Archive for the 'slush pile' Category

28
Apr
09

Of Free eBooks, iPhones and Wattpad: End to Old School Publishing?

Sarah AloneSpeculative fiction is not fantasy fiction, as it rules out the use of anything as material which violates established scientific fact, laws of nature, call it what you will, i.e., it must [be] possible to the universe as we know it. – Robert A. Heinlein

A little while back I wrote:

One of the worst aspects of publishing work in a Web 2.0 world is the myriad tasks the author must undertake. Besides writing the novel the writer must undertake numerous sleazy marketing efforts. In the past that been relegated to the obligatory series of interviews and book signing, assuming that is if the author was lucky enough in his career or her to get to that point.

Today the challenges are different and far more varied. Most of the work still revolves around the writing, editing and marketing of the work. However the marketing piece of the puzzle is a bit of a quandary and requires the greatest flexibility on the part of the fledgling writer. Worse, it is also damn time consuming.

If you go the route of podcasting, which has its myriad appeals and challenges, it requires the author to do production work and possibly the biggest challenge of all: narrating the actual work. The web work can involve a site or minimally a blog for the author’s various fans to turn into. Besides words, structures these endeavors typically require some type of graphics, Search engine optimization and knowledge of key words; all daunting challenges for the uninitiated. If you have money you could have somebody else do it but you still must manage the ongoing mess.

The biggest marketing challenge could be the designation of your work into one of the existing genres. Why? That’s because the genre designation ultimately determines your readers and finally your choices among agents and publishers.

My problem was what the hell do you call Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot? Scif-Fi? Adventure? Romance?  It has all of those elements but what is best for marketing?  An adventure story sort of describes it but there were some science fiction elements as well to the story. After all the core of the story is about the survival of Homo floresiensis on a small tropical island and that is speculative at best. In actuality these small three-foot tall hominids died out 12,000 years ago or maybe as recently as 400 years ago based on some early historical accounts. In any case, nobody expects them to be found alive and well today, at least not with the way China is clear cutting the forests of Southeast Asia. To call it science fiction would really disappoint the hardcore science fiction fans; you know not enough hardware and overall fantasy elements to keep them enthralled to be quite honest with you. I mean if you can’t have sex with an alien then why bother calling it science fiction?

Then I came across the term speculative fiction and the Robert Heinlein definition. The definition seems appropriate for my book but its usage and acceptance as part of the vernacular is no where near as universally accepted as science fiction. As a measure of popularity I did a search fro speculative fiction and turned up only a couple of million hits in Google. Compare that with science fiction with nearly 140 million hits and you have yourself a huge disparity in overall acceptance. So which sandbox do you want to play in, the larger one where you won’t get noticed or the smaller one with a much smaller audience? As I found out perhaps the genre designation is a bit old school and my recent experience with the good folks at Wattpad has drastically changed my perception of the marektplace. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Sarah hears strange voices

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is now a Featured Work on Wattpad.com. Flores Girl is a prehistoric science fiction-adventure-speculative fiction, oh before I forget romance eBook that is available for free on Wattpad, the World’s Most Popular EBook Sharing Community. Wattpad delivers free eBook novels to your iPhone, BlackBerry, SmartPhones and other mobile devices. Join the thousands of readers that are following the adventures of Sarah and Richard as they unwittingly introduce a small tribe of prehistoric people living in isolation for a half million years to the ultimate modern predator: humanity.  And you can do so right from your iPhone, BlackBerry or other SmartPhone! Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot is now available as a free ebook novel on the iPhone!

Wattpad

http://www.wattpad.com/125445-Flores-Girl-The-Children-God-Forgot-Part-1

Or try these sites for the free novel download:

WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI

WWW.iPhone-Novel.com

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10
Sep
08

Sarah Palin and the Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Creationists

It’s funny how life comes full circle to anybody who is paying attention. I started out writing this blog hoping to discuss some of the issues writers face trying in their efforts to get published. Frankly, writing can be a lonely and sometimes unrewarding task and book publishers don’t make the task any easier. A process that is inherently tied to communication can cause the individual to drown in their isolation and consequently I felt talking about such a task could at least ameliorate some of the pain. As I worked with my Flores Girl novel I found that the subject matter of my book was getting some unwarranted attention from a number of cranky creationists. Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is a cautionary tale about the discovery of a prehistoric dwarf tribe by a pair of scientists and, of course, is a complete work of fiction. Well, that wasn’t good enough for some of my creationist detractors because the title contained the word “god” and made some implicit assumptions about mankind’s evolution and that was enough to illicit some seriously cranky email. And you know how the fundamentalists are all about the written word!

So, seeking revenge and some personal amusement, I decided to go off on that craptacular movie called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” from Ben Stein. After a while, I became less amused with the blog and tired of the pointless arguments with people who read exactly two books in their lives: the bible and the instruction manual to their trailer home. So after failing to find an Expelled bootleg, I boldly pointed out that nobody cared about ID and creationism since there was a presidential election going on and that a crappy Bush-inspired war economy had everybody more worried about foreclosure. Furthermore, the creationist creeps were going to have a tough time choosing between Obama or McCain since neither one was particularly accommodating to their simplistic world bible views.

Boy, was I wrong on that prognostication! Nostradamus I am not! No sooner did I make that stupid forecast McCain goes out and adds some Alaskan Creationist- Secessionist- Pro-Life-Pro-Gun-MILF to his ticket as his VP, all after an incredibly long vetting process that must have transpired during the duration of a single bowel movement. And I should add that I am a McCain supporter!

So what of Sarah Palin and her religious beliefs? Well, five to six years ago she was a member of a Pentecostal church, the Assembly of God to be exact. Now these rocket scientists believe in a literal bible, talking in tongues, faith healing and, how can we forget, the ever popular end-of-times. We have had so many end of times I don’t were to begin. This type of inspired lunacy leads to such clear thinking as “it’s God’s will that is being done in Iraq.” Funny, I thought that was the work of a mediocre son looking to clear his daddy’s historical record but, hey, what the hell do I know? I mean we went in there to separate those heathens from the WMD’s right? Eh, okay the weapons weren’t there but we did bring freedom to the Iraqis, right? You know freedom from boredom as the local militia executes the men in your family but hey that’s God’s plan and you can’t argue about the big picture, right?

The good news is that God’s plans are not just relegated to simple matters of war. No way! Did you know that a new pipe line is a task from God? Me, I was thinking Exxon-Mobil but I guess I think way too small. Really, Palin said this. God’s will is to be done developing our natural resources, never mind all we are doing is feeding a nasty oil habit and that the sooner we can move to something alternative the sooner we can tell the idiots in the Middle East what they can do with their oil.  Ask Sarah about Creationism and she’ll reply sure Creationism should be taught in school!  We don’t have a lick of proof that it can’t stand up to rigorous scientific review but hell proof didn’t stop us from invading Iraq.

That said, Sarah Palin is not stupid. Unlike Obama, she had the good sense to realize that once she became a mainstream Republican she had to leave behind the small town church that inspired a thousand tongues. In fact, she does not does not consider herself Pentecostal anymore but I do wonder if she feels that God can still be accessed? And what about the view that Alaska is the preferred shelter for Christians in the end-of-times? There has been some talk that she is also anti-Israel but really has she ever met a Jew? Ben Stein for example? I mean really, has she?

All I know is the Expelled crowd is really charged up again and we have McCain to thank for this madness. Soon we’ll get all sorts of new home school and ID initiatives coursing through the mediocre halls of Congress. I’m thinking of voting for Obama now just for spite but damn I don’t want my taxes to go up again! What’s a thinking evolutionist to do? And where is Hillary in all this mess? Can’t she remind women not to cast their vote based on their chromosomes but to vote instead on the issues? After all, who do they think they are? Men? Someday, perhaps after the election, I hope to get back to writing about writing rather than about politics and fundamentalists. And to think, if they had just left me alone this all could have been avoided!

More on Hillary: No Political Catifght with Palin

More on Palin “Governor Palin You’re No Hillary Clinton!”

More on Palin with this story,“Apparently-Bristol-Palin-is-no-Chelsea-Clinton-Either”

01
Nov
07

The Expectations of Genre Definition: Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction is not fantasy fiction, as it rules out the use of anything as material which violates established scientific fact, laws of nature, call it what you will, i.e., it must [be] possible to the universe as we know it. – Robert A. Heinlein

One of the worst aspects of publishing work in a Web 2.0 world is the myriad tasks the author must undertake. Besides writing the crap the writer must undertake numerous sleazy marketing efforts. In the past that been relegated to the obligatory series of interviews and book signing, assuming that is if the author was lucky enough in his career or her to get to that point.

Today the challenges are different and far more varied. Most of the work still revolves around the writing, editing and marketing of the work. However the marketing piece of the puzzle is a bit of a quandary and requires the greatest flexibility on the part of the fledgling writer. Worse, it is also damn time consuming.

If you go the route of podcasting, which has its myriad appeals and challenges, it requires the author to do production work and possibly the biggest challenge of all: narrating the work. The web work can involve a site or minimally a blog for the author’s various fans to turn into. Besides words, structures these endeavors typically require some type of graphics, Search engine optimization and knowledge of key words; all daunting challenges for the uninitiated. If you have money you could have somebody else do it but you still must manage the ongoing mess.

The biggest marketing challenge could be the designation of your work into one of the existing genres. Why? That’s because the genre designation ultimately determines your readers and finally your choices among agents and publishers.

My problem was what the hell do you call Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot? An adventure story sort of describes it but there were some science fiction elements as well to the story. After all the core of the story is about the survival of Homo floresiensis on a small tropical island and that is speculative at best. In actuality these small three-foot tall hominids died out 12,000 years ago or maybe as recently as 400 years ago based on some early historical accounts. In any case, nobody expects them to be found alive and well today, at least not with the way China is clear cutting the forests of Southeast Asia. To call it science fiction would really disappoint the hardcore science fiction fans; you know not enough hardware and overall fantasy elements to keep them enthralled to quite honest with you. I mean if you can’t have sex with an alien then why bother calling it science fiction?

Then I came across the term speculative fiction and the Robert Heinlein definition. The definition seems appropriate fro my book but its usage and acceptance as part of the vernacular is no where near as universally accepted as science fiction. As a measure of popularity I did a search fro speculative fiction and turned up only a couple of million hits in Google. Compare that with science fiction with nearly 140 million hits and you have yourself a huge disparity in overall acceptance. So which sandbox do you want to play in, the larger one where you won’t get noticed or the smaller one with a much smaller audience? I’ll go with the one that is a better fit, thank you, speculative fiction. It maybe a smaller audience but in the long run hopefully it is the right one. I’ll let you know.

Great News! Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot is now available as a free ebook novel on the iPhone!




Get the Free Flores Girl e-Book at FloresGirl.com

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is an exciting speculative adventure story about the discovery of a new prehistoric people by two scientists, Sarah and Richard. Their discovery is threatened by both religious zealots and marauding industrialists. Download the e-Book in PDF, Mobi and Microsoft Reader formats. Honest it is free at floresgirl.com. Just click the chick!

For More Pro-Evolution Rants go to www.thefloresgirlblog.com

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Flores Girl Twitters

  • Okay, this first couple of weeks with Trump is getting confusing. Is Trump opting for a monarchy or a Home Shopping Network knockoff?Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 8 months ago
  • The way the Trump campaign is going lately, Hillary will have to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue before I consider voting for Trump!Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • No dog in this fight, operative word being dog but it's hard for anybody to get any oxygen, good or bad, with Trump's Carpet Twittering!Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • So is anyone surprised that Slovenia Barbie admires the Donald for his mind and charm?Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • Ted Cruz: UntrusTED!Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • Two Corinthians walked into a bar on 5th Avenue and insulted Trump. He ran away!Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • 2 Corinthians walk into a 5th Avenue bar in NYC and Donald Trump shot them.Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • @monkeywright No, those in the west who are thinking about joining ISIS need to here this more than anyone else.Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 1 year ago
  • 5 tweeps followed (thank you!) and 3 unfollowed (goodbye!) me in the past week. Thank you crowdfireapp.com/?r=tw.Join the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 2 years ago
  • Growing and engaging with the right tweeps - gained 1 new follower in the past week, courtesy crowdfireapp.com/?r=twJoin the Flores Girl Twitters, Quotes from the Novel 2 years ago

Technorati Profile

RSS Download the Free Flores Girl Podcast at Podiobooks

  • Exodus - The Final Chapter
    Sarah and Richard must fight their way off the island in this final installment of the podcast.
  • Your Hands are Stained with Blood.
    As death and chaos overtakes the island, Sarah and Richard try to escape Reggie.
  • An Unlikely Ally
    Reggie begins a reign of terror on the island that will leave nobody, including the Ebu, safe from his murderous schemes. Reggie's only challenge will be a visit from the biggest murderer in human history.
  • The Capture
    Sarah and Richard must make their escape after witnessing Reggie's brutal capture of the Ebu.
  • The Guardian Meets the Lab Rat
    Bill is presuaded by Reggie to meet with Karl.
  • The Guardian
    Karl's fever starts to takes a toll on his sanity as his efforts to contact the Ebu becomes a religious quest for him
  • New Friends
    Sarah's relationships with both Richard and Flo take a surprising turn.
  • Christian Soldier
    Reggies discovers the island of the Ebu and begins his assault but not before Karl makes his move.
  • The Cost of Weakness
    A senseless act of violence challenges Sarah and her tenuous relationships with the inhabitants of the island.
  • Weakness
    Sarah is stricken by a life threatening illness that triggers a strange personal odyssey for her.
  • The Princess Meets Flo
    While observing the troop, Sarah forms a friendship with one of the Ebu that she names Flo.
  • By the Sea
    Sarah makes a risky first contact with the Ebu.
  • 14. The Wait - Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot
    -In this episode: Sarah and Richard wait for the Ebu at a small pond.
  • Discovery
    Sarah and Richard begin their exploration of the island in search of the Ebu.
  • Resolve
    After losing everything to the pirates, Sarah and Richard face their own personal failure and decide whether or not they should return to the states.
  • Pirates of the Flores Sea
    As they begin to set out for Sarah's island, Sarah's and Richard's boat is boarded by dangerous high-sea pirates.
  • All Work and No Play
    Before leaving for Sarah's mysterious island Sarah and Richard head out for a night on the town in Flores.
  • The Boss
    Sarah and Richard put their expedition together and travel to Flores Island in search of the Ebu Gogo.
  • Higher Calling
    Unbeknownst to Reggie and Bill, Karl, the head lab assistant at GenTech, is busily sabotaging the pharmaceutical giant's controversial stem cell research.
  • Corporate Citizen
    Ruthless elements within a large pharmaceutical company make their own plans for the Ebu.