Thursday, December 30, 2010

Great review and top 1% at B& - Playing the Baseball Card

Great timing, and great review. First off, Playing the Baseball Card is now well into the top 1% at Barnes and Noble (B& Review calls it very inspiring, a great book.

Now only 2 days until Aiden's Arrival arrives. In the meantime, have a good look at the Dave Murray Downhill at this New York Times interactive show. It really gives a great sense of the course.

Happy Reading,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aiden's Arrival arrives in 3 days - right now read great article about Whistler's Dave Murray Downhill course

Aiden's Arrival arrives in only 3 days, on January 1, 2011. It will be available as a multi-format eBook on Smashwords, and as a print book on The first four chapters are still available on this blog.

In the meantime, you can read this great Seattle Times article by Ron Judd, about the Dave Murray Downhill course at Whistler. The article was one of a series about the 2010 Olympic Games, and was published on February 12, 2010. The article mentions the crazy Canucks of the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Steve Podborski, Ken Read, Dave Irwin, and Dave Murray. The article also includes an interview with 2010 Canadian Ski Team member Julia Murray, Olympic torch bearer at Whistler in the lead up to the Games, and daughter of the late Dave Murray.

Happy Reading,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Prices for eBooks too high in comparison with print Books

As an author, I have become much more aware of the extraordinarily high prices that some retailers are charging for eBooks. Both as an author and as a reader myself, I am not happy about the high prices!

In order to pursue marketing ideas for my own books, I frequently review various retailers’ sites. I have noticed, with the increasingly popularity of eBooks, that more online retailers are establishing good online shopping opportunities for eBooks. Certainly Smashwords, my primary online retailer, is pursuing business relationships with an ever increasing number of very good retailers, currently including Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple and others. That is all good.

eBooks priced higher than print Books

What is bothering me is the prices being set for eBooks. It is frequently almost as much as the price for a print Book. In fact, I recently saw some new release eBooks priced at higher than the hardcover print Books! I was shocked and stunned. I simply cannot understand how a retailer can charge more for an eBook, that requires only the cost of miniscule space on a server, versus the cost of printing, shipping and storing a hardcover print Book. How can that possibly make sense? How can a retailer possibly justify charging more for an eBook than the same title in a print Book?

High prices negatively affect reviews and ratings

One of the things that has bothered me most was seeing reviews and ratings for some books actually being affected by the very high prices for eBooks. A rating and review should be based on the content of the book, including perhaps how well it is written, and how imaginative the plot line is, and other considerations related to the writing. In one case I saw online recently, a very good book was being badly down-rated because of pricing issues. Imagine the poor author having his very good work hit with bad ratings because of the retailer’s and/or publisher’s greed.

In my humble opinion, the price of eBooks should reflect the minimal cost of production compared to the higher costs involved in print Books. Of course, an author should gets compensation for his or her hard work, but eBooks need to be cheaper than print Books.

What do you think? Do you agree?

I don’t know what we can do about these terrible pricing practices at this point, but we can certainly start talking about it.

Join me, and comment.


Friday, December 10, 2010

What has Smashwords done for me? What can Smashwords do for authors?

Smashwords: Smashwords Author Brian S. Pratt to Earn over $100,000 in 2011

This is a Smashwords Blog interview with Brian S. Pratt, a very successful author publishing on Smashwords.

I personally certainly don't expect that kind of success, but even a small part of that would be nice. I can say, however, that many thousands of my books have been downloaded through my publishing on Smashwords.

Happy Reading,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

69th Anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

I am posting this almost exactly to the hour of the 69th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Just looking at the reality of 69 years makes a person realize that there are now dramatically fewer living survivors of that day, December 7th, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United States consequently went to war. Of course, for those in Europe, the Second World War started in September 1939, and many Americans actively or more quietly supported the allied effort.

I have recently been actively researching that interval of September 1939 to December 1941. The reason? Why else does an author do research? For a book, of course. Perhaps even a series of books.

The Courage of Combat: Volume 1 – The Flying Fighters

This new fiction book, very much a departure from my previous efforts and genre, will introduce some characters that I will follow from 1938 to 1941. In possible further books in the series, I hope and intend to follow the characters from 1941 right through to the end of the war in 1945, and perhaps beyond. The book(s), while fiction, will be based on historical fact, and I hope to introduce readers to some lesser known facts, situations, and locations that formed part of the overall fighting in WWII.

Some of the characters will include accurately portray Americans who traveled to Canada and to England, to join up with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force in order to get into the war and fight. After the US went to war in December 1941, many of them returned home to join the US Army Air Corps, but many stayed with the RCAF and RAF until 1945.

I hope I will be able to bring that dramatic period of history to life for my readers.

The planned release date for the first book in the series, The Courage of Combat: Volume 1 – The Flying Fighters, will be December 7th, 2011. Of course, that date will also be very significant; the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What can kids do? You'd be surprised!

The adults might be surprised, but the kids won't be. If you give them half a chance, kids will astound the adults around them with what they're capable of.

One of the reactions I get from my books is something like: 'Yes, but your character is awfully young to do what you've got them doing.' That reaction is usually muted and subtle, as in: 'Well, I like the story, but...'

So, I tell those adults who have read my stories that I've based my youthful characters on real kids. Maybe kids I know today, or kids I grew up with, or, just perhaps, a tiny bit out of my own past. I also find, much more frequently than I expect, news stories about youthful characters, real ones, who are doing amazing things at young ages.

I have started to Tweet about those young people, when I spot a story that supports my point of view.

A 10-year-old who wrote a book to help other kids deal with their feelings when dealing with a personal tragedy. A 12-year-old running his own company (okay... I posted about him). A 13-year-old baseball player in the Baseball Hall of Fame (yes, I posted about her, too). The 13-year-old who climbed Mount Everest. 14, 15, and 16-year-olds sailing around the world. 14 and 15-year-olds who survive 50 days lost at sea drifting in an open 12-foot boat. A 16-year-old hero who risks his life to save a 10-year-old boy from a partially frozen, rapidly flowing river. The list goes on.

Ask any young person, and many of them will tell you what they could do, if only given a chance, if only the adults in their lives would let them and support them. The next question is: Do the adults support them? Or, perhaps, do the adults say something like, 'Oh, you'll have to wait to do that' or 'You really think you're ready for that?'

So, what's your point of view on this? Do you think I'm exaggerating? Do you think my youthful characters are doing too much, or am I feeding back what is really happening?

I absolutely and firmly believe my youthful characters are fully capable of the feats, successes and actions that I've put into my stories. I believe it because I know it. I hope you agree. If you don't, then I welcome the challenge. Do you agree?


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