The Gamblers free for this weekend only!

Am I crazy, you ask?

Probably.

However, that’s neither here nor there, as this weekend (to celebrate The Gamblers inclusion in Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library scheme – for all you lucky folks with Amazon Prime accounts) I am making the Kindle edition of my novel completely free.

You read that right – free.

Not $1.99. Not £1. Not $0.99. And not 86p. NO – IT’S FREE!

This mini sale starts tomorrow, 10 December, and ends on Sunday at midnight.

Grab ’em while you can, folks.

A review on a forum for The Gamblers

I’ve just seen this review on a Kindle forum for my novel The Gamblers. It’s an interesting perspective from a reader, and writer, who isn’t a regular reader of noir fiction. It’s a combination of good and bad. But I think it’s a well written review and I’m quite happy to share it:

The Gamblers” by Martin Stanley

Martin Stanley has titled his book “The Gamblers” and that is a most fitting title for it. Stanley presents us with various and assorted people whose lives consist of gambling – with money, with position, with their very lives. He displays for us a dark underside of both humanity and human nature, filled with violence, cruelty, betrayal and lust.

Stanley writes very well, with an eye for detail, and tells an intricate story with a complicated plot. He drew me into his world with the introduction of Mike Kandinsky, a candidate for Gambler’s Anonymous, if ever there was one. Kandinsky has not only gambled away all his money but owes some £3,000 to a loan shark, who is just a tad peeved at not getting his money back on time. Kandinsky is given two weeks (and a beating in lieu of interest) to sell his BMW and pay off the loan shark – or else. Kandinsky doesn’t want to give up his auto and, when presented with an alternative, begins an adventure that threatens to take him into a downward spiral that he may not recover from.

Stanley writes of the addictions that drive men (and women) and how they can make gamblers of the best of us (though his examples are of those who are far from the best of us). The choices Stanley’s characters make left me wincing, though I could see the twisted logic of them. He bars no holds and the violence and degradation of the various characters would likely have caused me to put the book down, were it not for his story-telling ability and writing prowess.

However, Stanley makes what I consider to be a grievous error: He has no sympathetic characters at all. There is not one character in the book for whom I can root. Between the lot of them (and there are a lot of them) one can barely find a single redeeming trait. I can recollect but two instances of what might be considered ‘kindnesses’ (there may have been more, but, if so, the darkness blotted them from my memory) and they are but momentary. For me, this is not enough; I don’t like my stories this bleak. Stanley replies that his book is ‘noir’ and that this feature pervades the species. I’m obviously not in his target audience, so bear that in mind as you contemplate my review.

So, if you don’t mind violence, at time gratuitous, and you enjoy dark stories and the noir genre, The Gamblers may be one for you.

Take a gamble…

If you fancy a prime slice of gritty, urban noir and a fast-moving good read, then The Gamblers is still for sale. Imagine Ted Lewis crossed with Jim Thompson updated to the 21st century and you’re getting close to what The Gamblers is all about…

Get it on Kindle in the UK for 99p here: http://amzn.to/muNLwa

Get it on Kindle in the US for $1.99 here: http://amzn.to/liVZLs

For those who prefer their books printed rather than digital, get the paperback for 10% off at Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/pjbnn0

Go on, take a gamble…

Permanent price reduction of The Gamblers

Just as I was starting to get some kind of sales momentum going with The Gamblers I decided to up the price – silly me! My reasons were more a case of market testing than anything else, to see if there’s any point at which the British and US public will stop buying. Well, ha ha, I found it pretty quickly in the case of the British market (if it goes over £1, and unless you’re an established author, you are buggered – people lose interest in Indie books over that magical barrier and stop buying). The US seems to be different, as I managed to sell a couple of copies at $1.99. It’s an interesting thing to find out a little bit about the mindset of your customers, and what they think is a ‘fair’ price. The US Kindle top 100 has a lot more expensively priced books on it than the UK one does, and I think they are happier to pay top whack for something they want than the British are.

Anyway, lesson learned, folks; from later today The Gamblers will be down to its permanent price of 86p and $0.99.

The eBook gold rush?

There have been quite a few articles (both online and via the traditional press – most recently this one) regarding the new ‘gold rush’ that is occurring in the eBook market (a market that is still in its infancy). Most of these articles have bandied about some incredible figures (one author apparently making $19,000+ dollars in one month).

The fact is though that the gold rush doesn’t exist, at least not for 99% of us, and you will not make millions of dollars from eBooks. The Amanda Hockings and Bella Andres of this world are a rarity (in the same way that JK Rowling and Dan Brown are a rarity in theirs). Most of us will be extremely lucky to make $19,000 dollars for all of our eBooks put together over the course our entire lifetime. Hell, if the eBook of The Gamblers makes more than $1,900 over the course of its life I’ll officially dance a jig of joy on YouTube (by which point I’ll probably be a very old and very infirm man). And if it ever made the Kindle bestseller list I’d probably do cartwheels along the concourse of King’s Cross station. Of course, I’m safe in the knowledge that I’ll never have to throw my fat frame into a potentially life threatening cartwheel, despite the fact that I would love to see my work on the bestseller list! As things stand, I’ll end up spending more on publicity (for a return of a mere handful of sales) than I will ever get back in sales. Let me put this into more context, if I sell a copy a day I’m absolutely bloody ecstatic (‘cause, believe me, I don’t).

Most of us self-published ‘hacks’ will do our thing because we love it, and not because we’ll see big profit in it. We will publish our novels quietly, be overlooked in favour of the ‘big boys/girls’, and our work will, in time, fade into digital obscurity – forgotten, and probably rightly so.

Still, it doesn’t matter if we have an audience or not – as long as we enjoy creating our little worlds.

And I love my little, dark corner of the world…

The Gamblers paperback now available on Amazon

After a lot of chopping and changing and a couple of sneaky redrafts from the previous Lulu version of the novel The Gamblers is finally available for sale on Amazon.com Buy it here for $13.99 (£8.50 in English money).

Something for nothing

Don’t be shy, Kindle users, here, for free, is the first portion of my debut novel The Gamblers – an ultra-dark slice of British crime fiction.

Download the first portion of The Gamblers here

The link is only up till April 26th so don’t delay. Download now and read at leisure.

If you like it, then please feel free to visit Amazon on buy the full novel for a very reasonable 86p. And, if not, then just delete the file off your Kindle and we’ll say no more about it!