So, I wasn’t planning on posting about this until release date, which is this coming Tuesday, 1/31. However, recent events with Amazon have forced my hand. I’ve been planning this new series of Pallas Group Solutions Thrillers (a couple series, actually) for a while. The first book, Gray War, comes out on 1/31. I already have the preorders for Books 2 and 3 up, as well, with release dates in March and May. However, things have started to take a turn with Amazon. First, the Hardcover and Paperback are up, but not linked with the ebook. That might just be algo weirdness, since both are through Ingram, and I had to adjust the data to match up with the ebook, since some things didn’t save the first time around. It’s gotten weirder from there, however. I submitted a scheduled ad campaign two days ago. I got back the reply that Amazon Marketing Solutions wouldn’t run the ad, because the cover contains “violent content,” i.e., there are guys in an action thriller pointing guns at each other. “To ensure a good customer experience, we don’t allow ads containing images of weapons (including realistic and non-realistic firearms, swords, bows and arrows, etc.) shown
So, over the weekend, someone or somebot at Amazon apparently decided that Galaxy’s Edge Press was in violation of their terms of service, and deleted and banned their KDP account. Dozens of books disappeared from Amazon in a heartbeat. An entire weekend’s cash flow was disrupted. It did get resolved, and all the books are back up this morning, though a lot of the details of just what happened are still hazy. There are some ideologues at Amazon who like to pull these little fast ones from time to time. Entire authors have been deleted. There’s no evidence that this is what happened this time, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. As Nick Cole has said, it still makes one wonder about being Amazon exclusive. Now, this is concerning to me for a couple of reasons. One, my upcoming releases through GE Press’s Wargate imprint were also affected. But that’s almost a secondary concern. Amazon has been a hell of a tool for the independent author. Kindle Direct Publishing has enabled thousands who might not otherwise have gotten published–not necessarily due to the quality of their work, either–to get their stuff out there. That’s one of the
Brannigan’s Blackhearts #2 – Burmese Crossfire is now live! And it’s still $0.99 for a few more days (going up to $3.99 on the 20th). I approved the proof for the paperback on Saturday, so it’s available too (though still not linked to the Kindle page for some reason). A Search And Destroy Mission…Deep In Hostile Territory The Golden Triangle. One of the biggest heroin-producing regions in the world is also home to squabbling ethnic groups, clashing militarist paramilitaries, and Communist rebels. Drugs are a means to an end. Drugs sell for money. Money buys guns and ammo. It’s how many of the small armies of the region have stayed afloat for so long. And now, another player is getting their hand in. Intelligence suggests that North Korea’s Bureau 39 is hiring out the Light Infantry Guide Bureau as advisors in return for heroin to sell on the black market. It’s an unacceptable situation, but northern Burma is a long way from support. And the powers that be don’t want the signature on the ground that a full-scale operation might need. So, they’re turning to a man who can get it done on a shoestring, and have a hope of
The weird odor in the air, that managed to smell like blood, rot, sulfur, and burned meat all at the same time, got more intense. My guts twisted and I tried not to inhale, but it seemed to reach into my nose anyway, forcing itself past my nasal passages and into my sinuses. A piercing, stabbing pain started to build behind my left eye. I heard Kolya grunt, and Eryn was panting, breathing shallowly. I spared a worried glance at her, to see that she still had her shotgun up, though she looked pale and sick. Granted, some of that might have been the green light of the candles on her already fair complexion, but whatever was happening in that room was not conducive to human life. As soon as they landed on the corpse pile, both figures went limp, though blood continued to pump from their savaged throats, coating the floor and the already bloody meat that had once been human beings. For a moment, all was still. Father Ignacio was continuing the Rite of Exorcism, but the three still-living cultists, or whatever they were, were still facing the pile of human remains, still croaking that blasphemous sound, though
My friend Steven Hildreth just released his third novel today, The Ronin Genesis. From the blurb: April 20th, 2005. Three days have passed since Ben Williams survived the harrowing attack on Tucson’s Saguaro Towers Hotel. However, the danger has far from subsided. Unknown to the public, the Saguaro Towers was a covert CIA station; the attack, an Iranian false-flag operation aimed at breaching the American intelligence apparatus. The Iranian operative responsible for the attack is in possession of sensitive information and has gone off the grid. Short on options, the CIA turns to a small start-up private military company to hunt the Iranian. In turn, that PMC turns to Williams and members of his old Special Activities Division team. Through bloody mercenary combat with multiple factions hunting the data in drug-torn Mexico, Ronin Defense Institute will be born, but there is no guarantee their company–or the shooters themselves–will survive. I haven’t finished it yet, so I can’t say much about it, though Steven did run a few bits of it past me for a sanity check. A review will be coming up in a while. But he’s done a pretty good job with his first two, and from what I’ve
Back in June, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach released a military SF novel entitled Galaxy’s Edge: Legionnaire. I’d been peripherally aware of Mr. Cole for a while, ever since Harper Voyager kicked him to the curb for political reasons. But what he and Anspach pulled off made me sit up and take notice. Because Legionnaire, a brand-new, independently-published mil-SF novel, shot to the top 100 on Kindle, and #1 in its categories, and proceeded to stay there. For weeks. And they made no secret that they wanted to share how they did it with other authors. I talked to Mr. Cole myself for a bit, and got the gears turning, even before they released their After Action Report podcast. Cole pointed me toward the non-fiction work of Chris Fox, who has been studying what works in independent publishing, specifically Amazon, for some time. I started doing some more reading.
Lex Talionis is now available on Kindle and Paperback. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited for you KU subscribers. Amazon doesn’t have the two editions linked on the same page yet, but that usually takes a couple of days. War And Politics Have Consequences… Praetorian Solutions has a rep. Not a particularly pleasant one in some circles, either. Over the last few years, they’ve run roughshod over the plans of terrorists, warlords, pirates, militias, narcos, foreign intelligence services—even some American politicians—and left a considerable trail of dead bodies behind them. But when Jeff Stone and his team were in Mexico, someone who was supposed to be an ally sold them out, leaking information on their identities to the Dark Net. Now the wars are coming home. Before, they fought for hire, offering their services where they thought they could fight for their own sense of justice, putting the hurt on bad people for pay. Now they’re simply going to have to fight to survive. To do that, they’re going to have to embrace the Law of Retaliation. And, quite possibly, earn the title of “Praetorian”…in every sense of the word. And because someone has asked already, no, putting the release date
It was brought to my attention that the option to update the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, for those who have already bought it and would like it with the new cover, was not automatically showing up. I had thought that it was supposed to, but after some digging, I found that I needed to contact Kindle Direct Publishing and ask them to make the update available. I did so, and just now got a reply that, while the changes are “minor” enough not to justify notifying those customers who had already purchased the book, the update is now available. If you have already bought Kill Yuan, and want the new cover, go to the “Manage My Content and Devices” page on Amazon (or this link: (www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage), and there should be an “Update Available” button to the right of the title.
So, in light of a recent article highlighting the decline of the B&N Nook (they are no longer selling Nook books in the UK), and some things I’ve been seeing regarding Kindle Select, I’m trying an experiment with Kill Yuan. It has been unpublished on Smashwords, meaning it will be coming off of B&N and iBooks for preorder within the next week. Both outlets have accounted for a very small fraction of my sales to date, so I’m going to try Kindle Select for this one, and see if it works better. If you’re the one person who already preordered it on iBooks, I apologize. You’ll be refunded. I just have to see if Kindle Select offers enough advantages to balance out the small number of sales I’ve gotten on other platforms.
As of now, Kill Yuan is up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of May 10. Go here to preorder. And just to give a bit of a taste, so you’ve got a reason to hit that preorder link, here’s Chapter 1: A shout from the watchtower drew Nong Song out of his reverie. He looked up from the table where he had been cleaning his QSZ-92, to see Banh waving from the watchtower and pointing off to the southwest. He grimaced. Nong didn’t like many of the motley squad of Javanese and Malaysians he’d been saddled with, out here on tiny Pulau Repong, but the scrawny, gap-toothed Vietnamese pirate, who liked to boast about the number of merchant throats he had slit dockside in Cam Ranh, revolted him. But Shang Xiao Yuan had put him on this flyspeck in the ocean for a reason, so he hastily reassembled the pistol, then got up and reached for his binoculars. As he scanned the water, looking for whatever Banh had meant by that inarticulate yell, he thought, for the hundredth time that week, that there really was very little to like about this entire situation. He had put on