Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some radio alternatives for when at the computer

Spiritplants Radio

Radio Free Amsterdam - (with John Sinclair - and sometimes DJ Fly Agaric)

GD Radio - (Grateful Dead and more)

MacVooty Radio (Slim Gaillard)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writing On...

The piece I wrote in the novel-writing competition – NaNoWriMo - needs a LOT of work...and I have done a bit of thinking about it, but haven’t seriously ripped it apart to attempt a re-write, yet.

I decided to send a brief version of my story into the BBC ‘My Story’ competition, why not? Just keep on practising. So you can see “Amusing and Amazing Myself” posted up, under Achievement (see link above). I didn’t feel entirely happy with the category, but I didn’t really fit into any of the others available. I feel a bit sheepish, aligning myself with dyslexics who wrote books, paraplegic athletes, and the currently very-popular-with-publishers “survivors of traumatic childhoods”...but hey.

Another strange thing.

I always like ‘learning by doing’, so have experimented with Lulu Print-On-Demand, knowing full well that I wouldn’t expect to sell any books (I don’t kid myself about having any kind of profile in the internet) except for the ones I buy myself, to get hard copies in my hands, or to give to friends or family.

I say all that because I discovered something strange yesterday. I had put a price on the various books I have published, as a series of experiments in formats (spiral bound, large paperback, small paperback, etc) – and the price mostly just covered the actual cost to Lulu. As I wasn’t expecting to sell any, there didn’t seem much point in marking it up. And I made downloading PDF copies FREE.

I buy my own copies at cost, of course.

But then I went onto the site, and rummaged around in the account, to find to my amazement that three of the books have been downloaded (free) more than a hundred times. Astonishing! Would that have happened if I had charged a quid? I doubt it. Free downloads are so easy that there is no guarantee that anyone who downloaded stuff has actually read the things.

Still, it’s surprising to me.

[Update: 26th January: although all the tax requirements of CreateSpaces offer of a free draft copy stopped me applying - I still use Lulu - I decided to put Infinite Monkeys (from 2008) into the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Why not? It's all a learning curve, including rejections.]

Wish me luck for round one after February 7th!

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