Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sympathy for the Devil

image by Tony CriderLately, when talking to people about why the chose the Kindle or the Nook, I have gotten the argument from many people that buying a Nook supports your local Barnes and Noble, and Amazon is getting “too big.”

I am always stunned by this opinion. I don’t consider Barnes and Noble to be a local book store. I consider them a mega-corporation, with over 700 retail locations. They aren’t the old General Store. They are the chain store that put the General Store out of business. The yay or nay of B&N booksellers has stopped books from being published. That’s real power.

I’m not going to go as far as saying that the rise of Barnes and Noble was a bad thing.  Maybe those friendly, brightly lit, coffee shops got more people reading something beyond what could be found in the measly book section at the supermarket. Maybe the decline of the independent bookstore was inevitable.

In many ways, I think B&N’s recent struggles have been caused by its success. They have rested on the laurels, taking a reactionary route. They were too slow with integrating their store and online catalogs. They released the Nook two years after the first Kindle. They were slow to integrate their services with used book sellers. They could have led the market in these areas.

Also, as a company, they seem to be looking backwards. In 2009, they bought a chain of college bookstores. College bookstores? Did your executives travel from the 1970s to make that decision? Don’t they know that college students can buy books on the Internet? In January of this year, the company lost 17% of its stock value after they floated the idea of spinning off the Nook (their only growth area) into a separate company.

So before we complain about companies getting “too big,” remember that Barnes and Noble’s greatest enemy is Barnes and Noble. And to all of you who bought Nooks, I hope you still have a company to support it in five years.

The Perils of Manual Version Control

I done screwed up, y’all

Colloquialisms aside, I just made a horrible mistake.

Generally, I do my own version control. When I’m working on Fangs Again, Chapter 4, I number my revisions FA04r1, FA04r2, and so on. So, yesterday, I took a ton of notes on FA04r2, applied them to FA04r1, and then threw them away. After forty minutes with Word’s document compare function, I think I got everything sorted out, but if there are still horrible errors, I won’t be surprised.

My first mistake was throwing away my notes, which I could have re-applied to FA04r2 in less time, but the reason for that is a story for anther time.

Time for a new project

This graph shows a trend upwards.

Four days ago, I wrote about how I was enjoying my hiatus from writing. Now, all I can think about is my upcoming long weekend, and how much I want to get started on something new.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

I think my next project will be a re-write of PANIC NO MORE, a novel about computer programming, Greek gods, nudity, religious grocery stores, and lots of video game playing.

I actually considered publishing PNM via Kindle Direct Publishing. But I didn’t pull the trigger, because I think I believed in my heat that it could go further.

I’m looking forward to this one.

My year in review

I subscribe to David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email about writing. I’m told it’s a valuable, free resource. I wouldn’t know. I don’t read it.

Seriously, it always seems to come when I can’t look at it. I’m busy with something else, or I’m watching TV, and House has just figured out it’s not lupus. However, this week is different. I read it.

In the last Kick, Farland,…

Completely wrong picture.

I have no idea who this Farland person is, btw. I just now looked him up on Wikipedia. Oh, he kind of looks like they guy who played Major Charles Winchester on Mash.

…In the last kick, Farland talked about how reviewing your year year was just as important as new years resolutions. So I thought that I might do that. Yet somehow, we’re 150 words–and two pictures–in., and I have yet to get the the crux of my nub.

… or is that nub of my crux?

So, without further ado….

My year in review.

Oh, what an unfortunate rhyme.

In 2011, I:

  • Did a complete rewrite of my vampire book.
  • Marketed my vampire book to agents, who were spectacularly unimpressed
  • Wrote a young adult book between August and December.
  • Sold my first book to a small press–theoretically sold, no contracts yet
  • Did a partial re-write of the second vampire book.
  • Wrote a non-fiction article and submitted it to a magazine

All-in-all, this was a very productive year for me. I probably wrote around 200,000 words, although about 140,000 were rewrites, and I (theoretically) have my first professional sale.

Glorious Nothing

Right now, at this moment, I’m not working on anything. This may seem counterproductive, but I think it’s going to help a lot in the end.

I took today off work, and this usually means that I stress all day about what I should be writing, and whether I’ve properly maximized my time. Instead, I worked on my Ditto Project. I did a few exercises and read some of Mr. Ditto’s book, which is still reading well (although I could make a suggestion or two.)

Usually, I beat myself up if I don’t write 1000 words a day, but right now, I’m just letting it slide, and I feel pretty good.