Sunday, January 29, 2006


Sorry, I don't mean to say anything of the sort that my friends are not helping or anything. It's more like I feel like just as much an outsider with friends now as I do compared to the rest of the world. Call it the isolation, call it my fault even. I just don't have much going other than trying to get writings sold in whatever fashion I can.

For those thinking of putting out your own books, consider this... Most if not all professionals will consider what you have garbage no matter how good because you have to play the game of buying their stuff to see what they're doing so you can send to the publication they were in so the next sucker who wants to be you does the same and the money flows. It's a process that is both good and bad by turns, sometimes the same turn.

Also, if you couldn't find someone interested in the kind of story you told from the small handful of places actually publishing in your genre then obviously no one wants to read it, even if there are lots of people who would like it if they could find some place to print stuff that broke out of the mold of copying the last person who sold a story.

Vicious circles and all that. Speaking of those, so far I'm getting clicks on my Google ad again since I redid it and cranked up the prices. We'll see how long it is before I'm hobbled again and give up because I don't have hundreds a month to advertise with.

Mood: resigned
Music: The Grouch by Green Day, Vicious Circle by Quiet Riot

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thanks for Nothing Big G Double-Oh Yadda Yadda

I have to wonder if there is any point in my doing anything anymore. I obviously know no one who knows anyone who is interested in anything I could possibly ever do. Sales on the book are nearly nil. My cousin bought one, and a friend I hadn't spoken to in over 13 years bought one. The advertising with Google is a scam. I bought in with a maximum price per click low enough that I could live with and high enough to score a few thousand views every day. In two days the pricing I allowed became useless as someone, perhaps a Google employee for all I know, forced the prices up to three times higher I had received my pissing five little clicks. FIVE CLICKS and some dirt bag cut me off at the knees. Google of course has a set up worth crap that won't let you change the pricing you set. So today I deleted the campaign and redid it at a cost about eight times what I did last time. If they, whoever did it, cut me off again then Google can suck my big fat hairy ass and I'll delete everything. It's not like anyone clicks on ads anyway. 1300 views and only five clicks. Like that's worth anything. It's not like word or mouth works either. Some idiot puts up a web page saying he'd like to be a corpse on a TV show and he gets thousands of clicks a day within a week. I can't even more than two people to buy a book.

Today I was going to talk about the experience of making a PDF file of book length and what I used and how I used it. Obviously there is no point. No one is reading the blog from any indicators that I can see. So I might as well either let it sit idle or come in every couple weeks and piss and moan about how I can't get anything of any value done.

Mood: pissed

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Try to Take the Stone from my Hand

The horror! The horror! It sells! Still though it needs help. The word of mouth campaign is rolling, but every little bit helps. If you're reading this blog and you still haven't looked to see if you want to buy the book please do. If you know anyone who likes horror have them take a look. If two people each tell two other people that's four new people. If those four each talk to two more people that's eight new people. Those eight can tell sixteen just as easily. Those sixteen tell thirty-two who tell sixty-four who tell one hundred and twenty-eight who tell two hundred and fifty-six who tell five hundred and twelve who tell one thousand and twenty-four. That's all in only ten rounds of people telling their friends and associates, and no one asks more than two people. That's a total of 2,046 people in the know. Imagine if more people told more people each time! Just send them to check out my scary book ( Thank you.

Last time I left off talking about hyphenation in books. Hyphenation is an important part of the process of justifying the text on the page to make both sides appear in a straight line. It takes words that are too long and would be pushed down to the next line and splits them. The split is started with a hyphen like this one in the quotes “-”. It occurs at the point between two syllables. “Prestidigitation“ can become “Pres-tidigitation”, “Presti-digitation”, “Prestidig-itation”, “Prestidigit-ation”, depending on the length of the line that work appears on. There is a difference in some divisions between Canadian/British English spelling and American English spelling and I know that because I was asked to specify my language preference before beginning the process of hyphenation. The remainder of the hyphenated word appears at the start of the next line all on its lonesome. That's how all real books are printed.

So, with the end of that process I checked over each of the hyphenations. There was some choices it made to fiddle with because it was perfectly happy splitting the last two letters off the end of words. Though correct they look funny so I removed all of those that I could without making too much space between words. I also removed as many of the three letter splits off of the end of words. The justification makes all of the lines even by adding spaces and half spaces to a sentence. Without hyphenating that spacing can look weird. In the end I checked every line over and every hyphenation on every page. Changing one line changes all of the other lines after it until the page break that denotes the next chapter. That completed the word processing, next came PDF work.

For the PDF work I required both free-ware and paid for software. A lot of programs for free will print your document into the PDF format. However that is far as it goes. So far I have only been able to make PDF documents in the 8.5“ by 11” format of paper. This is regardless of whether or not I was able to use Microsoft Word and change the page sizes. I wrote the book on pages set at the same size of a paperback novel, approximately 4.25“ by 6.75”, to get a true feel for the page count of the book. This puts the words at text size 12 on font like Arial. To scale it up the text in the PDF comes out to text size 20. This is perfectly fine because the Acrobat PDF Reader allows you to scale the page to whatever size you feel comfortable reading. No matter what size someone reads it at the number of words on a page remains constant this way. There is some fluctuation between the two size fonts, which is why the justification and hyphenation must be done at the bigger/final size. Thus ends today's lesson, more to come... (This includes what paid PDF software I used and why.)

Mood: relaxed
Music: Tearing Down the World by Royal Hunt and House Of 1000 Corpses (Theme Song) by Rob Zombie

Monday, January 16, 2006

I Want My M S Word

After a long weekend of final touches, web design, and testing it is finally done. My first e-book is done. It is on sale at the R.M.T.P. Co. Bookstore. It is a scary short stories collection. It will be the first of what will be many books to come in the future. Some will be published by R.M.T.P. Co., and many will be produced by traditional print (hardcopy book) publishers.

Let me tell you a little bit about what goes into making your own book. First you have to have the stories to pick from. You chose the ones you want to include, maybe along a theme, maybe according to a style held between them, or maybe just the cream of the current crop. Next comes the job of re-reading them, making changes to the grammatical structure sometimes, changing a word here or there to something stronger, and general polishing. For a while it seems as if the fixes will never end. As time passes your writing voice changes, your preferences in handling things like dreaded commas changes.

It is a step you can revisit as needed, sometimes things like mistakes slip through, and other times another look ends in a different feeling about how you've phrased something. Once you're satisfied its done, for good or for the moment, then its time to fix up the formatting. The formatting is totally dependant upon the program you're using. My preference is Microsoft Word and there are two reasons why I hold it above the rest. The first reason is the ability to change the paper-size. I have EasyOffice and OpenOffice and neither supports it, though admittedly I just installed OpenOffice very recently. The other function, and this goes back to the polishing step, is the Grammar Check. The Grammar Check sees all. I used to complain it saw too many things I considered incorrect, but working without it makes me regret every complaint.

The formatting needed for the book comes in a few steps. You have to set your margins and borders on the page, determine and set a good looking indent length for your paragraphs, and set up your paragraphs in the proper manner. For Microsoft Word the paragraphs are a single code and based upon a “style”. In EasyOffice the paragraph is made up of the paragraph style and a separate indent code. No matter which program you use it seems that there will always be extra spaces in your document. They tend to congregate at the end of paragraphs. One space is no problem generally, two can lead to problems. What they do is cause unnecessary blank lines to appear. Sometimes an extra line will also appear in the middle of a paragraph because of the length of one of the lines. These all need to be sorted out after everything else is set.

Then comes the fun part. You have to set the justification. Here on the web nearly everything is left justified, that creates the “ragged” edge on the right side of the screen where each line can be a different length. Setting the page to full justify results in pages that are smooth along the edges. This is done by adding in more space between each word on a line. Sometimes it can look really obvious and that's when you have to turn on the hyphenation bit of the software. EasyOffice completely lacks this function, hence my getting OpenOffice and finding that thankfully it had it. However it's hyphenation isn't totally automatic and lacks some additional functionality that Word has. It takes the long words that normally get pushed to the next line and splits them like, well like, words are split in all manner of books.

Why am I not using Word? I had Word 97 as a part of Office 97. It was on another computer. I don't know how compatible it is with Windows XP, and the CD seems to have wandered off. I hadn't had to reinstall it since oh maybe prior to 2000. I've moved, and perhaps its still in storage somewhere. I haven't seen it and its not with my other software. Anyway, more next time...

Mood: giddy.
Music: Prowler (Soundhouse Tapes version) by Iron Maiden and Runaway by Del Shannon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rat-a-tat-tat-tat! Razzle Dazzle I am Frazzled!

Agh! I'm pulling my long beautiful hair out! It's the twelfth, I forget the last day I posted a blog, oh it was the fourth... *eyes bulge out comically*. My back was killing me for a couple days, then when it was done my stomach was trying to do me in. Then I was out on a couple house calls and trying to catch up on lost sleep. So here we are today.

The final work on the book is being done. I went out and bought a software license for a PDF editor. After looking at one program to merge documents and a second one to do all of the security stuff, each for $50 US, I finally found one that does both and some other helpful stuff for the price of only one of the other two. I bought a copy of CutePDF from, um, whoever makes it. I wasn't Globalsoft like my CuteMap program for image maps. Oh well, the program works splendidly, I still have a couple of things on it to fiddle with, but as far as the e-book I'm good to go. Where I have a problem still is changing the size of the book when it comes time to send it to a printer/POD place. I have a couple ideas and some functions to look into but that's for later.

I ran through the first half of the book today and cleaned up a couple technical problems like mysterious indents in the middle of paragraphs, and missing indents, and extra blank lines that don't belong. I also cleared up a couple typos that somehow slipped right past the spell check. I have no idea why the word “coudln't” slipped through. I just hope that this final go through will result in finding all of the remaining errors. Despite the insistence of the RPG community that all books end up with errors in them I rarely if ever find one in a novel, or what I can only call real books since so many RPGs are proud of their pathetic and unprofessional lack of editing.

The book should be ready and on sale starting this coming Monday the 16th of January. Sometime between now and then I will add to the sales page a small sample from the book. I picked one that was very indicative of what the book is like without using any kind of spoiler while still having something imagination catching and new and exciting. I am also considering putting this sample on the very first page of the book (after the cover) like they used to do in books. A browse in the library showed me that most books now have the first page blank or its filled with hype and/or review blurbs and endorsements. There's only so much hype anyone needs and I think its overdone nowadays so doing it old school appeals to me a lot. I just have to sort out what font and other sizing issues before I slap it in that first page.

The e-book itself is laid out exactly like it will be for a print run with one of the POD (Print on Demand) companies, except for the size. So there are blank pages here and there. There's a front and back cover. It has a copyright page. The back cover has a blurb about me and a picture as well as the ISBN number and the barcode version of the ISBN and a secondary barcode for the price. Watch this space for further announcements. If you don't have the sales page marked you can find it here... Scary Stories @ R.M.T.P. Co.

Mood: excitable
Music: Blackened by Metallica and Killer Queen by Queen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Looking Back While Talking Forward

Welcome to the first blog of 2006. Happy New Year!

It was a good sixth months blogging so far. Coming up with something to say, wait, scratch that, something useful to say, on such an ongoing basis is not as easy a task as some might imagine. Sure anybody can just prattle along, and some can even do it sticking with just one topic, though often enough it's the only topic they know with any sort of level of even self-authority. However, to sit and to put down a chunk of that something in a coherent matter, again and again, on a consistent basis, now that's something. Pardon me while I laugh at my own joke.

A little peek into my folder, the one where I store my blogs on my end, and I see that between when I started in August and when I ended in December tells me that I wrote 46 blog entries. Not that impressive of a number looking at it all flat like this. I somehow imagined there would be more of them. Six months, a blog roughly every four days, I would have expected more. The fact of the matter is though, that as I readily admit, my number sense and math ability suck. Doing a little dreaded math, I should have had 46 blog entries if it was every 4 days. We all know though that I did the 13 Days of Halloween thing so obviously sometimes I ran short of when I should have blogged.

Then again I started August 12th and ended December 20th, so that shaves off 20 days or 5 blogs there. 5 of the 13 that is, though 3 of the 13 belong there. That leaves 5 unaccounted for. Just call me irregular. Shut up and count my blessings that it averaged out well.

I took a little trip to the library today. Looked at one of the more recent books released by a Canadian author, got a copy of their copyright notice page for the presumably newest language. I also notice there that they also have Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing information, which leaves me scratching my head a little. If the book isn't printed then how does it have the cataloguing info in the printed book. So I'll have to look into that. I was aware that I needed to send them a copy, just not that it might be prior to actual production. Otherwise I expect my e-book to ready very soon.

I'm trying to build up word of mouth about the book. So, if you know someone who likes the scary, creepy, books full of nasty goodness then please spread the word. I intend to do some advertising with Google, and a flyer campaign around where I live perhaps. I think I'll hold off on the local news until I hit a physical/paper edition. I have considered taking the proceeds from the sale of the e-book and setting them aside for a print version. Whoever ordered the e-book could have the opportunity of getting the hardcopy for the cover price discounted by what they paid for the electronic copy.

Mood: Content.
Music: Blastin' Fast and Loud by Twisted Sister and Startin' Up A Posse by Anthrax.