Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dead on Demand - update inbound, freebie stats

A whopping 11,000 people have taken us up on our offer of a totally free eBook so far this year. Anyone who hasn't got a copy still has plenty of time - this ISN'T a time limited offer. Search for Dead on Demand on your favourite retailer, hit the Buy for 0.00 button (and if it ain't free, find a different retailer - it should be free everywhere, but some retailers added charges beyond our control).

If you're wondering why we're giving away our book (despite the fact it was still selling quite well) then red this post.

We said before that we'd take another run at the text for Dead on Demand. This is because it's getting a lot of attention - and with a thousand or more new readers every day, we need to make it as tight as humanly possible. That many eyeballs means errors show up, so we've made a few changes of our own and then had the whole thing copyedited once more (after two initial editorial passes on publication in 2012). Many thanks to the awesome Martin O'Hearn for helping us polish this up.

It's a bit of a risk for us - firstly, there may be a few of you who don't like the changes. We hope not, but it's a possibility. If that's you, email us and we'll send you a copy of the old version.

The second big risk is that we're spending money on a freebie. It's not great business to spend money on giving things away. Our hope is that the increased quality will help push more of you towards Cleaver Square so that our costs are covered. This may or may not be the case - if we lose money, so be it. It's the right thing to do.

So here are our changes:
1. Renaming
Two characters have been renamed: Fenton and Julia. Fenton was criticised by a few reviewers - and rightly so. It's too close to Morton. Fenton is now Rosenburg.

Julia wasn't sufficiently ethnic - so we've dropped the Julia, and now refer to her by her middle name of Vanhi.

2. Stylistic changes:
Next up, extra commas, less commas, and a few em dashes. Martin has painstakingly corrected our abuse of the poor comma. We've also swapped dialogue from double quotes to single - which means everything is 'New Harts Rules' - the British standard. We were giving mixed messages by using British language, but American dialogue attribution.

3. Chapter changes
We've broken the book up a bit more after feedback showing that most readers like shorter chapters (for the commute, for 'one more chapter' bedtime reading etc). We've also named all the chapters because the table of contents looks insanely boring if it's just numbers.

4. A few minor re-wordings
We have tweaked the wording in places but this is a linguistic tidy up so that the voice/ tone stays the same between our books. As long time followers will know, DoD was our first try - and in places, that showed. This doesn't substantially change the story. but should communicate our original intentions more clearly than before (and for us, language is all about clarity).

That's all folks. We'll let you know when we've uploaded this to all retailers in the comments to this post - and you'll hopefully get emails from the same retailers offering you an updated version. If you don't get an email, feel free to simply download a second copy (after we've confirmed the changes have gone through, of course!)


  1. Dead on Demand now "Live - Updates in Review"at Amazon. All being OK with their editorial review team, the updates should be up within 48 hours. This will only affect new copies - until they push changes out for us, which could be a while.

    Other retailers will take a little longer - watch this space (leave a comment and tick "Notify Me" and you can get an email when we update this post).

  2. Updates now pushed via Draft2Digital to Apple and Kobo. We'll confirm once these have been changed.

    Next up, B&N, Sony, Diesel, Libraries and Subscription services.

  3. Updates now submitted to Smashwords for B&N, Sony, Diesel, Libraries and subscription services (Oyster, Scribd etc). No AutoVetter issues so onto their live support team.

    Updates are now out of hands until we hear back from distributors/ retailers re approval of changes

    Sidenote: Can't Sell, Won't Sell (our marketing book for other authors which is also free) has been unpublished pending the updates it needs to reflect the current publishing climate. Too much has changed since 2012 for this to remain up it its current form.

  4. Updated edition now live on Kobo, Apple and Amazon for new customers. Still pending with Smashwords.

    We've asked Amazon et al to push the new version - we'll keep you posted.