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Old 09-10-2010, 02:04 AM   #1
starrigger
Jeffrey A. Carver
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Neptune Crossing in Kindle and Smashwords -- SF by Jeffrey A. Carver

Hi folks -- This is to let you all know that I have just put my novel Neptune Crossing up for sale in the Kindle store and at Smashwords, for $2.99 DRM-free. This novel, published in print by Tor Books, is the opening volume of my series The Chaos Chronicles--which recently picked up after a hiatus with Sunborn, and will continue in due course with The Reefs of Time. Here's a brief description and a few review quotes:

Quote:
The moment John Bandicut encounters an alien intelligence on Neptune's moon Triton, his life changes forever. Urged by the alien quarx now sharing his mind, he accepts an audacious mission—to steal a ship and hurtle across the solar system in a desperate bid for an unwitting Earth's survival. Volume 1 of the acclaimed series The Chaos Chronicles, by the Nebula-nominated author of Eternity's End.

One of the best SF novels of the year — Science Fiction Chronicle

"Jeff Carver is a hard sf writer who gets it right—his science and his people are equally convincing... from a chilling look at alien machine intelligence, to cutting-edge chaos theory, to the pangs of finite humans in the face of the infinite. If you like intriguing ideas delivered in an exciting plot, this is your meat." —Gregory Benford

"Masterfully captures the joy of exploration." — Publishers Weekly

"Reveals an alien encounter brushing hard against a soul, and takes us from there to the far reaches of the cosmos, all with the sure touch of a writer who knows his science. Jeff Carver has done it again!" —David Brin
Please note, this is the same book that's been available for free download for a couple of years now. You can get it here in the MR library, in formats designed with heavy contribution from various members of this forum, as well as my own website. But crazy as it may sound, not all ebook readers frequent this forum (or my website, for that matter), and I wanted to make it easy for all ebook lovers to find, regardless of where they hang out. It should migrate out from Smashwords to Sony, Apple, Kobo, etc.

This is all part of a continuing experiment on reaching out to more readers, which I described recently on my blog.

Oh--one thing is different from the freebies, the cover. My use of the Tor cover was allowed strictly for promotional giveaway, perfectly understandable, so I created my own cover for this edition. Here it is:


Neptune Crossing at Kindle

Neptune Crossing at Smashwords

Last edited by starrigger; 09-10-2010 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:53 AM   #2
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I enjoyed "Neptune Crossing" so much as a free download I went and purchased a copy at Smashwords. I have read all of the John Bandicut books and love them - looking forward to the next installment. Write faster.....
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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Oh, Jeff, we need to get you a better cover

I've got the contact info for the guy Kevin J Anderson is using on his backlist, if you want.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRM34857 View Post
I enjoyed "Neptune Crossing" so much as a free download I went and purchased a copy at Smashwords. I have read all of the John Bandicut books and love them - looking forward to the next installment. Write faster.....
Thanks! That's the kind of support every writer ought to have.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
Oh, Jeff, we need to get you a better cover

I've got the contact info for the guy Kevin J Anderson is using on his backlist, if you want.
Sure. I'll take all constructive information. But what don't you like about the cover? I asked a lot of people for feedback on it before it went up, and the response was all positive.

The one thing I'm not happy about is that the type isn't as bright in the web view as it is viewed directly in the graphics viewer.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
Sure. I'll take all constructive information. But what don't you like about the cover? I asked a lot of people for feedback on it before it went up, and the response was all positive.
Yeah, I don't much care for the cover either. Take the rest with a grain of salt, as it's all just my unfiltered opinion:

The red and blue on black isn't pleasing.
The font is... odd. It looks unprofessional, but I don't know why. (I'm not in graphic design, nor do I know my typefaces.)
The black/blue skewed square gives it a diamond-patterning effect, which I just don't like. If the black didn't extend all the way to the edges I think it would look ok.
The wacky psychedelic graphic makes the cover look dated to me. And it reminds me of the unpleasant screen saver from Windows 3.11.

EDIT to add:
The cover also doesn't tell me anything about your book. "Neptune" implies some sort of water or space-related theme, but the cover doesn't give me any feel for the content of the book.

Last edited by queentess; 09-10-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
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What Quentess said
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queentess View Post
Yeah, I don't much care for the cover either. Take the rest with a grain of salt, as it's all just my unfiltered opinion:

The red and blue on black isn't pleasing.
The font is... odd. It looks unprofessional, but I don't know why. (I'm not in graphic design, nor do I know my typefaces.)
The black/blue skewed square gives it a diamond-patterning effect, which I just don't like. If the black didn't extend all the way to the edges I think it would look ok.
The wacky psychedelic graphic makes the cover look dated to me. And it reminds me of the unpleasant screen saver from Windows 3.11.

EDIT to add:
The cover also doesn't tell me anything about your book. "Neptune" implies some sort of water or space-related theme, but the cover doesn't give me any feel for the content of the book.
Hm. Most of what you disliked are things that others especially liked. The blue-on-black, the strange attractor image (produced by a program called chaoscope), even the type.

The font is straight Times New Roman. Maybe what you're responding to is that it doesn't have any of the embellishments that a graphics designer might give it. I'll definitely grant that.

As for conveying the book's content, I went with abstract for the following reasons:
  1. I liked it.
  2. The series is The Chaos Chronicles, and I felt that a chaos image would evoke that element.
  3. I have no budget for commissioning art, and I couldn't find stock art that seemed right.

Another option might have been to use an image of Neptune. That might have worked for this book, but would have left me without a parallel approach for the second and third books.

Those book files aren't ready for upload yet, but here are the covers I've planned:



My focus group all felt that the images reflected the content of the books, but then they had all read the books. So that might be a weakness in my focus group.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:37 AM   #9
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Jeffrey A. Carver
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I'll be pondering your comments about the cover, and soliciting others. But in the meantime, I've changed the type color to make it more readable on the online pages:

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:29 PM   #10
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The color change makes everything pop a bit more. Let me reach out to a friend or two, see if I can help a brother out.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:09 PM   #11
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Very colorful and eye catching. The Infinite Sea picture reminds me of the jellyfish a little and of course Strange Attractors cover seems very energetic. I think the cover you have for Neptune Crossing looks a bit like a laser pistol being fired.
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
Hm. Most of what you disliked are things that others especially liked. The blue-on-black, the strange attractor image (produced by a program called chaoscope), even the type.

The font is straight Times New Roman. Maybe what you're responding to is that it doesn't have any of the embellishments that a graphics designer might give it. I'll definitely grant that.

As for conveying the book's content, I went with abstract for the following reasons:
  1. I liked it.
  2. The series is The Chaos Chronicles, and I felt that a chaos image would evoke that element.
  3. I have no budget for commissioning art, and I couldn't find stock art that seemed right.

Another option might have been to use an image of Neptune. That might have worked for this book, but would have left me without a parallel approach for the second and third books.

Those book files aren't ready for upload yet, but here are the covers I've planned:



My focus group all felt that the images reflected the content of the books, but then they had all read the books. So that might be a weakness in my focus group.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:03 AM   #12
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I'll agree, I don't think that the first book image is that great....maybe it just is too simple I don't know....I do like the 3rd book image though. But then again, I really don't know anything about making it better, but the way the blue and black mix, just doesn't seem to work.
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