Blog Archives

Free Book Promotion

It’s Read and Ebook week on Smashwords! From now until Saturday March 8 2014, over 39,000 books are absolutely free. This includes mine. Use the code RW100 at checkout to get these books free during the site-wide promotion!

DogTaleseBook11-13aMO-126 is a dog, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. He is a construct and an employee of the Galactic Organic Development Corporation, which searches the galaxy for primitive sentient species to save from extinction and then creates colonies of them on Corporation agricultural planets where they can live happily and safely. The transplanted species survives, and its members produce some of the most expensive and sought-after food in the galaxy, which the Corporation profitably sells to developed worlds with this guarantee:
Caringly grown, cultivated and harvested by simple sentient life forms. No artificial ingredients, pesticides, herbicides, or mechanized equipment used in processing. Guaranteed 100% organic.

Of course, keeping the primitives primitive enough to ensure the Corporation’s promise of natural purity can be a challenge, especially when they’re like those it found twenty thousand years ago huddling in caves and scraping a meager and precarious existence on a pale blue planet in the Milky Way’s Orion–Cygnus spiral arm. The humans keep trying to change things.

An Android Dog’s Tale is the 15,000-year episodic story of one canine mobile observer android who must make choices about what he wants to accomplish in his artificial life. Does he accept the wisdom of his makers or does he dare to question?

Use the promo code to get your free copy of An Android Dog’s Tale from Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/378268

TWT EBookCover12(comp)Prince Donald, the idealistic third son of the king of Westgrove, believes he may be the only one able to protect his country from an invasion spearheaded by an ancient and massive magical stone warrior known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance. Donald, unfortunately, is woefully unprepared. His only real understanding of such things comes from his reading of adventure stories. When he finds an ancient scroll he believes may allow him to take control of the mysterious Warden, he eagerly takes on the task. He dreams of saving the kingdom and becoming a hero like those in his epic adventure stories. To his dismay, his quest turns out to be nothing like he imagined. He finds the stories in his library seriously understate the complexities and hardships involved. He also soon realizes that the real world can be much more confusing than fictional ones, and the hero is not necessarily predestined to save the day.

Use the promo code to get your free copy of The Warden Threat from Smashwords here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87730

TWWEBookCover14(comp)The Warden War continues the quest begun by Prince Donald in The Warden Threat. His father, King Leonard of Westgrove, has been told that the neighboring kingdom of Gotrox has discovered a magical means to animate a mysterious and gigantic ancient stone warrior, the Warden of Mystic Defiance, which it plans to use it to spearhead an invasion of his country. Donald is convinced this is a hoax carefully crafted by his father’s chief adviser to bring about a war to gain control of Gotroxian resources. Donald is determined to thwart him. It will not be easy. Chief Adviser Horace Barter has resources, connections, influence, and the almost unquestioned trust of the king. Donald, sadly, has none of these. What the young prince does have is a nominal position with the diplomatic team being sent to Gotrox and the companionship of a few rather unique friends including a pair of 15,000-year-old androids, one of which is a dog — or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Use the promo code to get your free copy of The Warden War from Smashwords here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88548

Pendant Cover ebook 13-2 (comp)AP https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/294488 Amy, the only child of a poor family living in the bustling city of Dolphin Point, is given an amazing and potentially dangerous pendant as a present for her fourteenth birthday. She does not know how amazing or how potentially dangerous it is. If she did, she would cherish it even more. She is that kind of girl.

Through her investigations of the mysterious pendant, she uncovers an ancient mystery—the remnants of a vast alien commercial enterprise buried beneath surface of the planet. Unfortunately, the central computer for the complex is aware of her intrusion and it cannot let her escape with knowledge of its existence.

Use the promo code to get your free copy of Amy’s Pendant from Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/294488

ClockworkEbook13-3On a small island called Bob off the southern shore of the great Kingdom of Westgrove, Benkin, a brilliant if somewhat quirky scientist, discovers something extraordinary — clockwork automatons that can obey commands. For Benkin, this is an amazing scientific discovery, one he wants to explore; one he believes may revolutionize mankind’s understanding of the world. For Snyde, a fugitive from the king’s justice, it is something he can use…

This humorous, exciting, and charming story sees the return of several characters from the three previous novels set in this world, plus a few endearing additions. If you were wondering what happened to the thoroughly evil Snyde, or if Trixie and Prince Donald ever got together, this book provides the answers.

Use the promo code to get your free copy of Disturbing Clockwork from Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308615

Defying Fate – Free Kindle Promotion 1 to 5 January 2014

DF Cover13-10Amazon will be running a free promotion for Defying Fate starting New Years Day. This exclusive Kindle edition includes the award-winning novel The Warden Threat and the sequel, The Warden War. They tell the exciting and often humorous tale of a young, naive prince and his quest to prevent an unnecessary war prompted by exaggerated claims of a mysterious WMD (Warden of Mystic Defiance).

I hope you’ll give it a try. If you enjoy the book, I invite you to let the rest of world know. I also would not object to you checking out my other books. Actually, I’d quite appreciate it.

This e-book is available in Kindle format (translated from the original Westgrovian into American English) in the following countries. Click the one that suits you best and enjoy the journey.

(Note: Kindle free promotions start at approximately 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time on the specified start date. They end at approximately 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on the specified end date. Depending on system latencies, these times may be off by a few minutes to several hours.)

Defying Fate – Free Kindle Promotion 2 to 3 November 2013

DF Cover13-10Amazon will be running a free promotion for Defying Fate, this weekend (2 & 3 November 2013). This exclusive Kindle edition includes the award-winning novel The Warden Threat and the sequel, The Warden War. They tell the exciting and often humorous tale of a young, naive prince and his quest to prevent an unnecessary war prompted by exaggerated claims of a mysterious WMD (Warden of Mystic Defiance).

This combined Kindle edition is currently rated five stars on Amazon.

I hope you’ll give it a try. If you enjoy the book, I invite you to let the rest of world know. I also would not object to you checking out my other books. Actually, I’d quite appreciate it.

This e-book is available in Kindle format (translated from the original Westgrovian into American English) in the following countries. Click the one that suits you best and enjoy the journey.

(Note: Kindle free promotions start at approximately 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time on the specified start date. They end at approximately 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on the specified end date. Depending on system latencies, these times may be off by a few minutes to several hours.)

Defying Fate – Free Kindle Promotion 30 April to 4 May 2013

DF Cover5To celebrate the release of my fourth book (Disturbing Clockwork), I’m giving away digital copies of my first two books (but only for five days and only for Kindle).

Defying Fate includes the novels, The Warden Threat and The Warden War.  They tell the exciting and often humorous tale of young, naive Prince Donald and his quest to prevent an unnecessary war prompted by exaggerated claims of the threat posed by the mysterious WMD (Warden of Mystic Defiance). This a character driven science fiction tale in a fantasy-like setting — a parody of epic fantasy with a bit of cultural satire and a lot of fun for readers of all genres who may be looking for something fresh and different.

This combined Kindle edition is currently rated five stars on Amazon.

I hope you’ll give it a try. If you enjoy the book, I invite you to let the rest of world know. I also would not object to you checking out my other books. Actually, I’d quite appreciate it.

(Note: Kindle free promotions start at approximately 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time on the specified start date. They end at approximately 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on the specified end date. Depending on system latencies, these times may be off by a few minutes to several hours.)

A Book and Its Cover

As you may know, my first two novels, The Warden Threat and The Warden War, are offered together in one volume exclusively for Kindle under the title Defying Fate. Recently, a reader submitted the following unsolicited review, which was titled “Good characters, good story.”

 This somewhat quirky, somewhat light sci-fi/fantasy story was just what I was looking for. The characters were interesting and believable, and it made for a really fun, well-written, well-edited book. Have to say that I just hate the cover and if I had seen it before buying the book I probably wouldn’t have gotten it. I could so picture our hero doing his ‘resurrection dance’. There were some loose ends that I would enjoy seeing tied up and I hope there is another book to follow.

 She liked the book enough to give it five stars, but she hated this cover.

DF Cover4 (comp)

I have to admit that I was not entirely pleased with it, myself, but I didn’t hate it. But if it is so bad it is deterring people from downloading and enjoying this book, it must go! I spent a fair amount of time this morning coming up with something different. This was the result.

 DF Cover5

My concern with this one is that it may appear too… dramatic. The book is fun. There is a good, exciting story, too, of course, but what sets it apart is the lighthearted tone throughout the story. I’m just not sure how to convey this in the cover. I suppose this is also a problem for other authors who mix genres.

There is a simple convention for some story genres. If the book is romance, put a young, shirtless guy in a dramatic pose of the cover. If it’s epic fantasy, include a sword. Space opera — a spaceship…. But a lighthearted science fiction story in a fantasy-like setting? There’s no standard for that, so you have to wing it. The closest well-known books to mine might be something like The Princess Bride or the later Discworld novels, but neither of these have a science fiction element.

This revised cover reuses part of the background I bought from a professional cover designer for the cover of The Warden Threat (which I decided not to use because it made it look like an angst-filled romance novel). I hope it will meet with approval, or at least not scare away readers.

(As for the loose ends, yes, those are tied up in the next book, Disturbing Clockwork, which will be available any day now.)

A Cheap Adventure

Do you have a Kindle or some other e-reader? Are you giving one to someone else? Why not load it with a fun epic adventure? In celebration of the upcoming holidays, prices on the digital versions of the first two books set in the Warden’s World have been lowered. Now you can get The Warden Threat and The Warden War for only $1.99 each! This is a full dollar off the regular low price of $2.99.

 

For even a more savings, you can get both books together in one convenient download exclusively for Kindle. The Kindle edition of Defying Fate, which includes both of these novels, is now priced at just $2.99, a full $2.00 off the normal price of $4.99 and almost $1.00 less than the cost of buying them separately. These discounts will be in effect through the end of the year, so take advantage of them while they last.

 

 Due to the cost of production, similar discounts cannot be offered on the paperback editions. If, however, paper is what you prefer, The Warden Threat and The Warden War are both available as trade paperbacks from Amazon for the low price of $9.99 each.

 Links for the U.S. (Amazon.com)
The Warden Threat
The Warden War
Defying Fate

Links for those in the U.K. (Amazon.co.uk)
The Warden Threat
The Warden War
Defying Fate

Other e-book formats are available from Smashwords
The Warden Threat
The Warden War

Announcing the Paperback Release of The Warden Threat

Great news! After several months of intensive effort and coordination, The Warden Threat is now available in paperback!

The Warden Threat

by
DL Morrese

 The Kingdom of Westgrove faces a grave threat, but is it the one the king’s advisers are warning him of?

 Prince Donald, the idealistic third son of the king of Westgrove, believes he may be the only one able to protect his country from an invasion spearheaded by an ancient and massive magical stone warrior known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance. Donald, unfortunately, is woefully unprepared. His only real understanding of such things comes from his reading of adventure stories. When he finds an ancient scroll he believes may allow him to take control of the mysterious Warden, he eagerly takes on the task. He dreams of saving the kingdom and becoming a hero like those in his epic adventure stories. To his dismay, his quest turns out to be nothing like he imagined. He finds the stories in his library seriously understate the complexities and hardships involved. He also soon realizes that the real world can be much more confusing than fictional ones and that the hero is not necessarily predestined to save the day.

This ‘laugh-out-loud’ parody is a unique book. Technically science fiction, it is almost an anti-fantasy, which pokes a fair, or perhaps an unfair amount of good-natured fun at the serious tone and dependence on magic common to many epic fantasy adventure genre novels. With its charming and truly likeable characters, witty, intelligent humor, and prose style blending humorous science fiction and epic fantasy elements, The Warden Threat is a delight. It is sure to appeal to readers of these genres who may be looking for something fresh and different.

 Book Details:
Word Count: 85,500
Page Count: 340
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Paperback available from Amazon.com
E-book available from Amazon.com & Smashwords

 Review Extracts:

  • The Warden Threat: “it’s laugh-out-loud funny”
  • “the grammar is refreshingly precise and the vocabulary, well, scrumptious”
  • “The characters are believable and well-rounded”
  • “the whole book is filled with little gems”
  • “shows the influence of Terry Pratchett in style and current events … easy to read, but hardly simplistic.”
  • “a lighthearted epic fantasy parody with a science fiction twist that kept me engaged and entertained from page one.”

Cover Update

After spending far more time on this than I wished, I think I finally have a cover I can live with for the paperback edition of The Warden Threat. I thought I had this several times before, but I received multiple comments that previous versions looked too much like a Photo-shopped photograph (among other things). I hope this one overcomes that. Anyway, here it is. I welcome comments.

You may notice –how could you help not– that the title is in large font and bright colors. This is mainly so that it will show up well as a thumbnail, but it is also meant to convey that this book contains humor. The scene depicted, although not accurately, is one from about the middle of the book in which the protagonist, Prince Donald of Westgrove, is trying to animate the ancient and mysterious statue known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance. It sits high in the mountains of the neighboring Kingdom of Gotrox in a crater-like canyon with silvered walls. He is naked because the “spell” he has found, which he believes is the means to bring this huge enigmatic artifact to life and obey the commands of the caster, specifies that a prince, “naked to the Warden’s love,” must recite it. After his first failed attempt, Prince Donald reluctantly concludes that this line must be taken literally.

In other news, my edits and revisions of this book are now done. I would like to do one more proofreading before it goes to print, however. Look for the revised ebook in the next couple of months and the paperback shortly thereafter. The cover for the ebook will be pretty much the same as the front cover of the paperback.

I’m in the middle of editing and revising the sequel, The Warden War. I don’t have a cover for this one yet but I’ve been corresponding with the cover artist, and I am optimistic about it. I sent some files to her yesterday for her consideration.

The first draft of my third book is complete and awaiting additional work until I’ve put the first two to bed. It is more Young Adult oriented with a younger protagonist. She is briefly mentioned in the previous books but this is her first appearance. Some of the characters from the first books appear in it as well though. The third book is more clearly science fiction and reveals more about the now defunct commercial enterprise established on this planet several thousand years ago by the Galactic Organic Development Corporation. I have not decided, but I am considering attempting to go the traditional publishing route with this one. Self-publishing may be more advantageous to authors, but it is a lot more work, and these extra duties take time away from what I really want to do, which is write more stories.

My Self-Publishing Adventure – Episode Seven – The Motivating Power of Readers

 I have been feeling pumped recently.

Pumped: synonyms – inspired, encouraged, stimulated, motivated . . .

Sorry. I’ve been doing a lot of editing recently and the reason for that is the subject of this post.

I mentioned previously that I got my first “professional” reviews, and I said how pleased I was with them. Who wouldn’t be? I put out a completely DIY ebook, and its first reviews by people unrelated and unknown to me were four and five stars. But something since has motivated me even more.

I maintain a modest presence on Twitter, with a few hundred followers. I try not to do much book promotion there anymore but I do talk about my writing, what I’m doing, what I’ve discovered, and things like this. I’ll also Tweet about my health, the weather, a random observation, a favorite quote, or whatever comes to mind. I guess I’m an eclectic Tweeter. What I have been focusing on recently, is following and engaging people who seem to share my tastes, fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams especially. Both of these great authors have influenced my writing style because I so greatly enjoy their work. I wanted to write books I would like to read, so it only seemed logical to use them as unwitting mentors.

Recently, some, well, a few people on Twitter have told me they read and really enjoyed my books. These weren’t reviewers. I didn’t ask them to read them and I didn’t send them a free copy. They picked them up on their own, read them, and liked them enough to tell me about it. They are also fans of my favorite writers, and I couldn’t help thinking, I’d done it! These people saw in my books something similar to the ineffable magic penned by two of my favorites. I can’t tell you how much of a rush it was when I got a Tweet from a gentleman who said he was 70% through my first book and laughing his ass off. I ran straight out to the patio and told my wife and her mother who were downing a few (or more) beers after Thanksgiving dinner.

It was also something of a surprise. And a shock.

The books I enjoy most are not mainstream bestsellers, or even mainstream genre fiction. If it’s dark, I probably won’t read it. If it’s littered with dead bodies, guns, or drugs, it’s not something I want to spend my leisure time with. I can watch the news if I want things like that. If zombies, demons, vampires, ghosts, or others who look at people primarily as a good source of protein or some mystical nutritive energy are a central part of the plot, the book is probably not for me either unless the beasties are conveyed satirically or with humor. I don’t find such stories enjoyable, so they aren’t the kind I write. They do seem popular though and mine have little in common with them.

I understand my books are outside the norm. They are science fiction set in a fantasy-like setting. In a way, they are almost anti-fantasies, and they poke a fair (or unfair) amount of fun at the genre. No one reads stuff like that. There is no stuff like that. Gaining much of an audience seemed unlikely.

A few people I hesitate to call fans can change that. Once one person, and it only takes one, says he or she really likes your book (the really is important), your outlook changes. At least mine did. Perhaps I’m too easily encouraged, but if one person is enthused about it, certainly others will be. This is great, but it leads to a new feeling of responsibility. There is a big attitudinal difference between “maybe someone might like it” to “OMG, someone really likes it!” Suddenly, your book can’t be just a fun read, now it has to be great. A DIY cover and a self-edited book with random commas, some less than stellar prose, and a breeding population of mutant typos (what else can explain how more appear after you are sure every one has been found and squashed) may be good enough for a casual reader, but certainly not for someone who really likes your book.

So, this is where I’m at now on my self-publishing adventure. A few people like my book enough to actually promote it for me. They are Tweeting about it to friends. I am humbled because it’s not good enough (yet) for people like this. But I shall make it worthy.

I am currently reediting and revising the manuscript of The Warden Threat, eliminating stubborn typos and tightening the prose. I have engaged a professional technical editor and I have commissioned custom art for the cover. I intend to find at least a copy editor and proofreader early next year to ensure I provide a professional quality product. I also plan to make it available as a Print On Demand paperback so anyone, even those few who still do not have ebook readers, can get a copy if they wish.

If my blog posts come less frequently over the following months, this is why. Once I have completed the revised edition of the Warden Threat, I will go through the same process for The Warden War.

The first draft of my third book, Amy’s Pendant, is complete. I have not yet decided if I will try traditional publishing for this or not. If it appears as if the first two books are gaining a following, I may continue with self-publishing for this one as well. It puts more of the work on the author as well as all the risk and upfront expense. The thought that a traditional publisher could  share some of this is tempting. I never tried traditional publishing for my books so I can’t compare based on any firsthand experience.

I will try to keep you posted on how this all goes. Until then, I hope you enjoy your holidays and I wish you all a very good new year.

Related Posts:

My Self Publishing Adventure

My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode One – Initial Release and Promotion

  As promised, here is a short update on my ongoing self publishing effort.

I published my first novel, The Warden Threat on Amazon and Smashwords on September 10 2011. The process for both was quick, easy, and free. I couldn’t be more pleased with that aspect of it.

My promotion strategy, such as it is, is to price my books as cheaply as possible and announce their availability on social networking sites. This includes only Twitter and Facebook, since these are the only ones I currently use.  I’ve been sending tweets about it a few times a week and I’ve posted a couple links on Facebook. I also put a link to my website on my email signature block so my friends and relatives will be aware of it. I’ve established accounts with Goodreads and MobileRead and I’ve introduced myself in their forums.

So how has it worked so far? Are people buying my books? Well, the short answer is “no.” At least not for money. The one success story is Smashwords, where I made The Warden Threat free until 30 September. In the two and a half weeks it’s been available, there have been 137 downloads. I don’t know if any of those who have downloaded copies have read them though. So far it has gotten no reviews or ratings. On Amazon, where the sale price is $0.99, there have been no sales and no reviews.

My plan forward it to continue what I’ve been doing hoping that some of those who have downloaded the book for free will read it, review it, and tell others what a truly amazing and wonderful story it is. That’s my hope. My expectation is that I’ll continue with what I’ve been doing and maybe get a few sales at $0.99 before the end of the year. I expect downloads on Smashwords to end once the free download offer is over at the end of the month.

That’s my experience so far. If you have self published your stories as ebooks, was your experience similar? Do you have any suggestions?

Related Posts:

My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode Two
My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode Three – Building a Platform
My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode Four – Managing Expectations
My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode Five – Gaining a Following
Why I Chose To Self Publish
Self Editing – Advice And Apology

%d bloggers like this: