Distribution

For Dangerous Metal I went the self-publishing route, and some of my reasons for that were in last week’s post. Today I’m going to talk about distribution, why I am distributing the way I am.

First a failure!

Personally, I read on iBooks most of the time. If I have the option to read in iBooks or Kindle I pick iBooks every time. (I read enough on iBooks that I got enough money back to buy a couple of new author programs and new books!) I got set up with iTunes for the podcast very easily. I went well I’ll try to set up with iBooks directly.

Dangerous Metal ebook cover
Dangerous Metal ebook cover

…….no. Just no.

I knew you needed to own a Mac, I do, so no problem there. I knew that epub would work. Great. I can make an epub. (more on that later) I spent three nights after work fighting with it. Trying to find the iTunes Publisher, and get signed up because I need a different connect account and I need all this other stuff and emails weren’t coming through and you know what? Maybe next time. (And I will likely try again, just my frustration got too much so not this round.)

Actual Distribution with Kindle and Smashwords

My choice has been to submit directly to Amazon and submit everywhere else with Smashwords.

Direct to Amazon?

Some of the things I’ve published I’ve tried the exclusivity thing with. (Nothing has done well. I’m not doing it with Dangerous Metal for that and many other reasons.) I can upload the epub and so far it has always worked smoothly for me. It has been quick and easy to upload.

I’ve also had some concerns about the connection with ACX. For ACX you claim a book on Amazon and then set up from there. If the book is updated there can be Whispersync issues, etc.

For me, it makes a lot more sense to do Amazon directly.

Smashwords

I know that Smashwords is one of several different distribution companies (I read a bunch of stuff about Smashwords vs D2D. The primary downside of Smashwords seems to be that it is “harder” to format. The primary upside is that they have more distribution locations (libraries! and I can set a lower price for libraries). I haven’t had any format issues with Smashwords at all. The epub I’ve created has so far turned out just fine, no formatting throwbacks at all. So Smashwords works well for me.

Audio

You had to know it was coming! Audio distribution for me is through ACX. It is incredibly easy. Once the book was on Amazon (even just for pre-order) I can go into my ACX account and claim the book and then upload it.

The reason my audiobook was out before the ebook is because I can’t set a preorder date on ACX. I have a couple books that I narrated that have been hung up for a long time so I thought that it would be slower. HA!

ACX turned my book around and published it in under a week. It can sometimes take longer so it is a little hard to judge when that goes live. (The other book is still hung up, go figure!)

ACX sends the audiobook to Audible, iBooks, and Amazon.

I’m not 100% sure what gets something set up with Whispersync but most of my stuff has ended up Whispersync.

Distributed!

So Dangerous Metal has 3 primary distribution points. Amazon (KDP), Smashwords, and ACX.

But wait…what about paper?!

Nope. This may be an error, I’m not sure. I am open to working on this later. For me, paper books are a super low priority. I am not excited to see my book in the store. It isn’t something I am pushing for. I know I’m not going to go out and get my local bookstore to sell it on their shelves. (Because that would require talking…to people…) I don’t go to conventions (again…people….) or do events (with people….) so for me at this point I’m not doing that.

I might in the future. But I’m not right now for Dangerous Metal.

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S1.18 Upon an Eveningstar

Upon an Eveningstar is written by Stefan Budansew.

You can learn more about Stefan at his blog https://stefanbudansew.wordpress.com/. You can support him by purchasing Immersion on Amazon, Kindle.

Stefan Budansew has been storyteller his entire life, however he only started writing the stories down in 2013. Initially encouraged by Nanowrimo, Stefan published his first short novel in 2015, and has several other works in progress. He also assists with the 600 Second Saga podcast and encourages others to share all the stories which they keep inside. Stefan has a love of science fiction, old-school tabletop gaming and video games.

Read the text of Upon an Eveningstar
Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5 star review on your podcast tool.

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Hot Hot Summer Roundup

My part of the world is hot. Gross, sticky, swimming through the air hot. And not just hot outside, but my office building is ish, it’s hard to brain when it is hot. To everyone who manages to brain work thing when it is hot my hat is off to you! So here’s a hot hot summer roundup. I’ll be back next week with more about Dangerous Metal and some formatting and publishing stuff.

sun
hot hot summer

What is worse hot or cold?

This story isn’t as glib as my headline. Deaths from Heat and Cold from the Reality Check. A podcast from Canada. Where it is colder. Mostly. Depending on where in Canada.

Stay safe

If you get out to “enjoy” the outdoors and work out stay safe please! The Mayo has tips.

SUPER COOLED!

Whatever I’m 5 sometimes. I love the super cooled water trick. Though I may love the whole sodium acetate supercools to all warm and toasty levels more. Maybe.

Jiggly!

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S1.17 You Sunk My Battleship…Again!

This was You Sunk My Battleship?Again! by Elise Abram
Read more about Alice Mable in I Was, Am, Will Be Alice by Elise Abram.

Elise Abram is high school teacher of English and Computer Studies, former archaeologist, editor, publisher, award winning author, avid reader of literary and science fiction, and student of the human condition. Everything she does, watches, reads and hears is fodder for her writing. She is passionate about writing and language, cooking, and ABC’s Once Upon A Time. In her spare time she experiments with paleo cookery, knits badly, and writes. She also bakes. Most of the time it doesn’t burn. Her family doesn’t seem to mind.
Find more at eliseabram.com.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5 star review on iTunes.

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Formatting roundup

I’ve been doing a lot of work on the novel lately and part of that was formatting. I read a bunch of stuff. I bring you a formatting roundup. Some of which helped. Though the other thing that helped is the CSS I know from my other life.

I clearly still have a lot to learn, a lot. But hopefully, I did ok with this book. Epubs are what I’ve been using for Kindle and Smashwords. So far I’m not noticing anything horrible doing it that way. I haven’t yet gone into the world of physical books so I don’t have anything about that. Just the epubs.

Formatting with Scrivener

This is super long and detailed from Garrett Robinson a whole bunch of steps. At the end of each post is a link to the next post.

Compiling with Style. I don’t know that I have style.

And if you’ve been going, I keep hearing about this Scrivener but I’ve been holding back because I want to be able to use my iOS device? Good news!

Good News!

Scrivener is coming to iOS soon… Which means, yes, I’m going all in for an iPad Pro – hopefully the 12 this fall when they do a refresh. I got a chance to play with one and I’m really excited about it. I think it will be a good writing tool. Though I’m still waiting for an outstanding audio editing app.

Dig into the code

If you are breaking into the code there are some other resources. I’ve tried using tools for Mac to set up ePubs before I officially got frustrated. It was official. I have a certificate here somewhere.

Table of contents from a site dedicated to making better ePubs.

And a big ePub resource.

Content

Who doesn’t love a numbered list? The Book Designer wrote about 6 Things to put in your ebook.

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Dangerous Metal trailer

I have a pretty thing to share! A Dangerous Metal trailer.

A huge thank you to Stefan Budansew for the work on this trailer.

The audiobook is currently going through final checks so it should be out soon. I’m very excited about having it live. The July 29th episode of the podcast will also be Dangerous Metal related.

I will have some more updates later this week, and a roundup post of some kind.

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S1.16 An Apple Tree

An Apple Tree is written by Katelyn Moose.

Listen to season 1 episode 6, An Ill-fated Scarf for more about Ann.

Katelyn writes YA fantasy and is currently working on a deep sea adventure novel as well as a magical series featuring a trio of diverse heroines.  She lives with her husband, two energetic boys and one crazy cat.  She reads every chance she gets and still amazes people with her ability to read and walk at the same time.

Read the text for An Apple Tree
Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5 star review on your podcast tool.

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Dangerous Metal

I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t been posting as much last week and this. But it is all for a good reason. I’m putting the finishing touches on my novel and getting it ready for launch. Dangerous Metal is a cyberpunk thriller and I’ve got some brand new things to share.

Covers

Dangerous Metal ebook cover
Dangerous Metal ebook cover

I will, of course, be doing an audiobook version as well. (Recording is what has been devouring my time.)

Dangerous Metal audiobook cover
Dangerous Metal audiobook cover

Description

Eva is happy to get her life back to normal, or as normal as it can for a woman who had half her brain replaced by a computer implant of her own making. Then Ernie, the ex who put a hole in her skull, shows up for dinner with her parents.

Preorder

So it is up and ready for preorder at Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords and plenty of other places. Or add it to your Goodreads shelf.

It isn’t up for preorder on audiobook but as soon as that is live I’ll be sure to post a link. I’ll also be giving away a few audiobook codes.

Warning

I keep warring with myself about this. Do I warn people? This isn’t a nice book. One of my beta readers called it unglamorous and a book that sits cold in your gut. This isn’t a warm fuzzy book. This isn’t about people taking a happy vacation. It is a cyberpunk thriller so it really shouldn’t be, but even for cyberpunk…it isn’t just a noir with pretty tech. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of pretty tech. I love the tech. But it isn’t a detached story.

Part of me is like NO!! don’t tell people to not read your book, you have got to be kidding me! That is the worst idea. You are supposed to tell people how awesome it is. (And it is awesome, another beta reader said it had all the feels.)

But…I don’t want someone to pick this up thinking it is a light-hearted romp. So, buy my book, but be aware.

Another week

As I mentioned I still have some finalizing pieces to do so I think I won’t likely post again this week. Podcast episode on Friday (and it will be a light-hearted romp!) but that’s all until next week.

Thank you!

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S1.15 A Puzzle Piece

A Puzzle Piece
Found Marble – Perhaps a puzzle piece

A Puzzle Piece is written by Mariah Avix.

You can learn more at 600 Second Saga.

A Puzzle Piece is a prelude to Thieves. You can download it for free on iBooks, Amazon or wherever fine ebooks are found. You can also purchase the audiobook on Audible or iTunes.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5 star review on your podcast tool or by becoming a patron.

 

A Puzzle Piece

I yawned and flicked away another set of screens. I refreshed the page for the thousandth time tonight. If I was right, and I knew I was, then the next puzzle would be dropping soon. There was a faction of people who were sure it would be next week at like 2:15 am, but they were wrong.
But the clock was ticking. I drummed my fingers on the desk. Refresh.
The last puzzle had been a video. Most people dismissed it as just some testing or some idiot who didn’t understand how to work basic file uploads. But some of us knew the truth, when you stripped out the noise and adjusted the speed and added in a few filters it was all perfectly clear. I’d given away the answer to other pieces, but I was going to hold onto this one.
Refresh. A file! I downloaded it. It was just a text file. I was expecting something…more interesting. I sighed and checked to see if anyone else had figured it out and started on it yet. The file was huge. Text shouldn’t take more than a moment to download.
I flipped back to my browser. The file was gone. I still had it, the download had gone through. But it didn’t exist on the page anymore, the link was gone, everything was gone, it was just like it had been minutes ago. A white page with a single string of numbers and letters and in the bottom corner a tiny little video of supposed static.
I opened the file. It was garbage. I wasn’t actually surprised that it was garbage. They all started out this way. The trick was figuring out what it really meant. I made a copy. I made another copy. I saved it to a physical drive. I stuck the physical drive in my safe.
I checked forums to see if anyone had commented on it, everyone else would have posted if they’d seen it. They were silent.
This file was mine.

I pulled the blanket up over my eyes. It was too bright out. Then I remembered the file. I hadn’t gotten anywhere last night. Or this morning. It was 6 a.m. when I finally went to bed. It couldn’t be that much later now, but I was going to crack the code.
I climbed out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen, and smashed the button on the coffee pot.
Last night I tried all of the easy decoding tricks, I knew none of them would work. The only thing that I found, was one simple note at the top of the file.
Share this and the key will be destroyed.
I was going to be the only one to figure this out, and I was pretty sure I had until next week Tuesday at 2:15 a.m.
I sat down at the computer and drummed my fingers on the desk, waiting for the coffee–and inspiration.

CTRL+F
I stared at the cursor, blinking at me like a monster. “You are a demon from hell sent to rend my soul from my body.” I smacked the tiny box on the screen with my finger.
Share this and the key will be destroyed.
No. This had to be solvable. And I was going to be the one to solve it.
I started to type, I tried number sequences.
Primes, cubes, the Fibonacci sequence. They were all too easy.
There had to be a secondary key. Maybe it was somewhere physical. So far all of the information had been completely US centered in a way that was a little odd, like the rest of the world didn’t exist. I started running some location decoding scripts.

I stood in the middle of the park. It was four am and I’d been looking for the key for hours. A six hour bus ride got me here just at dusk and I had been alone in the park all night.
I scoured all the satellite photos I could get my hands on. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I didn’t find anything that looked like a key. Since the park wasn’t that far I thought I’d just show up and look around. I maybe should have thought it out better.
I waved the light from my phone around hoping to see something out of place. I didn’t know how much time I had or what I was looking for. So far I’d collected almost two dollars in change, but no pattern I could figure out.
A glint caught my eye and I headed toward it, maybe I’d get enough in change for the bus fare home. I crouched down.
A marble this time. I took a photo, in case the location or position was important, and then picked it up. It was strangely heavy had a thread of coppery orange running through it. I spun it in my hand and it looked like 7. A number. A clue. My heart raced.
Two hours, seven dollars, and sixteen marbles later the sun started to come up. I headed back to catch the first morning bus.

0, 7, 9. The same numbers over and over. I had all 3 numbers in red, orange, green, and a dark blue. I had a yellow 9, a purple 7 and 9. I let the marbles roll around on my desk, trapped by a couple phones, a pen, dinner and my keyboard. I had tried running them as keys in every order I could think of. I was pretty sure it was just those three numbers, but there had to be another piece to the key.
I lined them up in order, all the 0s, all the 7s, all the 9s. I didn’t think this was all the marbles in the park. Someone else would find a purple 0 at some point. I paused and looked for images of marbles found in the park. They rolled around again.
The rainbow. I lined them up in order of the rainbow and grinned. This would be the final piece. It fit all the requirements of a good key.
I rolled the marbles aside and started in on running through the possibilities.

I had the file decoded. I was pretty sure I had decoded the file. But I still wasn’t entirely sure what I had, even less sure what to do with it. It looked like bank account information. All the rest of the puzzles had led to the next clue. This couldn’t be the final clue. Could it?
Why would someone go through this much trouble for this? I put my head on the desk and growled. I wasn’t sure what I’d been expecting to find at the end of the chain of clues but it wasn’t this. This didn’t seem like the end.
It was 2:15 am and I hit refresh on the page. Looking for something, anything. Feeling entirely dejected. What was the end goal? What was the final step? It had just been a game, a puzzle, a really hard interesting puzzle. Some people said there would be an encryption job, I’d take that job; some thought it was a government conspiracy, to do what I wasn’t sure; I had never really considered the end of it myself, I was so focused on the puzzle.
Hundreds of bank accounts were wide open. Maybe it was a trap, trying to get someone to steal, but wouldn’t they want to get more people if they were trying some kind of entrapment sting?
A new file. I downloaded it to start again.
Maybe it was just a puzzle, I kept playing and locked the other file away.

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