2013

The Samurai Poet On Sale

During the winter holidays, I am offering The Samurai Poet for only $2.99 when bought directly through Smashwords (compared to $3.99-$4.99 at major online retailers of ebooks). If you don’t have a Smashwords account yet, you might be asking yourself, is it worth it just to save a dollar or two compared to iBookstore etc.? Besides the cost saving, buying direct from Smashwords gives you unlimited access to all versions of the novel, so you could load it on your iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo reader all for one price. The coupon is good from December 21, 2013 to the end of the day on January 1, 2014. Follow this link and use the code EP99Q. Enjoy!

Get Detailed Directions to Shisendo

Last year I received an e-mail from a family asking for directions to Shisendo. This message made me realize that the information I already had provided on the website was not enough for some people. As a result, one of my main goals when I visited Kyoto this summer was to take enough pictures to give visitors to my site step by step directions.

Given the accuracy of Google Street View, it is fair to ask what my set of directions adds to the mix. I have added tips and recommendations with each photo to save you time and highlight some of the best shops and secondary attractions you will encounter along the way. The one huge advantage Street View still offers, however, is the ability to walk around inside Shisendo and take a virtual tour. This cool feature is even more welcome now due to Shisendo’s new policy forbidding photography inside the building (although garden photos taken from within Shisendo itself are still permitted).

You can check out the all new Visual Directions page here. Remember to click on a thumbnail to access full-sized images and complete texts. If I have made any mistakes or left anything unclear, please contact me and I will do my best to resolve the issue.

The Samurai Poet Down Under

Given the close ties Australia and Japan share, I’m pleased to report that The Samurai Poet has been added to three Australian bookstores: Angus & Robertson, Bookworld, and Collins (yes, that’s ABC). New Zealand readers can now buy the book through Paper Plus. If you have ever spent time in Japan and enjoyed the atmosphere in Kyoto, I think you’ll enjoy my novel. Thanks for taking a chance on an unknown author.

TSP Makes it North of the Border

It took a few days, but The Samurai Poet is now available for order in Canada for all Sony Reader Store customers. The link shared on October 30 appears to take you to the American or Canadian store depending on the location it detects from your ISP, so I won’t share it twice. Double check the flag in the top right corner to ensure you’re paying in your local currency. As an added bonus, the Sony Reader Store is the only one that doesn’t mark up the price higher for Canadian customers, so you can enjoy it for $3.99!

TSP in U.S. Sony Reader Store

It might not be entirely fair to say that The Samurai Poet has finally been added to the Sony Reader Store, because I had only been regularly monitoring the Canadian website. Unlike the Apple iBookstore which brings a book live in 51 countries the day of a book’s release, it looks like either a rights issue or a corporate strategy issue prevents a book from being added to every Sony Reader Store simultaneously. So, if you own a Sony Reader in the U.S., my novel is now available here. If you are in Canada, please check back regularly, because I’ll post the link as soon as I see it becomes active.

The Samurai Poet - a Top Seller?

The Samurai Poet debuted at #3 on the Diesel eBook Store historical fiction top seller list. It has since fallen off the charts, so I’ve included a screen grab here as proof. Of course, any help putting the book back on the list would be most appreciated!The Samurai Poet Number 3 Best seller

Six More Booksellers Added

The Samurai Poet has been added to six more on-line stores in five countries. Thanks to Chapters Indigo, La Fetrinelli, fnac, Inktera, Livraria Cultura, and Versent for carrying the novel. Links to all booksellers are arranged alphabetically here.

The Samurai Poet Now Available

I couldn’t let this day pass without noting that The Samurai Poet is now on sale worldwide in ebook format. My only wish is that the novel finds its audience.

TSP Cover Added to Downloads

If you are interested in writing a review of The Samurai Poet and you need a cover image, feel free to use the one I added to the Downloads page today.

Website Reorganization

With the forthcoming release of The Samurai Poet, I realized it was time to make some changes to the website. “The Samurai Poet” page has been moved from a subheading within the Writing section into a section of its own. Rather than function as a page to sample the novel, it now provides information about the ebook and where to buy it. This change creates a more clearly defined landing page for visitors to learn more about the novel whether they are discovering via casual browsing or on-line advertising.

I have also removed the epub sample of The Samurai Poet because it contained variances from the final version. To the best of my knowledge, all ebook retailers allow you to download a significant sample of the novel so that you can make an informed decision before buying. For this reason, I encourage you to download the sample directly from one of them. I will keep an updated list on the new page.

For readers interested in the literary equivalent of DVD bonus features, an earlier version of the first chapter remains for sampling in the Writing section with the title Osaka 1615. I plan to add a “deleted scene” at a later date as well, so the overall impact of these changes will lead to more content on the website. I hope you find the site changes make sense and look forward to hearing your impressions of The Samurai Poet, be it via on-line reviews or direct contact. Thank you for your continued support.

TSP Added to Kobo

It’s hard to believe how widely The Samurai Poet will be distributed for its October 11 launch. Here are the links for Kobo Canada and Kobo Japan (Rakuten). If you reside in another country, it looks like the site will localize automatically for you. The $2.99 USD list price is also being converted at fair exchange rates (e.g. $3.09 in Canada).

TSP in iBookstore Too

The Samurai Poet is also available for pre-order in Apple’s iBookstore. Due to exchange rate differences and Apple’s round-up-to-the-next-.99 pricing policy, Canadian buyers will be charged $3.99 during the pre-order period and $4.99 when the price goes up after Canadian Thanksgiving. Sorry about the slightly higher price, but it’s beyond my control.

TSP Now Available for B&N Nook

I’ve got some great news to share about The Samurai Poet. It is now available for pre-order at the Barnes & Noble website. If you have a Nook, you can save $1 by ordering the novel before October 11. Thanks for your support.

Lots of Work on Labour Day

Yesterday was a big day in the process of publishing The Samurai Poet. The final version was submitted for conversion to the most popular ebook formats and a publication date of Friday, October 11, 2013 was set. I was going to wait a couple days before announcing these details here, but I noticed that people are already downloading samples, so it seemed like the right time to share the news.

The book will be available for the reduced price of $2.99 during the pre-order phase. On Monday, October 14, 2013 (Canadian Thanksgiving), the order to raise the price to $3.99 will be placed, after which it will take 1-5 days to be pushed through the system. As the novel is listed with each retailer, I will share the links here.

If you would like to download a sample today, please follow this link.

New Year Wishes

Happy New Year!

I would like to start the new year by thanking everyone who has visited and made use of my website this year. Being able to share some information about a well known, but sometimes overlooked Kyoto tourist destination like Shisendo gives me a lot of satisfaction. I especially appreciate all the people who took the time to share a link to any of the pages on the site. Since I fund this site from my own pocket and accept no advertising, I think of each share as a “thank you” from visitors. Even if you are not a Facebook or Twitter user, when you click the orange plus sign in the side bar, you can find over 300 sharing options, including printing and e-mail. In somewhat related news, I have also added a Twitter follow button at the bottom of the page if you would like to connect with me that way. [Edit (1/1/14): The Twitter follow button has been removed, but I’m easy to find @travisbelrose]

Thanks again, and have a fulfilling 2013.