Indiereader.com Book Review – SCAT

The Indiereader.com book review for SCAT is in.

Verdict: Scat is a sprawling novel, spanning years, full of ideas and conflicts that resonate in today’s world, as good sci-fi is supposed to.

Here’s the full review: Indiereader

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What a Difference a Cover Makes

The new BIRDIE DOWN cover is now up at Amazon and what a response! It’s just had one of it’s best days yet and is now ranked (or ‘trending’) a respectable #48 in free scifi adventure.

A big thanks to everyone who down loaded it. And if you haven’t, then why not check it out?

Suitable for 13 year-old kids on a sugar rush, and everyone else who owns a Kindle. And it’s free.

As with the Scat cover, I did seek and receive opinion: thank you to Kevin Long, USA,  Thomas Cotterill of BC, Canada and Peter Johnstone of Warrington, England – all of them fellow indies.

BIRDIE DOWN – new cover

So? What do you think of the new cover for BIRDIE DOWNBetter? By a mile? 

My thanks to Cathy Helms, Avalon Graphics who also did the SCAT cover – especially for sticking with it as I see-sawed between concepts.

I’ll upload to Amazon later tonight. Smashwords is done already so you can download a copy to your Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook  whenever you want. Like this weekend

Army of Souls

The conclusion to SCAT, ARMY OF SOULS is half written. The first half is now with the beta-readers and I plan to push on with more of it in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to say when it may be published, but I’m aiming for November – fingers crossed and day job permitting.

In the meantime, the new cover for the freebie, BIRDIE DOWN, is almost ready to be uploaded as are a few typo corrections. Republibot.com said it was ‘the best independently published science fiction E-book I’ve read’, so it may be worth a read. I certainly enjoyed the three months it took to plan, write and then tidy up. At 60-odd thousand words it’s the size of a standard novel but it is a fast read. You can download it for free (did I mention that?) from Amazon, Smashwords (my favourite on account of the multiple formats), Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Sony’s Reader Store.

And for those of you who have already downloaded it (big thanks if you have), well you may just want to go back and drop the new cover onto your e-reader. It’s a definite improvement on the current one! And while you’re there – love it or hate it – please leave a rating and a short review. It may help another reader.

And happy birthday Mr Mandela – 94 years young today.

Meanderings: Birdie Down, Social Media and Google Circles (What’s that?)

Today I was asked “Why did I write ‘Birdie Down’ as a separate story when it obviously occurs halfway through ‘Scat’?” “Shouldn’t I have included it in ‘Scat’?” “Why go back and write a story that ‘Scat’ passed over?” blah, blah.

Because I’m an Indie and no one can stop me from being so impulsive? No. Well, not really. I wanted to tell a story about Birdie Goosen. I think he’s a fine fellow – Canadian, but not dull. And I wanted to write a straight-ahead adventure. In truth, after writing (and self-editing) the 170,000 word ‘Scat’, I needed a break. ‘Birdie Down’ was that break. I thought they were good enough reasons, but the questioner wasn’t buying into it.

“Yes, yes. But why give it away?”

“Really? You need to ask? Have you tried selling a book recently?”

“No, I haven’t. But seriously – why?”

“Because I’m show-casing my writing. I’m hoping someone will like it and tell their friends – or leave a review. And if they do, maybe they’ll go back to ‘Scat’ and eventually ‘Army of Souls’ – when it’s done, that is.”

“Then why not just paste some of it onto your website?”

“Because no one has ever heard of of my website. They all go to Amazon, Barns & Noble, Sony and Apple instead!”

“So Tweet it.”

“I do. And I talk to people there, but I don’t want to spam it.”

‘Put it on Facebook.”

“I’m already on friggin Facebook. I’ve got an author page and I connect with other authors. But Facebook is crap. And it’s ugly. And who gives a crap about where Johnny Edwards is right now? Which reminds me, we’re meeting him for a pint later.”

“Have you tried Google Circles?”

“Google what?”

“Google Circles.”

“Do you know what that is?”

The questioner kicked the floor before looking up:

‘Not really. I just know it exists.”

“Same as everyone else. That’s why I haven’t bothered with it.”

The conversation died away. We started talking about our regulator instead. I can’t tell you what we talked about – that would be a distraction. The point is, I’m slowly getting to understand the pros and cons of social media. The pro is it’s great; the con is that it also sucks. I want to write stories, not advertising copy. I don’t want to surf the web just to get hits, or follows, or likes. I do want to connect with readers – and I do respond to every question or comment – but do I really need to be running half a dozen social media accounts when my goal is to write stories?

Well, maybe I do, but I’m backing off from most of them for a while at least. I’m now back with ‘Scat’, or at least his sequel, ‘Army of Souls’ (that’s not giving too much away is it?-) and BD, as I call it, must fend for itself. I reckon I’m about half way through the first draft and am quickly bearing down on the first major twist.

So, I’ve got to go. I feel a chapter coming on.

SCAT – New Book Cover

You can now download SCAT with its new book cover from Smashwords for all formats.

I have also uploaded the new cover to Amazon, but they have yet to confirm it. I see the thumbnail hasn’t changed but the new cover is showing up once you click “look inside”.

If you notice any oddities in the version you purchase, please let me know. 

Best

Jim