WIPs, A Worry On Costs and News

Another Quick Note I

First, Shade of Evil is now listed on Sweetie Picks.  Second, following on from my chat with Matt Carter, you can learn more about Kate Wellesley, co-leader of G! with Matt, courtesy of Nancy Jardine, who also includes a quickie profile of yours truly.

A Question of Price

I receive numerous emails about the world of books and authors, plus seeing and reading many blogs from the same area.  I have noticed an increasing number of websites offering ebook services, such as formatting and publishing.  What I cannot understand is the spiralling cost of these services!  I have often mentioned that I use Jutoh, which is a commercial product.  The price is considerably lower than the cost per ebook quoted by service websites, and I know that Jutoh’s not the only option.  Couple this with services like Smashwords – which is free – and I really don’t understand how the service websites can possibly justify their charges!  More, I can only assume that such services are aimed at the most vulnerable of new authors looking to self-publish – those with no experience in the process.  I’m probably going to upset some people here, but surely there are enough potential costs without adding ‘formatting and publishing’?  Every author has to consider whether to employ an editor and cover designer, to name just two possible expenses.  I can’t help but think that the ever increasing level of profiteering and plain exploitation will drive many authors to either pursue the traditional publishing path or give up!  And who’s to say that we won’t lose a Tolkien, or King, or Steinbeck?  What a shame that would be.

Another Quick Note II

Yesterday, I posted a new poem.  It’s a slightly odd look at ebooks and whether they have a real future in a world where technology changes so rapidly.

WIPs and Futures

The two current WIPs.  The new Thief series short story is i abeyance – the story I stated just didn’t pan out, so I’ve got to think about what to try next.  The new G1: The Guardians series story, on the other hand, is not only progressing very well, it’s already past 30,000 words!  I’m not giving out even its working title, as that would be something of a giveaway.  I’m hoping that any fans of the series, and the characters, will find the story more satisfying, with more character-driven episodes.  I’m also hoping that it might attract lovers of thrillers and other ‘action’ stories, with far more action going on.  Hopefully, I’ll succeed in throwing in a good surprise or twist.

As to the future, I’ve been thinking hard about that.  I don’t plan, as such, but i do jot down any ideas that might come along.  So far, I have many potential storylines for future G1 books.  What will be needed is some thought as to how these various snippets might develop, and the order they may take, chronologically.  What has become clear is that the series is strong and exhibits many potentials.  It will, therefore, be around for a while, much to my surprise!  A more challenging matter is pursuing the Captain Henri Duschelle Stories series.  Probably because the G1 series is so strong, I’m finding it rather difficult to fix any ideas for the tales of the good captain.  They will, however, sail again, I’m sure.  I would quite like to write something that isn’t part of a series, but that obviously has to await an idea!  Another area I’d rather like to have  ago at is children’s stories.  That’s a major toughie, though.  They might be short, but that makes them all the harder to write, for me.  They demand something that kids will enjoy and want to hear or read more than once, demanding a good story in a (relatively) few words.  I have a concept, which I’ve mentioned before, but I haven’t tried again, so far.  The loss of several pages when my netbook’s battery died still hurts.

So the future looks pretty good, and potentially very productive.  I’ll just have to hope it all materialises!

~ Steve

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

10 thoughts on “WIPs, A Worry On Costs and News

  1. Agree with you about the bogus sites offering writer services. Smashwords is easy to do as is Amazon; both free. For printed books, there are some good ones that are cheap and loads of dodgy ones. My advice check out the company before…These guys have loads of info about all the companies, scams and so on http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/
    There’s a new programme, called .http://calibre-ebook.com/ ..that helps you transform documents into all Ebook formats…really great if you want to avoid the regular channels and send out free copies for reviews etc..it’s free also

    • Thanks Nick 🙂 I’m glad I’m not alone on this 😉 In fact, the paperbacks I’ve had done, I didn’t pay anything for either, except with one company where they don’t even offer a courtesy copy. Of course, I could have paid – for an ISBN, distribution to booksellers, and other extras. I’ll give the link a look shortly, thanks!
      Calibre is excellent! I wouldn’t be without it. Even just using its library features, it’s far better than anything that comes with things like the Kindle or kobo eReaders! It’s one of a very tiny number of free programs that is worth donating to support!

  2. I advise authors to download Calibre, which is free, and do their own formatting. Once you have a .mobi or .epub file, you can upload it to Amazon, B&N, and so on, by yourself. There is no reason to pay for formatting and publishing.

    • Thanks Misha 🙂 I use Calibre too, but mostly for conversion of downloaded ebooks (when DRM isn’t a factor) and because it’s the best library system available. The reason i use Jutoh for my own ebooks is that I like the extras like using styles, designing covers, and lots of other things that Calibre doesn’t give you. I definitely would never pay for formatting and publishing! 😉

  3. Good to see you are keeping busy, Steve. Recently been asked if we are related. Probably along some marriage line in the past, you and DH would have a relative on the tree. 🙂

    I use Calibre to convert, and Createspace for paperbacks, and tick merrily along.

    • Hi Glnis…I used Skoobebooks.co.uk No charge (I had no money so there maybe a small cost!)
      Very helpful guys…and they get the books out everywhere and very professional job they do too…check them out!

      • I believe it was you who put me on to skoobebooks, Nick 🙂 I’m so grateful that you did! The unfortunate thing is that you have to pay extra to get ISBNs and for distribution to other booksellers 😦

    • LOL Just a little, Glynis 😉 It’s possible, though there are several Smys in Ipswich that I have no relation too 😉 It seems to depend on how the name evolved i a family. Ours comes from Flemish Smee (yes, like the character in Peter Pan) but others come from Smith (via Smythe or Smyth). Very confusing 😉

      I do like Calibre 🙂 I haven’t tried CreateSpace, after failiing to find answers to questions I had, and never hearing back from their Customer Services. Skoobebooks are my option for paperbacks 🙂

      • This bloodline stems from Orford, and Keer Smy features heavily. Dutch rum smugglers have been mentioned. 🙂

        I have had good support from CS so cannot comment. I haven’t heard of Skoobebooks, so will look into them if need be. 🙂

      • Orford’s certainly very close, Glynis:) I don’t know of any Keer in the family, and smuggling was more frequently associated with a family who married ‘in’ 😉 But, of course, you never know 🙂

        Now that I’ve found skoobebooks, I’m reluctant to look elsewhere 😉 With the failure of CS at the outset, I’ve avoided them – but they’re always an option if things change.

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