Archive for the 'writers' Category

28
Jan
10

The iPad: Spectacular or Craptacular?

Part 2:  My interest in the iPad is for the eBook technology, of course. The present eBook readers so far just replicate a paper book electronically. Plus most readers don’t take advantage of images and other playback formats. The Kindle is particularly guilty of this and partly this is a function of price point. The iPad is far more satisfactory in terms of a multimedia experience; the iPad can add sounds and beautiful color graphics that put the Kindle to shame. If I wanted a dedicated eBook reader I want the iPad, not the Kindle. However, at $499 I really don’t want the iPad eBook reader nor is there an overwhelming reason to want to one to replace a good old-fashioned books that could be had for all of $20. Give me a reason and a damn good one! Oh, I know it can do more than the average reader but still not more than a laptop. Make me want an iPad to pay that amount and want to lug it around!
First and foremost, we need to take advantage of the hardware and the technology. In others words, do not replicate thousand-year old technology such as paper books. Books are tactile and so is the touch screen on the iPad. Okay, I get it but I want more! I want to rethink how we read. More importantly, we have to rethink the novel experience and become less serial in our approach to the entire reading experience.

Pluses:

  • Nice, sleek design
  • Beautiful screen
  • It’s all touch baby!
  • It’s from Apple

Minuses:

  • It’s Unfortunate Name (ouch!)
  • Limited storage
  • Expensive
  • Size
  • No new functionality
  • No new eBook features

Bottom line: I still don’t have an overwhelming urge to say “Oh my Gawd, I got to have it!”

Try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download for the iPad, Kindle, Sony, BlackBerry, iPhone ebook Readers:

WWW.iPADeBOOK.ORG
WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI
WWW.iPhone-Novel.com
Technorati Profile

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

Flores Girl Wattpad Press Release
Flores Girl:The Chil..

28
Jan
10

iPad: Only a Mac Fanboys Reader

This is my first blog of the year and I find myself once again returning to the issue of the future of publishing. I watched the Apple iPad announcement today in its entirety with great interest as an author of Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot.  Is the iPad a game changer? No, I’m not a Mac fanboy, so to me the iPad is too expensive and there is not enough new functionality to get me really excited. I just keep thinking about how the entire concept of eBooks needs to evolve. The problem with most PC’s including Apples is that most computers are basically digital replacements for an analog world including the iPad. Keyboards and monitors in essence replace paper. I am old enough to remember when my job was entirely paper based; I didn’t have a personal computer during my first job from college. We moved paper from one desk to another and we had secretaries to type our important reports using dedicated word processors. Calculations were done on calculators. PC’s were to be a revolution but PC’s just allow us to create more paper faster but metaphorically it’s still paper!

My interest in the iPad is for the eBook technology, of course. The present eBook readers so far just replicate a paper book electronically. Plus most readers don’t take advantage of images and other playback formats. The Kindle is particularly guilty of this and partly this is a function of price point. The iPad is far more satisfactory in terms of a multimedia experience; the iPad can add sounds and beautiful color graphics that put the Kindle to shame. If I wanted a dedicated eBook reader I want the iPad, not the Kindle. However, at $499 I really don’t want the iPad eBook reader nor is there an overwhelming reason to want to one to replace a good old-fashioned books that could be had for all of $20. Give me a reason and a damn good one! Oh, I know it can do more than the average reader but still not more than a laptop. Make me want an iPad to pay that amount and want to lug it around!
First and foremost, we need to take advantage of the hardware and the technology. In others words, do not replicate thousand-year old technology such as paper books. Books are tactile and so is the touch screen on the iPad. Okay, I get it but I want more! I want to rethink how we read. More importantly, we have to rethink the novel experience and become less serial in our approach to the entire reading experience. I’ll have more on this in a later blog.

Bottom line:  I don’t have the overwhelming urge to say “Oh my Gawd, I got to have it!”

PS:  I want to extend my condolences to Tee Morris and his family regarding their recent loss.  Tee is one of the podcasting pioneers involved with Podiobooks and is truly one of the good guys in the industry.  I have to say when it comes to a loss of this magnitude words do fail me.

Try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download for the iPad, Kindle, Sony, BlackBerry, iPhone ebook Readers:

WWW.iPADeBOOK.ORG
WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI
WWW.iPhone-Novel.com
Technorati Profile

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

Flores Girl Wattpad Press Release
Flores Girl:The Chil..

09
Oct
09

Blogger Comes Clean to the FTC

Okay, I surrender, I give up! I admit to taking… wait a minute why am I feeling guilty?  Isn’t it amusing that the FTC is going after bloggers with $11,000 fines for testimonial advertisements and undisclosed freebies when you consider the sheer volume of misinformation and outright fraud that bombards the air waves of both radio and television never mind the Internet. Let us count the ways the FTC looks the other way when it comes to these numerous assaults to your common sense and wallet:

  • Self-help financial gurus and their craptacular seminars
  • Credit Reconstruction Services that put you into even bigger hole
  • Mortgage Refi Services by the same crooks that got us into this mess in the first place
  • Outright Ponzi schemes –  didn’t Bernie Madoff advertise his services?
  • Diet ads or supplements of more than dubious value
  • Baldness cures-  yikes!
  • Male Virility ads for supplements that are not Viagra or Levitra – enuf said buy the good stuff will you!
  • Exorbitant Shipping and handling charges on so called free merchandise
  • $19.95 doodads – just what the hell is a doodad?- that well, suck! Hey where did I put my Snuggy?
  • All sports drinks – hey people it’s mostly water with a disgusting taste and a nauseating color

Why does the FTC look the other way at these media charlatans  while its feels a pressing need to address unethical bloggers?  Because these crooks pay big ad dollars to the corporate media machine to peddle their crap but bloggers, well we kinda of live off the land!  Blogger are basically ma and pa shops with no big bucks and no special interests and hence no big campaign dollars to line the politicos pockets. Okay, I got my novel to sell and the bozo author owes me!  Anyway share with me your favorite worthless product or service that you see on the airwaves or is that cable?

Cheers,

Erik John Bertel

20
Sep
09

Flores Girl, the free Sci-Fi Podcast, is over 100,000 Downloads at Podiobooks

"Who's there she asked in a small voice..."
Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot, a Featured Work eBook on Wattpad.com is now over 20,00 reads at Wattpad. Well, the original pdocast is up to 100,000 downloads at Podiobooks.com. Flores Girl is a prehistoric science fiction novel combining elements of adventure and 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!

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

19
Jul
09

Contest: Give Flores Girl a Digg and get the Sequel for Free

"Who's there she asked in a small voice..."

If you like the free Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot novel there’s a new contest. Just give me a Digg or a Stumble by using the button on the side on the www.floresgirl.com site and you’ll get the sequel for free when it becomes available later this year! You can use this form and just add your Digg name: Submit here! And yes this is a limited time offer because when the Digg counter hits a 100 the contest is over! No purchase is required.

Thanks for your support and keep Digging!

Cheers Erik John Bertel

Try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download:

WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI

WWW.iPhone-Novel.com

Technorati Profile

wattpadlogo

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

Flores Girl Wattpad Press Release

Flores Girl:The Chil..

Entertainment Blogs

Contest Rules: You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Contest ends September 1st, 2009.  No purchase is necessary and no online subscription is necessary. First 100 contest entrants providing a Digg or Stumble Upon will receive a free copy of the sequel in an eBook format when the novel becomes available. We will notify the winners by email and winners of all contests will be contacted at the “sender” email address used to enter the contest, and the person receiving and replying to the winner announcement email will be considered the winner unless they specify another person within the reply email as the winner. No print copies are available, only eBook formats will be awarded, no exceptions! If the specified prize becomes unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances, Flores Girl may substitute a prize of like or equal value.

You understand and intend that any photo or information submitted by you to Flores Girl may be available for viewing, rating, review and comment on by the public, and understand that comments or ratings with which you disagree or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with any photo or information you submit to Flores Girl.

Open to U.S. Residents Only. Winners are solely responsible for all taxes and/or fees that may be incurred. Void where prohibited by law.

04
May
09

How Authors Can Leverage Web 2.0 without Publishers

sarah_alone_in_jungleIn my alerts messages I came across a two year old article Kathryn Lively wrote titled “Can Book Giveaways Hurt Sales?”
(http://www.articlesbase.com/publishing-articles/can-book-giveaways-hurt-sales-86384.html) how about giveaways can hurt sales. It was a fairly amusing, almost quaint read and here are a few excerpts:

“That said, incentives are usually offered to fill the chat rooms with readers. Authors may give away a prize to one lucky reader, like a small gift or a free book. The question of whether or not it is prudent to distribute complimentary books as prizes has long been argued among authors, particularly in the eBook industry….Some authors condone the practice on the premise that a book in the hands of a reader may encourage that reader to buy more books.”

This is the amusing part…

“On the other hand, such generosity may backfire, according to other authors who condemn the practice. When you consider the tightly knit readership of eBooks, particularly in the romance genre, authors may tend to see the same Internet nicknames populating chats. If word gets around enough that free books are the prizes, an author might soon discover that he or she is giving away her entire catalog to the same readers without seeing any profits. An author can feel frustrated with the practice, and wonder if such regular contest winners will ever buy his/her book. …Should an author feel trapped, however? The answer is an emphatic no.”

“There are ways to successfully offer giveaways without giving away everything. While gifts like soaps, teas, and other trinkets can add up over time (though they are tax-deductible, authors, make notes!), there is one giveaway trick that can help stimulate sales. The next time you participate in a chat, write a one to two-thousand word story that reads as a supplement to your novel. It could be a sequel, a prequel, or a side story with supporting characters. Have it formatted as in eBook in HTML or PDF and offer it as an exclusive prize to one winner. Give it a try, and watch your readership grow.”

Not a bad idea but let’s be honest authors are a dime a dozen and we are more than willing to work as scabs to garner a reasonable readers base. It’s either that or go unread.  The article was only two years old but seemed like it was from another era. I replied to her with the following comment:

“I don’t know but with so many new electronic formats and delivery systems being created new authors kind of take it for granted that a giveaway is necessary to build a reader base. Basically, it is marketing 101 for the Internet. Of course, the same electronic revolution has created a flood of words that tends to overwhelm the limited pool of readers. The old self-publishing model is giving way to innovative sites such as Podiobooks.com that allow authors to give their work away as recorded audio podcasts while other sites such as Wattpad, Stanza and Scribd allow authors to giveaway select ebook works, all in hope of building a faithful audience. How authors can monetize their efforts is going to be an interesting challenge that I find myself wrestling with. My own novel, Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot became the inaugural featured novel at Wattpad and thousands are busily reading the novel on their iPhones. But to be honest with you reading novels on their iPhones, I mean who would have thunk it? It’s a brave new world in publishing and a giveaway is the least of the author’s and publisher’s problems!”

Cheers,
Erik John Bertel, Author Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot
floresgirl.com

Kathy wasn’t amused with my observations nor with my obvious efforts at self-promotion and she promptly deleted my comment. Still the point is valid; if you are worried about the couple of bucks you are going to miss with a giveaway then you have no clue about marketing in today’s Web 2.0. That’s why most books sell just a few thousand copies and why most authors go unread and unnoticed. If you are a new author, get the audience first and then worry about monetizing your writings. The days of the big advance and the old publishing machine are in the distant past. I’m not saying today is better and sure you will have to work two jobs for a while but hey, welcome to the machine. Nowadays, the Web 2.0 eats dinosaurs like the publishing and newspaper industry for breakfast!

Cheers Erik John Bertel

Speaking of Web 2.0 try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download:
WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM
WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI
WWW.iPhone-Novel.com
Technorati Profile

wattpadlogo

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

Flores Girl Wattpad Press Release
Flores Girl:The Chil..

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




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 4 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 10 months 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 1 year 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 1 year 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.