Today I’m participating on a blog tour for Joseph Nassise’s second Jeremiah Hunt novel, King of the Dead! Read on for a a guest post from Joseph (on bundling!) and my review.
About Joseph Nassise:
Joseph Nassise is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the internationally bestselling TEMPLAR CHRONICLES series, the JEREMIAH HUNT trilogy, and the forthcoming GREAT UNDEAD WAR series. He’s also written several books in the popular Rogue Angel action-adventure series.
Joseph’s work has been nominated for both the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award and been translated into half a dozen languages to date. He has also written for both the comic and role-playing game industries and also served two terms as president of the Horror Writers Association, the world’s largest organization of professional horror and dark fantasy writers.
The concept is simple. Take several ebooks on a given theme, bundle them together in a single package without DRM (digital rights management) and offer them for sale on a pay-what-you-want basis for a limited time. The buyer also gets the option to decide how the money is split between the creators, the organization, and, more often than not, charity.
Bundling has long been a part of the gaming culture, with organizations like the Humble Bundle bringing in millions of dollars for their indie computer game bundles, and now the same concept has come to ebook publishing. Storybundle.com and Snugnugget.com both debuted this past April and Humble Bundle got into the ebook bundling game this past month with their publisher-supported Humble Ebook Bundle.
The benefits for ebook consumers are many, including:
Pay what you want! Buyers choose how much they want to pay for a bundle, beyond the typical $1.00 minimum to cover transaction costs. Readers might be comfortable paying more for bundles with familiar authors, like the recent bundle offered through Humble Bundle.com that featured John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman or the current Halloween themed bundle offering from Storybundle.com with Kevin J Anderson and Douglas Clegg, and this approach allows them to make that decisions for themselves.
If they want to show support for indie authors, they can do that, too.
Bonus Books! Most bundles offer a bonus tier which is activated when paying over a certain amount. Doing so gives the buyer access to additional books, often from more recognizable names.
DRM Free! I’ve yet to come across a bundle that includes DRM. This is because most of the bundling companies understand something the bigger publishing companies, with the exception of MacMillan, do not – ebook supporters like to be able to read the books they purchase on whatever platform they’d like and sometimes on more than one. The pay-what-you-want price point provides a price for everyone and encourages gifting as well.
Support nonprofits! I’ve purchased several bundles recently and each of them have offered me the option of donating some or even all of the fee to charity. Humble Bundle partnered with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Child Play Charity in their most recent bundle. The current Storybundle offering is partnered with Trees of the Future and MightyWriters. Buyers get the chance to read cool new books while helping others out at the same time.
Easy delivery! It’s super convenient to get these bundled ebooks onto your reader of choice—just download and sync. Some bundles even offer you the ability to have the books sent directly to your device.
As a reader, I love bundles because they give me access to great books at a reduced price from both old favorites and talented newcomers. As a writer, I find them an easy way to reach thousands of potential news fans in just a few short weeks. Bundles are a win for both sides of the equation.
Personally, I think we’ll see much more of this approach in the future. I applaud the efforts of the major publishers who participated in the Humble Bundle offering and hope that the success of the bundle ($1.2 million earned for sales of 84,000+ bundles in less than a month!) will spur additional publishers to examine this model more closely.
I’m all for e-bundles, but find I’m not patient enough to wait until the publisher/author has enough of a collection to “bundle”… :/ I know, I know, woe is me.
Joseph Nassise shook up the urban fantasy genre with Eyes to See, a novel New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “heartbreaking, deeply insightful, powerful and genuinely thrilling.” In a devil’s deal, Jeremiah Hunt sacrificed his human sight in exchange for the power to see the hidden world of ghosts and all of the darker spirits that prowl the streets. Hunt uncovered a world of murder and magic that took his daughter from him and nearly cost him his life, but that was only the beginning….
Now Hunt is on the run from the FBI, who have pegged him as a mass-murdering dark sorcerer. His flight from the law is diverted to New Orleans when his companion, a potent witch, has a horrific vision of the city under magical siege. When they arrive, they realize that the situation is more dire than they could have imagined: the world of the living faces a terrifying attack by forces from beyond the grave. King of the Dead, the second book in this groundbreaking series, promises more of Nassise’s electrifying writing that will enthrall readers looking for a supercharged, supernatural thrill.
Title: King of the Dead (Jeremiah Hunt #2)
Author: Joseph Nassise
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Tor Forge, 2012
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Now a wanted man, Jeremiah Hunt hides out on one of Dmitri’s properties – along with Dmitri and Denise. His options are a tad limited now, what with his (lack of) eyesight, and oh, being on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. So, along with the peace and quiet, reflection and regrouping, Jeremiah has to figure out where to go from here.
Then Denise has visions of doom and gloom (or hellfire and brimstone), and the three are on the way to New Orleans to investigate. I loved that Jeremiah drives, by the way. I mean, the dude’s blind for crying out loud!
King of the Dead is dark and not very kind to our protagonist, or his friends. As Jeremiah et al race around trying to identify the threat – and its resolution – it’s hard to not cheer for them. But it is hard to stay involved with them. I mean, I like the three just fine, but I don’t feel like I know them any better now than I did before I picked up King of the Dead.
Good thing that the story’s pretty interesting. How could it not be, with the King of the Dead playing a role (albeit silent) and nightmarish Sorrows slurping souls? It makes up for the slower-than-ideal pace that waits between the pages. The three are on the lam, after all – even if the FBI doesn’t know anything about Denise (yet). And they’re on the clock (see “race around” above) too. Which is why it gets a bit annoying when the hero indulges in a bit of angst at meeting people (i.e. men) Denise knew pre-Hunt.
And while I enjoyed meeting a new face (Simon Gallagher in New Orleans) or two (Agent Doherty in the FBI), I never really got to know them. I did wonder how the FBI fared after that anti-climactic save-the-world meeting in the cemetery, but not enough to actually care if Robertson or Doherty made it out in (relatively) one piece. All in all, this was not what I’d hoped the follow up to Eyes to See would be – it’s not pulse-pounding, supernaturally-shining, truly-end-of-world-worthy, nor dramatic. *sigh*
I’m holding out hope for another installment though, because I’m curious enough to want to know what happens next.
drey’s rating: Pick it up!
Have you read King of the Dead? What did you think?