Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's A Paperback!!!

Finally, after all of human history, my third novel, The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo is a paperback - available on Amazon.com! Yes, my friend, if you click on http://amzn.to/h9nvCu you too can own a copy ; )
Seriously, what a blast. A real, honest-to-goodness-hold-in-you-hands paperback. Can you tell I'm jazzed?
Now, to print-up bookmarks as promos and to see about a table at Worldcon in Reno.
I'm plugging away at Time Diving, and the 'hero' is really falling apart. I almost feel like writing him a break, but.... naaahhh - he deserves it. Probably finish the first draft in a couple months, at the rate I'm going.
Well, have a blessed weekend and stay warm, you northern hemispherians......

Monday, January 24, 2011

Okay, Monday....

Okay, Monday, it's your move. But, Monday, I gotta warn you - you make the first move and I make the last move - so... think about it real good and hard....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Awaiting the Next Steps

So I sit (stand, rest, etc) waiting for the two next steps in my The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo (TPN) assent. First, I'm waiting for TPN paperback t show-up on Amazon.com. This will be cool. Then I can promote its purchase widely. This is a big step. Second, I ordered 10 copies to my house, to mail off as review copies to "select" individuals (any ideas as to who's a move-and-a-shaker would be greatly appreciated). Hopefully I'll get a few good reviews in noticed site, and develop some buzz about the book. I can dream, can I not?
Both should happen any day now.
I also need to get busy placing "ads" on my three podcast novels, to promote the other two podcasts, to try and get some cross-linking of listeners.
So, to toot-my-own-horn, pat myself soundly on the back, I did something today very proactive. I live in California. The current world financial crisis has hit the state budget very hard. As a result, state-support for higher education is evaporating. Many college students I know are significantly impacted. I know one UC Davis student who was "furloughed" for the year. He had to leave school between his 3dr and 4th year, because there were "too many students enrolled." It's the budget - there are not enough dollars to support the classroom needs. Another friend of mine in junior college had to enter and lose a lottery to get a core-class she needed for 2 years. She finally got the class this semester and is getting a "A". So, what did I do to try and help? I sent a letter to the local junior college dean offering to teacher a science or health course for free. I figure if I offer a class which costs the school nothing, worthy students can proceed with their educations. I could easily teach a college-level course in biology, geology, physics, astronomy, and any health-related field. I could teach English or creative writing, but I hold no degrees in these areas, so it would probably not fly. To teach-for-pay I would need some certification. Perhaps I would not need one for freebie-work? In any case, I could easily get this (I think). If the local junior college is not interested, I will contact Sac State and then UC Davis to see if they could use me. These a dark times for post-secondary public education - hopefully I can help. It would be an honor.
The only problem I foresee instructing a class for free would be the looks I'd get from the paid-professors. I bet they'd not like me so very much ; )

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Okay, yes, I got my proof back and it looks great. I formatted-away the parts I did not like and improved a bit too! I am now ready to proceed to put it up for sale on Amazon, etc. This also means I can set up tables at conventions. I'm not too sure I will, but now I have something to peddle. Way too cool....

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's It All About - Statistics

As a child of the 60's, helped by Jude Law's remake, I have always loved the phrase, "What's it all about, Alfie?" It doesn't mean much, figuratively or actually, but it's a great tag-line, you know? So, anyway, after my last pouty-post, whining about no downloads, I went to Libsynpro ( where the master-stats for Pobiobooks.com are housed ) and ran-the-numbers. Interesting results, to say the least. I have 3 podcast novels out there: Anon Time (AT), released 8/2009, The Innerglow Effect (IGE), released 1/2010, and The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo (TPN), released 8/2010. Over the times they have been out, 4525 people have begun AT, 1425 IGE, and 3200 TPN. Finishing stats are 4500 for AT (99%), 1425 for IGE (72%), and 740 for TPN (23%). Some of the relative lowness of TPN maybe that it is still serialized, or people start it and drop it - can't say. One-percent of AT and IGE's downloads are 'so far this month', so they are still in play. Seven percent of TPN are this month. Top 2 countries for total downloads is USA and UK, not surprisingly, for IGE and TPN. For AT, however, far-and-away the most downloads are from China! 17,000 total downloads (estimated to represent 1700 individuals). The USA is second for AT.
Bottom-line: 9150 people have started my podcasts, and about 6265 people have finished the books. Actually, this is very cool! In 18 months, starting from scratch, I have entertained almost 10K folks across the globe - literally. I do wish more people left me feedback, so I could know if my works are well-considered, but the numbers are very small. I hope the lack of reviews isn't along the lines of "if you don't have anything nice to say..."
My stats on ebooks are much much lower, in the 200 total range. This is due to the fact that podcasts are more rare than print, and Podiobooks.com is a fairly well known. Advertising print is, as mentioned before, difficult.
So, for all you newbies like me, those are the stats. These are the numbers you can hope to hit. Many PB.com authors have significantly more downloads. Horror and fantasy do much better on that site than standard fiction and sci fi.
So, I will push ahead, a bit more content. I love the writing process, and if my efforts have at least some worth, and are used, then I'm good. Have a relaxing MLK Day, and spread the word, okay?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Okay, Label Me Shallow

So I get a little discouraged from time-to-time. One minute I'm up up up, the next, down down. I have recently reviewed the stats for all 3 of my Podiobooks : ( No recent downloads! I am selling a few ebooks, but not like, you know, a whole-heck-of-a-lot. The problem is advertising/getting the word out. The internet is great for getting stuff out there, but it is very hard to stand out. I try to think of ways to expose myself ( no, man, you have a perverted mind. I like that, but still, try and stay focused here ) and read others' strategies, but it is hard, approaching impossible. I'm also discouraged to see material which is somewhat or significantly inferior to mine garnering buzz or (alleged) sales. Okay, I'm shallow, like I said, call me petty, but there it is.
Not like I'm going to give-up, and I do have longer-term plans to push on, but, as Pepe Le Pue used to say, "Le sigh!"
Hence the two photos, Mighty Mouse and discouraged little me - yin and yang - Laurel and Hardy - fight and flight.
Hopefully I'll get my second proof of TPN this week and it will be a final, and then I can proceed. Don't cry for me, Argentina, but do raise a glass and toast to my publishing success. I know it's awkward of me to ask, poor taste probably, but, again, there it is ; )
Please check-out the teaser R.E. Chambliss posted for her sequel-in-progress to Dreaming of Deliverance, which was a true gem (the book, not the teaser, boy-oh-boy, are you full of spit and vinegar tonight!) http://reneewrite.blogspot.com/

Have a blessed day, a far-out tomorrow, and one kick-ass of a 2011........

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's In The Mail...

Okay then, I ordered a new proof copy of TPN from CreateSpace. We'll see if an inexperienced, untrained idiot can re-format a POD book on his second attempt. My foot's-a-tapping, standing here by the mailbox. Oh bother! Hope your day is going well.....craig

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Well, It Wasn't Easy

It wasn't easy to reformat TPN to try and fix stray lines and light fonts, but I did it! The main problem I'm encountering though this journey to publish-on-demand (POD) is that I have no idea what I'm doing. The good news is, I've never let that stop me before! Seriously, who knows how to resize Word documents and space 6 X 9 inch pages. The site I'm using does not have a template where you drop your text in and see how it looks - shuffle things about - that kind of thing. Using CreateSpace is like firing off mortar rounds - you take crude-aim, fire-one-off, and wait to see how close you didn't come to the target. They offer to do it for you for several hundred dollars, but that's a lot and I still don't know how it will turn out, how many redo's I get - that type of thing. Not easy, but, trust me, it's worth it in the end.
So, hope your weekend and new year are going well, stay tuned, and hug that person right there next to you.......

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Missed It By That Much, Chief

Well, my print version of TPN was great, by there are minor short-comings of the text. A bit light in boldness, and there are stray lines due to my formatting error. So I will tweek the formatting and resubmit - this time for sure! I'm still pleased as puch though, really cool to hold your work in your hands : )

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hot off the Press!!!

As we say now-a-days in the New Media, hip-segment of social media - SQUEEEE. I got a proof copy of TPN from CreateSpace. I have a book-book, you know, not a podcast, not code on a silicon wafer, but a book-book! I'll make it available on Amazon soon, but not possibly too soon....love ya....craig

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Onward and Downward

So I'm making hay while the sun shines, so to speak. I'm using this long rainy weekend to get a lot done on Time Diving (TD). I'm 56,000 words into it; maybe 2/3rds through, maybe a bit less. My guess is it will end up being close to 100K words. As I mentioned before, I'm intentionally writing in an unhurried expansive style, so 100K would be about the right write [ okay, 'right write' is a cheap-shot alliteration, but I wanted to take what might be my only opportunity ever to write right write, right - so please indulge me ].
I just worked through the first hard pass ( as opposed to casual first-pass ) of the segment where the protagonist, Matt, really looses touch with reality, really [ okay, I'll stop ]. He's a bad man, in the final tally. Hence the picture - a bad monkey is Matt for sure!
I hope your New Year is progressing well, here on day 2. You know what I think? Well you soon will, because you are reading my blog, and I can pontificate at will, and will ; ). I think the passing of what is technically labeled 'the old year' and the advent of what is artificially dubbed 'the new year' is an important road-stop. One can take stock. I am troubled to see so many people write "good riddance to 2010", or similar remarks. It is easy, too easy, to focus all at once on the negatives and not see the positives. Plus, the time-blocks are, as I mention, artificial, man-made constructs. I think we are all imbued with large capacities for hope and optimism, and equally burdened with dour and negative propensities. Hence, we look back on a year, label it 'bad' when it wasn't, on the whole, and set our minds to the 'new year' being "better".
It is the very same 'me' who lived last year and will [hopefully] live the next one. We are exceedingly unlikely to change our personalities, much. Therefore, how we walk the path of our lives is unlikely to change. Hence, the year will be remarkably similar to the last, and the last, etc.
My prayer for you, and most definitely for me, is to grasp that fact and try to make ourselves, and in so doing our years, better. Notice I did not say 'great'. We can realistically hope to make ourselves a little bit better. It is, I hate to be the one to say it, not possible to make ourselves great in one quick leap. So don't stress over it. Little by little, poco a poco, work on you, and the year will take care of itself. Then, 363 days form now, you can look figuratively in the mirror and say, "I did good! I'm a little bit better and that 2011, you know, I made it a little better too."
Best of luck with your homework assignments, and remember two things, always. You are in control of you - be a good boss. Second, I am your friend - that, my friend, is a mouthful of important words.
I cannot end on too somber a note, because I am a goof-ball at heart. So did you here the one about three non-carbon based aliens? So, they walk-a-late into this bar.....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Okay! No worries, world, I took proper care of that ne'er-do-well from last night. He won't be attempting to assassinate my in the foreseeable future, I can tell you for nothing. Thanks for your help (not!) and positive thought (yeah, I heard you cheering for the evil ninja, bucko, so don't deny it).
Happy 1-1-11, and remember, you're the 1..............craig