Summit will now cost you money

I told you to download Summit from Amazon when it was free, but you didn’t listen to me.  You never listen to me.  Now you have to pay $2.84 for it.  Why $2.84?  I don’t know.  But it’s worth it!  Probably worth even $2.99, now that I think about it.

The purpose of making the book free was to generate some nice reviews, and I got some!  Here’s a sampling:

This is a well written, well -rounded, exciting book. I loved it and will be looking for all books by Mr Richard Bowker. I do NOT give five stars often or lightly, but I am impressed Summit. So if you like thrillers, this is a great one to read. And Mr Bowker, if you ever need a beta reader, I would be thrilled to do it.

And:

The author has a way of bringing you right into the story; the characters are believable and flawed. The sprinkle of romance is fun and the Mr Bowker’s knowledge of classical music and the ability to identify the problems of a classical music prodigy are amazing.
Above all the plot twists and turns were extremely suspenseful.
I also appreciated the author not painting the Russians as all evil and U.S. as all good.
I wish Bill Sullivan had a better ending, but such is life. More importantly, Fulton and Valentina (more than) survive.
A great read, thanks !

I wish Sullivan had a better ending, too!  And:

Richard Bowker manages to give lots of credibility to the subject of psychics. What is there not to agree in the end? Psychics do exist, even if their lives are depicted more in the dark forces type of books than in a thriller.
Deep thoughtful take on American and Russian ideals, the perceptions and beliefs ingrained in their nationals to infuse a patriotic love, which makes us explore our own psyche and rattles perhaps our own confidence in our righteousness. The same political corruption and power greed exists at all levels, in all countries- and is perfectly delineated in the pages of this book. It is difficult not to love the heroes, and the insertion of a love story makes the read even more enjoyable for female readership. I did enjoy this book till the (perfect) end.

And, as a reminder,here’s the exciting new cover:

summit

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“Summit” is #1 free spy thriller on Amazon

It would be better if people were, you know, actually paying for it.  But I’ll take what I can get!

Here’s the most recent customer review:

Richard Bowker manages to give lots of credibility to the subject of psychics. What is there not to agree in the end? Psychics do exist, even if their lives are depicted more in the dark forces type of books than in a thriller.
Deep thoughtful take on American and Russian ideals, the perceptions and beliefs ingrained in their nationals to infuse a patriotic love, which makes us explore our own psyche and rattles perhaps our own confidence in our righteousness. The same political corruption and power greed exists at all levels, in all countries- and is perfectly delineated in the pages of this book. It is difficult not to love the heroes, and the insertion of a love story makes the read even more enjoyable for female readership. I did enjoy this book till the (perfect) end.

The newly re-covered Summit is free on iTunes!

I don’t know why we keep giving stuff away, but we do.  Here you go.

Here’s that new cover everyone’s been talking about, with the Kremlin clock tower that no one recognizes:

summit

As with other free offers, the idea is to bludgeon Amazon into also making the book free by having thousands of rabid fans click on the “tell us about a lower price” link on the Summit page. Please help — it only takes a few seconds.

My wily publisher’s idea, by the way, is to tie Summit to Marlborough Street as part of a “psychic thriller” series.  Works for me if it will sell copies!

By the way, Dover Beach continues to be free on Amazon.  It’s piling up some really nice reviews, along with a couple that make me scratch my head.  One of them is probably worth a separate post.

New covers for Pontiff, Summit? Opinions solicited.

One of the advantages of ebooks over printed books is that, if you don’t like your cover, or think it isn’t working, you can switch to a new one pretty easily.  We’re pondering making a change for Pontiff and Summit.  You can see the originals at the links.  Here’s the proposal for Pontiff:

image002

The idea is still to suggest religion and murder, but maybe with a cleaner look.  I’m not sure I like the bleeding rosary, though.

And here’s the alternative for Summit:

summit

Here the designer has dropped the hammer and sickle, which she claims looks dated, and added the Kremlin clock tower to suggest the Soviet Union.  Again, the design is brighter than the original, I think.  Is that good?

My ebooks: sales, prices, reviews

I handed over my ebook pricing to a publisher in return for having them perform some sales magic.  The magic appears to be working.  First they made Senator free on Amazon, which got it near the top of the top of the “sales” list for free political novels.  Then they raised the price to $0.99, and now it’s up to $2.99.  In the meantime it’s gotten a bunch of great reviews.  Here’s a five-star review I liked because, when I started reading it, I had no idea how it could possibly end up being a five-star review:

The beginning of this book put me off. I generally do not care for novels written in the first person, and the first chapters were tedious, another overworked story of the dead mistress whose murder threatens to ruin her high-placed lover. However, once all of the players were identified, I found myself relating to the protagonists and many supporting characters on the same kind of personal level as when I first read Presumed Innocent so many years ago. Bowker creates the flawed hero of the classics, a man driven on the one hand by ambition and on the other,by a sense of honor. Even at the end, the Senator possessed strengths and weaknesses that are not entirely resolved. In other words, he is human. This is not just a fine tuned murder mystery, it is a journey into the very complex issues of guilt and innocence-good and evil. For nearly a quarter century, I was a prosecutor of serious felonies, a position not without personal as well as professional challenges. It was not uncommon for me to sometimes relate to the defendant sitting one chair away at counsel table on a very human level. That did not change the nature of my mission–I was considered a tough prosecutor– but it made me reflect upon the difference between the concept of legal guilt and that of moral evil. This is not a story in which the murderer is arrested, tried and convicted, but its resolution is gratifying. In the past 18 months I have downloaded more than 415 books on my Kindle, and read all but a very few. This is one of the better ones, perhaps when it comes to a political mystery, the very best.

Anyway, Senator is now #22 for political genre fiction on the Kindle store, in between a couple of novels by Vince Flynn–should I know who he is?–and two positions ahead of a volume containing Animal Farm and 1984, with an introduction by Christopher Hitchens.  Yoicks!  The book is also #2515 on the overall Kindle bestseller list.

So that’s pretty good!  On the other hand, my other current ebooks, Summit, Pontiff, and Replica, are still mired in the lower reaches of the Kindle sales list.  Maybe it’s time for my ebook publisher to do something about them.  You can help, of course.  If you’ve read any of them and liked it, please write a review!  It doesn’t have to be as detailed as the one I quoted above.  Reviews on other sites besides Amazon are also welcome.

Books without any reviews just seem sort of lonely.  No one wants to hang with them.  They eat lunch by themselves in the cafeteria.  They go home and watch infomercials on high-number cable channels.  They buy costume jewelry from QVC.

Please consider helping them out.  They will be forever grateful.

New, lower prices on my ebooks

Regular blogging will now resume.  I hope you found other ways to entertain yourself in the past week.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that my ebooks are on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble — and probably at other places as well.  My new publisher’s marketing scheme appears to be to set a list price of $4.99 on Amazon, and then discount from that, so the books look like they are on sale.  Which, I guess, they are.  So buy them while the prices are low.

Senator remains free. It’s been interesting to see how it has fared on the “bestseller” list of free Kindle books.  It peaked somewhere in the 100s on the overall list; now it’s down in the 800s.  For a while it was #1 in the political genre; it has now faded to #6.  It was also in the top ten for a while in the suspense genre; it is now at #24.  As the Underpants Gnomes say: Profit!!

Replica is now available for $0.99.  That’s a pretty good deal!  But has not yet broken into the top 100,000 for Kindle.  Shoot.

Pontiff and Summit are both available for $2.99.  Oddly, Pontiff is much higher on the paid Kindle bestseller list than either Replica or Summit.  I’m guessing that, at the sales level we’re talking about, a few copies can make a pretty big difference in a book’s ranking.

The ebook release of Dover Beach is going to be delayed so we can publish its sequel, whose title may or may not be Locksley Hall, at the same time.  But it shouldn’t be very long.

My goal is to get the ebooks for Forbidden Sanctuary and Marlborough Street out the door by the end of the year.

Then we’ll have a party.