Friday, November 30, 2012

Good Morning Belgium!

Since I'm no Robin Williams I can't make it sound like Good Morning Vietnam -- all I can do is type it.

I've noticed a major upswing in traffic from Belgium over the last month.  As in, something like 5-1 traffic from Belgium compared to the USA.  I have no idea what this means, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a good thing and not just a bot.


On another note, I'm seriously considering moving the majority  of my posts to my Google+ (Google Plus) account.  I'm considering this move to encourage, streamline, and ease participation and feedback from you guys.  Considering how much life's been getting in the way lately (including my 24 year-old pump dying this weekend and it taking until yesterday to get a replacement pump installed and wired into my old system), I'd like to do something for my readers that won't take a few months to finish up.  So, with that in mind, what do you think?  Would G+ be better for you to contact me?  Let me know!  Thanks!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Banshee Typos and a Word Count Error

I started this post with good intentions:  I had misremembered how many words were in Banshee.  As such, I am not roughly a third of the way to where I want to be prior to publication in my current project.  I found this out by opening Banshee and going for a word count. However, when I opened  the file I saw a message saying the program had an update, so I installed it.  Lo and behold, it finally had a functional spellchecker.  This spellchecker pointed out that I had not corrected all of the misspellings that I thought I had found and killed.

As a result, you will find links to the corrected version of Banshee in formats suitable for all e-readers at the conclusion of this post.

I say I started this post good intentions.  What I mean by that is that I started this post to give this information and provide the links, but instead when I opened up the website to start typing I got distracted by Conan the Destroyer on the TV.  This movie is one of the few movies that falls under the heading of so horribly awful I cannot take my eyes off it whenever it happens to be on television.  As this is a an extremely rare occurrence, I do not have a problem with it...  Aside from the problem I have with the fact that the movie is actually on and I am suffering through it, of course.  Such a shame, too.  After all, the original is a truly excellent movie.  And no, I do not want to hear about the remake.  Ever.

I may be asking for reader feedback on something in the next little bit, so keep your eyes peeled.  Thanks for reading!

Guild Files: Banshee in MOBI format for Kindle

Guild Files: Banshee in EPUB for everything else

Friday, November 16, 2012

Re: Smashwords

I've given Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Sony, etc, and their respective bookstores several months to show me improved sales figures.  They have, in a word, failed.  In fact, failure is too kind a word, but I'm not going to go into it as I've already expressed my feelings towards Smashwords in a previous blog post.

My plan is to pull the plug on December 1st. Since I'm already stuck waiting for their 1099-MISC next year (which this year they e-mailed me approximately two weeks after their legal deadline to have delivered it to me), this will hopefully prevent me from having another nightmare when it's time to pay the government for the privilege of living in this great nation.  The nightmare that was my tax experience this year finally ended earlier this week; hopefully never again.

I originally signed up for Smashwords with high hopes.  75% royalty rate for direct sales, distribution to virtually every e-book store at a fair royalty rate, and so on.  So far this year I've been paid $18.09 and am owed $13.41.  That's right, $31.50 for the first 10.5 months of the year, from virtually everywhere outside of Amazon.  For comparison, I've sold 133 copies of Subject 12 so far this month alone.  At ~$2.60 per copy, that works out to $345.80 for the month of November if I sell no other copies before the end of the month -- an occurrence I really hope doesn't happen.

In any case, thanks for the support and for putting up with my flaky update schedule from all my health issues and time constraints.  I'd hoped to have some bigger news to share by now, but it looks like what I'd hoped it would be has turned into disappointment.  If I ever know more for sure I'll fill you all in as soon as I can!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Progress Report

As the title implies, today/tonight's blog entry is a progress report of sorts.

First, progress on Guild Files: Rogue:  Stalled.  Chapter 1 is mostly done, though I'm not happy with some of it and will probably be going back with the editing mallet before I move on.

Unfortunately, with everything else I've had going on this year, progress is currently zero.  That doesn't mean I'm not planning and plotting, just that I'm not doing much, if any, actual writing in an average week.  As intense as writing Subject 12 was, I needed a long break to recoup.  That break is part of the reason for The Grand Granger, however, so it's not been a total loss.  Have no fear, Hammer, the Guild, and sundry will return -- it's just going to be a while longer.  I don't want to do you, the reader, a disservice in writing something sub-par, so I want to be really ready before I return to writing it.

Next, progress on editing Guild Files: Subject 12 in preparation for a possible print run:  Slow.  More on this following.

Finally, progress on the proposed anthology set in the Guild Files universe:  Moving along apace.

As Banshee will be part of the final production, I have to include the word count in my final tally, and I'm about halfway to my minimal goal for publication.  Best-case scenario will have it available on Amazon some time shortly after the first of the year, but as I've been having such a hard time meeting my self-imposed goals lately...  I won't put a timeline on it.  It's also very different from previous works, and I'm not 100% sure how it'll go over, so I'll be doing some testing before release.  I expect that will add about a week to the publication time, at least, barring any rewrites.

So, all that being said, I wish to apologize to you guys for failing to fulfill many of my promises.  This year has not been easy for me, but that's no real excuse.  I offer none, merely an explanation -- my health has been poor this year and my stress level has been through the roof.  Among my health issues, and I hesitate to share this because I don't want anyone thinking I'm digging for sympathy, was a medication reaction that was causing severe memory impairment:  I honestly don't remember much of September and the first half of October.  As this was when I was supposed to be working on the editing of Subject 12, I didn't get it finished and have had to put the project on hold temporarily.  I have since discontinued the medications that were causing the issue, and the replacement blood pressure medication not only has fewer side effects, it's much more effective.  Needless to say, having a foggy brain and little memory has not been helpful to my production.

I'm trying, though!  Thanks for sticking with me, I greatly appreciate it.  Feel free to ask any questions or post any comments you may have, I'll get back to you as soon as possible if I can!