Refunds? Really?

Okay. I’m just a bit irked about this. I was checking the revenues for my digital book sales and someone had purchased one copy of three of my books and today I see that those three copies had been refunded.  I’m not totally upset about this because I’m not totally sure what this means. At first glance, it looks like someone bought the books and hated them so much they went to the trouble of getting their .99 cents back for each copy. I mean, how vindictive can you get? If I spent 99 cents on something and wasn’t happy with it, I’d just shake it off. Going for the refund was just mean. Besides, how do you refund a digital copy? How can they be sure the purchaser has deleted the book or if they’re just scamming them out of the money?

Another theory is that it’s some weird accounting thing they do over at the Kindle store. Amazon Prime members get my books for free, so maybe it was just the chargeback for them.

I don’t know. It was just very annoying. The only bright spot was that while one person rejected my books, someone else out their purchased all four books of the Jason Of The Valley series in paperback, which I feel balances the inequity here.

Spotlight: ‘Spectrum’

This week I would like to throw the spotlight on a book of mine that actually isn’t available yet. “Spectrum” (which is due out on Nov. 5th. Available for preorder now on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-A-Novel-Jason-Melby/dp/1938191072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375209815&sr=8-1&keywords=jason+melby+spectrum

Back when I created the character waaaay back in 1993, I had a dream about my legacy. I noticed that all the comic books that featured Batman had the ‘created by’ credit for Bob Kane and I realized that he would forever be remembered for that. He would be held responsible for the grand dynasty of stories that his characters had inspired. I wanted that. I wanted that kind of recognition and so I set upon creating my own comic book character. I had intended him to be presented in a comic book in the beginning. I had put together a package of sketches and character profiles and sent them to some small press companies. I managed to get one company to get on board with it too, but the contract I had been promised never materialized.

I set Spectrum aside for a couple years until I was living up in McKinleyville and that’s where I wrote my first novel. I handwrote each page in an old notebook in my little cracker box of a room in that small Northern California town. As the years went on, I created more characters and came up with more concepts. Over 300 by last tally and I’m rather excited that I managed to stuff a few of them into the upcoming book.

I’ve always been a comic book geek at heart and Spectrum allows me to delve into that world with wild abandon. I’ve got stories about cosmic adventures and psychotic robots. I’ve even planned out a storyline involving Spectrum’s ‘death’ with, of course, his amazing return. I guess since the very beginning this is what I’ve always wanted. That’s why I’m so jealous of comic book writers. They have the perfect job in my eyes. I’d love to spend my day dreaming up those crazy stories and creating an entire mythology all my own. What I’ve done now is a good start, but there’s more in me and I really hope I’ll get the chance to show the world.

Spotlight : ‘Demon Hunters: Second Coming’

ImageThis week I throw the spotlight upon ‘Demon Hunters: Second Coming’. ASIN:B00960TL6Y for the digital or for the paper back: ISBN-1478386126. Available on Amazon.com.

In anticipation of another free offering of the first book, I would like to share some insights on the sequel. I will try not to give too much away because the first book ends with, in my humble opinion, a pretty good cliffhanger and it is resolved instantly in the second book.

First, I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a sequel but once I finished the first book I began to see the potential for deep, compelling stories within the Demon Hunters mythology. Once I began writing the second book, I was seeing how rich the material really was and I began to see further. I’ve always enjoyed writing stories that kept building the characters as it went on and I kept seeing new paths to follow with every character I introduced. I started to see their pasts mingle together and a continuity that felt as real as my own life began to take shape.

I found that as I reached the middle of the book, I had created a world where anything could happen and I was free to take the characters anywhere I wanted. I could bring them to the very brink and return them if I so chose. Demon Hunters has given me the chance to really take some big chances and the second book, I feel, exemplifies that better than the first; And that’s saying something.

At the risk of digressing too far, I’d like to mention that as I make notes for the fourth book of the series, I feel the world of Jake Corba is going to become even bigger and the other characters are going to figure in more prominently. I’m rather excited actually. There are so many more twists and turns ahead, and the seeds of those twists were being planted in the second book as well as the third, but I’m sure I’ll be talking about that one later.

That’s it for this week’s spotlight. I do however want to take a moment to tell you all that someone pointed something out to me over the weekend. I talk about my books, but embarrassingly enough, I’ve failed to tell people where they can be found. I left the ASIN and ISBN numbers for this book at the beginning of this post. As for previous books I’ve mentioned:

Demon Hunters ISBN: 1461130433

Jason Of The Valley: ISBN 147822830X or ASIN B001JEO44E for the digital version also available on Amazon.com. In fact, go to Amazon.com and put Jason K. Melby in the search engine and all of my books will come up for you.

I’d also invite anyone who buys my books to share your thoughts either here or on Amazon.com. LIke I’ve said in a previous post, I would prefer positive feedback (but who wouldn’t?) but if you must be critical, I only ask you to be constructive. We’re all friends here, after all.

Spotlight: “Jason Of The Valley”

Jason_Of_The_Valley_Cover_for_Kindle

This week’s spotlight falls upon my first novel ‘Jason Of The Valley’.

This was officially my first published book and has been the cornerstone of my writing career. It so far has spawned three sequels with a fourth on the way. Promise.

It was born from my experiences of living in the San Fernando Valley. It starts off, I feel, at the point when I began feeling my independence and through the characters, I address issues such as dating, sex, fame, and relationships. It was a fun book to write, I admit.

I tried to just throw in a small bit of myself. Only 5% of it is based on my own life. The rest is all made up, although the following volumes have started to become more autobiographical.

The first book was actually written on a dare. My friend challenged me to write it because he thought I could only write screenplays. Three months later, I shoved that manuscript in his face and  he loved it. I’ve actually gathered quite a few glowing reviews for it from others as well. The book is rather gay centric, but I think there are parts that are rather universal no matter what your orientation is. In fact, I think there’s more straight sex in the first book than gay.

I have adapted this work into other forms, such as a feature script and a pilot script. I always thought this would work really well as a TV show. The pilot was under consideration at LOGO, but they passed because they claimed that they had a similar project in production, but that was 4 or 5 years ago and I haven’t seen anything from them yet.  I’m still working on that angle to this day. I just really believe in it and I can see it becoming a reality. I see it so clearly, it feels real.

So, if you’re reading this, go on over to Amazon.com and look up Jason K. Melby and buy a copy of JOV. I am certain if you read it to the end, you will love it. 

Random Thought Of The Day

I was nosing around the web last night and discovered a comment on a page where the writer stated that she hated cats. As a cat lover myself, this disease of ‘cat-hate’ has always infuriated me. Most of the reason cat haters give for their opinion is because cats are aloof or anti-social or won’t come when they call. All I can say is that the cat’s behavior must be reacting to how it’s being treated by you because all the cats I’ve ever encountered have been affectionate, happy and extremely social. Animals are not mindless objects that obey your every command. They have minds and opinions and they will defend themselves from larger animals if they feel threatened. That includes human animals. Are you suggesting a cat has no right to fend off unwanted physical contact? That a simple, innocent living creature is on this Earth only to serve your needs? Sorry. Not the case.

This also brings me to another issue with cat-haters. How do you hate an animal? Animals are innocent and free of malice. They have no agenda, other than eating and sleeping. What did that animal do to you to earn your scorn? Did a cat steal your job? Did a cat foreclose on your home? Did a cat do anything to harm you on purpose purely out of spite? The answer would be no. If you hate an animal, cat or otherwise, you’ve got more of an issue going on in your head than dislike of that animal. I just never  have understood how someone could look upon a simple, innocent animal and feel hatred for it. Yeah, if a cat clawed me, I’d be angry, but I would never harm the poor thing. It doesn’t know what it’s doing. It’s just defending itself. What if there were a form of life bigger than humans on Earth? What would you do if one of them started poking and prodding on you? Would you roll over and take it or would you assert yourself?

If you don’t like cats, that’s your thing. Don’t adopt one and don’t deal with them, but don’t go out of your way to hurt them. No living thing should be subject to punishment simply for what it is. If you’re the kind who does abuse or enjoy harming animals, get your ass to a psychiatrist ASAP. The issue isn’t with the animal, it’s within your skull.

Spotlight “Demon Hunters”

I had the bright idea of choosing one of my books every week and to spotlight it and share a bit more about it. I might as well take the chance to spout off about it while I can.

This week I have chosen ‘Demon Hunters’ for my first spotlight. I chose it because I have employed some  promoters to push the book for the next 7 days, so I might as well do my part as well.

“Demon Hunters” is the first in a series. Currently there are two other books. A direct sequel and a kind of prequel book, but I am making notes for #4 and may start that in a month or so. “Demon Hunters” turned out to be, by my estimation, one of my most commercial friendly properties. Considering how popular supernatural fiction is these days. This series is kind of like True Blood married to Supernatural with a tongue and cheek humor infused within it. It’s also unique because to be honest, I hate zombies and vampires and all of that mess. At least the way they are today. They have been done over and over until they have become so washed out and boring, I can’t stand it. ‘DH’ is my chance to throw my spin on them all and inject some freshness and fun into them. I honor the mythology that has been set forth, but I don’t worship it. I mix in my own flavor and add to what has been established.

I love writing DH because it gives me the chance to let loose and take some HUGE chances with the story and characters, and I have taken some huge chances. The first book is split into four parts and essentially is four separate tales, but I was inspired by one of my favorite comic book writers, Mr. Grant Morrison, and each story weaves into the others and builds to a huge climax in the fourth and concluding story. It also has, what I believe, a brilliant twist at the end that brings the reader into the second book instantly.

I’m very excited about the fourth book because based on what I have already come up with, it could end up being bigger than the first and it will deepen the relationships of the characters even further. I have lots of new concepts and there are lots of seeds I’ve planted in the third book which I hope will bear fruit in the fourth.

If you haven’t already, check out Demon Hunters, as well as the other books in the series.

Thanks.