My first indie book sucked

My first indie book sucked.

I realize that, now. After the fact.

You’ll recognize the reasons why, but I’ll trudge through them, anyway. Let’s think of it as metaphorical writer’s self-flagellation.

My indie book isn’t a totally bad book. There are parts of it that are pretty good, and there’s a story there. I did do a lot of rewriting of it, but the final product sucks. And there’s one very simple reason it sucked – I didn’t treat it professionally.

Here are some of the things I should have done:

  • I didn’t get it out to beta readers.
  • I didn’t have it professionally edited.
  • I didn’t get a professionally-designed cover. (I did it myself, because I’m a graphic artist, too, of course. Not.)
  • I didn’t market it.

There are probably a few other things I overlooked, but I think those are the bones of the problem.

It all seems obvious in retrospect. I’m not going to buy something with an unappealing cover, and I’m not going to buy an indie book that looks amateurish in the previews.

This time I intend to do it right. In fact, I have a couple of works I’m going to work through the process – a children’s book and a long scifi story.

I’ll start with the scifi piece. It’s about 8500 words, a horrible length if you’re trying to get it published: very few e-zines want to see something that long. But it seems to be a good length for e-books. So what the hell? While I’m working on my book (It’s going well. Could go faster.), I’ll start getting some experience taking a story through the professional process.

In my next post, I’ll talk about where to find beta readers. Right now, I don’t have a clue.

Note: If you’re curious, here’s a synopsis of my one and only indie book, Cauldron Born. You can buy it on Amazon, too, if you’re inclined. It’s not horribad, but it’s amateurish. It might be educational in a way.

Catching up: The shame.

So I’m not going to advertise this post. It’s a bit embarrassing to say you’re good at blogging and not blog. Ha!

*Hangs head in shame.

On the bright side, the writing is going well. I’m writing every day and getting in some good sessions. Since I’m in rewrites on not focusing so much on my word count as the time I put in. I’m doing about an hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. The less part is the big issue.

I’ve figured out two things:

  1. I write best if I do it first thing.
    If I go downstairs and write, first thing in the morning, I have my best and longest sessions. My longest sessions are usually around 90 minutes.
  2. I write worst if I put it off.
    It’s easy to get distracted by other stuff, and in anyone’s life there’s always other stuff. If I put off my writing, sometimes it gets to the end of the day and I don’t feel like writing much. It’s positive, that I still write at these times, but not so positive that it’s usually not much. A couple of times it was only like 5 minutes.

That’s it for now. The blog will hopefully get some more attention.

I had a good session, today – almost 2 hours, and I finished a new chapter.

Monitor review: A pro article example

This article is from 2011. It’s not at all pertinent, today, not as a review of monitors, but I thought this might be useful to see. It’s a good, short example of what a finished article looks like when it’s sent off to a publisher.

The product links are removed at the publisher – in this case, SmartComputing; they’re there so the editor can double-check my work. At the bottom of the article are references to images with accompanying text explaining the images. The images are posted or emailed separately.

HED is short for headline and DEK is short for deck, which is a journalism term for the part of the headline that summarizes the story.


Article SC2211 20s11

HED: Affordable Monitors

DEK: A good monitor doesn’t have to be expensive

Do you spend a lot of time in front of your computer? Do you create your own videos or edit your photographs? Or are your work days filled doing online research and word processing. Whether you’re browsing the web, laying out your company’s product catalog, or making an instructional video, your monitor is probably your most important computing purchase after the computer.

A good monitor can reduce eye strain, (more…)

Today’s article: Daylighting

Along with my co-author, the architect, Michael Pellegrino, I wrote this piece on the green-energy practice called daylighting for the SAGE publication on Green Energy. The publication itself is crazy expensive and neither I nor Michael get any compensation if you purchase it, but please follow the link in the picture if you’re interested.

SageGreenEnergy

Daylighting
by Ron Keith and Michael Pellegrino

(Daylight through Pantheon Oculus by Per Palmkvist Knudsen used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.)

Daylighting is the practice of using natural daylight to illuminate the interior of buildings, reducing the need for artificial light and, as a result, increasing the energy efficiency of those buildings. Though, primarily thought of as a source of illumination, daylighting can also serve as an adjunct to heating and cooling systems, further reducing a building’s artificial energy requirements.

Often a necessary element of pre-modern building design, and an aesthetic element in the late nineteenth and twentieth century, daylighting as implemented in contemporary architecture is used as an innovative solution to energy efficiency and sustainability problems. (more…)