Tag Archives: procrastination

Update

Alright, I’m aware that of late this blog has been so quiet there might as well have been tumbleweed blowing across it. I’ve been putting together a paperback version of the Ships of the Fleet Volume 1 and beginning to put together Volume 2. Now right this second I’m not sure if the paperback version will ever actually see the light of day. It really depends on how the images look when the proof copy reaches me in a week or so. On volume 2 productivity is beginning to happen mostly because I’ve got back into the habit of dragging my old laptop into the day-job to do some work at lunch time. I say dragging because it is like I said old and it weights a bloody ton. So if I’ve carried it in and I’ll have to carry it back home, then I’m damn well going to do something useful it! So productivity through back pain, probably not one you are ever going to find in a writing book, but you can have that one on me.

Regards.

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Writing when you’re INSPIRED!

There’s that old saying that everyone has a book in them. Personally I’ve never believed it. Now I do think anyone who reads has a book in them but maybe that’s just splitting hairs.

There another saying that might not be as old but one I do believe. It runs thus: only writing when you are inspired is fine – just as long as you are inspired every day.

Getting into the writing ‘zone’ is time consuming.  Writing is more time consuming. Good writing is… Well I’m sure you’ve worked out the pattern.

The reason I say this, is that at the moment I’m having a bit of an attack of real life: which is probably going to go on for the next few months. But if I plan to get anywhere with the writing then I have to keep writing during this.

That’s the thing with writing, if you plan to do it, then you have just to do. None of this Inspiration nonsense, just crack on.

 

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E-Book Covers – Refresh, Redo or Rebrand?

During December I finally got around to what had for a while been on my mental to-do list for a while, namely to change the front covers for the e-book versions of both the Nameless War and the Landfall Campaign. I was never entirely happy with my first efforts and as a consequence of my ongoing Ships of the Fleet  project my 3D modelling skills are definitely better now than they were three years ago. I did wonder whether this would have any effect on actual sales.

And the answer a month and a bit down the line is…. maybe.

December probably wasn’t the best time to undertake this change if I wanted to try to study the effects of this change. Over Christmas a lot of new e-reader devices hit the market simultaneously and obviously that has an effect on sales. Still my sales, which after the glory days of just after the launch of book two, had been bobbling along at under a hundred per month, close to doubled. Also I did notice that my Amazon ranking has on average improved. But a lot of different and in many cases uncontrollable factors could be coming in play. So far so ambiguous.

The relevant the cover art for e-books – given that the image will be the size of a postage stamp on the screen of an e-reader – is subject to debate but the whole exercise has got me thinking. The conventional advice is that you get everything right before publishing. But in the case of cover art is there a right answer?

Below is one of my childhood favorites. The edition I read was one on the left, the one on the right is I assume the current edition.

ExamplesSo, same book, same title, same author, different cover; or perhaps we should say different branding.

Back in the days of yore (so ten years at most) when books only existed in dead tree format, they would get printed in runs of hundreds to thousands, depending on expected popularity. If the book did well enough to justify further runs then every so often a new edition would be prepared with a new cover.

Why update at all? If the cover on the left was judged good enough in the seventies or eighties when the copy I read was presumably printed, then what’s wrong with it now?

Well obviously times have moved on. Styles and expectations changed but also the familiar can slowly become the ignored. No publisher wants their titles to lie gathering dust and an old familiar cover become easier for the book buyer to pass over on route to something newer and shinier. This applies to really everything that can be bought and sold, so even if the product remains unchanging, the wrapping needs to be refreshed every so often.

But returning to e-books. As I’ve said before, once an e-book hits the digital shelves it could potentially stay there forever. Unlike the finite shelving of a physical bookshops there is no space limitation. But this means that a given title is in competition with every other book available and with each new year thousands more books will join it.  Again, as I have said before, the self publisher has to think into the long term. At the very least a the cover art will likely have to rejuvenated every few years to keep up with style changes. But should we be thinking in terms of ‘the very least’?

Unlike physical books the digital cover could, if the mood took you, be changed on an almost daily basis. Now that would probably be over the top but perhaps the self publisher should be thinking in terms of having two or three covers and cycling through them every six to twelve months. Just enough for them not to fade into background.

I’m not selling this idea as part of the next get-rich-quick self publishing scheme. I have no evidence to back this line of thought up.  But possibly it is something to be added to the self publishers tool box. If you want to compare my old cover to the new, the links to Amazon below are the new, I haven’t got round to updating the Smashwords.

The Nameless War, available on Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo and paperback.

The Landfall Campaign, available on Kindle, Kobo, Smashwords and paperback.

The Job Offer, available on Kindle Kobo and Smashwords

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Smashing On Through With Minimum Swearing

A shameless and somewhat overdue plug. After several months of quality procrastination I have finally got Book one up on the Smashwords system.

So that means the Nameless war can now be found on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and for those of you who prefer their reading more analog here.

The Smashword wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Admittedly I didn’t try to do anything complicated. The text was nuked (put into notepad to remove all formatting because WORD puts in all kinds of nonsense) and then the formatting had to be put back in. That second part was largely why it took so long for me to get it done. There is a convention that ship names are in Italics. That is a lot of italics to put back in.

Book Two will be put onto Kobo and Smashwords in the next month and a half.

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An intro and a start

Hello everyone, my name is Edmond and I’m a procrastinator. Okay there probably isn’t a Procrastinators Anonymous – insert obvious joke here – but if there was I would probably have to consider joining. Starting a blog has been on my to-do list for about the last twelve months and even when I got as far as signing up with wordpress, another week passed before I did anything else.

My primary method of avoiding that which I do not wish to do, is find something less undesirable to do instead (do my tax return or… hey, those windows look like they could do with a wash) I suppose part of it is that the start of anything isn’t likely to be your best work. You like to think that as soon as you start, you’ll make immediate progress towards the end of the task. But in reality – no. As this pertains to writing it means that first couple of pages at the start of each chapter are always the hardest. Assuming everything isn’t simply block deleted the next day, those words you’ve laboured today over will slowly be chipped away during the editing process, until in the end, little or nothing remains of the original sentences and paragraphs. Now hopefully they’ll have been replaced with better ones but right now, you are facing up to the fact that the work in your immediate future won’t ultimately amount to anything. So instead the whole thing is put on the back burner until the day you finally realize that things can’t be put off any further.

Happily though, procrastination can’t be made to work for you. Very occasionally, very, very occasionally, the problem solves itself and you can pat yourself on the back for work successfully avoided. Mostly it doesn’t, but if you have been thinking about it, you may have worked out the solutions to some of the problems you’ll face. More often you’ve convinced yourself that the whole thing will be terrible, so when you actually get off your backside and start, it isn’t anywhere as bad as you thought. Like for example starting blog.

My name is Edmond and I’ve made a start.

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