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The Lazarus Experiment: An Anniversary Special

The Lazarus Experiment: An Anniversary Special

It was over a year ago in January 2011 that I began serializing my short story The Lazarus Experiment on a weekly basis. Four parts, each around 1,000 words long was my contribution to the #fridayflash and #tuesdayserial community on Twitter. The response was positive with some readers intrigued to ask where exactly the line between fact and fiction was in the story (its stranger than you may think see my article on the research that went in to the story). It gave a great shot of adrenaline to this websites traffic and when I came to complete the serial at the start of February I was enthused to submit it to a few electronic publishers as a collected 5,000 word short story.

A couple of publishers were interested and I’ve been very happy with the support (including in polishing it up in a pre-release edit) and advice that my chosen seattle based publisher Books To Go Now have given me. You can get The Lazarus Experiment from a wide range of websites including the Kindle platform, Nook shop, and even UK stalwart WHSmith. You can download it from the Android marketplace, where its been most popular with people on the go looking for a quick read, or you could even borrow it in American library. The pricing has even been revised to a figure I’m comfortable with (77p in the UK, about the price of a chocolate bar).

Now, a year on from starting that journey with Books to Go Now they have continued to support it by offering it FREE this weekend only on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. To get it all you need to do is load up your Kindle App (also Free on Phones and computers) type in Christopher Michael Bell or The Lazarus Experiment and download for your reading pleasure.

And should it really be a reading pleasure, please don’t forget to leave a little review on either or both of the Amazon websites… and tell your friends!

The Lazarus Experiment, Free this weekend on KINDLE!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Publishing

 

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The Lazarus Experiment – now an Android App!

The Lazarus Experiment – now an Android App!

Very short update today with news on yet another outlet that you can get my short story ebook “The Lazarus Experiment“. Last week my publisher Books to Go No announced that you can now ask your local library for an ebook loan of The Lazarus Experiment! So if you can do, please run on down and ask them to order it for their collections. It costs you nothing! Its an exciting move that opens up a much larger potential readership.

However, today I can also announce another way that you can read about death row prisoner Frank Swan; just as Ether Books have several of my stories available on iPhone, Books to Go Now have published The Lazarus Experiment as a standalone app on Android operating systems!

That means that any android capable phone can now go into the Android Market

and purchase it to read on the move for as little as 99c (62p UK).

Not a bad week for Frank Swan eh? Do leave a comment or review if you purchase the app!

Read a sample before you buy, click here.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Now available from a library near you..

Now available from a library near you..

When I was looking for publishers to submit The Lazarus Experiment to back in February 2011, one group – my eventual publisher – Books to Go Now, were modestly distributing from their own website and through amazon. Like about a thousand other ultra small indy publishers in the digital space. But the little Seattle company that could was enthusiastic, did a brilliant job on editing The Lazarus Experiment with me and giving it a much needed bit of polish after its stint as a weekly serial on Tuesdayserial.com and loftily pledged to it’s authors that they were chasing new markets and avenues for distributing our stories to readers. First came Barnes and Noble’s Nook, then the Germans got some Kindle goodness, and at the end of May I was delighted to find The Lazarus Experiment discreetly distributed to that most English of book/stationary stores WH Smith. I couldn’t tell you how more pleased I was to be available from a high street store than just electronic companies up in the ether. Whether anybody actually shops at WH Smith’s website for ebooks I couldn’t say – but they should, particularly for The Lazarus Experiment which is discounted quite heavily at the moment.

One of the areas Books to Go Now were very keen on pushing was getting a foothold in the library system. I confess to not paying much attention to their notices about attending relevant conferences – I had enough on my plate in my ‘other’ life – but as promised, in my mailbox on Thursday night was an announcement that Books to Go Now had placed a catalogue of stories onto the OverDrive digital distribution system.

OverDrive has been at the digital distribution game for a while. They opened their harddrives in 1986 for petes sake. The days of tiny capacity floppy disks and the very start of the CD Rom generation. To say they have cred is an understatement and today they have an archive of more than 500,000 titles from more than 1,000 publishers available to the thousands of public libraries, colleges, schools and retailers that depend on OverDrive for their know-how.

I am understandably delighted to be part of this wave of Books to Go Now titles that are now available. This now means that if you want to read The Lazarus Experiment or another title from Books to Go Now simply pop down to your local library and request it – the ebook can be downloaded over their systems to mobile phone apps, ipods, ereaders and computers. If you request it, let us know here at christophermichaelbell.com so we can rightly worship you for your awesomeness. And that review you know you will write once you’ve read the ebook!

The full list of Books to Go Now titles on OverDrive library systems;

Elsati’s Reward
The Vampire Tree
The Lazarus Experiment
The Mad Scientist
Martian Rebirth
One More Night to Kill
Beacon of the Night
A Perfect Opportunity
A Look of Love.
Anita’s Menage
Auld Lang Sigh
Born Free
Desert Dreams
Heart of Deception
Heroes Live Forever
I Am Pain
The Great 1000

Use OverDrive Search to find a library near you with their system, Costs nothing to request!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Taking Byte Sized Reads to the Next Level

Taking Byte Sized Reads to the Next Level

Ether Books, the crazy 2010 start-up that became the first publisher to release stories by me, are today celebrating the launch of version 1.4 of their fantastic iPhone App. For those who don’t know the Ether Books App, quite surprisingly, offers its users the opportunity to download short reads on the move. So if you have a tedious commute every day, which doesn’t involve you having to keep your hands on the steering wheel (!), you can load up on loads of stories to pass the time away.

The range of content available has expanded from the first time I heard of Ether Books on the great Bubblecow website and optimistically submitted my stories. There is Science Fiction, Romance, Crime, Non-fiction, Humour, Contemporary, Serials, Horror, Flash Fiction, Erotica, Articles (Ether Columnists) and an unrestricted range of other types of content. The reliability of the Ether App comes from its screening of content before publishing and formatting specifically for the iPhone and iPad.

What has changed with the App in v1.4?

  • Share details of your favourite reads with friends and followers using social media and email.
  • OTA messages to alert you when your favourite writers and genres have new work released.
  • Re-organised the author search function to work by Surname to make it easier to solve.
  • Updated one tap function for ease of navigation when reading in the App.

Another area where writers and readers benefit with the Ether Books App, is that if you find writers whose work you enjoy, Ether have been very supportive in providing web links in the Author Profiles and adverts on their website for other work by their writers. So take Rebecca Emin for example or Trevor Belshaw or Rebecca Brown. Click through their profiles and you can go to their websites to see what other work they have published. Indeed, Ether Books have proved to be a great confidence booster for many aspiring writers in the last year. I would not have had The Lazarus Experiment published, and I’m sure Rebecca Emins self-confidence and case for her new children’s novel was helped by being best selling Ether writer month after month (no jealousy here!), you can’t put a price on the confidence and motivation boost Ether have given rookie writers and the new market place for established and award winning writers.

So if you haven’t got the Ether App, download it today!

If you do have it already, make sure it gets updated!

And when you have the app, why not check out my current collection of stories on the app? Just click on my pretty face in the Authors list. You can see it below.

etherAppW2

Do you love the Ether App? The Sunday Times is currently taking nominations for its annual App Awards. Support mobile publishing and take a minute to cast your nomination for Ether Books here.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Publishing

 

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State of the Experiment: An Update on Lazarus

State of the Experiment: An Update on Lazarus

On the 11th March 2011, www.Bookstogonow.com a Seattle based epublisher released The Lazarus Experiment on to the US and UK Amazon Kindle stores and the Barnes and Noble Nook Store. It remains a great point of pride to have someone look at your work, edit it with you and want to publish it (and publicise your talents). I have enjoyed the experience of going through the revision process with them – a first for me as my work for Ether Books didn’t go through a third party editing process. I had been nervous about it, not being sure how far I could push the defence of aspects of the story against the editors axe. I wanted to be published, but I wanted it to be my story that was published. The Seattle company were fully understanding and engaged on a reasoned debate. I gave on certain issues for them and they accepted my defence of other passages. The finished story, available to buy today, is undoubtedly superior, tighter and more polished than the one that debuted as a free Tuesday Serial in January. Publishing a story is only half the battle.

Does anyone actually want to read it?

I have an ideological perspective on this question. If you are interested, somebody else will be, its natural. It boils down to finding that person and getting that story in their hands. The big publishing houses will blanket advertising hoardings, subway trains, bins, web advertising, television and radio slots to find those people who are interested. For most of the small outfits and the Indy publishers, they don’t have the luxury of such a war chest. The strategy becomes refined even further to targeting each individual sale. I have used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Shelfari so far to promote The Lazarus Experiment. I have discussed it with strangers and friends of friends in bars when watching Champions League soccer and seen a direct consequence of it being a sale. They in turn have discussed it with friends and lecturers at the local University. I have reached a lot more people than I had thought possible on an advertising budget of £0.00. Not being the publisher I do not have sales figures but have been able to use the Author Central websites for the UK, US and German Amazon sites to track the sales ranking.

My Amazon.co.uk sales ranking has looked like a dodgy heart monitor, stuttering up and down every week since publication. The good news is this tells me that there are sales being made, that if I link the days when I spike (to a highest of 9,271, low of 81,363 and as of posting current rank of 26,502) then I can relate it to my marketing activity. The Amazon.com sales figures sailed consistently down since publication, giving me the distinct impression of irony that my story which was published by an American company wasn’t selling in America. That changed this Thursday when I must have shifted a fair few downloads as I lifted from an all time low of 346,821 to a four week high of 66,511.

I have learned two things from this. On the one hand not to despair when the blue line seems to be going consistently down, you won’t lose your shelf space after all, when the customer turns up they will find it. Secondly, twitter is an incredibly powerful niche marketing tool. Yes we’ve heard it before, social media is great for marketing. Its still nice to have proof in the return of dollars/euros/pounds though isn’t it?

I embraced the book trailer rather after the fact and more as an experiment than any serious effort. I realised that having a discussion page on Facebook and an advertising/networking platform on Twitter was great, but I had no presence on that other behemoth of social media – Google’s YouTube. I have no software besides the abysmal Windows Movie Maker, and no funds to purchase images so I was limited to using just the book cover, scrolling text and a voice over.

I scripted several voice overs to dramatize the plot without giving anything away and lucked out in being able to turn to my voice over producing, international DJ, father Jonathon Wesley over at www.cjmq.fm. We worked back and forth for a week on getting the sound and pacing right, his voice certainly lending considerably more credibility than my squeaky pitch. I then put everything together and published it to my Facebook profile and YouTube account. It was a good learning experience. What do you think of the effort?

I mentioned the German Amazon website. I have to thank the Mad Pulp Bastard Bill Cunningham over at Pulp 2.0 for pointing out that his recent release Frankenstein Lives Again! had surprisingly gone live on the German kindle store. I had a quick search and found my own baby The Lazarus Experiment on sale there too! I will be sure to nudge my publishers to ensure that their eBooks go out on the other Amazon sites. Even without translation there is a large English speaking audience just waiting for our material in those countries.

That pretty much sums up my activities promoting The Lazarus Experiment in the last couple of months. Remember if you are having a story published or publishing one yourself – never stop marketing it, the problem particularly with ‘streams’ is that your audience may simply not be looking one week when you plug your baby. Be proud of your accomplishment and don’t let modesty get in the way of a possible sale when your out and about. Writing is like having a kid. Takes you a set amount of time to create the thing, but your left being responsible for it for the rest of your life. Don’t neglect it!

Do you have any suggestions for ways/places I could be marketing The Lazarus Experiment?

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Going to bat for Ether Books

Going to bat for Ether Books

My comrades over in the Ether Books bunker on the Mobile Publishing front have been producing 30 second clips of themselves preaching about what they see is the great upside of byte sized reads. The hope is that these videos can be used to promote the publishing company to investors, to other publishers and writers, and most importantly of all to readers. Hard to believe that this market has only really taken off in the last couple of years, and as such there are lots of people unaware of the great fiction they can get on the go with companies such as Ether Books. Below I have included my contribution, enjoy!

Some more Ether Evangelizing by…

Trevor Belshaw

Rebecca Emin

Ev Bishop

You can learn more about the short stories Ether Books have published by me here.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Bookstogonow.com publish ‘The Lazarus Experiment’

Bookstogonow.com publish ‘The Lazarus Experiment’

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the publication this weekend for download of my mini-serial The Lazarus Experiment, penned this January and first shared through the Tuesday Serial network of writers and readers. The Lazarus Experiment has been published by Seattle-based electronic publishers Bookstogonow.com who have been wonderfully patient with me over the editing process given how new it was for me to be working with somebody on polishing my work. It follows the publication of several of my short stories including the suspense thriller KATAKOMBY on the Ether Books mobile platform in late 2010.

The Lazarus Experiment is available as a pdf, a Kindle book and a Nookbook making it available on any kind of electronic device you can think of. Readers should note that it is a short story, and I hope an entertaining ride through its electronic pages.

Product Description (from Amazon):

Condemned to death by gas chamber, Frank Swan has little to lose when he agrees to a secret military experiment at the height of World War 2. Little did he realize that he was about to get a second shot at redemption.

Retailers:

Bookstogonow.com

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble 

Amazon – Germany

Amazon.co.uk

WHSmith.co.uk 

Android Marketplace

Booku.com

Booksonboard.com

Alternatively – ask your local library to get The Lazarus Experiment for digital loan! It’ll cost you nothing!

If you do not have a Kindle or Nook Book you can download reading apps for FREE on to your PC or Mobile Platform. For Barnes and Noble NOOK Apps click here. For Amazon Kindle Apps click here.

Read a Sample! Click here for Part 1.

Don’t forget to stop on by my Facebook page and click Like for future alerts on short stories. If you read the story, why not leave a review? Thank you to everybody who encouraged the completion of the serial in January. I couldn’t have done it without the enthusiasm of you readers.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Publishing

 

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