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My little announcement regarding “publishing” and “contract”

Here’s my teaser tweet from last night:

While “contract killer” would make for a very interesting announcement, it’s not that. As a friend pointed out online, I’ve already got two jobs – I don’t need hitman as another one.

Not that I’ve got people waiting with bated breath, or any type of breath, but it’s fairly big news on my end. As many of you know, I’m self-published and happy to stay that way. I’ve got a long-time business owner background, so maintaining full control, full decision-making, and full royalties (disclaimer: as full as Amazon, BN, Apple, et al pay; no publisher/agent/marketing cut) is extremely important to me. Extremely.

I have absolutely zero interest in signing with a publisher. Zero. Keeping my work “in house” so to speak is a no-brainer to me. Formatting the ebook/paperback, designing (or hiring a designer – big plug for my man AJ Powers and his work on the Gabriel series), editing (or hiring an editor – big plug for my girl Jennifer Gracen for her editing goddess skills), and promoting the book(s) are all right up my alley. I can’t imagine outsourcing those facets of the book I can do myself, and in many cases, feel I can do better than someone else who’s handling X number of other authors and won’t give my work the time and effort it deserves.

But there is an aspect of publishing that is a bit outside my skill set, and it’s an aspect that’s been on my project list for the future: audiobooks. So with all that being said above, here is the official announcement:

I’m excited and proud to say I’ve signed with Podium Publishing for the audiobook versions of the entire Gabriel series (books 1 through 3, plus prequel), and they’ll be hitting Audible.com in the near future.

aud_logo._V383473417_How did this happen? I will say, it was a bit out of the blue. I certainly wasn’t seeking a publisher; audiobooks were on my project list to do, but admittedly in the far-future section. Podium found me through a referral of a referral, read book 1, contacted me, and after a long conversation, offered me a contract. Ordinarily I take unsolicited business emails with a grain of salt (especially if they say “Dear [%&NAMEHERE&%]), but James at Podium was very convincing and professional, and they have several very well-known authors in their audiobook stable (most notably Edward Robertson, whose Breakers series is excellent, and Andy Weir, whose book The Martian was just picked up by Random House and signed for movie rights). Robertson had excellent things to say about Podium, which is probably what tipped me over the edge, and yesterday the contract was signed.

Podium has the ability and technology that I simply don’t have right now, and may never get to. My focus is the writing part, and while I again have zero interest in ever signing with anyone for the paper/ebooks themselves, the audiobooks are another story. I know I’m giving up potential royalties versus doing things in house, or even hiring a narrator and keeping it mostly in house, but this is an opportunity and a growing outlet that I’m not going to be able to get to anytime soon. Podium gives me the ability to get professional audiobooks out there well before I’d ever get to them.

Stay tuned (hey, an audio pun!) – the process has just started, but I’m looking forward to it.

steve

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New lower price on Gabriel’s Redemption, book 1 of the scifi trilogy – $2.99/£1.99/€2.99

Gabriel's Redemption full res[Insert witty and entertaining comment here]

‘Nuff said – now Gabriel’s Redemption is $2.99 (£1.99, €2.99 in most non-US) for the major e-reader platforms. Maybe it’s permanent, maybe not…gamble if you must.

If gambling’s not your thing, pick it up now at the following fine retailers:

Kindle US
Kindle UK
Nook
iBookstore
Kobo

Pray that I do not alter the deal any further.

And if I haven’t stumped enough for the prequel, Gabriel: Zero Point is free across the major platforms as well.

Enjoy – and as always, I’d love to hear your feedback. You know, as I write a new story…hint, hint.

steve

P.S. Sorry if all stores or territories do not reflect the lower price; I do what I can through the outlets I can. No, I’m not lowering the Smashwords price – their distro methods and time frames are absurd. This also means Sony didn’t go down, since I have to push through molasses, er, Smashwords to sell through Sony. 

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I’m giving away the Gabriel trilogy, autographed, in original cover design. Could be a collector’s item. Or not…

WINNER ANNOUNCED: A grand total of 470 entries were received (wow, many thanks!), and after plugging that into random.org, the Internets have picked a winner. Drum roll please:

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Big congrats to Michael Wilson, winner of the autographed Gabriel trilogy. I’ll be contacting you soon…and a huge thanks to all who participated! I might have another copy or two lying around…

Yes, you heard right. After doing some winter cleaning around the house, I saw that I had a small quantity of paperbacks lying around, feeling lonely. So I decided to do a giveaway – why not, right? But here’s the fun thing: these are the original cover design, with the yellow serif fonts. Maybe they’ll be worth MILLIONS in the future. Then again, maybe not. Actually, more than likely not. In any case, here’s the deal:

IMG_1763-smI am giving away the complete set. The single winner will receive all THREE books in one cute box in the mail*. All three will be autographed and I’ll add in whatever text you want (such as “Pete, you’re my biggest fan” or “My God you look stunning in your Twitter avi” or some wise Confucious saying.)

*Disclaimer: Since I’m still a low-budget author, I apologize in advance – this giveaway is open ONLY TO US RESIDENTS. I’m shipping a box via good ol’ USMail, and can’t get into the customs forms, etc. to send internationally. Sorry…

Use the PunchTab giveaway box below to enter below. Each “method” you use to enter gives you another “ticket” in the “hat” I will draw from. (Enough quotation marks for you?) This giveaway will end Sunday night the 17th at 5PM ET.

 

Ready, set, go – and good luck.

steve

P.S. Entering via email means your address will go into my newsletter database, but I only send very rarely, never spam or sell the list, and it’s absurdly easy to opt-out. Just had to say that. Trust me, what could go wrong?

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Wrinkled Shorts – releasing a collection of my short stories in one volume

Huge exciting news! Okay, honestly – not so huge, not that exciting, but news nonetheless. I’ve put together all of my short stories into one collection, with a bonus story added. It’s like getting 20% additional for free! [Insert infomercial voice here.] The new volume, called WRINKLED SHORTS, is now available for Kindle and Nook, and should be out on Kobo and the iBookstore very shortly. It’s also available via Smashwords for online reading or other devices. [Update: Kobo and iBooks versions now available.]

What is Wrinkled Shorts? It consists of my four current short stories – Incursion, Special Delivery, Opt-Out, and The Awakening – plus a new, never-before-released short called Dreamshift. Below are the blurbs. If you felt like spreading the word via social media, bullhorn, or carrier pigeon, whatever, I’d surely appreciate it.

wrinkledshorts600x900Incursion (science fiction): A young boy working on his village’s plantation watches as alien craft scream overhead. His first emotion is excitement… until the technologically superior aliens start shooting. He has no choice but to grow up quickly, becoming one of his village’s most trusted defenders. What does human nature mean?

The Awakening (science fiction): Robert has been running the Monhegan Island-to-mainland Maine ferry for years. This morning, however, he and his boat are greeted by mysterious lights emanating from the small rocky island. No one greets him when he ties up to the dock, and not a structure is in sight – all the houses and buildings have disappeared. All he sees is a curtain of light. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he steps through the curtain…

Special Delivery (horror): Kerry Jensen is nervous about her upcoming blind date, and one glass of wine isn’t doing the trick. Before she has an opportunity to pour a second, there’s a knock at her door. Her blind date is early, but it’s an unexpected package that will change the rest of her night — and possibly her life.

Opt-Out (suspense): A massive global social network announces an initiative to encourage its nearly one billion users to donate organs and body parts with just the click of a mouse. Millions of potential transplant recipients rejoice, but there is a dark side. For a young, newly engaged professional in Portland Oregon, that dark side arrives wearing a smile and designer suit during a chance encounter at a train station.

NEW: Dreamshift (scifi/suspense): Jeremy is a college student, struggling to make ends meet. After hearing of a sleep experiment than pays handsomely he eagerly signs up. The tests seem innocent enough, the reasoning behind them intriguing, but the end result may cost Jeremy more than he’ll ever earn. Can dreams tell the future, or are they in fact the future itself?

And here are some completely made up Frequently Asked Questions of Wrinkled Shorts:

  • Q: Why is it called Wrinkled Shorts?
  • A: Steve has never been very good at ironing. His Author Page/Twitter profile image was taken overlooking a vineyard in St. Tropez, France during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but all anyone ever talks about are the wrinkled shorts he wore. Oh, and the bird poo on the light post, but “Bird Poo” was rejected as a title early on in the process.
  • Q: Why is buying a collection of short stories better than buying them individually?
  • A: You save money. Jeez.
  • Q: Speaking of money, why does this collection, which combined isn’t even half the length of a novel, cost three bucks?
  • A: Steve needs a better iron. Plus, each story provides a solid 15-30 minutes of enjoyment, adding up to several hours of intense reading pleasure. How long did the intense pleasure last from your last Starbucks triple-half-caff-skinny-vanilla? And don’t count the burned tongue or acid reflux.
  • Q: Is there anywhere we can donate to buy Steve new shorts? I mean actual shorts, not short stories.
  • A: No, but we’re sure he’d appreciate a download or two… perhaps even a review. And he won’t tell anyone his waist size anyway.
  • Q: Can I return one of the stories if I don’t like it and get 20% of my purchase price back?
  • A: Seriously?
  • Q: I love these stories so much, Steve is so talented, I hope he writes some more!
  • A: Mom, I told you never to post here…
  • Q: Will Steve be writing any erotic shorts soon?
  • A: MOM!

UPDATE: This sucker got a review already, might be a record in terms of quickness…

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steve
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