Apr 2012

Another Artist & Big News

Another Artist & Big News Image
Okay, so I’ll start with the big news first. I’m now published and you can all go and buy and read my material online. There’ll be a special blog entry for the book, and I’ll be adding a new section to the site, where each book will have their own page.

That should be up in the next little while. For now, though, my book is available over at the Amazon Kindle Store, and at Smashwords.

I’m still working on getting links to some of the other online stores set up, and waiting to see how the content aggregation services are going to work, but I’m not holding my breath.

In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter - I’m published! Now, please go out there and read it and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Another artist has graciously licenced their imagery to the site and for use in ebook covers, please support him:

Assumptions Go Awry

Assumptions Go Awry Image
After yesterday’s discovery that I may burn through my ISBNs much faster than expected, through a round-a-bout process today I’ve discovered that may not be the case.

In trying to do the right thing and set up accounts on each publishing site that I plan on using, I’m discovering that some either won’t deal with authors directly, and others will only deal with US-based authors. In a world that is increasingly borderless, this is quite a limited view to take, especially after I jumped through the hoops of getting an EIN set up.

So, I finally went back to an aggregator service. I had initially assessed the services to be poor, particularly with their restrictive acceptance of formats for publishing. I don’t write in Word, preferring to use Scrivener for everything from writing to composition of the final ebook. Being made to hand over a .doc for them to convert and format prior to dissemination seems unnecessarily restrictive. It is also restrictive when I have a beautifully formatted .iba book ready for the iBookstore.

The upside to this approach, however, is that they only require the single ISBN for their multiple formats (not sure how they get away with this), which is going to make my limited supply last a bit longer than it originally appeared it was going to. Now it will be one for the .mobi, .iba, and epub editions.

If I didn’t have my own collection of ISBNs to work with, then they could always give me some to use, but I think I’ll keep control over at least that little bit of the process.

Unlimited Bureaucracy

Unlimited Bureaucracy Image
It looks like the ISBNs I received yesterday aren’t going to stretch as far as I was hoping they were going to. Luckily bureaucracy has leaped in to save me from enjoying the bundle I’d been allocated.

At its most basic level, it would make sense to think that if you had x number of ISBN, then you could use them for x titles. But, that would be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Apparently, if you want to release a title on the iBookstore, Amazon, Google eBooks, or another bookstore, then you have to have a separate ISBN for each of the different formats the data will be published in. Thus, an ISBN for each of the .iba, .epub, .mobi, and .pdf versions.

Now, if some of the more advanced features of the different formats are modified - for example media is modified or added to the .iba version, then it needs a new ISBN.

For a solo author, this is beginning to look rather expensive, especially if I want to retain control over the ISBNs issued to my titles. I was wondering why the ISBN agency had options to buy them by the hundred and by the thousand - what author could possibly need that many...

Even better, the National Library wants copies of the finished work. Only, the Copyright Act detailing this requirement for printed works doesn’t cover ebooks, and there isn’t yet a cohesive approach to ebooks. A consultation paper to extend the Copyright Act to cover ebooks was only issued in March 2012, so it’s going to take some time.

The National Library will take ebook copies, but which one? One of each of the ISBN specific versions, or just one representative copy?

I'm Nearly There

I'm Nearly There Image
After absolutely no communication from the ISBN issuing agency, I had had enough of it and composed an email to them complaining of the lack of communication, receipt, order confirmation, and a couple of other things. Most importantly of all, I was pleading for them to issue my ISBN at some point.

After editing the email a couple of times to remove most of the frustration, but leave the pleading despair, I hit the send button. It was as I did this that Mail decided it would be a good time to check for new messages. I watched the little progress bar telling me my message was on its way when the unread mail indicator told me there was a new message.

It was from the ISBN issuing agency - contained within were 10 freshly minted ISBN, all for me.

Oops.

A quick apologetic email later and I hope I didn’t burn too many bridges.

Anyway, I’ve now got everything I need to start selling my books online. Expect my first title to go online within the next couple of days. It will be accompanied by its own post here on the blog.

With the lead times for iTunes account creation and acceptance, iBooks specific formats may not be available for another couple of weeks, but due to the advanced formatting options available, it will be well worth the wait for when it does get there.

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget Image
Today is ANZAC day, and while there isn’t going to be much in this entry about my writing, it is important to reflect on the massive sacrifices and terrible conflicts that have been part of conflict over the last century or so.

Tragedy, sacrifice, and the massive population shifts that accompanied widespread conflict have all helped to shape and create the modern world. Along with this have been some of the most poignant love stories ever, stories which have helped provide inspiration for some of the plots I have written.

It could be letters from a warzone, lovers forged under fire, or a tearful homecoming, but conflict helps to sharpen the other emotions and that improved response can be put to good use in crafting a story to be shared.

Today, though, the focus is on those who have come before us, and on the continued sacrifices of those who serve us now.

A Waiting Game

A Waiting Game
My fever broke last night, so that was great. The night spent in wet bedclothes as I sweated through a cold night wasn’t so great. A feverish sleep did mean that I missed my planned window for getting my EIN, so that’s delayed my iTunes account setup by a day or so.

Now, the only thing holding me up from publishing on a range of other sites (Amazon, Google, others) is waiting on an old-fashioned ISBN. It seems strange that in this age of instant gratification and always-on internet services, that procuring a new set of ISBNs would take so long.

If the delay drags out beyond the end of the week, I think I’ll give them a call for a hurry up. I double checked that the correct details were entered for the purchase, it’s just that there’s nothing by way of reply.

My first book that I’ll be putting up for sale is actually one of the most recent ones that I have written. I will ensure that there is a dedicated post for it when it gets closer to release time. With the gracious support of one of the artists mentioned in yesterday’s post, it looks a million dollars (and certainly reads like it, too).

Hopefully there’ll be more progress to report on before the end of the week, but expect that my books will be made available in epub, mobi, pdf, and iba formats, which should cover almost all reader devices and software out there.

More artists have licenced their imagery to the site and for use in ebook covers, please support the new additions:

Clouds & Their Silver Linings

Clouds & Their Silver Linings
Following on from my theme from yesterday and the desire to find artists who will be willing to licence their work, there’s been quite a bit of success. Listed below are the artists who have graciously allowed me to use their artwork, and you would have already noticed the changes across the site.

That’s the silver lining. The cloud that it belongs to is a raging fever. I woke up this morning with a horrible splitting headache and a fever pushing 40˚C. Paracetamol and rest aren’t helping much, at least as much rest as I can get while my girls are on their school holidays.

I’ve been keeping myself hydrated and trying not to do things too strenuously and it’s now time to just ride it out.

Understandably, things are going a little bit slower than I might otherwise like, but they’re still moving forward.

Please support the artists who have been kind enough to licence their imagery for use as ebook covers and on this site:

An Artist & His Art

An Artist & His Art Image
Today was an interesting day for creating art. I wrote a little bit, but spent much of it trawling through DeviantArt looking for artists who might be willing to help out with licencing images for use on this site and in assisting with creating cover compositions for my works.

To all the artists who have been supportive and welcoming, thank you. In the past I have scoured stock photography sites and have managed to create things that look mostly like what they’re meant to, but it’s pretty obvious that graphic design isn’t my strong point.

While the dive into the depths of DeviantArt has been interesting, and certainly eye-opening, things were looking like they were headed for failure (here’s to nondescript covers).

Saving the day, though, has been a couple of artists who have taken a strong interest in what I create and it’s looking promising for getting their art to cover my works. As soon as that takes place, I will be sure to thank them personally, and will publish their details on this blog so that everyone can appreciate all of their art, and not just the pieces I have identified as being cover or site appropriate.

Elsewhere in the route towards publishing, and I have to wait until Monday evening (aussie time) before applying for my EIN so that I can properly sell my works on iTunes, Amazon, and other US-based ebook sellers. Even if I get it on Monday, it’s still going to take several days for that information to be pushed so that I can actually get listed.

At least my ISBNs should be somewhere in the ether, so it’s not going to be too long before I can legitimately publish and sell my works.

Who would have thought that publishing a work in the form of an ebook would have been so involved and fraught with bureaucracy? Oh well, at least my business running skills are getting a work out after having been dormant for a couple of years.

Little Steps


Blog Image 1
It started rather humbly. Annoyed at another long period away from my love, it was laughingly suggested that I just write it down.

So I did.

When I handed it over to show what I had done, the reaction was completely not what I had expected. Even though she routinely read Romance, and had been known at times to dabble in the Erotic Romance titles, nothing had led to a reaction like this.

After another couple of stories and a short break from writing, it was picked up again, and I decided that the best way to let others read what I had written was to do that, and share it.

Welcome, then, to my writing and the images and sensations it creates. Stories will soon be appearing on iTunes, Amazon, and other good outlets for ebooks. I’m not planning on print-on-demand at the moment, as it is easy to hide what you’re reading on an ebook reader / phone / iDevice.

It’s not so easy to hide the flushed cheeks, rapid breathing and arousal that accompanies the stories, but then it wouldn’t be as fun or exhilarating.