Sci-Fi for those who don’t read Sci-Fi

The eBook edition of my latest novel is free today and tomorrow, February 9 &10 — an opportunity to try something completely different, whether or not you’re a follower of the genre.

Ghosts of Ancient Vidura is literary science fiction — action, adventure, and family drama against an SF landscape, with an underlying theme about what it takes to create a successful life. About the series, readers have said, “There’s nothing like it” and “Something for everybody”.

Helpful hint — If you’re not a fan of SF, the book really shifts gears in Part Two. But don’t skip. You’ll miss something important.

Elevator pitch — The year is 2025, and the aliens have arrived. Officially, not counting twenty-five-thousand years of under-the-table commerce, a secret that can no longer be kept.


On February 2, following the launch of my novel Ghosts of Ancient Vidura, I wallpapered social media and then waited for those signs of acceptance one gets when generating his own publicity.

I sold an eBook the first day, and picked up a customer on Kindle Unlimited the next.

It’s impossible to know from KENP how many readers are engaged. Amazon lists the book at 381 pages, an average based on Kindle’s various presentation formats. I see 401 pages read since yesterday. I’m not famous. Let’s agree it’s one person who read the book in two days. The KU subscription motivates readers to give up on books they don’t enjoy, so I’ll take this one as an endorsement.

And then I received a lovely message from a lady who spotted my announcement on Retalk. She’s now reading Elbert, the first book in the AjJivadi trilogy. She said, “You have an engaging style. The book is intelligent and nuanced while still being easy/fun to read.”

So, that makes three new readers and fan mail in the first week. Woohoo!

Launch Day

Ghosts of Ancient Vidura went live this morning.

An invasion tale with an original twist!

The year is 2025, and the aliens have arrived. Officially, not counting twenty-five-thousand years of under-the-table commerce, a secret that can no longer be kept.

The Space Weather forecast calls for ‘Sunny to Partly Incinerated’. An ancient starship, previously in service as a sightseeing hotel, arrives with a disaster mitigation team. Our off-world patrons say there’ll be no exchange of technology. Behind the scenes, technology is offered. Diplomacy lurches forward.

A human in Oregon experiences past-life emergence — recalling old Vidura and the science that was discovered there. In Washington DC, military authorities cook up plans to hijack spaceships. On Jivada, a sinister cabal maneuvers to rule the two planets. Millions of light years away, an unseen enemy stirs in its nest.

Meanwhile, at a furloughed missile launch site in Nevada, campsites pop up like mushrooms after a soaking rain. An AjJivadi workforce, long barred from Earth tourism, is going on vacation. The ghosts of ancient Vidura have returned.

All my titles are #kindleunlimited.

Edified — John Dyer Writes

After seven-or-so close edits, a flurry of readings, a handful of insights from a first reader, and countless additional flourishes, I thought this book might be ready. So, I worked on the cover (it needed more contrast) and ordered another three proof copies.

Then I realized I’d neglected an opportunity to describe a principal actor early in the narrative. I wrote …

The face of Henri Suraksin, Elbert’s Anye stepson, popped into augmented reality while Elbert was pulling into a parking space. Henri was Mahat Raja, a rare amalgam of the foxy lemur and bearlike lemur genotypes.

It was mid-afternoon at Henri’s location. He’d skipped lunch. Imagine a werewolf, eating donuts, washing them down with goat’s milk out of a sippy cup, appearance made even less fierce by powdered sugar on his nose. “I snuck another bodyguard into the building about an hour ago.”

If I hand out any of the proofs, I’ll have to say, “I made some changes, but it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of the book.” By then, it will almost certainly be a lie.

When one starts an eBook draft on KDP, Amazon makes the author submit the title for pre-order. I chose February 1st. It WILL be done by then.

Covered — John Dyer Writes

I suppose, now that I have a final-ish cover design for Ghosts of Ancient Vidura, the book is now officially in beta. In celebration of the event, I ordered proof copies from Amazon. On Sunday, I’ll find out what the print shop makes of it. Thereafter begins the arduous task of arranging pre-publication reviews.

I’m jealous of sword and sorcery authors. First readers line up like they’re getting a free iPhone. My wife says the material demands reading comprehension skills, but I don’t think that’s the issue. She’s a smart lady, and rarely gets past the first thirty pages.

Continue reading “Covered — John Dyer Writes”

Story Branded — John Dyer Writes

If one is to succeed as an author he must say words that will inspire readers to buy books. If this can be accomplished in one or two sentences, the author will have discovered his story brand.

So, I’ve been pestering everyone who’s read my work to wax eloquent, such that keywords might be extracted. To my surprise, a fellow author said my novel Elbert is sentimental.

I tend to agree. The storyline, set in the late 1920s, is nostalgia-inducing by default. That said, it didn’t feel like an idea I could use to describe the entire catalog.

A review of synonyms ensued. I dithered over ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘homely’. I wrote a ream of ad copy. Nothing clicked. I kept coming back to ‘sentimental’, a longing for the good old days, when everything was better, or at least seemed like it.

Even though most of my books are Science Fiction, I have to admit the word ‘sentimental’ covers a lot of ground. I’ll hold onto it for a while. In other news …

Continue reading “Story Branded — John Dyer Writes”

Animated — John Dyer Writes

I assembled a book trailer video, which you may peruse via the link below. All of the art was created by others, except the script, which is only ‘art’ in the sense that I strained myself writing it and now cannot bear to read it without editing.

Composed in DaVinci Resolve. A testament, of sorts, to what a person can learn from YouTube tutorials.

Book Trailer — Elbert: AjJivadi Book One

Plugola — John Dyer Writes

This coming October I’ll publish, I hope, a breakout novel. ‘Elbert’ is action, adventure, and family drama — a fusion you don’t often see in Science Fiction. It’s a fun ride across an unlikely landscape, a moving tale with a positive vibe.

I’m staking out my own territory with original and intelligent stories, written for thoughtful readers. ‘Elbert’ isn’t rocket ships and ray guns. It’s about challenges we face creating successful lives, a noble existence, a hopeful future.

I’m shopping for word-of-mouth publicity. If you like the pitch, follow the link. If you like what you see, please tell your followers.


John G Dyer

Undecided — John Dyer Writes

I’m wearing a mouth guard again, after grinding my teeth with sufficient force to break a molar, on account of I don’t like my new job.

I’m not talking about the writing. That’s an activity. This is about promoting myself as an author. That’s a job. The mission, if I choose to pursue it, is selling thirty thousand books a year, minimum. If I was a younger man, trying to make a living as a novelist, that would be one thing.

But I’m retired, and disinclined to seek approval. My motivation to advertise is nothing more than a nagging sense the work itself, not the author, might deserve attention. I assure you; this is not a case of superficial humility. I’m sincere.

In the grand scheme of things, there are few endeavors that really matter. Producing entertainment is not on the list. That’s one vote against shouting my name from the rooftops.

Works of fiction flow out of an author’s perspective. Stories have the power to elevate the spirit, educate, inform, inspire, and provoke thought. My books might offer some of these qualities. One vote in favor.

Publishing is a tough game. I don’t want to go back to work. If struck by illness, I won’t say, “I’m glad I spent my last days trying to sell books.” Is that three votes against? I think it is.

I write optimistic stories about places you’ll never go, people you’ll never meet, things you’ll never see. That these stories are constructive in nature is almost accidental, a reflection of what I believe, and my observations of the many ways in which individuals go about creating successful lives.

Does that make the material different enough to stand out? I don’t know. I’ve been chatting with a publicist, to whom I said, “Someone will have to convince me (the work) is remarkable”. Upon reflection, I realize that’s too much to expect. Besides, there’s no objective way to determine if my books deserve an audience, other than the option of allowing the marketplace to decide.

Oh, yeah. That’s the conundrum I’m fussing about, right now.

If you’re curious, click here. If you’re looking for a punchline, I don’t have one, else I’d already know what to do. One thing I do know is that worrying isn’t good for me. I have a sore jaw to tell me that.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: