At the end of July, Amazon.com had a summer reading sale. I don’t know the exact numbers of hard copy or e-book versions that were sold, but my ranking went from 172,000 to a high of 5,400. Sword Fighting in the Star Wars Universe was the only Star Wars title in the sale which included over 50 books of various genres. The paperback went on sale to $19.99 (from $35); the Kindle edition to $3.99 (from $15). While I only get 10% from the actual purchase price, it was also great publicity for a 4-year-old book and a chance for my friends and fans to purchase the book at a reasonable price.
Amazingly, Sword Fighting continues to sell on Amazon without any publicity, but the summer week-long sale has helped to increase sales of the book and to maintain future purchases. How? Well, when anyone on Amazon searches for a Star Wars book, my book may pop up as a suggestion in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. It is presently linked with 100 books that include mostly Star Wars fiction, but also martial art books, Star Trek, and even a nudist book. I don’t understand the last one, but it does shed a little light on the type of people who purchase my book.
The $35 price is set by my publisher McFarland Publishing. And according to their marketing scheme to libraries, that price is typical. They don’t print editions for brick-and-mortar stores so they don’t have to sell it at the typical $20 for an academic non-fiction of its type. The Kindle edition is $5 above the typical $9.99 Amazon price but that still fits with other books of its type.
Since the summer sale, the price of the paperback went back to its full price of $35, while the Kindle edition went back to its former discounted price of $15. The paperback at its expensive full price is still being purchased, but obviously my publisher sees more money to be made by selling the Kindle edition which, because of its price, outsells the paperback version.
Pricing of e-books has been a controversial issue among publishers and online sellers like Amazon. The inequity still puts the writer at a disadvantage, but the publishing world is still evolving.
Thanks, though, to everyone who purchased by book during the sale. But also a special thanks to those who are purchasing a full price paperback. You guys rock! I just hope you think you got your value’s worth. Thanks for supporting a friend, family, or a total stranger who likes Star Wars as much as you do.
News Flash Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sword Fighting in the Star Wars Universe will premiere July 24-27, 2008 at Comic-Con in San Diego. You will be able to purchase the book on site at McFarland Publishing's table in the Independent Publishers (IP) Pavillion at table 2103. Apart from the officially sponsored Star Wars Celebration, Comic-Con is by far the largest non-Lucasfilm gathering for Star Wars fans.
With the premiere of a new Star Wars digitally animated Clone Wars cartoon on August 15, 2008, this will be the biggest Star Wars event of the year.
For more information on Comic-Con icon to the left. Specific details about a possible appearance on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm is forthcoming. Notification of possible book signing will be posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at the latest.
Updated: July 21, 2008
Jamilla at L.A. Wizard Con on March 14, 2008
In cooperation with Wizard World, LAJedi.com, and Flynn of NYJedi.com, I was invited to be a judge at SaberWars held at the Sci-Fi convention at Los Angeles on March 14, 2008. It was great meeting Flynn for the first time. (I didn't know he was a "Predator" Jedi!) It was also a pleasure to meet members of the LA Jedi club. Congratulations to Cosmo who won the competition! My compliments to fellow judges Vera Vanguard and Rome Kanda.
FENCERS QUARTERLY REVIEW
The Fencers Quarterly, the premiere magazine of classical fencers (i.e. fencers who emphasize the historical, not the competitive form of Western fencing), included the following review of Shimmering Sword. While the reference that Star Wars is "shallow" might be offensive to Star Wars aficionados, the general review is spectacularly positive. An inset blurb boasts "Insight comes in many forms - not always predictably!" For the relatively narrow focus of fencing of the classicists, the mere thought that the book has new insights is extremely flattering.
Author Nick Jamilla has concocted an interesting blend of Eastern martial arts, western fencing, and George Lucas’s Star Wars. On first glance, one might think that this would be a pretty shallow subject - "Use the Force, Luke!" - but Jamilla has managed to flesh out his Star Wars material with historical, philosophical, and technical material that makes his book an interesting read.
Jamilla, it should be noted, came to the writing of Shimmering Sword with a background in aikido, kendo, and fencing, both as a competitor and a teacher.
Those enamored of the Star Wars mythos will surely be pleased with this book. Serious fencers might poo-poo it for its approach to the subject of swordplay - but insight comes in many forms, not always predictably. If one can get past the movie prejudice, there are some interesting perspectives in store for the reader of Shimmering Sword.
Reviewed by Nick Evangelista (author of numerous fencing books)Fencers Quarterly, Fall Issue, 2002, p. 23.
Jamilla is interviewed at Echo Station. A contributor to the Star Wars online magazine, Jamilla is now the subject in an interview about Shimmering Sword and other Star Wars-related subjects including: martial arts, martial arts movies, two unpublished novels, sword fighting strategy, the Jesuits and the Catholic Church, Star Wars publishing continuity, Eastern and Western religions, Yoda’s lightsaber fight, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and video games. Read the entire interview at: Fencing Lesson.
Nick Jamilla has joined Panic Struck Productions as Fight Coordinator for an independent Star Wars film entitled Revelations. Made up of a professional team drawn from along the East Coast, Director Shane Felux and Producer Dawn Cowings hope to provide an exciting short film based in the Star Wars universe created by George Lucas.
Filming has already completed in two locations: a quarry and night club. Its next shoot will take place in January 2003. The lightsaber choreography has been largely completed and will be filmed in studio in the spring of 2003.
In November, Revelation's principals began a series of Jedi training sessions at the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, DC. Instruction will include the basic Japanese and Western fencing styles as well as the empty handed martial arts of aikido, aikijujitsu, and karate. At the end of basic training, the actors and actresses will learn and refine the final lightsaber fight sequences.
The Washington Blade, a local DC newspaper, did a profile on Jamilla in their October 4, 2002 edition. It discusses his Shimmering Sword, his interest in the martial arts, and teaching the 4th grade at the Sheridan School. Click on the link at Force and the 4th.
PIERS ANTHONY POST
Prolific fantasy writer makes the following comment on his webpage:
"Nick Jamilla sent me a copy of his Shimmering Sword, a nonfiction discussion of Samurai, Western, and Star Wars sword fighting. The author is a black belt in aikido and kendo, so he's writing from a base of knowledge and experience. I once took judo classes, and authored a number of collaborative martial arts novels, so I have a notion; if you are interested in the reality beneath the Star Wars fantasy, this is a worthwhile book."
Anthony met Jamilla in 1984 at a Sci-Fi convention in Tampa, Florida. A great supporter of new writers trying to break into the fantasy writing business, Anthony is affiliated with Xlibris Press, which allows writers the opportunity to get their work published without going through the competitive publishing industry. While self-published writers bear the stigma of not being able to break into the publishing industry, it's clear that there are many more worthwhile writers than the established industry can publish. You can find his site at: www.hipiers.com/newsletter.html
ABC Interview for World News Now, broadcast at 2:30-3:30 am EST on May 16, 2002. Author Nick Jamilla was interviewed about his book Shimmering Sword.
(Updated March 19, 2008)
Shimmering Sword refers to the lightsabers of Star Wars. It's also the title of my first book.