What’s Happening to Printed Books?

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The answer to the question might depend upon who you ask. But it is a real problem which some people don’t see. What some don’t realize is how much it costs to get books into print, especially with a wide distribution. The distribution is something I don’t understand. But perhaps printed books are based on outdated methods which won’t make sense in the day and age of the Internet.

My concern is making the books available to the readers and in the formats the want. But what if the readers can’t get the books they want? Then we have a problem. Ebook distribution isn’t typically better than print. Just go to different libraries and you will see what I mean. They can’t get everything in print or as ebooks. Or they can’t offer different formats easily and in ways which make sense to the readers.

With many newspapers, magazine, and books going out of print, it is a concern. Ebooks are certainly taking over due to the ease of distribution and the cost per book can be much lower than print. Also, ebooks aren’t as labor intensive. But they aren’t always as popular.

The pictures in this blog post are ones I took in Venice, Italy. They are excellent examples of good printing. They are worth too much. I’m afraid this sort of printing will remain without much trouble. But what about those who enjoy reading paper books and can’t afford them? Print on demand is a good option, if it’s available to libraries and bookstores.

My books aren’t in print anymore. I can live with that for now. However, something still needs to be done so we don’t lose books and culture. I don’t own any printing equipment anymore. I would have no idea what to do with the distribution except to make sure that more libraries and bookstores can get the formats their readers want.

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Failure

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Failure

Available at Smashwords.com.

This is my 22nd published book. I think perhaps it is time to take about it when everything has gone very wrong. I’m still trying to pick up the pieces, but nothing has changed. The circumstances are still not what they should be. Even though I’m in a place where it doesn’t much matter what I do, I would still rather do something than nothing at all. I’m not going down without a fight.

Here’s a poem from the new book. It was inspired by what I didn’t do when I was younger and was expected to. Also inspired by Aradia’s song “On Fire”. @AradiasMusic

Fire

I had
the sparks
of creativity
as just a child.
I played
with them.
The sparks
ignited.
Now, I’m
on fire.
There is
nothing
I can do
to put
out the fire
now
without
killing myself.
Yet,
I’m told
it’s a failure
on my part
to not put
out the fire
of creativity
and become
normal.
Just like
everyone else.

Virtual Reality Reflecting Fiction

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Same elf, different day.

These pictures remind me of the end of the first White Lion Unicorn book, A Colony of Tiny Nekos. It was a time when Black Wolf Unicorn kidnapped Silver Moon Unicorn and she ran off from him. She was isolated in Modern Mordor surrounded by orcs. She had her tablet computer with her, but no Internet connection. So, she tried to connect her Guardian partner, Leon via telepathy.

Leon heard her and went after her. Lucky for him, all he had to do was pick her up and fly her back to Elsewhere. So happy ending? Perhaps, except for the fact that Silver Moon was so distraught as to what had happened with Black Wolf and being forced to go back to Modern Mordor where she had grown up.

NaNoWriMo November 2017

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I know I’m insane. Just yesterday I finished drafting a new poetry book and a new novel. In November, I plan on drafting three more novels. With those four novels, I will finish the Colonies of Earth Series.

That’s a lot of words for someone who doesn’t talk much. Oh, wait, what is my goal? Is it the standard 50,000 words for the month? Or is it double that amount? Oh, it’s something like that… The word count just pushes me to put as many details into each story as I can. It’s just a game I like to play with myself. It’s also a good brain check to see if my stats are changing. So far my brain is fine and my stats are still good. Or rather crazy insane.

So after all this drafting comes editing. I plan on doing another editing blitz in December to catch up on my work. At least I can keep myself busy and out of trouble…

The Audience I Write For

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I remember having to define the audience I was writing for in the some writing classes I used to take. It certainly helped when I did define it when I was writing non-fiction, but I find with fiction, the definition tends to get a bit murky.

When I put out my fiction works up for sale, I never worried about defining audience because it isn’t necessary to mention it. It’s not like genre, which I have to pick at least one. (Technically I have chosen two.) In all the time I have uploaded ebooks for sale on various sites, never was I asked who the intended audience was.

I can’t say I ever worried about the specific audience I was writing for. I just write the stories and focus on the story itself. It certainly doesn’t help when audience becomes another marketing term with all the murkiness you can imagine to go with it. I’ve read writing from authors who write for both young adults and for adults. Sometimes I can tell a difference between the two audiences, but sometimes it’s not readily so obvious.

Audience can be determined by the age of the main characters, vocabulary, and the content of the story itself. Alice Hoffman and J.K. Rowling have both written for children and adults. They are good examples to read because they write in such a way that it is clear when the story is for adults or younger readers. Their books are labeled correctly. Unfortunately, there are others who don’t write as clearly and it becomes all muddled when their books get labeled.

I don’t recall hearing my friends who are writers mention the audience they write for. In fact, I don’t think we even talk about it. I’m not sure why that is. I suppose it’s more important to the traditional publishers. But they typically are the ones who don’t define audience well enough to make any clear cut distinctions.

There is a problem with the narrow definition of audience when it comes to age group because sometimes readers don’t care and will read books that aren’t supposedly written for them. Just think about a series like Harry Potter and realize that many adults read the books and enjoyed them just as much as kids.

I suppose if the traditional publishers can’t get it right much of the time with different authors, and I don’t have to list it whenever I put out a book, then I won’t worry about it. But it’s still a good question to answer when writing anything at all.

Book and Website Updates

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I finally got caught up on the books. They are available for sale. It is a relief to have all six fully edited and formatted as ebooks. Now I can move on to drafting more books. But this time I plan on just focusing on one at a time. Or else I could get too far behind again. That was too much this time.

The current book total is now at 21 books released. There are still more that I will be adding…

I suppose the best thing to do now is to finish up The Colonies of Earth Series. It will make it easier to work on The Violet Series.

I’ve also updated my website. I took down the Available Books pages. I thought it was getting too hard to understand. Now I have all the books organized under their respective book series pages. I figured it would be easier to understand as I have been writing them and thinking of in different book series.

I added the ISBNs, book covers, and blurbs to each book as well for all that are available for sale. The book links will take you to the Smashwords page. Smashwords distributes to other online retailers. I prefer them because they do that distribution and the ebooks are available worldwide as soon as they are listed on Smashwords. I know some people think I’m crazy not to deal with Amazon directly, but they don’t realize how much work I put into each and every book. I have to draw the line somewhere or else I’d be working too much. Besides, Amazon takes a long time to distribute to the rest of the world. Smashwords does distribute to them, but may not send the books unless they sell well on Smashwords first. Sadly, Amazon doesn’t have a bulk uploader so Smashwords cannot send them all of the books they have available.

Some books listed don’t have links or covers or ISBNs with them. Those are not ready to be released. I am working on those. When they are closer to being released, I will add more information as I have it done.

One last update: I’ve started to convert all the back issues of The Moon and The Dark Side of the Moon. Some are available on Smashwords for sale. I will be getting back to it. Once I have all the issues up, I will reorder the converted books. I’ll probably offer them as box sets by the volume or even offer the whole set as one. That project will take quite a bit of time and I already have a lot of different things to work on. So, I have no idea when it will be done.

Milow, the Kitten with a Magic Tail

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(I wrote this little story at the request of Milow, a kitten I met on Twitter. @Milowmagic Also, it’s International Cat Day, so I’ll go ahead and wish it to be a wonderful day for cats everywhere. By the way, I did spoil and love my little darling, Nuri. She’s quite happy now.)

Once upon a time, there was a kitten named Milow. He was a cute little thing his human mama had found in a shelter. Soon it was obvious he had a magic tail. The tip was white in sharp contrast to the rest of his silvery fur. He could wave it and the magic would come sparkling out.
The better half of the courage was when he was growing up and exploring. He would get into drawers because he was still so small. Once inside he discovered many things. He discovered there was an elf named Silver Moon Unicorn.
This particular elf had a tendency to create feathers from thin air to defuse any tensions with other people. The elf had learned that the best way to defeat people who are poor listeners was with laughter. She waved her wand and poof! Feathers would appear and tickle the poor unsuspecting people.
But it had to be the joyful, playful sort of laughter or else it wouldn’t work. It was the same kind of laughter that Milow could create with his presence and by waving his magic tail.
One evening Milow was looking out the window of his flat. He saw some figures doing a waltz. They were transparent like ice. After the ice waltz the kitten saw outside his window, he heard some humans talking to each other.
“Let’s listen to the sky.”
“Yes, let’s do.”
Everyone watched the stars and the moon appear.
And the real night comes, thought Milow to himself. He wondered if he would meet Silver Moon Unicorn. He remembered she did say she could fly by using her magic wand.
He wagged his tail three times and an elf appeared flying on a broomstick in front of the moon. She came near his window. She waved and said hi.
Milow mewed back. Then he saw someone else was holding onto the broom and flying with her. Someone small with black cat ears, black cat tail, and two black cat paws. The little one also had blond hair and blue eyes.
He laughed. “Hi, Milow! I’m a little neko. That means I’m half human and half cat. Meow!” He laughed some more. “My name is White Lion Unicorn and I’m flying with mama so I can talk to you as cats do!”
They meowed for several minutes. Silver Moon smiled to hear them. Not that she could understand them, but that didn’t matter. Milow did a couple of back flips and smiled.