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Monday, March 7, 2011

Read An E-Book Week @ Smashwords

Smashwords is an online bookstore with thousands of e-books for sale, available in all the major E-Reader formats, as well as some of the minor formats. In fact, if you don't have an E-Reader yet, you can download a PDF to your computer, or just read your purchase on the site.

Mark Coker, who started Smashwords, has a great thing going IMO and is also a pleasant guy to deal with.

From March 6-12, there is a promotion going on at Smashwords, with a lot of titles half-off, 3/4s off, or even free. I'm participating, so you can get Virtual Pulp there for about $1.50 or Hell & Gone for $2.00. If you like to read, you should really visit and search for books in the genres that interest you. I'd definitely read the blurb and sample first before buying, though--it often gives you a clue as to how well the book is written.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks Hank, I will probably use this opportunity to pick up Virtual Pulp.

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  2. Cool, Jack. I appreciate that. Can't remember if I told you, but consider distributing Reflexive Fire and your merc series thru them when you're ready. Their meatgrinder will put it in the Nook store, Sony, Kobo, Apple, etc. I went direct to Kindle myself because they hadn't yet worked out the partnership with Amazon, but let them take care of the other versions--saved me some time and work.

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  3. Oh, wow, I didn't even know it worked like that. Thanks for the tip! Issue One of PROMIS is coming along nicely. I just want to write a sneak peek of Issue Two to include with it, hammer out a paragraph of acknowledgments, and get that damned cover squared away!

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  4. A sneak peek is a good idea. Also hyperlinks to your blog and maybe some kind of afterword/sales pitch to your readers to let them know, in general, where the series is going.

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  5. Hammered out a glossary last night. Thanks for the idea about having a afterword/sales pitch to let people know what I'm trying to get at here.

    How about you? What's your next project?

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  6. You poked at a dillemma there. The one I should be working on is Book #1 in my alternate history war series (the Germans won the FIRST World War, and the Monroe Doctrine brings them into a 1-on-1 showdown with the US in the Americas). I have the first few chapters and they're not bad IMO, but I got so wrapped up working out the battles and the strategic plans of the respective high commands that I kinda' lost sight of the characters. Then there's the sci-fi novel...it's kinda' like an espionage thriller on a different world. I'm still playing with ideas for an H&G sequel. And there are a dozen other ideas, too. But the one I'm actually typing words for when I can is sort of a post modern hard-boiled, of sorts. Not sure how I would classify it.

    Of course, I'd love to be waist-deep in all of these, plus Virtual Pulp #2. But my schedule dictates that I try to concentrate on one thing at a time.

    Bet you're sorry you asked, now, huh?

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  7. Not really, I had another one of my brilliant ideas the other day from something you guys said on my blog...publishing a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Handbook. I already have one I made for myself with all the important data, I would just need to scan and type it up then put it into a book. So we've both got a few balls in the air at the moment.

    The alternate history book sounds like it could be cool as hell. So it's basically WWII but takes place on US soil?

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  8. Never a lack of balls in the air, fellow juggler.

    Not on US soil, but in South and Central America, during the mid-1920s. Instead of losing what few colonies it had after WWI, the Kaiser's Germany actually gained some from Britain and France, in Africa, Asia and our hemisphere...including dangerously close to the Panama Canal. Then they take advantage of the political instability down there to expand the Second Reich. So in this war, dreadnoughts are still the most fearsome weapons, aviation is not advanced far beyond WWI, both sides still have units of horse cavalry, but with M1921 Thompsons and BARs on our side (perhaps early Smeissers on their side). Gun/war porn in an alternate reality. Commanders like Guderian, Rommel, MacArthur and Patton clash, but at the battalion and brigade level, in mountains and jungles.

    I have lots of ideas for it I think will be cool, and I see it with series potential for 10 books or more. I have stacks and stacks of notes I took from reference material, just waiting to be used. I think it could be a lot of fun--for me and the readers.

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  9. That is a wild idea, I don't think it has been done before. I've visited central America a number of times and read some of the history leading me to believe that it would certainly result in unconventional warfare, at least the ground campaign. Central America is made up of both mountains and jungle which is why there has never really been a north/south invasion. Massing troops would be difficult and suicidal I would think. Rommel I suspect would adapt to this fairly well. Patton...not so much.

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  10. Right you are! Remember, Rommel began his career commanding alpine troops (mountain infantry, to be accurate), whereas Patton cut his teeth in the horse cavalry.

    It couldn't be a conflict on the scale of the world wars with tremendous troop numbers for a few reasons. The terrain, as you mentioned, and the manpower cost of securing the Reich around the globe, to name a couple. There would be big challenges for both sides.

    German Commanders like Lettow-Vorbeck proved genius at guerilla campaigns in Africa. US units like the 27th Infantry had some jungle fighting experience from the Phillippenes, as did the marines in Nicaragua. Patton was Pershing's right-hand-man during the Punitive Expedition in Mexico, and even got into a gunfight with one of Villa's revolutionaries. But most of the commanders on the American side haven't smelled the powder since the war with Spain. The Kaiser's army is battle-hardened right down to the NCO ranks, with a lot more hands-on experience using the "new" technology like machineguns and aircraft.

    I don't think it's been done before, either...which makes it even cooler IMO.

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  11. So basically the Prussians are trying to encircle America and choke US influence from the rest of the world, with some proxy colonies up for grabs in the process. Sounds pretty cool.

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  12. By the way, I picked up virtual pulp. I'm looking forward to reading it. Right now I'm into a indie mystery novel which is pretty cool. Also, when I was buying virtual pulp, I saw the thumbnail of your new cover for Hell and Gone. It shrinks down very well and looked really good.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Double thanks, Jack. That's good to know.

    Also, thanks to you, Jack B. and the others who have offered their opinions on the cover images. I like the new ebook cover, and think it shouldn't scare off potential readers as my cover probably was before soliciting your opinions.

    I really hated to do it, but I just modified the paperback cover, too. It's more a compromise between the last update and the e-book cover. Lots of people have offered criticism of the old cover(s), but it was hard to determine what was accurate and what was just knee-jerk regurgitated Desktop Publishing 101 soundbites. I trust you guys, and when 2 or more of you agreed about something, I pretty much went with it.

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  15. I think we all just need to quit our jobs and do "this" for a living...

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  16. Jokes on you guys, I don't have a job! Thank that post-9/11 GI Bill because it's like tax sponsored welfare.

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  17. Pffft yeah, jokers like you, suckling on the gubbmint teat just cuz of some BS "patriotic service and getting shot at for your country for several years" malarky...sheesh...what nerve...

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  18. Seriously, I can't believe the whining I hear from other vets at my school. It's unreal. They think Uncle Sugar owes it to them to pay their way for everything, forever.

    Personally, I feel I have to take advantage of my college benefits before our economy completely collapses. Austerity is coming, like it or not.

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  19. Not. (Speaking for myself.)

    What's worse IMO are those getting entitlement checks who've never sacrificed anything for Uncle Sugar or even tried to work an honest living, but still think they've got privileges inside my wallet.

    Hmm. Looks like I strayed from warm, sunny mode. Sorry guys.

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  20. I'm looking to fall into the Not category as well. That means taking advantage of the GI Bill to the maximum extent and getting an education that offers a return on the investment. It also means trying to create supplemental income (writing I hope) while going to school.

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