Although, MickH arguably beat me to it.
Although, MickH arguably beat me to it.
Got the manuscript back from Deonie, my grown up editor, last night. It's looking pretty schmick, thanks in part to all the fine efforts of the Beta readers. I'll take another run through, addressing all of the notes and queries, and then send it out to proof reading and art.
Once the final proof is done and the cover art selected I'll repeat the process with A Protocol for Monsters. The edit for that will probably be done in a fortnight.
The text and image files then go to a bureau which formats them for electronic release. I could probably publish in January, but before I do that I want to take the mailing list from its current status – 'under construction' – to full public release. Dan has also been coding a storefront for me so that my favourite readers can demonstrate their love in the only way that matters; with an extra 7% royalty for JB on retail purchases via affilaite link.
After years of not much happening, you're going to see a lot of ebook activity from me next year. Partly because I've decided to give up on getting my various trade publishers to play nice together. Partly because I'm going to use the ebooks to build my own marketing channels. Publishers increasingly expect us to do more of this work as their own marketing budgets contract and focus on a handful of tentpole releases. There's no point bitching about it. The smart player adjusts his game.
So 2016 you'll get a couple of Hooper ebooks, a completed Stalin's Hammer series and a couple of surprises.
None of this is free, of course. Editors, artists, code monkeys, they all gotta pay the rent. A professionaly produced ebook of about 30K words like Soul or Protocol costs about $1500-$2000 to release, but it would be even more without the assistance of everyone who helped out with the early read and comments. A cleaner read drastically reduces editorial costs. So I am very greatful for that help and thinking of ways to reward my special favourites.
Orin texted me from the Apple Shoppe the other day, taunting me with pictures of his shiny new iPad Pro. I am envy. But I'm still not buying a first gen model. I might even be waiting until the iPad Pro Air 3 is released.
Not that I don't want one. I do. Desperately. But my big arse Retina iMac is always going to be my primary hauler for taking words to market, and for a second screen I can't get past the newish Macbook. Although I'm not buying into the first gen there either.
I can and do use my iPad for production, but always as a stop gap. Writing columns when I travel. Editing manuscripts in Word while stuck at school cricket for half a day. Maybe blocking out a chapter in a book. I use the onscreen keyboard for all of these, but when it comes time to do hours and hours of hard core writing, I still prefer a solid keyboard and trackpad.
I have four main sources of income. I write novels, ebooks, blogs/columns and features. For each of those a laptop remains a better option than a tablet, even with a bluetooth or connected keyboard. I doesn't mean I couldn't do all of those things exclusively in iOS. I totally could. It just wouldn't be ideal.
I've been pondering on this a lot the last few weeks, because I want to tweak my work flow next year and I'm thinking of breaking my day in half. Doing longform fiction at the iMac in the morning when I'm most productive, and shorter media work, or tending to the Burger, apres lunch.
For the latter, I wouldn't mind getting away from my standing desk for an hour or so. (I've also been considering how to multitask without multitasking, which is proven bullshit. I have a couple of trade published novels and half a dozen self published ebooks I want to get through in 2016 and juggling them all in the course of a day doesn't work. Instead I'm looking at splitting the week the same way I split the day. Primary project first, getting all my attention in the first part of the day, Monday through Wednesday. Secondary project – ebooks, basically – getting the back end of the week, Thursday and Friday. No weekend work. No night shift).
With blogging, column writing and occasional gym visits in the afternoons, it'd be nice to escape the Cave, even it was just to repair to the verandah where the bunnies might attend me with mint juleps and foot rubs while I tap the keys. That's why I'm thinking Macbook. All I'm doing away from the iMac is word processing and web searching, but the publishing software for both the Burger and Fairfax still works better with MacOS than iOS. And as for the hardware? Well I thought this great little piece from the Philippines really nailed it.
Luis Buenaventura jaunted off to his local fruit store to get the iPad Pro on the first day (and it's worth reading the article just for that). "Omigod! It's huge!"
But when he gets the big arse pad back to his hotel room, although it's a hella impressive piece of kit, "it's too big to carry around in anything but a laptop bag, and it's too heavy to whip out just to skim through Facebook while sipping on your morning pour-over."
I don't want to verbal Luis, because he (I'm pretty sure he's a he) really loved the Pro and spends most of the entry raving about it. But for me, for a second screen devoted solely to writing, it's just not there yet.
I'm sure Tim will be happy to take my money when the Macbook update drops next year.
Thanks to all who helped out with Beta reading for the HOOPER ebooks. I'll be giving them a once over today and then firing both manuscripts off to the pro-editor.
I will call for CAIRO Beta Readers in early December. I still have a couple of chapters to write, but also a non fiction manuscript to finish and submit by December 1.
Three deadlines today including a long feature for SBS and review of Peter Garrett's bio for The Age. (Spoiler, it's really good).
I've been very pleased and grateful with all the work done by the Beta Readers on Soul Full of Guns and A Protocol for Monsters. There's a couple of continuity issues I'll tidy up in my next draft and then we'll be off to the pro editor for the hard core revisions. All of the work to date, however, will make that process much quicker and cheaper. So again, many thanks to all who took part.
There'll soon be a new title to go out to Beta for anyone who'd interested. Stalin's Hammer: Cairo.
I've decided to abandon trade publishing this series, because reconciling the business plans of all the competting publishers who wanted a piece of it proved to be impossible. So, like the Hooper ebooks, I'll be putting this one out myself.
I'll also be releasing it for free. I think people have waited long enough that it's not fair to ask them to hand over any money for this installment. There will two more titles in this arc, and they'll be for purchase (unless you're one of the early sign-ups to the mailing list, in which case you'll get an alert that the books have been released and are free for the first 24 hours).
I have a few other changes to my publishing plans for 2016, which I'll talk about here in due course. But for now, we'll get on with these eBooks. If anyone from the Beta has suggestions for streamlining the collaborative system, please let me know. There were a few wrinkles with Google Docs, mostly dependent on whether you were using a gmail address, the platform on which you accessed the docs, and whether you were invited by individual email or group link.
I'm still shaking this system out, so I'll consider all options.
I appear to have written three columns in one day by accident.
The government is lying to you about the enormous sinkhole that swallowed a whole beach on the Sunshine Coast. We know this because they've been lying to us years about the Min Min Lights, the Mulgowie Yowie and all the cosy board board appointments they were going to appoint me to if I got rid of Mr Strong Choices for them.
10. Apple Maps error.
9. James Bond supervillain error, possibly related to earlier Apple Maps error, involving non-achievement of key performance indicators by suboptimal minions and goons hired to excavate Japanese volcano for secret rocket base.
Oh noes! What will the poor refugees do now? No sooner did Facebook boss-hog Mark Zuckerberg? announce that he would move heaven and earth to make the social network available in the United Nations' crowded refugee camps than Facebook crashed, doubtless because of millions of refugees rushing online to "like" his status update.
That's so like those selfish refugees, ruining everything for the rest of us, and before the Book of Face had even deployed its promised thumbs-down button so we could put them in their place – their place being in crowded Syrian border camps without enough free Wi-Fi to fill up our timelines with photographs of all the flies swarming over their bowl of UN gruel. #soblessed
Remember the Palm Pilot? Probably not if you’re under 30, but they were the iPhone of the 90s; the must-have shiny-precious that replaced the filofax (and you have to be over forty to remember them).
Palm was already struggling when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, but Ed Colligan, the company’s CEO, wasn’t much fussed. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” But of course they did, and not just Apple. Most of the smart phones in the world now run Google’s operating system, Android.
The same ‘PC guys’ are currently hiring thousands of engineers from the automotive industry and in August Elon Musk’s latest electric car, the Tesla Model S, scored 103 out of a possible 100 (that’s not a typo) from Consumer Reports in the US.