Hello fine folks! For the last few weeks, I have been putting my big hairy mitts in front of a webcam and doing boring things with them like soldering electronics and carving wood.
That's because I've been doing a live stream where I build another of my Write-O-Trons to sell to the masses.
Well, I'm almost done with the stream! I usually stream on Thursdays at 6PM Pacific Time, but I missed two weeks due to engagements with school. I will be missing this week as well due to an engagement involving top hats and wine. No I won't! I'm doing a stream today EVEN THOUGH IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!
But there will be only two more! So join me on March 10th at 6PM Pacific Time for the penultimate stream! http://twitch.tv/giandroid
Let's do a quick update of my life in the last year:
Still working on the new version of Mister Mercury for the Kickstarter (Sorry, it's long overdue, but a series of editors kept dropping out due to personal conflicts. I found a new, reliable editor who will help me with the final stretch).
Still going to school, though now I have a job, which eats up even more of my free time.
Oh yeah, and I also invented an awesome personal word processor called the Write-O-Tron.
It's a simple computer powered by the Raspberry Pi- a tiny credit card-sized computer. It cannot use the internet. It cannot print. It does not have speakers. It, unfortunately, has very few functions whatsoever. It does one thing, and it does one thing well: It writes.
I got the idea from one of those really old word processors, those precursors to laptops-- you know, those things that are as portable and as useful for writing as a live Saint Bernard.
As much as Hermes might be proud of me for doing so, I cannot simply take the money given by my gracious Kickstarter backers and run.
I have to, at some point, produce a product. And though my updates on that matter have been scarce, that is exactly what I have been doing.
The current print edition of Mister Mercury is ruinously expensive. The only justification for its price is that it doubles as a billy club in tight circumstances.
That's why I had the idea for a Kickstarter. By putting money up front to buy my own ISBN and list it with Ingram myself, I will be able to sell it at an affordable price. I will even do some formatting magic and reduce its page count while increasing its font size. You won't be able to use it as a billy club anymore, but you could probably stun your attackers long enough to make a break for it.
And with the new edition, there comes a new cover!
Ah, summer vacation. When all the things you had been putting off come crashing down upon you in the space of a few short weeks, ensuring that whatever percieved break you may have envisioned was only the product of your sick, stress-starved mind.
During my summer vacation, which is over in a week's time, I made a Kickstarter for a new edition of Mister Mercury. The kickstarter will also go up in a week's time. But why did I make a Kickstarter for a book that's already out?
Well, throughout the year, since it came out in print, I have been trying to get it into book stores. The Lulu version might look great, and read very well, but it's incredibly expensive and Lulu doesn't offer a discount to book stores. So when I try to go into local book shops (which, in Portland, are about as common as fleas, because they like local EVERYTHING in Oregon), the answers they give me range from "Thanks, but no thanks," and "No way in Hell, and not in Heaven either, where there is no money and the roads are paved with gold."
My dark little corner of the internet has become, well, dark. I'm still in there, however, and if you squint, you can even see movement. Most of that movement is from doing research and typing, as I make school report after school report.
Some of that movement, however? Machinations. Conspiracies. Plots and, dare I say it, plans.
I am going to be making some personal appearences, each related to my writing, at not one, but three upcoming events.
It occurs to me that some people do not appreciate the finer points of digital skullduggery. Sure, I made a fine piracy edition of my eBook, where one can have the full book, free of charge, provided that one knows how BitTorrent works. Or that BitTorrent exists. This will allow people who can afford the book to get it through the proper channels, and for people who cannot to have means of getting it, provided they know how to install a program from the internet, and then download and open a file from that very same internet.
This was too much to presume, and I am sorry.
I am actually pretty happy with sales of the book: I have successfully covered the cost of producing it; I.E., the front cover, the back cover, the illustration inside, and the shield logo on the spine (talking about the print edition, here; the ebook has only the front cover and illustration). This without any advertising (well, maybe a little), and without having submitted it to any review sites. But I do actually want people to read it, as profit doesn't matter to me at this point (it's all up from here, baby). And you can't get a much more appealing price than free.
So for one month, the month of May, Mister Mercury is free on all eBook channels (except Amazon. I can't make it free without enrolling it in KDP select, which I can only do if I take it down from everywhere else. Since Amazon is the closest thing we have to pure and distilled evil, I will not play their game).
The print book of course can't be free, since Lulu does not use magic Giving Trees (which, as we all know, gleefully give up their wood for no money other than the price of a child's smile) to print their books. I can lower the price there, however. So I'll do that.
So if you haven't gotten the eBook yet and have a device with which to read it and no working knowledge of BitTorrent, now is your chance.
You can find all the necessary links here.
Ladies and people-who-should-have-been-banned-from-polite-society-centuries-ago, the time has come for me to make the declaration that the world of E-Reading kind of sucks.
The eBooks themselves are not at fault. Their file sizes are incredibly small, they easily transfer over the internet, and the majority of them are public domain, allowing millions of people without means to own and read digital copies of their favorite classics without having to pay a dime.
I worked hard on the Mister Mercury ebook. I made dang sure it was good and validated, that it had all its type fonts embedded, that its margins were hunky-dory, that its images were included, and that its cover was high-resolution. I was so pleased with it, I made a second, scallywag-themed version expressly for the purpose of allowing my readers to steal it if they so choose. And it paid off! It’s easy to navigate and looks beautiful on most any device it’s viewed on, unless that device happens to be a Kindle and therefore stupid.
So, the eBooks on their own are not inherently bad.
Everything else surrounding eBooks, however, is a clusterfuck.