Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MidSouthCon Reading

I've signed up for the Darrell Awards Reading Hour. It looks like there will be at least five people and six stories represented. If this is indeed an hour long, I'm looking at ten minutes or less. Now what snippet should I read from the novel -- the most exciting or the most thoughtful? Naw. Exciting it is. Now which scene to choose from?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Three Networks

At the moment, I have three wireless networks running in the house.  It's crazy, I know.  MeltonHutto is the house ISDN network.  It is back up today after being down for a week while Embarc figured out what was wrong.  Apparently it was due to 'some equipment in Killeen'.  Look at the MenuMeter bandwidth measurement on the menu bar.  ISDN runs at either 7.5 or 15 KB/s depending on whether we're using one or both channels.
MeltonRV is our Direcway satellite system on the RV, which I've routed into the house using a WDS booster in the far bedroom.  On a good day, it can get 130KB/s for a while until we reach the Hughesnet daily bandwidth cap of somewhere around 350MB.  After than, it's just a trickle, less than dialup.  It also suffers from rain fade, high latency and other issues.  But for the hour or so when it's working perfectly, it's the closest we can get to "broadband".
MeltonATT is the new network.  Just Friday I bought a Laptopconnect gadget which runs on ATT's network.  As you can see, at our rural location, we can get bandwidth in the 20's, which is not the 3G speeds the system is capable of.  This is rather the failover fallback to EDGE, the same network my iPhone uses.  
I suspect, we'll bail out of the ISDN service and its $100+ a month charges after the ATT network proves itself.
I just wish either the cable company or the phone company would bring in an affordable, real broadband connection to the house.  I need bandwidth, and reliability, and all these networks are just tapdancing to stay connected.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Roswell or Bust, First Shipment

The second title in the Small Towns, Big Ideas series has finally been shipped.  It's not available on Amazon just yet, but it probably will be in a few days.  Quite of few from these boxes are destined to be mailed out immediately to reviewers, and to people who've shown up on the dedication and acknowledgment page.

If I can make things work, I'd like to make contact with book sellers and librarians in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where much of the book takes place.  

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finding Artists

I'm publishing books at a fairly rapid clip, given that Wire Rim Books is pretty much a one man operation with occasional help from family members.  But the bottleneck seems to be getting the cover art.  Given the huge number of creative people out there, I would have thought that it would be easier.
I currently have two books, ready to go, all proofed and laid out, except for the artwork.  (I also have one with the art and not proofed yet, but that's another issue.)
It seems that artists have real lives and can't drop everything when I have a sudden need for an image.  Who'd a thunk?  
There are three problems that I see:
  1. I don't know enough people.  I need to make more contacts and be more up front about my need to meet artists.
  2. I'm a perfectionist who can't draw.  Maybe that makes me too difficult to work with.  I get an idea in my head, and then try to talk the artist into drawing what I imagine.  Thus far, it never works.  However, usually the artist talks me into going for another image, another concept, and that usually works out better than my idea anyway.
  3. I probably don't pay enough.  That's probably a big reason I can't send out an email and get an immediate response.  But I do have a budget, and what I do pay certainly makes a dent in it.
Today I'm trying something to tackle issue number 1.  I posted an assignment on pixish.com for a cover image.  Pixish runs contests where people like me post an assignment and then pay a prize for the winner.
I sensitive to the issue of getting a bunch of people to work on a project and then only paying one of them, so the contest is just for a sample and the prize is the whole assignment of cover art and interior artwork.  I hope I get something good out of this.  What I hope the most is that I can find more artists that I can work with directly in the future.  I have many books to publish and the covers will be in different styles.  I'd love to know who does what, and how well.  Plus if I do the covers right, maybe I'll begin to make enough money to pay more.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Emperor Dad is Darrell Awards Finalist

I had planned to be at AggieCon at the end of this month and I even bought a table to sell my books in the dealer's room.  But I just received notice that Emperor Dad is a finalist in the novel category so I think I need to be in Memphis instead.  I'd love to be a winner.  I'd plaster it all over the cover and add it to my brag sheet.  
Plus, I'll get to meet a new set of people.  I suspect that many of the Archcon attendees in the St. Louis area will be at MidSouthCon as well, but this is a new con for me.  Lots of plans to re-arrange.  What fun.  What fun.