Tag Archives: ebooks

Buy My Novel At Your Local Book Shoppe (Sort Of)

Last week, I took Hang A Crooked Number down from Amazon for a variety of reasons delineated here. Since then, I’ve made it available for purchase directly from my blog in epub and PDF form.

Following that announcement, I’ve gotten a number of requests from the device-disinclined population to read the book in non-electronic form. I wish I could fulfill these requests, but while book printing is easier and cheaper than it’s ever been, it remains neither cheap nor easy. The price to make physical copies of my book wouldn’t be insane in the grand scheme of things, but they would probably run into 4 figures, and if my ebook sales are any indication, I’d never make back those costs.

I honestly wish I could make my novel a “real” book because I still have a romantic attachment to seeing a book I wrote on a shelf in a quaint book shoppe where WQXR plays gently in the background and some weird dude monopolizes the store’s only table to plow through a pile of Schopenhauer. So I went ahead and did the next best thing.

I’ve put my book up for sale via Kobo, an ereader device/app that has partnerships with a number of indie bookstores across the country. It’s a small way to read ebooks for titles like mine that are only available in ebook form, yet still support the existence of local bookstores (as opposed Amazon, which wants to crush them). If you go to this page, you can a zip code and find a nearby store that sells ebooks via Kobo.

If you’re in the NYC area, I know Word, Housing Works, and Greenlight all work with Kobo. So if you wanna buy Hang A Crooked Number while still supporting the printed word dispenser near you, consider this path. The bookstore gets a cut, I get a cut, local shops get to stay in business, and you get to buy something quickly and easily without stepping on someone’s throat. What a novel concept.

Hang A Crooked Number: Now At Insultingly Low Prices!

cover_art_insideHey there, cheapskates! Perhaps you’ve considered purchasing a copy of my book Hang A Crooked Number—guaranteed to be the year’s best novel about baseball, spies, and failure—but balked at its retail price. Personally, I believe $2.99 is more than reasonable for a full-length novel written by one actual human, but I also recognize that ideas about what constitutes “reasonable price” has changed considerably in our modern age, what with all the computers and hula hoops and fax machines. I also recognize that nobody knows who the hell I am and thus may need extra incentive to drop any amount of cash on my weird ideas.

So, for a limited time, I am slashing the price on my novel. From now through November 15, Hang A Crooked Number can be yours for the frankly insulting price of 99 cents. This is literally the least amount of money I can charge for it without making it free altogether. (I have just enough dignity to not do that.)

If you want a better idea of what 99 cents buys you, check out excerpts of the novel at Stymie Magazine and The Classical.

If that does it for ya, you can purchase Hang A Crooked Number for the low, low, insanely low “price” of 99 cents at Amazon, Apple, Smashwords, or sort-of direct from me in either epub or PDF form.

Remember: If you likes what you read, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d leave a star-filled review on Amazon or Goodreads. I know, I’m asking you to leave a review after you paid a whole 99 cents for this book. A thousand pardons, sirrah, but I need the scraps from your table to survive. Please take pity upon me, a lowly beggar.

Yells For Ourselves Available at iTunes

Last week, The Classical published an excerpt from Yells For Ourselves, an alternate history of the 1999-2000 New York Mets. Once again, if you’re curious what “alternate history” means and why this subject warrants one, I direct you to the introduction posted at the book’s official website here.

When the excerpt was posted, I also put up a link that would allow you to download a preview of the book for the iPad containing animations, functionality, and other goodies that will be found in the full product. I really want to get this preview in lots of peoples hands–or devices, I guess–but as you can imagine, that’s difficult to do when I’m the only person distributing it.

That’s why I am now proud to announce that this preview has been accepted by the iTunes Store, which means you can totally, officially get it for your iPad. And it is totally free, so click here to download it, review it, and spread the word.

I can’t stress these last two items enough. iTunes’ arcane algorithms give a lot of weight to reviews, so the more reviews this thing gets, the more attention it will get. If you know anybody with an iPad, let ’em know about this. Grab people on the street if you have to. They’ll be cool about it, probably.

Any and all feedback welcomed on this preview (provided it’s more constructive than YOU SUCK). I hope to have a Kickstarter thingy set up for this project within a month or so and will keep everyone posted. Until then, download it, love it, review it, share it. Deal?

Ebook Seeks Readers for Touchscreen Fun

For the past few forevers, I’ve been working on an ebook called Yells For Ourselves, a multi-volume alternate history of the 1999-2000 Mets. For more info on exactly what that “alternate history” means, you can glean more details at this here link. The reason it’s taken so long is because I’m trying to make a spiffy, enhanced thing that’s somewhere between a book and an app, something that aims to be both a work of research and fun to interact with. It’s taken a lot of trial and error–mostly error–to figure what I could and could not do, what was feasible, and in what format it was most ideally presented.

My initial plan was to take a regular ebook, crack it open, and add spiffy enhancements to it–primarily, audio and video. That plan fell through when said A/V enhancements proved prohibitively costly to license, and I was forced to rethink exactly what I wanted to do with this thing.

So I started from scratch and created a more design-oriented book using Apple’s iBooks Author tool. I had the iPad primarily in mind for my original plan–it remains one of the few devices that can handle enhanced ebooks–so this was a natural step to take. Apart from allowing me to include all kinds of animations and other goodies, iBooks Author enabled me to create an ebook that actually looks good from a design standpoint, whereas design is not even a remote concern for most ebook interfaces. There are issues with this program, as there are with any Apple product (it definitely reflects their “it’s our way or the highway” approach), but it also necessitated the least amount of compromise between my ideal vision of this work and what was feasible. I do plan to produce a no-frills version of Yells For Ourselves for other devices, but I found the possibilities of producing an iPad-centric enhanced ebook too intriguing to pass up.

Now, I finally have a sample that I’m ready to show to the world. When I say “sample,” I mean that I have an introduction and one chapter that demonstrate what the complete book will look like and be able to do. I’m still not 100 percent decided if I will use Kickstarter initiative to fund this. The biggest costs involved with making this dream a reality are incorporation (so I can sell it), ISBN purchase (so I can sell it at all ebook retailers), and image licensing, which is the really big one. For the moment, most of the artwork in Yells For Ourselves is just that: artwork of my own creation. But I would like to include some for-real iconic imagery from these seasons, and that, friends, runs into money.

If I do Kickstart Yells For Ourselves, I need a tangible slice of it to show the world and say “This is what your money will help make.” If I don’t Kickstart it, I still need to entice potential purchasers. Whichever route I take, I still have to make sure that this thing works and reassure myself that people might actually want it–and will be accepted on the Apple Store. Since I can’t learn these things on my own, I’ve made this sample available for your perusal and beta-testing enjoyment. I am interested in any and all feedback, but I am primarily looking for notes on the interactivity in the ebook.

If you’d like to check out this sample for yourself, it is available via Gumroad at the button below. Before downloading, however, please keep two things in mind:

  1. This book is designed for the iPad, so if you don’t have an iPad, it ain’t gonna work for ya. It’s an iBook file, so there’s a slim chance it’ll work on an iPhone, but I can’t vouch for that and wouldn’t recommend it anyway.
  2. The Gumroad button below brings you to a separate web page where you can download the sample. It will ask you to “name a fair price.” This is FREE. Enter 0 and you’re good to go. Don’t send any money, I beg of you!

Yells For Ourselves: Sample

Again, any and all feedback is welcomed, and you can send that feedback to yellsforourselves at gmail dot com. If you do not have an iPad, that is your right as an American. But if you’d still like to see check out the book’s content, you have a couple of options. First off, over at the book’s blog, you can read its full introduction, which serves as a sort of manifesto/statement of purpose for the larger work. You can also check out an excerpt from the book that at The Classical. The excerpt is a condensed version of a pivotal chapter in the book, the same chapter that’s contained in the sample.

If you’re more the visual type, I’ve provided some screenshots from the ebook after the jump.

Continue reading Ebook Seeks Readers for Touchscreen Fun

Studio 60 Concludes, In a New Format!

I want to take you on a journey toward what is perhaps the dumbest creative endeavor I’ve ever undertaken.

You may recall a few weeks ago, episode 12 of Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, with the classic two-parter stinger “To Be Continued.” For those who have been on the edge of their seats wondering how everything could possibly be wrapped up in a neat little package, wonder no more. The exciting conclusion, the one that will leave no question unanswered, is now contained in an ebook collection cleverly entitled Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: The Complete Scripts. It is the first ever Scratchbomb ebook and it is now available from Amazon for the insultingly low price of 99 cents.

This ebook not only includes all 13 episodes of the only series to combine a funhouse mirror image of the Mets’ season with the golden pen of Aaron Sorkin. It also contains a foreword by the greatest and most intense televisual dramaturge of our age, a preface by the often-shackled Yo-Yo Ma, and sketches of story arcs for future, unrealized seasons. And you can read it all on your Kindle or Kindle-type app on the device of your choice this very moment for less than a dollar.

Why am I charging anything for this ebook? A great deal of time and effort went into this endeavor, both in the writing and the technical flimflammery necessary for ebook conversion. I feel this has value and that a nominal fee is reflective of that value. I know this is the internet age and we’re all supposed to get all our entertainment for free, but I don’t feel all that bad for asking money for something that took considerable hours and brain-wracking to make. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, there’s a lot of my writing in a lot of different places on the interwebs for free and you may still feast on that.

But if this quixotic publication appeals to you and you think that 99 cents is a small price to pay for it, please download! If you dig it, RT, Facebook it, give it a good review on Amazon, shout out your window at random strangers, and so on. Every little bit helps. If you don’t like it, please scream at me on the social networking platform of your choice.

If you’d like to read this ridiculous thing but don’t have a Kindle device or app, I am currently looking into what it will take to get it out there for other such devices. This will depend largely on the cost and hours in the day at my disposal, but I’m one of those weirdos who likes to figure out how to do things technically, so if there is any way at all I can make this ebook for other formats, I will. Stay alive! No matter what occurs I will find you (and accommodate your technical needs)!

For those who will purchase it, I thank you, and personally guarantee this will be the most pointless thing you will ever read. And just for the record, this Studio 60 compendium is not the massive tome I’m working on that I often allude to on Twitter. That is still a good ways away from being completed, but completed it shall be.

Onward and upward!

Amazin Avenue Annual: Now Available in Imaginary Form!

Do you like to read about baseball but don’t hate trees? Then you’re in luck! The Amazin Avenue Annual is now available via the Apple iBookstore. So if you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or some other Steve Jobs-approved device, you can use it to read the Annual in tiny, tiny type. In case you’re not aware, the Annual is a primer for the 2011 Mets season, with pieces by Joe Posnanski, Will Leitch, Jason Fry and Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing, Ken Davidoff, and many more luminaries. I’m in there somewhere, too.

If you purchase the eBook, you can get a 50 percent off coupon to purchase the print book from ACTA Sports. That way, you can waste both fossil fuels and paper. Win-win! Details on that exciting offer can be found here.

If you have some other eReader like Kindle or Nook, then TOUGH SHIT. Until later this week, that is, when I’m told the Annual will be available on both those devices. Sorry I was so harsh earlier.

If you read the Annual and enjoyed it, maybe give it a billion-star review on Amazon, how ’bout? And if you didn’t like it, maybe keep it under your hat. Here’s some hush money, don’t tell your mom I gave you this.