Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 26 December 2011

A Gift of an Idea From Smashwords

Perhaps it's a case of 'great minds think alike' (or perhaps 'fools rarely differ') but you may recall from an earlier blog I suggested that it would be great if people could gift ebooks in the same way that we gift paper based books (and writing this on Christmas day, I'm guessing a few of you have had that pleasure today) see 'ebook Vigilante'.  I proposed a system where not only could you gift a book, but perhaps the author could personalise the gift for you.

I did suggest that if anyone thought there was mileage in the idea then perhaps they ought to send Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, a link to my blog.  I don't know if that happened or not, but Smashwords have just announced a facility to gift ebooks - a few days late as Christmas could have been a good opportunity to send your friends copies of your favourite books, but I guess that's software projects for you!  Mark doesn't recommend authors using the gifting method as he prefers the voucher system as a promotional tool, but from my perspective I can see that I can lend a personal touch to those who want to read my books or inflict them on someone else.

Anyway, I applaud Smashword's new facility - it's good for all the books in the system as far as I can tell and it doesn't cost you a penny more than the books normally cost.  I'm happy to provide a personalised message for each of my books which I will email to you if you would like one.  My instinct is to produce a generic card similar to the one above, having the book cover on one side and the standard book blurb on the other with perhaps a short message from myself.  If you want one to add to a gift of one of my books then email me on and let me know if you want anything specific adding to the text - then you can buy the book using the gifting button to generate a unique code that the recipient will need to use on Smashwords to access their gifted book.  Please note I don't monitor the above email address as frequently as I do my personal one so if you need a quick response then please contact me via my Twitter account - that's an open account so anyone can sign up to follow it. 

Changing tack - I hope you all enjoyed Da Dan Brown Code Christmas Special yesterday.  You'll be pleased to know that the crew have returned to their day jobs and are readying themselves to finish the book off over the next week or so.  If you can't wait for the ending on the blog then you can read it sooner - I've uploaded Da Dan Brown Code as 'The Last Simple' on Smashwords and Amazon, usual price of $0.99 plus tax.

Of course, if you follow me on Twitter or this blog then you'll be entitled to a free copy in a week or so time, so if you haven't signed up yet, now's your opportunity.  I suppose it does beggar the question - if you've been reading the story all the way through and it's available on the blog for free anyway, why would any rational person pay for a copy?

Well, ignoring the assumption that anyone reading Da Dan Brown Code from the beginning might be rational (the writer certainly isn't), then I guess there are a couple of possible answers to the question.

One - you might want all of the story in one, compact and easy-to-read format, loaded on your eReader so that you can regale sections to unwitting rail passengers on your morning commute.

Or two, staying in fantasy land, you may want to make a contribution to the Ray Sullivan Fund dedicated to researching the ultimate tolerance point of the human liver.  I think mine is proving to be quite resilient right now, but more research is needed - all contributions gratefully received.

The book is available now - clearly the process is faster now than it was in the early summer when I uploaded DLF, judging by the way the book was sucked up by both websites.  It's on Amazon right now - I wasn't expecting anything from them initially as they have historically taken about three working days to make a book available.  I think the delay was due to their text to speech conversion where a mechanised voice is used to read your book out - good luck with word-pun city, pals.  Personally I suspect Stephen Hawking is probably spending some time at home with his family so the text to speech may be delayed.  Smashwords seemed to be going great guns, but then the site crashed after telling me The Last Simple was uploaded - not a good omen, but there you go.  Half an hour later it appeared amongst a large number of essays that have been launched as ebooks at about the same time - sorry, but I just don't get the concept of a 4000 word 'ebook'.

Final change of tack - I've mentioned the next blog book, Project Evil, on several occasions.  As reported recently it isn't finished but I've calculated that I can post three times a week until early March with the twenty thousand words I have now, based on breaking the chapters down to chunks between 500 and 800 words a time.  That'll give me time to complete the book - I hope, gulp.

Please continue to enjoy the holidays and thanks for visiting the blog.

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