Just a quick note to let everyone know you can download The Five Elements for free from Smashwords from now until the end of the year. Just use the coupon code UP62L at checkout.
I like Smashwords because they sell eBooks in a variety of formats (HTML, MOBI, EPUB, LRF, RTF, etc.). Buy the book, and you can download whatever format fits your need. Use the coupon code, and it won’t cost you a dime.
2011/12/2 Update: Big thanks to the Amazon rep who reached out to me after I tweeted my issue with uploading The Five Elements to KDP as well as to Amazon's engineering staff. It looks like there was a combination of things going on here, but all is well now. I was able to upload the latest version of my book after a software glitch was fixed and the rep ran through some things which ultimately showed the error as being a false positive.
2011/12/1 Update: I've tried many formats: .docx, .doc, .rtf, .html. None work. I even tried uploading an old version of my document since it *did* work previously. Even that won't upload/convert. Bummer. I sent the rep the .doc file that was previously working to pass on to their engineers. Hope they find something.
2011/11/29 Update: A representative from Amazon saw the tweet I posted giving a shout-out to this post and contacted me via email. We went back and forth a few times, the end result being that while Amazon thought they had the problem fixed I'm still unable to successfully submit anything through the KDP interface.
I've been trying to upload the latest version of The Five Elements to the Kindle store for the past day and a half, but keep getting an error stating there has been a conversion error.
Not particularly helpful, and entirely unexpected considering I haven't changed the format of my submission. In fact, that exact format has worked flawlessly for some time now.
I'm assuming Amazon is having some issues on their end. I'm not the only one experiencing this issue, either. Unfortunately, the error is so generic there are many reasons one might hit upon it, legitimate or not.
Given that we're just coming out of Thanksgiving weekend, I'm going to give Amazon's guys a break here. This post is really just to document the error for my benefit or yours. Hopefully they get back in bright and early tomorrow and take care of the problem.
The Indie Book Blog reviewed The Hall of the Wood, giving it 4 out of 5 stars. This review isn’t new, but somehow it slipped under the radar and I didn’t realize it was there until I recently pinged IBB to see if they’d review The Five Elements. Scott, the proprietor, pointed out the review to me and offered to move my request up the queue (turns out he’d already added it to his list, but just hadn’t gotten to it). Scott was also nice enough to publish his review as a comment on Amazon.com.
As an indie author, you have to like what IBB is doing: buying and reviewing indie works gives us a sale and some exposure in the process. Guess you never know if that exposure is going to be good or not, but that’s the nature of the business.
Fortunately, Scott had some nice things to say about The Hall of the Wood:
The story is well written and has some interesting characters and plot twists along the way. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre and for [...] why not give it a try. I am intrigued enough by the author that I will be purchasing his other book in the near future to see what else he has to offer.
I’ll post his review of The Five Elements when it’s available.
You can purchase The Hall of the Wood on Amazon.com in Kindle format or download a free PDF version here.
I was tempted to title this post "How to Deal with a Bad Review". Yes, I got a "bad" review. But the truth is that it's not a horrible review, just a bad one ('horrible' being 1 star or thereabouts). Once I'd taken the time to fully digest the reviewer's comments, I wasn't even that upset with it. The reviewer made some valid points, cited specific errors, and, all in all, provided a pretty level-headed assessment of his opinion. I really have no fault with any of it.
Here's what he had to say:
I'll admit: my first reaction was a mixture of disappointment and something to the effect, "Oh yeah, what do you know?" It's easy to become reactionary in these cases. I didn't act on my initial impulses, though. I'm professional enough to know the first thing one should do in a situation like this is nothing. Once I'd had some time to settle down, I re-read the comments. From there, it was an exercise in acceptance of the commenter's opinions and verification of the specific errors he pointed out. As to the former… everyone is entitled to their opinion and that's all there is to it. For the latter, he was right. There were some bonehead errors in there. I didn't proofread The Five Elements thoroughly enough myself. Neither did I have it professionally reviewed. That's something I may look into in the near future, especially as I get closer to releasing book 2 in the series. In the meantime, I corrected the errors and re-released all digital copies (across Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and this site).
I never expected to get all 5 star reviews. In fact, I fully expect to get some 1 star reviews. For now, though, I've got 1 5 star review, 1 4 star, and the one above. I think I'm doing ok still, and, thanks to Mr. Pemberton, the next reader that comes along won't have to deal with my mistakes (at least not those particular ones).
You can order The Five Elements from Amazon.com in Kindle or print format, or Barnes & Noble in Nook format.
I've decided to turn comments off, mostly because I'm tried of managing the spam. It's amazing how much spam I get given that this site really doesn't get that many hits/day (maybe 100). Also, I have to approve comments before they appear, so the spam comments never see the light of day, anyway. Yet, they persist. Go figure.
Please ignore. The spam problem has been dealt with and comments are back in action.