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Song of Myself: Gerada Aus and My Little Piece of Amazon

posted Jul 28, 2012, 10:26 PM by Douglas Sun   [ updated Jul 28, 2012, 10:28 PM ]
Originally posted: March 3, 2011

Concurrent with the publication of Gerade Aus, my companion novel for Agiliste, I did something I probably should have done a while ago just as basic self-promotion — set up my own page on Amazon Author Central. I’ve added the link to my home page, along with links to the Bushi-go site and the Agiliste site (to which Kim and I continue to add bits of content meant to sketch out the world of the game, and tantalize and intrigue thereby).

It’s a modest thing, but I’m pleased with it. For years — since long before they started selling roleplaying game books — I figured that I could say that I had made it as a writer when I saw my name on Amazon. I suppose that it was, to me, the Internet Age’s version of seeing your name in lights on a theater marquee. In fact, back when we were both working for Decipher, I used to tell Matt Colville that I envied him because the earliest CODA Star Trek RPG books — the ones that were published before I started working on the product line — were credited properly in Amazon’s listings, with all of the individual co-authors listed. Matt was always the first alphabetically, so whenever you saw one of the books, you were always going to see his name associated with it as a co-author, no matter how small the space for the listing. After I started working on Star Trek RPG (and The Lord of the Rings RPG), however, whoever did the data entry for Amazon got lazy and started to refer to us collectively, as “Decipher RPG.” So I never really got any individual credit for my RPG work on the known Universe’s largest book retailer until I started working on Legend of the Five Rings RPG, when they started breaking out individual co-authors once again. At the same time, the AEG d20 Topics books that I worked on for jim pinto started showing up on Amazon Marketplace, and they were credited properly, too. So now, I can gather all of that together in my own little corner of Amazon, and I’m happy about it.

Well, mostly happy. The remaining problem is that I still want to get proper credit for the books that don’t have my name associated with them in Amazon’s listings. When I tried to add them, however, I received polite, but firm emails in response that because my name was not linked to that book in Amazon’s database, they had no proof that I had written it, and I would have to supply them with concrete proof of my authorship if I wanted the entry changed. But... I’m right there, on the credits page!

I’d call it Kafka-esque, but it really reminds me more of a line from an old Pogo strip, from the storyline in which Porkypine’s identical-looking uncle shows up unannounced and commits all kind of mischief, for which his nephew gets blamed. Porkypine decides to leave the swamp, telling Pogo, “Eventually, ever’ man gotta face the problem of tryin’ to figger if it’s worthwhile to prove that he is himself.” I appreciate Amazon giving me my own little corner of my site, but the indignity of having to prove that I actually authored stuff that I authored is a bit... much. Instead of leaving the swamp, however, I will fight it out, dutifully scanning credits pages and emailing them in.

Author Central also gives me some space to list stuff like book tours and other such personal appearances. Instead of book signings, I suppose I’ll mention that I’ll be at the Weekend Warrior booth at the next Strategicon. There’s also a space for the RSS feed from my blog, so you can follow the link from my blog to my Author Central page... which in turn will link you back to my blog..... Cosmic.


Even as I was writing this entry, it looks like Kim Unger got Gerada Aus up on Smashwords, where you can buy it in a variety of formats, including ePub and PDF. Eventually, we’ll get it into iBooks and have it available through the iTunes store, too. If you can read Kindle ebooks, though, I would probably prefer it if you enter Amazon through the Associates link on the bottom of my home page and buy it that way. In addition to my royalties from Bushi-go, I’ll get my Amazon Associates fee, which should come to 20-30 cents per copy.... Hey, don’t knock it; that’s, like... half a candy bar.

I had fun writing Gerada Aus, and I hope it’s a fun read. It’s basically an introduction to the world in which Agiliste takes place, and its value lies mostly in its description of Claire Denali’s life and the prestigious security company for which she works, as they were in the relatively calm time before the events described by the game. If you’re interested in the game, you’ll want to savor the flavor of the novel.