New author website!

Thanks to the wonderful tools provided by Squarespace and a wee bit of time on my part, I now have a new author website! (And, judging by this photo, a bunch of old-school tech devices lying around in my office…)

Website screenshot

As you’ll see, this site is all about my JB Dutton nom de plume, since I’ll be putting more focus over the next 12 months on other stories that feature the Embodied, as well as my dreadpunk series that will also be published under JB Dutton. I’m sending John B. Dutton out on a sabbatical and I hope he thoroughly enjoys it!

 

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The future of ebooks or short-lived gimmick?

Phew! I’ve been travelling for work and still editing book 3 of the Embodied trilogy, so the blog has entered a late-winter semi-hibernation phase (and yes, it’s still winter in Montreal!).

Disclaimer out of the way, here’s an article about  Editions at Play, a joint ebook publishing venture between Google Creative Lab Sydney and the design-driven publishing house Visual Editions, which launched last week.

One of my novels, The New Sense, was slated to be made into a similar interactive book before my publisher disappointingly closed shop in 2012. I self-pubbed it in 2013 but I’m still curious to know what the book would have turned out like in an interactive format. What are your thoughts on this kind of ebook? Gimmick or a new medium that’s here to stay?

Underwriting can be deadly to any story

Great advice from Rachel Starr Thompson about the pitfalls of underwriting. No, that’s not the insurance industry kind of underwriting, it’s when an author tries too hard to show without telling and then skips the interesting stuff going on in the characters’ heads that actually makes any story compelling.

Nope, not this kind of underwriting.

Nope, not this kind of underwriting.

Photo credit: free pictures of money / Foter.com / CC BY

Data Guy shows his face on the radio…

Insights into the illusory decline in ebook sales, from NPR’s All Things Considered:

According to Author Earnings, the e-book market is thriving, but traditional publishers’ share of it has slipped to about one-third. And Data Guy believes the e-book market will continue to grow well into the future.

I wonder if the mysterious Data Guy is related to Mr. Robot?

Fraudulent five-star fakes finally forestalled!

I’m sure those aren’t the only F-words that pop into the minds of honest authors and publishers when they read about their less scrupulous competitors’ mendacious review-buying activities. Now Amazon is taking fake reviewers to court in the US. I’m no legal scholar, but I bet that not only is review-buying cheating, it’s also criminal fraud. Personally, I’d rather a fan illegally download my book than have another author boost their Amazon rating by purchasing fake reviews.

Here’s what real reviews look like, in this screenshot from Silent Symmetry’s Amazon.com page:

Symmetry reviews

Clearly this wasn’t the right book for the 1-star reviewer, and that’s the way it should be for any work, whether lowbrow or highbrow. But I’m proud to have taken the True Review Pledge and encourage other authors to do so.

Amazon isn’t altruistically taking a legal stand on behalf of honest authors, the company also has to protect its brand, and fake reviews make it harder for book lovers to judge before they buy, therefore tarnishing the trust they have in the platform.

Fiction authors lie for a living. But they don’t have to cheat.

Amazing news for Canadian readers!

Up until now I’ve used Amazon’s CreateSpace print on demand (POD) service for paperback editions of my books. It’s great for indie authors because there’s zero upfront cost, formats are very flexible, and the books are printed and shipped quickly. The final product is trade paperback quality and although ebooks have always been my primary focus, there are many readers who prefer the old-fashioned dead tree experience. Personally, I’m on the dead tree fence. Some books I read on my Kindle, others “in person”.

The only issue I ever had with CreateSpace was that the books were printed in the US or UK. That meant that Canadian readers had to pay international shipping rates, making my books very expensive for friends here in Canada. Well, NO LONGER! As of October 8, CreateSpace books are available directly on the amazon.ca store.

Here are the amazon.ca links for books 1 and 2 of the Embodied trilogy: Silent Symmetry and Starley’s Rust.

And here’s where my fellow Canadians can purchase a weighty paperback tome of my psychological mystery (set in Montreal), The New Sense.

It’ll be a rainy fall day in Montreal tomorrow – the perfect occasion to snuggle up with a good book. Happy reading!