Books I loved reading.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Plugging onwards.



I’ve almost finished another edit of Geezers 2. It would have gone a lot faster had my company not disabled the USB sockets in all its laptops. And removed the solitaire games – fascists! So I’ve had to do it all at home, not an easy prospect with unreasonable wives wanting me to do stuff around the house and a daughter begging me to polish her horse or whatever one is supposed to do because it rolled in a mountain of muck following it’s bath, just like the aggravating little sod does every single time. And who needs an unblocked sink in the kitchen. We’ve done without it for weeks. Some people are just never satisfied.
      I may have misunderstood the concept of editing. Even though, every time I go through the book I delete everything monotonous, impractical or just plain boring, the wordage continues to grow. Hopefully my wonderful, fantastic (did I mention wonderful?) beta readers will point me in the right direction when they get it following the completion of this one.
      After two weeks I’ve given up trying to find any software to replace my own useless painting for the cover. I have a few weeks so I’ll just keep tweaking it and hopefully it will be alright on the night.


       And while we’re on the subject of Amazon, not that we were, ever since I withdrew my books from all other sites in favour of the mighty A, I’ve sold just seven kindles and one paperback. At least I’m selling but just a little underwhelmed by the numbers. So as soon as Geezers 2 is up and I’ve given away Geezers 1 free for a few days I’m going to withdraw from their lock-in options. I might not have sold many on Smashwords but at least my name was getting around -  and a free entry on Google.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Ebook cover creators.



I’m fully aware that my artwork isn’t going to scare the pants off any pro but I just can’t afford to pay twenty zillion pounds for someone else to paint my covers.
     This past weekend I spent considerable time perusing the web sites offering this very piece of software. The functions within the myriad sites are relatively straightforward, and no more difficult than I could achieve with GIMP, but the large stocks of pre-painted book covers, whilst beautifully presented and far better than anything I could ever come up with, are just so generic.
     Perhaps it’s a mistake but I always try to paint my covers with an important scene from whichever novel they come from, but try as I might I simply could not come up with an image of giant lizards, or a half destroyed Buckingham Palace, and you can imagine my success in finding an image of giant lizards destroying Buckingham Palace. It was the same for my other books. A pterodactyl flying over the streets of Los Angeles, or a giant lizard cruising over Tower Bridge simply weren’t within their impressive stocks.
     Therefore, unless I can find a site catering for a mind as strange as mine, I’ll either have to save enough for a real artist, or simply improve my painting. And there’s my next problem. That might take years when I could be writing.
     So my question is this. I know everyone rails about the importance of magnificent book covers, but for Kindle, my main platform, does it really matter that much? Which is to say, would even my artwork stand less chance of sales than a bland cover with just the name of the novel?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The monster's coming for me.



‘Oh, pater.’
     I knew that voice and specifically that word. Whenever the exclamation is followed by “Daddy”, my daughter has either broken something or upset someone. The “Pater”, or more rarely these days “Father” words are only used when she wants something and intends to prove that she isn’t the simpleton she (wrongly) assumes I take her for. I gritted what’s left of my teeth for what was to come.
     ‘What is it my little projectile vomiter?’ A little banter (usually) deflates her sails somewhat. But ignoring my feeble and futile attempt, she continued blithely.
     ‘If I asked you to buy me a brand new Vauxhall Adam,’ (a sporty little mid range car which simply screams mid-life crisis as it’s usually middle aged men who buy them) ‘then you’d just say no, right?’ She nodded expectantly. I followed her game silently for the moment.
     ‘So you’ve already saved yourself about sixteen thousand pounds.’
     I began to get an inkling of where this was going.
     ‘So, if you haven’t spent all that money then you’ve got lots left over so surely you wouldn’t mind buying me another car for much less with all the money you’ve saved.’
     She smiled sweetly, secure in the knowledge that faced with such irrefutable logic I would crumble.
     ‘I mean, I’ve had my Fiesta for almost a year now and it’s getting old and you wouldn’t want me to drive something unsafe would you?’ All the big guns were coming out now. She must have been practising this for days.
     My reaction must have upset her because she hasn’t spoken to me for two days, except for limping into the house like a decrepit old cripple when it was time to muck out her horse, bravely assuring me that it was fine if I declined on the grounds of selfishness. I have an idea the car thing isn’t over yet. In fact she’s just drawing second breath.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Done it - again!



Yahaay. I’ve just finished another edit of Old Geezers 2. I don’t know how many that is, about a million I think. Is it still 2014?
    This time, despite believing I’d got it all right last time I had to rewrite an entire chapter at the end. No matter, I think it’s better, and more logical. I still have another few passes to make but it’s getting there. And I hope, will be the best thing I’ve ever written. But then I hope every new novel will be the best thing I’ve ever written, as do, I suppose, all writers.
    Now I’m taking a few days off to do some painting.
    I know, a crime against art, but I do love it.

     While we're on the subject of writing - not that we were, but I was, I'm soon to begin the next round of edits of my newest novel, The Book of Pain as soon as Geezers 2 is published. But before I do I'm considering doing the same for number three in my Three Hoodies series. 
    Numbers 1 and 2 didn't sell that well so I decided to leave the third on my computer and write it off. But I've changed my mind. So I will publish it, just 'cos I can.