Friday, June 26, 2009

Email Malfunction

When did everything we used to write in a notebook suddenly only appear on our computers? And, of course, saying you'll back it up, and actually following through with that task ... well, seriously, who does that?

I sure wish I did!

I've lost every email address I had the privilege of obtaining. Poof! Gone into the nether reaches of wherever those things go. All my loyal customers, friends and family.

So, since I hope you are checking up on my blog (even though you didn't receive an email indicating that I have a new post up), if you'd like to be placed back onto my email list, please send me an email at garnetseyes at myfairpoint dot net. Sorry I had to spell it out, but spammers love it when you put email addresses "out there", and I already get enough "want a bigger penis", "get cheap prescription drugs", and the like in my junk folder.

Help me rebuild my connection to the world. I'm counting on you.

Oh, and I promise to back it up from now on. Hard lessons always bring about change.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Print on Demand Just got Simpler

Just when you thought the publishing business might fold altogether, a new machine emerges that may revolutionize how we buy books.

The Espresso Book Machine 2.0 will print, bind and trim a perfect library-quality paperback book with the touch of a few buttons  all in about 5 minutes. It even remits royalties to the publisher.

Using pdf files via the web or your own computer, it will print black and white or color, with a 4-color cover.

How cool is that?

Just think, no more overruns of hundreds of thousands of books that use up natural resources and sit in warehouses as waste. This will allow you to purchase a book while you wait, having a cup of joe, perhaps (hence the name Espresso). Prices of books in the future will be less due to no shipping, warehousing, or destruction of unsold books.

More out-of-print and obscure titles would be made available using a global list instead of just by country by country.

Royalties will be accurate because the publisher won't have to wait for returns to cut the final check to the author. Only books sold to the public will be created, therefore, cutting out much of the distribution, hence allowing more money for the author. ;o)

It opens up a world of possibilities, and I like possibilities.

I had heard about this machine a couple of years ago in the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont. It was a much larger, slower machine, but the premiss was there and being modified for ease of use by nearly anyone.

Right now, the Espresso Book Machine 2.0 is being used in Blackwell's Book Store in London, England, and soon will be utilized in their 60 UK branches. It's only a matter of time before it's put to use in the US. The price tag is a bit steep—about $175,000.—but the ramifications are amazing.

I love technology!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Universal Knowledge

Have you ever wondered just how little control you have of your life?

Last year, with the introduction of Sightless, I had scheduled 22 signings and talks for the summer, fall and winter. With Double Vision just having been released, I should have been doing the same thing.

But I didn't schedule anything for the entire month of June. Why not?

I'm fairly confident in my answer as, over the years, I've noticed how the Universe works . There's just some things you don't push on, some things you don't try to get accomplished because they'll blow up in your face.

The Universe knows what's going to transpire, even if we decide to forge ahead with plans of our own.

Case in point. On Memorial Day I tore the ligaments in my ankle. A stupid, unplanned, and rather painful ordeal that I'm still recovering from.

But what if I had a full schedule of signings to do this month? That would have really sucked, because aside from being a klutz, trying to get around in a city on crutches would have been a nightmare. That, and the fact that I have a clutch in my car, and it's my left ankle that's been ruined … well, suffice it to say, traveling would have been a disaster.

This all leads to a rather philosophical discussion on what we choose to listen to and what we choose to ignore in our lives. And, for that matter, who the hell is really in control here? It apparently isn't us.

Some will say it's God's will. Others will say it's Providence. Still others call it Fate. Whatever you want to call it, I just have one question. If we don't have control, who does?

Is there a lesson to learn from the experience? Or was the Universe telling me to stay home because in this economy, I'd have been sorely disappointed with all my efforts?

There are obviously forces bigger than us at work here. I'd just like to know how to get on the better side of it!