24 December 2014

17 December 2014

Many years ago I received a card in the mail; I can't tell you if it was a birthday card, a Christmas card, or just a random thinking-of-you card. Those details were lost to the aftermath of what was in the card.


Not just a little glitter glued to the cardstock; no, the person who sent me the card filled it with loose glitter, and I assume laughed at the cleverness of it and the mental image of me opening the card and getting glitter all over myself.

The real problem was that I opened my mail while sitting at my desk, and all that glitter spilled onto my not-old-at-all laptop computer. One that at the time we could barley afford, but I was working on the last draft of my first book and had a deadline, and I was going to school at the same time, so a laptop became more of a necessity than a luxury. And back then, they weren't cheap; the equivalent system now would be three hundred tops, but that one cost us $1200. That was a freaking lot back then.

I opened that card, the glitter went everywhere, including the nether regions of that laptop, and it never worked the same.

Within a few weeks, it just sort of stopped.

I was not amused when I opened the card, not amused as I tried to clean the mess up, not amused as I desperately tried to get it out of the computer, not amused as the computer died. Not once was I amused.

Even if the laptop hadn't been right there and taken the brunt of the glitter bomb, I would not have been amused.

It's not funny, people.

I was reminded of this while poking through the Secret Santa subreddit on Reddit, when someone posted a picture of a card they're sending along with the gift; it's clearly labeled on the envelope that the card contains glitter, which is at least something...but still, I would not be a happy recipient.

Don't be the douche who thinks it's funny. It's not. That glitter gets everywhere, sticks to everything, it hard to clean up, and if you have little kids or pets, there's the additional worry that they'll get into it before it can be cleaned up.

It's one of those things that the mental image is funny but the reality is not. So please...don't.


13 December 2014

Things like this are why I love my friends, and also find them a little disturbing:


3 December 2014

I've had a story bubbling in the back of my head for over two years; it tends to work its way forward for a few minutes every night as I fall asleep, and I have a grasp on the bigger details of it, and of the characters...except for their names.

This is a first for me. I usually have names well in hand before I know much about the characters to which those names will be attached, but even though I can see their faces, know their ages and some of their quirks and likes, I've renamed them a dozen or more times.

I also know this will be a newer genre for me; it has the feel of a young adult novel, so instead of jumping right into it, I think I'll take he rest of this year to load my iPad with YA books and just enjoy myself without worrying about working. Max will also take a break and let his ideas simmer...and hopefully there will be another Max book.

And on that front...I've been taken to task a couple of times for the cost of the print version of his latest book. Amazon is not discounting it yet and at $11.95 for a 140 page book, yes, that price point is high.  Higher than I'd like, but other than essentially working for free, it's where the book had to priced.

Prices aren't just pulled out of a hat like a angry rabbit; there's the cost of printing and the costs associated with distribution. In order to get stores to make it available for order, they require a fairy hefty discount up front, generally 55%. Print costs run about $3.80 per book.

11.95 - 55% = 6.57 ... leaving 5.38
5.38 - 3.80 = 1.58

That's roughly the royalty on the sale of one copy of Epistle through distribution channels.

I still have to pay income tax on that.

I kinda think my work is worth a buck and a half a copy.

Still...twelve bucks is a lot for a book that short; we ordered 50 copies at cost and Max has been selling them for $6.50 + shipping on his blog. It's less money for interested readers and in the end nets about $2.70 pre-tax.

But I do hear you about the cost of a short book.

The Kindle version is a much better buy--especially if you have Amazon Prime. You can borrow it and read it for free.

I'd go that route, personally. And I generally preferring buying books, but I'm totally down with the masses reading it for free *if* they get it from Amazon. I'm not down with anyone sticking it online and sharing it that way. That's just...mean.