Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Publishing System Revamp; Tooth-to-Tail Ratio.

The old front matter.









Louis Shalako



“Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.” > Ayn Rand.

***

Here at Shalako Publishing and Long Cool One Books we’re sixteen days into a massive revamp of our publishing system.

While many of the changes are behind the scenes or otherwise invisible to readers, (metadata or changes in formatting for example), there are a number of new cover images and we have refreshed or otherwise breathed new life into half a dozen older ones. We’ve punched up the blurbs a bit and just tried to think things through with the clarity of twenty-twenty hindsight.

Not always a pleasant experience, but sometimes a good thing to do.

Setting aside an entire month might have seemed excessive to begin with, but that might turn out to be simple wisdom.

<A brief report ensues.>


We found two or three missing titles on Amazon, we found half a dozen missing titles on OmniLit, and probably the same number on Google Books. We even found one or two that had never been published on Smashwords.

Simply by trying to get the maximum number of titles up on (or in) the maximum number of stores, we’ve probably added a few horsepower to our publishing machine.

Thinking in terms of passive discoverability, the more titles in more places means, theoretically at least, more sales.

This whole rebuild is geared to passive discoverability.

It’s massive-passive, a phrase I just coined.

New front matter with internal navigation.
We have upgraded and enhanced the front matter in all titles. It’s nicer-looking, it’s easier to read. It’s a better product. We have upgraded virtually all cover images, although there are one or two that I for one would like to find a better image for.

Until that happens, we’re stuck with the one we got.

In terms of front matter, I was frankly shocked when looking at something I had personally formatted back in 2010 when the world was still young and I was just setting out.

The new layout is much better.

The strange thing was, the book probably made it into the Smashwords Premium Distribution Catalogue and consequently, that would be why I never thought about it again.

But it’s a good idea to schedule another rebuild, or at least another quality control audit, for sometime in the future.

After working at this for a solid month, I reckon it will be time to move on.

We went over the blogs and the websites to ensure that all images are current. Moreover, we took another look at the buy links. If a platform isn’t a big seller, love or loyalty should not be enough to induce us to link to them all the time.

In terms of passive discoverability, it makes more sense to lead readers to an iTunes as opposed to someplace where I might have sold three books in the last twelve months. Let’s say I’m only selling three books a month on iTunes. A good point, but why not try to make it four a month, as opposed to four a year?

Bear in mind that you’re sending the exact same amount of traffic to either store…why not make it a more effective store?

All of this is cumulative over time. It builds on itself, (or at least it’s supposed to, and it seems like it is sometimes) but all of that was being hampered by unprofessional presentation.

What the hell, eh? There is a learning curve to everything, and I did not come from any sort of literary or publishing background. It was all learned the hard way, from the ground up.

Looking back, I guess that kind of shows, especially in the early works.

I have no real regrets about that, ladies and gentlemen.

I just wanted to see how it worked or something. But if it really is a machine, then there is nothing that I can’t learn about it or understand about it.

It doesn’t work by magic after all.

I guess that’s one good reason to take it all apart.

When I put it all back together, it will run better and be a little more efficient.

***

A customer that follows a link to your book on any given store is more likely to be presented with one of your books in the future. The customer is more likely to have an account, and to buy books, on the bigger and more famous platforms.

Those bigger platforms have more browsing customers who might see the ‘the last customer who looked at this book also looked at this book’ and (insert your name here) comes up as a suggestion. I even found a link on my website leading to the now-defunct Sony Ereader store.

That’s simply unnecessary, and useless to a prospective reader.

The point is that iTunes has a zillion times the traffic compared to some other outlets.

The even bigger point is that one or two of my books had never sold a copy, for example on Amazon. When I looked at them this time around in the previewer, the font size in them was like thirty-six point. It should be twelve, and they had the old front matter as well. It probably looked fine on Smashwords when I downloaded epub and Kindle versions, and so I just loaded it up on Amazon. But there would be a reason why that book never sold. Any customer who previewed it would just move on.

Passive discoverability doesn’t work for a badly-formatted book, or one with a bad cover. Giving away large numbers of bad books doesn’t help much either.

Also, there were issues with the tags, and the categories, in fact one book had no tags at all entered on Amazon.

One title had the last letter left off the author’s name…the list goes on. Some were listed with the author as publisher, some said Shalako Publishing and others said Long Cool One Books…

The list goes on.

If it takes another fifteen days to finish all this, that is an investment of time and effort that might have a surprisingly long tooth-to-tail ratio.

There's something to be said for peace of mind as well.

We can only speculate as to tooth-to-tail ratio.
Because I got to be honest about one thing, all of the little screw-ups undoubtedly had a long tooth-to-tail ratio in the negative sense..I mean, really long.

Also on the list for this revamp would be getting fourteen or so titles on Createspace into the last free distribution channel and out into the big catalogues. There’s some time involved there.

Also, wouldn’t it be nice to clean up some of these folders on the old PC. I could get rid of a bajillion duplicate files and make things easier to find. Also, when you do make a correction or revision, it would sure be nice to be able to quickly pick the most recent one to work on…rather than something from four years ago. I know I’ve made that blunder somewhere along the way.

Other than that, writing a quick little blog post sure was a nice break from what could be sheer misery if one was in the wrong frame of mind about it.

So far we’re doing fair to middlin’ with the mental challenges.

Yup. As it is, I have ‘thorough’ inked with a ball-point on the back of my left hand, and ‘patience’ on the back of my right.

What’s kind of interesting is that I started off as just some guy who wanted to learn how to write.

All of this other stuff is the result of setting off down that trail over thirty years ago, if you can believe it.

***

So what does all this have to do with Ayn Rand?

Not much, I guess.

Sorry about that.

***

I suppose that’s almost too much information, and that will have to do for now anyways, ladies and gentlemen.

End


P.S.:

Here is my Author Spotlight on Lulu, where clearly Redemption needs a new cover and my original Case of the Curious Killers 4 x 7" POD is looking tired as well. I can't publish Heaven Is Too Far Away because it's 966 pages and the limit for a 4 x 7" POD on Lulu is 740 as I recall.

That involved resizing 5 x 8" POD files and using a resized .jpg. Simple enough, but finding the files took some time.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue. Pt. 5.

Eight million stories in the naked city. This is just one of them.


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

***

Louis Shalako


Olympia Cartier reminded herself that frowning gave one age lines.

“Darryl.”

The servant inclined its head.

“Yes, Madame?”

“Get that policeman on the phone.”

“Inspector MacBride?”

She nodded.

“That’s the one.”

“One moment please.”

Olympia stood uncertainly in front of the panoramic view, the entire floor ringed by glass. It was one of the better views in Manhattan.

“Hello. Gene MacBride here.”

“Inspector.”

“Yes, Mrs. Cartier?” The fellow was desperately trying not to sound impatient, she understood that.

She was desperately trying not to appear impatient with him and the police in general.

If only someone could tell her, for sure, what happened.

“I was just wondering if we had any new information. On Betty.”

“Ah, no, not really, Mrs. Cartier. These things have a way of resolving themselves, one way or another.” He paused. “If the thing fell in the river or something like that, it would float. It has a transponder and emergency beacons. But the opinions we’re getting from the company and other experts is that it looks like some kind of malfunction.”

They had told her, and her husband, the same thing. This was all based on her statements. What she knew—all she knew, really; was that Betty had been there a few minutes before, and then when next she thought of it, Betty was gone.

But why?

And how?

The hallway cameras showed her opening up the door and walking out as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Which it was, and their servants came and went on a routine basis. 

The only problem was that Betty didn't come back.

“The insurance company is going to be a problem.”

“Ah, yes. Why do you say that?” The Inspector was sympathetic, and the Cartiers were important people. “All you can do is to file the report, I mean the claim, and if necessary, get a lawyer. But they’re just looking to cover their—ah, you know, backsides, Ma’am.”

It struck him just what the problem really was.

“It’s okay, Olympia. I understand. You’re worried about her, of course. They're very human in appearance, and it’s no wonder people take a shine to them…am I right?” The caller was very quiet, and her eyes were on the floor between them. “You’re sort of worrying rather needlessly about Betty, don’t you think? And of course there’s all this pressure, right?”

Pressure to settle with the insurance company, pressure to prove a warranty issue with the manufacturer, pressure to sue, pressure to make a complaint, provide information, talk it over with the husband, pick out the new model, maybe with a few upgrades or a new colour or hair-do or something. He understood the situation well enough.

She felt violated.

She didn't know what to do about it, but time healed all wounds.

Put a little spit on there and walk it off, lady.

“Uh-huh.” Inspector MacBride had seen a few little old ladies and their lost-doggy issues, she realized.

There was the hint of humour in her voice when she responded.

“Well, Inspector. It really is kind of a mystery.” Olympia took a deep breath and then made up her mind as to whether to say it or not.

He would think her quite mad.

“But...I mean, why? Why in the blue blazes would she just up and walk off like that?”

“Well. That really is the question, isn’t it?”

And the manufacturers would be asking themselves the same set of questions, and probably not liking the answers too much. Too much at stake—too much market share, too much liability, too much that could go wrong in a hyper-paranoid world that was nevertheless addicted to what people called tech as if they knew how it worked or could actually grind out the smallest and simplest component in their backyard machine shop.

There were millions of lesser robots out there, and there had been recalls in the past. There were the inevitable horror stories making the rounds.

The Inspector’s calm visage nodded thoughtfully in her big screen, as other detectives milled around in the background of the shot.

“That’s definitely one of the questions we’re asking, Olympia. But we’re, ah, you know, a little bit out of our depth, and that’s why we’re talking to all the experts.” When we get a minute, it would be better not to say.

Hopefully she got it in the diplomatic sense.

“I keep wondering if it was something I said…” There was a tone of wonder there.

He suppressed any quick changes in expression as best he could.

Lord, love a duck—and that time, he was afraid he wasn’t quite fast enough in the controlling of his demeanour.

***

“Call from Mister Cartier.”

Olympia looked up from the settee, overstuffed and upholstered in lush red velvet. It carefully replicated a piece that could have graced Versailles at the time of Marie Antoinette.

“Thank you, Darryl.”

“I’m Stephen.”

“Ah. Sorry.”

“That’s quite all right, Madame.”

The screen flickered and lit up again.

Her husband, looking long and lean and all of his fifty-seven years at that moment in time, was in the back of his car. It looked to be somewhere on the Turnpike. Any turnpike. In any city of the world, and it probably was.

Quite frankly, she had forgotten where he was today.

“How are you, dearest?”

“Oh, fine. And how are you, lover?”

“Shit. The usual, honey. Gump’s flying in from Rio. He says he has to see me straight away and that it’s, and I quote: important and confidential.”

“I wonder what that means.”

“I wish he wouldn’t call it a loan—it grates on me, that’s all I’m saying. Charity I can understand. Gump just pisses me off with all of his gyrations. So how was your day?”

“It’s still early here. But so-so.” Olympia waved over a servant, pausing theatrically at the archway, the luncheon trolley poised to strike.

“It’s still early there? In other words one of them kind of days. Okay, listen up, Honey. I doubt very much if we’ll get back tonight.” Her husband was on a trade delegation to Sumatra or something, she recalled.

Somewhere like that, but she had her own interests and so she never had to be bored if she didn't want to.

“Yes, not unexpected. We’ll just have to do without you.” Her favourite dwarf, Sylphie, crawled into her lap.

The child had a fetal-alcohol syndrome look about the eyes and forehead, and Olympia stroked her hair as the child looked up in a kind of cheerful worship.

Olympia was allergic to dogs and cats, and for some reason the artificial ones had never appealed to her.

The robotic boys and girls were different, so much more satisfying.

They were like dolls that could talk. And you could switch them off if they became insufferable.

***

Danvers was on the line again. He was pressing them to accept a replacement for Betty and sign off on the claim.

Robots and other chattels were covered under the household policy unless otherwise specified. The Cartiers had top-of-the-line coverage, as he kept reminding her.

“Well, then. Why can’t we let the police have a little more time?” Olympia had always liked Betty Blue.

She was one of her favourites, if not the favourite, among her household servants. That one had always had a kind of personality, not like some of the others. Admittedly, the kitchen and maid staff were less expensive models. They weren’t designed to interact in anything other than the simplest ways. But Betty was a companion, designed and programmed as such.

And she really had been special, Olympia had to admit. Darryl, Stephen, Missy, they were all well enough in their own way. It was true they were very much individuals. Olympia wondered if any of them had ever thought of walking off, but she doubted it very much.

There was that ineffable something about Betty.

Night or day meant nothing to Scott.
Betty asked a question once in a while, and while the others did that too, Betty’s seemed a little deeper.

Betty was looking for meaning sometimes, while the others were just looking for answers and instructions, acknowledgement. It was a kind of artificial neediness. The robots were looking for feedback of an infantile nature.

They were looking for reassurance, so that they would be better able to anticipate—and to serve.

Poor Betty Blue.

Was it something I said?

***

Devon entered the room with a bright and cheerful look on his face.

“Devon! Have you seen James?”

“Ah, yes, Auntie. James is on the kitchen level, polishing silverware.” He stopped there, looking puzzled. “Oh, yes. Scissors.”

“Ah.”

“He should be all right on his own for a while, Ma'am.” Devon went to a side-table and pulled out a drawer.

“Hmn.”

“What?”

“It’s funny how you can never find things when you need them.”

“Ask one of the servants, dear.” Devon was a nephew, and a perennial visitor to the lair, especially when he wasn’t in good odor a the Ivy-League school he had attended off and off over the last eight years.

Some day her nephew was going to be a doctor.

***

Night or day meant nothing to Scott of course, and yet it was ironic.

All that technology. They could give a robot eyes and sell them to anyone with the price of admission.

But you could not teach a blind man to see, and there were none so blind as those who refused to look.

“Well. I really got to hand it to you, Buddy.” The security guy was apologetic. "I admire you, I really do."

What a fantastic sense of humour. The guy really was priceless.

Fucking unbelievable.

The station closed at two a.m. and the man had been sitting there patiently waiting for his girl. It hadn’t escaped his notice that the man had a white cane and a rather forlorn look on his face.

“Well, what are you going to do, anyways?” There was a catch in Scott’s voice, when he realized that this meant the station was closed and they were kicking him out.

Betty had specified this exact place. Hours had gone by. She wasn’t there. Sooner or later, he had to move on.

It was a simple equation, just a few symbols, all in a row inside of your head, a language that anyone could understand..

“I’m real sorry, man. There’s a park just across the street. You can sit and watch the entrance and maybe she’ll show up…” The guard’s voice trailed off. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay. I’ll be fine. At least it’s not raining.”

The guard had his doubts, as he’d just been out there and the fine pricks of wet coldness were unmistakable. 

Rain was in the forecast, and rain was on the way. He could smell it.

“The street-light is down to the right about fifty yards.” With an arm in the guard’s careful possession, Scott had little choice but to allow himself to be led off into yet another unknown. “I’m really sorry about this, Mister. If you cross at the light and come back down the other side, you’ll find there’s a park bench right across the street.”

For obvious reasons, the guard would be risking his employment for such a simple courtesy as taking Scott directly over there. That would be all of forty-eight feet.

It's a big world.
***

Scott tapped his way along, killing time and avoiding the dreadful thought that Betty would desert him. The alternatives weren’t much better. She might have been caught, she might have given herself up in spite of her statements. She might have simply gotten lost, or detained, or fallen off a roof or something…anything, really.

It was just as the man had said. He found the intersection, listened to the signals, and the cars.

There were few voices about, but the vehicles were idling tamely enough and he set across on the familiar pong-pong, pong.

Fifty yards north, and fifty yards south. He counted his steps. His questioning stick, held in the right hand and then the left, followed the gutter on his left and then hit something on his right.

He stopped, and slowly explored it. It was indeed a park bench. Across the street, he could almost sense the security guard’s benevolent but ultimately impotent watch.

Scott sat down.

Why didn’t Betty show up?

Think in the proper terms.

What I don’t know I can’t reveal under torture.

Scott smiled, for the first time in hours.

It was a bitter smile.

The realization that he could just get on a bus and go home held its own insidious logic.

The trouble was that he wanted to know what happened. And what happens next?

Good question, he admitted.

There was a peculiar whistle from the park behind him, cutting through the noise of cars, trucks, delivery vehicles and always that persistent hum of voices from somewhere.

The whistle came again.

He’d heard that one a million times.

It started off at a certain pitch, and then it went up, and then it went down.

It was like a bosun’s pipe, only electronic.

Scott was being hailed, from somewhere in the darkness.

His heart thudded. It was closer, more insistent now.

Aw, fucking Jesus, what do I do?

How do I know that’s even her?

And yet it did make a weird kind of sense—she’d been watching the area for hours, most likely.

That had to be it. She'd been waiting.

For fuck’s sakes

Ah, fuck it.

I need to fucking pee anyways.

Scott needed to pee anyways.
I might as well get this over with—whatever happens.

He had the sudden urge to cross himself or something, in spite of a strong overall atheism.

Scott clambered awkwardly to his feet, taking his time about it. There were certain to be bushes and trees and arbitrarily-placed bedding plants and herbaceous borders.

Standing there, he sighed deeply.

The whistle came again, twice.

He felt his way into the unknown.

***

Scott disappeared into the forbidding gloom.

The guard tore his eyes off the street and went back to his regular duty of checking all the rest-rooms for stragglers, and then making sure there were no other drunks or druggies hiding away.

He had the coffee-pot and his tablet. What more did he need?

In another few hours, his relief would show up and then he could go home.



END





Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kai Zen: Overhauling My Publishing System.

A reader.










Louis Shalako


No true adventure can ever happen without sacrifice.

Nothing good in life comes easily.

You get out of it what you put into it.

***

While we talk some, we listen as well.

Having learned quite a bit, we’ve set aside April 2014 for an overhaul of our publishing system. For one thing, not all titles appeared in all stores. Looking at that brought up other questions.

One thing that needed to be addressed was our blurbs.

***

Time Storm (What I have now.)

Short blurb

Althea is the source of piezo-temporal crystals, which distort time and make interstellar space-flight possible. The Company has a monopoly. The planet is uninhabited. Everyone has a secret. With a small wintering party, life's pretty boring until everything goes terribly wrong. On Althea, staying alive is half the battle.

Long Blurb

Althea is the source of piezo-temporal crystals, which distort time and make interstellar space-flight possible. The Company has a monopoly, and the planet is uninhabited. McNulty dies unexpectedly and Freddie Smith is acting strangely. Everyone has a secret and it's only a small wintering party looking after the Complex. Life 's pretty boring, when everything goes terribly wrong. Mickey Greenwood and his friends must race against time to save the others, on a planet where just staying alive is half the battle.

***

That was the first pro marketing image I ever bought, yet another issue that needs to be addressed.

***


(Short)

If there’s one thing the evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff can’t get enough of, it’s samples of your precious bodily fluids. He’s the gaslight era's virtuoso of illicit cloning and mind-bending manipulation of the human genome. Right now he’s got his eye on Jeb Snead, one of the toughest men who ever lived, and his sexy mutant girlfriend, Miss Kitty.

Before (And this only part of what was probably the worst blurb ever written.)

Jeb is one of the toughest men alive, and he demands respect. After a personal humiliation at the hands of the New York City cops, he sets out on a trail of vengeance. In company with his intuitive horse Rooster, it leads him to the evil Dr. Schmitt-Rottluff, the gaslight era's virtuoso of illicit cloning and mind-bending manipulation of the human genome.

After

If there’s one thing the evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff can’t get enough of, it’s samples of your precious bodily fluids. He’s the gaslight era's virtuoso of illicit cloning and mind-bending manipulation of the human genome. Right now he’s got his eye on Jeb Snead, one of the toughest men who ever lived, undefeated in over a hundred bare-knuckle bouts. Hope Ng, her nefarious rescuer Rufe, and the sexy mutant Miss Kitty are all under his watchful evil eye. Luckily for them, the ghost of Tecumseh takes an indulgent interest.

After that, even

If there’s one thing the evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff can’t get enough of, it’s samples of your precious bodily fluids. He’s the gaslight era's virtuoso of illicit cloning and mind-bending manipulation of the human genome. He’s got his eye on Jeb Snead, one of the toughest men who ever lived, undefeated in over a hundred bare-knuckle bouts. He's also got the hots for Jeb's girlfriend, Miss Kitty. Hope Ng, her nefarious rescuer Rufe, and the sexy mutant Miss Kitty are all under his watchful, evil eye. Luckily for them, the ghost of Tecumseh takes an indulgent interest. Rife with the bizarre juxtaposition of psycho-sexual elements, On the Nature of the Gods is simply unforgettable.

***

The only rational claim we can make is that the new blurbs are somehow better than the old blurbs. What we are trying to achieve is ‘sales copy’ rather than just giving the whole plot away in the product description. 

That’s not to say that they are good, and they are almost certainly not great. But they are better.

All of this has to do with passive discoverability, where a better blurb will do a better job of speaking to a customer who is browsing one online bookstore or another. Assuming that one does tweet or post a book link once in a while, a better blurb still does a better job with more active marketing.

Here’s the pain-in-the-butt aspect of all this: once we have a new blurb up on Smashwords, our job is not done. Then we get to stick it up on Amazon, and then Createspace, assuming we have paperbacks. We must also remember Google Books and OmniLit, and Kobo or Lulu, or any other platform we are using. It doesn’t stop there. Assuming we have image/link type ads on our blog, we had better update our blurbs there, and in my own case, in the past I have forgotten or even neglected my website. All those blurbs will have to be fixed up as well. Admittedly this is only copy/paste work but it has to be done and it has to be done thoroughly.

Bear in mind this author has five pen-names and seven or eight blogs. That's why I set aside a whole frickin' month.

Also, speaking in terms of continuous improvement programs, 'Kai-Zen,' a new, more professional author bio must be posted all over the place, including at the end of each book. A newer, cleaner-looking front matter design must go into all back titles.

If a Table of Contents is now required for iTunes, then old stories aren’t going to make it in. If they are already in iTunes, any kind of update can blow them out of there again as they’re one of the more stringent retailers in terms of internal review processes.

Now, imagine if you will, a universe where some guy has at least 73 English-language titles…plus a few French and one Spanish. Imagine rewriting all them frickin’ blurbs and loading them up on all channels…and going through every .doc file, trying to get them all to look nice.

In one brief note, when I clean up a file—a title, I put Apr14 in the file name, that’s April 2014. I’m using the original .doc file as downloaded from Smashwords.

The next time I go looking for something in my files, I can lay my hands on the most recent one. For all intents and purposes, virtually all other file versions can now be eliminated except POD files and anything that’s exceptional for any other reason, say an unpublished work/WIP.

***

Here’s my old front matter design, it’s kind of centered and arrowhead or diamond shaped. It was also all squashed together. The first few titles were really bad.


The Case of the Curious Killers
by Louis Bertrand Shalako
Copyright by Louis Bertrand Shalako 2010
Cover art copyright by Louis Bertrand Shalako 2010
ISBN 978-0-9866871-2-9
This Smashwords Edition is published by Shalako Publishing

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or deceased; or to any places or events, is purely coincidental. Names, places, settings, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination.

***

Not very good, in some ways.

Now it looks more like this, bearing in mind the title is black and linkless:



Louis Shalako

This Smashwords edition copyright 2014 Louis Shalako and Long Cool One Books

Design; J.  Thornton

ISBN 978-0-9866871-2-9

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or deceased; or to any places or events, is purely coincidental. Names, places, settings, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination.

***

My new bio looks like this:

Louis Shalako began writing for community newspapers and industrial magazines. His stories appear in publications including Perihelion Science Fiction, Bewildering Stories, Aurora Wolf, Ennea, Wonderwaan, Algernon, Nova Fantasia, and Danse Macabre. He lives in southern Ontario and writes full time.

This was the old one.

Louis Bertrand Shalako began his career writing for community newspapers and industrial magazines, such as The Delhi News-Record, Brant News, The Nanticoke Times, Ontario Tobacco Grower, and the Fire and Safety Equipment Quarterly. A notable writer of darkly humourous speculative fiction, his works have appeared in six languages. His stories appear in publications as diverse as Bewildering Stories, Aurora Wolf, Ennea, Wonderwaan, Algernon, Nova Fantasia, and Danse Macabre. With a unique voice and gifted story-telling across genres, Louis takes the reader on a magic carpet ride and a compelling read. He lives in southern Ontario and writes full time.

***

Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Luckily, hard work is something we understand.

No honest effort is truly wasted.

A dollar earned is a dollar earned.

It’s all about showing the reader a good time.

***

Here we is on Scribd.

Someday I really ought to consider a professional mug shot.

Oh, well.

Them’s the breaks.

***

See you laters, alligators.

And there's plenty more work where that came from.


END