5/01/2019

Doomsday Game is Published Today

It's out! Doomsday Game is now available in hardback, paperback and ebook formats, so take your pick of whichever you prefer. I really hope you enjoy it - I've spent the better part of half a decade with these characters, and I'm sorry to finally say goodbye to them.

Where to get it: the ebook is widely available, while the paperback is available primarily through Amazon. It may be possible to order it through independent bookstores if you want to give them your business. The ISBN is 978-9574364589.

The hardback (ISBN 978-9574364596) should be much more widely available - it's now listed on Barnes and Noble's website, next to the Nook version, as well as on Amazon, and is very likely a lot of other places too.

The cheapest place to get the hardback is still here.

The ebook is available through Amazon, Apple Books, Nook and Kobo. There may be others, but those are the main ones.

And don't forget to write a review - authors really need them. Even just writing "I liked it" is enough.

4/27/2019

Good News for you Hardback Completists

I'd thought it was going to take much longer for the hardback of Doomsday Game to show up on Amazon, but lo and behold, it's live.

I might as well mention I've already published the paperback of Doomsday Game in advance of the ebook release in a few day's time. At the moment it's mainly available only through Amazon, but it's possible you could get it through a local bookshop if you want to support their business.

The same goes for the hardback, by the way. If you do want to order the hardback in particular from a bookshop rather than just online from Amazon, use the ISBN when placing your order: 978-9574364596.

Here's the link for the hardback on Amazon UK and on Amazon US.

...and here's the link for the paperback on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

And I might as well drop in a universal link for the Kindle pre-order that'll land you up in whatever Amazon serves you. mybook.to/DoomsdayGameKindle.

That's right: I'm doing a simultaneous release of all three formats so you can pick whichever one you prefer.

Keep in mind, by the way, that the ebook will also be available through Kobo, Google Play, and others, and that the cheapest place to get the hardback, if you're particularly price conscious, is always going to be here

4/18/2019

The hardback of Doomsday Game is now out...

...but only from one retailer for at least the next several weeks.

It's worth reminding you at this point-and possibly some of you still aren't aware of this-I'm publishing this book myself, and that places some limitations on what I can do which don't apply to big publishers. Plus, I'm still figuring some things out about how the indie publishing business works.

The hardback of Doomsday Game will become available through channels such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc, but not for another six to eight weeks - nearly two months after the paperback and ebook will become available. I don't have any say in that, unfortunately-I suspect it's part and parcel of the snail-like pace with which much of the print industry still moves.

However, it is already available directly from the company that prints it - and also to some extent distributes it - that being Lulu.com. So if you want to get hold of the hardback, click on that link in the left sidebar or click here.

The bad news is, not being able to manufacture massive numbers of copies for distribution like a full-scale publisher, the price is consequently higher. The good news is it's still significantly cheaper to buy from Lulu.com than it will be from Amazon.com or anywhere else. If you'd prefer to or are used to buying from Amazon.com or elsewhere, I'll post here once it clears the main distribution channels.

If you happen to work in a bookshop and like my stuff, this of course means you should be able (far as I know, anyway) to order it from the distributor's catalogues.

The paperback will be £8.99, and will be made available a few days before the release of the ebook. It'll have a price match, meaning if you buy the paperback you'll also be able to buy the ebook for half-price or less.

It, too, will receive expanded distribution, but will, so far as online sales go, be available directly and only from Amazon. Why? Because Amazon. Because capitalism.

Feel free to drop me a line either in the comments or the contact box if you've got more questions (also: as you can see from the pictures, I received my own proof copy of the hardback this morning. And let me tell you, it looks fabulous).

3/24/2019

New Book Coming: DOOMSDAY GAME


I've tweeted, Facebooked and emailed the mailing list, and now, at last, the blog: I have a new book coming out. It's called DOOMSDAY GAME and it's the third - and final - volume of the series that began in 2014 or thereabouts with EXTINCTION GAME and continued with SURVIVAL GAME.

I think it makes for a pretty neat conclusion for the saga, and it took me most of 2018 to write and edit. The cover art, by the way, is from Ben Baldwin, who also did the artwork for last year's GHOST FREQUENCIES - and for which he's up for a BSFA award. Here's the blurb:

It's the end of the world...again.
Over the years, the Pathfinders - each the sole survivor of a humanity-destroying apocalypse, but on different alternate Earths - have become a tight-knit team as they search for an alternate they, along with the Authority, might one day call home.
Now, at last, one has been found: an Edenic alternate Earth on which humanity never evolved.
But just when their work seems over, new threats emerge. One comes from within the Authority itself, but the other is so completely unexpected that the Pathfinders are quickly overwhelmed.
The race is on to deal with the final - and greatest - threat this rag-tag band of survivors have yet encountered as they journey through alternate Earths rendered lifeless by rogue singularities or littered with ancient and perilous ruins. Faced with their own extinction, can they pull together one last time…as well as save the Authority from itself? 

I think that sums it up nicely. It's released on May 1st, and is currently available as a Kindle pre-order - it'll soon also be on sale through Kobo, iTunes, and other online stores, and will also be available as a paperback and a simultaneously released hardback. More details as they come!

3/05/2019

Stephen Palmer's new novel The Autist

As part of my continuing and admittedly slightly sporadic quest to present you with new and old British and UK-resident authors with whom you may or may not be aware, I'd like this time around to present you with the new novel by Stephen Palmer.

Since his first novel, Memory Seed, came out from Orbit in 1996, Stephen has produced a dozen novels of what might be loosely termed 'post-cyberpunk', insofar as they are most often concerned with collapsing ecologies, the evolution of AI and also of humanity in response to its own technological innovations.

His new novel The Autist moves between the England of the late 21st Century, Nigeria, and Thailand, and shows his work remains as thoughtful and engaging as ever.

Here's the synopsis:

Data detective Mary Vine is visiting relatives when she uncovers a Chinese programme of AI development active within her own family.

Ulu Okere has only one goal: to help her profoundly disabled brother, whose unique feats of memory inspire her yet perturb the community they live in.

And in a transumted Thailand, Somchai Chokdee is fleeing his Buddhist temple as an AI-inspired political revolution makes living there too dangerous.

In 2100 life is dominated by vast, unknowable AIs that run most of the world and transform every society they touch. When suspicions of a Chinese conspiracy seem substantiated, Mary, Ulu and Somchai decide they must oppose it. Yet in doing so they find themselves facing something the world has never seen before...

This is what Stephen has to say about the origins of the story:

The Autist was inspired by algorithms and AI…

I’d written a couple of near-future AI novels before – Beautiful Intelligence and No Grave For A Fox – which dealt with the theme of the possibility of conscious machines. Much of my own reading is non-fiction, with technology a particular interest if it deals with the more human side of things – for instance Mary Aiken’s fantastic The Cyber Effect.

It seemed to me that I should write a novel in which AI development does not end up so well, and with my background in consciousness and the evolution of the mind I was able to bring together a few relevant themes: Savant Syndrome, the impossibility of a single conscious machine appearing, and algorithms and their effects on society – effects which I think will be profound, and mostly negative.

My influences were all non-fiction too, especially the author and researcher Nicholas Humphrey, who has done more for the field of consciousness studies than most. I’ve long been a fan of his work. He was the originator of the social intelligence theory of consciousness, and has written four masterpieces, of which one, A History Of The Mind, mentions his work on blindsight, which I used in this new novel.

Hopefully people will enjoy the story and be intrigued by the theme.

You can get the novel here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Autist-Stephen-Palmer-ebook/dp/B07PBX8R3B/

1/17/2019

New books forthcoming from me in 2019

2018 was a busy year and 2019 is looking to be even busier. I have two books coming out this year: the first is DOOMSDAY GAME, the final volume in the series that began with EXTINCTION GAME and continued in SURVIVAL GAME. The book is written and undergoing its final edits and I hope to have a cover to show you in the next couple of weeks or months. I think it ties the series up just about perfectly. More details about the plot and a blurb to come.

The other forthcoming book is DEVIL'S ROAD, a short novel in the same vein as Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley, although in terms of content and plot it comes across more like a mashup of Death Race 2000 and Pacific Rim.

Either one or both will be up for preorder in the coming weeks and I'll be sure to let you know when that is. 

1/09/2019

My experience in self-publishing in 2018

Back in March 2018, I put out a collection of five short stories as an ebook on Amazon for just £1.99. It wasn't the first time I'd used the Kindle self-publishing market, but it was the first time the ebook I published was my own.

Back in 2011, I'd experimented with publishing languishing works by fellow pro's and semi-pro's. It did a lot to raise my profile, a ridiculous amount, in fact: but one thing it didn't do was sell any ebooks. A few, by Fergus Bannon and Hal Duncan, did okay, but just okay. I decided to put self-publishing to the side for a while and concentrate on writing books such as Final Days and Extinction Game.

Cut to seven years later, and everything's changed. The ebook market has continued to take the world of publishing by storm.

The biggest difference is that there's now a lot more information out there about how to successfully self-publish. It's not enough to just fling it out there and hope for the best, which is what I essentially did in 2011. You need to learn about and implement meta-data, ads, and make use of good-quality cover art. A lot of people who experimented far more deeply with KDP in its earliest incarnation than I ever did wrote books about their experiences and how they succeeded or failed, and so I read many of their books.

Ten months after publishing Scienceville and Other Lost Worlds, how well has it done?

Put it this way: two of the five stories in that book were previously published in paying markets, while a third story originally appeared in a non-paying market. One of them sold twice (after appearing in Interzone, I re-sold the audio rights for Scienceville to the Starship Sofa podcast. You can listen to or download it here.)

To date, the income from this one self-published collection containing just five short stories equals more than eight times the money made from the two stories that sold to pro markets. Further, the ebook has made me at least five times more than I've made from short story sales, ever.

In fairness, I've only ever sold a literal handful of short stories: I'm not a fast producer. But still.

To put it a little further into perspective, according to my agent, John Jarrold, short story collections typically make only about 15% of what an author can expect to earn from a novel. I'm cautious about extrapolating too readily from the available data to estimate what I might make from a full-length novel, but even so, the future is looking increasingly bright.

So what did I do differently that I didn't do before? I read books on how to manipulate data on Amazon using tools that Amazon themselves provide for that purpose. I carefully crafted adverts with an aim of keeping the costs low and the income high. I paid money for halfway-decent cover art. I certainly benefited hugely from having had a number of novels in print, and the ready-made readership that came with them.

What I learned from all this is that it's possible to make good money in self-publishing, but only if you actually act like a publisher and treat your self-publishing like an actual business with costs as well as profits.

One thing I know for sure: self-publishing isn't for everybody. A lot of people still go into it and face-plant from the word go because they've used a home-made cover, or a cover that isn't at least passably professional-looking (I look back at my early ebook covers and cringe) or, worse, a cover that isn't appropriate. I know many writers whom I strongly suspect would struggle with the process, or hate it, or both.

But if all this talk of self-publishing doesn't make you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and turn the lights out, then, yes, it is worth considering - especially if you've made professional sales in the past and developed a readership.

I'm still chasing traditional publishing: it's just that it isn't the only game in town any more, and I'm finally, finally free to write any damn thing I please with the knowledge that with sufficient effort, I have a decent chance of finding an audience for it.