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Archive for the ‘“The Death of David Pickett”’ Category

The Death of David Pickett

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 27, 2018

DoDP-COVER-6x9“The Death of David Pickett” is a speculative cyberpunk mystery set in 2023 San Francisco as a prequel to my 2042 near-future science fiction thriller “1% Free.”

Part-time archivist and full-time scenester Jesse Steinfeld digs deep, questioning the enigmatic death of charismatic local political activist David Pickett as urban tensions mount. While popular demonstrations occupy San Francisco’s Mission District in the name of a revolutionary “Mission Commune,” bringing the city to the brink of social insurrection, Jesse realizes nothing is as it seems in Pickett’s cryptic life and mysterious demise. The full-throttle street politics of today collide with tomorrow’s slow-motion apocalypse in this explosive tale of identity, mortality, technology, and reality in the city by the bay.

“The Death of David Pickett” is free. Here is a link to the publisher page where you can download it for free in EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and other formats. Read, enjoy, copy, and distribute far and wide. Please review on blogs, Facebook, and websites and please include contact information.

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Amazon, the Empire strikes back

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 15, 2018

Amazon has consciously cultivated the image of writer’s patron and author’s best friend. Along with the Kindle device there’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) which has launched a number of new voices and sometimes allowed writers to earn decent money. Hugh Howey was discovered by serializing his novel Wool on KDP. Then there’s CreateSpace, Amazon‘s self-publishing arm which allowed authors to easily produce attractive print-on-demand analog books with digital accompaniment. And Amazon-owned Goodreads has permitted writers to promote their works through a variety of built-in gimmicks. Finally, the Amazon website had a giveaway feature which gave authors the opportunity to promote and distribute their work online to build their name and boost their presence.

All that has dramatically changed a few years ago. First KDP instituted a devious “revenue sharing” scheme to pool the sales of KDP-exclusive works and dole out a portion of the earnings to their writers. Then Amazon severely restricted the self-publishing services it offered through CreateSpace before deciding to fold CreateSpace into KDP, eliminating it altogether. Finally Amazon has recently gutted its giveaways, making it much more difficult for non-name authors to build a reputation and create a buzz for their work by using that marketing feature. Goodreads’ giveaway policy has also changed, but less drastically.

Writers who’ve ignored Amazon’s predatory, monopolistic business practices, or thought they could criticize Amazon while taking advantage of the few seemingly generous/liberal byproducts of the company’s terrible methods, are now hoist with their own petard. I went with IngramSpark and Barnes & Noble when I decided to self-publish my novel 1% Free, refusing to consider KDP or CreateSpace from the start. But I did use Amazon and Amazon-owned Goodreads to give away the Kindle and POD versions of my book. While Goodreads remains a viable if more limited way to give away analog editions of my novel, Amazon’s giveaways have become a nightmare. They no longer work for struggling authors nor for small product sellers on Amazon generally. When you make a pact with the devil…

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It’s all coming together

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 4, 2018

The best laid plans…

I’d intended to link the beginning of my campaign to digitally publish, promote, and distribute my story “The Death of David Pickett” by publishing it first through Smashwords. Well, the only way Smashwords let’s me set a publication date for TDDP is by doing a pre-order which requires that I assign the book a price. But TDDP is free, to be given away for free, and so a firm and fast publication date will be impossible. Instead, I’ll send it to Smashwords the weekend of September 22/23, with initial distribution of all digital formats starting the week of September 24. That means I’m dependent on when the manuscript gets digitally published by Smashwords through their infamous “meat grinder” software.

Meanwhile, I’ve created useable EPUB, MOBI, AZW3, PDF, and DOCX files through Scrivener and Calibre and plan to construct my publisher’s download page by next week. I’ve investigated 90+ digital sites—blogging communities, document sharing sites, ebook publishing/syndication platforms—and created viable accounts on the 80 or so promising ones through which to upload my digital files. I’ve already joined a dozen science fiction and cyberpunk Facebook groups and I’m now posting regularly to them in anticipation of promoting and if possible uploading TDDP to them.

The one remaining task that I still need to do is build a MailChimp email list out of the 2,000+ addresses I’ve scrounged together to do a mass advertising email blast. Part of that will be a 150 analog snail-mail-out culled from the various Goodreads POD book giveaways I’ve done. And I’m still debating purchasing an email list from Kirkus Reviews.

All of these efforts are targeted to directly promote and distribute TDDP and indirectly advertise my novel 1% Free. TDDP is a prequel to 1% Free, so everything I’m doing is designed to hit both. The downloadable TDDP itself—the various digital files—provides links through which to purchase 1% Free.

It’s all coming together.

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