An open letter to @AmazonKDP on giving authors our DRM options back #amwriting

Dear Amazon,

You’ve made some changes recently to your Select program. You’ve added the Kindle Lending Library (awesome), the Bonus Pool (awesome, if you’re a big-seller), and you’ve added the count-down deals with promotional pages (awesome).

You still require exclusivity (not so awesome), but I guess I can understand the reasons behind that; or I would, if you’d give authors the right to change their DRM options.

let-me-splain

The short: Many authors would consider going Select / Amazon Exclusive if you let them make their books DRM Free after previously publishing the book as DRM enabled. Continue reading

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The Fault In The Stars… Or, why star ratings have become a bad, bad thing

As readers, we judge a book by them just as much as the cover. As authors, we obsess over them and determine our worth as writers to the decimal point. As reviewers, we debate about them, are confused by their inferred meaning and often fear being honest about them.starsSmall_09

I’m talking stars, people. Those tiny, golden five-pointed things that Amazon requires us to include whenever we leave a review for something. It’s not just Amazon. No matter where you go or what you are reviewing, it’s become all about the stars.

Why is this a problem? Because, those little icons, or the lack thereof, have come to mean more than the content within the review itself. Continue reading

Book Review: Irradiance (Utopian SciFi)

September 27, 2014,

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In Irradiance
Series: The Dream Guild Chronicles (Book 1)
By: David Bruns
Sub-Genres: Utopian (classic)

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Rating: OMG MORE PLEASE  (?)

Review

You may note how I am emphasizing the word “classic” when calling this book a Utopian. We’ve almost forgotten what the difference is between Utopian and Dystopian in science fiction, and the recent inundation of dystopian books hasn’t helped. Many of them are actually utopian, but have been improperly categorized because dystopian is the hot buzz-word the same way paranormal was five years ago, and magical fantasy was five years before that.

Classic utopianism in science fiction has roots with George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Margret Atwood. They set the stage with a perfectly constructed society that functions in a state of utopia, then the book (through story and characters) slowly peels back the pristine paint to show the gritty truth and layers of hidden wallpaper underneath. I love classic Utopian. It’s my favorite genre. I wasn’t aware that’s what Irradiance was when I started, but I was in for a most lovely surprise.

Continue reading

Unique aliens and the bird-like Kilari – SFR Brigade Showcase #scifirom

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Welcome to the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Showcase for October, 2014! The Showcase is a chance for SFR Brigade members to share their own Sci-fi Romance books, WIPs and new releases. For more posts, visit the SFR Brigade Blog.

Side-Story-Og400I think October is the perfect month to talk about aliens that are more than just ‘humans in space’. I try to incorporate unique traits into several species that inhabit the Corwint universe. Hedarions, for example, have eyes that are completely black and heights that never go beyond four-foot-four. Orellians, like Ogrridannes on the cover to the left, have overly-muscualr bodies, orange, scaled skin and are completely hairless, except the females who have a mohawk crest that raises and flattens with their mood, and a braid down their back.

Kilarians have traits related to birds, not only in their physical makeup, but also in their vocal and body language. While Hedarions and Orellians have had a prominent role in my series so far, little has been revealed about Kilarians. In the next few books in the series, more will be revealed about the isolationist Kilari.

Here is a snippet from a future Corwint series book, which will feature a Kilarian main character.


The lower engine compartment hummed with a reverberating pulse, like a steady heartbeat. A tubular hydrofusion core drummed on in an unceasing rhythm, providing a constant electrical current throughout the Blue Yonder’s systems. The core’s soft, blue glow caressed every surface, reflecting against the metal casing and amplifying the ethereal haze, enveloping the compartment’s cramped space. For many, their first glimpse at the engine powering the Blue Yonder through the interstellar causeways was a gaze into the sacred gates of an engineering temple where the constructs of man mingled with dreams of the imagination in an attempt to reach the furthest visible star and touch the face of God.

“Damn you! You infernal, stubborn, glitchy-ass piece of geffarion shit!” The cursing tirade was highlighted by the metallic clanking echo of Kalau’kalis Oosori’s telescopic spanner as it flew across the six foot wide compartment to hit against the opposite wall and then fall through the flooring grate at a most inconvenient angle. “Oh, wonderful!” Continue reading