Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday, 17 May 2013

Disappointed with Lulu

I use Lulu as my printer/distributor for printed books. One of their free services is called Extended Reach (well, they call it extendedREACH, with insane and pointless capitalisation). It adds your book to  bibliographic databases in the US and UK and makes your work available on Amazon. Once enabled, the data should appear in those places after 6-8 weeks.

Both my novels started out with covers designed by me, then eventually got professional covers. I wrote about Turner's cover here, and CF2K's cover here.

The new Turner cover was uploaded to Lulu in October 2012 (c. 26 weeks ago)
The new CF2K cover was uploaded to Lulu in January 2013 (c. 15 weeks ago)

Guess what? Lulu still hasn't sent that data to Amazon, which still displays the old cover. So much for '6-8 weeks' - it is now half a year since Turner got a new cover!

Amazon.co.uk - wrong print covers (image taken 2013-05-17)

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Monday, 13 May 2013

My writing bookshelf


What's on my 'writing' bookshelf? Now you know. The books on the right are the reference works I use most often, and will always be part of my writing shelf. I like to keep them nearby.

I have other shelves downstairs full of books that are reference works or inspiration for when I work on new stories in the future (including books on astronomy, deep sea fish, death metal in Norway, and the science of flight). After that those books will move on to lives in the hands of others. But my office shelf, above, will outlast them all.

If you're a writer do you have a writing bookshelf? If you're not a writer, do you have a collection of reference books of some kind?

PS I've just remembered: I have a dictionary too, but I keep that by the bed. The OED. I did try reading it from cover to cover, but am only up to letter B. The structure is logical and well thought out but the subject matter is quite random and the character development almost nonexistent, so that project ended up in hiatus.
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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The day is a Turner (ha ha)


I write because I have to, but communicating with readers is the thing that makes the afterglow enjoyable. I was a bit grumpy this morning, but then got an email from a reader who was reading both my books for a second time. It has to be a good sign. I grinned.

Then I had a wonderfully self-effacing message from someone else saying that they had finished Cold Fusion 2000 and written a review.
"Well, Karl, with the gardening already done at the weekend, with a warm glow from having just watched my lad win his football cup final, what better to do on such a sultry bank holiday afternoon than dust off a lounger, grab a cold one or two, and rattle through Cold Fusion 2000. An amateur reviewer of limited intellect can never really do justice to such a work and the craft involved, and another day would give a different take, but I've had a go and put some considered words on LibraryThing and at Goodreads."
And what a lovely review it is. I really felt that Ian 'got it', and he touches on a few elements which I hadn't mentioned before (since the CF2K FAQ is already a million pages long). It is such a nice thing when you've been able to communicate something that is in between the words, through the lines, and in the shadows of the sentences. It means you've at least partially succeeded, and by the powers of Greyskull that feels mighty. So I grinned some more and suddenly my day was better. Putting a book out there isn't the end; selling a book isn't a one-way process. So thank you to all the people who have read my books and even bigger thanks to everyone who has written reviews and rated them. One day I'll be far better known, maybe even sell some books, and if so it will be thanks to the kindness of people who took the time to read my scribblings and then even more time to think about them and champion them. I know a number of writers and I'm certain they feel the same way.

Get in touch or keep in touch
On my 'Contact' page there are details of how to find me online. It mentions my mailing list - sign up for it if you want to be told when I have a new book out. And if you use Facebook then feel free to 'Like' my page there. It's the place where I normally post reviews and news. I'll probably do some book giveaways (of other people's work!) from time to time as well.

So you'll find me here, there and everywhere, and I hope some of you stay with me on this journey.
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