They. Have. Arrived….

Not ten minutes ago, the doorbell rang, the animals scarpered, and I took possession of a small cardboard box with my name on it. I knew what it must be, but…it was almost a week early!

And there they were, the print proofs of the Innerscape books. Real at last:

Sorry for the poor quality of the pics. I took them with my mobile phone so you can’t see the rich deep colour or the way the light reflects off the gloss covers. What you can see, however, is that the Godsend cover didn’t work. This is a close-up:

The bit inside the red rectangle is the background image that’s meant to represent the Innerscape containment units. Instead of being a subtle hint, the image is as good as invisible. 😦

I know I’m not a professional cover designer, so I have to learn from my mistakes, but I feel as if I should have expected this one. You see in the print preview of the Godsend cover, the image did appear much darker than the image I was working on. But…I assumed it was just something to do with the print preview function. Wrong.

The Godsend cover won’t be hard to fix, but I’ll have to ‘guess’ at the finished product because I won’t be able to request a second proof [not because CreateSpace won’t allow it, but because the postage is so ridiculously expensive].

Another thing I’m going to have to guess at is the width of the Miira spine. For some reason, the actual spine is wider that the dimension I was working with in Corel. But this is both an annoying thing and a very, very good thing because I was worried ‘Miira’ would end up being ridiculously ‘thin’. Instead, it looks and feels like a normal, albeit ‘slim’ book so I’m thrilled by that. I’m also thrilled by the back covers. They look great, they’re very readable and they are beautifully consistent throughout the three books. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that. 🙂

The Offspring and I are going to celebrate tonight with a tender Rack of Lamb, roast potatoes and a salad of homegrown lettuce, followed by a movie. I hope your weekend starts as well as mine. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 


An embarrassed apology….

To all the people who’ve gone to some effort to find the Follow button on my blog – I really do apologise. I had no idea it’d been pushed so far down the page.

Now that I do know [thank you Gradmama2011] I have to thank each and every one of you for persisting and following me anyway.

I’ve fixed the Follow button now, and it’s up where it should have been all along, at the top of the page.

Thanks again, much love,

Meeks


Is anyone using Word 2007, 2003 or earlier?

I’m currently writing a how-to on Styles in Word, and I need to know if text written using a particular style is automatically updated when that style is modified.

For example, let’s say I write a page of something in Word using the stock standard ‘Normal’ style. If I then go into the ‘Normal’ style and change the font – say from 11 point to 40 point – when I click OK, will the page of typing update to 40 point automatically?

I know what happens in Word 10, 13 and 16, but I can’t remember what happens in earlier versions. If anyone can help, I’d be eternally grateful!

Thanks,

Meeks

 


The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

I don’t post a great deal about self-publishing, but David Gaughran’s experience with Amazon sent a real chill down my spine. David is very well known in self-publishing circles and has been a tireless champion of self-published authors for a long time. For this to happen to someone like him highlights the precariousness that we all face. All Indies that is.

If you have self-published anything at all, this is an article you cannot afford to miss. And if you feel as worried by it as I do, you might want to spread the news to other Indies.

We have the power to make Amazon listen, but only if we work together.
cheers
Meeks

David Gaughran

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible had never been in Select, so I decided to throw them in for one term as an experiment at the start of July…

View original post 1,680 more words


3 hours to enter a great sci-fi competition

I don’t normally enter competitions because I never win anything. No, seriously. Nevertheless, the thought of winning a new Kindle as well as a stack of new books made me change my mind.

 

Click the link below to go to the competition page being promoted by Andy McKell, one of the sci-fi authors participating in the competition:

https://booksweeps.com/enter-win-space-opera-science-fiction-novels-july-17/

Best of luck everyone!

Meeks


They’re on their way!

Proof copies of Miira, The Godsend and Nabatea are on their way! Expected date of arrival is Wednesday, 23rd of August, 2017. I don’t know how I’m going to wait that long without going nuts.

I know you old hands are probably trying not to smile at my excitement, but there’s a part of me that won’t really believe I’m a fully fledged writer until those physical books finally arrive. I guess they’re not called ‘proofs’ for nothing. 🙂

Of course, the pragmatist in me knows full well that these print books won’t make an ounce of difference in terms of sales – POD books are expensive and I know they won’t sell. But…I’ve taken screenshots of every step of their production – both in Word and in Createspace – and I’m seriously thinking of turning all that information into a proper how-to print book. And then there’s the satisfaction of having something physical to hand out as samples, prizes and gifts.Those kinds of intangibles really are priceless.

-rubs hands with glee –

Plus I’m going to have a lot of fun along the way. 😀

cheers

Meeks


CAPTCHA nightmare

This is an example of a captcha verification screen:

I HATE CAPTCHA!

According to the official captcha website, ‘…humans can read distorted text as the one shown [above], but current computer programs can’t.’

Well, I’ve got news for you, older humans have trouble with distorted text as well. Very few of the ones I’ve had to ‘read’ were as clean and easy to read as the example shown. I guess the bots must have become smarter.

Some of us also have trouble with verification screens that ask you to click all the pictures with cars in them, or street signs, or some other stupid thing…and then make us go through screen after screen after screen after screen….

I don’t know whether it’s just my eyesight or the fact that I take instructions too literally, or not literally enough, but I have a terrible time with captcha verification screens of all sorts. And now that Amazon has started using them as well, I’m getting seriously angry. I understand that no website wants to be invaded by bots, but do they really want to drive humans away as well?

Not happy. Not happy at all.

Meeks


Steve Bannon and gaming cheats

It’s not often two of my passions combine, but this Washington Post article links the 45th US President’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon, with a company called IGE:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/steve-bannon-once-guided-a-global-firm-that-made-millions-helping-gamers-cheat/2017/08/04/ef7ae442-76c8-11e7-803f-a6c989606ac7_story.html?utm_term=.969894a83c07

In a nutshell, IGE was the brains and money behind what we gamers call ‘gold farmers’. Think virtual sweatshops in which players from poor countries earn a tiny wage for accumulating desirable ‘goods’ from online games. These valuables are then sold to lazy gamers for real money so that they can have all the goodies…without having to work for it themselves.

Most gamers hate gold farmers, and so do the developers of the games they play. It’s a despicable practice that most games do not allow. In fact, most games ban players caught farming for gold, or trying to sell these items back to players. And guess who worked for IGE during this time? Yup, Steve Bannon. And no, there is no way he could not have known what was going on. Making money off gold farmers and players was IGE’s only business model.

These days, bots have put most flesh and blood gold farmers out of work, but the practice is still despicable.

My thanks to Candy Korman for alerting me to this mindblowing article.

cheers

Meeks

 


Solar sunglasses…yes, please!

I don’t usually wear sunglasses, but I’d definitely wear these:

The frames are standard, but the lenses collect solar energy which is transferred to the electronic gadgetry hidden in the arms. That gadgetry could be enough to power small wearables such as hearing aids. For me though, the most exciting part is this:

Organic solar cells were chosen instead of more traditional silicon cells because they’re transparent, flexible, lightweight, and can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and colors. Each solar cell lens weighs about six grams, is 1.6 mm thick, and was made to fit into a set of commercially-produced sunglass frames.’

The blue highlights are mine, and they’re exciting because the same cells could also, in time, be used on windows. Imagine how much energy could be harvested if windows became solar panels as well as roofs? And think of all those huge skyscrapers – perfect realestate for solar farms. 🙂

You can read the complete article on NewAtlas. Just follow the link below:

http://newatlas.com/solar-lens-sunglasses/50732/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=0033755d27-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-0033755d27-92416841

Happy Friday 🙂

Meeks


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