Mobile Phone = eBook Reader

We’ve been contemplating getting me an ebook reader for a few months. I have joint problems, and honestly, it isn’t a whole lot of fun dislocating a thumb from holding a hardcover book. 😀 Okay, so in all fairness, I dislocate my wrist when I slice bread, so this isn’t all that unusual…

Then the husband recently got himself a new mobile phone – an Omnia – so naturally, I inherit his old one. My old one was already dead, as was the prior old one. Yeah, I’ve got a mobile phone graveyard happening. And an iron graveyard, too, but that’s another story. 😛

The phone I inherited is an HP pocket PC that he got in Dubai a couple of years ago. Initially, I thought the screen would be too small and there would be too much glare, but then I plowed through ten ebooks (fantasy, of course) in about a week and a half…

Sure, an ebook reader would probably be nice, but they cost money, and besides, going by the way I’m going through ebooks, this is working just fine. 🙂

Happiness reigns!

A Potentially Very Cool Site

Is currently in construction. It’s a Tor site. You know Tor – publishers of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about it on Making Light.

The basic idea behind the new site – as I interpret it – is a community for people who enjoy reading speculative fiction and all sorts of other things. But probably not sourdough. 😉

Anyway, check it out. And, if you sign up at the new Tor site, you get free ebooks. About one a week. Which was enough incentive for me… 🙂 Not that I really needed incentive… 😀

Self-Published Author Signs 7-Figure Book Deal

Auria Cortes mentioned a news story about an author who initially self-published a book and then went on to sign a two book deal for more than $2 million.

In the publishing world, this is not a common sight. While it’s true that some self-published authors later get signed on by publishing houses, it’s rare and it’s pretty much always preceded by the author’s book succeeding on its own merits and/or through publicity campaigns.

In this case, the author, Brunonia Barry, and her husband started their own small publishing company, Flap Jacket Press. They even test-marketed the manuscript, then set up a website, hired a publicist, a jacket designer, and marketed the book using the usual tactics of publishing houses. All told, they spent around $50,000. And that doesn’t include the time the author spent editing and revising her manuscript or running it past an editor and readers to see how it read, and then revising some more.

This also wasn’t the first thing Barry wrote – she’d been writing screenplays for years.

Some will read this as a fairy tale ending for those who self-publish and a reason to not bother trying for publication with a traditional publishing house. It should be noted, however, that most self-published authors don’t have $50,000 laying around to spend on marketing, nor do most self-published authors spend as much time in editing and revising the manuscript as Barry did.

Arts Festival in India

I recently learned about an arts festival taking place in India from the 2nd – 10th February 2008 called the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. It’s been taking place since 1999 and is named after the area in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) where it’s taking place.

Sadly, I can’t find any current festival information on their site, although prior years are there. Luckily, there is info at the Caferati blog, although that seems mainly limited to the contests – flash fiction, for example, although there are others including poetry, photography, and more. There’s also an open book pitch, complete with talent scouts from publishing houses and a few agents.

Sadly, the URLs that lead to where a person would actually submit their entry are still not there, and information is rather scant. Hopefully that will be corrected soon.

Check it out!

Placidia the novel – First Draft is DONE!!!!!

I have a novel I’ve been working on and off for the last three or three and a half years, and this morning, I finished my first draft. (Laurie does the snoopy dance.) It was hard work. It was frustrating. I gave up on it three times for six months to a year or so at a time. I was blocked and felt like my story was going no where. Well, I finally became unblocked again last week and finished the damn thing.

For me, this first novel (there will be others following it) was a learning process – the time for me to learn what works for me in writing a novel and what doesn’t. I learned that I was blocked because where I thought the novel was going next didn’t make sense for the characters and culture in my novel. Once I figured out a plot line that was logical for these people, it started to flow again. So that’s a lesson for me. When I’m blocked, I need to rethink the plot. Other times that I’ve been blocked, it’s been because I needed to do more research, or get my characters settled in my head, or . . . Well, you get the idea.

I could also tell you that my novel at present only has about 1/3 to 1/2 the content it will have when it’s done because it’s missing sub plots and a lot of detail & description. That’s okay, too. That can go in on second draft. First draft for me is about getting the damn story down. Fill in the blanks later. My sister insisted on reading my first draft, what I had, last week, and didn’t much like it – missing too many holes, didn’t make sense, she said. Well, of course not. It’s only first draft. It doesn’t matter right now. It has inconsistencies until I figure out exactly where it’s going in the end. Which I’ve just done. So, you see, it doesn’t matter that it sorta sucks now. Of course it does. Who cares? I can fix it later.

And maybe the story really isn’t salvageable. Well, I can always take out a couple of chapters or whatever and fill them in with something better later. Or rethink the direction I want it to go in, or rethink the characters. The important thing right now is to keep writing and learn about my writing process and what works for me and what doesn’t. Don’t worry about the polished piece until much later.

Laurie (who has also never finished anything ever before in her life and is so stinkin’ proud of herself)