BLOGNews, Fiction Updates & General Musings
Several months ago, I promised that the Brian McDone Mystery books would forever be available across all platforms. I don’t like bringing up old promises, especially on the rare occasion I break them. But I feel I owe it to everyone to explain why the Brian McDone books are now available at Amazon. Exclusively.
In case you aren’t aware, Amazon released an ebook subscription service back in 2014 called Kindle Unlimited. For $9.99/£7.99, readers could access millions of books at no extra charge. Initially, there was scepticism amongst the ranks of authors, mostly due to the price of entry: exclusivity.
Back in 2014, I threw my books into Kindle Unlimited as a test run. All of them except for Dead Days. I had mixed results. Mostly, not that great. I accepted that Kindle Unlimited’s old payout system — a flat rate of $1.30ish for all books, whether short fiction or longer epics — didn’t really benefit the kind of fiction I wrote. I packed it in, put all books wide again, and pushed forward free of Amazon exclusivity.
That was the old system.
The new system is much, much fairer to long form authors. I cannot proclaim it is “fairer” to everyone because I know some short fiction authors are upset about the changes, and I’m not here to upset anyone. I’ll simply state the facts: Kindle Unlimited now pays out based on pages read. So 600 page books earn more than 300 page books. 300 page books earn more than 150 page books. 150 page books earn more than 20 page shorts. As opposed to just a flat $1.30 for every book.
Now Amazon pay authors roughly $0.0058 per page read. Doesn’t seem much. But if you add it up, writers of longer fiction end up making more through the new system than the old one. You can see why shorter fiction writers aren’t happy with the changes. But I can only speak as a long-form author and say this: the new system is fairer for novelists.
I heard a lot of initial backlash amongst some circles about the potential for “padding”. How 150 page books may suddenly become 1500 page books simply to make more money.
This simply doesn’t add up, logically. Bear in mind, Amazon pays based on pages read. What do you do if you notice some clear padding? You put the book down. What do you do if you get bored? You put the book down.
The new system rewards engaging fiction. Both short form and long form. And I commend Amazon for that.
There’s been a lot of bad press surrounding Amazon’s working conditions over the last few days. I can’t speak for the people working directly for Amazon, but I can say, as a freelancer using Amazon’s services, the company have made it possible for me to make a living doing something I love. I thank them for that.
In case you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been gradually putting my works back into Kindle Unlimited. The new system has put the Infection Z series into the top 20,000 overall for the last few months, and I’ve been a mainstay on the overall Horror Top 100 popularity list over at Amazon.com for a good while now. Amazon’s platform–also boughts, a wonderful recommendation engine, KU–have given me a platform.
My job? Write good books.
And that sums up my thoughts on the new KU. Instead of encouraging manipulation, instead of spearheading the end of fiction, Kindle Unlimited promotes authors who do one thing, and do it well: write engaging stories.
My job is to write engaging stories. My job is to constantly improve my craft. And right now, the best place to showcase my work is via Amazon and particularly, Kindle Unlimited.
I love my Kindle. I never thought I would, but I do. It’s economical. It’s efficient. It’s changed my reading habits completely.
And I love Kindle Unlimited. I love unlimited access to books I would never have read beforehand. I love it as a reader, and I love it as an author.
So I have to put my money where my mouth is and show Kindle my utmost support.
There’s always talk about what Amazon may one day do. Lowering royalties, pulling the rug from under indies’ feet, eating us alive, etc. But I stopped thinking about the “maybe one day…” a year or so ago. Since then, I’ve started earning a living doing what I love.
Amazon, right now, in my opinion, offers the best reading and publishing experience. Barnes & Noble’s storefront is still heavily biased towards the big published books. Its author hub is slow and freezes a lot. Kobo is good, and I hope it goes places. Google Play has also been good to me, but I’ve heard some horror stories from other authors. Apple is getting there.
But right now, Amazon has it right. As a reader, it offers the best, most seamless experience, whether reading on the Kindle itself, or via a phone in awkward situations. Instead of promoting the books with the biggest advertising budget, it tailors recommendations to the individual. A human touch.
As a writer, it offers me a clean system, fantastic promotional opportunities, and a fair living.
In light of this, I’m adding my Brian McDone books to Kindle Unlimited. Dying Eyes is still available everywhere for free, but the following books are now Amazon exclusive. It’s a test. A three month test. We’ll see how it goes.
As for Dead Days – my only series still available outside of Kindle – I can’t promise it won’t be a Kindle exclusive in future. I’m sorry. I hate going back on my word. But right now, Amazon is offering readers the best experience, and I have to stay privy to that; to what the majority of my readers demand.
But for now, Dead Days stays wide.
I’d really recommend checking out Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. It is, in my reader opinion, the best reading experience on the market right now. I haven’t been paid to say this. I’m not obliged to say it. I’m just being honest.
I can’t foresee what may happen in three months time. But I will of course keep you updated.
What can you do if you’re already reading via another store/device?
Well, first off, Amazon has a Kindle app available for practically every device (http://bit.ly/1URqMWT). That’s probably the simplest way. So really, exclusivity isn’t to the Kindle. It’s to the Kindle app. You can use any device you desire.
Option two: anyone using a computer can get an ebook file onto their device of choice, whether it’s Nook, Kobo, etc. I make sure my works are DRM free, so you are totally entitled to buy one of my books on Amazon, then throw it into a program like Calibre (http://bit.ly/1PkLBpM) and convert it to an EPUB/format of your choice. A quick Google of “how to convert a mobi to an ePub” has all the answers you need, and probably more.
If you’re still struggling with any of those technicalities, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things change quickly in publishing. Right now, Amazon provides the finest reading experience for readers, and the best publishing service for authors. Give Kindle Unlimited a spin. Check out all the stories on offer.
Or grill me in the comments. Your call.
Have a wonderful evening.
PS: all of my books are available at Amazon. Click here to check them out..
I figured it’s been a while since I did a proper fiction update. So here goes.
I’m currently hard at work on the second novel in a Chloë spin-off series. In case you don’t already know, Chloë is a character from the Dead Days books. She has a bit of a cult following of her own, so I figured it just made sense to milk Dead Days even further … I joke.
In reality, it pains me to call Chloë a spin-off. It’s an epic accompanying journey to the Dead Days saga. The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings, if you will.
I initially realised Chloë needed a story of her own when I went through the sheer amount of story I had planned for her. I had a choice — condense it and incorporate it into Dead Days Season Six … meaning something like 40,o00 words of Chloë. Or write a whole new trilogy of Chloë’s new journey. Meaning 200,000 words.
In the end, I decided to opt for the latter. There’s no way I want to dilute Chloë’s story in any way.
If you’re a fan of Dead Days, you’ll love the Chloë books. If you’re new to the Chloë books, I hope you’ll also love them. There are references to the past, but they will stand alone as stories of their own.
Rest assured, there’s plenty of twists, plenty of turns, and plenty of zombies …
My publishing schedule for the end of the year is something to behold in itself. The first Chloë book will be out later this month, followed by the sequel in September, followed by the fourth Infection Z book in October, followed by Dead Days Season Six in November … and followed by the third and final Chloë book in December. Post-Apocalyptic-Tastic, I hear you say.
What about 2016? Well, fewer books. I certainly don’t have a lack of work available right now. And nobody can accuse me of slacking — excuse me if I slow my publishing pace a little! At the moment, it’s looking like the sixth and final McDone mystery in January, followed by the fifth and final Infection Z book in Feb, a couple of Dead Days seasons, and a whole new series. So okay. Hardly slowing the pace much. But a drastic decrease of output compared to the last two years.
Cheers to everyone who picked up the latest McDone book. And for that matter, thanks to everyone who picked up any of my books since I last thanked you. I’ve been sitting inside the top 100 selling Horror authors over at Amazon for a good few months now, many of my books have been in genre best seller charts for weeks on end (and not just obscure genres, either. The biggies like Post Apocalyptic, etc).
I really couldn’t do this without your support. So thank you.
Have a great August.
Without further ado, here’s your download links:
For a little more information, here’s the product description:
Detective Inspector Brian McDone is ready to retire. Exhausted after years of challenging cases and personal battles, he wants nothing more than to ease through his final year of employment so he can spend more time with his growing family.
But when two bodies are dragged out of a canal, brutalised and butchered in ritualistic fashion, Brian is forced to lead one final fight against the criminal underworld of Preston.
As the body count grows and the mystery thickens, Brian fast discovers dark secrets that put his life — and his family’s life — in jeopardy.
Packed with suspenseful twists and unpredictable turns, Ritual is the fifth book in the acclaimed Brian McDone Mystery series from author Ryan Casey.
Remember, if you’ve yet to start the McDone series, you can grab the first book in the series absolutely free of charge right here.
Thanks very much for the consistent support. 2015 has been an absolutely amazing year for me, and all that is thanks to readers like you.
I’ll be in touch again soon with some exciting news regarding a Dead Days spin-off… feel free to speculate.
So today just happens to be my favourite kind of day.
What day is that?
New release day, of course!
The latest instalment in the Amazon British Horror Bestselling series (I just have to mention that…), Infection Z 3, is now available exclusively for Amazon Kindle. This exclusivity means that the book is available for Kindle Unlimited readers as a part of their subscription (if that’s the way you prefer to read).
For everyone else, it’s only $3.99/£2.99.
You can download/borrow your copy of IZ3 right here: http://smarturl.it/InfectionZ3Kindle
If you’ve yet to start the series, the first book is currently absolutely free for four days only!
So what are you waiting for?
Thanks so much for your continued support. 2015 has been one hell of a year for me so far, and I wouldn’t be saying that if it wasn’t for you.
Infection Z 3 really was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as I did writing it.
Oh, something I just noticed too. The book has only been on sale for a day and already it’s got a shiny #1 New Release badge over at Amazon.com.
Another month, another post-apocalyptic release. Hot on the heels of Dead Days: Season Five (which has sold over 500 copies since launch last month already, so thank you) is Infection Z 3. The book will launch at the end of the month, and I’ll have a full blurb soon. But for now, here’s the cover, designed by the excellent Cormar Creative.
Hi everyone, and happy Friday!
Today, I’ve got a very exciting announcement to make. Well, you’ve probably guessed what that announcement is from the title of this email already, but in case you need to hear it again…
Dead Days Season Five is now available!
I’ve tried to avoid teasing this book pre-release because I wanted the launch to be a complete surprise. I may be no Beyonce, but I figured I’d give this surprise launch thing a go.
All six episodes of Season Five are now available to buy on all platforms. And it really is the most intense, gritty, brutal season yet.
Here’s the cover:
Very cool, right?
Early first reader response to Dead Days Season Five has been amazing. In fact, one reader claimed that they just had to go back and read the first four seasons as a result of some of the revelations this time round.
But don’t take my word for it…
Get your copy of Dead Days Season Five here:
If you’re curious about the premise this season, here’s the description:
THE FIFTH SEASON OF THE BEST-SELLING POST APOCALYPTIC SERIAL
In October 2013, a chaotic infection spread across Britain, turning the majority of the population into bloodthirsty zombies.
The weak fell. Many of the strong fell, too. The only survivors were those willing to sink to the most brutal depths of humanity in order to further their own existence.
Dead Days is the story of a group of those survivors.
Season Five of the thrilling, suspenseful post apocalyptic series picks up right after Season Four’s devastating conclusion. The journey to the BLZ is over. Our survivors’ lives hang in the balance. Terrifying new horrors lurk around every corner of this living hell…
Who will escape? Who will survive?
And even if they do, will they be able to handle a staggering new truth?
A horrifying truth that reveals itself as Season Five hurtles towards its conclusion?
One thing is for certain…
There will be blood. There will be tears. In the Dead Days, nobody is safe.
With fast-paced zombie action and gripping character scenarios, Dead Days is a truly unmissable serial adventure. Scroll up and buy the complete season five now. You’ll be hooked on every twist and turn, right through to the game-changing final scene…
Abre Los Ojos.
I’ve been so excited about this particular season for a while now, so keeping a lid on my feelings has been tricky. There’s some big stuff this season. Some real big stuff. So I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. It goes in surprising directions, as usual.
So I figured I’d capitalise on the surprising nature of the Dead Days series with an unexpected release. It adds up right?
Here’s those links once again:
PS: After you pick up and read your copy, I wondered if I could ask a favour of you? A staggeringly small percentage of readers review books, even if they love them to pieces. So if you took a few seconds–literally a few sentences is all that’s needed–out of your day to write a review, it’d go a hell of a long way towards keeping me writing more stories I love, and more stories for you to enjoy. Thank you.