Paperback Writer

I reformatted and updated the paperback version of Oasis so that the paperback cover now matches the (much better) ebook cover. It’s available on Amazon now.

I also got things set up for The Journey of St. Laurent, but as I looked over my proof copy, I noticed a typo on the back cover. Oops. Now I need to wait out the review process again, and order a new proof.

For both, I used Createspace’s new matte cover. Let me tell you, the glossy covers don’t look bad, but the matte ones look great.

All Done

Okay, I’ve done several “last” editing passes on the Journey of St. Laurent. I’m pretty happy with the end result. Also, if I don’t quit now, I’ll never finish editing it.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to password protect the posts that make up the final 2/3 of the first draft. Within a day or so after that, the ebook versions should start appearing in Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Paperback to follow in the next couple of weeks.

After I set those things in motion, I’ll be updating Oasis. I added a new first chapter and combed out a couple of lingering typos. The paperback cover is also going to change to match the ebook cover.

And then I’d like to finish up some of the projects I have lying around – the fairy tale book, the “how to self publish” site, at least on of the short stories I’ve started.

Another Editing Update

I finished going over Dane’s suggested edits a little while ago. He helped me out tremendously. Go buy his books. I cut a ton of fat from the story. Like 20,000 words worth. The book just came back from yet another editor, who was searching for typos and major inconsistencies. It should only take a day or two to go over them.

After that, I may very well be ready to prep the thing for publishing.

The Cover of St. Laurent

I’m putting the final touches on The Journey of St. Laurent, and I thought I’d share what I’ve ended up with as a cover. I may end up tweaking the text a little more, but maybe not.

I’m pretty excited. Adam Masterman painted this one for me as well as the one for Oasis.

cover

Also, if anybody out there is interested in reading the packaged up Journey to help me comb for typos, please let me know. I’d be forever grateful. Just leave a comment on this post, or shoot me an email if you have my address. Or tweet at me.

What Happens Next?

Well, once this goes live on Amazon et al, I’m going to be locking up most of the chapters here on the site. I know that’s a huge bummer for some of you, but I have given it a lot of thought, and that’s just the way it’s going to be. I’m also going to be republishing Oasis soon, with the new first chapter, and I’ll finally get the paperback cover to match the ebook cover. It’s likely I’ll be setting a password for most of the Oasis posts as well.

Then next project I’ll be polishing up will be the “How to Self Publish a Book” book. Once that is over, I’ll go back to fiction, and try to stay focused on it for a while. All my side programming and design projects are fun, but when I look back, I realize I have enjoyed story writing more.

I Think I Have a Problem

You know all those celebrities that get plastic surgery over and over? Sometimes I feel like that’s me with the theme of this blog. I can’t help myself. Every few months, it seems like, I have this uncontrollable urge to tweak my theme. If I give in to this temptation, this tweaking always turns into a total site redesign and rebuild from the ground up.

Anyway, that’s what happened here last week.

Two or three hours that could have been spent actually writing have been lost forever, but at least I have a new theme. But just check out how neat and responsive it is! Go ahead, go and resize your browser window. Make it skinny and then full screen. Stop rolling your eyes at me. It’s awesome.

If you see anything that looks unreadable or out of place, please let me know.

You know, so I can tweak it.

In other news, I think by Friday I’ll be ready to post something real about the new SPAB! If I’m lucky I’ll also be done with my edits to The Journey of St. Laurent. I’ll ask if there’s any of you that want to help me track down any typos.

I’m getting so close. I can’t wait to start completing my long list of works-in-progress.

 

What’s happening?

Here’s what’s going on in my world recently. I may not have been posting here, but I’ve been staying busy.

  • I’m on Chapter 52 of my “Journey…” edits. The end is in sight!
  • I’m about 3/4 done writing the kid’s book. I think. My daughters ask me every night if I’m ever going to finish it, so I have to keep working.
  • I just wrote a poem explaining my new purpose in life.
  • I’m rewriting SPAB! (Anybody remember that?) in python. Rather than drive other programs to do the file preparation, SPAB will be doing it all.
  • I’m re-writing my how to self-publish a book site. I wanted to focus and streamline the process (hint – it’s going to use the new SPAB)
  • Oh, and in the next week or so, I’ll be releasing the next version of my WordPress theme Book WP. You can already see it in action over at HowToSelfPublishABook.org. It’s been simplified and betterified.

Hacked, and Hacked Again

I’m starting to get a little tired of this crap. I have a bunch of sites hosted on one account. A couple of weeks ago all of them were hacked. A line of code was added to every php file in my account. That code would sometimes automatically redirect people to one of a list of websites.

So after pulling my hair out for a while, I changed all ftp passwords and my backend host password,and got my unix command line on and removed all the code from the infected files. Then I made sure that every site with wordpress was up do date (several weren’t). And I scanned both computers that I use to access the backend to these sites and checked them with two additional malware/virus scanners besides my standard one. (Nothing found).

Two days later, it happens again. I double double check, and apparently I missed one installation of wordpress. For the heck of it, I also went through all my sites, deleting a whole bunch of scripts in case one of those has a vulnerability.

Then I made sure that my hosting account was set to records all raw access logs so I can catch/ban the perpetrator if it ever happens again.

I’ve been so mad that I haven’t written anything in like three weeks.

Progress

Okay, I’m about a third of the way through editing “The Journey of St. Laurent.” I’m having a good time slashing stuff left and right.

Don’t worry, though, there’ll be new fiction on here soon. I’ve got all sorts of stuff on the horizon.

In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up a copy of my buddy J. Dane Tyler’s fantasy/western/scifi/steampunk/supercrossovergenrebending novel Scales of Justice, you totally should. It’s awesome.

Update

Okay, I finally wrote THE END for The Journey of St. Laurent. The final chapter will go up on Friday. I’ve got a pile of short stories and other stuff that need to be written now. And of course I need to go back and make all the sweeping changes I’ve been thinking about. And then I’ll need to come up with some kind of easy effective genius marketing plan.

In other news I’m finally getting off my tush and putting those fantasy short stories that I wrote a while back on to the Kindle store. When they go live, I’ll start begging for some reviews.

I can’t help myself. (random news)

New Theme.

Yes, I have changed the theme once again. I just can’t stop myself. Anyway, I made it so that StoryHack.com and BryceABeattie.com match fairly closely now. If you see any weirdness with it, please let me know.

In case you’re wondering, to build this theme I started started with lifehacker’s blank theme. Then I added in concepts from The Goldilocks approach.

Free Book Alert

Desiree Finkbeiner, who had a guest post a couple of days ago, just let me know that her publisher is offering her book on kindle for free today. If you’re interested go grab it and give it a read, then go ahead and give it a quick review.

St. Laurent is Almost Done

Friday’s chapter is done and ready to post. I’m working now on the final chapter. After that, I’ll let it sit a week or two and then hit the revisions.

Have I ever showed you guys the cover for it? It’s painted by the same guy who did the redone cover for Oasis.

Time to Wake Up

This morning I got a wake up call. Not the kind that gets you out of bed, mind you. This was the metaphoric kind. Although it was still on the phone.

My long-time internet writing buddy J. Dane Tyler (aka DarcKnyt) was afraid that I had fallen off the face of the Earth, so he put on his internet sleuthing jacket and tracked down my phone number. You see, we’ve never actually spoken before. All in all it was really nice to talk to an old friend for the first time. I have to admit though, his voice sounded way different than I expected. I had imagined a cross between James Earl Jones and an Irish priest. As it ends up, his voice sounds nothing like that.

I’ve been thinking about dusting off the old writing skills for a while now, and I don’t know if this is what he was meaning to do, but I think his phone call was just the kick in the pants I was needing.

Anyway, I’m starting up the habit of writing every day again. That means I’ll finally get this novel finished and I’ll be able to move on to the legion of other stories that have been waiting their turn to get out of my head and onto a page. I’m already a thousand words or so into Chapter 60, so I should be able to post it Friday.

 

It’s been a long time…

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

(photo credit)

…since I won a fighting competition. I think the last time was before my first daughter was born. It was a local Karate tournament, and I took 1st place in my division (& totally ruined a buddy’s perfect undefeated season Smile with tongue out ).

Well, I did it again, although this time it was a very different sort of fighting contest. It was Alan Baxter’s written fight tournament. My entry was an edited fight scene from Pride of the Traveller. I’ve been giving myself high-fives all morning.

Anyway, go check it out on Alan’s site:

The written fight tournament – the Results!

The Secret Project

You know how I’ve been going on and on about some mysterious ‘secret project’? I’ll bet you thought that project was code for “Bryce is too lazy to write anything.” I don’t blame you. I would have thought the same. However, I’m getting close to a public beta, so I think it’s time I spill the beans and prove that I’m not just some shiftless excuse-maker.

Here’s the skinny on my secret project.

Top Secret

(photo by Malakh Kelevra)

It’s a website.

A website for authors who have a book for sale. Also, It’s a website for bloggers. Let’s be crazy – it can also be a website for bloggers that have a book for sale.

The purpose of the site is to help people set up blog tours for their books. And to help bloggers get stuff to post from authors who are on “Blog Tour.”

So without further ado, let me introduce you to BlogTour.org:

BlogTour

Within a couple of days  or so (hopefully by Saturday), I’m going to upload the site from my testing server. In the meantime feel free to check out the “under construction” site as much as you want. Once uploaded, I’ll still have a lot to do but at least the core functionality will be available.

If you want to know the minute it’s up and running, you can follow the BlogTour.org Twitter account, or watch the BlogTour.org RSS feed.

As soon as I launch, I’d like to ask you all a couple of favors – sign up and help me test the thing, then pass the word along.

Back from vacation.

If you ever get the chance to drive long distances through Wyoming during winter when the winds pick up, my advice is this – avoid it. Two nights ago I was in Rawlins, WY. Temperatures were in the negatives with wind bursts of over 45 mph. How do those people live like that? They must be heartier folk than me.  It was the tail end of a holiday road trip. We logged over 3,400 miles along the way to see lots of family in Texas and friends in Colorado.

Well, my holiday slacking is over and it’s time to get back to work. By way of resolution, I’m going to be a bit more active around here. I’m planning on doing some podcasting, and I’m hoping to do a lot more writing this year. Also, I’m working hard on my secret website project. It’s going to be a (hopefully) useful tool for authors. I’m pretty excited about it. Within a week or two I’ll let you know more about that.

Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well and you had happy holidays.

New Theme Ironing

Well, this is pretty much the new theme. I know I’ve still got to iron out a few kinks. If you see anything that looks particularly weird or something that is broken, please let me know so that I can fix it up.

Basically, I wanted the theme to appear simpler and focus on the main text. I’ll be tweaking this one as we go for a while, but I wanted to make the change before I got bored messing with the theme.

Weekend & Prepping the Test

My wife’s grandmother passed away late last week, so she packed up the girls and headed for Seattle. You’d think I’d be able to get more writing done over the weekend. Oh, well, I was busy extracting honey from my beehives, texturing a ceiling, and I had a bunch of church responsibilities on Sunday, plus I had to work in a quick visit to my month old niece.

Also, you should congratulate me. As of Saturday (it only took 11 years) I am officially a college graduate. Go me!

I didn’t get everything into last chapter that I wanted, so I’m redoing it with minor edits on the part you’ve read and then doubling the length. So there will something new to read on Friday.

Now, about the WordPress Plugin.

As I mentioned, I hate the way browsers print, so I had to find a different way for folks who want to print off each week’s chapter and read them. My solution: automatic generation of ebooks. Right now the plugin can automatically produce a pdf and an epub of a post. I just installed the plugin and I’ll be testing it with my very next post (about 5 minutes from now.)

Mystery Projects

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You know how I’m always saying I’ve got a bunch of other projects going on and that why I have no chapter? I’ll bet that always sounds like a load of malarkey. Anyway, I’m close (very close) to polishing one of those mystery projects up right now.

It’s a wordpress plugin that I’ve wanted to use on my blog for a long time. Inasmuch as no one was ever going to build it for me, I had to figure it out for myself. Anyway, I’ll be ready for public testing early next week, with a release Wednesday or so.

And what will this plugin do, you ask?

It’s a secret, but I’ll give you a hint: Browsers always screw up printing, so anytime I want to print out a post, lines get cut off and it generally looks like a week old egg salad sandwich.

Crash

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Ick.

Well, it looks like the motherboard to my computer is fried. That makes me unhappy. At least I’ve been good about backups.

You know what else makes me unhappy? The government.

Seriously.

Recently, President Obama (or at least whatever staff member has keys to the account) tweeted the following:

A vote against the DISCLOSE Act is a vote to allow corporate and special-interest takeovers of our elections.

If you ask me, a vote for DISCLOSE is a vote to allow politician takeovers of our corporations. Why might that be bad? Well, if the politicians really knew anything about business, they’d be able to run the government so that it showed a profit, not exponential debt.

/rant