It’s working (and I’m a little freaked)


Late last night, I got an email ping on my phone. Glanced at it. Email from Amazon that Blaze Ward has a new book available for pre-order. (by the way: Beyond the Mirror, Volume Four: Dramatic Worlds, but I digress).

Occasionally, I also get emails from Amazon telling me that Blaze Ward has a new book available for sale.

In this modern age, any author with a smidgen of talent (including me) can write a story, post it, and people anywhere in the world can buy it. (Last night, at Fabulous Publisher Babe’s(tm) Annual Wine and Chocolate Party, I had a conversation with a friend and co-worker about how I sell copies of The Forestal in Japan. In English. Go figure.)

What slows us all down is what we call discoverability. There are maybe five million books available on Amazon. The search tool is pretty good at “if you liked X, you might like Y” but it lacks that moment in the bookstore when you say “that looks interesting” and buy something completely out of left field.

Jeff Bezos (Grand Pooba, Amazonia) wants to win. Simple as that. To do that, he makes his company as customer-centric as possible. (Seriously, the man is known to randomly sample incoming customer requests and complaints, and forward them to the correct department/person with a personal note expecting a solution within hours. And he gets it.)

So the tools are there. But many people don’t necessarily understand them.

This is where you (the reader who makes all of this possible for us) come in.

On an author’s Amazon page (here’s mine, for example), there will be a button on the left side, right below the cool picture of me that the ever-amazing Chris Barnett took. Once you click it, you will be “following” that author. That means that you get an email from Jeff whenever that author drops a new story.

(By the way, please copy/paste that last little bit and forward it to ALL you friends? All of the authors I know need more fans, and they get that by more people knowing they exist.)

So now my friends and fans who follow me on Amazon will know about my new books. And if you don’t want to support Amazon, you can still sign up to follow, so you’ll get the note, and then go buy it over on Kobo, or iTunes, or d2d. Wherever.

I promise that I will never go exclusive on one platform (unless “fuck you money” is involved, and maybe not even then), because I want to be available where you prefer to shop. I have actually stopped listening to certain artists and never bought another album of theirs, after they did an exclusive deal where the ONLY way to buy their latest album was to get it at Walmart. (This lefty union-supporting, everyone-succeeds, nutcase will never set foot in that place again. There are other chains with the same product that pay their employees a living wage. But that’s my soapbox moment. YMMV)

So you should sign up for my Amazon page. And you should sign up for my newsletter. (I just sent the 2017 Winter quarterly earlier this week, and you missed it. But the next is coming in May.)

And then you should go hit all your other favorite authors and do the same with them. Get connected. Most of them will even lose a personal note from you, even so simple as saying thank you.

And then, back to the Wine and Chocolate Party. “If life gives you a little more, it is better to build a longer table rather than a higher fence.” We do this to help support our various artist friends, and to help them meet other artists in a wonderfully relaxed and fun atmosphere. I personally grabbed more than one person, and dragged them over and introduced them to another with “you two go talk.” Several new business ventures and projects came out of it.

It was awesome.

I discovered last night that one of my friends and co-workers (who is scandahoovian by ancestry, and about as American as they get) speaks Korean. It’s a convoluted story (all the best ones are) but we got to talking about me selling dark, epic poetry books in Japan. And I asked if she might be interested in possibly translating some of them into Korean, because why the hell not?

If she says yes (went home and promised to think about it), I can do a sub-licensing deal with her for Korean-language rights. She can translate it, and sell it as such, and she keeps all the money (or whatever deal we end up doing. YMMV). She’ll even own the copyright on the form (The Forestal, translated into Korean, probably world-wide rights because you never know where someone wants to read American dark epic fantasy in Korean, right?). And we could do more, if she discovers that she likes doing this sort of thing.

And hey, I know LOTS of other writers who might say “Korean? I’m in.” and support her in a lifestyle to which she might become accustomed.

This is the future. Anything is possible, limited only by my imagination.

Y’all are doomed, now.


shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA