Been thinking…

As I write more and more of my second book, I’m less happy with my first book.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed or anything, it’s just that if I’m to become a successful writer, that first book will be where so many potential fans will start.

Anyway, I’ve re-written the first few pages & loaded up both versions here. I’d REALLY appreciate it if people could take some time and read the pair of them and let me know what you think.

All The Stars That I Can See – Book 1 -test

All The Stars That I Can See – Book 1 -original

Brett Bridger

Using Tech as a Conveniance or a Plot line?

Interesting article about one author’s view on teleporters. He’s annoyed because everyone is now using them as a convenience in their story, not as a plot device. Took me a minute to figure out where he was coming from, but once I did I suddenly saw potential in lots of tech devices.

What if it suddenly doesn’t work? What if it’s been malfunctioning all along, but no-one noticed? <Evil laugh fades into distance…>

http://io9.com/the-tragic-demise-of-science-fictions-greatest-idea-1642504729

Brett Bridger

First version compared to the final

I was talking with a friend and jokingly said i should post the first version of my book, just so people can see how it (and me) have grown. To my consternation he enthusiastically agreed.

So firstly, here is the link to my book’s webpage where you can download the first chapter 9or you can do the same from the Amazon Kindle site) – http://atsics.com/.

And now, here’s the original that I gave to a few friends to get their opinion on if I should write it:

Chapter 1
Even through the thick glass the noise overwhelmed him, only his determination allowed him to stand. The giant ship roared by, streaking down the launch ramp. “Fly fast, Luv.” He whispered under his breath – not that anyone even standing next to him could have heard anything. Barely had the first ship reached the end of the ski-jump when the second’s engines roared to life. “Shit, someone’s in a hurry.” He turned his back on the sight and went to the nearest data terminal. Immediately he saw the reason for the rush. Two unidentified blips closing at high speed from the south. “Shit, shit, shit! Why didn’t they allow me to install defences! They knew these idiots were whackos!” Logging into the control systems, he activated a set of systems that the leaders didn’t really know about. “Well,” he mumbled, “strictly speaking they ARE fire suppression systems, just not the kind of fire they thought.” “Good, they’re coming in low.” He set the systems for “last minute”.
He could hear the rumble of the approaching jets and switched on the external tracking cameras.
All he had to do was distract them. Sixty seconds more and the ships would be well away.
“Victor-Hotel, this is Alpha-Charlie-4, we confirm 1 valid launch, over.”
“Roger, Alpha-Charlie, ETA over?”
She glanced down at her tactical display and replied “90 seconds to the Centre”.
“Negative, Alpha-Charlie, time till launch window to intercept”.
She went cold. Glancing down she took longer than her training allowed, “38 seconds….. Mark, over. Second launch, repeat, confirming a second valid launch.”
“Authorisation, appearing on your tactical now, weapons hot, cleared to fire. Acknowledge Alpha-Charlie”
Silence.
“Alpha-Charlie-4, repeat, authorisation, appearing on your tactical now, weapons hot, cleared to fire. Acknowledge Alpha-Charlie
Silence.
“Alpha-Charlie-4, you are ordered to respond. Failure to respond will be considered treason, Alpha-Charlie-4.”
Silence.
Changing band, the controller contacts her wingman. “Alpha-Charlie-5, this is Victor-Hotel, do you copy, over?”
A coldness overtook him as he responded “Roger, Victor-Hotel, this is Alpha-Charlie-5, over.”
“Splash Alpha-Charlie-4, now, authorisation appearing on your screen now. Weapons hot, acknowledge.”
Fearing to glance down, he does anyway.
“Acknowledged, Victor-Hotel”
Knowing he will probably be facing court-martial he switches to inter-plane comms as he slows down the plane, “Mary, what are you doing! Respond! I’ve been ordered to bloody well shoot you down.”
“Do what you have to, Nick, I’m sorry this will all be on your conscience, I just couldn’t live with it on mine.”
“Alpha-Charlie-5, fire, I repeat, fire!”
By training alone, the finger flips the selection to air-to-air-thermal and presses “Pickle 1, pickle 2, over”
He sees two flashes from one of the jets.
“What! They’re too far away.”
4 seconds later the closer plane explodes in the air.
“It’s started. Damn them! Damn them all!”
“Alpha-Charlie-5, what is your status, over?”
Silence.
“Alpha-Charlie-5, repeat, what is your status, over?”
“Victor-Hotel, this is Alpha-Charlie-5, target neutralised, over.” He surprised himself with matching the tone of that soulless voice over the comms.
“Roger, Alpha-Charlie, ETA over?”
He glanced down at his tactical display and replied “8 seconds to launch for target 2. Mark, over. Target 1 18 seconds, mark.”
“Authorisation, appearing on your tactical now, weapons hot, cleared to fire. Acknowledge Alpha-Charlie”
Silence.
“Alpha-Charlie-5, repeat, authorisation, appearing on your tactical now, weapons hot, cleared to fire. Acknowledge Alpha-Charlie
“Acknowledged, Victor-Hotel”
“Alpha-Charlie-5, confirm only 2 valid lanches from facility, over”
“Confirmed, Victor-Hotel”.
“Damn this cold, emotionless voice!” he thought. “How could someone care so little for his fellow pilots?”

So, comments anyone?

Brett Bridger

Highly processed ‘meat’ in tin cans

Yes, that’s right, SPAM.

I find it amusing and sad at the same time when I peruse the spam that get’s caught in the auto SPAM filter for my blog.

Amusing that people think I’d be taken in by this stuff and sadness that they are trying and that at least some people are taken in. Let me share some of today’s gems:

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about loss goals. (they obviously didn’t see the photo of me)

I think the admin of this web page is truly working hard for his web site, since here every information is quality based information.

I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates unique, SEO friendly posts in seconds, just type in google – <text removed ’cause I ain’t gonna advertise them>

At the core of this is going to be the basic human need for recognition. I understand that, having sunk a lot of hours into a book that less than 20 people have actually bought yet (and a good portion of those are ones I bought for people). But each of us are too important to sell ourselves because some lying <expression removed to protect your sensibilities> wants to take us in by pandering to our insecurities. The christian bible uses the phrase “tickling itchy ears” and it’s never spoken of in a good light. A real friend will tell me that what I’ve written ‘stinketh’ and should be just as free to tell me that it worked. In our western society, however, ‘Political Correctness’ and the overall breakdown in our society has meant that too many of us don’t have that core group of friends that will guard our back when we need it & slap us over the back of our head when we do as well.

Have a good one.

Brett Bridger

Who’s in Control?

On one of the blogs I follow, Ryan blogged about who is in control, your characters or you, the author. The post was great, but the comments from various different authors and artists was just as inspirational. I didn’t want to just repost this, as you would loose the reply’s, so follow this link instead and see it in all it’s original glory.

http://ryanlanz.com/2014/09/20/when-your-characters-wont-behave/

My site is apparently suspect (according to Norton)

I’d forgotten about that. it had been so long since I established a ‘new’ website that I forgot you had to manually tell Symantec that they can trust you. My book’s website is fine, because it doesn’t allow any registration, etc (http://atsics.com/) but this one is different. I think this will take a little bit of research as it’s actually a WordPress hosted site so I’m not sure how the normal process will work.

Symantec normally want you to insert a ‘verification file’ into the root of the site. I’ll get back to everyone with the results once I sort it all out.

Kindle Lending Library

Just had my first KOLL/KU ‘borrow” and I’m now up to a massive 13 copies sold!

This is a little short of the couple of million copies I was hoping for, but not bad. When I released the book I purposely did a few things:

  • Exclusively sold it through Amazon
  • Exclusively released it as an eBook
  • Signed up for the KU/KOLL program

Exclusively sold it through Amazon:

This was a financial decision. After I’d paid for all of the things that I’d really not thought through that I’d have to pay, money was tight. The cheapest way was to exclusively release through Amazon. What did I end up paying out? About $1,500. This got me:

  • Facebook page professionally done
  • Website professionally done
  • This blog
  • Commissioned artist to do the cover artwork
  • Professional cover art
  • Some legal stuff
  • All the Amazon stuff

Exclusively released it as an eBook

I was actually going to do a paper version when I came across an article (sorry, forgot to note down who) where they pointed out the expense of changing a paper manuscript. Therefore the advise was to publish first as an e-book, get your audience to find the majority of issues over the first few months and then publish the corrected manuscript. the more I thought about it, the better it seemed. I’ve already had 3 errors (two tiny & 1 big) picked up. I’ve also taught at least one person a new word. They thought that I’d mispelt something until I pointed out that what i put was a real word and in fact was the correct word!

I had already done a fair bit of investigation into the publishing side and knew i could easily double my initial costs without gaining much (if any) market share. In fact, the publish book side looked to be a lot more risky for a new, untried author.

There were also so many potential land mines in paper publishing that I was really concerned with going with anyone until I knew a lot more about the industry and whether I could write.

Signed up for the KU/KOLL program

When going with Amazon, you have the option of releasing your book through Kindles library. The way the system works is that you get paid based on how many copies are borrowed. I chose to sign up for this because:

  • As an unknown author I felt that I stood more of a chance in having my book borrowed then bought by someone I didn’t know
  • It allowed me to tap into segments of the market that I probably wouldn’t  otherwise get into
  • It increased my returns on bought books
  • Initial evidence was that there was at least some ‘double-dipping’ that occurred. people would borrow the book, like it and buy it as well, giving me 2 lots of royalties.

The initial figures on the payouts is encouraging, but how that ends up long term we’ll just have to see. it seems Amazon is over-rewarding to encourage authors, but that’s OK from my viewpoint <grin>.

Where to from here?

I’ve started on book two, the reader feedback so far is great (but hasn’t translated into reviews yet) and I’m being forced to think longer term. While it would be good to become famous from book 1, it may not happen. So once 2 is ready, I may just give volume 1 away for a little while and allow pre-orders of volume 2 a couple of weeks before it’s published. We’ll just have to wait and see.