Tag Archives: virtual reality

Exploring Authors’ Earnings

“Submitting a manuscript to a traditional publisher is like sending a letter to Santa Claus.”

This comment, made by my husband, hit the mark so close that I had to pass it along. It made me chuckle, and then sigh.

About eight years have passed since Amazon opened up Indie publishing through Createspace and Kindle. I remember asking, “What kind of name is that?” Thinking back, it burned the traditional publishing industry pretty hard.

How has everything changed? If you like hard data, here’s the link to data guy’s author earnings report, complete with pie charts and spreadsheets. It’s quite fascinating. Print books still sell the most in total dollars, stronger than other formats due to the inclusion of textbooks and children’s books.

Science fiction is fourth in dollar revenue for ebooks behind literature, thrillers & mysteries, and romance.

Data guy shows how many books customers are buying and what price points sells the most.

Also interesting for marketing was the seasonality question. Undoubtedly, print books are seasonal. They sell most in… surprise… August and September. (Textbooks) However, most interesting was that ebooks sold the same every month no matter what the season.

Hmmm… I wouldn’t have guessed that. I still sell better in summer, but then I do more marketing at that time.

There are spread sheets that show the top selling publishers by book units and revenue and name the best selling authors in ebook, print, and audio. In some cases, names are named, but not in all. Indies appear to be shy, and almost half asked to be blanked out.

For the complete report, go to:

http://authorearnings.com/report/january-2018-report-us-online-book-sales-q2-q4-2017/

All right. So maybe numbers bore you. How about cute monkey faces? Remember I mentioned a cloning factory in China in one of my blogs ages ago? Well, the Chinese have cloned a pair of non human primates called macaques, using the Dolly sheep method. For pictures of adorableness, follow this link: Then wonder if any humans are in their queue.

http://bit.ly/2FCpdK8  (right click. open in new window)

Because I was negligent on reading Angel City Blues by Jeff Edwards last year ( hey, this is a flexible list), I decided to start with that title this year.

Boy, was I glad.

This is an urban punk detective mystery that is a fun and thoughtful read. Detective David Stalin, down on his luck and living under a dome in the dangerously poor section of L. A., lives with a highly developed A.I. Saving his life, cooking his dinner, and guarding the slovenly flat, the A.I bickers constantly with David while attending to his needs. I loved their interaction. David gets a case from a wealthy woman to find her missing daughter. There’s no DNA, no motive for her missing, no record of what happened on any security camera, and a belligerent LAPD feels he is trespassing on their case, even though they are at a dead end.

His client, however, can pull strings and cover any expense. Tempted, David takes the case, which leads to virtual reality snuffs. Here is a dirty little area of criminal activity where our detective soon finds himself secured into a helmet and thrust into a world of death and danger from which he cannot escape. He is tormented, warned, and finally released. At least, the first time. Undaunted, David continues to follow the case, which leads to an orbiting space station and the organization behind the girl’s disappearance. An exciting conclusion pushes the technology boundary even further and will delight most any techno geek.

In this novel, Edwards explores the danger of high tech used for criminal activity. With our society on the verge of adopting virtual reality for more than Pokémon games, Edwards asks us to consider what genie we may be letting out of that bottle. Even greater is the risk of using nanotechnology. He offers a scenerio that will chill you and lead you to hope that cutting-edge scientists know what they are creating while making you mindful of the threat certain technologies might bring us.

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Filed under artificial intelligence, Clones, Cutting Edge Science ideas, ebook marketing, Future of Publishing, genetic manipulation, Indie Publishing, Marketing and selling novels, Publishing Trends, Science Fiction Detective Story, The future of publishing

Writing, marketing and the web

Authors used to think that they could write the great novel, sit back and that was that. It’s no longer the case. Even with the big publishers, a lot of the marketing work falls on the shoulder of the author.

However with the internet, a lot of authors and businesses are using the web to get out and get to know their readers and customers. They are spreading the word with twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others. A long time ago I was told that the computer would free us up and give us more time to do recreational activities. It seems to have worked the other way. I spend more time now at the computer than I do any other activity except sleeping.

And I admire people like Morgen Bailey who has put together an in-depth website that promotes Indie authors. She has interviewed over 400 authors and I am number 68. Recently she revisited my blog and I have linked it here:

http://morgensauthorinterviews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/author-interview-no68-sheron-mccartha.html

If you want the skinny on me, then give it a read.

There is a section on her website that lists the authors numerically and gives their name, genre, a link and short one sentence synopsis of their work. There are over 400 authors of all kinds of genres, both fiction and non fiction. It is easy to scroll down and find the book you are looking for. I rolled down looking for science fiction and when I found something interesting, I just followed the link and learned more about the book and author. I either liked what I saw or moved on. Check out #68.

Me.

Everyday I have someone sign up to follow me on Twitter. I have no idea why anyone would, but there you go. There’s no accounting what people do. Recently, new Indie author Lee Carlon tweeted me to check out his book. Now, this has happened before…Lord yes, too many times. Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book. Headache.

However, this gentlemen was very polite and offered to send it free. In a generous mood ( a rare occasion) I went to Amazon and downloaded it. Paid real money…well a credit card. It looked interesting.

I am enjoying it.

The book is well written, so you can cross off the myth that an Indie writer is sloppy with his grammar or spelling. The writing is as good, if not better, than any old school traditionally published book.

At the start, the protagonist awakes to find himself twenty-five years into a nightmare future controlled by the New Technology Corporation and digital entities. The protagonist comes to realize that during a demonstration of what was supposed to be teleportation, he was killed, digitally copied, and his copy appeared in the box across the room. The new technology of teleportation and digital downloads transforms the society and dehumanizes real people. Everyone is required to wear a chip to keep track of them. An underground society of real humans are fighting back at the multinational  corporation that created this nightmare society…and of course his copy is supposed to be the one that caused it all.

You find yourself championing a digital copy. Go figure. Although the story is the humans versus the big bad corporation (maybe like the series Fringe) the idea of digital copies running a society is interesting. The other aspect of the story is the digital animal pets or companions that are becoming more frighteningly self aware. The book raises the ethical debate of how far should we take technology and who has the right to decide what technology is acceptable, or not acceptable. Is technology’s impact on society good or bad? What kind of technology do we want in our future?

The pace kept me reading and the action was both believable and interesting. So, if you like cyberpunk style stories ala William Gibson, Phillip K. Dick and the latest, Player One, then check out d.evolution by Lee Carlon.

Next Saturday I will be attending a workshop on small business and the web. So I might pick up my tweeting pace (which is sporadic at best) and learn more about the web and marketing. Be forewarned.

Also, Past the Event Horizon is coming out in late June, or July. I am excited. I have put up the cover for you to take a peek at and it promises to be a good all around space adventure. Stay tuned.

Last weekend I was a vendor at a small business fair next to Bombshell’s in Beaverton. I met a lot of really nice people and sold a good number of books. Thanks for all for your hard work, April. So you see, I am not giving up on people to people contact.

Nawww, people are just too fun to do that.

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Filed under artificial intelligence, artificial nature, Cyberpunk, Cyberspace, downloaded personalities, Dystopia Earth, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, modifying humans, science fiction, virtual reality

Attention Gameplayers

http://www.visual.ly/fiction-reality-timeline

Check out this amazing visual link. (above) It shows the science fiction book that introduces an idea on the left timeline and then on the right the date on a timeline that the idea became reality.

If you are a video game enthusiast…this book’s for you.

If you are over thirty-five and reminisce about the 80’s, this book’s for you.

The story is about an Earth in the near future that is falling apart. There are no jobs, no food, gas costs a fortune and humanity escapes reality through an immersive virtual world called, “Oasis”

The creator of Oasis is a Howard Hughes type recluse that has amassed an enormous fortune and no heirs. He dies and leaves this entire fortune to the person who can find a “golden egg” in Oasis. All the clues come from the era of the eighties.

If you remember Zork , Dragons and Dungeons, Bladerunner, Wargames, Pacman, Van Halen, etc. then you will enjoy wandering down memory Lane as Wade (avatar–Parzival) answers questions from that era to gain points and  inventory that will aide him win this fortune. But he’s not the only one interested in winning a fortune.

Because Wade has had no life and huddles in a discarded hulk of an automobile in a junk yard to protect himself from an abusive aunt and her boyfriend, he has had lots of time to play every game ever invented hundreds of times within the computer universe. He’s gotten really good at them. He’s a loner who even attends school online and his few friends are avatars in Oasis. It’s also an online love story fraught with the question of who any avatar really is in “real life.” Behind that awesome young looking female avatar could be a balding fifty year old called Chuck. But Wade falls in love anyway with a spitfire of an avatar who becomes his main competition.

For five years everyone has been trying to find the first clue, a key. And then, Wade finds the first key..and the real world reacts violently. He gets offers in the millions for endorsements and interviews, but his life is also threatened by IOI a large corporation that wants to take over the Oasis and monetize it. They are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way, and they do so.

At times, I felt that there was too much explanation on esoteric computers and details of the eighties, at least for me. Once again, Wade, (Parzival) has to play a game, or remember the exact dialog and action in a movie, or recall a line from a song to get to the next level. It got late, I got impatient and I skipped ahead to the end.  I rarely do that. The next morning, I rethought that strategy and went back for the complete story.

Player One is something new. Worth a look. It has a bit of a flavor of William Gibson and Phillip Dick

If you are a geek or even have geekish tendencies…then this book is for you.

Are you Ready to be a Player?

p.s. I am now reading Ashes of Candesce by Karl Schroeder.  Add in chocolate and I’m in heaven.

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Filed under 1980's memorabilia, award winning scifi, Cyberpunk, Cyberspace, downloaded personalities, Indie Science Fiction Authors, science fiction, virtual reality

Five for the Future

Finding books that will be exciting to read: an interesting endeavor.

I still combed through my favorite authors, but went out on a limb for a few. At the moment I am casting my net towards upcoming novels, or new releases. Later on, I’ll do a blog of old time favorites that are must reads. Sometimes, you miss a few.

Meanwhile I am fervently working on Cosmic Entanglement that I promised in December, but I have not yet published I have the proof and several of my beta readers are avidly going through it with red pen in hand. Soon, soon. No longer do I criticize the big publishers for their long turnaround time. Well, not as much anyway.

Five for fantastic future fun

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline   This is a story that takes place in a virtual reality that has the flavor of the 1980s. The real world is in an upheaval, but put on a headset and enter the world of this virtual reality and life gets interesting…and dangerous. Wade Watts is a trailer park kid that escapes his awful real world into the virtual world. A dead billionaire leaves his inheritance in the virtual world for anyone smart enough to solve his puzzles. In this world, there are hidden keys, that gamers are looking for that offer a fortune if they are found. Some of the people playing the game are serious about winning, deadly serious. This book was in the Amazon Best of Year 2011 and looked interesting.

2. Distrust that Particular Flavor by William Gibson. Geesh, where did he get his title? If it wasn’t Gibson, I wouldn’t give this a second look. But it is Gibson and for that reason, it is on my list.

3. City of the Dragons by Robin Hobb I came late to Robin Hobb, but when I showed up, I went hard. I wasn’t expecting to like her, so I was surprised. Start with the Assassin series, try the Fool’s trilogy and then mosey over to the dragon section. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest  So much hype about this book, that I just have to investigate it. Steampunk has been very popular the last few years, and this was one of the books that started the craze.

5. Voyage in the Night  by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. By now, you know that I like these two and their Liadon Universe stories. This is the next after Fledgling, Saltation, and Mouse and Dragon.   Sharon and Steve were some of the first to self publish and use the internet to get their books out there. They published e-books and kept on going after their traditional publishing house shut down. They built a fan base through the internet and e-books, and then, Baen books picked them up. Now they have a foot in both places–both self publishing and trad publishing. Go guys.

So, I began my list from last week and read Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. My reaction is that it’s one of his best. Can you imagine waking up and being a ghost and being manipulated into solving your own murder? How Butcher gets around the problem of Harry not being able to hold on to anything, much less be able to speak or communicate is interesting. For once, Harry isn’t in constant pain, but the action is just as wild, the difficulties, even more difficult than ever before. The reader meets all the old characters like old friends (or enemies). There are a few places that bog down with explanations on how a particular magic works, or the history of a particular magical being, but the reader often finds the information interesting. We even meet Uriel, an archangel. I recommend it for any Butcher fans, or fans of fantastical beings in literature.

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Filed under Cyberpunk, dragons, fantasy, magic, Naamah, science fiction, science fiction series, Steampunk, supernatural, the fae