Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Kindle Unlimited and Why I’m In

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a new program just introduced by Amazon that allows readers to read an unlimited number of Kindle books each month. Think of it as Netflix for books. The cost is $9.99 per month, though if you sign-up now Amazon starts you off with a free 30 day trial.

The ‘all you can read’ subscription based idea isn’t new. Others, like Scribd and Oyster, have been in the game for a short while now. But it says something about the viability and potential of the model given that Amazon has decided to also offer their own version of it. I think if I were Scribd or Oyster, I might be worried. Those services currently contain a wider selection of titles given their license agreements with some of the big publishers, but this is Amazon we’re talking about. With 60% of the eBook market and an army of independent and hybrid authors marching to their beat, Amazon once again has the potential to be a huge industry disruptor.

From an author’s perspective, I’m embracing this new program. Not with all of my titles, but at least with my Assassin Without a Name shorts. That series is not performing well under the usual pay for each title model. Fine Wine and Killing the Dead have been free for a long time; they each rack up the free downloads on an almost daily basis. But I haven’t seen those downloads translate into a measurable amount of paid sales. So, as I write this, those titles, along with Night of Zealotry and The Goddard Affair, have been pulled from all other online retailers and enrolled into KDP Select, which is a requirement of the Kindle Unlimited program. I don’t particularly like the exclusivity requirement, but Amazon remains my number one source of sales by far, so it would be foolish for me to not at least give this new program of theirs a try.

When you get down to it, that’s what enrolling some of my titles—specifically my short ones—into this program amounts to: it’s something I need to explore. If it works out, great. If not, I learn what I can from the experience and move on to the next, big thing. Who knows? The subscription model may become the way the majority people of people consume books. In that case, I’m already at the forefront.

Cover Reveal: The Goddard Affair

The next book in the Assassin Without a Name series has a title and a cover.

Fresh off his harrowing adventure in Night of Zealotry, the Assassin Without a Name is on the hunt, looking for the secret organizations which tried to kill him before they can try again. But the work of his trade doesn't stop just because he's involved in personal business, so when a new client named Walter Goddard comes around wishing to have a rival eliminated, the Assassin Without a Name takes the job.

Only after the task is complete does he learn that Walter Goddard is a member of the Society for the Progression of Science and Technology, one of the very same organizations the Assassin Without a Name has been seeking. At one of the society’s premiere technology galas, the Assassin Without a Name meets Gwendolyn Morgan, a beautiful widow who has run into problems of her own with the society. Not only does she believe the organization hired an assassin to murder her husband, but she’s certain she’s next. Convincing himself he’s only helping Gwendolyn in exchange for the society’s darkest secrets and not because of his part in making the woman into a widow, the Assassin Without a Name finds himself in the unusual role of protector as the society dispatches their Black Guard watchdogs to kill them both.

The Goddard Affair is scheduled for release in May 2014.

On Goodreads? Why not add The Goddard Affair to your reading list?

Release Announcement: Night of Zealotry

Night of Zealotry, the 3rd story in the Assassin Without a Name series, was officially released to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google Play, and the iBookstore today.

Fresh off his adventure in Killing the Dead, the Assassin Without a Name finds himself mixed up with a mysterious group of religious zealots whose interest in technology is anything but well-intentioned. Here's the full blurb:

Take out the mark, retrieve the scroll, and avoid getting killed by his protection detail of Black Guard mercenaries. That was the job. Simple enough, or so the Assassin Without a Name thought, until he finds himself smack in the middle of three organizations all vying for possession of the item he just stole.

Of the three, the worst is the Jakaree, a group of fanatical priests willing to kill to fulfill their mysterious goals. But by making the Assassin Without a Name a target, they're about to get a lesson in death themselves from one of the best.

If you're on Goodreads, you can add Night of Zealotry to your TBR list here.

Stay tuned for more info on subsequent releases in the series.

Cover Reveal: Killing the Dead

Killing_the_Dead_425x680

The second Assassin Without a Name short story has been released and here is the cover. Another good one, I think. The short is available across all major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords.

Here's what the story is about:

Some say the dead should stay dead. Not everyone agrees.

The priests purged one of their own with holy fire. Now they need the Assassin Without a Name to finish the job.

In this short tale, an assassin is hired to kill the already dead.

If readers show interest in this series, I'll likely write more tales featuring this character. Even if they don't I likely will. He's a fun, different sort of character from what I write about in my novels. And, who knows, maybe he'll make an appearance in one of those novels or get one of his own.

Cover Reveal: Fine Wine

Fine Wine

Here she is, folks. The new (and first) cover for Fine Wine, a (very) short story that begins the adventures of my Assassin Without a Name character. You can read the story itself right here on my web site for free. Or, if you own a Kobo reader, you can download it there for free as well. It's coming to arrived in the iBookstore (for free, also), but they're taking their time putting it out on the salesroom floor, so I can't provide the download link just yet. and you can get it here.

I'd love to make Fine Wine available as a free download on Amazon and BN.com, but neither of those retailers allow authors to price books (or short stories, in this case) for free. Not yet, anyway.

As for the cover, I really like it. It's not what you might expect for a fantasy story about an assassin, but it speaks to the content of the story itself and I really like the way the artist highlighted that this is part of a series with the silhouetted figure and text at the bottom.

If you haven't read Fine Wine yet, go read it now and let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!