Filed under: Amazon, Feedback, Heinlein, Kindle, Kurt Vonnegut, Marketing, Promotion, Publishing, Robert A. Heinlein, Science Fiction | Tags: Amazon, blogging, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, free, jim downey, Kindle, literature, promotion, reviews, Science Fiction
As I write this at mid-day, Communion of Dreams sits at #5 in the ‘High Tech’ subcategory of Science Fiction, at #33 overall in Science Fiction, and at #919 in the Kindle rankings (all for “free Kindle store”). Yeah, today’s Trick or Treat promotion is going well. And if you haven’t gotten a copy of the book downloaded yet, you should be sure to do so.
But don’t take my word for it — there’s also a new review been posted this morning:
When I picked up this book, I had no idea what a treat I was in for. From the early chapters I was hooked, like when I was younger and first discovered Heinlein or Vonnegut. Futuristic high-tech gadgets combine with elements of mysticism and other worldly wonder in a sci-fi book that matches up with the best of them. Highly recommended!
Always nice to be favorably compared to some of my favorite authors.
So, don’t delay — go now, and get your copy!
Filed under: Humor, tech | Tags: blogging, GoDaddy, humor, jim downey, technology
…we’ve had a pretty good relationship, but something has come up that we need to not talk about.
Yeah, with a heavy emphasis on the NOT.
A week or so ago I got your nice reminder that I needed to update my credit card info, since I hadn’t done so recently and would have some automatic billing charges at the end of November. That was considerate of you. No, really, it was very thoughtful. I appreciate a short note about such things.
And I took care of it.
But then one of your helpful assistants called me.
Now, I was busy, and so a little more curt than courteous. I’ll admit to that. But I wasn’t rude, just told the person not to call me, and that I had taken care of the update.
That was Thursday or Friday, I think. Yeah, I know, it’s thoughtless of me to not remember such details. I’ll work on that.
But then someone else from GoDaddy called me on Monday. Nah, it wasn’t too early. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that they again wanted to “help” me with the upcoming automatic renewal. ‘To see if we can save you some money!’ he said, in his most upbeat sales-person voice.
Again, I said that I would take care of it myself. And specifically I asked him to NOT CALL ME.
See, I don’t like talking on the phone. Not unless I know the person well.
Sorry. I didn’t mean for that to come across quite so harsh. Yeah, I know we’ve known each other for a long time, and I’ve been pretty happy with the relationship. But I really *don’t* like calls. It’s a quirk of mine. No, seriously, this isn’t about you.
Well, maybe it is a little.
Anyway, sorry. But I thought that would settle the matter.
Then this morning, while I was in the shower, someone from your place called me again. Now, I’m not sayin’ it was you. But it *was* your number. I’ve got it right there in my phone.
And, honestly, that kinda ticked me off.
Now, just to make sure I went the extra mile, so to speak, I just jumped through the hassle of getting into my account and finding the “Contact Preferences” page buried in the site. I gotta say, you might think about making it a little easier to find such things. But yeah, I did find it, and made the necessary change on the question: “May we contact you via phone with support for recent purchases, renewal reminders, or product information?”
So yeah, some of this is on me. I admit that. Though I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think I ever saw that page in the account settings before. Still, it was there, and the default setting was still set to “yes”.
But seriously, I twice asked your helpful assistants to not call me. I thought that was pretty clear. I mean, I didn’t want to scream or curse at them or anything. You know that’s not really my style.
But c’mon, it’s such a little thing. I’m not asking you to change, just to consider my preferences in this relationship.
Cause, you know, there *are* other hosting services out there …
Edited to add: I tweeted this post, got a quick response from @GoDaddy with an apology and confirmation that the account settings were changed. Good on them — that’s decent & courteous customer service.
Filed under: Amazon, Connections, Failure, Kindle, Marketing, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, blogging, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, free, Hallowe'en, jim downey, Kickstarter, Kindle, literature, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well
Well, in the whirlwind which followed with the success of the Kickstarter, I didn’t get back to this topic. Suffice it to say that Amazon took a few days to resolve the glitch in their system — it wasn’t just me who ran into it; they said that it was a “known problem we are working hard to resolve.” One of the rare occasions when I haven’t been happy with their system.
But now that the glictch is fixed, and I’m past the worst of the Kickstarter changes, time to go ahead and reschedule a give-away. So, it seems right to do it on this coming Wednesday. Yup, Hallowe’en.
No trick — just a treat: please download the Kindle edition of Communion of Dreams. You don’t even need to own an actual Kindle, since there are free Kindle emulators for just about every computer/reader/mobile device out there.
Happy All-Hallow’s Eve-eve-eve, everyone!
Filed under: Amazon, Connections, Feedback, Kindle, Science Fiction, SETI, Space, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, feedback, jim downey, Kindle, literature, Science Fiction, space, writing
Got a nice note from someone on a forum where I’m a member. They had picked up Communion of Dreams recently, and just finished it. Here’s an excerpt from the note [spoiler warning if you haven't read CoD]:
While I was reading, I started to think about the bubble as more of a womb. I was imagining some advanced civilization or group of civilizations who had sealed us off because we were not yet ready to interact with the rest of the universe.
Did I have that right? If so, why were we only able to access the healing energy through our own manipulation? Was no one watching us?
My response to that bit:
I *really* like your explanation of the ‘bubble’ as akin to a womb — an analogy I hadn’t seen anyone else mention yet, but one that gets to the essence of the idea very well. To extend your analogy a bit, you might consider that it takes children a while after birth to learn to walk & talk — there are lots of things a child is born with the innate potential to do, but which won’t manifest until later, and so aren’t looked for during pregnancy.
Just thought I’d share that.
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Book Conservation, Connections, Feedback, Marketing, Predictions, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, art, blogging, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, jim downey, Kickstarter, literature, Paypal, predictions, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
I’d like to make several notes about these pages …
First is that currently the images of the different bindings are just representative, to give you some idea of what the types of cover materials look like. We’ll soon be ordering the special print run of Communion of Dreams, and once those pages are done and back to me, I’ll make up some actual copies of the books to show what the finished products will actually look like.
Second is that these edition numbers are “hard”: once all the books are claimed, that’s it — there will be no more. The edition for Communion of Dreams is just 53 copies (plus two Author’s/Artist’s Proof copies). 8 of the copies have already been reserved. The edition for St. Cybi’s Well is just 101 copies (plus two Author’s/Artist’s Proof copies). 11 of those copies have already been reserved.
Lastly, because of logistics using Paypal, there are some limitations in how we set up payments. Downpayments can be taken directly through Paypal for each selection, but you can also just email me to arrange different amounts or payments on account. If you want to send a personal check to order a copy of either limited edition (or both of them), that’s perfectly fine. For help with any of this, just contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As I’ve noted before, I’m really jazzed about writing St. Cybi’s Well. But even beyond that, I’m excited about combining two of my creative skills: my writing and my bookbinding. Being an accomplished craftsman and artist doesn’t usually blend with also being a writer. This is probably the single best thing to come out of the Kickstarter project for me: thinking in these terms.
Filed under: Art, Connections, Humor, movies, Writing stuff, YouTube | Tags: Apple, art, blogging, extrovert, introvert, jim downey, movies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, video, writing, www youtube
I’ve mentioned before that I am intensely introverted — but that I have “good extrovert batteries”. Meaning that while I in many ways dread large gatherings and over-stimulating environments, I can usually function pretty well in them for reasonable periods of time.
Anyway, saw this item this morning, thought I would share it:
Hope to have news about the site updates later today!
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Failure, Feedback, Humor, Kindle, Marketing, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, art, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, humor, jim downey, Kindle, literature, reviews, Science Fiction, writing
New review up on Amazon:
Awful Cover, AMAZING Book
Okay, I’m guilty.
I nearly judged this book by its cover, but the premise of an alien artifact being discovered convinced me to give it a try. Imagine my delight when it also unexpectedly began taking accurate and well-described metaphysical twists I hadn’t known it contained! I love stumbling across “sleeper” hits!
This book was an amazing read with pieces of everything I love, (including the things I can’t tell you without spoiling the story!) beautifully blended and well written– I could not put it down. It felt like I was watching a long, epic movie.
I highly recommend this one!
Well, I appreciate the positive review, but can’t say I agree with the guy’s aesthetic sense…
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Connections, Feedback, Kindle, Marketing, Predictions, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, art, blogging, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, jim downey, Kickstarter, Kindle, literature, predictions, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
With the unexpected success of the Kickstarter, it took me most of last week to recover from the shock and start to work through all the details of what happened. I’m mostly past that stuff, and have been in contact with all the people who had claimed as a reward one of the hand-bound books in order to allow them to choose their edition # (and if you were one such backer, please check your messages on Kickstarter and get back to me soon). In the next day or two we’ll be ready to open up advance orders to the general public.
But while it is important to deal with all that administrative stuff, what is really cool is that soon I’ll be able to concentrate on getting the book written, edited, and published. Something which I have been thinking about, working through, and giving deep consideration for years. And frankly, that is really exciting!
Now, it will mean that I won’t be posting quite as much here. And I’ll apologize now for that. But concentrating on writing a full-length novel takes a huge amount of creative energy and focus. I’m not going to disappear completely, however, and I will try and keep a schedule of posting a couple of times a week — to let you know how the writing is going, if nothing else. If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, you might want to do so, to get notice of new posts when they’re up.
Thanks again, everyone. For your support of the Kickstarter. For your purchases and downloads of my books. For your feedback and reviews. For just reading this blog over the last five years. It all makes a difference, and I value each and every bit of it.
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Book Conservation, Connections, Feedback, Kindle, Marketing, Predictions, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, art, blogging, book art, bookbinding, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, jim downey, Kickstarter, Kindle, literature, predictions, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
So, I’ve been fairly quiet for a few days, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.
After recovering from the shock of the Kickstarter succeeding, I had to re-think some of the plans I had been putting into place in order to insure that I fully live up to the terms of the Kickstarter. Mostly this is no big deal, but I am still finalizing some of the details with the backers.
Still, I thought I would offer a heads-up on what is in store. As I noted the other day:
And ways you can reserve one of a very limited edition run of both Communion of Dreams and St. Cybi’s Well and have those books bound the way you want — even reserving your edition number on a first come, first served basis. With payment plan options. Some of the higher-end premium ‘rewards’ will still be available, as well.
When I say “very limited edition” I mean on the order of about 50 hand-bound copies of Communion of Dreams, and about 100 of St. Cybi’s Well (please note that both of these edition numbers are smaller than what was offered on the Kickstarter). These are going to be a special print-run of each book, printed traditionally on sheets of high-quality paper which will be gathered into sections, then trimmed and folded, then sewn into a strong, long-lasting binding. Then you will have a choice of cover material: premium bookcloth, calfskin leather, or goatskin leather. You can see images of such bindings on the Kickstarter page.
The basic cost is $100 for one of these books in cloth. For calfskin leather the cost is $250, and for goatskin $350. With a $100 downpayment you can reserve your copy (and select your edition number from those available), and pay the balance due in installments. Each book will be inscribed as you wish and signed by the author/bookbinder (that’s me!) The cloth bindings will all be in basic black, but those who opt for leather will be able to choose the color of the leather (from those available from my suppliers — a pretty wide range). These books will be more like individual works of art than anything else you may have seen in a book.
I’m hoping that as soon as next week I’ll be able to place the order for the Communion of Dreams run, so that I can work on getting orders for those done over the coming winter. The St. Cybi’s Well run will have to wait until that book is finished, edited, proofed, and ready to publish.
So, something to think about and look forward to. I certainly am!
Filed under: Amazon, Art, Connections, Failure, Feedback, General Musings, Kindle, Marketing, Predictions, Preparedness, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff | Tags: Amazon, art, blogging, Communion of Dreams, direct publishing, free, jim downey, Kickstarter, Kindle, literature, predictions, promotion, Science Fiction, St. Cybi's Well, writing
No shit. It really did. Had contributions throughout the day, then a strong rally at the very end with only seconds to spare.
I honestly did not expect this, as I think my earlier post today indicated. Frankly, I was completely gobsmacked when it happened. Still am, to a certain extent.
So now I need to (again) rethink my plans, and accommodate the promises I’ve made to those who supported the Kickstarter. Not a big deal, but there are a few things I’ll need to work out before we can revamp the websites along my previous plans, and that might take a few days to sort.
So — wow. Thanks, everyone.