The Other Kind of Life – Book Launch

By Shamus Posted Friday Dec 14, 2018

Filed under: Projects 74 comments

I got a copy of my book yesterday. I’m old and I can remember a world where you couldn’t walk around with a hundred books in your pocket, so for me the book wasn’t real until I held it in my hands. But here we are. It’s real. Inside of the cover is a bunch of pages with words on them, just like a real book!

So now you’re wondering where you can go and buy two dozen copies of the thing, right? You can get the Kindle version of The Other Kind of Life, or if you really have it in for trees you can buy the print version, which looks like this:

Contents: Words, punctuation, and whitespace.
Contents: Words, punctuation, and whitespace.

The print version is currently priced at $20.01. I realize that’s a lot for a paperback. Let me explain.

Currently, Amazon is offering a coupon that will give you $5 off for books over $20. We were going to put the book up for $16, but then Amazon offered this deal. If you order the book as it is now, it should offer you the chance to use coupon code “GIFTBOOK18” and you’ll get it for $15. Except, the discount comes out of Amazon’s share, not mine. Essentially, I make more and Amazon makes less, while you supposedly pay less. I tried it when ordering the copy you see above, and it worked as expected.

I’m a little nervous about this. Maybe some people will see that $20 price tag and keep scrolling because you have to click through to see the coupon. Maybe the coupon isn’t available in all regions. Obviously if you’re planning on buying more than one copy then this does you more harm than good.

I don’t know. It seemed silly to leave money on the table, particularly when that money is Amazon’s and not yours. I figure it won’t hurt to have the book like this for a week. The coupon thing runs out on the 21st of this month, at which point we’ll drop the price.

So now I anticipate you’ll have some questions:

How can I get a signed copy?

I really wanted to offer a way to order a book from me that I could sign or personalize, but I know we just don’t have time to do that right now. Heather is juggling 3 jobs, while I’m doing the blog, the stuff at the Escapist, and my end-of-year posts. You can’t half-ass something like this and I don’t want to commit to it if we can’t deliver in a timely manner.

Which version of the book makes you more money?

I think the print version makes us more money at the moment. But rather than worrying about which one makes a dollar more, if you’re really looking to help me out then leaving feedback on the book’s store page and rating the book is the way to go.

Can I get a DRM-free ePub version?

It’s on the to-do list.

What about an audiobook version?

Assuming the book sells reasonably well, I’m hoping to do an audiobook version. I’ve already read it aloud once as part of the proofing process, and it wasn’t that hard. Having said that, if we only sell twelve copies then we won’t waste time on the audio version.

How long is the book? Is it appropriate for children?

The book is 134,837 words long. The print version is 387 pages. It has naughty words like “fuck” in it, so maybe don’t read it to your kids unless that word is already in their vocabulary. There are no sex scenes, but characters do talk about sex, so don’t read it unless you’ve already had The Talk with your parents.

What’s it like? What can you tell me that’s not already on the back cover?

I’ve been calling it “cyberpunk” but a more accurate descriptor would be “tech noir” or “sci-fi noir”. It’s a mystery, but instead of asking whodunnit?, it sort of asks howdunnit, and why?

It takes place in a fictional world, which is cool because worldbuilding is kinda my thing.

BUT WHAT DO THEY EAT?

You actually visit a farm in the story, although the main character doesn’t know anything about farming so we don’t learn what’s being grown.

Some sort of food, I’d imagine.

Anything else?

I’m sure I’ll do more posts on the book in the coming weeks. Thanks for your support. I really hope you like the book.

 


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74 thoughts on “The Other Kind of Life – Book Launch

  1. SPCTRE says:

    It would appear the print version is US-only (for now?). Doesn’t seem to be available for Germany or the UK.

    I’ll get a Kindle copy on Amazon.de then for the time being :)

    1. We are having issues with it telling US it is available in all countries but….not actualy being available in all countries. Next step for me is gathering screenshots of it showing available if I go to that country site but not actually being available in the country. I already have India. If you can send me screenshots of it showing as not available that would be awesome. Here is the link it is showing me for print for UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Other-Kind-Life-Shamus-Young/dp/1790478510/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544795453&sr=8-2&keywords=other+kind+of+life+shamus+young and here is Germany’s: https://www.amazon.de/Other-Kind-Life-Shamus-Young/dp/1790478510/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544795577&sr=8-2&keywords=other+kind+of+life+shamus+young . Both show as available for me (grabbed screenshots.)

      1. Mephane says:

        The tricky bit is that for whatever reason, Amazon has made a separate website with a separate store for UK and Germany (amazon.co.uk and amazon.de). For most physical goods it is possible to order from amazon.com even from these countries (digital stuff like video streaming is often more restricted due to license deal shenanigans), but by default you are sent to their local version. When I visit amazon.com from Germany, I can see the print edition listed and even Amazon says that it does indeed ship it to Germany.

        The big problem there is the payment options on amazon.com, requiring either a credit card or a US bank account, neither of which many people, including myself, do not have over here. But in principle you can buy it through amazon.com.

        1. The links I posted are for the country specific amazon stores.

          1. Duoae says:

            I checked a couple of countries in the EU and found it available in all of them… though the “search” feature on Amazon had it pretty low down on the list each and every time. If people didn’t keep searching, they wouldn’t find it!

            https://imgur.com/a/PgcN4tZ

            This is as of today…. when I purchased the book, it was much lower down in the search rankings, despite the specific title search. :/

          2. Mephane says:

            You are right, sorry. The links kind of washed together in my eyes or brain and I thought it was one giant link to amazon.com only. My bad.

      2. Note for Amazon links–you only need to copy the link up to the part where it goes /dp/long number. The rest is information that tells Amazon where you came from and isn’t necessary to bring up the item page. That long number is the item number (ASIN, Amazon Store Identification Number) for their inventory system. You actually ONLY NEED THAT NUMBER to pull up an item, you can search it directly from the Amazon search bar instead of posting a link to the item page.

        It just makes linking to Amazon items a lot tidier and less of an unreadable headache.

        1. YEah. I usually grab the short link but sick in bed and laptop table is awkward height and hard to use and laptop is attempting to die on me, or at least the screen and the touchpad…. :P Sigh. Oh well. Link works.

      3. SPCTRE says:

        Thank you, I must’ve missed it or I was checking Amazon too early:)

      4. Fred Luciano says:

        The Kindle version is alright on Amazon Brazil (Amazon.com.br), using regional price (Brazilian Real).

    2. Gargamel Le Noir says:

      I followed Shamus’ link then clicked on a link inviting me to proceed on amazon.fr and I could buy it there, even though I couldn’t find directly from there!

  2. Michael Anderson says:

    Awesome – so excited to finally get to buy it after the many long months of hype and build up :)

  3. Chris says:

    I really enjoyed Witch Watch, so I’ll absolutely be grabbing this over the weekend.

    Also, what’s the big deal about the sex talk? You get punched or take a chainsword to the face, which causes your spores to get scattered all over the place. A few months later, up pop the babies who then go fight the humies. Simple.

    1. Bookwyrm says:

      Also, what’s the big deal about the sex talk? You get punched or take a chainsword to the face, which causes your spores to get scattered all over the place. A few months later, up pop the babies who then go fight the humies. Simple.

      This was funnier than it had any right to be.

    2. shoeboxjeddy says:

      You somehow forgot to mention the key role of both birds AND bees. This is the worst sex talk I’ve ever seen.

      1. Raglan says:

        You know ive never been able to figure out which is which. Am i a bird or a bee?

        This has bugged me longer that it has any right to, and yet ive never googled it.

    3. BlueHorus says:

      It’s the only sex act that’s approved of by both Slaanesh AND Khorne!

  4. Rod says:

    I’ve been anticipating this book for years! For decades even! I’ve been eagerly awaiting release since you started promoting it many months ago!

    Seriously, though, just bought my copy. Quite pleased!

  5. Mervyn Bickerdyke says:

    Jasper Fforde offered signed titles for e-books… just saying..

    http://www.jasperfforde.com/grey/freestuff.html
    http://jasperfforde.com/grey/ereader.html

  6. Echo Tango says:

    so don’t read it unless you’ve already had The Talk with your parents

    I feel like this should read so don’t buy it for your kids unless you’re already had The Talk with them, but maybe I’m just missing the sass / sarcasm in the post. :P

    Either way, I’m really enjoying this book; Posted on my BookFace, and will Amazon-thumb in a minute! :)

  7. Mintskittle says:

    Is there going to be a version available for the Nook e-reader?

    1. Making epub (for Nook and other)is fussy and in the works. I have the process started but I have to fix the css chapter by chapter so it will take a while. I am hoping it will be available directly from Shamus’ site by New Years. Earlier if I can manage it.

    2. BlueHorus says:

      Related question: which version is it better for Shamus that I buy?

      See, my inclination is to wait for the DRM-free version and buy that, partly because I’m not super-fond of Amazon or DRM and because – hopefully, presumably – I’ll be buying direct from you and thus you get a bigger cut/all the profit?

      But on the other hand, I suppose if a lot of people order the Amazon version, it helps your standing with Amazon when future projects come up and so forth…
      …maybe. Don’t know if this is true or not. But I suppose leaving a thumbs up/approving review helps.

      So is there a difference to you in which version I buy?

      1. Kindle is DRM free version (we never turn on DRM) but kind of a 6 one way, 1/2 dozen the other situation. If I ever manage to get the epub then that will be pure profit, since will post it available for sale here. So more immediate benefit when we do. However, Shamus is more likely to sell more books the more people purchase and give stars through Amazon. And wider distribution means more sales down the road as well.

        1. Marc Forrester says:

          As a followup to that, are there non-Amazon controlled ebook versions of Sean’s earlier books available at present? It looks like there used to be, but the links on those pages got broken somewhere in the Escape From One & One.

  8. kikito says:

    Nice! Bough the Kindle one! Now I have to charge the damn thing xD

  9. Duoae says:

    Okay, I’m a good way through the book. Ignoring what I do and don’t like about it and focussing on the points in the post:

    For the people who want a DRM-free version, there are ways of removing “kindle” ebook DRM. I didn’t bother with it on this release but have done it to format shift in the past. (Sorry, no links)

    For Shamus: providing a physical copy? Second copy sold! If you ever work out a way for me to get a signed copy then please make a blog post and I’ll send the copy to you for signing.

    While there are a few more spelling mistakes and whatnot than the average release (though I did once get the entire first half of a book repeated as the second half of the book [a fixed version was sent to me for free]), I actually think this is a better story and improved writing over Shamus’ last book. I think the pacing is better and that the protagonist/sidekick relationship works better with Shamus’ style of expository exposition. I also feel like, so far, the movement of the story works better in terms of unexpected “back-and-forths” (e.g. USA).

    1. If you save any spelling/punctuation issues as notes on kindle then share the notes with me at [email protected] gmail.com I will add them to the list and tip the fixes in next update.

      The kindle copy is technically DRM free. We always have DRM turned off on the books.) And if you import it into calibre (free program https://calibre-ebook.com/) you can export it as epub, it just isn’t pretty. That is literally what I do, and then clean up the code for the epub before release. But a lot of people just buy drm free kindle books and do that for other readers.

      1. Duoae says:

        Oh, I didn’t know you could do that! Mostly it’s ‘b’ for ‘h’ or some minor stuff. I’ll see if I can start doing that now. I’m reading on my mobile so not the best platform for editing. :)

        1. I do that for every author I read on kindle. I just select on my phone, it offers note, then add notes. Once I have read through a few times (because I do that) then I hare with author for future updates.

      2. Duoae says:

        Yeah, Calibre is what I used in the past. That even works for books with DRM as well… :/

      3. Jerebear says:

        > The kindle copy is technically DRM free. (We always have DRM turned off on the books.)

        Amazon sells DRM-free ebooks? That surprises me. Every Kindle book I’ve bought from Amazon has had DRM, and in response, I’ve stopped buying books from Amazon. Furthermore, the page for The Other Kind of Life on Amazon doesn’t mention anything about DRM or the absence thereof, which makes me inclined to believe it’s present.

        1. Author’s discretion whether turn on drm or not. We just never turn it on. And always have it available to library share. Limited space to post with Amazon book blurb so have to keep it short.

        2. Simplex says:

          I may be wrong, but I think a publisher may explicitly not want DRM and amazon accepts it.
          Similarly on Steam you can release a fully DRM-free game which does not require steam to run (i.e. you can run the exe file without steam being open and it will run).

      4. RFS-81 says:

        Thanks for letting us know! I thought Amazon ebooks just always have DRM because Amazon never says anything about DRM in the product information section.

        Maybe “Simultaneous usage of devices: No restrictions” is the tip-off…

  10. Mobius says:

    Expressing interest in an audiobook version. Provided there’s sufficient interest, I would encourage getting a professional narrator if at all possible, though. Narration quality can make a pretty surprising difference to the overall experience.

    1. Syal says:

      …ugh, now I’m going to end up reading the whole thing in the Cartman voice.

  11. Jeremiah says:

    Perfect timing! I just finished up the Takeshi Kovacs books by Richard K Morgan and was looking for some more hard sci to follow it up with and this sounds like it hits all the buttons I want a book to hit right now. Looking forward to it!

  12. Leipävelho says:

    Looks like I’ll now have to create an Amazon account.

  13. ccesarano says:

    I get paid on the 21st which is when I’ll be able to order myself a copy (maybe two so I can get my sister a book for Christmas, assuming it would arrive by Christmas Eve (not counting on it)). I just want to make sure that when you say the coupon is done on the 21st, that means the last available minute to use the coupon is Dec. 21st, 2018 11:59 PM.

  14. Bubble181 says:

    Do you still intend to drop the price? Ordering through amazon.com, I can take the discount, but there’s $8 delivery. Ordering through amazon.de, shipping is much cheaper, but I can’t use the coupon code. I’m happy to spend €20 on it, but not if the difference between that and buying it in a few weeks will all just go to amazon or the USPS and not to you ?

    1. Shamus says:

      Yes. The price will come down in a week.

      1. Bubble181 says:

        Then I hope you don’t mind the not-in-the-first-24-hours sale ;-)

        Also, I don’t know why, but the Kindle and paperback versions are listed as separate items on Amazon. This means separate reviews etc; wouldn’t it be better to have them listed as different versions of the same book? Don’t know why there’s a difference…

  15. Lee says:

    Whoops. Wish I had finished the e-book faster. Very near the end of the book, “sabotaged the breaks” should be “brakes”.

  16. Dennis says:

    Just ordered my copy, can’t wait to read it. I find it fascinating that there’s already a store trying to arbitrage your book with the Amazon coupon.

    https://i.imgur.com/uK04F2ul.png

    I’ll bet that Firehose Liquidation reports to Amazon they have a ton of stock, then if someone buys from them, they’ll order a copy using the coupon and re-ship it to the customer.

    I haven’t read the book yet, but if you figure out a way to sell signed copies I’ll buy another.

    Edit: I typo’d Firehouse Liquidation as Firehose, but I think that’s funnier name.

    1. Simplex says:

      Wow, just wow. Maybe they are applying to be a perfect example of a parasite?

  17. Redrock says:

    Will have to wait for the epub version, since my eboo reader isn’t a Kindle. Really looking forward to this. Sci-fi noir is one of my favorite genres and it’s not that easy to find novels like that after you-ve read the usual suggestions.

  18. steve? says:

    Shamus, you’ve probably already thought about this, but on the off chance you haven’t:
    I believe Brandon Sanderson sells (gives away?) “book plates” with his signature or a custom message or what-have-you. The idea is that it is just a (fancy) sticker that you can put in the book yourself. That way you can have a signed copy without having a separate logistics chain that goes from the printer to the author and then to the customer. Shipping costs are minimal because you can just mail it in an envelope.

  19. Steve C says:

    It’s a mystery, but instead of asking whodunnit?, it sort of asks howdunnit, and why?

    Oh that description has my interest. Is it like the Discworld novels with Sam Grimes? I don’t like mysteries. Yet I always enjoyed those because they were the opposite of a mystery.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        For a sharp second I thought “wait, there are more Discworld books I haven’t read?”, alas…

  20. Lino says:

    Santa’s bringing me a reader for Christmas, so I’ll wait until then to get a copy. The premise sounds very intriguing!

  21. baud says:

    I just bought it, even if I have the Witch Watch to finish first (and a pair of other books too). I just can’t leave a review, I’ve never sent enough money to Bezos yet.

    Still I’ve read the beginning and it look cool (ebook ftw!)

  22. Paul Spooner says:

    Posted to Facebook and Youtube!
    Merry Christmas!

    Oh, and here’s the review I wrote for the Amazon store page: just in case that gets lost at some point for whatever reason:

    Noir dame android helps gangster solve crime

    The city felt real, the history of it, the socio-political twists and turns. I’ve never been to Brazil, but this feels like what I would expect from visiting.
    Love the speculation on AI. The intelligence thing rang true for me.
    I’m not really into mysteries, but as far as the mystery goes, I liked it. I figured out the method early on, but had no idea about the motivation. All the clues were there, so I feel like the story is playing fair.
    The relationships all felt genuine. Especially the scenes with Clare; So perfect.
    Quite a few spots made me chuckle.
    I really felt for Max, even as he was making regrettable decisions.
    The sidekick really lounged luxuriously in the world-weary noir dame archetype, all mellowed out from cigarettes and not enough sleep.
    What more can I say? Give it a read!

  23. Kdansky says:

    Why is this only $5 on Kindle? Considering most of your buyers will be your fans, you could have asked for more. I would certainly have paid more without feeling ripped off, because you did not promise me a canvas bag.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      I’m guessing he’s simply choosing standard pricing.

      Also, expecting to only sell to already established fans is probably not much of a good business decision.

    2. Simplex says:

      If you really want to pay more, simply gift extra copies to your friends. Not only shamus will get more money, your friends may buy his other book, or recommend this book to friends. It’s a win-win-win.

  24. Abnaxis says:

    Wait…

    .. Are YOU going to narrate the audio-book? How does THAT work?

    1. Drathnoxis says:

      I’m assuming he’s going to read it into a microphone. Yahtzee narrates his own audio books and nobody’s stopped him yet.

  25. Dreadjaws says:

    Well, I really wanted the print version, but since I live outside the US that thing wouldn’t arrive home until next year, so I got the kindle one instead.

    Now, if you can make a printed version of your Mass Effect Retrospective, as you once suggested, that would be sweet.

  26. Drathnoxis says:

    Well I can’t read the book. I never had The Talk with my parents. That was public education’s job.

  27. Liessa says:

    Tried the sample, loved it, bought the Kindle version. It’s a bit weird seeing Shamus’ rather distinct writing style in something other than a blog entry, but I soon got used to it.

  28. Rick says:

    Just grabbed it and look forward to reading it. I really enjoyed The Witch Watch.

  29. Christopher Wolf says:

    Christmas gift confirmed.

  30. melted says:

    Bought it yesterday, stayed up way too late finishing it. On the whole, I really liked it!

  31. Aevylmar says:

    Having read the book, my only question is “Just how inspired by Caves of Steel were you?”

    (probably spoilers in the reply.)

    I really liked it, though I thought the mystery was a little easy to figure out. Still a lot of fun.

  32. Fripper says:

    Liked the Witch Watch, I support this site, the book was an instant buy.

  33. houiostesmoiras says:

    Bought on Amazon Smile, so a little bit goes to Médecins Sans Frontiers, so I get to support two worthy cause at once!
    (Not that Smile donates enough to make me go out and buy stuff for the sake of the donation, but if in t already buying on Amazon, why not use Smile?)

  34. backpatcher says:

    Got my copy today (paperback). I’ll share my impression below. Haven’t read all the other comments, feel free to ignore this, if it has been said before. Btw, do plan to publish more stories / sequels in this setting?

    The cover’s great. Took me a while to get used to your writing style (I believe this is my first english present-tense story). The text layout kinda irritated me, tbh.
    I guess it’s that I’m used to justified, and it was *kinda* ragged in the first chapters (feels like it got better somewhere in the middle of the book). Also, the page number of page 2 was misplaced for some reason :D

    Hope you’ll get lots sales.

  35. BespectacledGentleman says:

    Just got mine yesterday! About 60 pages in, having a great time with it. I’ve always loved the idea of cyberpunk, but I tried reading Gibson and Neal Stephenson and for both of them I never understood why anyone was doing anything. I don’t know if I’m just an idiot or have no idea how criminal interactions work, but Max’s internal monologue gives us what he’s thinking, what the other person is (probably) thinking, and how these things usually go. I’m liking it so far! Hope it keeps it up!

    It took me a second to realise it’s written in present tense. That threw me for a loop for a bit, but I think it works for the genre.

  36. Zak McKracken says:

    Can confirm that German and UK Amazon stores seem to work, and the paperback shows up as being available — when I click on “other formats”, it doesn’t show me the Kindle edition, but I do find it when searching by “title”+author … weird!

    But what I really wanted to remark: Shamus has a hat now! No author is complete without a hat, and Shamus is wearing one in his author’s portrait. Makes him look so author-y!

    …I’ll still wait for a DRM-free epub, though … sorry.

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