books challenged readers, to be savored over and over. Once upon a time, read-it-once best-sellers subsidized the midlist, to everyone’s benefit. Then came the era of bean-counters, where every book was supposed to be a best-seller, so away went these precious but not wildly successful books. Now, most of them did make money. Just not enough. Enough, though, to support an author if the right audiences could be reached. This is where I am hoping electronic publishing will shine, by providing a framework for works that do not pander to the lowest-common-denominator audiences, and by using the power of electronic communications to connect these books with their audiences.

At least, that’s what I hope will happen.
deborahjross: (dolomites)
For lo, these many months, the elves at Book View Café, beloved spouse among them, have been laboring to transform the ebookstore into something elegant and user-friendly, in which browsing means discovered very cool new books as well as old out-of-print favorites. Now it's done and up and we want all our friends/n/relations to celebrate with us.

To that end, we're giving our readers a chance to win the book of their choice free. There's a lot of hoopla about whether such events are helpful, but I hope this one will be fun. The point is to invite you to check things out. Who knows, you might find something you want. (And such a deal - 95% of the price goes to the author.) So here's the skinny:

BVC's spiffy new bookstore

Take a look around the store anytime up until midnight, June 8, and choose the book you’d like—all the books that are eligible for the giveaway are marked with a gold star. (Omnibus editions and a few other books aren't eligible.) Then come back here and leave a comment with the name and author of the book and why you want it, with the understanding that by entering, you give us permission to use your comment for publicity purposes - so be brilliant. When the promotion ends, I'll select a winner by a mysterious and entirely random process - which means I've written down a date and time, and whoever posts closest to it wins. If you’re the winner, I’ll send you a coupon for the book of your choice.

If you don't have an LJ account and are posting as Anonymous, that's fine. Just identify yourself as a person rather than a spambot.

In addition, to express my appreciation for your hanging around my place here, I'll select 3 other people (by a method identical to above) to receive either a 50% coupon for either of my ebooks (Jaydium or Northlight) or a mass market paperback edition of Zandru's Forge, A Flame in Hali, The Alton Gift, or Hastur Lord.

Want to enter more than once? Can't do it here - I'll get grouchy. Check out these other BVC author sites where you can enter for additional chances to win:

Maya Kaathryn Bonhoff 
Chaz Brenchley 
Patricia Burrough
Jeffrey Carver 
Amy Sterling Casil 
Laura Anne Gilman 
Lois Gresh 
Kit Kerr 
Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
Kelly McClymer 
Vonda N. McIntyre 
Nancy Jane Moore 
Linda Nagata 
Pati Nagle 
Steven Harper
Phyllis Irene Radford 
Patricia Rice 
Madeleine Robins 
Sherwood Smith 
Jennifer Stevenson 
Judith Tarr
Dave Trowbridge

deborahjross: (Jaydium)
Are the reader reviews on Amazon.com better or worse than those penned by professional (and often academic and "litrary") reviewers? Or are they a completely different ball of wax?

In an article, "Amazon Killed The Book Reviewer Star," Gregory Ferenstein writes:

“The democratization of reviewing is synonymous with the decay of reviewing,” lamented Professor of English Morris Dickstein, “The professional reviewer, who has a literary identity, who had to meet some editor’s exacting standard, has effectively been replaced by the Amazon reviewer, the paying customer, at times ingenious, assiduous, and highly motivated, more often banal, obtuse, and blankly opinionated.”

Others have implied that Amazon contains far worse than uncritical literary buffoons; Cornell professor Trevor Pinch, discovered systemic corruption within the ranks of top 1,000 Amazon reviewers, many of whom are given perks for good reviews or abstaining from bad ones.

But, if Amazon really is a literary cesspool, why did Dobrescu and his colleagues find that consumer reviews were nearly identical, on average, to professional critics, (under conditions when professionals would not be biased)? The likely explanation is what social scientists call the “wisdom of crowds.” A randomly selected consumer reviewer is no match for a professional reviewer, but the average opinion of all laymen is less biased than an expert.

This fact was famously discovered by Sir Francis Galton, who found that crowds of people were astonishingly good at guessing the weight of a cow, despite individual guesses being all over the map. Stupid answers are tossed around the actual right answer in equal proportion, marking the truth like treasure on a map surrounded by circular dots.


Regardless of the quality or positivity/negativity of Amazon reader reviews, conventional wisdom is that they affect sales because once a book has received a certain number, it gets into Amazon's suggestion algorithms ("Readers who liked this book, liked that other book...")

So if you haven't posted a review of your favorite author's book (how about mine - Jaydium and Northlight?) this is a great time to do so!
deborahjross: (Northlight)
Just out in ebook format from our own [livejournal.com profile] ramblin_phyl:

Guardian of the Freedom (Merlin's Descendents #5)


1763: all of Europe is at war with each other and the Turks are storming toward Vienna. The magical protection of Britain requires that Georgina Kirkwood, a potential Merlin, leave the secret Pendragon Society and disguise herself as man to fight for England.

Wounded and no longer able to carry a sword, Georgina is recruited by the King as a spy in the American Colonies. Transplanted to a land and people vibrant with life and ideas, she begins to question her loyalties. Only her love for Major Roderick Wythe gives her the grounding and stability to work with Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams and many other notable leaders to discover what being the Merlin truly means and to determine who she is protecting from whom.

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species, a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon, she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck.

A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don't get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between.
deborahjross: (Northlight)
Elsewhere, there was a question about offering ebooks free on Amazon and whether that "drives sales." Here's what I said:

I'm probably an old fogie here, but I think the best way to sell books is to write damned good ones. The second best thing is to support the word-of-mouth process. To a certain extent, this means offering review copies in strategically appropriate places, and creating a responsive internet presence. That means, if you are so moved, to blog about interesting things and participate/generate interesting communities. Receiving positive, thoughtful reviews never hurts, but ragging on people to do that is imho counterproductive.

It could be just me, but I find the sales-numbers game not only frustrating but detrimental to my creative flow. Of course, I want to know if my books do well (and so do my publishers!) but I will drive myself nuts trying to out-game the game, if you know what I mean.

I know writers who obsessively check their amazon.com rankings and I think how many stories -- books! -- I could get written in the same time. YMMV.
deborahjross: (blue hills)
Beloved spouse, [livejournal.com profile] davetrow, says of his newly-ebook-releasedExordium, The Phoenix in Flight:

If you're looking for space opera with “coruscating, ravening beams of unstoppable force” (in every color but purple), devious aristocratic intrigue and sexual tension, and high-velocity custard flingers, check out The Phoenix in Flight.

From BVC: Smith and Trowbridge describe the flavor of their five-book space opera Exordium as a cross between Star Wars and Dangerous Liaisons with a touch of the Three Stooges. With its faWant death rays, aristocratic intrigue and sexual tension, and high-velocity custard flingersst-moving blend of humor and horror, of high-tech skiffy and the deep places of the human heart, The Phoenix in Flight launches the reader into a complex, multi-layered universe as Brandon nyr-Arkad, dissolute youngest son of the ruler of the Thousand Suns, abandons the life of Service planned for him and flees into the lawless Rift. Only slowly does he discover that the world he rejected now lies in smoking ruins as the ritual vengeance of Jerrode Eusabian against Brandon’s father, twenty years in preparation, culminates in an explosion of interstellar violence. With both his brothers dead and his father the Panarch imprisoned, Brandon becomes the Panarchy’s last hope.
deborahjross: (Default)
Here's another new ebook from Chris Dolley, courtesy of Book View Cafe Press:

Graham Smith sees things others can't...or won't. He knows that roads can change course, people disappear, office blocks migrate across town. Annalise Mercado hears voices, all from girls calling themselves Annalise. They start telling her about Graham Smith and the men who want to kill him. Two people whose lives are fragmented hold the key to the future of a billion planets.

Order it here.
deborahjross: (Default)
In celebration of the anniversary of my birth, lo these 64 years ago, I'm holding a "When I'm 64" omnibus ebook giveaway over at Book View Cafe. Just following the clickies to download your copy, multi-format and DRM-free, of Jaydiumand Northlight. (Today only...)

Enjoy!
deborahjross: (Default)
BVC offerings keep getting more interesting and varied all the time!


What do you do if the most gorgeous guy you've ever seen asks for your help?

No brainer. Len Whiting is smitten from the minute she sees the stranger's amazing eyes. She agrees to help Caeran find the healer he's been seeking in rural New Mexico. What Len doesn't know is that neither Caeran nor the healer is human: they're immortal ælven, and they're locked in an ancient struggle with the vampires who are their kin. Len wants Caeran’s love, and wants to help the healer find a cure—but first they must cope with the bloodthirsty vampire who's got his sights set on them all!

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Deborah J. Ross

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