Studio Sketches

Home » Posts tagged 'fantasy'

Tag Archives: fantasy

Price Drop on Everything!

Okay, not everything, but everything published by me, Stephan Michael Loy. You see, six, seven months ago  I began an experiment designed to increase book sales. The theory is that when you price books too low, prospective readers assign a low value to those books and skip purchasing them. But if you price books higher, the reader assigns a higher value to the work and is more likely to purchase. It sounds crazy, but it also sounds about right. People buy Apple computers because of their perceived value, and part of that percpetion has to do with the fact that they cost twice as much as a Windows PC. Part of the reason Mercedes is considered a desirable automobile — despite the fact that their cars are taxi cabs in Germany — is because Mercedes cars cost an arm and a leg. So a six-dollar book is perceived as a better product than a three-dollar book or even a free book. That was the theory, not mine, but one espoused by many a podcast self-publishing guru.

So, about six months ago I jacked up the prices of my books to make them more desirable. My observations to date indicate that the higher price value assertion is, at least in my case, a bunch of bullshit. Consequently, said experiment is concluded and I have lowered the prices of all my books and shorter works on Kindle and Smashwords. Right now and forevermore, you can purchase my novels for $2.99 from those two venues, my shorter works (novellas and long short stories) for $00.99. Not making much on sales like this, but I hope this makes the work at least a little more accessible to readers.

Here’s a link to go get my books at the Amazon Kindle Store, or, if you prefer, the Smashwords site. The difference? They’re all esentially the same document, but if you buy from the Kindle store you need to have either a Kindle reader or the free Kindle app installed on your reader. If you buy from Smashwords, you can choose the format in which the story will be delivered. If you don’t have an ebook reader, you can download the books in Word, plain text, RTF or PDF formats. If you have Kindle or their app, you can download the .mobi files. If you have any other reader, including iPads, iPhones, iPods, smart phones, Android, Nooks, Kobo, Palm, Sony or any ebook reader app, you can download and read the epub documents.

Whatever you do and on whatever format, download one or more of my books today. They won’t set you back more than the price of a few candy bars and you’ll get more out of them than nougat.

A few recommendations:

If you like political intrigue and a glimpse into the near-term future, try Conqueror’s Realm. This book explores what could happen when white people lose their majority status in America. Do racists take over, or does America at long last fulfill its promise of justice for all regardless of ethnic background?

Fantasy fan? Try Isis Wept, the story of conflict among the Egyptian gods and what happens to the humans stuck in the middle. If you prefer urban fantasy, go for Last Days and Times, the tale of a tortured twenty-something girl cursed to see the work of God regardless of its beauty or horror.

If you prefer space fantasy in the vein of Star Wars, try Shining Star, which follows a rebellion within a brutal, star-spanning theocracy.

There are also a number of shorter works in genres from police, to military to sic-fi, to satire. Take your pick, and I hope you enjoy. In fact, I’m sure you will.

Advertisements

Isis Wept is Now FREE on Kindle!

FREE on Kindle!

FREE on Kindle!

Beginning today, 25 June, Isis Wept will be free for five days on Kindle. Isis is my ancient Egyptian high fantasy, stuffed to the crocodile eyeballs with magic, monsters, gods, and harried little humans. From now through Saturday, it can be had for zip, nada, zilch at the Kindle Store of Amazon.com. So, go there. Go there right this second and get your copy. Not sure you’d like an epic story of the gods? Go to my web site to read descriptions and excerpts from Isis Wept.

After you’ve secured the precious, and after you’ve read it, return to the Kindle Store and put up a review. Lots and lots of stars would be greatly appreciated, but give what you think it deserves. That’s the real pay-out here.

Remember, you don’t have to have a Kindle device to read Kindle books. Just go to Amazon and download their free Kindle reading app for whatever device you own! You would download the book via your computer, then read it using your Kindle app.

Unless you hate quality fiction, hate fantasy fiction, hate Egyptians, or hate farmers who drink beer, you’ll love Isis Wept!

Happy reading!

Two New Books Added to the Collection, and in Print, too!

I’ve been a busy boy. It’s mainly due to the advent of summer vacation. If you’ve paid attention, you know that I’m a public school art teacher, so I don’t have the time I’d like for book publishing, not from August to May, anyway. But, this isn’t August to May, is it? Consequently, I’ve more stuff out there. I re-released Harmonic RES and Last Days and Times a few weeks ago. Now I’ve put forward two more adventures.

The first is Isis Wept, a fantasy that takes place in ancient Egypt. This in itself is nothing new. There have been a number of Egyptian fantasies, though the stage is by no means crowded. We’ve seen ancient Egyptian detective stories along with stories about witches invoking the spirits of Egyptian gods and goddesses. What we haven’t seen much of, until now, is the actual gods of ancient Egypt depicted as primary characters in their own stories. That’s what happens in Isis Wept. This is the immortal tale of Isis, the goddess of love and beauty, and her husband Osiris, god of order and civilization, and how their lives are ripped asunder by their evil brother Set. Tons of magic and monsters in this character-driven novel of what it is to be man in a world commanded by forces of nature. Check it out at the Kindle Store.

Isis Wept is also available in print, for those of you who prefer the feel of a physical book in your hands. You can get the trade paperback at Amazon.com and the hard cover edition at Lulu.com.

Zooming from ancient Egypt to the far-flung future, I’ve released a military-religious-scifi novel in Shining Star. This is the story of what becomes of mankind after we are forced to leave a contaminated Earth for the risky exodus to the stars. The human race is almost wiped out, held together only by the steel will of a new religion uncomfortably like the Catholic church. This is the church in the Middle Ages, at the time of the Reformation, but transmuted into a futuristic star-spanning society. The Community of God, as it calls itself, is directly responsible for the survival of the human species. This is inarguable, but that survival is facilitated by a totalitarian theocracy that brooks no dissidence. Heretics and “schisoids” are staked and burned, or worse. The population is kept under control by armored soldiers who show no mercy. The army is itself monitored by terrifying, deadly, nearly invincible “inquisitors” who serve only the all-powerful Reverend Mother. In Shining Star, one of Community’s soldiers discovers a lost relative among the inquisitors. This inquisitor was sent to obliterate a cell of heretic monks, but instead joined their cause to re-establish the dominant religion of man before it was subverted by Community for the purposes of maintaining power. The soldier, the inquisitor, and several monks embark on a quest to find the truth of mankind’s past, trying to avoid the theocratic engine of murder that pursues them.

Shining Star is available at the Kindle Store and will soon be available in print. I’ll keep you informed.

And that’s not all, folks. I have even more in the works, starting with a scifi political thriller that I hope to release to Kindle hopefully in July.

So, yes, I’ve been a busy boy. I need to get busier still. I hope this gives you plenty to read and enjoy over this early part of summer.

Take care, keep reading, and I’ll talk to you next time I have news.

Last Days and Harmonic RES Hit In-the-Park Home Runs on Kindle!

Just yesterday, I asked readers here, fellow writers, and audiences in other venues to come out in support of my two Kindle books Last Days and Times and Harmonic RES. Both are currently listed as free on the Amazon Kindle Store, Last Days through Saturday and Harmonic RES through tomorrow, Thursday. I asked everyone to go out and download the books. You get something good to read for free, and I get the downloads, thus allowing my work to climb the all-important rankings lists at Amazon. The more downloads I get (and high star ratings and reviews), the more visible my work is to paying customers.

Well, you guys came through. As of right now, Harmonic RES, my short fiction collection, is ranked at No. 4 out of the Best 100 in its category of science fiction anthologies. It’s also ranked No. 78 in free science fiction overall. Though down a bit from this morning (it had gotten as high as No. 3 in anthologies and 73 in scifi overall), those are still stellar rankings.

Last Days and Times is my contemporary fantasy, loaded to the rafters with seers, immortal monsters, religious fanatics, and nuclear terrorism. In the more competitive occult horror category, it has climbed its way to No. 16 of the Top 100.

Thank you with all my heart.

Not done, though. We can do better. If there are any among you who have not yet downloaded either of my books, please do so now. With your help, both works can be boosted to even higher rankings. We should be able to own Harmonic RES’s category. We just have to raise it three notches. And it would be great to get Last Days in the top ten.

Here is the link for Last Days and Times:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-and-Times-ebook/dp/B004UST6NU

Here is the link for Harmonic RES:

http://www.amazon.com/Harmonic-RES-ebook/dp/B005F0H9HW

I would appreciate as many people downloading these books as possible. When it comes down to the purpose here, raising the books’ visibility on the Kindle Store, the proposition is simple. Download the books, both of them. You don’t even have to read them. You could delete them the second they’re delivered to your device. I’d rather you didn’t do that, of course. I’d much rather you read them, even offer a review and star rating for each on the Kindle Store when you’re done, but the bare facts are that, for now anyway, all you have to do is click that ‘Buy Now” button. A small action but with huge potential, helping out a brother as I would help you in reversed circumstances.

Again, thanks.

Steve.

Holy Literary Miracle, Batman! Free Books!

 

Image

 

Today’s special is not the salmon patty with macaroni and cheese, but two free books from the Kindle Store! Get your clicking finger ready because two of my books are now on sale at Kindle, but for a limited time.

Last Days and Times, my supernatural fantasy thriller, is free at the Kindle Store through Saturday, June 15, 2013. It’s a five-star rated novel of modern apocalypse, including seers, immortals, and nuclear terrorism. It isn’t like those crappy apocalypse novels that preach ‘this is what happens if you ain’t straight with the Lord.’ Last Days and Times takes a grittily snarky look at Christian fanaticism and preaches the importance of being bad-ass. Get it this week for nothing as an introduction to all the other works I’ll be releasing over the next few weeks.

Here’s your link for Last Days and Times. Go! Fetch! You won’t regret it.

Harmonic RES is a pleasantly different animal. It’s a short fiction collection in which I present a number of short stories and novellas of varying genres but on the same broad theme. Through this book, you can go to Mars — twice! You go to Europe in the 1980s, to a beleaguered inner city public school, to cyberspace, and to weird cornfields  while in the back seat of a police car. It’s good stuff. It’s rated five stars. It’s free through Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Here’s your link to Harmonic RES.

This offer isn’t likely to repeat itself, so go get both books now. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. You can get and read these books using the Kindle app, which is available for tablets, computers, and smart phones everywhere. And it’s free, too! Don’t like scifi, fantasy, or speculative fiction? Yes, you do! You dig fiction that is well-written and compelling, regardless of the artificial constraints of so-called genres. These two books are that stuff. Besides, what do you have to lose?

Remember, nothing free is really free. I would appreciate it if you offered a review on the Kindle Store after you’ve read my books. It helps out the writer almost as much as paying cash does. If you can’t offer a review for whatever reason, that’s okay. I mean, if both your arms are broken or you develop a sudden, clinical terror of keyboards, I understand and it’s no biggie.

But a review, however short, with a nice, big five-star rating always makes the author feel better about the world.

 

I Get By With A Little Help

I hope everyone got a chance to listen to the Geeks Out After Dark podcast where we talked about Mid-World Arts. I can’t say it enough. The best thing about Mid-World for me is all the help I get from my fellow writers. Without them, my prose would be pretty woeful.

It’s strange to say that the salad days of self-publishing are over. Especially since only a small percentage of the reading population has been turned on to indie books. But gone are the days when you could slap a book up on Smashwords and expect it to sell. The bar has been raised, and continues to go higher. There’s no tolerance for crap anymore. If you put out something with spelling and grammar errors, if you have no idea how to develop characters or stories, you’re never getting out of the gate. You’ll sink into the sea of others who didn’t take the time to make it better.

That’s where Mid-World Arts comes in. It’s a guarantee for readers that the writer did go the extra mile. Did get someone, several someones, to polish their work and make it shine. It’s a guarantee that even though you’re buying an indie book at indie prices, you’re still getting professional quality.

I’d love to tell you more about why I enjoyed Steve and Dick’s books, but I gotta go write. Why not take the time to read them yourself? Many of our titles are 99 cents, and as we get off the ground, many will be offered for free on certain days. Check back here regularly to find out when.

Speaking of which, My Babylon – Book One: Body, will be free on May 14th at Amazon. Just in time for the release of Book Two: Rose.

Thanks for reading.

James

More News from the Studio!

Image

We’re busy here in the studio. Lots of new work is ready or almost ready to come out, lots of good stuff has entered the pipe for your reading pleasure (or horror, as the case many be). And some announcements that we can’t even make just now are champing at their bits.

 

First, congrats to James for publishing his short story Matchmaker and the first installment of his serialized novel, My Babylon. Both are available on Kindle by following the links here, clicking the links on the publications page of the Mid-World Arts web site, or by searching either James L. Wilber or the story titles in the Amazon Kindle Store. See, we make it easy for you.

 

Second, congrats again to James. Matchmaker is kicking ass over there at the Kindle store, as we knew it would. It’s rated number one in free science fiction short stories, beating out some undeniably stellar company. If you don’t have your copy, get over there and get it pronto. It’s a treat. At the time you read this, it may not be free any longer, but at only 99 cents, what difference does it make?

 

More news. If you’ve been listening to the podcast Geeks Out After Dark, this isn’t exactly a surprise. We want to prematurely welcome Dick Thomas to the Mid-World fold. He writes some awesome character-driven apocalyptic urban fantasy. No bio yet, but that isn’t far in the future. Welcome, Dick!

 

More in the very near future, more books, more podcast news, more tidbits on who’s who and who’s doing what. Stay tuned!

 

Steve.