18. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: writing · Tags:

Obviously, the biggest problem with pricing your books at $0.00 is that 70% of that is still $0.00, and the phone bill is substantially more than that.

It seems like an attractive proposition for new authors, though. Make your books available for free for a limited amount of time and enough copies will be downloaded to provide a solid base of reviews. Hopefully good ones. The reviews can then be leveraged in blurbs, blogs and the like, hopefully resulting in real sales at a non-zero price.

It never works that way, though.

First, free is seen by very many consumers as worthless. Many a kindle are filled with free books that never get read. If you (as a consumer) don’t pay for a product, you instinctively don’t place any value on it and I as an author really don’t want you to de-value the work I’ve put in to the writing process.

Second, on the writer’s side of the table, it’s difficult to not resent readers who download free books and don’t follow up with a review. I know, it’s not reasonable. Not everybody reviews. But there’s an implied deal — you get the book for nothing, you owe me a review of some sort. Even if it’s a 1-star “Why did I buy this piece of crap” review.

I don’t want any of us to be in that position. (And after nine books, I have no illusions about the buy/review ratio. It’s around 50:1)

The first books in the three series I’ve written are now available on Smashwords as “Pay what you think it’s worth”. You can put 0.00 in there if you want (and I’ll bear no ill-will if you do), but there’s a recommended price, so at least I’m setting a perceived value. I feel good, you feel good, we all win.

If you haven’t read them yet, Matt’s War, G’Day LA and Book ‘Em are available on Smashwords now. Download a sample and pick up a copy if you’re so inclined, at a price you set.

Thanks, and happy reading


I sure wouldn’t want to be anyone in the Sony executive chain right now. Slagging Angelina, making jokes about Obama’s movie preferences, calling Kevin Hart a whore (okay, that one’s pretty much dead on).

The excuse that these are “private conversations” sure as hell doesn’t hold water. Yes, they were private conversations. No, that’s not an excuse. The real you comes out in private conversations. You’re not hiding your true self in private conversations.

Smile at Angelina’s face, flip her the bird as she walks away.

I have to say, it was a bit disconcerting reading how things run in the back rooms of at least one Hollywood studio. Ruthless doesn’t even come close. Yeah, yeah, it’s a tough business. Thousands of screenplays used as cannon fodder, actors tossed aside because they have a (and I’m quoting Scott Rubin here) “rampaging, spoiled ego”, and are a “minimally talented spoiled brat”.


This is about someone who has achieved more in her career than most ever will.


What they think about us mere writers is probably not printable.

 A week or so ago I was contacted by a journalist, Tina Pittaway, who wanted to have a chat with me for a piece she was putting together for the Dalhousie Alumni magazine.

A brief step back. I didn’t go to Dalhousie. I want to TUNS (Technical University of Nova Scotia). TUNS was subsequently absorbed by Dalhousie for reasons that probably make sense, but also probably annoyed everyone who went to TUNS.

But I’m over that now. Honest.

So anyway. I wrote a post a while ago – geez, two years ago – about the parallels between genre fiction and engineering. This post (and a note I pushed to the Alumni magazine a year ago about my latest release) prompted them to contact me.

We had a great chat. The discussion ranged from novels to screenplays to how I got to Australia and why I write.

Keep an eye out for it. It’ll be out in January some time (and I’ll post a link here when it does).

Are you a writer?

Have you just spent the 30 days of November hammering out the first draft of a Nano Novel?

Are you looking at the pile of words on your screen and thinking “This is the crappiest pile of words ever put together in a single pile since the invention of ‘It was a dark and stormy night'”?

Fear not, friend.

This is perfectly normal. More than normal. This is, dear friend, the very definition of writing. I, personally, would like to ditch my current WIP, but I’ve been through this a dozen times before, so I persevere.

I wager if you talk to 100 writers, 100 of them will say they go through the same stage, at the same time. If they say it doesn’t happen to them, they’re lying.


Remember this. It’s the truest thing I’ve ever written.

Finish the damned thing. Take a week or three and catch up on Game of Thrones (or whatever your particular poison is) and then head back to it with a clear mind.

Once the draft is complete, you can take your time and make it the perfect piece of work it deserves to be.

Key words in that sentence are “take”, “your” and “time”. Warren Buffet once said “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by making nine women pregnant.”

Take a deep breath, have a warm bath, and look at it again in the morning. It’s not as bad as it looks. Push on through to the other side.

It’s like a mini-kickstarter campaign…

I’m releasing my 9th book, the third in the “Matt Daly” adventures, called “Target: Australia” on December 15th. It’s available for pre-order in a bunch of places (listed below). Preorders on Amazon and iBooks aggregate and count as a sale on the day of release.

Target-Australia_kindle cover

The net effect of this is a huge surge of sales on release day, moving the title up the charts. This provides greater visibility of the title and puts it in front of more potential readers.

“Kick-starter”, because the pre-order price is $0.99. The retail price after release is $3.99. Support me in the prelaunch for a buck and you get four bucks worth of book.

Your support is hugely appreciated.

Read the first 20% for free here. If you like what you’re reading, please don’t wait until the 15th. Pre-order now.

iTunes | Amazon: US | UK | CA | AU

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