freebies

Yay! Hubris Towers is Now Free!

Hi guys!

Just wanted to let you know that Hubris Towers is now free on Kindle, Kobo, and Google Play! (And cheap on Nook.) If you’ve been meaning to get around to it, now’s the time.

Also? It’s already shot up the charts to Top 5 Free in Humor & Entertainment short reads. What!? That’s crazy banana-pants!

Please go grab it, tell your friends, etc. This really means a lot to me and I’m super-excited, and I’d love to harness this opportunity to get it higher in even bigger categories to get some real visibility. I don’t like getting all sales-pitch-y, but it’s actually pretty hilarious and readers are loving it. More on that below. Click here to get it.

Much love,

—Ben

Hubris Towers Season 1, Episode 1: An Uneasy Interview Hubris Towers

★★★★★ 4.9 out of 5.0 stars

Amazon Top 5 Free in Humor & Entertainment short reads

Amazon Top 50 Free in Humor

Click here to read it FREE on Kindle!

“Luxury living at Hubris Towers: Isn’t it time you get what you really deserve?”

Comedy of manners meets comedy of errors in a new series for fans of Fawlty Towers and P. G. Wodehouse.

Readers are saying:

“had me laughing so hard that I had to put it down to catch my breath. Crafted with perfect timing, great characters, and hilarious dialog.”

“so funny and endearing”

“snappy, amusing, and lighthearted but not cheesy.”

Get it FREE on Kindle!

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So Many Cool Things! Free Book, New Site, Call for Submissions, Series Launch

Hi friends!

Sorry to go incommunicado on you. May kind of snuck up and pounced. Also I have so many cool things going on that I didn’t even know where to start, so apparently I didn’t, but that’s no way to live. So here’s a quick rundown for now.

  • The Stone and the Song is free this weekend! If you like fairy tales, lyrical writing, living(ish) statues, or stories where the heroine does as much rescuing as the hero, now’s your chance to snap it up. (Click here to get it on Amazon.)
    • Super-cool sidenote: Last weekend was the first free promo I’ve ever done. The Stone and the Song hit #1 Free in Fairy Tales within 24 hours, and stayed there until the end of the promo! This time around it’s been hovering around the Top 10 so far, even without much promotion. Also got my first reviews from strangers, I’m pretty sure, including its 10th 5-star review!
  • Pints & Prose is live! I’m one of the founding editors and art director for Pints & Prose, a Baltimore-based creative laboratory. We’ve hosted local gatherings for years, and we officially launched our online presence earlier this month. It’s a place for writers, thinkers, and creators to create great work, enjoy it together, and share it with the world. I haven’t said anything about it because I didn’t want to be premature, but it’s been super-hard to stay quiet on this one. But now we’re live, and there are already some fantastic articles up, including a piece about why sports needs villains and a couple perspectives on the recent Baltimore riots. Check it out at pintsandprose.com!
    Ben Ponders the Pocket Edition

    The pocket edition is in my actual pocket!

    • Are you creative? We’re also looking for guest contributors, so if you’ve got great creative work to share with the world, submit it here and we’ll take a look.
  • Bill and I launched our new series, Hubris Towers! I feel like I haven’t shut up about this one, so I won’t go into it at length. Short version: I think it’s one of the funniest things I’ve written lately. Early reviews seem to agree. Also the pocket edition is so cool! Learn more here or buy it on NookKobo, or Amazon (US Int’l).
    • Protip: Buy the pocket edition on Amazon and you get the Kindle edition free!

Brilliant!

I’m so grateful, as ever, to have you all along for the ride. Big things are happening, people. Leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing. I miss you.

Cheers!

—Ben

New Preview Page for The Dream World Collective (+ Hubris Towers!)

I have a couple really exciting things to share soon, but I’m exerting all of my patience to wait until they’re actually ready. In the meantime, I’ve added a new preview page for The Dream World Collective at byfaroe.com/dwc. You can get a story synopsis and read a free sample. I’ll be developing it a little more in the near future, with access to even more free chapters, so stay tuned. If you have any ideas about how to make the page prettier, more interesting, or more useful, please let me know in comments. Thanks!

Also, the first episode of Hubris Towers is rapidly approaching! So excited! It’s one of the funniest things I’ve written in a long time. Oh, man. I can’t wait. You’re going to get to meet Billiam! You’re—Ok. Patience. All will be revealed soon enough.

You can sign up for Hubris Towers updates here. Everyone on the list will get a note about a super-secret launch deal that’s going to disappear before we announce the launch publicly. So go do that thing.

Cheers!

—Ben

Friday Fiction Freebies!

The weekend is almost here! Time to grab a good book and a cup of tea (or coffee, or, as the case may be, whiskey) and settle in. To assist, here are some free books I want to share with you.

Cheers!

—Ben

The Dream World Collective

The Dream World Collective

Five friends quit their jobs to change the world. Sort of like Friends, but with more art, geekery, and tea.

Chapters 1-8: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

Chapters 9-14: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

Chapters 15-18: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

More FREE episodes posted regularly at: http://bit.ly/latestdwc


argentstar1_2cover

The Argent Star

What if your decisions affected an entire universe?

FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow!

Learn more | Get it now at Amazon

Living on the last surviving island on Earth, Ren has put herself on the path to become an archaeologist. She’s defied her father’s wishes and gone out on her own, barely keeping in contact with him as he commands an army somewhere across the universe. And it was all going well until her brother Elian discovered a planet.

Lost for centuries, Novae was thought to be a legend. It vanished years ago and since being rediscovered the Monarchy has stepped in to take over. What Ren didn’t realize was that she and Elian and their father are the chosen leaders of Novae, thanks to a scorched piece of paper that claimed her ancestor named the star Novae orbits.

With suspicion and doubt, Ren is forced leave her life on Earth to go to Novae with her estranged father and rule over the planet she doesn’t think wants her there. Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns there are insurgents hiding in the darkened forests, and her father assigns her a guardian, Sheridan; a woman with a threatening gaze and silent steps.

Now Ren is just trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what the Monarchy is planning for the planet, because she doesn’t believe that they’re on Novae for the good of the people. But going against the Monarchy means going against a government that spans across galaxies, and Ren doesn’t know if she’ll be enough.

Novae is already at civil war that gets worse with each passing day. Ren doesn’t have long before the Monarchy decides to “neutralize” the threat. Will she be able to stop the hostile takeover? Or will her actions ignite a rebellion across the universe?

Learn more | Get it now at Amazon

Author, Geek, Game-Maker

I’ve got a ton to work on today, so I’ll try to be quick, but I wanted to get you guys in on some fun ideas I’m playing around with. I love the idea of gamification—structuring regular pursuits into well-designed incentive structures with quick feedback and a sense of fun and/or competition to induce a state of flow.

I’ve been playing around with ideas for a long-running game-like system for my readers and fans and fellow writers. On the idea side, here are a couple possibilities I’m throwing around:

  • The Obvious Baseline: Players can earn points or tokens or whatever for buying and reading books, spreading the word on social media or otherwise, becoming patrons, etc. These tokens let them level up, get badges, place on leaderboards, get fun prizes, upgrade their virtual flying fortresses, or whatever.
  • The Fun Co-Op Element: Large-scale cooperative goals that let players band together to achieve milestones that will unlock new content, accelerate book launch dates, or trigger fun events or prizes for everyone.
  • The Writers’ Guild: Throw in some challenges for fellow writers. Let people earn tokens for building word count, commenting on each other’s work, publishing books, etc. Set up competitions or gentlemen’s bets where authors can go head to head or try to meet a challenging goal with tokens at stake.
  • The Monte Carlo: Set up a pretend casino and/or racetrack where players can bet their tokens on games of skill and chance whose outcomes depend on story elements or writing progress. Post odds on the outcomes of cliffhangers, the number of appearances a character will make in the next episode, or which author/project will increase most in word count.
  • The Wall Street: Let players invest their tokens in different stories or projects and give dividends as word count increases, sales rank improves, or specific milestones are reached. I find this one extra-interesting because if we set it up right it could actually start guiding production and/or predicting success.
  • The Grand Adventure: Create a series whose actual storyline depends on the game. Players who earn more tokens have more sway over the characters’ decisions and/or the success or resources of different factions or characters in the story.

On the implementation side, I was playing around today and discovered that you can set up a Google form to take information in, feed it to an online spreadsheet, have the spreadsheet make any relevant calculations or transformations, and then publish the relevant parts of the spreadsheet to the web with automatic updates.

Throwing in Google Fusion tables opens up even more powerful options. If I continue I will geek out and bore everybody to death, so I’ll leave it at that for now. Point is, that’s enough to get a basic setup for a fairly scalable interactive system with minimal setup and decent capabilities. I can work with that.

What do you think? Does this sort of thing interest you at all? If so, what sort of game would you find most engaging? Badges are fun, but I think it would be really cool to give it some real-world significance and (ideally) even take it beyond just me and my books. Any ideas?

Cheers!

—Ben

Last Chance to Pre-Order!

The Stone and the Song, coming Feb 21, 2015 (!)

The Stone and the Song, coming Feb 21, 2015 (!)

The Stone and the Song releases tomorrow!

Pre-order now before the price goes up from $0.99 to $2.99.

You can also subscribe to my new mailing list for news on upcoming projects, including a possible audiobook version in the works as we speak!

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In a world where words are power and magic is song, a voiceless girl must defeat the sorceress who betrayed her.

But soon she will find that the evil touches more lives than her own. A sculptor of near-living statues, a fakir with the power of sight, and a band of children chasing dreams in the desert all play their parts. And at the center of it all lies a heart of stone that may hold the secret of unending life.

The Stone and the Song is a story of betrayal and of sacrifice, of love and of dreams, of strength in weakness and life beyond death. Wrapped in lush imagery and poetic language, it is a tale that will draw you in again and again.

150211.0655 Stone & Song Rank - 14 FT, 9405 Overall

Pre-Order The Stone and the Song!

The Stone and the Song is available for pre-order on Kindle. Pre-order by Feb. 21 to save 66% and get it for only $0.99. Click here to pre-order now!

Pre-order by 2/21/15 and get 66% off!

The Stone and the Song, coming Feb 21, 2015 (!)

In a world where words are power and magic is song, a voiceless girl must defeat the sorceress who betrayed her.

But soon she will find that the evil touches more lives than her own. A sculptor of near-living statues, a fakir with the power of sight, and a band of children chasing dreams in the desert all play their parts. And at the center of it all lies a heart of stone that may hold the secret of unending life.

The Stone and the Song is a story of betrayal and of sacrifice, of love and of dreams, of strength in weakness and life beyond death. Wrapped in lush imagery and poetic language, it is a tale that will draw you in again and again.

Pre-order it now!