Please welcome today's guest blogger Jeffrey A. Carver!
I enjoy reading science fiction and so fun to have him here!
What's a science fiction writer doing in a place like this? he asks himself, looking around warily. Book lovers, from the appearance of the joint. Romance, okay. Seems friendly enough. They must be okay. They like books, and they asked me to come.
Well, hi—I'm Jeff. Jeffrey A. Carver, they call me on the book covers. The reason Linda and I know each other—though we've never met in person—is that we're both doing the same thing: bringing our out-of-print books back to life, self publishing them as ebooks. Self-repubbing, I call it. Ebooks are something I've been involved in for years, but this part is new to me.
My first ebook-reprints were released years ago through an outfit called E-reads, founded by my agent Richard Curtis. E-reads was on the cutting edge, so cutting that there really wasn't much audience for the product yet. I wasn't a fan of ebooks myself, to be honest—not until I started creating my own ebook reprints for free giveaway, and found that I love ebooks. Here's how that happened:
I've been working for years on an SF series called The Chaos Chronicles, published by Tor Books. The first three volumes, starting with Neptune Crossing, came out to a good reception. But, for a variety of reasons, there was a gap of a decade between those first three and Book Four, Sunborn. You want to guess the availability status of the first three by that point? Right. Coming out with a fourth novel in a series, when the first three were out of print, seemed like a recipe for disaster to me. So I decided to release those first three myself, for free download from my website. I did, and they did—download the books, that is—by the tens of thousands, over two years. I was building my audience, and many of them said thank-you with Paypal donations, and some said thank-you by going on to buy my other ebooks. Not in vast numbers, but enough to be encouraging. What it didn't do was drive paper sales. Those were in the doldrums, and stayed there.
So a few months ago, I decided to shift gears. Pull back on the freebies (not to none, but to less) and put the novels into the Kindle store and Smashwords for a few bucks each. That's what I've done, and in the process became part of a cross-genre collection of authors called Backlist eBooks, and related communities of traditionally published writers, all taking on the great experiment of self-repubbing their backlists. Right now, I have these three books: Neptune Crossing, Strange Attractors, and The Infinite Sea, out under my own imprint, Starstream Publications. I added new afterwords, reflecting a bit on the evolution of the series and what it was like to write the books.
In case you're wondering what the books are about, here are a few brief squibs:
Neptune Crossing Kindle Smashwords
When John Bandicut encounters an alien intelligence on Neptune's moon Triton, his life changes irrevocably. Urged by the alien quarx now sharing his mind, he accepts an audacious mission—to steal a ship and hurtle across the solar system in a desperate bid for Earth's survival.
Strange Attractors Kindle Smashwords
For John Bandicut, Earth is but a memory. Stranded outside the galaxy in a vast structure peopled by a thousand races, Bandicut finds unexpected friends—only to be caught up in a cascade of irresistible forces. Confronting an entity known as the boojum, Bandicut discovers that the Shipworld itself is in peril, and only he can intervene.
The Infinite Sea Kindle Smashwords
Flung to an alien ocean world, John Bandicut and his companions find themselves plunged into the deepsea realm of the Neri. What will they find in the Neri's failing undersea city, or in the terrifying object of the deep abyss? Book 3 of The Chaos Chronicles continues the hard-SF saga inspired by chaos theory—with an all-new Afterword by the Nebula-nominated author of Eternity's End.
You're all romance people here, right? The answer is yes, there is romance out among the stars, even when you're a lone human in the company of aliens.
Soon I hope to have one more book up: Eternity's End, part of my Star Rigger universe. That one was a Nebula Award finalist. I'm working with a cover designer, and when it's finished I want to go back and redo the covers for the Chaos books. Here's what Eternity's End looks like in its print edition:
This is all still a great experiment for me. Stay tuned, and we'll all see what happens. If you'd like to see my free samples, and even download a free copy of my TV tie-in, Battlestar Galactica: the Miniseries, please visit my downloads page. To see a complete listing of all my ebooks, visit my ebooks page or my Amazon Author page.
And by all means, drop in anytime at my blog, Pushing a Snake Up a Hill.
Say, is there any coffee around here?
—Jeffrey A. Carver