Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

What happened to The Hall of the Wood?!

imageThe eBook version of The Hall of the Wood is no longer for sale on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords. No, it wasn't pulled by those retailers. The reason you can't buy it currently is because I'm making preparations for a book re-launch.

The Hall of the Wood has not gotten the attention it deserves from me or from readers. I'm to blame on both counts. While it actually has gotten some decent reviews, I don't do a lot to promote it. I did the cover myself after buying the base art. It did not get the proper amount of editing. It's suffered more because of that than anything else. That's all going to change.

First, I had a new cover done up by someone who specializes in book covers and who came highly recommended from a multitude of sources. I've got that in-hand now, though I'm sitting on it for the time being. Second, the manuscript is off to an editor whom I expect to send more work to in the near future (the 2nd book in The Alchemancer series is getting close to being done). This person also comes highly recommended and is in high enough demand that I don't expect to get anything back from him until mid-May. That puts the new release sometime around late May most likely.

The reason I've pulled the book for the time being is because I want my best foot forward at all times now. I've gotten more serious about writing in the past couple of years and have come to realize that any thing that's "out there" needs to be of the very best quality.

More details on the re-launch later, but what I have in mind is this:

  1. "Soft" release of the new book with new cover and new edits. This will be a 2nd Edition to distinguish it from what's come before.
  2. Notify readers on my mailing list of new release and opportunity to download a free copy.
  3. Goodreads giveaway of 3-5 print copies
  4. Extend my 'get a free eBook copy in exchange for a review' policy
  5. Official cover reveal
  6. Official book re-release

That's the initial, rough plan anyway.

Also, I've been considering a sequel. If I had more time it'd be a no-brainer. There are a lot of possibilities there. It's something I've been kicking around.

As an added incentive to sign-up for my mailing list, anyone who's receiving it at the time of the "soft" release will get a free, 2nd edition eBook copy of The Hall of the Wood. Yep, that's right. Sign-up for my email list now and you'll get a coupon to download a free copy of the new book right around the end of May.

I'm pretty excited about this. The new cover is fantastic looking and I think the manuscript is going to come back from my editor with a whole new sheen on it. Stay tuned.

It's Read an eBook Week

Read an E-Book WeekIt's Read an eBook Week. All the world over, readers of digital content are singing and rejoicing.

Why, you ask? Because, this week only, readers can get some steep discounts on a variety of eBooks. Some of the discounts are so steep prices go down to free!

I enrolled both of my eBooks in Read an eBook Week via Smashwords. This week only, both titles are free. Just use the coupon code RW100 to get the discounted price at checkout.

Here's the Smashwords links:

The Five Elements

The Hall of the Wood

Oh, and if you do take advantage of this offer, please, please, please leave a review on Smashwords, your blog or web site, or another retailer if they'll let you. Honest reviews help your fellow readers out and they also let authors like myself know that someone took a chance on a new author.

Happy reading!

The Nullification Engine: Chapter Breakdown

In this post I'm going to list out the 31 chapters (30 chapters plus a prologue, actually) of The Nullification Engine. The Nullification Engine is the next novel in The Alchemancer series. The reason I'm listing out the chapters is because I need to nail down the chapter names. What better way to make myself get it done than in a blog post?

This list is by no means set in stone, but it's pretty close.

So, here goes…

  • Prologue (Yep, there's a prologue. It ties in events from The Five Elements and sets the stage for the continuing story.)
  • Chapter 1: Arrival
  • Chapter 2: Sinji
  • Chapter 3: A Funeral
  • Chapter 4: Ingrid's Chest
  • Chapter 5: What Lies Beneath
  • Chapter 6: Lurkers
  • Chapter 7: Agents of Cyprica
  • Chapter 8: The Griffin (remember the airship from The Five Elements?)
  • Chapter 9: A Kingsley Arrival
  • Chapter 10: Reunion
  • Chapter 11: A Deal Is Made
  • Chapter 12: Secret Laboratory
  • Chapter 13: True Purpose
  • Chapter 14: Misery
  • Chapter 15: Iridium
  • Chapter 16: Evidence Revealed
  • Chapter 17: Erlek's Research
  • Chapter 18: Assassination
  • Chapter 19: The Circle
  • Chapter 20: A Deal Fulfilled
  • Chapter 21: Backup Plan
  • Chapter 22: Rise
  • Chapter 23: Incomplete Information
  • Chapter 24: Leadership Usurped
  • Chapter 25: Ursool
  • Chapter 26: Numerology
  • Chapter 27: Kidnapped
  • Chapter 28: Defend the Circle
  • Chapter 29: Into Darkness
  • Chapter 30: Escape

Here's one way to get free copies of my eBooks

There's an easy way to get one of my eBooks for free that's perfectly legit in literary circles. This method also does not violate retailers' review guidelines. How you accomplish this is by agreeing to write and post a review.

Exchanging a free book for a review is really the only legitimate manner in which an author can obtain a review (beyond a person just buying the book and leaving a review themselves, of course). There are other means being employed, though, including some that are outright wrong and others that maybe are a bit borderline. On one hand you have authors who pay people, who in some cases don't even read the book, to leave a review. That's wrong. On the other, you have authors running various promotions including giveaways of, for example, Kindle Fires or Amazon gift cards. This violates the 'free book for a review' guideline of which Amazon explicitly condemns under their "What's not allowed" section:

Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product

I personally don't condemn this practice. I've thought about using it myself. Getting reviews is tough, so you do what you have to.

Further, Amazon has been cracking down on the "author exchange" of reviews recently and I'd guess they would also crack down on the giveaways for reviews crowd as well if there were some easy way for them to establish that link. Too bad Amazon doesn't crack down on idiots leaving reviews.

I should mention that I'm not real big on the whole free thing. In too many cases it doesn't work in terms of return on investment. I'm not in this to get rich, but I wouldn't complain if I could support myself and therefore have more time to write.

All that aside, if you want to give one of my books a read AND agree to leave a review somewhere (your blog or web site, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Goodreads, or somewhere else) then I've got free copies waiting for you. I can do Kindle/MOBI, EPUB, PDF, or just about anything else.

If you would like a free copy of either The Five Elements or The Hall of the Wood, contact me with your format preference and I'd be happy to send you a copy.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid having the overwhelming pressure of having to write a review hanging over your head, you can obtain either book (or both) at any of the retailers listed on my site or, for a limited time, for $0.99 at Smashwords using a couple of handy coupon codes.

As for the review, the only obligation is to actually leave it. The content is entirely up to you. 5 stars, 3 stars, good, bad, like, dislike, critical, or full of praise, all up to you, my friend.

Contact me and let's make a deal.

At the end of my books… A Call for Reviews

I was reading Andy Gavin's The Darkening Dream recently. Upon completing the novel, I came across a polite request to re-visit the retailer where I purchased the novel (in eBook format, in this case) in order to leave a review. This tactic is not new. But is it effective? Mr. Gavin's got a lot more reviews than I do (190 ratings/103 reviews on Goodreads), so either it does work or he's just better at selling (probably both).

The only way to find out if this approach will work for me is to try it, so I added this to the end of The Hall of the Wood:

If you enjoyed The Hall of the Wood, please consider taking a few moments to leave a review or rating at the retailer where you purchased it. Your comments help other readers discover great new reads and really do matter.

And something similar to The Five Elements:

If you enjoyed The Five Elements, please consider taking a few moments to leave a review or rating at the retailer where you purchased it. Your comments help other readers discover great new reads and really do matter.

I keep meaning to write up a post on my thoughts regarding why reviews are important. I went on a little about why I've stopped reading them, but not talked about their importance to authors and readers alike. Perhaps every time I sit down to write it up it just seems obvious to me why they're important. In a nutshell, reviews help readers make decisions. Good, bad, meh… they all matter. Though in the same way too many 1 star reviews can raise a red flag, so too can too many 5 star reviews. So much so that some readers are placing a higher importance on middle-of-the-road reviews to avoid the haters on one end and shills on the other.

As far as this new blurb at the end of my novels goes, I figure it can't hurt. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Oh, and if you have read one of my books and haven't left a review, please go do so now. :-)