Tag Archive for amazon

Lie with the Dead now available for Kindle, Nook

The Pack Book 2: Lie with the Dead is now available in e-book formats, as well as in trade paperback at Barnes & Noble!

Get it how you want it!

Get it your way today!

Amazon Kindle Link

Barnes & Noble TPB/Nook Link

Whichever your pleasure, Evileye Books is ready for you. Lie with the Dead is now eligible for the Kindle Matchbook program, so if you purchase (or already purchased) the trade paperback, you can download the Kindle edition at no additional charge.

Winter Kill is also available in trade paperback at Barnes & Noble once more, now with the new cover.

Looking for additional formats or markets? Please let me know and I’ll see if I can’t make it happen.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Reviews Are Not a Form of Protest

My man Shawn has his Goodreads and Twitter accounts tied together, and this popped up today:

The man generally has good taste in books (I know this because he reads my stuff), and I dig that title, so I popped over to Amazon to learn a little more about the book. $12.99? Hmm. But we’ll get to that in a minute. I scrolled down and eyeballed the reviews. It had a fair amount of four- and five-star reviews, but also a couple each of one-, two-, and three-star reviews. I normally discount one-star reviews because they tend to focus on a specific, personal beef, but I decided to check them out anyway.

I was right, they’re useless. What’s more, they were offensive. Check it:

Amazon 1-star review 1

Amazon 1-star review 2

I tend to agree $12.99 is expensive for an e-book. At that price point, I, too, will be holding off on my purchase until either my to-read pile shrinks or I have a little extra spending cash. However, a review is not the place to air these beefs. A review should be about the book, not about your irritation with the publisher.

Would you beat up a Walmart cashier over his company’s pricing policies? No? Then why do it to the author? I’m sure Tim Powers has zero input in the pricing of his books. Why damage his reputation or turn away possible sales over it? It’s especially stupid for the first guy who claims to love Powers’ work.

Really, Mr “Publishing pro?” Your love is not worth an extra three bucks?

Writers survive on one thing: sales. Without reader support, they won’t see another book contract.

If anyone out there has a beef with a publisher’s pricing policies, I suggest they bitch at the publisher instead. It’s easy in this case because HarperCollins is on both Facebook and Twitter. Asinine one-star reviews are easy for an editor to ignore. On the other hand, if you start a campaign to get a whole lot of people telling HarperCollins directly that their pricing sucks, maybe the right people start to pay attention.

You didn’t like a book? That’s cool. Ding it as you wish. But at least read the book and make it an honest review, not just an angry missive to the publisher.

Don’t be a douche.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

“Bravo Four” Available Now!

Evileye Books and I decided to pull the trigger on the release of “Bravo Four”, and it’s available now for less than a buck in the Kindle store!

Bravo Four short story cover

Come get some

“Bravo Four” scratches an itch I’ve had for a long time while writing horror: what would happen if a werewolf got loose in the midst of the Vietnam War?

This short story offers a glimpse into the Tyler family’s history, and it’s the first of several shorts I’ll be writing to expand the series. It’s also a great jumping-on point for new readers, as “Bravo Four” includes an extended preview of Winter Kill. Whether new reader or fan of the series, I think folks are really going to dig this piece.

Please help spread the word! Here is a shortened link you can share on Twitter and any other social network or forum you happen to frequent: http://goo.gl/erx2N. Any click over to the Amazon page is greatly appreciated. Remember, writers thrive on word of mouth!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Borrow Winter Kill on Kindle, Free!

As of today, Winter Kill is now part of the Kindle lending library. If you’re a Kindle owner and you have an Amazon Prime account, you can download Winter Kill for free.

TPWK Limited Edition Cover

You know you want it

What are you waiting for? Make with the clicky!

I’ve become a big Prime fan. I had my Olympic bench shipped via Prime, and the free shipping on that alone made the Prime membership worthwhile. I’ve also taken advantage of some of their video content on my Roku box, and it’s nice to have nutritional supplements and graphic novels shipped for free, too. Well worth it.

Meanwhile, if you’re still a fan of paperback books, whether you have a Prime membership or not, you can still purchase Winter Kill in trade paperback with the added bonus that I’ll be able to sign it someday.

Purchase or free download, either way you’ll dig it. Just check out the reviews!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Set Me On Fire, Amazon

I’m sold.

On buying one for my wife, that is.

I think the Kindle Fire will not be an iPad killer in the sense people will ignore the iPad, but in the sense it will sell huge to people who would otherwise not purchase an iPad or who were put off by its $500+ price point as a media consumption device. This isn’t going to bury the iPad, it’s going to bury the Nook.

Go ahead and balk, B&N fans, but let’s think about this: Amazon has a much broader range of content when you consider streaming video, and for someone who already has a Prime membership or has been considering one, it’s the dealmaker. $200 to have access to all my Amazon books, music and movies, as well as streaming, their App Store, and other offerings?

Yes, please.

Back to my wife. She has a 2nd-gen Kindle and a 1st- or 2nd-gen iPod touch. The Kindle Fire will replace both, for the way she uses them. She will have all of her books available, and now she will be able to access her email and Facebook on the same device rather than switch to her iPod touch. Her music will probably fit on the Kindle Fire as well, and it’s not often she listens to music anyway.

If this demo is any indication, it’s going to have the same ease of use as her Kindle and iPod, too:

There seem to be a few stutters in button presses, but I’m wondering if that’s a limitation of the hardware or if it’s their Wi-Fi getting hammered by reporters. It could also be bugs to be worked out before the tablet actually sees release on November 15th. Wired seems to be wondering the same thing. Time will tell, but given Amazon’s track record, I imagine they’ll get it right. If it turns out it’s not quite as speedy as the iPad, then keep in mind, it’s 300 dollars cheaper.

I think their burying Android in the background is a good thing, too. Sure, a geek like me will want access to all the Android features, but the general population just doesn’t care. My wife (and kids!) took to the iPod with no problems. Her Samsung Android phone, however, has a confusing array of settings and menus, and even something as simple as deleting an email message was not immediately apparent. Amazon is keeping it simple because all of the technophobes and elderly users who embraced the early Kindle (and Nook) may just make the leap to a color display so they can keep up with their friends and family on the web.

Selling to geeks is good. Selling to everyone is better.

Kindle Comics

Comics!

Speaking of geeks, now the color screen gives Amazon the ability to bring in a whole new market. Amazon is in a far better position to woo the big comics publishers than the many startups building iPad apps. The publishers are already selling the books through Amazon, they just need to add the digital deals. In fact, they may already have. Think that’s just a digital mockup of Watchmen as a convenient example? Nope. Watchmen is already available on the Kindle Store.

Then scroll a little below the book information, and you have this (click for full text):

Kindle Fire Comic Books closeup

Kindle Fire: Comic Books

This says they already have a comics viewer called Kindle Panel View. Now I guess it’s just a matter of time before we see what announcements the comics publishers may have.

For my own use, I’m not quite sold. I need something I can work on, something I can use to write. Access to my notes and being able to brainstorm via Evernote is one thing, but typing long-form on a 7″ screen is going to be a headache. There’s no Bluetooth in the Kindle Fire, so a wireless keyboard is out, and most reports are there’s no way to connect a wired keyboard. Japanese authors may be ready to thumb-type their novels, but that’s not a leap I’m prepared to take. The Kindle Fire probably isn’t going to fit the bill.

A second-generation Kindle Fire, however, may be another story…

Someone asked me whether I’m an Apple fan or an Amazon fan. I’ll put it this way: I have a lot of Apple hardware, but I’m all up in Amazon’s digital services on all those devices, as well as my Android phone. I’m sure I’ll be running on Apple desktops and laptops for the foreseeable future, but if Amazon puts out a future tablet I can write on and do a few of the other things I do with my iPad, then I will press that buy button with all speed.

Well done, Amazon.

Kane Clapping

 

 

UPDATE: Toldja they were doing comics. DC has announced a deal with Amazon to put digital graphic novels exclusively on the Kindle. And thus another line has been drawn in the battle between the Kindle and Nook.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Amazon Cloud Reader

Amazon has launched their Kindle Cloud Reader, a web app that allows readers to access their Kindle content through a web browser. Slick! You do need Chrome or Safari (and you should be using Chrome anyway, IMHO) to access the site, but once you’re in, it doesn’t look all that different from the Kindle app interface on my Mac.

Here’s a screenshot, including covers from several of the killer books I’m reading right now:

Click to embiggen and behold the awesomeness

I clicked on one of the books, and as expected, it picked up exactly where I left off reading on my iPad. Very, very cool.

Now I have a whole new way to slack off at work. Er, ah, kill time while waiting on server software to do its thing. No?

Anyway. It really doesn’t matter if Apple blocked in-app purchases for the Kindle (and other readers), because now there’s a way around it. And even if the Kindle Cloud Reader weren’t available, it doesn’t take any effort at all to click to the browser, open Amazon.com, and push the book to my iPad anyway. Just a non-issue for me. Hopefully this will unbunch everyone else’s panties until the Almighty Jobs enforces his will again.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Great Deal on The Pack: Winter Kill!

Great news, folks! Amazon has discounted The Pack: Winter Kill trade paperback to less than $10! I’m not sure why, but that’s 28% off cover price. Jump in now, because I’m not sure how long this price will last.

Click here to order.

I’m still working on the sequel, The Pack: Lie with the Dead, and I hope to have some solid updates on The Pack: Chimaera soon. If you’d like to get a hardcover edition, you can actually get on the waiting list now.

Finally, if you’re a Kindle fan, you can order The Pack: Winter Kill Kindle Edition instead.

Thanks for your patronage, and thanks as well to those of you who have left such kind reviews. I greatly appreciate it, and I look forward to the day I can serve you all full-time.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Alas, Poor Borders

The Borders bookstore chain is in trouble, and it’s my fault.

At least, it’s the fault of people like me who have turned to Amazon for book purchases, or who’ve gone digital and just shop on the Kindle. They’ve faced rumors of bankruptcy for years, and more recently they’ve had executives resign, they’ve faced complaints about slow payments from publishers, they’ve closed warehouses, and just last week Diamond, the single, largest comics distributor, announced they will be halting shipments to Borders. Their e-readers haven’t gained near the traction the Kindle and the Nook have, and redesigning stores to make a bigger push for toys and games hasn’t made much of a difference.

Which is too bad, because I still enjoy shopping there. Hell, the kids love shopping there. They’ll browse their favorite sections all day if we let them.

The Midget Loitering

Apparently their comics rack is pretty cool, too.

It’s a lot easier for them to shop physical books because they rely on covers to catch their eye even more than we do, and the two younger ones like to flip through the interior illustrations. They also like the instant gratification, and more often than not they’ll be reading their books on the way to the cash register. I can’t even begin to count how many times they almost crashed headlong into another customer because they were just not paying attention.

The only section I still have to browse that way is the martial arts books. If I’m going to consider a book on kata, for example, I’m going to read through a few examples and check out some pictures. Sure, Amazon enables “Look Inside!” on a lot of their books to make browsing easier, but it’s just not the same. This is especially true when I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’ll flip through several books until something looks interesting, and if Borders happened to send me a big discount coupon or some free bonus bucks, I’ll buy it.

If not, I do what I did today: fire up the Amazon app on my cell phone and check out their pricing. More often than not, the book’s available at a discount, and with the free shipping on my Prime account and not having to pay taxes, I’d come out well ahead by clicking that 1-Click button. Today I didn’t even do that, I just added the books to my Wish List to buy later.

Like I sad, I’m responsible for their going out of business. I’d love to support them, but right now the wallet’s contents (or lack thereof) are more important.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Closer to Cutting the Cord

More and more Americans are dumping their cable services, and I’m getting close myself.

I pay DirecTV about $70 per month, and I don’t watch a whole lot of television. I don’t have any of the premium channels, and I don’t pay for DVR service thanks to a lifetime TiVo purchase about ten years ago. The Wife will watch some shows on the educational channels to kill time, but most of the TV time is for the kids. $70 a month just for TV? Kind of a rip.

So once again I’ve found myself evaluating the online options. I have a few ground rules, though. First, I don’t want to mess with torrents and piracy. If a show like Sons of Anarchy can show their viewers are shifting to online services and not just abandoning the show, then they’re going to be able to keep up production. If viewership drops because people are downloading freebies, then the studio cancels the show. Second, I want it to just work. I don’t want to be messing with a lot of messy conversions, or troubleshooting for the Wife or the Rugrats when they want to watch something. Ideally, they’ll be able to turn on a device, click a few buttons on a remote, and watch their shows.

For a while, there weren’t a lot of options. Now, there are several services worth looking at.

First and foremost, Netflix is awesome. We easily stream enough movies to make up for the $8 package, and we have no problem waiting for movies that are DVD-only. To us, this replaces both premium cable channels and rentals, and it beats watching older flicks with commercials on networks like FX or TNT.

Hulu Plus is very interesting. They’ve just announced an $8 plan for streaming television shows, which is the cost of a month’s worth of a single television show’s episodes purchased off of Amazon Video on Demand (more on that in a moment). It can be streamed directly to devices, which solves the “make it easy” requirement. I’d just have to do some research to see which of our shows make it to the service.

For the shows that don’t make the Hulu cut, both Amazon Video on Demand and iTunes offer episode downloads or even season purchases at a discount. I’d pretty much need an Apple TV for iTunes shows, but I’ve learned Amazon Video on Demand is available on a Roku box. Amazon appears to be about a dollar cheaper per episode (at least for shows like Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead), so it has that advantage over Apple. Plus, they’re showing up on more devices, even if they’re not on my PS3 which is already set for Netflix and Hulu.

Those services solve about 95% of our television viewing. The final hurdle? Local news and sporting events. An investment in an over-the-air antenna may be in order, assuming we don’t just decide to go without for a while. Of course, I have to imagine the major sports leagues see the writing on the wall and will be inking deals with Hulu and other services to stream games not just to web browsers but through the Internet to televisions.

My original intent for this post was to get feedback from other people who have already made these decisions, but now I’m thinking I may have just convinced myself to do it. The winter cable season is winding down, so SoA, The Walking DeadTerriers, and The Ultimate Fighter will all be done in just a few weeks. I’m fairly certain my two-year obligation to DirecTV for my move and HD upgrade are over, but if not, I’ll just drop back to a bare minimum package and still save money.

Even though an Apple TV is small and gives me some flexibility in bringing video, photos, and other content down from my computer, the Roku may be my best option because of the extent of its services. I thought TiVo might be a better idea so I can still record local programming and sports from the antenna, as well as the online services, but the only problem is they have a $20/month subscription fee. I keep that up, I’ll be right back up where I started with DirecTV before I know it.

To sum it up: $78/month for DirecTV and Netflix, or $16/month for Netflix and Hulu Plus, with some wiggle room for purchasing shows that don’t make it to Hulu. Yeah, I’d say that’s a no brainer. The Roku purchase would pay for itself within just a few months.

I’ll follow up once I get it all rolling.

UPDATE 1: I activated a one-week trial of Hulu Plus today (Monday, 11/22) and the Wife and I took it for a test drive on our PS3. The streaming worked like a champ, so maybe time of day was a factor (as in, my neighbors weren’t home to hose up my cable Internet connection). However, we only found one show that we actively watch, and were completely unimpressed with its offerings, particularly the lack of Disney or Nickelodeon for our youngest and the kids we babysit. We’ll probably dump Hulu Plus at the end of the week.

Also, Netflix today announced a streaming-only plan, and the other plans’ pricing would be increased by a dollar. You know, I’m completely cool with that. I’m happy to spend $9.99 and keep one DVD out at a time.

UPDATE 2: Closer examination shows Amazon Video on Demand and iTunes charge the same for streaming episodes. The confusion came because iTunes pushes HD, and you have to click separately to get standard def. So, for Sons of Anarchy, for example, standard-definition shows are $1.99 and high-def shows are $2.99 in both services. iTunes may have a slight advantage for season purchases, as they want $21.99 for the full SoA season and Amazon’s total comes to $24.57. However, Amazon has a cancel option so you can bail on a TV show if it jumps the shark mid-season. I’m not seeing that option in iTunes.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Digital Craze

The digital publishing market has just exploded over the last couple of months. I’ve hardly worn the newness off my iPad and now we’ve got Barnes & Noble entering the e-reading app fray, Borders about to drop their Kobo ereader (which Wired is already calling a possible Kindle killer), and even a new device called the enTourage eDGe (their ridiculous use of caps) that looks something like a Kindle strapped to an iPad.

It doesn’t stop there. Amazon may keep their sales figures quiet, but it’s clear they’re enjoying a fair amount of success and it was only a matter of time before Barnes & Noble responded with their own e-publishing arm. Realistically they’re more digital distributor than digital publisher (individual authors and small presses like Evileye are technically the publishers), but that line gets fuzzier when they sign exclusive authors.

Now I wonder how long before Barnes & Noble — maybe even Borders — jump into the POD market, too. It appears Amazon will be the first with an official Android reading app, though, and as the first to understand the store is the real killer feature, they’re just going to keep pushing the envelope. You don’t stay the leader by waiting to see what the other guy is going to do next.

Which reminds me of the Sony Digital Reader. There are several ideological and some technical advantages to being open, but it just doesn’t have the convenience of Amazon’s WhisperSync. Sure, my wife’s a bit bummed she can’t loan a book to her mother or her sister, but to her it’s hardly even a nuisance as it’s far outweighed by the system’s advantages. (It also doesn’t help that, in my experience, the Sony reader is slower on refreshes and somewhat awkward to navigate.)

This eDGe thing is technically interesting, though it strikes me as more prototype than product at the moment. Here’s their intro video:

They obviously have the best of both worlds in mind. However, why do I care about being able to scribble on the eInk display if I’ve got the tablet right next to it? In watching the usage, it doesn’t appear it has an accelerometer, and the interface seems slow compared to the iPad’s (which to me suggests it will be underpowered). For my taste, a touchscreen has to be instantly responsive to be worthwhile (a test the Nook also failed). Ommus called it ugly, but what really bothers me is you can’t use a simple protective sleeve on it and hope to flip it open, and when it is flipped so the screens are back-to-back, you’re always going to have one screen face-down when you put it down. How rugged are the surfaces of their screens?

I don’t know. I’m sure this is more subjective opinion than objective, but I really don’t see the need to carry a two-in-one device. I’d be content to carry one device that nails it’s job than something that, for the moment at least, may be playing catch-up in two categories. Battery life and outdoor reading are the only real advantages of eInk, and the iPad’s battery life is long enough to make the eInk advantage negligible. So now I’m paying the same price for what may be an inferior device just so I can read outside? No, probably not.

I’m sure there are more in development, and we have yet to see what some of the iPad competitors will bring to the table. Anything with a reading app — be it Kindle, B&N eReader, or something like Stanza — is now an e-reading device. Battery life is getting longer, processors are getting smaller and faster, storage is getting cheaper (or is effectively replaced by cloud storage in Kindle’s case), and displays won’t be far behind.

We can call it a craze for now, but I’m thinking soon this will be the status quo. I still don’t believe they’ll replace paper anytime soon, but I do see a future where paper books become more about collectibility and nostalgia. They’ll be to the next generation what vinyl records are to us.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

TP:WK — New Low Price, New Distribution

Good news for The Pack: Winter Kill holdouts — Amazon has dropped the price! You can now pick up the book for 28% off, or $9.32, by by clicking right here.

There’s also good news for those of you who aren’t fans of Amazon: the book has finally appeared in the Barnes & Noble system! You can order it online, or chances are you’ll be able to order the book at any Barnes & Noble store. I plan to test the store ordering as soon as possible.

With luck Borders and indie stores won’t be far behind.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Pack Contest: Tell Us What You Think and Win!

Alright, folks. The response went so well for the Twitter contest a few weeks back that we’ve decided to throw out another contest. The prize this time? A copy of the limited edition, signed and numbered hardcover edition of The Pack: Winter Kill!

Here’s the scoop:

The first 200 people to post reviews or blurbs on the Amazon page for The Pack: Winter Kill by January 15th will have their names thrown into a hat for the drawing. The winner’s name will be drawn and announced on January 18th. Favorable reviews would be appreciated, of course, but we do want honest, credible reviews.

In other words, we want to know what you really think, not bring the wrath of the almighty Amazon down on our heads for abusing the system. And by the way, void where prohibited, no animals will be harmed in the making of this contest, and insert your various and sundry legalese right here.

After you’ve posted, send along your name and mailing address (as well as your Amazon alias, if applicable) to pack@evileyebooks.com. Email will be accepted through midnight central on Friday, January 15th. Come back here the 18th to see who won.

Good luck and get reading!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.