My Thoughts Exactly

Smashwords, iPad, Doctorow, Zeldman: further bumbling self-publishing adventures

Over on the Self-Publishing Review, my Adventures in Self-Publishing is still front-paged and generating some nice contact, public & private. Go me! But I’m still not rich yet. So anyway(s), as discussed, I’ve signed up with Smashwords to distribute my Acts of the Apostles. It’s been accepted into the iPad store, for which iPad-hater Cory Doctorow would give me a “boo-bad” and iPad hater-hater Jeffrey Zeldman a “way-to-go”, I expect. DOCTOROW-ZELDMAN STEEL CAGE DEATH MATCH! Or not. So long as they both keep saying nice things about my books it’s all good, as the surfers say.

So far, my Smashwords results not all that impressive: 82 downloads and zero sales.

On the other hand, the book is only available on Smashwords so far, not on Amazon or iPad. Maybe best-sellerdom is right around the corner!

Further reflections on Smashwords, iPad, OpenLaszlo, self-publishing, etc, etc, below the fold.


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My Thoughts Exactly

Entering the E-book age, kicking and screaming

So after a nearly a decade of giving away PDFs of my first two books, I’ve decided to sell them as ebooks in different formats.

The technical hassles in so doing are bigger than they should be, although most of the problems are perhaps more in my head than in the format-conversion technology.

Mainly, I’m trying to convert PDF versions of my book to MS Word .doc format.

Any help in making me un-stupid in this process would be much appreciated.

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My Thoughts Exactly

On Highest Authority from Soviet Russia: Sundman Novels “not shit Dan Brown”

So, checking my Wetmachine referer logs this morning, I found that this livejournal entry has already sent me 54 visitors. Since the page is what appeared to be (and in fact is) Russian, I turned to Google Translate, which provided this wonderful text:

A good example for the present writer can become a success John Sandmena.

This is a modern writer, he wrote great novels of an action and distributes them for free. About how this is done you can ask from him, look at the website or call in at www.wetmachine.com kickstarter.com.

In place of, say, Lukyanenko, I have started to click links kickstarter.com. Sandmen requested for the next novel 5 000 dollars. Who? Yes to all. “Kick” it just for this purpose and is intended to collect money from the crowds of internet users in all sorts of interesting initiatives.

John had something to show his readers:

novels “Acts of the Apostles” and “Developing Obama”[Ed: ????] is not shit Dan Brown. “If Brown was Sandmenom, according to Jeffrey Zeldman,” he would have realized that this thriller is far from absurd, flat and one-dimensional. “

Credit confidence Sandmenu from the Internet community for the next novel, ”Science works” expressed in the amount of U.S. $ 8 059. Slightly more than requested by the author. And how much money you need to write this novel?

Note — my final Kickstarter tally was not quite as great as the amount pledged — about $900 did not clear when presented to credit cards; plus, Kickstarter.com and clearing house Amazon.com each take cuts (including on that $900, by the way). But still, not half bad. Or as we say in Russian, according to Google Translate, недурно.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Do it yourself publlishing — R.W. Ridley style

Last week this fellow R.W. Ridley started following me on twitter after I tweeted about kindlizing The Pains. He’s a writer with a horror series called The Takers aimed at young adults. Turns out that like me, he’s a self-publisher. Like me, he’s won the Self-Published Book Award from Writer’s Digest magazine. Like me, he’s got a blog & is experimenting with kindle and various other ways of getting the word out. Unlike me, he seems to have good portions of his act together. For example his blog is streamed to his author page on Amazon. (How do he do that?) And he has a couple of other neat things, like a youtube video for his books. I have never met the fellow and haven’t read his books & so have no idea of how well he’s doing sales-wise and whether the books are any good. But I was impressed by this little audio book sample. It’s well read and well written and creepy, with nice sound effects. Check it out. And check out his website, there’s some other cool stuff there.

I also note with interest his blog posting about how this year print-on-demand titles outnumbered traditionally published titles. Wow. And then consider, there are lots of self-published books, like mine, that are not POD. (Mine are traditional offset books.) Things sure are changing in the publishing world. And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes, as the man said, but where it’s going, no one knows. . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

Painful Kindlization

Well, with the help of my esteemed collaborator and amanuensis the bon vivant man-about-town Gary Gray, I’ve put up a kindle book version of The Pains over on the website of the borg Amazon.com. IMHO the kindle version is not as cool as the paper version–among other lossage, the illustrations are all gray scale, not luminous color (or colour, as Sir Cheeseburge Brown, the illustrator, would have it) but on the other hand, at $4 a pop it’s not a bad deal.

If you have a kindle and are feeling flush, why not buy a copy? You’ll help a struggling (and I do mean struggling) genius, and also get a fun book, for less than the price of whatever you can get for $4.01.

Check it out here.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Book Review: Eric Klinenberg's Fighting For Air

Today marks the release of Eric Klinenberg’s Fighting for Air: The Battle To Control America’s Media. Timed for release with the National Conference on Media Reform, I expect attendees can pick up a copy there. Those of you who must, for whatever unfortunate reason, miss the big media ‘do in Memphis can order it from Amazon. (I have no idea if mainstream bookstores will carry it.)

Anyone who wants to understand the media reform movement should buy this book. More importantly, this is the book to give your friends and relatives so that they can understand why the media reform movement matters, and why it will succeed in transforming the media landscape despite the multi-billion dollar forces arrayed against it.

Review below . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

There's funny “ha ha” and there's funny “patheticly lame” . . . .

As anyone who watches television or movies knows, some things are outrageously funny because they hit the comedy bone just right. Other things are unintentionally funny. They come accross as so lame, so sad, so pathetic, that you can’t help but laugh.

Net Neutrality has produced some fine examples of both. No doubt I show my biases by finding many more examples of genuinely funny stuff in the pro-NN camp and many more examples of pathetically lame in the anti-NN camp. But two recent examplars absolutely stand out.

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My Thoughts Exactly

It's beginning to look a lot like Winter Gift Exchange Pretext, and everywhere you go. . .

Hello-hoh-hoh my little friends! Well it’s that “Happy Holidays” time of year, when folks of good cheer put up the Happy Holidays tree and light the Happy Holidays menorah and go shopping for gifts appropriate to the the function of acknowledging and cementing social relationships that are primarily based on kinship or affection! I love this time of year! Why, just this past weekend my own dear spouse and offspring unit #3 spent two solid days baking Happy Holidays cookies while I dug out the boxes of pagan light-capturing-and-reflecting baubles from their storage spot under the stairs ! Talk abut a cozy scene! And then yesterday it snowed. “I’m dreaming of a White Winter Gift Exchange Pretext” indeed!

In that spirit, let me do a little “Santa’s helper” bit and be so bold as to point out that nothing will brighten up your favorite technoparanoiac’s Winter Gift Exchange Pretext morning more than gift-wrapped, signed copies (more is better than fewer) of my famous , astounding, ultimate hacker, bioparanoid, did I say geeky novel Acts of the Apostles and the metafictional marvel Cheap Complex Devices? You can purchase them from Amazon — but Amazon’s supply is running low and might not be replenished in time for Flying Spahetti Monster day, (or whatever day you celebrate in your house). Why not be sure and order directly from me? (Besides, I make more money this way).

Of if you want to skip the books for whatever reason and just give me a gift to express your gratitude for my hosting Tales of the Sausage Factory, Inventing the Future, and random stuff from the rest of the wetmachiners, include our own Cowboy Neal, Gary Gray, why, just click on the “Give Me Money” button to the left. Or put a check in the mail! That works too. Please understand that selling my books is the way I pay for hosting this site, so if you dig wetmachine I would certainly appreciate the help — not to mention that the books are actually good.

And I’ll be there for Winter Gift Exchange Pretext, if only in my dreams.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Book Swap Musings

I’ve published two books that I wrote. Since doing that I’ve developed an appreciation for self-publishers and self-published books. (Would now be a good time to mention that my Acts of the Apostles won Writer’s Digest’s National

Self Published Book award, first in a field of over 300? No? It wouldn’t?)

Anyway, from time to time reports of various self-published books have caught my eye, and I’ve written to the writer/publishers to suggest a book swap. In this way I’ve grown a collection of about 20 self-published books. Some of them have been awful, none have been great, but a few have been not bad, not bad at all.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a technoparanoid thriller about nanotechnology gone amok, written by a guy about my age in Wisconsin.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Ghost Writer

I was ego surfing today when I came upon this

link to a book “Inside the Sun386i and Sun486i” by Peter Norton and, to my great astonishment, me.


Amazon lists the book as “not in stock”, but I wonder if it even exists, or ever existed. If it does exist I would certainly love to get my hands on a copy. Because I never wrote it.

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