The Amazon rush is dead. I don’t think we’ll see authors getting the same kind of lift from it going forward.
Chris Miller ((Didn’t I just say he was everywhere? And note that his post was spawned by a comment from Kris Johnson. I’ve seen this before. These two may be working together in some capacity…)) shared his thoughts on the Amazon Rush ((“Amazon Rush” refers to a concerted effort by an author with an established fan-base to get into the Amazon charts by mobilizing said fan-base into purchasing their latest book all on the same day.)) , and how they’re getting to be old hat.
I’m glad this discussion is happening, because it’s been on my mind, but I haven’t really taken the time to form any coherent thoughts. Other people have, so be sure to go and read the comments, even if you don’t care to read what I have to say.
I think folks who listen to podiobooks may be approaching a saturation point for this type of thing. Amongst the subset of those folks who are on twitter and follow their favorite podcast authors it’s even more likely. If that’s as far as the message is getting, then I think authors have to beware of fan burnout.
As a consumer who primarily listens to audiobooks, the product that I want has already been delivered to me for free. Now I’m exceptionally appreciative of that fact, which has led me to buy many of these book (which I have no intention of reading in print form) to support the authors. In the perfect world I’d be able to buy the audiobook versions, but so far that’s only been possible for Scott Sigler’s Infected ((which is finally available from audible.com, although I was impatient and bought the CD version and converted it.)) .
But really I bought the books for selfish reasons. I want to see these authors succeed because I want them to keep producing content ((And being brutally honest there’s an even more selfish (and perhaps self-delusional) reason: If they can make it, maybe I can too.)) . I want to know what happens to Perry Dawsey and Keepsie Branson next. So while I can support these authors by spreading the word, writing reviews, or even just giving them money, I want to support their careers as writers, so they’ll keep writing. While I’m sure the love and adoration of their readers keep some of these folks going, I’m not sure it’s sustainable in the long term.
I have more to say about this, but I never intended to go on this long, so I’m going to let my thoughts roll around a bit more.
Next Monday, August 25, Mur Lafferty‘s Playing for Keeps will be available in print ((Technically the book is available right now due to the fact that Amazon listed the books when they arrived, but just ignore that. You can also ignore it if Amazon says “Out of Stock” because it’s practically meaningless.)) from Swarm Press. I’m really psyched about this one.
Welcome to Seventh City, the birthplace of super powers. The First Wave heroes are jerks, but they have the best gifts: flight, super strength, telepathy, genius, fire. The Third Wavers, like bar-owner Keepsie Branson and her friends, are stuck with the leftovers: the ability to instantly make someone sober, the power to smell the past, absolute control… over elevators. They just aren’t powerful enough to make a difference… at least that’s what they’ve always been told. But when the villain Doodad slips Keepsie a mysterious metal sphere, the Third Wavers become caught in the middle of a battle between egotistical heroes and manipulative villains.
Playing for Keeps does a great job of showing what it might really be like to live it a world where some people have super powers. It does this not by focusing on the heroes and villains, but on the folks with lesser powers. But it’s not all “I wish I had a cooler power and people liked me” angst (although there is some of that). It’s about friendship, about the dangers of seeing things as black and white. It’s also an action packed romp that’s a whole lot of fun.
But wait, there’s more!
Playing for Keeps was first release as a serialized podcast (in both audio and PDF form). The unabridged audio version is available from Podiobooks.com where it currently has five star ratings across the boards. This is how I consumed the book, and I recommend you check it out.
The Theme Song (now with video)
The audio version also featured the books theme song, written and performed by Beatnik Turtle. Mur recently held a contest where fans sent in video clips of themselves dancing, or lip syncing, or acting out a scene, or whatever to make a music video for the song. The results can be seen here.
Stories of the Third Wave
One of the most interesting thing that was done to promote the original podcast, was Stories of the Third Wave, a companion podcast featuring fan created content ((I contributed to Episode 6)) . For the print release Mur has started a new season of Stories of the Third Wave featuring short fiction and in-universe radio programs. You can get them all by subscribing to the feed at PlayingForKeepsNovel.com. So far it’s quite the line up:
Easter Egg Commentary 1 — featuring the Easter Eggs originally hidden in the PDF version of the podcast
Manic Mondays #169 — a PfK themed episode of Tom Rockwell’s Manic Mondays
Super 107! — featuring Casey Shultz of SciFi Surplus and Natalie Metzger of Radio Isopod
Geek Survival Guide — a PfK themed episode of Zach Ricks’ Geek Survival Guide
Political Heroes — from Christopher Lester and Bryan Watson
The News from Bewilder Pond — from Matthew Wayne Selznick
Faith Matters — from Dr. John Cmar
The Cockroach’s Bite — fiction from DK Thompson
Conversations About Things With Wheels — from Joe Mieczkowski of On The Podcast
LoveLines — a full cast program, produced by Kimi Alexandre
Knit Spirit — a PfK themed episode of Ivy Reisner’s Knit Sprit
Gestalt — fiction from JC Hutchins
Block Party! — a PfK themed episode of Jason Block’s Block Party
This Seventh City Life — from Christiana Ellis
A Klamath Home Companion — from Grant Baciocco
Want to give the book a read right now? Then head on over and download the entire book in PDF, including a all new short story Parasite Awakens, not currently available anywhere else ((This story is intended to bridge Playing for Keeps with it’s planned sequel)) .
Still Not Convinced?
Look, Playing for Keeps is an awesome book. You should buy it, next Monday, August 25th, from Amazon.com. But you don’t have to take my word for it…
Authors Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris are attempting to make a splash on Amazon.com with their new novels, both sequels to award nominated novel. You can help by buying their new books today (08/08/08) at 8am PDT ((I checked with Tee and no matter what’s been said, he meant Pacific Daylight Time)) . An event they are referring to as Double Trouble.
The Fey are gone… and with them, magic. At least, that is how things seem at the conclusion of the award-nominated novel Chasing the Bard. ~ Lord what fools these mortals be. ~ Penherem is a quaint, sleepy English village where people go to escape the 21st Century. Hiding from the world of laptop computers, the Internet, and wireless communication, is Ella. A writer, now barren of ideas and drive, she resigns herself to a quiet life of solitude. Everything changes with the arrival of a shapeshifting thief. Suddenly, everyone begins to change–from the local librarian to the lady of the manor–revealing their true natures and dangerous secrets. Something in this sleepy English village is awakening… something that might be better left alone.
Digital Magic is the sequel to Chasing the Bard, which is available in paperback, or as a free audiobook.
Chicago, 1930, and following the financial calamity of Black Thursday, Billi is doing everything he can to keep his business afloat. The change in seasons, though, brings him a case that appears to be a true blessing from The Fates. Chicago Cubs Manager Joe McCarthy suspects something fishy with the Baltimore Mariners, a new team in the league, and he’s hiring Billi to look into it.
What appears to be the dream job – being paid to research and attend baseball games – turns out to be a nightmare as he discovers one of the Nine Talismans of Acryonis somewhere in play at Wrigley.
And wouldn’t you know it – with two outs and bases loaded, the heavy hitter of the Underworld “Big Al” gets early parole from The Big Dugout and is swinging two in the Batter’s Circle.
The Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant is the sequel to Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword available in paperback and as a free audiobook.
Sovereign Summer Sunday, July 13, 2008
Tomorrow, Sunday July 13th, Matthew Wayne Selznick‘s Novel Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era is being released in a all new paperback from Swarm Press, and he’s asking everyone who can to buy the book this Sunday from Amazon.com. To promote the occasion Matthew will be streaming live video throughout the day tracking the books progress on the Amazon.com charts.
A Teen Movie / Comic Book Mash-up
Brave Men Run is the story of Nate Charters. Born different, unsure of his origins, he’s an outcast at Abbeque Valley High School, a self-proclaimed “boy freak” with few friends and low self-esteem. When the Sovereign Era dramatically dawns, Nate finds himself in a quest to discover the truth: is he more than he seems, a misfit in a miraculous and powerful new minority… or something else entirely?
All New, All Free Sovereign Era Content
Every hour on the hour from 10am Eastern until 5pm Eastern Matthew will be reading brand new short stories set in the universe of Brave Men Run by J.C. Hutchins, Mur Lafferty, Nathan Lowell,
P.G. Holyfield, and
You can find more information about the the web-a-thon and what Matthew hopes to achieve here. I will be there! Will you?
Your first hit is free
On April 1 Scott Sigler‘s thriller novel Infected will be released in hardcover
to bookstores. But why wait? Thanks to a special arrangement with Scott and
his publisher you can download the entire novel in PDF right
now, but only until March 31.
Infected is the first major print release from Internet
phenom Scott Sigler, whose podcast-only
audiobooks have drawn an immense cult following,
with more than three million individual episodes
downloaded. Now Sigler storms the bookstore
shelves with this cinematic, relentlessly paced
novel that mixes and matches genres, combining
horror, technothriller, and suspense in a heady
mix that is equal parts Chuck Palahniuk, Michael
Crichton, and Stephen King.
Does that sound at all interesting? Go on, give it a try. Just
this one time. Download it already, and tell your friends to do the same.
There’s no risk here, unless you’re afraid you’ll like it so
much you’ll feel compelled to purchase the book. Go on, risk it.
But wait there’s more
Want to learn more about Scott Sigler? You’re in luck.
J.C. Hutchins just released the latest episode of his UltraCreatives
interview series with Scott as his guest. Yeah, that’s free
too. Old One-eye Jack knows how to treat you.