Dear Amazon, if you wish to dominate indie publishing, please do it right

I got into indie publishing about 5 years ago with my debut novel, Kingdom of Ashes. Back then, Amazon was already trying to dominate the industry, offering small presses and indie publishers all sorts of benefits if they published exclusively through Amazon and didn’t make their book available on any other platform.

I never used this option because I wanted to give readers a choice where to buy my books. I know many people are boycotting Amazon for ethical reasons, and I didn’t want to exclude them. Amazon’s exclusivity policies were mildly annoying, but I could live with them. But then, Amazon’s reach grew longer, and so did its ability to mess up indie authors’ publishing plans.

When I first started publishing, Amazon already owned the print-on-demand service CreateSpace and the book cataloging space Goodreads. In the following years, Amazon absorbed them completely and tried to take over every aspect of book publishing, marketing, and distribution.

My issue is that Amazon is taking over indie publishing without putting in the effort to become good at this. They are very bad at printing and distribution, and they are destroying other platforms that did a better job.

Throne of Blood will be the first of my books published entirely through Amazon. It will also be the first time I will have no author copy before publication and will have no option to see and approve the paperback before it hits the markets.

But let’s start at the beginning…

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Throne of Blood: Chapters Four and Five

Throne of Blood comes out on June 21st! Why am I releasing such a wintry book at the peak of summer? Let’s not forget that about 12% of all people live in the Southern Hemisphere where June 21st is the winter solstice ❄ ❄ ❄ I myself spent a semester in New Zealand and have nice wintry memories from June.

Okay, I initially wanted to release the book on Dec 21st last year but got delayed, and now I’m trying to come up with a deep and profound explanation. 😳

The book is almost here, but while we wait, here are the next two chapters:

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Throne of Blood: Chapter One

Just two months left until Throne of Blood‘s release! And since I don’t want to make you wait that long, I thought I could already start sharing the first chapters. Here is Chapter One, and Chapter Two will follow soon.

Please note:

  • This is the third book in the Nightfall series. If you’ve missed the previous books, it makes more sense to start with the Kingdom of Ashes free sample
  • The chapter hasn’t gone through final proofreading. Please forgive any typos
  • Photos are mine. They are not a part of the book, just a little bonus for people reading here 😊

Happy reading!

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Throne of Blood: preorder now to receive signed character cards!

The Throne of Blood eBook is now available for preorder on Amazon!

Preorder here

Why preorder?

  • Discount: 2.99 instead of the regular price of 6.99 USD/EUR/GBP
  • EVERYONE who preorders gets two signed character cards – one main character and one new Throne of Blood character
  • Everyone who preorders enters a lottery to win a signed Throne of Blood paperback

Shipping is Worldwide: you will receive your cards no matter where you live!

The lottery winner will be drawn on June 21st when the book comes out. Character cards and the paperback go in the mail shortly after.

How to claim your prize?

  1. Preorder Throne of Blood on Amazon
  2. Forward your confirmation email to preorders@kingdomofashes.net

Include the following:

  • Mailing address where you would like to receive your cards (and, hopefully, the paperback!)
  • Preferred main character card (Armida or Prince Vladimir)
  • Preferred new character card (Mizuki, Rada, Almaz, Alfa, or Carmina)

You haven’t met the new Throne of Blood characters yet. Explore them below!

Out of the three Nightfall books, Throne of Blood has been my favorite to write! Can’t wait to share it with you! 💖

Throne of Blood Character Reveal: Rada

It’s time for another Throne of Blood character reveal. Meet Rada!

Rada - JPEG

She is in the book for only a short while, but her character makes an impression. She is related to a certain mythological being. If you’ve read Men and Monsters carefully, you should be able to guess which one 🙂

Character Reveal Schedule:

  • July 20th: Mizuki
  • July 23rd: Rada
  • July: 26th: Almaz
  • July 29th: Carmina
  • August 1st: Alfa
  • August 4th: Throne of Blood cover reveal!

Happy reading! 💖

Free short story :)

My short story, Snowflake in the Tea, is FINALLY free on Amazon!

It’s an old piece I initially wrote for a creative writing assignment, back when I was a student. The task was to write a short story containing the following elements:

– Falling out of touch with an old friend
– Finding refuge from the outside world in a blanket and a steaming cup of tea
– Some third element I no longer remember 😐

It’s a magical realism tale set in the gloomy winter of northern Germany, featuring a (possibly magic!) cat. The story is a super quick read that you can finish in minutes, even if you take your time 😊

After I published my first book, I thought I could dig out some old stories, dust them off a bit, and share them. I picked this one, did some editing, and quickly put together a cover and the internal design out of stock pictures. I put it up on Amazon, planning to make it free for everyone.

Easier said than done…

You have no idea how difficult it is for an author to make a book free on Amazon! Honestly, I don’t know where all the free books are coming from and what authors and publishers go through to get there, but it took me close to three years.

Long story short, you are not allowed to set the price below 0.99, and only Amazon can decide to lower it to match prices elsewhere. Well, this story has been free on every other marketplace from the very beginning. Which I had been reporting to Amazon multiple times in the past three years, but they only reacted recently.

While I’m really happy, the fight is far from over. In fact, it’s only beginning! While the book is free on Amazon.COM, it’s still paid on Amazon.[anything else]. So if you live in a region where you can’t shop from Amazon.com just use a VPN and get it for free anyway, you can use the Amazon feature to report a lower price, and if enough people do it, hopefully, they’ll take action and match it. Otherwise, you can always get it for free from Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and literally everywhere else!

Happy reading! 💖

In the Footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen

Yesterday I managed to do my first post-lockdown trip, which also doubled as book research 🙂

The quarantine has been weird for me for more reasons than the usual. While most people got stuck in their hometowns, I had just relocated and got stuck in a city (and country!) where I’ve never lived before and knew hardly anyone. Can’t complain though; Copenhagen is far from the worst city to get stuck in, and I was able to work from home, so my job was fine. Still, now that things in Denmark are stable, it felt good to hop on the train and leave the city for a day, and combining the trip with book research made it even better!

street

Now that I’ve completed the Throne of Blood draft on my side and can’t do much more than wait for editorial feedback, I’ve started work on a brand new book.

It’s a historical fantasy based on several of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales and personal life. And while the novel is set mostly in early 19th-century Copenhagen, with a few detours into the Swedish wilderness, I thought it also made sense to visit the author’s hometown, Odense:

monument

Everything in Odense is connected to H.C. Andersen!

You can see the house where he was born: Continue reading

Free signed paperbacks for Berliners!

I recently shared that I extremely spontaneously decided to move to Denmark. And, as expected of a quick relocation, my last two days in Berlin were extremely hectic. Finishing packing and shipping stuff, selling and giving away furniture, repainting the flat, running around the city on different errands. But on top of all else, there was one more thing to take care of: I found out I still had four Kingdom of Ashes and one Men and Monsters paperbacks.

I had initially ordered all of them planning to run more Goodreads giveaways as I’ve done in the past. But then Goodreads changed the giveaway rules, and this was no longer possible. And so I stuffed them in a cupboard to wait for the time I find a way to run a giveaway or find interested bloggers, and I almost forgot about their existence until it was time to move.

But what was I going to do with the books? I couldn’t possibly take them with me; I didn’t have an extra molecule of space in my luggage. And there was no time to mail them around. And so, I came up with an idea: I would sign them and donate them to open phone booth libraries around the cityAnd so I spent half of a crazy day running around the city, dropping off books, but I hope it was worth it!

Read on to see how to get them in case you have trips to Berlin planned soon!

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