Monday, March 31, 2014

Fresh Challenges.

We'll put our heads down and do the work.

Louis Shalako

Every day, and in every way, I just keep getting better and better.

That means I'm up for some fresh challenges.

The biggest challenge is to get a better computer. Step one, a large monitor, will bring immediate benefit. My eyes aren’t the best and I’m sitting way back from the screen just to see it properly. Also, it’s stand-alone. It doesn’t require new software, a keyboard, mouse or speakers.

That’s $229.00 for a 24”, 1080p, 2ms monitor. I should have that sometime in the next 3-10 business days. 

I don’t care how long it takes to pay off.

We’re just going to bite the bullet, boil lots of water and tear up a lot of sheets for bandages, but by Darwin we’re going to do it.

A couple of months from now I’ll get the base unit, and of course there’s software, antivirus, Adobe Photoshop, and a long list of goodies on the wish list.


Shalako Publishing and Long Cool One Books have 73 titles on Google Books/Google Play. Yet there are only 65 on OmniLit, and the number varies from platform to platform.

That issue needs to be addressed.


My first three mystery titles have been dogging along with some pretty lame covers. Now is a good time to make some new ones, in the light of new knowledge, new skills and a bit of experience. That really can’t be put off much longer.

Some of the other covers could be upgraded, especially the early ones, using the original marketing image, which saves money. But punching up the design isn’t out of the question, even with our existing technological infrastructure.


My latest mystery novel, Blessed Are the Humble, still hasn’t been issued in a paperback/POD. I know I had a file made up for that, but now I can’t find it.

Such is life on the razor’s edge, ladies and gentlemen.

Creating a POD file takes maybe a couple of hours, and then there is the marketing image. I also think there is a file for Engines of Creation somewhere in a folder. I’m looking at a few hours straightening all that up.

As I go through the Createspace process, I will take a look at what is involved in using a Createspace-issued ISBN. This is a requirement for the last free distribution channel, which gets a book into Ingram’s, etc.

Once I figure out how to do that, I can maybe go back through the list and get them other books into the catalogue…capiche?

We'll see how that one goes.


Files. My files are a mess. I have fifteen copies of this, and nine copies of that, and some of them are in formats that I will never use or can easily create, for example .txt, .mobi, .epub, and what do I need a bunch of old versions for anyways?

Also, I can’t find a damned thing sometimes. I would like to clean out my files and put everything in a logical place. I would like all current book covers in one file, all latest versions of the .doc files in another. I would like erotica in one folder and other photographs somewhere else. Whether all of my pen-names have their own folder, or if everyone goes in the same folder, I haven’t quite decided.


I can only find 24 titles on iTunes. I don’t care if I have to go through fifty files, and reformat every blasted one of them.

I’ve already done quite a number of the short stories, where you have to make a table of contents that is up to iTunes’ expectations. This looks like another time-suck, but what are you going to do?

Knuckle down and do the work, even if the old epidermis crawls at times and I’m grinding my teeth and gnashing my jaws while I do it.



So. Why am I writing a serial, online, publishing as I go, with people looking over my shoulder, all snarky-snark-snark? We all know what the pros are going to think about that.

Here is your answer:

I need time to do all this other crap. It slows me down and leaves me with a lot of available time, as I only need 2,000-3,000 words per episode. I only need one episode per week.

By the time I am done, I will have another first draft. That will be the first draft of my thirteenth novel.

When I have it all in one .doc, I can rewrite and revise that until I’m blue in the face, and then I will have another science-fiction novel.


The month of April has plenty of bad weather and I think I can get it all done.

Other than that, maybe it’s time to get some bifocals.


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