9.24.18 Due to the sheer amount of research to cover the 1950s, I am pushing back publication of Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century volume 2 to sometime in October. It makes no sense to rush anything. Thanks for your patience.
9.18.18 Mischief managed. Yesterday I got an email from my distributor confirming that they have removed the series name from all the books, including the one which Amazon refused to amend, and BBB has closed the case. Barnes & Noble never contested the issue. This is the difference between the two booksellers. And Barnes & Noble has always remained just a bookseller and media seller, not a big box store like Amazon. I have removed all links to Amazon on the site, knowing that if readers really want the books they can go to Amazon directly. I will not be promoting Amazon in any way from now on.
9.16.18 Today I read an upsetting email from my distributor informing me that Amazon said books I removed from a series should remain in the series. Of all the cheek! Who is the publisher here, me or Amazon? I referred the emails to The Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on the case I had generated with them. Then, I looked up a publishing lawyer and contacted him about it. According to his website, he is also a teaching professor so that means he knows what he is talking about, and he is in Los Angeles so if he wants to see me in person that's ok with me.
Work on Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century - Men In Space and Alien Invasions proceeds apace and I will be entering the 1950s soon. I think I will amend the subtitle to "Mad Scientists, Men In Space, And Alien Invasions" because of the 1940s and the many serial adventures involving scientists with alterior motives. Yes, I will be adding the 1950s to the list because otherwise the book would be too short. I was on the fence about it until I saw the number of pages created so far. Anyway, life goes on.
9.11.18 Today marks the 17th anniversary to the day that on 9/11/2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners and took down the World Trade Center, a portion of the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania on the way to Washington, D.C.. On that day, my significant other woke me up when he had seen the first plane hit the south tower of the WTC, and I was awake for the second impact, horrified by its destructive power. CNN covered the scenes from morning through long past midnight. I saw the wreckage of the planes, and even audio snippets from people's cell phones as they bid their families and loved ones goodbye. In the event of the field impact, the authorities talked about it as a lucky break. Had the plane hit the capitol or the white house, they would have scrambled the jets to destroy Iran. What was so remarkable about the plane was that there were passengers on it willing to sacrifice their lives to stop the terrorists who took the plane. One of them said, "let's roll", a line heard in the latest Batman film.
Today I have posted an XML on the site, on the front page. I was told that I should do this so the robots could crawl the site better. While I have done this, I cannot understand why no one had told me before, in the many years that I have operated the site. It seems like only another hoop I should jump through to even get noticed these days. It's bad enough that I should work hard on coding, only to see another obstacle placed in my way. I am not a big box store. I am a little store. Leave me alone.
9.04.18 I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. Today, I have taken down all links to Barnes & Noble Nook listings, thanks to a dismal 6 months of no sales. After reading several articles which point out that BN was not even promoting its own reading device in all their stores, I concluded that perhaps marketing my books in digital form through one or two sources alone was not a good idea. To that end, I have begun work to prepare my digital files for publication through Smashwords, which distributes ebooks to many sellers. Some of their channels include Rakuten, Kobo, which has recently started selling the ebooks through Walmart, Target, and others. Smashwords has the virtue that it can take a basic file and convert it into several different digital formats. I have recently been able to upload Destiny's Forge to Smashwords and should have the link available to post soon. Meanwhile, please consider purchasing the PDFs, which are more complete and better formatted than most other types of ebook.
8.28.18 - Why it is not a good idea to couch books in a series: As part of my effort to make my books more accessible and readable in their respective categories, I had discontinued a series which appeared to lead readers to buy thinking they were following a continuing story. Since the books were actually related but covered differing subjects, I felt that the series was misleading, so I "emancipated" the books so they could truly stand alone. I changed the book covers and amended the metadata at my distributor to reflect this. This was over 3 months ago.
8.13.18 As part of making this site more secure I have logged it with a service which monitors sites and makes sure that they are not invaded or hacked into. In the meantime I have made some subtle changes to the product pages to facilitate their service. You need to do nothing. Just explore as you normally do.
8.07.18 8:30 am PDT. Update: Mischief managed, for the time being. I finally got a reply to my ticket request and the CS rep said the problem would be fixed. Why does it take over 3 days to fix what could take only 5 minutes?
8.07.18 There has been a shocking lack of concern at my publishing service about fixing problems. I found an omission in one of my books and, when I corrected the galley files, uploaded them into my book's listing module on Friday. Lo and behold, the page behaved as if it was an ebook. I emailed customer service on that day pointing out the error. I could not proceed to actually pay for the revision. No response was forthcoming from them. On Saturday I tried again. Again, no response. On Sunday I tried again. Same problem. On Monday I called them by phone and was forced to wait for 20 minutes before an automated recording came on and told me to hang up and try again. There can't have been that many customers on the line, but Monday seemed unusually crowded. I tried uploading the files again on Monday and got the same problem. I emailed them again, and got a form email telling me a ticket was generated and they would get back to me.. No response came ALL DAY. I emailed them this morning about it and was thoroughly ticked off. I may have to close my account and take my books elsewhere.
8.03.18 Today I have lowered the prices on all ebooks. It makes no sense to expect more, since many customers have said they will not pay more. It is also digital content so there was little cost associated with creating them. Since ebooks are slowly declining in demand thanks to the return of hard copies, I think those who want the ebooks anyway will see that I am flexible. Right now, the only ebook seller who markets them is Barnes & Noble, since I have removed my titles from Amazon for lack of sales. I will wait until the end of the year to see if there is any improvement in sales of the ebooks. If there is not, I will discontinue publishing them and remove them from the catalog on December 31. So I would strongly suggest that if you want ebooks, you'd better get them now to encourage me to keep them on sale. Thanks.
7.20.18 Work proceeds apace on both books, and one will be publish sometime before the 29th. The other is going nicely and I see it being published in August instead of September. More updates later.
6.22.18 Now that the first book has been published, we begin work on the next volume of the series, Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century: Men In Space And Alien Invasions, which will not be published until sometime this fall. Meanwhile, work on Swords of The Dragon's Blood continues, and we plan to publish it in July. ♦
6.19.18 Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century: The Early Years has just gone into the print hopper and should be available in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I have put up the buttons in case you want to order. The next book in this series will probably be published sometime in August or September, as I have another book I have to finish before all else is said and done. ♦
4.15.18 I just did a search on some of my paperback books and Amazon is running some kind of sale where a book is priced as low as $2.93 with free shipping, as long as one has a Prime membership. Apparently they can't sell them fast enough. Meanwhile, anyone who sees the list price posted with a Kindle listing is asked to compare the prices between the paperback and the file. It's apple and oranges as far as I am concerned. And I haven't seen any sales since mid-March. I don't know what's going on with them.
3.14.18 I am reminded that this is PI Day, which is any day containing the numerals 3 and 14. It stands for π, the factor used to compute the circumpherence of a circle. But by circumstance today is also the day that Sir Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) died at the age of 76. Hawking was a theoretical physicist who unlocked the secrets of black holes and united their effects with the theory of general relativity as documented by Albert Einstein. He said that the heart of any galaxy in the universe is a supermassive black hole. He wrote several books, including A Brief History of Time, a book designed for laymen. His latest work was exploring the concept of "dark matter" and "dark energy", the properties of which are yet to be defined. He was diagnosed with amyolateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21 and was given 2.5 years to live. Instead, he and his family decided to fight it, and he lasted another 55 years. He had an ever effervescent wit and sense of humor, and despite the effects of the disease, managed to continue to teach and work on his favorite subject. ♦
3.13.18 A difference made. Finally, I retired the order form I had posted in case there were any credit card orders from people who did not like to use PayPal. It turns out that PayPal is perfectly fine for everyone. There was also the risk of the form being intercepted between the buyer and Antellus® by those wanting to farm the form for data, though there was little sign that this was happening. It was an experiment which saw little to no results, so I have shed it. Anyone wanting to deal by credit card can just contact me and negotiate by email. I have seen it work for other sites, so no more cumbersome forms. I have simplified the Buyer's Info page to reflect the removal of the form.
2.25.18 Good news! My ebooks are now on sale through Barnes & Noble Press (formerly Nook Press). So far I have had some sales since 2.8.18, and I have posted links on the product pages.
2.7.18 As part of our outreach to other markets, I am trying to establish a vendor account with Barnes & Noble to post our ebooks there. I had been a member of PubIt, which turned into Nook Press, but since NP was not forthcoming with sales I closed the account. B&N rebranded the site into Barnes & Noble Press. Now, thanks to a glitch in the vendor account form, I cannot proceed without activation, and that depends on tax and banking information which must match (according to them). I tried 6 times, and each time the form rejected the same information I have been using for over 40 years. I have sent them an email explaining the problem and hopefully they will fix it. In the meantime, I am reconfiguring the files according to their specs (which are radically different from KDP) but am not putting them up until the account is verified.
1.25.18 This is the first post for 2018. I have been reconfiguring the book catalog so that the catalog numbers are simpler. Before, I was assigning numbers based on the year, the order of a book by series or category, and the number of the book itself based on its original publication date. Now, all book catalog numbers are based on the order of publication and that's it. It's easier to keep track of and I don't expect to publish a thousand books in my lifetime. The art prints are in the reassignment process, so I will post them on the site later.