Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde
Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Friday, October 2, 2015

Help Name The Next Spinward Fringe Novel

Even though the focus is on Dark Arts right now as I work on the last few chapters of the book and get opinions back from the beta readers (who are awesome!), I'm still preparing to write the next Spinward Fringe novel.

I've come down to five options for the name of the book, and I can't decide. I thought I would put those in front of you so you could tell me which one I should choose.

The poll is on the official Facebook Page for Spinward Fringe because I always get good results there, so check it out and help me decide!


[Thank you for voting!]

Monday, September 28, 2015

Amazon KDP Asks Me For My Opinion...

To avoid any Trademark or other rights issues,
I'm posting this picture of Batman enjoying a great novel
instead of the Amazon KDP logo. Thanks for this, Allen!
When I opened my email this morning, I found an email from Amazon KDP that requested that I fill out a survey. The big yellow button was too tempting, so I made some coffee and clicked it.

While Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing platform is definitely a great tool for authors, there are a number of interesting unfair practices and persistent shortfalls that I decided to share with them.

Normally, I would keep my remarks and criticism under my hat out of a real fear of biting the hand that feeds me, Amazon KDP still provides over 60% of my income, but I know a number of Amazon KDP authors are watching their sales slip pretty significantly, myself included. The biggest reason why that's happening is because Amazon is demanding that authors go exclusive with them in order to gain access to Kindle Unlimited readers, who pay $10.00 a month to read as much as they like (awesome program, except for the exclusivity bit), and authors like me who have a lot of readers who are not interested in a Kindle at all would be cut off. Many, but not all, Kindle Unlimited readers don't look outside that program for their books, so non-exclusive authors have very little chance of getting their attention. There are other problems, as you'll see.

My response to: What would you do to improve the KDP Program?

Remove the Exclusivity requirement for Kindle Unlimited. I am getting complaints and hate mail from readers who refuse to pay for my book because they want it in the Unlimited program, and want me to go exclusive with Amazon so it appears there, and I can't do that.

Change the "Prior Six Weeks Royalties" reporting to a report for the prior four weeks. Six weeks is an awkward, useless timeframe that doesn't apply to real world accounting or properly measuring sales over a time frame that fits into any normal tracking criteria.

Add a secondary security measure to book publishing, such as a phone code, or the firm attachment of an author name to an account so fake books are harder to publish.

Allow non-exclusive authors to use free promotion tools that are available to exclusive authors.

Run your pre-order system the same way everyone else does. Everyone else in this industry (iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc...) allows preorders to accumulate but they do not track them as sales UNTIL RELEASE DAY, mostly because the author does not get the sale until that day. Amazon tracks preorders like normal sales, but readers do not get their book when their order is placed, and authors do not get the sale on the day the order is placed, so Amazon is not justified at all in tracking a preorder as a sale because none of the other mechanisms in the retail system are working for that title! Authors also do not get the advantage of seeing a jump in their books' chart placement because all those sales don't apply to one day, like they would with all the other retailers in the industry. For these reasons, I will not be offering preorders through Amazon again, even though I will get more complaints and hate mail for declining to offer preorders with Amazon and KDP.

There is more, but I have editing work to do, and I expect that this whole questionnaire is a waste of my time. Nothing will change, and non-exclusive authors like me will continue to see sales drop, and I'll get more hate mail from Kindle Unlimited customers...

One stipulation for Question 14, where you ask if I would recommend Amazon KDP to other authors:
It is an unfair question with too narrow a scope. While I would warn any of the authors that approach me about the issues with Amazon KDP, and make them aware of their choices and the possible consequences, I would still advise them to publish through KDP because Amazon is a necessary evil in publishing right now. If your book is not there, you are forfeiting a large percentage of your possible earnings, and the majority of the audience still expects your book to appear there. So, when I say "Likely" that's what I mean. If there was an actual choice, I'd advise them to skip KDP, but there isn't.


While posting this to my blog here, I realised I neglected to mention one of the biggest problems with Amazon and KDP right now, so I sent a note to customer care under the heading of "Amazon Problem". Here it is:

So, Amazon KDP requires that the pricing of our book is the same or lower when compared to all other retailers. I have no problem with this.
THEN Amazon discounts our books so you have the lowest price without consulting the author or publisher.
Meanwhile, if I reduce the price of my book with other distributors to match Amazon's adjusted pricing, my book will be pulled because it doesn't match the price I enter into KDP. This is dirty. Can you fix it please?


Thank you for reading. Even though I don't expect anything to come of my responses to Amazon KDP, I still hope that someone over there sees the light and begins to act on the understanding that, by offering the same tools and opportunities to all their authors, not just the exclusive ones, it helps everyone. Customers get the access they want, Amazon will see higher sales overall, and authors will be able to get their books in front of more readers. With fair practices and other improvements in play, Amazon could become the one to emulate with regards to how they treat their authors again. We do provide them with a lot of the products they sell, after all.


[For legal reasons, I have to tell you that I edited some of the above material to make it more readable, but the intent and message remains the same.]

Look! Free EBooks!

I offer two complete books for free here. One is a Science Fiction Space Opera trilogy collected into one free volume called Spinward Fringe: Origins, and the other is a complete Fantasy novel called Brightwill.

If you want to share them with a friend, please direct them to download copies themselves, since it will cost them nothing, but help push these books up the freebie charts.

Below you'll find a synopsis for each book along with links to popular sites where you can download the books for free.

Thank you for visiting!

Brightwill, a land razed by war, on the verge of utter destruction. There are few strongholds left, and few leaders who have the vision and the power to protect their people.

Naze Kinu, the Great Wizard provides a stronghold for the most talented young and old people in the lands. The Amber Refuge is his life’s work, a central stronghold built by his comrades, his power and his reputation.

That is why, when he tells his long time aide, Doril, that he intends to tell all about his secret sibling, Riv. His intentions are met with alarm. Naze kept his relation to Riv a secret for half a century.
Riv, known in legend as the Slasher Gremlin, the Prince
Slayer, and the thief of the Enduring Light.

Despite the damage his revelation could do to his reputation,
Naze is set on telling the true story of his brother, of the days
that inspired the legend. Most of those close to him are left
to wonder why, and to listen as their leader regales them with the tale of his misadventures with his brother and Oroza, the dragonling.

This is the story of Naze and the brother he can no longer deny this is the story of Brightwill in times of drastic change.


In the darkest region of explored space sits a bright beacon; Freeground Station. Serving as a supply and trading post it is home to a select number of human beings that will take a desperate chance to make a difference in their end of the galaxy. - Contains the entire First Light Chronicles Trilogy. A Space Opera Adventure enjoyed across the globe by all ages.