Nook Bound

Over the course of my internet marketing hijinks, I wind up slightly ahead of the curve on some things. Slightly. Like I get there right before your mom starts asking about it. There are people who are on top of every new gadget and social networking site from the beginning.

I am not one of them.

But I usually arrive at these tools with some degree of timeliness and manage to get a foothold in before they move on to version 2.0 which ruins everything.

Sometimes, however, I’m just way off.

Probability Angels should be arriving on the Nook soon, as well as Mobysomethingorother and iBooks…which I didn’t even know existed. The big hurdle for this happening was that Barnes and Noble had this labyrinth of a contract that needed to be filled out in order for inclusion in their stores and I had to establish myself as my own publisher by answering fifty questions and returning from an epic quest with a mythical dragon’s head triumphantly held aloft. I think it was their accounting department that demanded the dragon head part.

Then I found Smashwords and all of those problems were solved as well as problems I hadn’t even encountered for publishing platforms I didn’t even know existed.

At times I am a pioneer of internet publishing, most of the time, though, I am mad hermit dwelling in his cave miles away from civilization utterly oblivious to what’s going on.

I do have a dragon head tastefully mounted over my rock-couch.

So there’s that.

I’ll let you know when I’m available these other e-formats.

Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and My Blog

Over the course of trying to market myself and my books , I wind up tinkering around in a lot different places. I forced myself to sign up for Twitter when I didn’t want to and I joined Facebook under a fake name at first because I had no urge to deal with it. There are currently more reviews for my books up on Goodreads than there are on Amazon and I don’t even know what’s going on at Librarything.

To say the least, things get very scattered. Not only do I contribute to these different sites with different content and frequency, but readers and fans are split amongst them in all sorts of ways.

Over this past week, yet another site became useful for me and I decided to try to clarify, exactly, what I’ve got going on where. Then you can choose the Joseph Devon experience that’s right for you.

For starters, all large news will show up everywhere.  When the new book releases or a new contest is up, I’ll repeat that over and over again in every way possible. So you don’t need to worry about that.

First there’s this website. This is where I come when I have an idea for a piece of writing that has some heft. Obviously all of my fiction is here, but there are also posts like The 5 Stages of a Hangover and Oh, How I Love Skymall, both favorites of mine. I usually have a new post up here every Tuesday and Thursday. Recently, however, I’ve slipped with that and, as it turns out, the world didn’t end. The lull in new content on here is mainly due to the amount of work being put into the new book. I’d much rather get work done on on the book so I can get that to you sooner than think of an entertaining blog post. So, I’ll always be here on this blog, but when a major work is being finished apparently I let myself slack off.

Next is Facebook. If you follow me on Facebook you tend to get links to any blog posts that I feel are more than just updates on the book progress. I also share reviews there and jabber a bit of nonsense now and then, usually early in the morning right after I’ve had my coffee. Generally speaking, though, I feel that two posts a day on Facebook is a bit much and I try to keep it down to a few appearances a week in your feed. I feel like that’s what I want from the pages I follow, so I’m guessing that’s good for you too. There’s usually some conversation over on Facebook, too. Some replies and banter and joking amongst the readers. This is a nice, middle of the road sort of Joseph Devon experience.

Following me on Twitter, though, is the Joseph Devon experience on crack. I constantly have my phone with me and, because Twitter is so freaking easy to post to, I basically jabber on there all day long. It’s also super easy to take pictures with my phone of odd sightings around town and toss them onto Twitter. Not to mention type out whatever weird-ass fucking thought happens to run through my head while I’m walking down the sidewalk and throw it on there. And then there’s drunk tweets and my constant battle to decide what I want to eat for dinner. It’s fun. I’d like following me. Plus, on Twitter I’m happy to chat with you if you throw me an @ response. I’ve met a lot of fans on there and enjoy talking to all of them. And, every new post on this blog will pop up as a link on Twitter. It’s quite a wild ride.

Now for the newcomer. This week I’ve been exploring Tumblr. I signed up for this thing ages ago and haven’t done much with it but this week I really started poking around on my Tumblr page. I happily discovered a wonderful use for it: photos.

I took photography all through high-school and I still take a ton of pictures, but unless they’re of my family at Christmas or something I never really know where to share them. I take them, look at them, copy them to my external harddrive and basically that’s it. Tumblr is a fantastic place to share my photos, mainly because they let me put them into a queue which then posts them according to the schedule I tell it to. I can sit down when I have an hour, pick through some of my folders of photos, throw my best ones into the queue and have a month’s worth of content that I don’t have to think about. They fire off about one a day and they also get linked to in my Twitter feed.

That’s also where it starts to get confusing. Figuring out what automatically links to who when a post goes off where is nuts. I’m a little worried that writing a blog post on here will automatically post it onto Tumblr which will automatically post it on Twitter which will automatically post it on Facebook which will automatically post it on Tumblr at which point Skynet will become self-aware and the robotpocalypse will begin.

But since that hasn’t happened yet, let’s recap. Here are your Joseph Devon options:

1. Visit This Blog Regularly: You’ll get a couple of posts a week dealing either with the craft of writing or me making fun of something.

2. Tumblr: you’ll see a new photograph of mine every day. Plus whenever a new blog post appears on this site you’ll get notified with a link sending you back here. Also, my profile picture on there is me dressed as Neo from The Matrix.

3. Facebook: This is me, restrained. I’ll pop up a few times a week, never more than twice a day, with either a link to a review or a blog post I feel is worth sharing or something odd I’ve seen around town.

4. Twitter: I have no brakes on Twitter. This is like being inside my head. You’ll get links to every new blog post on here, every new photo on Tumblr, as well as frequent musings about nachos.

5. My Mailing List: In the upper right hand corner of this page is a place to enter your email address. This is the complete opposite of following me on Twitter. You will hear from me maybe four times a year via email whenever I have big news to announce.

Though if you want that little to do with me I doubt highly that you just read that blog post…but whatever.

Feel free to mix and match in order to create the custom Joseph Devon experience of your dreams.

A Tale of Two Covers

On Tuesday I showed you the brand new cover for Probability Angels. Today I’m pleased to announce that the cover for Persistent Illusions is finished. Are you ready to see it?

Well too bad. Thus far I’ve managed to keep pretty much nothing about this book covered up. I’ve shown the countdown pictures to friends, shown family most of the book and leaked Part One right here on the website.

But I’m hell bent on keeping the cover a secret until the actual release.

You Now All Own Collector’s Editions!

It took me awhile, but I finally figured it out. I wanted to put some indication on the cover of Probability Angels that it was the first book of a series but my earlier attempts were muddled. The fonts I were using made the words blur together. This was sort of annoying because I’m using my publisher’s cover template. You’d think they’d have figured stuff like that out…anyway, a few tweaks and I got it:

Looking at it now it’s a little shocking how freaking difficult it was to add those eight words at the bottom.

The old cover is no more, soon to become a rare collectors item.

A “Book One Before It Was Book One” sort of deal.

You should all rent security deposit boxes to store your copies.

Joseph Devon vs The United States Postal Service

I paired up with GoodReads again to offer up a large giveaway for Probability Angels. This led me to order a ton of books which were to be delivered by the United States Postal Service.

Okay, so here we go.

Coming home one day I found a “peach slip,” as it’s known, in my mailbox. Someone had tried to deliver my multiple boxes of books, I wasn’t home, so they leave me a slip. The slip says I could either go to the post office and pick up my boxes or schedule a redelivery. This was fine. This was what I had been expecting. Obviously, though, I’m not going to walk down to the post office and carry home seven boxes of books so I had to schedule a redelivery.

And, hey! Written on the peach slip there’s not only a phone number to call but a website to visit to get your redelivery scheduled. So I go to the website and start filling out the information they need. Only some of the information is missing from my peach slip. All right. That leaves the phone number. I give them a call and it’s this massive automated menu system that takes forever to navigate. On my first attempt I made it basically to the end of the process and then the service hung up on me. I was told that they suddenly weren’t taking calls anymore which. I have no idea what that meant. Score. I call back again later and navigate the menu and manage to schedule my delivery for Saturday.

I sit around Saturday waiting for my books and nothing comes. So, Monday I head down to the post office and seek out the redelivery desk in the bowels of the building and talk to an actual person. She is, right off the bat, angry with me. “Oh you’re the guy with seven boxes sitting back here. You know how much space those are taking up?” Because the post office lacks the space  to handle packages apparently.

Great.

“But,” I tell her, “I scheduled a redelivery with the automated phone service.”

She snorts in reply and waves me off. Then she gives me the real number to call, the number of the local post office. I manage to work out a redelivery with her for a few days later and I head back home.

While at home my mailman shows up and gives my apartment a buzz. I like my postman. He’s very friendly, very helpful and is always smiling and greeting people on the street when he’s making his deliveries. He’s like A Sesame Street character. He shows up and wants to make sure I know that these boxes are waiting for me. Yes, I tell him, I know, and I just was at the post office and I spoke to someone there and I think it’s all cleared up. But then I tell him that, at first, I called the number on the peach slip to try and get my stuff redelivered.

He laughs. “Oh,” he says. “That number doesn’t do anything. That’s the runaround number.”

What?!

This is the guy who put the freaking peach slip in my mailbox to begin with. The useless automated number is ON the peach slip. He then takes out a blank peach slip and writes the real number to call on there. He suggests I give them a call early on the day I’m expecting my redelivery, just to make sure there are no mistakes.

I gave them a call early this morning. I get put on hold. What’s playing while I’m on hold? An ad for the post office’s helpful website and automated phone line that I can use to schedule re-deliveries.

This sort of stuff reaches a point for me where I can’t even be annoyed anymore. It’s too much for my brain to handle. I have to detach and act like I’m viewing some strange exotic culture who’s customs are foreign to me.

Anyway, the books are here.

Also, due to a very long night of drinking and a cab ride home that I don’t remember on Saturday, I apparently ordered the latest Pokemon game off of Amazon.

I have never played a Pokemon game in my life. I have no idea what prompted this purchase. But that showed up as well so I’m off to unwind with a little defending of Pokemon Castle or bouncing Pokemons into buckets or pitting my Chimchim against a Pufflesnarf or whatever the fuck one does while playing Pokemon.

Stupid post office.

A Proof Has Arrived

I now have a proof copy of the new book sitting in my hot little hands. Ordering proofs is an important part of the process since you are able to see what you got right as far as font size, formatting, cover, etc.

I was able to see that I got none of those things right. Though I did spell the title correctly.

Actually, the cover doesn’t look bad. But it’s just one of the stock covers they offer over at CreateSpace.com and that isn’t very exciting. I can do better.

So…here it is:

That’s with a font that’s basically impossible to read.

In a readable sized font we are up to 500 pages.

Did you know this thing would be 500 pages? Because I sure didn’t.

How did that happen?

A proof has been ordered

Tada!

Though this doesn’t mean, you know, anything. I mainly wanted to start getting a sense of what font I was going to use as well as font size so I could start to get my head around how many pages this thing is for real.

Well, I guess that does mean something. It’s around 425 pages. That’s long! How the hell did that happen? And I don’t even think that the current font will work unless you enjoy eye-strain. So…yeah this book is longer than the first one.

That means it’s jam-packed with even more delicious goodies. It’s like if you had a pop-tart that you liked, but then someone came along and offered you a pop-tart that had twice as much stuff inside of it. You’d be all like, “Wow this second pop-tart is even better!”

It’s just like that.