Monthly Archives: November 2008

December 2nd & 3rd, Mark Your Calendars!

December 2nd marks two events.

1. Contest winners will be selected and announced. I will post winners here (the first part of email addresses only), on the contest page, and the winners will also receive a private email.

2. My order of fifty books are due to arrive. If you’re a winner, or have purchased one via the products page, expect your book to be sent out on December 3rd. 

If you still would like to enter the contest, there is still time.

And if you order by December 15th, you’ll receive several other small items as an expression of my gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude!

I wish to thank my father-in-law for taking the time to read "A Reason to Hope", and relaying his thoughts to me via email. His review was quite a boost to my confidence I didn’t write a piece of crap.

You may be thinking since he’s a family member, he would not have been completely honest in his assessment.

I know he was honest, because he focused on specifics, and shared what he didn’t like about it. He would have preferred the book contained wider margins and more white space between chapters. I noticed the same after I received my proof. Changing it at that point, however, would have cost me more money, so I left it.

If I self-publish another book, or decide to resubmit a second addition of "A Reason to Hope" (how do I resubmit a second addition when only the first exists?) I’ll make those modifications.

Until then, I’ll make my readers suffer with narrow margins. 

Muahahahahahaha!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving day. I won’t recommend you don’t stuff yourselves stupid, because we all end up doing it whether we want to or not.

Don’t forget to wear elastic-waisted pants! 

The Support of Friends

When we look back at our worst of times, we find it’s our friends’ and family’s support that brought us through.

When we look back at our best of times, we find it’s our friends and family who cheered us on with the loudest of voice.

Without friends and family, we live a lonely life.

Without the support of my friends and family, my book would be sitting idle, collecting virtual dust in the back room of Amazon.com and my website.

Heck, I wouldn’t have invested the money to publish it in the first place.

One friend has not only cheered me on, shared her knowledge in indie publishing, but also helped boost my book’s exposure to more potential readers.

She interviewed me a few days ago, and included it on her website:

www.elucidations.us/interviews/almarquardt.htm

She has written and self-published three books so far, two as part of a larger series centered around a rock band trying to make a name for themselves in the 1970s. Her characters are well-developed, and she deftly immerses the reader into what the 70s were really like for musicians and other artists struggling for success.

You can find out more about all her books as well as purchase them direct at her online store:

www.elucidations.us/store.htm

With the economy sour and most of us not willing to spend a lot of money on high-dollar items, books are a great alternative.  

A Small Oopsie

The price of the autographed copy available for preorder is incorrect. It should be $11.99. Still, if you click on the Buy Now button, the price noted through Paypal does say $12.00.

I thought I had fixed it early this morning (4am). Though I changed my local file, I neglected to upload it.

Guess I wasn’t as awake as I thought.

Anyhow, sorry for any inconvenience there. 

Fixed! 

Direct Purchasing

After much research and tweaking my website, people can now preorder "A Reason to Hope" through my website and using Paypal.

I haven’t purchased the extra copies yet, but plan to within the next day or two. That’s why they won’t be available to send out for 3-4 weeks. That’ll still be enough time for Christmas, methinks. You can find out more here.

With money tight all around, and most people not planning to spend a lot on Christmas gifts, books and other low-cost items are a great way to make Christmas a happy time regardless of what the economy is doing.

Hope you’re having a great week. Mine’s been busy with figuring out how to sell my books on my website. Work has also been crazy busy lately. We were hired to complete a set of street intersection modification plans for the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Their requirements are intense, and a bit insane. The same project originally drafted for the City of Mandan the plans totaled five pages. The DOT set will add up easily to thirty. That number is just the drawings, not the specifications and other proposals.

Everything needs to be 90% completed by Wednesday of next week. In the meantime they’re still requiring major changes.

Yep. Government. The very definition of waste.

Would you rather . . .?

A few people have expressed interest in purchasing my book (signed) direct through me instead of Amazon.

I researched into it, and I am capable of selling items via Paypal, and setting up a page on my website where you can purchase as many copies as you like. I can even add other items such as bookmarks, pens and magnets if, again, enough people are interested. 

What do you think? Should I go for it?

I ask only because, though I can buy copies of my book at a reduced rate, the more I purchase, the less I spend per copy. I don’t want to buy a bunch of books, and end up not selling them. 

Champing at The Bit

October 31 I finalized my manuscript’s submission to Booksurge.

I then received an email stating my book would be available for sale on Amazon in 1-2 weeks. That was twelve days ago, and I admit to getting a bit impatient. I want it available NOW!

However, I found out a few days ago it is available now through Booksurge’s website, which you can find here.

it’s kinda cool seeing my book online and available for purchase, but I’ll be even more excited when it shows up on Amazon. I think it’s because Amazon caters to a larger customer base than Booksurge, so more will sell through them (I hope).

Looks like I’ve given up on Nanowrimo this year. I’m stuck at 4100 words. I’ve instead focused on writing politial entries through my WordPress Blog.

How long it will last, I have no idea. Not too long I hope, because I need to concentrate on preparing for the writer’s conference in February. I have a lot to do, and not much time to do it. February is but three months away. 

Change of Focus

I can’t seem to focus on nanowrimo this year. It’s not that the story doesn’t interest me, because it does. It’s also important in that it continues the saga I began with my first novel. I want to end up with something publishable down the road.

Unfortunately for this novel, my mind continues to focus on this year’s election, and how I did nothing aside from cast my vote on November 4.

I was afraid to voice my opinion because of the potential passionate disagreements. I despise confrontation.

In the end, though, I felt I shirked my responsibility as an American citizen for remaining silent.

Some would say voting is all I need to do. I don’t disagree, but in a country where the average citizen has many a venue to voice his or her opinions, I should avail myself of them.

A few days ago I created a new journal that will focus on the politics and news of the day. You can find it at almarquardt.wordpress.com. To increase readership, I’m copying the same entries on my Myspace page at www.myspace.com/pbthththth

My nanowrimo word count continues to eke up, so I haven’t given up. I’ve written 4724 words so far. That’s less than 500 words a day, but if I continue writing the same amount, I’ll end up between 14,000-15,000 words by December 1. That’s a pretty good start of a novel, methinks.

After that, I’ll likely set it aside for awhile. I need to edit my first novel one more time before Feburary 19 when I attend the Christian Writers Guild "Writing for The Soul" conference in Colorado Springs. I hope to attract an agent or publisher with it, so it needs to be pristine by then. It’s close as is, but with writing my novella, I decided I need to make a few more modifications. That includes adding slang I termed as Fringe, and a few more technological gizmos. The changes will make my ‘universe’ richer and even more believable.

One Week Down, Three to Go

With one week of the contest come and gone and three weeks left, here’s a quick update:

Six people have subscribed to this blog.

Five signed up in the forum.

Fourteen have registered for website updates on the Home Page.

NOTE: There are four more who have signed up, but not, as yet, verified their registration. If you’re one of those four, please check your mailbox for an email from server@serifwebresources.com. If it’s not there, check your junk email. I can’t count your entry until you follow the instructions of the email. I’d hate for you to miss out on winning a prize because registration wasn’t completed.

Thank you all for entering the contest. I look forward to choosing the winners, and I hope you are as well!

A Touch of History

While in school, History was not my best subject. I honestly didn’t care about it, figuring it was a bunch of dates, events, and dead people that had no bearing on my life.

As I grew older, I began to understand the importance of history. I could see in my minuscule little life how the present and future in many ways is determined by the past. I could see cause and effect. Knowing my own history helped me to not repeat mistakes, for one, and to use my past successes to build new ones.

I not only started to gain an interest in history, but an affection for it.

As a land surveyor I get to research documents that date back over a hundred years. However, I rarely get to touch the original documents.

That changed today, however.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation hired us to scan in original engineering drawings of two state parks. They want hard copies for a presentation, and electronic copies so they can make as many copies as they want without continuing to handle the originals. The state Historical Society has bugged them for years to give them the plans, but Parks and Rec didn’t want to part with them.

Now they can.

I scanned in about a third of the plans today, and doing so was simultaneously exciting and unnerving. These plans were drawn by hand, mostly in pencil on thin onion paper. This paper is no thicker than the tissue paper used to wrap gifts, so they need a gentle handling. I almost wished I had a pair of cotton gloves.

I also held my breath every time I fed a 24×36 sheet into the scanner. I feared every time I would feed it in wrong and the scanner would tear the plans.

Luckily the scanner is well-designed, and when it senses a fold or bend in the paper it stops. I have yet to witness it tear a sheet, but the worry still exists.

The best part is I get to handle a small part of North Dakota’s history. These plans were drawn up from 1939 through 1941. They are true works of art as well as historical documents.

I’m proud to play a small role in perpetuating that history for future generations.

Change o’ subject.

My nano word count is a pathetic 2549. I’m not worried as I still have plenty of time to catch up.