Monday, June 28, 2010


I am happy to report that, so far, I have received two endorsements for my novel, Kestrel's Midnight Song. The second of which just arrived this morning. (Note: Receiving a novel endorsement is a great way to start your day.)

The first is from Jill Williamson, who recently WON A CHRISTY AWARD!

“Kestrel’s Midnight Song is a solid addition to the fantasy genre. Jacob Parker writes an imaginative tale, filled with adventure, mystery, and unique characters. The storylines intertwine and keep the reader turning the pages, desperate to see how it will all work out. I can’t wait to read the sequel.”
—Jill Williamson, award winning author of By Darkness Hid
The second, the one I just received this morning, is from Wayne Thomas Batson:

"Because of his youth and the genre, people will no doubt compare J.R. Parker to Christopher Paolini. I don't claim to be a prophet, but I think Parker very well could be better. Kestrel's Midnight Song is a wonderful first novel. Parker's language is quite stunning without being wordy. And his opening hook is terrific. Marauders, stolen children, haunting mystery, and ever-present danger make this a book worth reading."—Wayne Thomas Batson, bestselling author of The Door Within Trilogy, Isle of Swords, Isle of Fire, and Curse of the Spider King
Advance Reader Copies have also been sent to various review publications such as Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, etc. Getting a review from one of those is a long shot for a small press, but it's worth a try, right?

In other news, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on the editing front. In a day or two I should receive the suggested edits from the editor and will then apply them to the novel. It won't be long now before it's off to the printer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why I Canceled Everyone's Orders

For those of you who didn't notice the refund notification in your inbox, I was forced to cancel and refund everyone's orders in full. Why? Well, here's the whole headache—I mean story...

Long before the party and the explosion, I sent an email to Amazon support, asking them if I could sell pre-orders with an FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) Merchant Account. The response was, "If a book it posted as pre-order and it Merchant fulfilled, it would work as intended. If you would want to use FBA for the same, it would not work at all."

So I followed that advice. I set up a Merchant Account (in which I fulfill the orders) listed Kestrel's Midnight Song for sale, and sold pre-orders on the party day. (Thanks everyone!) has a policy for its sellers that states all products must be shipped within two business days of the order.Obviously, since I sold pre-orders, fulfilling that policy was not going to be possible. But I didn't think that was a big deal.

I was wrong.

There's a nice shiny button you get to press that "confirms shipment." I thought the button sends a message to the buyer notifying them that the order had been shipped and sends a green light to the people watching to make sure I don't steal everyone's money. So I figured if I pressed it, and then sent a message to everyone letting them know that the pre-orders would be delivered on schedule—months from then—everything would be fine.

I was wrong.

A couple days later I got an email from Amazon stating my account was being reviewed. My profits were being temporarily withheld.

I sent them an email stating what happened and that it was all a small misunderstanding.

The response was that my account was now being suspended, and that I'd committed a serious offense.

I'll spare you the details of the back and forth. It all concluded with Amazon telling me to refund everyone's orders. So I did.

I'm not sure what the original support person was thinking, but I'm at least partially to blame. My biggest mistake was my false presupposition that the deal-making would take place between me and the customers. I saw Amazon Marketplace as resembling a real marketplace. provides the location; I set up shop and sell stuff. As it turns out, it's nothing like that. Amazon closely monitors and surveys and regulates all transactions.

So, I'm very sorry for the hassle and confusion, everyone. I appreciate the support you showed in ordering lots of copies of Kestrel's Midnight Song. However, there is a bright side in all of this!


As of today, you can re-pre-order Kestrel's Midnight Song straight from my website (done securely through PayPal.) The good part about that is there's no restrictive shipping policy (in which every copy sold must include a $3.99 shipping charge) or fees. So that means the pre-order is now cheaper! $9.95 with a flat shipping charge of $2.38, no matter how many copies you order. So go re-pre-order your signed copies now! And if any new people want to join in, feel free. ;)

All original transaction deals will be honored. So, for instance, if you ordered five copies the first time, and you order at least 5 copies this second time, you still get all the free stuff you would have gotten before.

Please note that the pre-order price is temporary. The low pre-order price on Amazon was intended to be a short-time thing, and this is too.

And... oh, right. The party reschedule! It will be in July. That much is certain. I'm still waiting to hear from someone who—I just discovered—has been on vacation for a month. If you don't know what party I'm talking about, check this out. Mwahaha.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Interviews Galore

First of all, Kestrel's Midnight Song is officially the #2 most discussed book of all time on! Plus, its trailer is the #4 most popular book trailer of all time on! How cool is that?

Second, I've been interviewed a multitude of times recently...

Want to know my biggest writing pet peeve and hear about my aversion to ballroom dancing? Go to Writing it Out

Want to know my favorite fantasy book? Go to Endurance and Victory

Want to hear the plot for the first story I ever wrote? Go to Write Big

Want to discover the origin of the Aegre Bird (on the cover)? Go to Teen Inklings

Also, that same interview will be posted on Clash Entertainment on Friday.

And... last but not least (there wasn't any rhyme or reason to the order I posted) here's a link to an old interview I did at Storyteller Journey that I realize I neglected to link to.

Oh, and almost forgot, silly me... this is a link to my interview on Oprah.