Category Archives: nanowhere

GIVEAWAYS Anyone?

SaltwaterWitch-ChrisHoward-BookSale
Here are a couple free copies of Teller–just click one of the links below and get the book for your Kindle–the actual device and the app. (If the first one doesn’t work, try the second. These are one-time use passes. When they’re gone they’re gone).

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/gift-redemption/B0056QJEGE/GSWBHSANRD97BVP,Unused
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/gift-redemption/B0056QJEGE/GSSPCVPPYX683JV,Unused

 

I have four books on sale for 99 cents through the month of August, and I have been playing around with Amazon giveaways. I’ve seen the “Setup a Giveaway” button at the bottom of Amazon product pages for a while, but I never gave it any thought. Until a couple weeks ago when I setup my first. The way it works–essentially–is you buy the books (or presumably any product–toaster ovens?) and let Amazon run the actual contest and delivery part.
There are options for handing out special purchase codes that have to come back to you, and other fancy stuff. You can require participants to follow you on Twitter (which I recommend), watch a video on Youtube, or take a survey. There are three methods for setting up the contest part, you can specify a number of books and the odds (1 out of n) for winning. There’s also a magic number selection, where you can have every ninth contestant win a book, and then finally you can just have the first n number of contestants win. (I say I have been playing around with these giveaways because I have now tried all three, just to see how fast the books go, and how things work).
Pretty simple, and if your books are on sale, it can also be pretty cheap. I occasionally run Goodreads giveaways, and will typically have 1500 to 2000 participants for a set of books with some art prints (There’s one going right now for Saltwater Witch, as a matter of fact), but the thing with GoodReads is that these are physical copies of books, which a lot of people would love to win (me too!) What it also means is that I’m paying shipping costs, which can be fairly steep if I include the UK or Australia in the mix–and who doesn’t love to include the UK and Australia in the mix? I love running these giveaways, and I won’t stop, but now that I see how easy and inexpensive it is to run giveaway on Amazon, I think I’m going to add it to my publicity components toolbox. It’s just another way to get my books in the hands of readers who may have never heard of me. That’s a good thing, right?
Has anyone tried out Amazon’s giveaways? I would be interested in hearing your experiences with it. Any other sites or methods for setting up book giveaways out there?

Seaborn Books Timeline

Several readers have asked for details on how the “seaborn books” are connected, and in what ways. Most of the books and stories I have written over the last ten years are tied together in one timeline, sharing characters, a couple of them extending over a generation. A few clearly share the same setting–our near-future world, with seaborn characters, but without Kassandra making much of an appearance–or not at all (Salvage).

You may have noticed that there’s a genre mix, from what would neatly fall into fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, etc. to stories that could legitimately be categorized as science fiction or tech-thriller (Nanowhere, Salvage), to stories that may not clearly fall into any bucket (Winterdim). Futuristic fantasy?

You may have noticed that most of these stories take place in the future. That’s on purpose. You could also look at the stories in this timeline and see the advance of technology from one to the next–especially when you get twenty or ninety years into the future, from Nanowhere to Teller and finally to Winterdim. I am a software engineer and technologist, so I am always interested in the progress of technology, where it will lead us, and where it will be applied in the fields of health, culture, military, and–very important to me–in or on the ocean, in support of preserving ocean wildlife as well as how we will continue to provide enough seafood for the world’s every growing market for it.

Want to print out the timeline, or get a closer look? http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/img/TheSeabornBooks-ChrisHoward_rev9.pdf

Let me know if you see typos, problems with the order or dates. I threw this together quickly, a lot of of it coming out of long email discussions with Georg (https://www.facebook.com/gtrimborn), Lorena (https://plus.google.com/117462233542667604483), and others. Also, I mention characters, plot direction for future books, and other details that you may consider spoilers, so read some of the longer blocks of fine print at your own risk!

TheSeabornBooks-ChrisHoward_rev9

Nanowhere – Comic Edition

Did I tell you there’s a comic edition of Nanowhere in the works? (Right now it looks like a December 2014 release for Vol. 1). Here’s a concept sketch for the opening page, with Kaffia breaking the top panel to flip off the annoyingly loud gunships going overhead. They’re on their way to capture Straff, who’s hiding in the woods that surround the skatepark.  In the book (Get it at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, etc.) Kaffia and Alex come in on the second scene of the first chapter, but I want a mood-setting intro into the story.  This may be it, or It may not be it.

Nanowhere… it’s a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts. Oh, and Kassandra from Saltwater Witch makes a couple appearances.

Kaffia and Alex, Opening Page of Nanowhere Comic

Kaffia and Alex, Opening Page of Nanowhere Comic

 

Nanowhere giveaway on Goodreads!

Sign up. It’s free. Win a signed copy of Nanowhere with the new trade paperback cover. Nanowhere… it’s a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, magic, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts. Nanowhere is a stand-alone part of the Seaborn series.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Nanowhere by Chris Howard

Nanowhere

by Chris Howard

Giveaway ends April 17, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Yes, there will be a new Nanowhere, and it will…

…have illustrations.  Here's a peek at some of them!  Some of these are re-works of my original character sketches while writing Nanowhere. Check out the ebook edition at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and elsewhere, complete with some of Jon Andreden's research papers on building an artificial intelligence, teleology, and other fun stuff.


NanowhereChrisHoward-AlexKaffiaDancing


NanowhereChrisHoward-gunshipSceneA


NanowhereChrisHoward-gunshipSceneB


NanowhereChrisHoward-CreepyPeople


NanowhereChrisHoward-WalterWesley


NanowhereChrisHoward-AlexKaffia

Nanowhere covers

This is the cover for the upcoming mass-market paperback edition of Nanowhere.  Forgot to post this last week.  Some minor tweaking to go, but it's pretty much this:

Nanowhere-ChrisHoward-FrontCover

Licensing Options When You’re Giving Away Books

CcOr, promotional sharing, licensing your way to more readers, and other well-trodden paths that nevertheless may get you where you want to go.

I’m only here for readers—for the most part.  Of course there’s always a part of me that’s writing for myself.  (If you’re not in love with your own work—at least a little—then how can you expect others to fall for it?  That’s fall for it in a good way).  I love to get into stories, love to create characters and worlds, and writing a story is as exciting to me as reading one.  But without the ability to share my work—without readers—it suddenly becomes much less exciting. One thing I will not do is write books that collect dust for more than a year or two, or let a published book or short story fade away, especially if I have all the rights back.

Rights and sharing are very important to me.  The works I create are mine—the books, the short stories, the paintings and sketches.  I created them, and I do sell them—ebooks, limited edition illustrations, and occasionally the rights to art and stories.

I also share quite a bit of the work I create.  I have a blog and web site full of it (http://theophrast.us  and http://SaltwaterWitch.com ).  Years full of it. I have a couple hundred pages of the Saltwater Witch graphic novel live on my site, and have published it online since 2008.  I have free mobile apps, art tutorials, writing observations.  Some of it I am sharing with all rights reserved, mainly because I want people to come back to my site.  Sometimes it’s because I don’t want them to use it without my approval (and that’s usually because I’m not done with it yet.  Works in evolution can be like bread dough rising, where the baker hasn’t decided if it’s going to become dinner rolls or sourdough pizza).

When I want to share my writing or art I post it, and when I want readers to share my work I use Creative Commons licensing.  I have a variety of work, including art, novels, and short stories licensed under several different Creative Commons licenses.

I love Creative Commons.  I love the idea of a free and uncomplicated method for stamping my creative work with clear, easy to understand, and explicit terms of use.  Creative Commons is a way to tell everyone in the world what can or cannot be done with my books and art. 

So much of the copyright world is not clear—by nature, by design, legal erosion, through cultural or technological change, or even ignorance.  Licensing is complex, there’s no denying it.  I have friends who are lawyers—even copyright attorneys, but I’m not one.  Even so Creative Commons allows me to be comfortable managing my own rights.  CC allows me to offer my work to the world without fear of contractual misunderstandings.  It allows others to re-use my work without wading through legal thickets and murky restrictions.  Most importantly Creative Commons allows me to promote my creative work by sharing it with the world. It works for me, and it clearly works for millions of other creators.

The question is why do I think it works? Because it means more books in the hands of readers.  This has worked for me and may work for you.  

I’ll give you some real numbers in a bit, but I want to take a quick look at my motives for releasing work under one of the Creative Commons licenses.   I don’t think there’s anything new here, but I’ll walk through it.  As part of the process of writing this article I went back through some of Cory Doctorow’s essays and posts around the web, in Locus, and other mags—on the subject of why, and I saw the recurring idea of using CC to expand reach beyond the channels already supplied by established print publishing, whether big six, indie, or anywhere in between.  For example, when Little Brother was released in hardcover by Tor, Cory also released the full text of the book on his web site (http://craphound.com) in several formats (txt, html, pdf) under a Creative Commons license, which allowed his fans and fellow creators to reformat the book, translate it, build on it, create new book covers, make derivative works (e.g. movies) under similar licensing arrangements—attribution, non-commercial, share-alike.

But is this true for the new “indies”, the self-publishers, those DIY authors who are taking on most or all of the roles beyond the actual writing of the book?  I think it is.  Can today’s authors use Creative Commons licensing as a promotional tool? I think we can.  When I say things like I’m only in this for the readers, I’m talking about extending the awareness of me as an author and my books as something science fiction, thriller, and fantasy readers might like to read.  Making money off my work is certainly a good thing, and all creators should expect to be paid in some way for their work.  How we are paid can depend on circumstance, newness in the market, fanbase, access to sales channels, and many other factors.  Recognition is a high value for me.  Just getting onto the book shelves, devices, e-libraries of readers is important.  

Creative Commons licensing as a promotional tool works for me.  It’s one tool in the toolbox, along with turning off DRM, going to SF conventions, using Amazon’s KDP Select features, participating in ebook and indie pub forums, posting to my web site, entering art shows, offering my books in as many channels as I can reasonably get into, offering my books in as many formats as I can reasonably manage.

The established sellers are just as valuable. Amazon does a fair amount promotion for KDP authors, unlike the current state of things at Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBooks store.  My impression of Apple is that, being a solid, powerful, latecomer to the ebook party, they are still progressing rapidly, adding features, and already offer pricing aspects (free, timed sales campaigns) and territorial reach beyond anyone else.  My impression of Barnes & Noble is that they are trying very hard to do everything they can to push the books coming through PubIt into a second or third class position behind print books and the ebooks from the big six publishers—sort of a literary caste system.  “Indie” ebooks aren’t categorized as any old books but are specifically separated out as “pubit”, unlike say The Hunger Games, which B&N appears to grant a higher status.  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.  For Barnes and the author, it’s the typical balance of the hand that feeds you on one side and looking a gift horse in the mouth on the other. I certainly wouldn’t cut off any channel to readers because they don’t seem to care about a nobody author like me.  I just wanted to point out that my experience with B&N and Apple is that you have to do far more in outside promotion if you want to do well there, while Amazon appears to do more for authors without a big pub contract.

What does doing well mean?  For me, it means that I’m selling 400 – 500 books per month.  I had rights revert on my first novel Seaborn early last year, and toward the end of March I released it along with the other two books in the Seaborn Trilogy, Saltwater Witch and Sea Throne. Over the course of the next nine months of 2011 I released a book per month—either a novel, graphic novel chapter, or short story collection.  Some of them had been published before, some of them hadn’t.  Sales since April gradually increased and I ended 2011 selling more than 4,200 books, mostly through Amazon.com and Amazon.uk, but I also did quite well at Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iBooks store.  So, what does doing well mean?  The answer for me is forty-two…hundred.

What does doing well mean in regard to Creative Commons?  Here’s my own experience: I released my SF thriller Nanowhere under a Creative Commons license in the spring of 2006, downloadable and sharable from my web site. I had hundreds of downloads, which is all I could have asked for. Cory Doctorow was nice enough to blog about it on BoingBoing, and things really took off. I stopped keeping track after 10,000 downloads.

I was good with hundreds because that’s better than zero.  I’m even better with thousands.  And what does all of this add up to? People finding my books who may like them and come back for more.  Like I said, that’s pretty much why I’m here.

But wait, there’s more…

If you’re ready to choose a Creative Commons license for one of your creative works here’s the CC home, http://creativecommons.org.  Click the Choose a License button.

If you’re new to CC I want to point you to the very thorough and helpful Creative Commons FAQ here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/FAQ –especially the section for licensors (the rightsholder or those authorized to license a creative work).

You really should check out the FAQ, but here are four points I think anyone looking into Creative Commons licensing should understand:

1. You have to own the rights to the work and have the authorization to apply a Creative Commons license to it.  You might think those mean the same thing, but some countries have statutory licensing restrictions on works created by their own citizens, while others have voluntary membership in collective licensing which may contain some level of exclusivity. See the point on collecting agencies in the FAQ to see if this applies to you.

2. Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable, which means once you publish a work under a CC license and release it to the world you cannot take the license back from the copies already shared or used.  You can certainly remove the links and copies from your web site, but the copies you shared with the world under the CC license you specified will remain with those copies.   Again, this may seem obvious.  You can’t allow someone to use your creative work—possibly in their own work—and then take it back when you feel like it.  I think the main concern here is commercial use.  My answer to this is if you’re really worried about someone else profiting off your work, then specify non-commercial use and even share-alike, which means that anyone using your work can only share it under the same licensing terms you’ve placed on your own work.

3. There’s helpful code behind the Creative Commons image.  When you generate a license at creativecommons.org you will get a block of HTML with links back to the license terms and other clearly defined rules for use, but you will also get details in that block of HTML—“machine readable” details, which means there are standard codes and definitions that search engines like Google can identify and present to users. This helps everyone find your stuff.

4. And finally you should be explicit about what you mean by the Creative Commons license you apply to your work.  Tell your readers, your fans, and the world the rules, and even better let them know what you would like to see—new formats, an audio version, illustrations to go along with your story, anything. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but you should make things clear.  It might give someone a good idea.

Here’s an example for my book Nanowhere:

This edition of Nanowhere, including the cover art and illustrations, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which means you can share it, remix it (for example, you can reformat it or translate it), and you can share the works you make from this one, but you cannot make money from the things you do with Nanowhere, and everything you derive from it has to be sharable and usable in a non-commercial way that observes everything that’s allowed or not allowed under this license.  Details on this Creative Commons license here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Go create something!

Creative Commons License
"Licensing Options When You’re Giving Away Books" by Chris Howard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at theophrast.us. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at chrishoward.author@gmail.com.

Nanowhere with a Creative Commons License

I originally released Nanowhere under a Creative Commons license in the spring of 2006, and it was on the Lykeion Books site, downloadable and sharable for several years. Cory Doctorow was nice enough to blog about it on BoingBoing, and things really took off. I stopped keeping track after 10,000 downloads.  I pulled the book in 2009, intending to do a quick edit and rewrite, which I didn't end up finishing until the middle of last year.  Anyway, it's done and back up under an updated CC license–basically the latest version of the CC 2.5 license with which I released the first edition of Nanowhere.  If you're interested in reading it on your Kindle, nook, iPad, Fire, Reader, etc., it's also available for .99c at Amazon, B&N, and other places–see links below.  I have two official formats, ePub and Mobi.  If you convert it to something else, please let me know, and I'll post it!

This edition of Nanowhere, including the cover art and illustrations, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which means you can share it, remix it (for example, you can reformat it or translate it), and you can share the works you make from this one, but you cannot make money from the things you do with Nanowhere, and everything you derive from it has to be sharable and usable in a non-commercial way that observes everything that’s allowed or not allowed under this license.

If you're new to Nanowhere, see the description below.

Nanowhere
Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

Print
Amazon.com |  CreateSpace

Download
ePub  |  Mobi  (More formats soon!)

Nanowhere… it's a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts.

Here's a clip of Cory Doctorow's kind words on Boing Boing:

Chris Howard has released an…interesting and well-written…sf thriller called Nanowhere along with a bunch of supplementary materials that purports to be the lab notes and publications of one of the book's characters …

Alexander Shoaler and Kaffia Lang grow up in the years following a second civil war in America.  Dr. Straff, the nanotech visionary hides from justice in a small New Hampshire town.  He's universally reviled for rising to importance with the prior regime…

 

When Americans thought of Dr. Ernest Straff, they thought of bodies stacked next to dumpsters in alleyways and technicians draining corpses into blood-type bags and selling it off to high-bidders.

 

Dr. Straff has made recent technological breakthroughs, and there are some who have not forgotten old debts or see the restoration of their former power in the new technology the old doctor has developed.

 

Follow Alex's struggle to save Kaffia's life, dodging death squads, and negotiating with the sadistic Chairman of the Rost Institute for the release of one of the worst of the prior regime's mass-murderers.

 

I wrote Nanowhere for the young adult fiction market, which means the torture consists of various methods of bone breaking without getting into the truly revolting stuff.  (Just kidding.  Some of it is revolting).

 

Creative Commons License

Details on this Creative Commons license here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0 Nanowhere by Chris Howard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/#nanowhere. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/permissions.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway: Nanowhere

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Nanowhere by Chris Howard

Nanowhere

by Chris Howard

Giveaway ends December 30, 2011.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Category: Books, nanowhere, reading

Nanowhere

Nanowhere is officially out. We're running a winter promotional and through the end of the month it's only .99 cents at Amazon, B&N, and iBooks. I posted a couple of my scene studies in watercolors below.

eBook

Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

Print
Amazon.com

 

NanowhereCoverArtNanowhere… it's a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts.

Here's a clip of Cory Doctorow's kind words on Boing Boing:

Chris Howard has released an…interesting and well-written…sf thriller called Nanowhere along with a bunch of supplementary materials that purports to be the lab notes and publications of one of the book's characters …

Here are a couple of my Nanowhere scene studies in watercolors:

KaffiaAlexSkaters-DISP

StraffCaptured-DISP

Category: art, Books, ebook, ePub, nanowhere