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I don’t think I’ve ever put up a sample of Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures before, but I came across it on Amazon and thought why not. I like Essa: she’s a little bit bad ass compared to Rae. This story an SF romance and Escape Publishing have labelled it New Adult. It doesn’t matter about labels as the story is meant to be fun but also has a serious side. If you liked Rayessa and the Space Pirates then I’ll think you’ll like this. And didn’t Escape do an amazing cover.

Rae and Essa Space Adventures

Chapter 1

Extra-curricular Activities

My sister, Rae, bowed low to Kazusensei, the school’s karate instructor. “Do better,” he said. “Try harder. Stop wasting my time, Rae,” he growled out.

Rae stood there, face impassive, only the flicker of an eyelid giving any indication that he was getting to her.

My fingernails bit into my palms. I wanted storm over there and slap him across the face for talking to her like that. She was a Gayens. But it wasn’t my fight. I had to stay out of it. Rae and I had boundaries. I might have been the one to erect them but they weren’t so easy to take down. Rae nodded and Kazusensei stepped back, his hands on hips. “Again, hajime.”

Rae performed her kata with the sensei looking on. If only he’d lose the sneer and the attitude, I’d be calmer. Most of the time he showed no emotion to the private school girls he tutored, but my sister brought out the best in him. I couldn’t figure out whether it was her spirit that annoyed him or that there was another me ready to give him grief. Rae took what he gave out without complaint. Something I never did.

I shook my head as I watched on. I may not have an abundance of sisterly love, but I give credit where it is due. Rae rocked at karate and that annoyed the sensei. Perhaps money and talent weren’t combinations he was happy with.

Ending with a bow, Rae stood waiting. “No, pathetic.” The sensei’s hand chopped through the air. “Again.”

I ground my teeth as I watched. He would never have dared to speak to me like that. I would have had his arse kicked from here to the city limits and used all Mother’s connections to make sure he never worked again. But he was speaking to Rae and that was not my business. We did have an agreement, after all.

From scratch, Rae re-started her kata, her concentration almost tangible and she kicked, punched and blocked according to the well-rehearsed form. Her movements looked precise and snappy. My gaze flicked to Kaz. Yes, I got away with calling him that. Rae was good. He had no right being hard on her, getting on her case. He gave a slight nod and Rae went to the sidelines to pull on her gloves.

Rae let the world heap crap on her and asked for more. I checked my handheld for messages. A thumping sound drew my attention and there was Rae kicking the living daylights out of the kicking shield Kaz held. He gritted his teeth as he braced himself and I smiled. She was going for it. Thump, thump, whump. Go, Rae. Kick a little higher. Wipe that smug expression of his face.

My breath caught as I waited for that wrong move, only to let it out again when Rae moved on to punches. She’d missed her chance. I would not have missed that opportunity. I pictured, Kaz with a fat lip and blood in his teeth and nodded. Yeah! We had a history, he and I. He’d never put his hand there again.

At the end of her lesson, Rae staggered to the bench, wiping sweat from the back of her neck and tossing the towel onto her carry all. Kaz walked out of the gym, slamming the door behind him.

Rae stripped her gi pants off and adjusted the gravity straps on her legs. She had serious bone weakness from years in space and no therapy. Muscle and calcium loss. It was lucky that she’d had some therapy as a child and had lasted her a number of years in captivity. Mother said it could have been worse. Rae connected the electrode to the metal strip that was attached to her tibia. It forced the bone to strengthen. I shuddered. It was so ugly. How could she bear it?

On Earth with its full strength gravity load, Rae needed assistance to walk. She hated it. That’s why she took this class, to beat it. She’d come a long way too. Her academic grades were average but improving. I was loath to tutor her. Mother had her swatting within a week of being back in the bosom of her family, arranged an array of special tutors. Alwin Anton helped her too. Boy genius was pretty easy on the eye, even if he was a smart arse.

Coming up beside her, I asked. “Why do you let him treat you like that? It’s demeaning to the Gayens’ name.” Rae glanced at me and sniffed.

“It’s not personal. I want him to push me. I’m so behind on everything else. At least I can beat this physical disability.”

My nail polish glimmered and I examined it for chips, spreading my hands to catch a shaft of light. “So you received treatment. You’ll beat it eventually.”

Rae drew on a wrap, slipped on some flip flops and picked up her carryall and stalked away.

“And I still need to work on my fitness. My body is the only thing I can control.” We’d had this discussion before. I liked needling her, liked seeing her crack.

“Mother is happy with your grades.”

Rae grunted as she pushed through to the cleaning block. I followed, sensing victory.

Mini cubicles contained nozzles attached to the walls that flash cleaned skin. A minute later Rae was punching her legs into a ‘onsey’. They were so past tense, but she loved them and called them ship suits. I shook my head.

“My grades are mediocre. Nowhere near as good as yours. I can do better.”

With a flip of my hand, I quipped. “Maybe.”

Technically, we should have near the same grades, as we were genetically identical. It went back to nature versus nurture argument. I thought the case was closed. I’d been nurtured. She’d been neglected.

A light glinted in her eye. “What do you want anyway?”

“Ohh grouchy. Missing the boyfriend are we?”

Rae rolled up her eyes and let out a grunt of disgust as she snatched up her carry all and pushed past. After stumbling back, I kicked out my hip so I had somewhere to place my hand for my pose.

“We were going out, remember? I was going to show you how to kick the trust account dependency.”

Rae paused before the door, her head tilting to the side. “Now I remember. I didn’t think you’d come all this way just for fun. I’ll meet you out front in ten. I’ve got to stow my gear.”

“And check if Alwin Anton has sent you a transmission.” I smiled smugly.

Rae shook her head. “Whatever.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

#

“Why are we breaking into this building?” Rae hissed in my ear. She’d been jittery since she’d pieced together that her lesson did not involve law abiding activity.

“Shut up, there are sound sensors.” I slid the conductor strip into the circuit, allowing monitoring to think it was receiving feed. The steady blue pulse let me know it worked. My hand held synced with the security system and I calibrated my patented break in app. My eyebrow lifted. The building had counter measures so I unleashed a designer micro virus, which flooded the system with echoes and ghosts so it didn’t know where to focus. Sufficiently diverted, my app completed its sequence, overrode the security system and the door slid open.

Rae gasped behind me. “We’ll get busted.”

“No we won’t. I’m good.”

Rae tugged my hair and I turned to glare at her. “What?”

“Essa, you’re a criminal.” Her face was flat against mine. I inhaled her breath and shoved her back gently.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m a consultant.” Lifting my hand held, I concentrated on the information scrolling along the screen, keeping Rae in my line of sight.

Rae’s hand squeezed into fists. “If you get me into trouble I’m so going to thump you.”

I rolled my eyes. “I can’t guarantee you won’t get into trouble. Grow up.”

Rae stood up. “Sorry, I’m out a here. See you back at the dorm.”

I sighed. What a waste of time educating her. Concentrating on my job I grinned as the door slid open.

#

Rae was waiting for me when I got back.

“How do you know how to thwart security?” Rae launched at me as soon as I came in.

I put my stuff away. “I’m smart,” I said, feeling smug.

Rae plonked down on her bed and pressed the release on her boots. She looked up from rubbing her feet. “I think I understand that bit. I was thinking of why.”

“I get paid.”

“You never!” Rae’s dark eyes goggled.

“Not for a syndicate or any criminal element. By a security firm. They design and install security systems, and they pay me to crack them so they can refine their product.”

Rae sat there half-dressed. “And what’s that, like pocket money?”

“No. Not pocket money. Big money. I don’t need Mother’s handouts, but I take them and spend them so she doesn’t get suspicious. You could do the same.”

“The same what?”

“Earn your own money.”

Rae’s sleep wrap engaged and she snuggled into her bed. “I don’t need much money. I have stacks in my account.”

“You do?”

“Yes, Opi has been putting money in my account since I went missing. The same amount she said she spent on you or gave you as an allowance.”

I whistled, impressed.

I went to the san to wash off the dust and get ready for bed.

Rae snored softly while I filed my report on the security system, including recommendations to improve it. I checked my bank account, the bank account that mother didn’t know about, and grinned as the zeros grew. I like my life.

A message came in from Mother. I pursed my lips when I looked at it. The message was the same as her last and that was plain odd. I put in a call and waited as the relays engaged, mother was off planet. After ten minutes, I received a no response message. Something about it bugged me. I sent a message to Alwin Anton, who was with her. He didn’t respond either, but then he often ignored my calls—something about not upsetting his girlfriend. I wrinkled my nose as I took in my sister sprawled on the bed and then shook my head in wonder.

I reread the message from my mother and tried to put it down to a glitch in her system that sent the message twice. I’d have to check with Rae in the morning to see if she had heard anything or had any new messages. Because I worried, I slept badly, dreaming all sorts of scary things, like kidnapping and ransom demands. That was always a spectre for the family. Being rich and powerful made you a target. Except for Rae, we’d been lucky so far. And Rae’s disappearance had been an inside job.

Rae was dressed when I woke, groggy from lack of sleep. After a yawn and blinking away sleep I noticed her. “You look nice. Date?” Rae had make up on. Mine most likely. Her hair was shiny and straight, reaching past her shoulders and she’d chosen a cream ‘onesy’ with a leather tunic, which ended just under her butt and accentuated her waist. I shook my head. I might have to rethink my views on the ‘onesy’ as Rae looked grown up and attractive. We were seventeen now, nearly adults. I reminded myself that we were identical so if Rae looked that good then so would I.

“Yes, Al is due back today and we’re meeting up at the Centra Hotel.” She posed sideways in the mirror, checking if her hair was straight. To check her lip gloss, she leaned in close with a pout.

“Gris is meeting me downstairs to fly me over.”

I don’t know what she saw in Gris. Big men made me uncomfortable. But they shared some unshakable bond and he volunteered to be her security. “Is mother back too?”

Rae opened her pouch and dropped in her hand held, credit card, ID, more lip gloss and sealed it. It flattened for easy insertion into her ‘onesy’s hidden pocket, high on her chest. “I’m not sure. Opi was meant to be, but I haven’t spoken to Al for three of four days as he is in transit and that plays havoc with comms. He mentioned Opi had another meeting planned. Something unscheduled.”

I leaned back on my bed and stared at the ceiling. I could see the translucent images I’d stuck up there, in spite of the school rules. You could only see them from this position. “I see. You know she’s rooting out the pirates in the company? Dad left a network of corruption behind him. Mother is determined to get rid of them.”

Rae shuddered visibly. Traumatised by his attempt to murder her, she hadn’t quite come to terms with it. Frankly, I’d always distrusted him. Our connection was never real. There was always something insincere about him. It was weird to feel that way, because he’s my father too. In the end, I was right. Rotten to the core! He’d said that about me on numerous occasions so I took great satisfaction knowing it was proved about him.

Rae smoothed the fabric of her ‘onesy’, pressing the auto clean when she saw a piece of lint.

She made eye contact. “Al said as much. I don’t understand what he does, but he can follow their transaction trail in cyber space or something like that.”

Rae slid on her boots and activated the seal and colour change. Her boots now matched her ‘onesy’ and clung to her calves like second skin. Slick. I was impressed that Rae had finally developed a sense of style, even without my advice and despite my teasing.

There was no point into entering into the Alwin Anton adoration society so I didn’t respond to Rae’s blatant invitation to talk about her boyfriend and kept to the topic. “Did he tell you their coordinates in that last communication?”

Rae activated the bed refresh sequence and picked up her Edupad and slid it into her study nook. Her bed was sanitised and made up with Rae’s favourite bed cover, the one with some old actress on it—Del Divlan or something. Did Rae actually realise that the actress was as old as their parents and not in mode? I let the thought go. Rae didn’t want to hear it. The actress was like her sookie blanket or something and Rae wasn’t letting go anytime soon.

“Not directly, but they were on the message receipt. Do you want me to look it up now?” She withdrew the Edupad, eyebrow quirked.

“No, no. Have fun.

Buy links

As well as ebook, all my Escape Publishing titles are available in large print format for libraries

Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures is available from Escape Publishing, who have links to most eretailers  here

Amazon.com here

Amazon.com.au Here

Kobo here

iBooks here

Mills and Boon also have it  listed. Here

Also, I have a separate blog for Rayessa and the Space Pirates with some fun stuff on there here

Advice from Rayessa today is: don’t eat too many beans and then get into an airlock with a friend!

I saw a post from Hodderscape, which recently held a open submission call, providing writing tips from editor, Anne Perry. I thought her approach was very useful and simple. Reading slush opens your eyes to lots of things.

I also saw recently some tips on developing character from the amazing Angela Slatter, which I thought were useful too.

A while ago now I did a series of posts based on my observations on slush pile reading and the things that I saw there. These posts are probably a bit more indepth and perhaps a bit more muddled than the two recent posts I saw on the web.

Below are the links to these.

Anne Perry here.

Angela Slatter’s post here.

And a few posts from reading for Angry Robot and their first open call.

Blog post one here

Blog post two here

Blog post three here  (which is on common issues with manuscripts)  thoughts on blog post three here. Wherein I elaborate on issues with MSs.

Blog post four was on query letters and synopsis here.

Recently I’ve been working on my first academic paper. This got me thinking about stuff. My previous post on Cherokee Thunder (here)  got me thinking about the positive slant in that book about men, while addressing the serious issue of domestic violence. The slant that says ‘not all men’. Needless to say, the current book I’m reading features a heroine who was abused by her husband!

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I thought because romance is a positive story as it’s going to have a happy ever after, that there is this delicate space there that issues, like domestic violence, can be discussed in a safe way. There might be triggers for people who have suffered domestic violence, but they know it’s going to turn out all right. In this positive way the ramifications can be looked at–the ways in which domestic violence (including emotional abuse) can make a woman feel, how it can take away your feelings of self-worth, personal safety, confidence and strength. (Child abuse has similar effects) How domestic violence can endanger your life and those of your children. It’s nasty and people generally don’t like talking about it real life.

There is the guilt and the self talk, the blame and the ‘I deserve it’ type of mentality. In a romance that features this, these issues can be teased out in a manner that allows for a positive resolution. So romance fiction is a fantasy. Some people don’t want to read books with this domestic violence content (which is normally post domestic violence, not in progress), some people do, because in these stories the heroine gets over her trauma, she learns to be confident, to be herself, and sometimes it’s the hero that shows her that love can be nurturing, kind, respectful and not smothering emotion.

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think this!

For me, romance novels can make me think about positive things. They let me imagine that a woman can have a great first time (unlike my own), or that a man can be trusted, that he can be gentle and also strong, that sex can be wonderful and that love exists in the world and maybe in my own life. Romance fiction can be healing to those of us who have lived the other side: Rape. Fists. Beatings. Low self esteem.

I’m not saying romance novels are the only things that do this, I’m just saying that they can.

An update

So this week has been busy!

My son who works in China developing computer games was visiting this week. So there was him and grandchildren and daughters and stuff.

I read mostly romances this week and following on from my previous post, most had no social issues. The Charlotte Lamb I sampled were full on Bronte channeling with a rampaging Heathcliff in one. However, at present I am reading a Love Swept title featuring a deaf hero so of course it deals with discrimination. So I have a happy face.

My academic paper will be back in front of me on Monday. I was taking a breather and waiting for comments from my supervisor.

As for Canberra, it was chilly this week although today is glorious!

And for the other me, Dani Kristoff, this news.

 

 

 

A fun part of my PhD is reading romances. Mostly I’m concentrating on retros–1970s and 1980s but I want to read up to and including current titles.

The President of the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA), Debbie Phillips, gave me four boxes of books. These were mostly Harlequin Silhouette novels from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I’ve read two so far.

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Then I unpacked the books!

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And then I didn’t have the heart to put them back in the box so I bought some bookshelves for them. (I’m not supposed to be doing that being frugal. Alas, the savings were attacked!)

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I’ve read one cowboy romance by Lass Small called No Trespassers Allowed and I enjoyed that a lot. I even sniffled a bit at the end. It wasn’t feminist but it did discuss gender roles and was almost entirely told from the male perspective. I noticed I have about 5 more of Lass Small’s titles. She’s deceased now but published a lot in her life time.

Cherokee Thunder by Rachel Lee was published in 1992/93 and is from the Silhouette Jasmine imprint. It appears to be slightly longer than the traditional category romance. I’m sure someone can tell me all about that line. I’ve not read Rachel Lee or heard of her before. A quick look on line tells me she is still writing and is using the same setting, Conard County. And she’s won awards etc. I’m not surprised.

For someone reading with an eye for feminist or social issues in these book like I am, there was heaps in this book to interest me. It’s main theme is domestic violence and the secondary theme is racism. There was also some discussion about being a working woman, being independent, being a wife and mother and liking housework. The kind of book this is-set in a small county in Wyoming- being a house wife is a natural aspiration.

I’m not sure how politically correct the half-Cherokee character/heroe, Micah Parish, is but I found him to be represented in a very positive way.This is a character who is solitary, cut off from family, both his white and his First Nation side. He is honorable and emotionally amoured and very gentle.  I ‘heart’ him very much.

Faith, the heroine is a battered wife. She’s not ordinary, run of the mill, battered wife either. She’s seriously battered, stabbed, brutalised…you name it and her ex husband is a crim and an ex cop and a psycho!. Six months pregnant and her ex has even tried to carve the baby out of her. Seriously, scary, stuff!

She’s the frightened kitten, small, petite and hurting. Micah is a big man and he’s got a soft spot for strays. She may be battered but with his caring way, she’s able to find her spirit and over come her timidity. Never though is her abuse trivialised. It is discussed throughout that she’ll have flashbacks (she does) and that it will take time to heal.

As I read this I could see that there could be other stories in this setting. There were some interesting male characters but I haven’t looked up to see if this was a first or a third in a series.

Faith in her reminiscence about life reflects that she’s been betrayed. She was brought up to be a wife and mother and all she got was  abuse. Her stepfather had conditioned her to have low self esteem and told her she deserved a beating. The representation of the abused woman in this story was very accurate to my mind. It takes someone very special to help her. And man does Micah do that.  As I read this I was thinking this is really good. This would make a great movie.

The story seemed to me to be predominantly from the male point of view, except it wasn’t. It was a shared point of view, slipping between Micah and Faith within scenes. It was smoothly done. The only other time I’ve seen this style was in Cory Daniels The Last T’en. It is certainly different from the pseudo omnicient/weird quasi from the male perspective that some of the other retro Mills & Boon had. (apparently before the 1980s they couldn’t use the male PoV)

What I loved about this book (and being a victim of abuse myself) is that it’s so positive. The message here is that there not all men are the same. That even a big, hard man can be tender and kind. It’s such a powerful message. I know Micah is a constructed male. A hero drawn from a woman’s imagination. But I can’t understand how something like this can be denigrated, the way romance fiction, is generally denigrated. It’s a healing story. So there are so romantic foibles-some things the hero says a man probably never would, but still…

I recall JD Robb’s In death series and I remember being so impressed that (Nora Roberts) discussed child abuse in the story line. The unspeakable trauma that the main character, Eve Dallas, went through as a child is revealed slowly over the series and I was so heartened that she discussed that topic. It’s not a nice topic but it happens and it’s important.

I’m still at the beginning on my retro reading. It’s been an interesting and enjoyable experience so far.

Cherokee Thunder was a touching tale. Thank you Rachel Lee for the lovely piece of fiction.

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Today marks the end of my working life in the Australian Public Service. It’s my last pay day. I can’t begin to express how big a change this is for me at this time of my life. I gave up my big paying job, my ‘social capital’ as an educated woman and well-paid over spender/consumer. I gave up building my nest egg and putting heaps of money into my house, or using it to go traveling or just buying shit. I’m sure this will bother me in future, but now I don’t have regrets. (I’m pretty scared about not having money but its’ not like I’ll have none just less! Okay a lot less. A $100,000 less on paper.)

The bottom line was my arthritic spine was making my life pretty miserable and I wanted to spend what productive time I have doing what I want, while I can.

Upside, I can now talk about politics and stupid things that bother me without being threatened with the sack.

I think doing the PhD allowed me not to think about anything but the Phd. It gave me something to put my mental claws in. I am enjoying it. Now, I didn’t get a stipend so that makes things tougher financially. Not that stipends are huge, but it would have helped. Needless to say I’m going to apply again (and fill out the forms correctly this time) at the end of the year. But I have to face the fact that this is it. It’s me, my superannuation and my mortgage. I have the lovely Matthew but I don’t want to impose on him at all, so I’ll be paying my way on the household stuff. My life decisions shouldn’t be reducing his quality of lifestyle.

Then there’s the writing. Still a big part of my  life. The self publishing/Indie publishing thing well I have to see where that takes me.

My previous post I spoke about Print on Demand publishing. I have made my first stupid mistake that cost me money. Not a lot of money, but still I already paid that bugger and had to pay it again. And today is when the money just stops!

You see I found a typo on the very last line of my acknowledgements. It was one letter on a page that maybe no one would read. So I changed the files (I haven’t done iBooks yet as I need a Mac!). For everything it wasn’t a problem, except of Ingram Sparks. I didn’t realise they were going to charge me for the set up fee again, even for the epub file. They charge US $25 to upload your epub file and another $25 for the print. I think other places like Smashwords (which I didn’t use) doesn’t charge.  So fingers burnt. If I waited until other people reported typos then I could have done a lot at the same time, but no I had to change this one letter for about $60 Australian. So lesson learnt.

I’m not complaining that people have to be paid to do their job. Fair enough. I’m complaining that I was stupid, didn’t even think about it and got my fingers burnt.

Createspace hasn’t charged me to reload the print file but I have to go through the review process again. Lesson make sure the file is typo free (it’s really hard) and if you find a typo and it’s a wee thing live with it. That’s what you had to do in the old off-set days.

Having your book in print, in physical form, is the best feeling ever! No doubt about it.

Print on Demand (PoD) services are fantastic (if you get the right ones) because with digital publishing technology you can do small print runs (one book) and the books are fairly economical to produce. No longer do you have to do an offset print run (old-style) and have a garage full of unsold books to get a price per unit down to a manageable level. With a print book you can wave it about and say look at me. You can do a book launch, sell books, and do book signings. You can take your book on holiday and photograph it in picturesque places. You can give copies to people. You can sell them. That’s the up side!

The best place for a book is in a book shop. This is because people go to book shops to buy books. They go to browse and if that shiny god of inspiration is shining on your book and your browser, you may get yourself a sale. Baring that, having reviews, word of mouth etc may get a person going into the book store to actually buy your book. Other venues for sales include conventions, but that can result in no sales, a few sales or heaps of sales, depending on a number things, including the size and the book buying inclination of the attendees. On line book stores are fab too. My own experience has been that I go to them when I know what I want and I need it now. On line is not a good place for browsing, unless you have promo! A flag waving promo that says buy me because I’m a must read before you die Alas, those promos cost big biccies.

There’s nothing stopping PoD books being in book stores. Nothing, nothing except a small thing.

Book stores traditionally get a cut from the sale of the book, usually a discount on the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) and this discount can be 40 to 45 percent (sometimes more, maybe less but not so in my experience unless the bookstore owners are awesome and treat you like a star). That’s not so bad is it? I mean I can do that. I have done that given the standard discount on my books to book stores. I’ve got to pay a percentage to the distributor too, lets say 10 to 15 percent. Okay  I’m cool with that. Bring it on! Buy my books in wonderful, awesome bookstores!

Here’s the catch. When bookstores buy from distributors and mainstream publishers they usually have a six months sales and return condition on the purchase. That is, if the books don’t sell they can send them back. This is a risk management set up so that the bookstore doesn’t have the risk of non sales.  There is, of course, firm sale options where bookstores might get a bigger discount if they take a number of books but if they don’t sell they are stuck with them. The risk is on the book seller then.

With PoD, I know with my supplier, I can opt for accepting returns, but I have no idea how that would work. In principle, with POD the book comes into being because of the order so what happens if it is no longer wanted? The options are the book gets destroyed and the purchaser gets a refund on the cost of the book (not the postage) or it gets returned to the distributor and the returnee pays the postage. After this I don’t know what happens. Can it be resold? Dunno! So I’ve opted for no returns.

So in this way, despite  allowing a discount on my books that are comparable to traditional publishers, I am most likely locked out of bookstores, unless I approach them myself and even supply them from my supply of books. My book is not competitive because it can’t be returned (it might be noncompetitive for other reasons too, like no promo, no rep, no sales history etc). The other downside which works against bricks and mortar bookstores supplying/ordering/selling POD titles, is that if they order one book they have to pay postage (usually that would have be passed on to the buyer indirectly or directly). If they ordered five or ten then it would be cheaper but they aren’t going to do that because they can’t return them. If you as a book buyer are lucky enough to have a bookstore that will order in PoD titles then stick to them. Thank them. Send them Christmas cards or seasons greetings because they are awesome. Online it’s a bit different because you expect to pay postage (or not) depending on the store.

The upshot of this is that PoDs are not going to get you heaps of sales through bookstores. They are lovely to have. (I’m going to be selling my pretties at Supanova in Sydney in June!) but we are still small biccies, unless we become big biccies.

I ask myself why I have priced my books to allow bookshops to get the 40 percent and the distributor their percentage. I should race over to my set up page and change it to the minimum, but maybe I’m optimistic that some bookstores will either buy my book or supply it to lovely people who order it in and for that, I’d like them to be compensated.

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Cover by Les Petersen

Buy links for Argenterra here.

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