Ebook versions coming soon

I have been working very hard lately to prepare ebook versions of Dark Justice for internet sales. It’s been a lot of work! I am creating PDF, Microsoft Reader and MobiPocket reader versions, and each offers it’s own challenges.
Then there is the whole subject of receiving payment for the download – the e-commerce part of the equation. Still working on that one.
Keep an eye out, as I also plan to offer a free download of about half the book. Give people a chance to really get into the story before they decide to buy it or not. Hope to work out the details on that in the next couple of days.

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60’s and 70’s Characters…

I have recently asked many of you to help me come up with a list of fictional characters from sixties and seventies pop music. Many of you have come through with a good list that I had not yet thought of – so thanks to you all!
I have satellite radio in my Jeep, so I listen to the 70’s channel a lot. When a Disco song comes on I switch to the 60’s! So those are my two favorite music channels. One day, while driving home from a weekend at the lake with my wife, I heard a song – I think it was “Joy to the World,” by Three Dog Night. Of course that song starts out with the lyrics; “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, he was a good friend of mine… you know the rest (and if you don’t, you probably aren’t interested in the rest of this story!)
So I was thinking of how anyone ever came up with those lyrics, and if they made any sense at all beyond the literal meaning. I personally figured they were drug-induced.
So then I heard a lates 60’s song – “The Mighty Quinn” by Manfred Mann. In this song, everyone’s waiting for “Quinn the Eskimo” and when he gets here, “everybody’s gonna jump for joy.”
That got my mind going, and trying to think of other 60’s and 70’s music-generated fictional characters. My wife and I thought of quite a list by the time we got home.
While we were thinking and listening, I came up with a story idea that I’d like to try out. That’s the reason I was asking contributions to the list – to come up with characters who when you mention their name, you immediately know where that name (character) came from. Below is a list of the names we have all come up with so far…

Little Willy, Elvira, Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown, The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo), Lady MaDonna, Bobby McGee, Junk Food Junkie, Black Betty, Cracklin’ Rosie, Polk Salad Annie, Black Water Hattie, Mustang Sally, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Sweet Caroline, Billy Joe McAllister, A dog named “Boo”, The Candyman, The Eggman, The Walrus, Seargent Pepper, Rubber-Band man, Superfly, Shaft, The Streak, Lucy in the Sky, Rocketman, Major Tom, Soul Man, Jazzman, Venus, Proud Mary, Maggie May, Mr. Bojangles, Layla, Rockin’ Robin, Brandy, Johnny B. Good, Honky Cat, Jean Genie, Delta Dawn, Guitar Man, Guitarzan, Me and Julio, Levon, Ramblin Man
Cisco Kid, Brother Louie, Long Tall Sally (1950’s), Hey Jude, Sloopy (my girl Sloopy),Sister Golden Hair, Willie and the Poor Boys, Jackie Blue, Lola, Midnight Rider, Wolfman, Rikki (don’t lose that number), Jolene, Lady Marmalade, Killer Queen, Bertha Butt, Poetry Man, Fernando, Mamma Mia, Magic Man, Disco Duck (Ahem…) Kid Charlemagne, Lorelei, Dancing Queen, Sir Duke, Handy Man, Lucille, Christine Sixteen, Dr. Love .

If anyone can add to this, I would appreciate it. Just leave a comment on this page, or e-mail me at donnie(dot)light(at)gmail.com. Or you can tweet or comment on FB!

Reverse Piracy?

People have been installing illegal copies of software, music, and other digital media since technology has been capable of producing it. No surprise there.
However, in case you didn’t hear about it, listen to this one;
Amazon Kindle user’s were surprised last week to find that legitimately purchased copies of George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” e-books were deleted from their Kindle reading device. Apparently, Amazon has the capability to remove any e-book from the Kindle, without first notifying the owner of the device.
Is this Reverse Piracy?
Well, perhaps it was not as sinister as it sounds, but it’s something to think about.
Depending on the source, it seems that someone created the Orwell books and made them available on Amazon without ownership of the rights to those works. The legitimate rights holder has a valid complaint. The books were remotely removed from the devices, and the customers refunded their money.
All’s well that ends well.
But that is not the end.
Most customers were not aware that Amazon had the capability to remove Kindle content at will. Amazon says through a spokesman that it will handle situations like this differently in the future.
The nagging questions is this; if you purchase an e-book, do you own that copy?
The answer is no – you only purchase the rights to read that copy – you own nothing.
With a physical book, you own that copy to do with as you please. You can give it to a friend, or sell it at a used bookstore. Not so with e-books, as you can actually make copies yourself unless electronic steps are taken by the publisher to prevent it.
It will be interesting to see where Digital Rights Management (DRM) will go in the near future, and perhaps lessons learned from the music industry will hold true with other forms of digital media.
To read more about the Orwell/Kindle episode, click here.

iphone ebook reader

I was in a training class all last week, and sat next to a co-worker who just got a new iphone. Very cool device, does a lot of things, and seems to do them all well. Let’s see… you can download and watch movies on this device, access the internet, and make phone calls. I figured you could read ebooks on it! I asked him if he could download an ebook reader app, and he didn’t know. That got me to checking.
Found an interesting article at Read Write Web

Forest Park Booklaunch

Donnie with J.A. Konrath near Chicago

Donnie with J.A. Konrath near Chicago

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend author J. A. Konrath’s booklaunch party for his new Jack Daniels novel, “Cherry Bomb.” JA told his “getting published” story – which is very moving. JA had written something like 10 novels before he got a real publishing deal.
His Jack Daniels series of books, all named after drinks, are great fun to read. I have read several of them, and several of his unpublished novels as well. I have enjoyed them all. J.A. Konrath is truly a gifted writer, and great fun to be around.
J.A. is also very knowledgeable about publishing and always has a lot of good info on his website. P

Posted in Reading. Comments Off on Forest Park Booklaunch

Double-Edged Sword

I remember a TV commercial from a while back where a college professor was telling his class about what it takes to get published, making it sound very hard and complicated.  A student interupted and said with the modern technology – anyone can now get published.

The good news is – ebooks and the Internet now allow anyone get published.   The bad news is – ebooks and the Internet now allow anyone get published.

At least with traditional publishing you have agents and editors – people who know good writing from bad – making the decisions on what gets published.  For the reader, that means you have at least some assurance that an industry professional has read the material you are about to buy and deemed it worthy of being published.  Publishers risk a lot of money on new authors, so only sign up those who they believe are highly marketable.

On the ebook side of publishing, you don’t have that same “buffer” of knowledge and judgement between the writer and the reader.  In most cases, the author of the material is the publisher of the ebook and is the sole judge of the quality of the writing.  (not counting mom’s opinion of the book).  The author is also most likely the person in charge of marketing, making all the decisions about what genre the books falls into and where to advertise on the web.

I have personally bought and paid for a few ebook novels that were horribly written and should never have been offered for sale.  I think some authors are a lot like the folks who try out for “American Idol” and cannot sing at all.  It’s obvious to the judges and the viewing public that this person has no singing talent, but what those singers hear inside their heads while singing is way different than what everyone else hears.  Authors have to be able to compare their work to others, or have a reasonable way to have others give an honest opinion on their work.

I think the best way for this “author authentication” to happen, is for ebook authors to better support one another.  It’s already happening out there – one successful ebook author mentions another, and introduces his fan base to another author.  Fans who trust their favorite author will more likey take a recommendation to read the work of another author. 

I think ebook authors should READ other ebook authors.  They should write a blurb or a nice review for the ebooks that deserve it, lending some credibility to the new author and introduce them to new potential readers.

The only thing left is honesty.   An ebook author who will endorse and positively review a book without actually reading it, is only risking his own fan base.  A false review is no better than the author of the work touting their own book.

I’m looking for comments here – so if you are an ebook author, I’d like to hear how we can better help each other and how much of that is actually going on.

Keep writing – and looking out for each other…

Figuring it all out

Okay – It’s probably obvious that I’m new to blogging.  Having to do things twice and three times – if I’m lucky.  I’ll get it all figured out eventually.  In the meantime, please bear with me.  If things seem to have no relevance or seem to be out of place, there is likely a reason for it – I’m still learning to use the software.

Thanks for stopping by and I promise things will come together very soon.  So come back again and see if I’ve made any progress.