Progress Report 5

atlantis

This might be the location. Then again it might not…

Well, I’m almost ready to begin my latest hybrid scifi/archaeological eBook. While I’ve been researching until my eyes bleed, with my brain turning to mush from all the historical and pseudo scientific information I have been digesting, not to mention reading the wild imaginings of people like Plato and others of his ilk, the hardest thing is to psych myself up to write it.

The last eBook I wrote was my scifi novella The Next Age published in October of last year. Starting a new project is not as easy as you would think, given the amount of time that has passed – almost an entire year…

As yet I have absolutely no idea how long it will be. Whether or not it winds up as a full length novel (150 – 200,000 words), or a novella (30 – 50,000 words) is entirely down to how it evolves. At the moment I am sticking with the working title History Rewritten. As I get further into it, something within the text will hopefully spark its final title.

For those of you who have been following the previous four ‘Progress’ posts, you will know that my main character will be Dr Gilbert Briggs, the new head of the fictitious UK Advanced Science Institute, which for the purposes of the story, I locate in the city of Norwich in the English county of Norfolk, barely forty miles north of where I live, here in north Suffolk.

In the short story that set me on this path, and which begins the book, Gilbert invented and built the ‘Teleportation Gate’ and the subcutaneous homing beacon. To test them out before he allowed anyone else to travel through time, he had himself sent back to 1066 and the Battle of Hastings, where his own ancestor almost succeeded in killing him.

Now all I have to do is regain my inner writing discipline. Once I get going, I’ll be fine. It’s just the act of starting that is the hard part…

;)

I Hate Animal Cruelty!

cat-vet

Yesterday while perusing Facebook I came across yet another disgusting animal cruelty post. Like our good friend Chris – The Storyreading Ape, I am totally sickened by these posts. So I thought I’d do something about it. I clicked on the top righthand corner of the post and followed the drop down menu for complaints. When asked why I wished to complain I clicked on the ‘animal cruelty‘ button. Almost immediately the offending post disappeared. That was that I naively thought.

A few hours later I received the following from Facebook via email:

Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the share you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

They couldn’t even get that right! Graphic violence? I specifically reported animal cruelty!!!

The fact that the post was provided by the Daily Mail, a leading newspaper here in the UK, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it, could it? No, perish the thought that they might upset a major daily and possibly a corporate shareholder.

Silly cynical old me…

Clearly when it comes to Facebook’s much vaunted Community Standards, they only pay lip service to it. Were you or I to post such an offensive item, you can bet your sweet life it would be deleted and we would be censured! If we continued, they would close down our account immediately.

Chances are that when I press the ‘publish’ button for this post, and it automatically appears on my own Facebook page, they will take exception to it. Well to hell with them!!!

In instances like this, Facebook is nothing more than the internet equivalent of the lowest form of gutter press when it comes to things like animal cruelty and other assorted questionable posts. It’s a pity because when it comes to keeping up with our friends, it is a brilliant medium. Do any other social media sites condone animal cruelty? Pinterest doesn’t I know. If anyone knows of a social media site with all encompassing legitimate ethics, please tell me and I’ll swap sites.

Shame on you Facebook. Do the decent thing for once, delete all animal cruelty posts.

:(

For Goodness Sake – Think Before You Act!!!

stupid-signs

I’ve said this all before on several occasions. But apparently you decided to keep on doing it anyway…

As writers, whether seasoned or a newcomer, explain to me why it is that you have totally swallowed the marketing ploy created by your publisher(s) that giving away hundreds, sometimes thousands, of copies of your books is somehow financially beneficial to you?

The only ones who benefit from your moment of completely misguided naivety, or should that be madness, is your publisher and one particularly evil, not to say tight, group of readers. I refer to those individuals who know that sooner or later you will become desperate enough (or should that be foolish enough) to decide that it is a good idea to give the product of all your hard work away for nothing! Think trolls, pedants, armchair critics and good old fashioned skinflints. Letting the first three get their hands on a free copy of your book gives them all the ammunition they need to tear apart your reputation as a writer even before you have established one! Just take a look at all of the one star reviews on sites like Amazon if you don’t believe me…

Before you join in with this idiocy, take a moment to think it through. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving away a dozen copies of an eBook online, or a dozen signed paperback copies at a book fair, or in your local book shop just once. It makes total promotional sense. Number one, with the paperback, the cost of getting that many printed is negligable. Number two, despite what eBook publishers may say, the cost of producing an eBook is practically zero. If those who got their copy from you this way like what they read, they will soon spread the word.

The nasties usually don’t attend book fairs and bookshops…

Put your thinking caps on for a moment. If instead of being a writer you were a painter, or a sculpture, would you give your work away to get yourself noticed? No, of course you wouldn’t. So why do you think that you will become popular among readers if you give away hundreds or thousands of copies of your book(s)?

Once again I ask you to think before you act. While your eBook or paperback may be free to the readers for a promotional period between two to five days, your publisher still receives a financial reward simply by delivering the copy to the readers, while you get nothing.

Let’s face it people. You decided to get your book published. You spent many months slaving over it. In a lot of cases, you spent more money than you could afford at the time having it edited as well as getting the cover made. Giving away thousands of copies will not help you recoup your financial outlay. Only real sales do that. While you may believe that it is a good idea, take it from one who knows – it isn’t! Divide the total cost of your outlay by the retail price of the book. That will give you some idea of how many copies have to be sold before you begin to see any profit in the form of royalties.

If the loss of thousands of pounds/dollars etc in the form of royalties doesn’t bother you, I give up. You are a hopeless case. I’ve mentioned all of this in previous posts. So have many other seasoned writers. Yet, each day I come across more and more writers giving away precious copies of their book, hoping to be recognised, even though they know they are playing into the hands of the literary vultures waiting in the wings, hoping to feed on the next writer’s sheer desperation.

You know that it is totally ridiculous and yet you still do it. Why? For your own sakes, not to mention your dwindling bank accounts, cease and desist! You wrote the book. Therefore you are entitled to reap any financial reward derived by its sale.

 

Why do you bother to write?

Jack Eason:

Writing is a gamble…

Originally posted on Have We Had Help?:

Have you ever thought what motivates someone to want to write?  Some write for purely business reasons and monetary gain, plus to inflate their egos, while most do not.

Personally I write the kinds of stories that I would like to read and that give me endless pleasure. If others like them as well, I look upon it as a bonus.
Will I ever be a number one best selling author – I seriously doubt it. Why? Simply put – I am not a mercenary kind of person. 
All of my life I have read and enjoyed a broad mix of literary works. Granted most of them were written by so called ‘established writers’, or to put it another way, the chosen few seen as cash cows to be milked mercilessly under contract to one or other of the ‘big six’ publishers to churn out X number of words using…

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When Will the World of Business Finally Grasp the Nettle?

Jack Eason:

I’m a firm believer in paperless billing…

Originally posted on Have We Had Help?:

A growing number of companies these days totally embrace paperless transactions and billing. 
But there are still some who persist in sending out bills and the like to our households, despite championing this completely logical solution. Unlike physically delivered bills which can get lost due to human error, paperless cannot.
If, like me you now conduct all your business dealings via the internet, you are participating in a brilliant concept. It is fast (practically instantaneous) and it saves millions by not using paper, postage and countless man hours. Even so, banks still want to charge you the customer for pressing a few buttons. In my own bank’s case I was just notified by snail mail, not email you will note, that from the 1st of December, each time I make any kind of telephone payment transaction, they will be charging me £9.50. Currently its £19.50. Fortunately I never make any…

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