This book was originally a short story which became a novelette, and then became a novel. After editing, it has been crunched back down to Novella size, but just barely. At 75,000 words, this is considered more a pocket book, near the size of an old fashioned science fiction dime store novel, which is something I'm happy about.
This "simple story" became a thought puzzle that I came to wonder if I'd ever resolve at times. It took four times as long to write as I expected, and I feel that the result makes it worth the time and trouble. I enjoyed writing most of this book, but it was slow going.
In the end, I think there's a lot of story and character in a very small package.
Here's a synopsis:
Commander Clark Patterson and several other officers in the Freeground Military are ejected from regular service when a desire to look beyond Freeground Nation’s borders is proven by an oppressive government. They are assigned dangerous missions by a special Intelligence Oversight Group.
If Commander Patterson and his people complete these missions, they’ll gain their freedom from Oversight and have the opportunity to start over in a tumultuous galaxy. Patterson’s fascination with another crew who left Freeground years before and managed to survive serves as a destination, but will they survive to reach it?
While this book is designed to stand on its own to an extent, readers who are new to the Spinward Fringe series should start with Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins. It's available for free from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, Kobo and other eBook retailers.
When and where will The Expendable Few be released?
The Expendable Few will be released on February 29, 2012 exclusively at Smashwords.com. They can provide files for all reader types including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, iPhone, and so on.
How much will it cost?
When you download the book you will have the opportunity to choose what you'd like to pay. That's right, you can pay nothing at all, or whatever you think a fair price for an eBook is. When it appears on Amazon and other sites, it will most likely cost $2.99. The price will also go up on Smashwords after the first 30 days.
Of all the ebook retailers I've worked with, and I've worked with over twenty, they provide the best overall customer experience to my readers.
I'm only interested in buying books from retailer X, will it ever appear there?
The Expendable Few will appear on Amazon.com on March 31 for $2.99. It will start appearing at other retailers for the same price as the Smashwords distribution network gets it out there. The price ($2.99) will be the same everywhere after March 31, including Smashwords.
Writing this book has been a highly educational experience for me, and it's been a lot of fun sharing huge chunks of it with you guys. I hope you enjoy it while you wait for Broadcast 7, which I'll be working on full time until it's finished.