Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fifteenth Mistake

You can now buy the digital download of Ghost Notes the Audio Book at CDBaby.

I'm not sure whether to call this a review yet or not, but either way I like it.

I love to write novels--we all know that. But I also love publishing my work myself. It's another layer of the process I get to be involved in. I like coming up with my own cover, formatting the inside of the book, testing my proofreading skills.

There's this commonly held belief that self-publishing one's work leads only to badly designed, poorly formatted, just plain lousy books. I take this as a great challenge; I try to make sure my books stack up well against anyone else's, even traditionally published ones, where people are paid the big bucks to make their company's books perfect.

For all of these reasons, this review--or upcoming review--is very validating. The reviewer, who goes by Jane Smith, reads and reviews any self-published novel sent to her. Great deal, right? Here's the catch. The moment she comes to the fifteenth mistake--typo, grammatical snafu, formatting weirdness--she stops reading. Her reviews are her impressions of the books to that point, and she indicates on what page she was forced to stop.

Her standards are so stringent she's only gotten all the way through two other books, and this after a full year's worth of reviews.

Here's the good news. She's currently on page 57 of Ghost Notes, and she's found only three mistakes! Here's hoping she makes it all the way through without hitting the magical fifteen, eh? I'll be sure to link to the final review here so everyone can see how it stacked up.

So, if you're thinking of self-publishing your book, and you're worried that your novel is doomed to look and read poorly for reasons relating to editing, formatting or proofreading, know that I once thought the same thing, and I managed to get it done well enough to impress this person.

And also know that you will work your ass off to make it so.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

Buy Ghost Notes, the novel or brand new audio book.



Buy Songs from Memory, the album


Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the novel

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ghost Notes Digital Download is Here!

Hallelujah!



After three emails and two hours spent on hold, you can now buy the digital download of Ghost Notes the Audio Book at CDBaby.



This is a big event here in the land where the law is laid down. In case you forgot, this digital download is the unabridged audio version of my second novel Ghost Notes, about five hours of fun, read wonderfully by James Lorenz, and with music mixed in when it's necessary to push to it to eleven.



At the CDBaby page, you'll notice you can sample every track of the download, all 82 of them. Do yourself a favor and click around a lot. You'll get a sense for how much range James Lorenz had to display to take on all 15 or so of the narrators of the novel. This was not an easy task. Thanks go out to him always and forever for doing such a great job.

The purchase price of the audio book is an astoundingly cheap $8.99! Find me another unabridged audio novel for cheaper. Come on, I dare you.

As for Ghost Notes, it just got a fab review!

And you can expect two other reviews coming soon here and here.

So throw Ghost Notes on your iPod, or computer, or burn yourself some disks, and on your next car ride, or plane ride, or jog, you'll have the goods to keep you satisfied. If you don't, you could wind up like Mick Jagger.



Or like that girl dancing at 0:23.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

Buy Ghost Notes, the novel or brand new audio book.



Buy Songs from Memory, the album


Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the novel

Friday, August 14, 2009

Facebook

Here we are in the third week of August, and the digital download version of Ghost Notes the Audio Book is still nowhere to be found! CDBaby seems to be having some trouble, but they've communicated nothing to me, so I wouldn't know. I'll keep trying. Until then, you can always order a burned copy here.

I now publish the content of this blog at five places.

Here
My Facebook page
My MySpace page
My MySpace Audio page
And my MySpace bulletin board.

I also try to remember to post a blog reminder at my Twitter account, but this habit hasn't sunk in yet. Please follow me there, if you like. It will help keep me honest.

I seem to get readers at each of these locations, so if it's easier to keep up with my law layin' in one of these other ways, please do so.

While my blog is the same at all of these locations, my Facebook "note" seems to get the most attention. I'm not sure why that is. Facebook seems to be experiencing its peak as a social networking device, as a piece of our society. It's kind of weird how popular it is. Its appeal reaches across boundaries. Most everyone wants to be a part of it.

Back in 1994, when I first got hooked up, what most stunned me about the Internet was that everyone was interested in this new way of communicating, but no one was communicating in a new way. On the Internet you could get the same stuff you could get in newspapers or in books or in letters from your friends and family or on CB radios, but so what? What truly new way of thinking or communicating was going to evolve out of this new technology? Something revolutionary, right?

I wonder if Facebook is the latest, newest way to communicate, taking us one step out of the Internet's dark ages and giving nascent form to how we talk when we talk on the web. Combining text and images and links in an easy-to-understand interface, posting news and videos and the like, sending our thoughts only to those we know and approve of, is this the beginning of what our Internet lives will look like for a while? Forever?

Or not. What do you think?

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

Buy Ghost Notes, the novel or brand new audio book.



Buy Songs from Memory, the album


Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the novel

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Revisions

Here we are in the second week of August, and the digital download version of Ghost Notes the Audio Book is still nowhere to be found! Rest assured I'm working on it. You can always order a burned copy here.

A few weeks ago, I gave a few chapters of my third novel, Badge, or Good Night to the Rock 'n' Roll Era, to some friends. I wanted to get feedback on how I was doing, and if it was coming across like I thought it was. I figured I'd get some praise, and some criticism, and I'd fix the problems and get this thing out to agents right afterward. I was thinking November, maybe February if things really looked bad.

Well, my friends are my friends, but that didn't keep them from letting me have it.

Let me tell you a bit about my writing process: I write many drafts of my novels. It's hard to count how many, but you can bet I go through the thing at least five times before anyone sees it. When is it time to show others? When I've sculpted the thing into the best statue I know how to make and I can't make it any better on my own. I usually fool myself into thinking it's close to done at this point.

It never is.

My friends searched out the book's imperfections like demonic therapists, managed to find a couple of elements of the novel that weren't spot-on and dragged them into the light of day, forcing me to deal with them.

Painful as this may be, the good news is that they had excellent suggestions for revision. They poked holes in my balloon but suggested ways to seal it so it can't be punctured again.

Despite the requisite pouting that comes right after such criticism, this is one of the highlights of the novel writing experience. You plug away by yourself for years at the thing, never quite satisfying that little voice inside of you that says something isn't quite right. That's when astute readers can come in and solve a problem for you. It's almost like cheating.

Of course, after you get the suggestion, you actually have to do the work, which is a whole different matter.

Despite this setback, I'll get at the revisions, and I still hope to start submitting the novel in November.

Which year, I don't know, but I feel strongly it will be in November.

Yours in laying down the law,

Art

Buy Ghost Notes, the novel or brand new audio book.



Buy Songs from Memory, the album


Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the novel