Sunday, November 29, 2009


Did some more minor editing on the first 3 chapters. Did move a paragraph. There changes were capitalized a proper name, added a couple of commas, cut a couple of partial sentences or words. This will be my fifth read through the entire book on an edit pass. I'm trying this pass to focus on imagery, but when I see a technical or small error, I have to stop to fix it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Updates to text

Some writers, like James Joyce, never actually finished writing anything they published. They keep tinkering years after their book is first printed.

I'm having that problem. Little changes here and there keep occuring to me. When I make a change in my source text, I have to then make the change in the 1 chapter, 2 chapters, and 3 chapter versions I keep so I can generate PDFs in those lengths for reviewers. Of course, after making changes in the source, I then need to regenerate the PDFs.

But I'm not done yet. The Amazon Kindle and Smashwords editions each need to be updated. The Kindle source version is kept in HTML, while Smashwords is in a MS Word document. After I've made the updates to each of the published Ebook editions, I'm done.

I'll suppose keep doing this until the Ebooks are selling or a publisher accepts some version of the manuscript for a print version.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marketing puzzle

I understand that marketing on Amazon is best accomplished by reader reviews. The more reviews of a book, the more the Amazon engines "suggest" the book to browsers/buyers. On Smashwords marketing suggestions are found in the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Looking only at "Tips" it seems that "social media" is the key to driving sales. We'll see.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Published on

Time of the Heathen is now published on You can get versions for Kindle (.mobi), Palm Doc (PDB) (.pdb), epub (.epub), and Sony Reader (LRF) (.lrf) on Smashwords.

The Kindle version is (of course) also available on Amazon in the Kindle store. Amazon offers free Kindle software to read the novel on your PC (MAC is coming) and to read the book on iPhone and iPod Touch.

I'm very excited. Of course, how do we turn potential into actual readers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kindle on PC, MAC, or iPhone

Kindle has free software to allow you to run a Kindle emulator on your PC, MAC, or iPhone. Just go to the Kindle page within Amazon, and scroll down to the section on the page titled Automatically Sync Kindle Books with Your Computer and Other Mobile Devices. You can download Kindle for PC, Kindle for iPhone now. Kindle for Mac and BlackBerry are "coming soon".

Once the Kindle software is installed, you can then go to Time of the Heathen, and click the Send sample now button to have the beginning of my novel delivered to your machine.

Of course, if you want to purchase the book, you can do so for $6.99 and it will be delivered to your PC or iPhone within 60 seconds.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Novel excerpts

What would make attract you to a church or to a worship service? Such a thing seems very unpalatable. The Time of the Heathen contains two worship services. The main characters attend the first at the Abiding Presence church in the opening of the novel. The pastor of that church is presented as "perfect: topical, relevant, and kind, and unlike others in his profession, rarely said anything offensive to anyone." The music is great. The message is positive and non-denominational.

Later, the main characters attend a pagan worship service directed by a black dove priestess to the White Goddess in a sacred grove. "Ewan looked up as a woman emerged from the trees bearing two black doves in a cage made of hazel twigs. She had very white skin that contrasted unexpectedly with her most intense oval blue eyes and an abundance of black hair flowing and framing her triangular face. On the crown of her head she wore garlands interlaced with rounded white or pinkish petaled apple tree flowers. She walked with a womanly undulation under a white caftan belted by a black, red, and white-striped silk sash. She came toward them apparently completely unafraid, even mildly curious." Pagan music and message are more powerful than the carefully arranged and thoughtfully parsed worship of the West because it is unashamedly partisan.

Whether a god is present or not to receive the worship is not the focus. The contrast is between the feeble worship of the only partially convinced and the potent worship of the believing is one of the themes of the novel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Other Fantasy Novels

I just completed my reading Book One of the old Arthurian saga by Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave. I was impressed by her cleverness in extending the tale, but disappointed in two aspects of her storytelling.

First, I don't think her male characters were 'male' enough. Especially in sexual scenes, Stewart didn't seem to express a male view.

Secondly, in some magical or extremely emotional scenes, her writing lost its clarity and she seemed to retreat into a confusing prose that tossed unconnected images back and forth, as if she wished to overwhelm the reader, because she really didn't know how to express what was happening in the scene.

In all, the feel of the story was like historical more than fantasy fiction.