The Top Ten Reasons To Buy Pay Me, Bug!

Those of you who have visited Unexplored Horizons, my fiction site, are already familiar with the Oscar Wilde inspired, space opera/heist novel that I started publishing in serial form at the beginning of January, culminating the release of the novel, in its entirety, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and now Smashwords, with more to come.1

But hey, who are we kidding? I know exactly how large that population is, and it ain’t that big. Last year, most of you read what I was going to do, shrugged your shoulders, decided it wasn’t your thing, and gave it a pass. Which, you know, is cool–it’s your time to spend, after all, and you should spend it how you see fit.

Seriously, it’s cool. No hard feelings.

. . .

…but as long you’re here, let me take this opportunity to give you not one, not five, but ten reasons why you should consider forking over the three dollars and fifty cents (US) needed to buy Pay Me, Bug! as an eBook. I mean, you still don’t have to buy, but hey–you should at least read the top ten list, right? Who is that going to hurt?2

So without further ado: the Top Ten Reasons You Should Buy Pay Me, Bug!

One: Grif shoots first.

Not to name any names, but those of you with a certain predilection toward Space Opera and film may remember a certain original release of a landmark movie where a scruffy nerf-herder accurately sizes up the situation, sees where the conversation is going, cuts to the chase and shoots the guy he’s talking to, which forever enshrined him as a Being of Overpowering Awesome for legions of children and adults the world over. Then George Lucas3 ruined all that by having a mid-life crisis of epic proportions.

I’m not saying I was influenced by that movie, no sir, nor am I trying to suggest that the protagonist of this novel is in any way written as an homage to the character in question, but Grif Vindh, Captain of the Fool’s Errand, is not only a guy who shoots first, but he does so all the time. Further, if someone tried to suggest that he was the kind of guy who wouldn’t, he would give new meaning to the term “righteous indignation.”

Two: Hyperintelligent Bug in every copy, guaranteed.

Not only is Ktk a genderless, hyperintelligent, two-meter tall centipede with three prehensile tails instead of proper arms, it is also a hard-drinking, hard-partying smuggler who can’t win a bet to save its life. And I personally guarantee that it appears in every single copy of Pay Me, Bug! sold, with absolutely no exceptions.

Three: Tropes, Tropes, Tropes!

Don’t flinch! It’s not a bad word. Space Opera has things that make it Space Opera, and you might as well love them. Weird aliens, star-spanning empires, improbable physics… these are only a few of the glorious genre devices you’ll find within the electronic pages of this merry little tale. A more comprehensive list can be found on Pay Me, Bug!’s TVTropes page.

Four: No DRM, Creative Commons License.

Every eBook is distributed without DRM, be it for the Kindle, the Nook, or on Smashwords. Every eBook is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. That means you can copy it, give it to friends, even post it online (as long as you’re not selling it).

Which means you don’t even have to buy it–you can look for some place where it’s already posted, download it, and it’s all 100% legal–but if you do buy it, you’re supporting an artist who supports open content and open distribution.

Five: Available Internationally!

Not only can Pay Me, Bug! be bought from the main website, but it can also be purchased on Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, and Amazon France.4

Never mind that this is standard for all Kindle books! Moving on!

Six: No pictures.

Do you love Space Opera, but you’re sort of afraid to admit it around all your sophisticated, erudite Hard SF friends and peers? Do you hide Star Wars comic books in hollowed-out editions of Ben Bova-era Analog magazines?5 We all have our secret pleasures… and now, for less than the cost of a hamburger at a fast food restaurant, you can preserve the secrecy of that pleasure by purchasing a small electronic file that can be stored in a remote, unobtrusive location on a hard drive or SD card. And when you read it on your computer, phone or tablet device, I guarantee that no one will be able to look over your shoulder and tell at a glance that you are reading Space Opera.

There are no pictures!

In order to detect that you are indulging in your secret, shameful passion, they would also have to read it–which means they would be just as guilty as you are. It’s like getting your porn in a brown paper wrapper, only it’s not porn, and the paper wrapper is a bunch of words.

Seven: 115 pictures.

“WTF?” I hear you say, as you point in worldless frustration at item number Six, above. “Don’t worry,” I reply, “these aren’t real pictures. They’re only equivalent pictures.”

If a picture is worth a thousand words, you are purchasing the equivalent of 115 pictures in this eBook. That may be the closest you ever come to buying a collection of comics from me for quite a while.6

Eight: The more you buy now, the better the book does.

This is really only relevant if you actually want it to do well, which assumes you like the book, which may be a tough sell for those of you who haven’t read it… which, you might correctly point out, is the primary audience for a post dedicated to listing ten reasons why someone should buy a book they haven’t bought.

Fair enough.

Still, if you think you might like the book, and you think you might, after reading it, hope the book does well, you should consider buying it now. Why? Because the more people buy it all it once, the higher it climbs the rankings… and the higher it climbs the rankings, the more visibility it has… and the more visibility it has, the more it gets exposed to new potential readers. This can, if I am very lucky, turn into a self-perpetuating cycle.

I’m not saying I’d wind up knocking Glenn Beck off the #1 spot, or anything.7 But the more people who buy, the more likely people who haven’t bought might also be induced to buy. Or so they tell me.8

Of course, the downside of this is that if you guess wrong–if you buy the book, and then decide you absolutely hate it–you’ve still contributed to its success.

Nine: You’re Funding Sequels.

Again, this is really only relevant if you want sequels… which you don’t know that you do, yet. And to be completely honest I’m probably going to write them anyway, because they’re already in my head. That said, nothing says “encouragement” like “holy crap, look how many books I sold yesterday!”


No, I’m serious, that would be freaking awesome.

Ten: It makes a perfectly mediocre gift.

Nothing says “here, I got you something” like spending $3.50 (US) on a 600K file for someone else. On the second hand, if you’re a family that routinely buys books as gifts (like mine) then $3.50 (US) is a ridiculously cheap price for a book.

And on the gripping hand, it’s the perfect gift for someone you dislike… if you purchase it in a format for a reader they don’t own.

“Wait, you don’t own a Kindle? Oh. Ooops!”


  1. I hope. Assuming I can get a Word document to properly respond to my hand signals.
  2. In the interest of full disclosure, it may legitimately hurt anyone who is overcome with the urge to repeatedly strike themselves as a result of reading the top ten list. If you feel you might be one of those people, reading the top ten list is not generally recommended.
  3. Oops. That was a name.
  4. For some reason I haven’t sold any copies in France. This mystery might be at least partially explained by the fact that the book hasn’t actually been translated into French.
  5. Specifically, the one with his editorial on how Star Wars was an insult to self-respecting Science Fiction?
  6. Pictures are determined using standard 1000 words=1 picture conversion metric. No actual pictures are featured in product, conversion may not be applicable in all states. Reader waives any and all expectations for actual pictures by reading this text. Standard mathematical rounding issues apply, actual figure may not equal 115.
  7. Although that would awesome.
  8. “They” is, of course, an over-used and under-defined term that I will, out of respect for tradition, refrain from defining here.

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