Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Censorship and Smashwords

I'm not what you'd call a successful writer, but what I am is a person who does some writing. And I'll be damned straight to Hell if I would let some measly company that ought to be minding its own damn business tell me what I can and cannot write. I bet you're in the same boat and share the same opinion.

But here comes PayPal issuing a smackdown on Smashwords. That's the big issue here today. [Amazingly, no  issuance against necrophilia...maybe PayPal likes that?] And it sort of pissed me off, even though I don't write erotica or dabble in any of those arcane arts.

Then came a slight modification,  but that still doesn't give PayPal the right--IN ANY WAY--to tell authors what they can and cannot write or self-publish. Look, they don't like it, ok, I get that; but to say "We'll withhold your money from you because we don't like it" is extortion. Screw that.

But yet Smashwords still chooses to cave in to PayPal's puritan policy. And that is utter shit. No, I don't like it. No, there's nothing I can do about it.... Except one: I will not be using Smashwords or PayPal in the future. My thoughts are my own, I should not be forced to accept another persons point of view on any given topic out of some misguided fear of loss of potential revenue. Threats be damned.

Screw you, PayPal. And screw you, Smashwords, for not standing up to PayPal in the first place. You should have told them to go fuck themselves. You didn't. You are just to blame for the bullies winning.

I urge everyone to contact Smashwords and make it clear that that's unacceptable in the extreme. Me, since I don't use them currently, I won't use them in the future. That's my line in the sand.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This last week & other biz...

This last week I managed to crank out two chapters of MINIMAL, and I'm pretty stoked about that, especially since prior weeks (*ahem* months) have been dismal at best (for writing, that is.) What does this mean? It means that MINIMAL is now closer to completion--but it's not there yet--but that the muse struck again, and that makes me happy.

And...I've lined up TWO, count 'em TWO people who are willing to give the "alpha copy" the ol' once over before I do. Pretty sweet! That's even before I go over to Absolute Write and ask for Beta readers! Man, this is going pretty well.

Now onto other news...

Yes! The contest (see below posts for info) is still going on! You can enter until March 1, people. Win yourself the original, one-and-only manuscript copy of Memories of the Dead, in a contest I announced quite a while ago. Come on folks, this is a one-of-a-kind prize here! This ain't no galley or ARC we're talking about!

And other news...

Sales figures are at a standstill for Memories of the Dead, seems that unless more people are willing to review it the odds of it being lost to obscurity are rising. But there is hope. The real kick-starter is to have move stories and books available from the same author, consider it a form of cross pollination. That's what I'm trying to do with MINIMAL, but getting there is the hard part. I still have hopes to have it done this year (calendar year as opposed to some odd "fiscal year" jazz the government uses.) We'll see if I can pull it off.

Meanwhile...

Have you entered Gretchen McNeil's TEN scavenger hunt yet? No? Well why not? Dammit, get over there! You could win! And on the 24th she has her big TEN cover unveiling! [Very excited to read the new book from her (Hi, Gretchen!)] Go over to her blog (see that link? Yeah, click it!) and follow the clues, and do the deeds needed, enter, and win.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Writing time

I just found the time to write! It's been a while since I have had that luxury. Nearly 1200 words just sort of popped out. I'm pretty stoked. Perhaps this is my second wind!

Friday, February 10, 2012

What makes me pick up a book?

You know the old saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover"? Well, that's horse-hockey. That's exactly why covers are dynamic, colorful, and designed to catch the eye.

When I see a book for the first time, the very first time, I look at the cover--this tells me pretty much everything I need to know about the book in one fell swoop. Is it a romance? Sci-Fi? Historical something-or-other? It will be there, emblazoned and embossed, on the cover.

That's why there are cover artists and graphic designers, for cryin' out loud!

Now, does the pretty picture make me purchase? No. Not at all. But what it does do is make me open the book and read the synopsis and the blurbs. Those have to grab me or I put it back on the shelf; but before a book grabs me, there's the cover staring me down, challenging me, offering me insight into a new world. A world of excitement, adventure, fun, fulfillment, titillation, sadness and remorse, or joy.

All because a cover spoke to me. So, yeah, you should judge a book by the cover. I do it all the time, but that doesn't mean that every cover needs to be this explosion of events; no, there are some that will suffer from that. The imagery has to match the content.

With MINIMAL, my second (and still in progress) book, the cover will reflect the name and be--well--minimalistic. This will be a sharp divergence from the cover of Memories of the Dead, which was at least colored after a fashion. Memories of the Dead is predominately blue, akin to midnight, but not quite; and MINIMAL will be stark white with a little color (and the color being blood red.) [Side note: I haven't decided if I will attempt traditional publishing with MINIMAL or not; we're not at that state yet, and I do the designs in my head primarily to keep me thinking about the final project and also to keep me from hitting a brick wall if traditional publication doesn't come to be. At least I'm driving forward, in a manner of speaking, even if I'm just dreaming of the cover's design.]

Will it stand out? Who knows. Hope so. We'll see. I hope, more than anything, that when someone sees the cover the first thing they do is pick it up and then see what might be inside. Once the novel is in their hands, it's the synopsis and the blurbs that have to grab 'em, but I have to make it to that point--by way of the alluring cover--before anything else can happen.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Contest is still ongoing!

My Contest (see below) is still happening, folks. The deadline is in the post (March 1), and to help you out, the cost of my ebooks has been REDUCED to 99 cents until next Monday! Grab 'em while you can!

Monday, February 6, 2012

These books were ACTUALLY published

OMG, take a look at this list, will you? The covers alone speak volumes...but the titles and subject matter. Someone somewhere said to themselves, "Hey, we need a book about that!"

Buzzfeed's link to pure awesomeness.

I almost wet myself reading some of these. Hey, I wonder if they need a book about a guy who read a list and almost wet himself?... Tempting....tempting.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Famous author says "Pirate everything I've ever written." No lie.

This is an eye-opener.

I really don't know what to say....almost makes me want to pirate my own stuff.

What say you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why are e-books to expensive? A logical question, answered amazingly.

Here's the article of which I am talking.

You really, really need to read that post. I mean it. Don't buy an e-book that cost more than the physical version. Tell the publisher that their baloney doesn't fly.