Okay, this might sound like a weird blog post from the title, but apparently, some people are having problems figuring out how to acquire and read my newest work, The Rose Garden Arena Incident. I’m guessing the confusion comes from the fact that there is no actual “paper” book for you to walk into the bookstore and buy.
Fair enough. It wasn’t really until a couple of years ago that I started reading books electronically. Took a bit of time to get used to, but now I read probably ninety-nine percent of my books on my iPhone, either reading them with the Kindle app, or listening to them with the Audible app.
So, those are your options for Rose Garden. The book is actually (technically) available in three formats: as an audiobook, as a Kindle, or as an ebook. You might think that Kindle is an ebook, but there’s actually two completely different formats, the format Amazon uses for Kindle and the format every single other ebook manufacturer and publishing website uses.
My book is a serial thriller being published in seven parts, which means there will be seven individual books. Obviously, each book is shorter than a normal novel, but not by as much as you would think. The final word count for The Rose Garden Arena Incident will be an estimated one hundred and eighty thousand words, putting it at a size just a hair under being three times the length of my debut novel, Dream with Little Angels.
Because the books are short, they aren’t priced very high. The first one, Mosh Pit which came out September 19 is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and everywhere else you might buy ebooks online, for a buck ninety-nine. The second one, Media Frenzy (coming out October 21) will be priced the same. How short are they? Well, a proper novel is usually around seventy-thousand to ninety thousand words. The first five Rose Garden books should come in between twenty and twenty-five thousand words (about ninety-five pages or so). So, yeah, they’re each a sort of “mini-novel.” If all goes as planned, the final two books—books six and seven—will be almost double that, coming in somewhere between forty and forty-five thousand words. If you opt to listen to the audiobooks instead of reading the Kindle or ebook edition, Eric’s narration for the first two installments takes two to three hours a book. That is if you listen at normal speed. I never do. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
So, how does one go about reading a Kindle or an ebook? It’s really simple. You can do one of two things. You can buy yourself a Kindle from Amazon or a Kobo from Kobo or whatever from whoever, but you certainly don’t have to. In fact, I would almost advise not doing that. I actually purchased a Kindle Fire from Amazon a few years ago for a couple hundred dollars and, once I got my iPhone, discovered I never used it. So I gave it to my ex-wife. Thing is, if you have any sort of smart phone, or tablet, or even a desktop or laptop PC or Mac, you can download the Kindle app for free. Completely free. Once you’ve done that, you just log into Amazon.com (or, if you happen to live in my country, Amazon.ca (or .uk, or … I know. You get it.) Once you’re there, do a search for my name or the title of any of my books, and you should be taken right to them. Even easier? Click on the book cover at the top of this article, or just click right here.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself at the sell page for the book. Then it’s simply a matter of throwing it into your cart, going to the checkout, using your credit card to pay the dollar ninety-nine, and then the book will magically appear (within seconds, usually) on your Kindle device or iPhone or iPad or iPod or Android or PC or Mac or whatever it is you’ve decided to do your reading on (I actually prefer my phone to my iPad—I find I read faster on my phone. I think it’s because my eyes can take in each horizontal line of text in one look. Just a guess, though). If you decide to get really crazy with your Kindle spending, you can turn on “one-click” in your Amazon account. Then all you need to do is just click a button on the sale page and everything magically happens behind the scenes and your book appears thirty seconds later on your phone. This is not always a good thing.
Of course, if you’re using a different ebook device, odds are, you already know where to go and what to do to buy books for it.
And that’s it for the electronic version. Easy peasy.
But what if you want to listen to Eric’s mellifluous voice rendering my prose in perfect eloquence with his low, docal tones? Well, there’s a few different ways you can do that, too. The audiobook is available at numerous places, such as the iTunes store, Audible.com, and, I believe Google Play (maybe I’m wrong), among others. I use Audible. And, just like with the Kindle app, the Audible app is free to install on any of your devices or computers and, once you do, the process of going to Audible.com and buying the book is exactly the same as I described it for the Kindle edition on Amazon. In fact, Amazon owns Audible, so this makes pretty good sense. Of course, it’s not as easy as clicking on the book cover at the top of this post, but you could just click this link right here.
Once you’ve purchased the audiobook and it magically appears on your device less than a minute later, you’ll find you have a few cool options, the best one probably being to listen to the book at speeds other than those Eric read it at. I usually listen to most of my fiction at 1.25 speed. Sometimes I manage to crank it up to 1.5, but usually this is a wee bit fast. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I mean, I haven’t done the math, but I think I have somewhere around, I dunno, a hundred and sixty still-waiting-to-be-heard Audible books in my cloud (oh, that’s another thing. When you buy a book, either as an ebook or an audiobook, that book is yours forever; well—with a few exceptions … Amazon actually has different promotions, some of which allow you to borrow books or pay a monthly fee to read all the books you want and things like that, but normally, the book is yours. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Gee, I really don’t want to have all them books taking up room on my phone. I mean, I need somewhere to store them Pokemon I’ve been catching.” And it’s true, the books can become big users of space if you buy them like I do. Luckily, though, you only have to store whatever books you’re currently reading. When you open an account with Amazon (or their competitors), you are given free “cloud” space. It’s basically just a computer somewhere with a partition of one of it’s hard drives dedicated to you and your books. You can keep your books there forever and erase them from your devices and, if you ever want to read them again, just grab them off of you cloud. It’s really simple. I just made it sound even more complicated than it had to be. It’s like, one button.
Just in case you’re wondering, to the best of my knowledge there is no “real bookstore” you can walk into (at this point, anyway) to buy a Kindle or ebook or audiobook version of any of the Rose Garden installments. You do have lots of choices online, though. I believe between all the different versions, you can find them at almost two dozen different booksellers. If you’re at a loss to find one, please do not hesitate to contact me using the icon at the bottom of my website.
One last thing. You may notice that audiobook covers and Kindle/ebook covers are different. This is because Kindle/ebooks use the same sort of proportions as regular books—they’re taller than they are wide. For some weird reason, audiobook covers are always square. This may not seem like such a big deal—and probably usually it’s really not—but t;but usually people don’t have to have seven completely different covers created when they release their newest work. So, yeah … I needed fourteen separate covers.
Anyway, that’s it. So, please don’t feel intimidated by technology! Buy my books. Buy my friends’ books, too. We’re all pretty good writers. Oh, and one last thing. After you finish reading them I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to post a review on whatever site you bought them on. The place you do that, is right at that same page you searched for when you bought it. I’m sure other authors would also appreciate this gesture.
Thank you very much. I hope y’all have a wonderful rest of the weekend!