I wish I were still as supple as Harley.
Heathrow airport a few hours ago. Her parents were horrified as the child squealed in delight and played in the upside down fountains.
I’ll bet there were a few stern words when this wet little bundle of joy crawled into the car.
Experts. They’re everywhere. Self-publishing experts, social media experts, writing experts… the list goes on and on.
How can you tell if someone is an expert in their field? Anyone can claim to be an expert. Not everyone who claims to be an expert is an expert. They lack credentials, experience, and sometimes integrity. They sell services to unsuspecting authors and pad their own pockets by destroying a writer’s dreams.
I know an author who paid a “professional” to edit and format her book. When she tried to upload the book, it looked a mess on Kindle. It wouldn’t pass Createspace’s review. Her “formatted” file was useless. When she asked for help in a writer’s group we both belong to, I offered to look at her file. Wow. Not only was the formatting horrible, the editing was a mess too. When I skimmed the document in an attempt to clean up…
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I’ve just finished the second edit of Three Hoodies 3, a book I finished over two years ago but never got around the publishing.
I hope it makes people laugh because it makes me giggle, but then I always did have a curious sense of humour. I plan to publish it, along with kongomato3 and Old Geezers 3 at the same time, hopefully later this year.
Here’s a bit. Sad, or Sad-case is one of the characters, named after a friend when I was a child who for some reason was known (even to his parents) as Sad-case.
‘Hah! You hope to save your solar system from certain annihilation. I suspect that you couldn’t even set your video without seeking assistance from the idiots guide. You?’ The computer paused, its smugness almost tangible. And it had that teachers’ voice. The one they put on when they’d just explained something they considered a fundamental truth. Something they’d been learning about in college for years but sprung it on you only a few seconds after the beginning of term. ‘So there.’
Again they all jumped back in panic at the sound and the shape of Derrick leaping furiously towards the computer and delivering several furious kicks and punches which merely served to hurt his fists, but at least achieved the effect of quieting that maddening voice. But clearly not enough violence to assuage his sudden thirst, Derrick then prized the entire computer from the floor, a difficult job being about the size of a small cupboard. Though it seemed that fury had lent him wings for with a noise reminiscent of innards torn being torn from a live animal, several cables snapped free, writhing about his head for a moment as if endowed with life of their own. Then lifting the huge grey box above his head with a strength none of them had ever assumed of their usually docile friend, he tossed the whole thing against the wall where it landed with an impressive bang, a shower of sparks, small puff of smoke and then silence; the whole thing now just a very expensive but otherwise useless door stop.
‘Well that wasn’t very clever, was it?’ Sarah’s quiet tone clearly illustrated her total lack of admiration at their childish behaviour ‘What do you think Gladys is going to do when she finds out what we’ve done to a presumably very expensive computer? What if it’s the one that keeps all the planets from bumping into each other?’
‘Don’t care.’ Derrick sniffed mutinously. ‘Don’t need any box of wires telling us we’re a bunch of nob-heads. Sad could do that and he’s thick.’
‘Yeah. Hey, watch it.’
Free or not free
That is the question. Or one of the questions exercising authors at the moment. Most of the arguments conclude that authors should not be giving their work away because all work should have its just rewards, and an author who does give his or her books away on Amazon is tossing another shovelful of earth onto the coffin of indie book sales. Just to be cussed, I’m going to look at the opposite argument, that the possibility to give away oodles of books is a great promotional tool.
First of all, I don’t think anybody would ever argue that giving away your one and only book makes any sense. None of the people who downloaded it while it was free are going to, you know, download a second copy once it goes back to full price. Not unless they are very strange people. The authors concerned…
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I just found this in my writing room. It might be Harley but then again it might not; there are so many different kinds of animals prowling the streets of London these days. I’m afraid to wake him/it up in case it isn’t. The last time was a very painful experience.
I must have been typing too loud because he just woke up, gave me a stern look and immediately sank back into sleep; presumably dreaming of what he’s going to eviscerate tonight.
Next time I want to come back as a moggy.
Ever since I bought this, my first word processor about 25 million years ago, I’ve always backed-up my work.
It was a cool little machine which I still have somewhere. Unfortunately the RAM is of the volatile kind, which is to say that if the batteries run out or you’re not fast enough with the mains plug, it’s all gone – forever. A real problem you fail to remember that the mains plug works on UK 240 volts while the French chalet in which you’re working has 120 volt power supply.
After losing an entire novel in this fashion I’ve always backed up everything, to the point that whenever I open the door of my writing room an avalanche of flash drives, 3½ & 5¼-inch floppies and old cassette tapes cascade about my head.
I was recently invited to write a story for a new anthology and for some unknown reason I didn’t back it up, so obviously I lost it.
After many hours I finally discovered some allegedly free recovery software that discovered the missing file but then informed that me that if I wanted it back I’d have to pay. Ten downloads later I found another program which allowed me to locate it but only after scanning (manually) 150,000 gibberish RTF files which the turned into a page of Klingon when i finally got it on the screen.
Much, much later it was back, and now I’ve decided that I’m not even going to use it.
Conclusion – I’m a complete plonker.
How would you like to win an autographed paperback? Even better, how would you like to choose WHICH paperback you win – including the Collector’s Editions and the brand new Amaranthine Files handbook? To enter all you need is a facebook account and five minutes.
As I mentioned previously, I’m hosting a Halloween party in October on Facebook. An important part of any facebook event is the banner (or cover) at the top of the page:
The one I have set now is pretty boring, and I *know* you can come up with a better one! In fact, I’m counting on it.
How To Make A Cover Image:
You can use any image editing program you want (paintbrush, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, you name it) OR you can use an online cover creator. I’ve found a few that are not only FREE but also have lots of clipart and…
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That’s right, the release of A World of Their Own is fast approaching! After years of writing and editing and planning and editing and arting and editing one more time, I’m proud to announce that the Alliance of Worldbuilders has, at long last, chosen a release date for our first anthology. Available in print and e-versions, you can get your copy on September 4.
This book is chock full of stories set in all kinds of fantastic places and featuring all kinds of creatures. It’s got angels, dragons, vampires, dwarves, and much, much more. You won’t want to miss this!
All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the World Literacy Foundation in honor of our fallen comrade, Lindsey J. Parsons. She was a fantastic author, archer, artist, and friend, and we miss her dearly.
We’re planning all sorts of fun things for the release, including
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a lot to think about
10 years ago, only one book out of every ten would succeed. And by succeed, I don’t mean bestseller. These books would earn out the advance for the author and probably get in a little more on the royalty, they would earn the publisher a small profit (yeah, not the kind of profit traditional publishing bashers say publishers make), but good enough to commission another book by the author. Occasionally, one of these “success stories” would break out and become a bestselling A-Lister. All in all, 7 or 8 out of every 10 published authors would fail. Today, with the ubiquitous self-publishing model, the number is higher it’s probably 97 or 98 out of hundred.
Yes. Only 2 or 3 out of every hundred novelists will see success. Not Patterson kind of success but “I can quit my day job” kind of success.
I am considering for this post …
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