Katherine Hayton | 2014 October

October 2014

After three month’s exclusive contract with Amazon Kindle through KDP select I’ve decided to branch out to more electronic formats. Surely, rather than just having a print and one ebook option not selling, it’s better to have a print and multiple ebook versions not selling.

And what does it cost me anyway? Ebooks are free to publish, right?

Well it depends on how you count cost. Free of time – no. Free of energy – no. Free of learning opportunities – definitely no. And free of monetary output – surprisingly no.

It all went so well on the Kobo site that I started to think I’d imagined all the drama I’d had getting the Kindle version together. Half an hour and one file conversion and it was done. There are two chapter headings that hand a line lower than they should, but I was after readable and edited, not perfection, so I accepted that as okay.

Price it, spin it, set publish date and go! All ready for purchase by any willing members of the public interested in an intense, emotional and shocking [Readers’ Favorite] story you can go ahead and pre-order when you’re ready. Or when it finished being fully vetted by Kobo – whichever is soonest.

Now onto Nook. I like Barnes and Noble, not least because I only have to type bn.com to get to their website and I’m time starved so every little bit helps. I am a fan. Or, I was a fan. Apparently as I don’t live in the States, the UK or Belgium I don’t count as a person. Fine. Whatever. Racists.

Nevermind, I can always link up Bookbaby on the free version to take care of them. I’ll lose an extra 15% on sales (hah sales, remember them Katherine?) but at least they’ll be available. 15% of very little is still probably not going to meet a minimum threshold anyway so does it matter to me? No.

But I know there are people out there who seem to genuinely like and buy iBooks. Fair enough. I use Kindle on my iPad so I’m not one of them – I tend to think of it as my Kindle with backlight and The Walking Dead: Series 2 game but that could just be me – but if the people demand it the people shall have it!

Or shall they?

Turns out that it doesn’t matter what sort of book you’ve managed to cobble together – you require a Mac to upload a book. And when I say book I mean anything of more than 1000 words because there is an app for short books with pictures if you don’t mind typing the text into a page that won’t free-flow to the next. Not really an option when you’re looking at 200+ pages. Or 10+ for that matter.

Surely this can’t be the case? I must be missing something. I know that Apple likes its closed architecture but seriously guys – this is a shop. Are you really saying you can only drop off merchandise if you’re driving a Ford and not a Holden?

Turns out I was not mistaken.

Turns out that they really have become that distant from how real societies run that they believe this is a solid course of action to take. No wonder you can get a Kindle and Kobo app for iPad.

But I was not deterred. If I can use Winebox to run windows in linux then surely there must be something to run mac in windows. The world must be full of aspiring authors who aren’t Apple fanboys, right?

There were some instructions, but they required an ISO of Mountain Lion (hah!) and then a lot more hours than I was prepared to spend. I could always go back to Bookbaby, but it can take up to two weeks to get the books approved even when they’re text only and direct, so I didn’t really want to go through an aggregator to extend that by a week (and 15% of nothing.)

So i went hunting again and found a lovely service that lets you rent a virtual Mac so you can use your PC to run the little Apple club of programs.

It’s free for the first day, and then $20US per month for light usage. One month worth should do me because once I’ve got this set up I’m never touching it again. So, I’ll fork out my hard-earned money in order to load up an alien system inside my lovely speed-filled windows 8.1

And I was a bit curious. People who like Macs seem to really like Macs don’t they? There must be some reason.

Four hours later I think the reason is that they have to really, really pretend they like the stupid, crappy, nonsensically structured things because they’ve invested so much money in them it’s either that or look like the dickheads that they are for purchasing them in the first place.

Stupid, stupid. Slow, slow. Nonsensical. Idiotic. Yuck.

I gratefully exited when my work was done. I’m already postponing the inevitable re-entry required when my book hits the website for the first time and I start to notice all the little things that skim by my attention when I’m grappling with something larger, and stupider, than whether my punctuation is where it should be, or does my html format okay, or did I just load up a string of nonsense because it turns out that the text field was just a text field and some html formatting was NOT okay.

Why, why, why does anyone still buy such awful outdated architecture in this day and age? Why would you opt to spend more money investing in something so awful when they could get some nice hardware and put lovely compact Ubunto on it for free?

I understand the iPods. I understand the iPads. I even used to understand the iPhone until it became a choice between two identical things one of which you could change the battery on when it ran out or upgrade the memory size of when it was full, and one which you couldn’t.

I do not understand the Mac.

Unless they rename Mountain Lion to Sick Cat so I can invest some money rewarding sarcasm I don’t think I ever will.

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03 Oct / TGIF!

Katherine had to put grumpalumps into the box today. Friday started off really well with an early morning start of 4.30am.


Then I checked the Internet connection and found that both it and the phone weren’t working for the third day in a row.


Then I checked my bank account to see that no royalties had been paid yet again, and then managed to track down a statement that said rather than the EFT that I’d signed up for I would instead be paid via wire transfer. Once my balance managed to hit the minimum threshold.

Needless to say the threshold hadn’t been reached. Still hasn’t. All payments are now forever in limbo.

Yah! There’s nothing like being so poor that people don’t even think it’s worth the trouble to pay you to make you feel like a success. At 6.20am in the morning.

And then there were the constant floods of emails for problems that had started, been discovered, recurred, been rediscovered, thought were fixed but turned out resolution was for a different problem than the one that was actually causing problems – you know, the one I’d been told to fix rather the thing that actually needed fixing.

Yah! 7.30am.

Well at least I could crawl my way through the randomly awful day and then go out to buy a nice lunch. A nice lunch that turned out to cost $4.00 more than the last time I’d been to the restaurant – two weeks ago!? – for a sandwich with a new filling. Not the filling they said it would be filled with, that would be humorous nonsense, but the filling they presumably had on hand.

And lovely french bread. Four inches of lovely crusty french bread. Lovely crusty french bread that had spend at least two hours in a moisture filled refrigerator so it was dense and chewy. Not the dense and chewy of a beautiful, rich, dark, pumperknickel loaf carefully hand-ground, crafted and slow-baked in an artisinal oven. No. The dense and chewy of something that’s meant to be light and crusty but dropped out of school early and started snorting meth.

I pulled the two mouthfuls of oil-covered plain chicken out, that’s PLAIN chicken not the SMOKED chicken that I’d paid for, and then threw the rest away. So I had to buy a second lunch from the downstairs cafe, which was half the price and twice the edibility, but unfortunately was purchased so late in my lunch half-hour that I had to wolf it down (yeah, okay, the gnawing hunger may have contributed somewhat to that scenario.)

My lunchtime ended with a phone-call from a communications engineer who was disgruntled that I had the temerity to be at work during the day when he’d responded to my urgent call for assistance with the complete lack of internet or phone at our home within a mere 72 hours of calling. He was further put out when I timidly suggested that I may be able to get home by five o’clock – because surely all mortals are aware that technicians finish work on the dot of four-thirty.

So with the promise of an hour’s overtime on Monday I skipped away from work early. There was a steady stream of traffic blocking our exit, and then when we finally pulled into the flow of traffic two trains decided to go past on the tracks while we sat staring at them in astonishment. Since when did the South Island have TWO trains?

But we forged ahead, to encounter a slow-mo traffic flow which we eventually crawled far enough along to realise was caused by the road-works (which we knew about) coinciding with a major set of traffic lights not working (which we didn’t.)

Then I arrived home to find that all that was in the mail was a bill, all that was in the cupboard was some sugar-free cookies past their expiration date, and all that was in my heart was despair.

And then the lovely repair technician turned up and got our internet working in about ten minutes, said they’d need to reblow the fibre from the gate but we didn’t need to be home for that and they’d do it early next week, and then my darling said he could put on a full packet of oven-fried chips and I could have half. Which I enjoyed with my favourite protein; tomato sauce and peri-peri mayonnaise. (Wot?)

And tomorrow it’s Saturday. And I don’t care that the weather is crap all weekend because I don’t like to go outside anyway.

Things are definitely improving around here.

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While I was sitting at my computer tonight I received the following email recommendation through from the Amazon marketing department.

Why, yes Amazon. That’s a fabulous suggestion. In fact, I think you should make that suggestion to hundreds of thousands of your other subscribers because I’m sure that they’d like it too.

Oddly enough, I actually already have a copy of this one. And I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Anyone reading this please follow Amazon’s kind suggestion and click on the following link:

Awesome dudes.

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