Just a Short Rant, I Promise!

I’m grumpy.

Not that I’m THAT keen to actually sell (as opposed to give away) DEAD(ish), since I honestly don’t think my writing’s at the stage where it’s worth paying for… but FFS, what’s with the American-centric attitudes in the companies out there? Amazon is US-authors-only. Scribd is free for anyone, but if you want to sell stuff? You guessed it, US-authors-only. Although to give Scribd credit, they’re only in beta.

This is really a whine, as opposed to anything vaguely useful. I’m proudly Aussie, my writing is proudly Aussie (although not lousy with kangaroos and koalas and “G’day mate”s), right down to the odd spelling and weird names for stuff. I don’t wanna be American. I’m sick of companies wanting to be ‘global’ and yet demanding I be American to get involved. Stick it up ya pipes!



This describes me perfectly today:


Weird. Just Weird.

My spam queue for this site is down to zero. Huh. There’s the answer to spamming issues – just post in lolcats. You know, pretty much anything can be said in lolcats. I’m waiting for the first lolcatnovel to come out. Oh wait, that’d be a badly-spelt picture book.



Meh. What a dumb idea.

(why do I get a horrible feeling that I’m Bill Gates saying, “the internet is a dead-end path!” or whatever the hell short-sighted thing he said?)

Damn. I know I had a point around here somewhere.

Oh yeah. I think it was to do with the fact that I haven’t been posting much on this blog lately. Not, I hasten to add, because I’ve run out of rants, odd lolcats, and maundering monologues on the nature of writing. Nah, it’s because I have no internet access at home, plus work’s been busy, plus I’ve been obsessing over DEAD(ish) just a tad.

It’s odd having a book, however wide the definition has to be to fit it in, out in the world by itself. I keep checking up on it, to make sure that it’s doing OK, is making new friends, is going to the friendship groups I recommended, etc. Yeah, I’m all mother-hennish. Which is kinda scary, because with people I’m still motherly, but more in the duck mode. Ducks mean well, but they’re absent-minded, and they’re kinda tough. If a hen’s chicks go near a body of water, she’ll tend to cluck anxiously and herd them away. If a duck’s ducklings go near water, she’s likely to kick them in and yell, “Swim or die, sucker!!”. So yeah, me clucking over something, even a book… kinda weird.

As it happens, though, me watching over DEAD(ish) so carefully has provided me with some interesting stats. Heartening stats! Like, around 500 people loaded the original DEAD(ish) pdf, either to have a gander or to read it. So I put it up on Smashwords in a new edition, and to date, over 250 people have downloaded it. This is my favourite statistic in many ways, because if a person downloads an ebook from Smashwords, it’s generally with the specific intent of reading it. Hence, around 250 people have liked the look of DEAD(ish) enough to take a chance on it. Even if it’s not much of a chance, given that the thing’s FREE, it’s still enough to raise a w00t! or two 🙂

Also, DEAD(ish) is the Weekender ebook picked by the e-Fiction Book Club to be read this coming weekend. W000000oo000t! 😀 Part of the reason I’m so stoked about this is that it’s made up of dedicated readers who may kinda know me, but haven’t really had dealings with me and (as far as I know) aren’t being publicised by my @onlinefiction twitter account, so they’re likely to give me honest, unbiased reviews and criticism. Oh, and a bit of publicity, which never hurts.

Sadly, my brain’s turned back to mush, kinda like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz (and yup, there’s pins n needles in my feet), so I’m going to stop rambling disjointedly, watch some Buffy, and post this not-quite-a-post-more-a-garden-path-without-the-flowers thingy tomorrow morning, when internetz and I are reunited at work.


Time to Make My Feelings Known


It does, you know.

Is Customer Service Hitting New Lows?

Check out this news article.

QANTAS leaves customers sitting in the airport overnight, then tells them to go home and book new flights.


And they wondered why they had to call the police to quell an incipient riot?

Then there’s Virgin Broadband – wholly owned, by the way, by Optus. Richard Branson, I liked you before you sold this company to the bastards and forever blackened the Virgin brandname.

I’ve always expected less bells and whistles when going with the cheap deals. But Virgin Broadband has taken ‘treating customers like steaming piles of shit’ to impressive new levels. Major problems with their product (eg. sub-dialup internet speeds on a ‘broadband’ network), 1- and 2-hour waits for voice calls to customer service, and a sad lack of transparency. Think it’s just me? Check out a whirlpool forums thread on the problems.

I realise that any time prices drop, something about the service or product needs to drop too. Only doofuses expect premium service and quality at bargain basement prices. But there are certain things you don’t do to your customers, and a few companies desperately need to take that to heart.

Writers’ Funny


How Much Do I Love Smashwords?

Continuing with the writing/ebook obsession…

A few months ago, I discovered Smashwords. It’s a site which allows anyone to upload an ebook, free of charge, then sell said ebook on the site – obviously, giving Smashwords a cut of the proceeds. But an interesting angle is that it’s also completely free to upload an ebook, then offer it free of charge. Or as ‘Pay what you want’ (although, again, Smashwords gets a cut of any proceeds), which is a feature I think is fantastic to have available.

Now, Smashwords doesn’t seem happy to rest on its laurels as an easy-to-use, well-featured site. They also run promotions almost constantly, and have just started up an affiliate scheme. That last promotion is another dash of genius – as the writer/publisher of an ebook, you can offer a cut of your proceeds to anyone who successfully promotes your ebook (ie, causes people to buy it). They link to it, people buy it, and everyone gets a bit of cash. Except the buyer, obviously, who gets an ebook instead 😉

So, given all the things I was impressed with, I decided to upload DEAD(ish) and give Smashwords a go. I’d already hit around 500 downloads on the PDF version, and I wanted to see if offering it free on the site would increase the ebook’s profile. I had to reformat it – remove the cover page, take out the ToC and remove page breaks – and save it as a .doc file. But the upload itself was simple, and it transfered to the various formats beautifully. I’m very impressed with the formatting bot – it does a simple job well. <— that may sound like faint praise, but in this day and age it's near miraculous!!

Link to DEAD(ish) on Smashwords

So, DEAD(ish) has been up on Smashwords for a week now, and their neat lil dashboard tells me that it’s been downloaded 42 times. I suspect my own marketing, and offshoots of it, have accounted for about 30 of those… meaning that Smashwords might well be helping me increase my writer profile 🙂 It’s certainly a bonus to have it available in a multitude of formats. So far, me = happy.