Month: March 2012 Page 2 of 3

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Forbes: Self-Publishing’s Place on the Hype Cycle

Suw Charman-Anderson writes:

But anyone taking an objective view of self-publishing can see that it shows every sign of reaching the Peak of Inflated Expectations. And that can mean only one thing: Soon it will take that inevitable, unavoidable tumbling slide down into the Trough of Disillusionment. Just because new tools make the technical aspects of something easy doesn’t mean that the creative side of it becomes easy too.

Read the rest of the article and see the chart here.

The good news is that after the Trough of Disillusionment is the Plateau of Productivity.

They also link to a fantastic article by Cat Valente, author of The Girl of Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and more, who has published in all kinds of venues.

Much of the blaggering about How to Publish Without Those Foul, Cackling Warlock-Publishers relies on the idea, which most aspiring writers have, though the smart ones keep it on the down-low, that there is some kind of magic Success Wand that can cast Accio Everything I’ve Ever Wanted over them and make them sell a million ebooks just like Amanda Hocking.

I can’t say I agree with everything she says.  But then…I kind of like doing my own publishing.  I like editing and formatting and making covers.  I even, to some extent, am starting to like the marketing parts of things.  I’ll never be a cat-herding marketing mastermind.  But, you know, it’s not that bad, because I do the things I like.

I think those of us who actually like what we do as self-publishers will end up living through the hype cycle and hitting that sweet spot of the productivity plateau.

Indie News: Where B&N is falling down in competition with Amazon

I’ve been all over the spectrum when it comes to deciding whether I like Amazon or not, but I’m at the point, now, where I feel like that if people don’t want Amazon to out-compete them, they have to provide me with something better.

The reason I don’t go to WalMart is that I don’t like the shopping experience.  But with Amazon, that’s not a problem.  Over Christmas, I picked up a Prime membership, so shipping really isn’t a problem anymore, either.

On the ebook front more specifically, I recently switched from B&N to Kindle (the el cheapo version).  Why?  Because they overcame my last real objection:  not being able to check out library books via their device.  Yes, I would rather have the freedom to download books in the .epub format, but…it’s not a deal-killer.  I have no problems using Calibre, as it turns out, and I have the Nook app on my smart phone, so it’s not like I’m going to miss out when it comes to my existing Nook library.

Why am I switching ereaders?  I love the Nook Touch layout.  But it’s the second time the screen on my Nook died, on two different models, with two different less-than-optimal help sessions dealing with both to no avail.

But David Gaughran says it better:

An informal survey of my Nook-owning friends reveals that many of them regularly use Amazon’s website to discover books they want to read then switch over to to purchase the Nook version. Given the increasing amount of titles exclusive to Amazon, Barnes & Noble should be worried about this phenomenon (indeed one of those Nook owners has already indicated that their next e-reader will be a Kindle for just that reason).

Why aren’t they using Barnes & Noble’s own website to discover new novels? A quick tour around solves that riddle. It’s clunky, it’s slow, and browsing for books is a painful experience.

More here.

This is absolutely, positively true in my experience.  Again and again I shopped for things on Amazon…only to have to turn around and download it from B&N.  My wish list for future ebook purchases?  Also on Amazon.  And I can’t tell you the number of times that my kids’ ebooks started to increase in sales on B&N…only to bottom out the first day of the next month, when TONS of other indies were screaming about lost sales.

I plan to keep publishing on B&N via PubIt!, but I won’t give them my loyalty any longer.

Ebook Pricing Discussion: Picking a price based on comparable sales

The other posts in this discussion are about buying an ereader before you start selling ebooks (especially if you’re going to give some out for free) and calculating how much you invested in your ebook.  If you want to know where I’m getting the figures for how much your book costs, look at the second. Last time: Picking a price based on what it’ll take for you to break even.

One of my previous jobs was working for a bank branch that did home equity loans, so I have seen probably tens of thousands of appraisals.  (That doesn’t make me a competent appraiser; I was just auditing to make sure the information had been reasonably used to make judgments.)  Comparable sales (comps) are very important, when you’re judging the value of a house, because the market shifts so much.  The value of the actual house is usually less than the value of the land (of location).  The workmanship is only one aspect of the value of the house; often, the number of bathrooms is more important.

Similarly, the value of a book can be determined more by its location (genre) than by the book’s intrinsic “quality,” which is hard to measure anyway.  So when you’re looking at comps for your book, the quality of your book is only a minor factor–a feature of your “house,” if you will.

Now, if this were a purely logical society, the way to pick comparable sales would go like this:

  • Find the top-selling books in your genre that appeal to the same market, as specifically as possible.
  • Find the average price of the top-selling books in your genre.
  • Determine a list of features of the 3-5 books closest to yours: average rating, word length, additional material or features (if any), quality of editing, any awards/records by the authors on these or previous books, how many other books the authors have published, how many books the authors have sold (estimated), plus the actual quality of the book (“Look at the beautiful view from the kitchen!”).
  • Determine how your book’s features compare to the other books.
  • Adjust your price up or down from the average price based on your features (there’s a whole system to it when you’re doing house appraisals, of course, but I couldn’t find anything about it for books).

However, when it comes to ebooks right now, we’re a very emotional rather than rational society: authors who will sell their souls for an Amazon ranking, publishers who will price the ebook high in order to sell more paper books, ranks that are affected by hidden and mysterious sales ranking as books pass from the free list to the selling list and back again.

In general, there are three theories on pricing ebooks as non-free that you should keep in mind when picking comparables:

  1. Pricing books to sell a lot of ebooks ($.99ish).
  2. Pricing books to sell a reasonable number of ebooks ($4.99ish).
  3. Pricing books to reduce the number of ebooks vs. print books sold ($14.99ish).

If you have determined that what you want to do is sell a lot of ebooks, just price them at $.99–that’s as low as you can reasonably go without them being free, so that’s pretty much the price that people are selling them at, the end, don’t bother with looking at comparable sales.  This doesn’t mean that you will sell a lot of copies, just that this is the price that people wanting to sell a lot of ebooks price their ebooks at.  Your comparables.

If you have determined that you want to reduce the number of ebooks vs. print books that you sell (big publishers), then pick your sales from books priced from $9.99 and up–I’d say somewhere between $12.99 and $14.99 is where you’ll end up.

If you want to sell a reasonable number of ebooks, then throw out the $.99 and $14.99 books before you start making averages.

At this time, while Amazon is usually selling more ebooks for indie authors than any other site (not always; adjust as necessary if you find this is different for you), go to the Amazon Kindle eBooks store, find your genre and subgenre subset as far down as you can go, and click on the first non-free book you find.  Scroll down to the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, and click your subgenre under the Kindle Store link (you don’t want to confuse the issue at this point by looking at print and ebooks).  You’ll see a list of the top 100 paid and top 100 free ebooks.  I’d comb through the top 100 paid list, remove all the $.99 and $14.99-level books, then average the rest, although probably 3-5 books that were as comparable as possible to your own in featues would suffice.

Again, I’m no pro on how to price ebooks–I just keep getting questions.  I’m using Alien Blue as my guinea pig for this.  So far: pricing AB to reflect my expenses in writing it ($7.99) did squat for sales.  Lowering the price to fit a quick eyeball guesstimage of comparable sales ($5.99) (combined with a Kindle Direct Select promotion) boosted sales for a time.  They’ve lowered again, but not to the level of the $7.99 sales.  (Next time I do this, I’ll test the pricing with near-zero marketing first.)  This weekend, I’ll run the numbers as I’ve listed above and adjust the pricing accordingly.

(Psst – take a look at Alien Blue. It’s available via Amazon for now but will come out on non-Amazon formats May 20.)

Article at PPW Blog: How to Write for Adults

A while ago, I had one of those days when I was looking for a good kids’ book to review and hadn’t found anything that wasn’t like, “Oh, those wacky kids! How wacky!  Kids are wacky!  Wacky’s the biggest word I can use around kids, you know!  Because they’re not smart enough to understand anything that’s not wacky!  Wacky bears!  Wacky bad guys!”  And then an adult writer asked me if I thought my stories for kids were just too dark and would give kids nightmares, and I’m like, “Really?  Really?  Do you know what kids go through on a daily basis?  How would you like to be so cut off from the world that you can’t take aspirin with you to work?  And that when people physically attack you, they call it “bullying” and tell you to stick up for yourself (and that rarely anything happens to the people who do it)?  And that doesn’t even begin to cover what goes on at some kids’ homes.

So when I volunteered to write an article for the Pikes Peak Writer blog, I knew just what to write about: how kids should write for adults.

A lot of kids and teens simply don’t know how to write for adults, and I’d like to give you a little bit of perspective (being, technically speaking, an adult) so that you, too, can learn how to write stories that even adults can read with pleasure.

However, first I’d like to take a minute to clarify a point that I’ve often heard discussed:  picking out books for the adults in your life.  Often times, when left to make their own choices, adults will pick out inappropriate books for their age range.  I don’t mean that they’ll read kids’ and Young Adult (YA) books, which are perfectly fine for the most part, if perhaps a little more sophisticated than what they’re use to reading.  I mean that adults will read books that are:

  • Dull.
  • Depressing.
  • And worst, teach adults that there’s no fun or excitement to life any more.

Also, please keep in mind that adults especially shouldn’t be reading books that are about death and getting old; it’s too much for them to handle.  When you’re picking out books for them, make sure there’s lots of adventure and excitement, because who wants depressed adults around?  Violence, romance, humor, bravery, and getting in trouble are usually signs of a good book, even for adults.  Remember, if they find the words too hard, you can always show them how to use the dictionary, which they did have to use as kids but have probably forgotten how to use by now.

Read more over at the Pikes Peak Writers Blog!

Editing for Indie Writers: Copyediting

The indie editing series continues (starts here but the collective posts are here).

What is copyediting?

Copyediting, when it comes to books, is the stage between content editing (which you should have finished by this point) and layout/formatting.  The general idea is to make the book text perfect before handing it off to be formatted, so when the proofreader gets it, they’re only dealing with minor nitnoids and making sure that formatting didn’t introduce any errors (which it can).

Copyediting traditionally means making text:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Correct
  • Comprehensible
  • Consistent

I also have to add that copyediting has to maintain the integrity of the author’s vision, but that doesn’t start with a c, so sometimes you can get copyeditors who forget that.  Let’s make that:

  • Communicates the author’s vision

for a sixth c of The Copyeditor’s Five Cs.

But how to do that?  Do you just go through the document line by line, fix everything that’s wrong, and bingo! that’s copyediting?  Nope.  That’s line editing.  The difference between copyediting and line editing is the style sheet.

What’s a style sheet?

A style sheet is a master sheet that:

  1. Provides the source of most of the copyeditor’s decisions, like saying “Merriam Webster Online used for spelling unless otherwise noted,” or “Chicago Manual of Style Online used for style unless otherwise noted.”
  2. Provides guidelines for the copyeditor (and proofreader, later on) for any breaks in spelling, punctuation, style, etc., from those guides.

So if you use a lot of sentence fragments, a copyeditor may note, “Sentence fragments acceptable” and list a bunch of page  numbers justifying this within your style.

Why bother?  Copyeditors bother with it because a) they can’t remember everything, especially with some of these 300K fantasy epics, and b) they don’t want the proofreader to freak out over nonstandard usages.

Why should you bother with a style sheet?

But you don’t have to deal with a proofreader, and you have a photographic memory, so that doesn’t apply to you, right?  Er, no.

  • You want your manuscript to look professional, and spelling the sidekick’s name as WonderFred for 2/3 of the story and WonderSled for the last third doesn’t look professional.
  • You want to hone your writing, because you’re always forgetting commas the first time through, and you’re tired of having to decide to use a series comma every time it comes up.
  • You’re writing a series, and you don’t want to have to reread your whole series every time you start a new book in order to find out what the dad’s best friend’s dog’s name is.
  • You want to be able to see things in your manuscript that you’ve overlooked before, because you’re too familiar with your work.
  • You’ve tried other methods of editing, like reading your work aloud, and that’s great for making sure your work sounds good, but it doesn’t deal with making sure you have all your ducks in a row.

I’ll go more into how to build and use a style sheet in a bit, but let me stress here: if you do it the way I do it (which is not the way most copyeditors do it), it will be a laborious (although not that time-consuming) process, and your brain will feel like you’re torturing it.  In a way, you will be: you’ll be forcing it to continuously think about what it’s reading, instead of just glancing over it and seeing what it saw last time.

Some people recommend reading your work aloud or putting it into a different font in order to force your brain to see it.  I recommend gathering facts about your manuscript, then organizing those facts so that patterns emerge.  This will help show you:

  • Whether you’re describing your characters consistently.
  • Whether your characters say something that’s out of character.
  • Whether you’ve explained a certain detail early enough in your story.
  • Whether you’ve presented all the facts your readers need to work something out.
  • Whether you’ve written flat characters.
  • Whether you’ve repeated yourself in providing details.
  • And more.

The Writer’s Style Sheet

If you’re going to go to the bother of doing a style sheet, you may as well do one that benefits you as a writer, not just as an editor.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Save your style sheet as a separate file.
  2. Pick a dictionary and style guide and list them.
  3. Start at the beginning of your story and create an entry for each of the following:
    • List proper names (people, places, even unusual things).
    • List all foreign and/or fictional words not commonly used in English (italicize or format exactly as you do in the document).
    • List any break in grammar, punctuation, spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, etc. from your dictionary/style guide.
    • You can cite the page number of the first place this appears, if you like.
  4. So far, this is just like any style sheet.  But as you work through your document, add the following:
    • Start with an entry for your timeline just after the style guide/dictionary.  All other items should be alphabetized.
    • Any descriptions about each item on your style sheet (e.g., “Wears a vest”).  Include all nicknames or aliases.
    • How other characters feel about it. (You can list this with either or both entries; “Orion’s skin crawls when Mi Tao touches him” could be listed under Orion, Mi Tao, or both.)
    • If applicable, how they feel about themselves (e.g., “Mi Tao thinks her arms are too long”), their beliefs (e.g., “Orion thinks the Pinks will accept him if he brings the chimp back to them alive”), and their goals (e.g., “Orion wants to bring the chimp in”).
    • Note: You must not write down anything you don’t read in your document. For example, if you “know” that Orion is a gorilla (and he is), you must not write it down until you see it actually mentioned in the story.
  5. As you encounter any issues related to the Six Cs above, first check your style guide/dictionary to find the preferred usage for that instance.  Then check your style sheet to see if you have an exception listed.  Follow the exceptions on the style sheet over the rules in the style guide/dictionary.
  6. If you see a pattern among the items that you have to fix, question whether you should add an exception to the style guide.  Your authorial intent takes primacy over all other considerations, even clarity (e.g., if your character is in a drug-induced stupor, you may want your style to reflect that).  Whether or not your authorial intent is on the money should have been determined during the content editing phase (i.e., while writing your synopsis), not here.  If you add an exception to your style sheet, make sure all previous instances align with it.
  7. You may need to take an additional pass or two through the document if you find inconsistencies and have to make changes, or if you added exceptions to your style sheet toward the end of your document.  The document should be textually perfect by the time you’re done copyediting it.

I recommend typing the descriptions out, too, rather than copy/pasting them.   You can sum up.

This is something that I learned in an acting class, of all places.  We had to go through a ten-minute scene and laboriously write down every word about our characters–what our characters said about ourselves, what other characters said about them, how they spoke, their stage directions.  We weren’t supposed to think so much as to gather the data about our characters in a way that made us look at our preconceptions about the characters, and how different the characters were than we’d first throught.  It was a pain in the ass, but you knew what the playwright had actually written by the time you were done.  When you manually collect facts, it’s harder for your brain to deny the patterns that are there, rather than the patterns it wants to be there.

Here, as the writer, you already know your intentions–but you don’t necessarily know how well you communicated those intentions.  By only writing down what you see in the work, you can see whether you did your part in communicating those intentions to the reader.  You can’t do anything about readers who misinterpret or who see your work through different lenses than you intended.  But you can be sure that all the clues are there.  And you can be sure that you’ve presented the work professionally, so your readers aren’t tuning you out due to frustration with crappy commas.

To get the most out of copyediting, then:

  • Write it down.
  • Look it up.

Next week: Copyediting Checklist

In Begrudging Support of Rush

Here’s what I think:  it’s awfully hard not to have a blind spot about people you don’t like.

And it’s awfully hard not to have a blind spot about people who make your skin crawl.

Nevertheless.  We can’t be all “Woo hoo, advertisers are pulling support from Rush Limbaugh’s program!” and all “Boooo! Paypal threatens to pull support from Smashwords for publishing erotica!” at the same time without being hypocrites.

But wait, we say!  The circumstances are this: Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke all kinds of nasty names just because she’s pro-birth control (and because he’s a sexist pig), but PayPal is censoring books!  That’s totally different, right?

The circumstances are always different.  That’s why we have principals, to guide us through the various circumstances that might occur.

Those advertisers who are pulling out of supporting the show…first spent a lot of money supporting the show (whether directly or indirectly).  They don’t get off “clean” by dropping him now, just because he crossed a line–Rush Limbaugh crosses all kinds of lines; that’s what they paid him for.  The advertisers paid him to say things that were just short of what he said about Sandra Fluke, all the time, because that’s what got the listeners to hear the ads.

To pull out now?  That’s just because they’re getting pressured by people to pull out because people who mostly don’t listen to the show and aren’t the show’s intended audience are offended by the show.  Not because they had any real philosophical problem with Rush Limbaugh.  Sound familiar?

But that’s just part of business, right?  To be able to chose where and how you spend your advertising dollars, or who you hire, or yadda yadda yadda.

Is it?  Is it really just part of business when Focus on the Family calls for its members to boycott Spongebob Squarepants?  It is really just part of business when advertisers pull support on a show if you find out one of the characters is gay?  Is it really just part of business when PayPal says, “Cut the porn”?  Is it really just business when Catholic hospitals refuse to perform abortions?  Is it really just business when you’re not hired or promoted based on your perceived differences from the ideal?

Either it’s part of business or it isn’t.  But you can’t have it both ways.

I say it’s reprehensible for people to pressure someone to stop speaking.  You cannot make Rush or the attitudes he espouses disappear by getting him fired.  Again, the advertisers already crawled in bed with Rush.  They already indicated their support.  If there had not been a public outcry, they wouldn’t have changed their money.  All you can do is lash out at him and widen the political divide.  I think Rush is a bully and a brainwasher: and I feel ashamed of being so pleased at first that he was being bullied right back.  But, really, it just makes him stronger, because he is an entertainer*, and because part of his entertainment value is the fact that he pisses people off.  Despite the loss of advertising dollars, he performed his function very well.

So stop doing the happy dance that Rush’s advertisers are spineless and leaving him high and dry; they’ll be back, or others will, because people listen to him.  And you’re just supporting the same thing that happened when the Smashwords porn got pulled:  it’s just a them instead of an us that it’s happening to, and it’s mostly just likely to garner him more support.  Mock him.  Mr. Viagra deserves to be mocked.  But don’t make him a martyr, don’t increase his “value” as an entertainer, don’t ennoble him by bullying him back.

*Also, I don’t get the debate about whether he’s an entertainer or not.  Apparently, he’s too powerful to be “just” an entertainer.  Please.  As though entertainment had no meaning or resonance, as though being an entertainer meant he could have no real influence.  If that were the case, why do we care what’s being suppressed on Smashwords?  If entertainment meant nothing, why would we care when books were censored at all?

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-03-11

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Ebook Pricing Discussion: Picking a Price to Break Even

The other posts in this discussion are about buying an ereader before you start selling ebooks (especially if you’re going to give some out for free) and calculating how much you invested in your ebook.  If you want to know where I’m getting the figures for how much your book costs, look at the second.

I have three suggested methods for picking a price on your ebook, by basing it on:

  1. How much money you need to make in order to pay for your time (breaking even).
  2. Comparable sales.
  3. Maximumizing profit.

Probably the answer is a combination of all three.  You can also try to calculate how much your book is worth to your customer, but I have no clue how to approach that, other than to say, “This book generates X hours of pleasurable reading time,” which just means that longer books should cost more.

A fun article on pricing that I read while researching the topic (imagine, as a kid, an adulthood where you could possibly say something like that!) is by Erik Sink at SourceGear, here.

After seven years of running a small ISV, I have come to the following conclusion: No matter how low we set the price, someone will complain.

  • If I lowered the price, I would merely attract the attention of someone for whom it is not low enough.
  • If I gave the product away, someone would complain that I am making them buy more disk space to install it.
  • If I paid each user a hundred bucks to use my product and sent Salma Hayek in a bikini to personally install it for them, someone would complain that they prefer blondes.

I would have to say that my experience is that trying to price books at rock-bottom prices doesn’t sell any more books than pricing them in non-rock-bottom prices.

Breaking Even

In the previous post, I talked about how to find out how much you invested in your book–that’s how much money you need to break even on a book.  I used a hypothetical example of an 85,000-word novel that worked out to $2710 of my time and expenses invested in it (see the caveats and calculations back on the other page).

So if you want to find out how much to charge for your book from a breaking-even standpoint, you’ll need to find the per-copy profit at each of your possible prices.

I’m using Amazon royalty rates, as (probably) most people’s indie sales will be here.  This excludes any fees for file sizes.

$.99 = $.35 profit (35% royalties)
$1.99 = $.70 profit
$2.99 = $2.07 profit (at 70% royalties between $2.99/$9.99)
$3.99 = $2.77 profit
$4.99 = $3.47 profit
$5.99 = $4.17 profit
$6.99 = $4.87 profit
$7.99 = $5.57 profit
$8.99 = $6.27 profit
$9.99 = $6.97 profit
$10.99 = $3.85 profit (back to 35% royalties)

And so on.  At $14.99 ebook, by that structure, makes $5.25, which makes me wonder what structure the big publishers are running under that makes it better to sell ebooks at $14.99 than $7.99.

The other numbers you need are:

  • How many books per month you think you can sell.
  • How soon you want to break even.

I guesstimate my average book will sell 25 copies per month (book-length book, not short story).  Not every book, but my average book.  I want to break even within five years.

That means my formula is like this:

12 months * 5 years * 25 copies = Number of copies I want to break even by (1500)

Break-even money / break even copies = Profit needed per copy.

So my example book:

$2710 / 1500 = $1.8 profit for copy.

For the example book, I need to charge at least $2.99.

However, in real-world land (unlike in my example), I freelance–this isn’t a hobby anymore–and need to make over twice as much as that, or charge somewhere between $4.99-$5.99 to break even on an 85K book.

The problem with this method is that it’s all about you and has nothing to do with your customers.  It can tell you when you’re charging unreasonably small amounts for your book, but it won’t say anything about charging so much that people don’t buy the book.

Next time: Picking  a price based on comparable sales.

(Psst – I have a new book up, Alien Blue. It’s available via Amazon for now but will come out on non-Amazon formats May 20.)

Book Review: Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device

**** Excellent

This book has a male main character who is older than middle-grade, but this too action-filled and enjoyable for anyone of middle-grade age to pass up.  A few strong female characters, but they have minor roles.

About 300 pages.

In short: Jack, the son of extremly talented metal-working parents, goes in search of them after they disappear for over a year, supposedly in service to England’s Queen Victoria.  In search for his parents, he finds a mysterious metal object that could only have been made by his father, in a tent at the 1851 World’s Fair…and a friendly gentlemen who helps him break into the case for the object in order to examine it better.  Little does he suspect that Jack will come back later to steal it…

Jack is a complete and utter brat…but only where finding his parents is concerned.  He starts off by stealing a horse from a military officer, going from crime to crime until the only thing for it is for the gentleman, who is really Prince Albert (the Queen’s husband), and his gang of bodyguards to make him their ally in the fight to find Jack’s parents and save the kingdom from overthrow and destruction.  Lots of fast action, and lots of political conflict, which usually means for a slower-paced book, but only serves to make things more tense and fast-paced here.  I barely noticed the pages flying by.

Book Description (from Amazon):

Jack has been wondering about the disappearance of his father for over a year now. Tucked away in the remote village of Rothchild, all the children have been living on their wits since their parents were carted away by order of the Queen. When a passing stranger entrusts him with stabling his horse for the night, Jack takes the opportunity to ride as fast and far as he can out of town and toward London. His plan is to find his father, but with no money and little knowledge of the world, he finds danger and adventure instead. It doesn’t help that the closer he comes to finding his father, the closer he comes to uncovering a ruthless plot to overthrow the monarchy. What begins as a simple journey quickly turns into a swashbuckling adventure of epic proportions as Jack is joined by none other than Prince Albert himself. With the help of the Prince’s royal bodyguards and Jack’s own scrappy courage, they just might be able to uncover the truth of the plot against the throne, Jack’s missing father, and the mysterious Doomsday Device that threatens them all.

About the Author (from Amazon):

Clive London is a historian living in Oxfordshire, England. His knowledge of history strongly influences his writing. His debut novel, Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device, is a children’s steampunk novel set in an alternative Victorian era. He is a fan of steampunk fiction, young adult books, and classic authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Kirkus Reviews praises Clive London and Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device:

“Author London’s book seems aimed at young adult readers, but it’s free of condescension and is wholly gratifying rather than stripped of components in an effort to achieve simplicity.”

“Lyrically descriptive and unabashedly steampunk; the first of what promises to be a rewarding series of novels.”

I could not find a website for him, but you can find his book at Amazon,  B&N, and probably other websites, too.

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