Hal's Plane


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5-12-10- Most of you know I am not well. By the time I get my writing done for the day, I'm shot! But I will try to do better.
The Google Settlement story on the homepage was confusing to some new writers. The root goes back several years when Google got caught copying(in ebook format) books, selling them to libraries, and not bothering to notify the authors. They began copying books of dead authors, then discovered it was so lucrative they began copying the books of live authors. I think they were trying to set themselves up as the equivalent of music's ASCAP. Or, maybe they were just greedy. I haven't heard anything lately.
We have new members. Please visit our website and check out their pages.
9-21-09- Upon advice from a professional website builder, I have removed the counters on our Northwest author's site. He says our numbers are so low compared to sites that have more traffic (like regular businesses, movie stars, etc.) that the counters make us look bad. I'm always looking for ways to improve the way we present our material, so I listened to him. He's a pro. He also tore apart my regular website. Oy! I've made a lot of changes there since his critique! There's always the problem of presenting books that non-book people don't understand. for instance, 90 hits on my regualr site is a really big deal. To him, it was chicken feed. Oh, welllllll...
The government is now looking at the Google mess. They may squelch it altogether. Probably will, since I played their game and registered my books with them. It took me quite awhile since I didn't understand their format. That's about four hours I'll never get back, lol!
What are you all writing? Let me know!
5-14-09- About the Google Settlement:

I am not an attorney. There are lots of sites on the Internet written by attorneys. Check them out.

 I did. And this is the way I see it.:

The deadline to opt out was supposed to be May 5th, but I heard there was going to be an extension. A month? Two? It wasn’t decided the last time I looked. You can opt out over the Internet.

 But from what I understand, Google is going to copy everything they get their hands on anyway. If you catch them copying you and selling your work, the only thing opting out does for you is give you the option to sue (because you said no). The problem with that is, who of us can afford an attorney and legal fees???

 If we opt in, we can do that on the Internet too. Be prepared to list your books, ISBN, etc. The deadine for this is several months away (?). I need to get on it too—waiting until the last minute may be stressful, as I’m guessing everyone who is late will be trying to get on the site at the same time.

Dick—my husband—had a good analogy. He says Google is trying to be the ASCAP of books.

5-02-09- If you haven't heard about the Google thing yet, this will get you started. As I understand it, Google started digitalizing (making them available through eBooks) the out of print books in our nation's libraries--and then just kept going--copying everything they could get their hands on. They got caught. Publishers and authors are suing. You did have until May 5th to opt out of the lawsuit, and let Google copy your books (for which you would be paid unstated amounts of money). I've heard it may be extended 30 more days. I've gone nuts trying to research this, and I've come to this conclusion: If we opt out, all it does is give us the opportunity to sue them. They'll copy the books anyway. They're banking on the fact that most of us cannot afford to sue. If we opt in, I think we have more time (?) to list our books and sign a permission to use them. If they sell one, we are supposed to get some money. There are no numbers on this. It is very vague. The $60-$300 we're rumored to get if they have already digitalized our books without permission, for instance, is very unclear. I am not an attorney. Study and make your own decision. I am going to opt in, and hope our government puts a stop to this during the summer (people are starting to yell). Whatever happens, I know I cannot afford an attorny to sue, so my choice is clear. It stinks, but it's clear. What happened to our copyright protection??? (no time to edit!)

12-26-08- Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone!
I've been reading my new marketing books, and have come across some interesting marketing information. One of my books advises me not to put an Amazon, Borders, or Barnes & Noble link on my website, as it makes the independent bookstores mad. As the indie bookstores won't handle my books anyway, I'm not concerned if they are ticked off. However, if any of you do a lot of business with indies, it's something to think about. Amazon has done more for me than anyone else, including my own publisher. I'm seriously thinking aabout putting my new romance novel on Kindle only. It's really a novella, and will probably top out at 40,000 words. If they haven't changed the rules, I can put it on Kindle for free, and they will give me 35% of the profits. Ebooks do not make as much money as paperbacks, but if I knew I had a market, I could be inspired to write a couple a year. My sales are up in every category. I have no idea why. Someone told me they expect book sales to go up because people will be staying home more. I wonder. Won't they just watch more TV?
The book by Cristina Katz came in, but the other one is by C. Hope Clark. I guess I read the info wrong. The Katz book is good, but don't rush out to buy the Clark book. I'm just saying...
We lost one of our writers in December. Corie Gunderson passed away. Corie was a beautiful writer. I gave away a couple of his books for Christmas one year.
12-05-08- I've been doing more research on marketing, and have discovered something about Google I didn't know. If I search my name, the normal stuff comes up, but if I put quotes on my name, more stuff comes up. I guess it comes under the what other people are saying category. last night, I was surprised to discover that my Custer book was mentioned in USA Today. Who knew? Try it. Find out what people are saying about you. By the way, Google missed some stuff that I know is on there, so don't consider the report to be absolutely complete.
I hope you've all checked out the website of JA Konrath--I think I put the link on the homepage. He has a free eBook about writing. I didn't print it because it is over 700 pages, so I'm cherry-picking information as I need it.
Also, I've ordered two books on marketing from Cristina Katz. I'll let you know if they help, but at about $11.00 apiece, what have I got to lose?
Back to work on my romance. Or maybe I'll just give myself a facial--it's 9:30 AM, and it may be a little early to start spraying the room with perfume.
I really got skunked at Meeker--I only sold four books--but my website sales are up. I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn't think my publisher was paying me, but I sat down this morning and added it up, and they are right on schedule. I am such a dumby when it comes to money.

11-16-08 There's good news and bad news on Kindle. I finally got my Turtle and Custer on Kindle, but they put a rejected cover on Custer. I hope this can be fixed.
More bad news: it is now a 4-month wait to get an iUniverse book on Kindle, I suspect because it isn't as easy as they thought it was going to be. Also, demand is high.
I have had my cataract surgery, so I hope there will be fewer mistakes on our sites. It got bad. At first, I couldn't read the clock on the VCR. Then I couldn't read the baseball score on our big screen TV. At the end, I couldn't tell who was pitching. Of course, this year, with the Mariners, it didn't really matter, did it?
We have two new members on our website:
A. L. Finch, whose book is : Child POW, a true account of her life as a Japanese POW in the Philippines.
And, SJ Robinson, whose book is The Price of Death, a medical mystery.
Check out their pages on our site.
A lot of you probably met them at the Meeker Expo.
10-30-08 As it turns out, those who have published with authorhouse will not be able to get their books on Kindle for awhile. Don't feel bad, iUniverse took my money over a month ago, and I still am not on Kindle.
There may be more of a problem there than meets the eye--they're not answering my emails or phone calls, and I don't think they've paid me for this quarter. Oy! the last thing I want to do is start over with another publisher! Strike this! The money was on my bank statement, I wasn't looking in the right place.
I hope you're packing for Meeker on Saturday.
We have a new writer, S. J. Robinson on our site. Stop by her table on Saturday and say hello. Check out her debut book, a medical mystery titled: The Price of Death.
Charlie Brough has a new book, Moma I'm Coming Home, but he thinks it won't be delivered in time for Meeker. You can order it in all the usual places...
J. R. Reynolds has a new book too: Woman of Courage.
9-17-08- For those of you who have books published by iUniverse, they have their Kindle up now. They are also including listing on Sony for the low, low price of $99.99 (html help for manuscripts runs between $50-100--so I think it's a good deal as they'll do all of the work). those of you who have published with Authorhouse must also be eligible--they're the same company now.
I hope you're all signed up for our Meeker Book Expo. I can't say it enough--ya gotta get your book out there.
9-06-08- There was a speculation on the Internet that Authorhouse may close down iUniverse. If they are going to do that, why did they bother to move it to Bloomington, Il???
Amazon is being sued for trying to take over publishing. News is all over the Internet if you're interested. After the rough treatment I've gotten from bookstores and agents, I'm rooting for Amazon. They say they'll cut out all the middle men (publishers and agents) and split the profits with the authors. I think they said we'd get 35% on our books if published by Booksurge, but I'm lousy with numbers. Check it out for yourself.
I have found another source for html help with Kindle--as soon as she responds positively to my query, I'll post it.
I hope you've signed up for Meeker Expo. Remember, it takes practice to sell books. And they don't sell themselves. Don't forget the added advantage of exposure. One of the games is to get your name out there, so people recognize it.
My cataract surgery is now scheduled for October 13th, so hopefully, we'll see a decline in typos and more production out of me when I can see again. I am almost blind in my left eye. Luckily, it hasn't effected my politics!
8-24-08- Okay, I finally have some information to report on Kindle. I had hours in this project, trying to get html to be my friend without much luck.  I finally found a company on the Internet that would do it for a flat fee. If you have a book you'd like to get on Kindle, you might check them out: 

Walt Shiel, Managing Partner

Five Rainbows Services for Authors & Publishers http://FiveRainbows.com

866-341-3705 (toll-free)

Those of you who have a self-published book that is unemcumbered with a pod contract, should jump on this, as who knows? Amazon might start charging someday. Right now, the percentage to authors is 35%, I think. They priced my Brown book at $4.80. As you know, eBooks are less expensive than paperbacks, and my Brown book is small anyway.

I most likely will work with Walt on my next book, as the ones I have are under contract with iUniverse. Kindle is not my cup of tea, but neither was the microwave when it came out. Trendy, I am not. If you have questions, email me: JanelleMHooper@comcast.net

Oh, in the end, iUniverse revealed that they are working on their own Kindle submission program that they are going to offer for $99.00.that's about double what the going rate is, but I'm so sick of the mess I'm going to do it. After all, I am a writer. I write. I am too old to learn accounting and/or litigation.although those of you who know me know I have access to a ton of legal help (tee-hee!)

A few notes on other subjects:

Gina Reynolds has a new book out called Woman of Courage. I posted it on our regular site. some of you are still fighting the .org thing. Our address for our book site is: www.NorthwestAuthors.org

I am looking for someone to trade book reviews on Amazon with me. contact me: JanelleMHooper@comcast.net

That's all for now.

8-08-08 I was hoping to have more good news about putting our books on Kindle by now, but all I have is a lot of frustration to report. The problem is in converting the pdf to html. I've talked to Amazon, Adobe, and others (including a computer guru that billed me $89.00 an hour), and I still don't have a product I can transfer to Amazon's Kindle.
Since I've been stuck in a medical pothole, it's been good to have something to keep my mind occupied, however, it would be a lot better if I had some positive results! I'll keep you posted!

7-27-08- I am waiting for a response from Amazon Kindle on a question about html, so I have nothing to report. Does anyone out there know html? I know nooothinggg!
7-18-08- I just lost power and lost a big blog entry. I'll try to reconstruct it:
I have spent the summer spinning my wheels:
1.  I took an online film-making class so that I could make my own videos to promote my books. It was long and difficult, and I learned toward the end that only a third of the people who clicked on it could open it and get both the audio and video. It has something to do with the difference in computer drivers. It was hardly worth the effort.
2. I've been trying to get my books on Amazon's Kindle. This too, has been frustrating, as the same PDF that i sent them for the Search Inside the Book feature isn't working on the Kindle software. I'm reading that I may have to learn html and edit all four books line by line. I'm not looking forward to that! I'm hoping their software is just screwed up, and that it will be better in a few days.
3. Recording my books has also been a long, long, battle. No more projects for me for a long, long while. I've had it!
Beginning August 1st or so, I will be cleaning the non-responding authors off our site. If you have received multiple messages from me requesting payment and have not responded, your page may be deleted. I hate to be mean, but it's not fair for some to pay their share, and some not. Besides, at $10.00 a year, I think the price is beyond fair. Building a web presence is an important part of selling, as the experts say a product must sometimes be seen 6 or 7 times before a sale is made. I spend hours designing the pages for our site, and will have to start from scratch if anyone wants to be reinstated. Therefore, I will be charging a $25 fee for anyone who decides they want to get back on the site.
It is possible that I may get to a point on my eye problem where I won't be able to see the screen. This could delay posting. I cannot get surgery until October. Yikes!
I'm going to publish this before I lose it again...
6-03-08-Does everyone know this but me? I've just read that when I bring up a site by clicking on it in my favorites that I should click the refresh button to make sure I'm getting the latest version of that site. Who knew? Not me!
6-02-08-I got notice today that my Custer is up on Free Book Excerpts (http://www.freebookexcerpts.com/). Check it out. Submit your own book. It's free; they get a small kickback from Amazon if someone buys a book.
5-30-08- You've probably guessed, but I hit another pothole this month. But while I've been down, I've been reading: In Author's Guild (May 08?) I learned that you should have two reviews included in your package to libraries. Some of us didn't have (or need) these for local libraries, but it's a must have if we want to branch out to other areas.
Other news:
Summer fairs are coming up.
I got my first PNWWA brochure yesterday. It starts July 17th.
4-14-08-Be sure to check out the links to my cousin's movie trailer on the first page. In the trailer, he's the guy with the gray hair sitting at a desk. This independent film may go to Sundance (I've lobbied him to do Brown or Custer, but he has his own projects).
On the publicity page, I've posted photos of book tables that were sent to me by an author friend in Oklahoma. It's different down there!
4-01-08-I hope you are reading Angela Hoy's newletters (her link is on the front page). She's the one who first made me aware of Amazon's new policy for pod books. I believe they are just doing the same thing Ingram is doing (printing our books on site as they are ordered) but at first I thought we were going to have to have all of our books printed by Amazon. I was hot! I'm only making about $14.00 a quarter on Amazon. I sure don't want to have more publishing costs. Alas, I think it was much ado about nothing.
What's new in the world of me-I did get notice that Ippy got my submission. It did give me a scare. I'll always mail contest submissions by UPS from now on. The dollars I saved on snail mail just aren't worth the stress.
I have been preparing over the last few weeks to enter another arthritis treatment plan, but hope to be able to go to a bookfair this summer. I'll know more later.
I've been researching romance books, as I've never written one, and I thought it might be fun. What's hot right now, I'm told, is romance/horror, romance/paranormal, romance/ghosts. Maybe not. One of my upcoming planned books has aliens in it, but it is not the type of book that will wallow in the shallow edge of the gene pool. I'm way too old for that--although these 35,000 word wonders probably pay better than what I'm doing now. I really should keep my mouth shut. Right now, I'm reading Red Lily by Nora Roberts. I am not impressed.There is a page near the front that I'm tempted to email to Val--have mercy!
I'm reading Elizabeth's new book. I'm so sad I started writing so late. I could have been so much better!
3-25-08-I don't know what's going on, but I can't get onto the Internet on Sundays anymore to blog and do website work. Is it the political stuff? March Madness? I dunno.
The email announcing the Writers Digest Writing Contest came in this weekend (WritersDigest.com) . The entry deadline is May 1, 2008. The entry fee ($100.00) scared me away, but ya'll go for it.
The cover of Elizabeth Lyon's new book is on the home page. She edited the first draft of my A Three-Turtle Summer (before I met Val). Her editing is excellent. The book will be out on April 1st.
Most of you know that Val did the first edit of my Brown book. Due to illness, I never had a second edit done after I changed it.
Baseball is on--happy writing!

3-14-08-I discovered that the new Kindle machine that Amazon.com is selling for $399.00 probably isn't compatible with our eBook formats used by iUniverse, PublishAmerica, etc. It will be, but not yet. This information came from iU, so check out your publisher if you're interested. For myself, I've published four books and have never sold one eBook. Not one. So I'm not worried about it.
I've decided to make a contest page listing the links of contests because I can see that they're going to eventually get lost in this blog. Lately, I've been buried with personal stuff, so I only entered Custer in two contests. I have a distressing feeling that I've thrown my money out the window as I've not gotten back a Got-it! card or an email as they promised saying they have received my books. I barely get through my to do list for the day lately, and I completely forgot to have Dick send the books UPS so I'd get a receipt. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Oh, no! He probably even sent them book rate. Kill me, kill me now!
This morning, I finally got around to trying to get the info on the Lakewood International Fest on May 10th. I think I need a secretary. Stay tuned.
2-27-08-I've just noticed that the deadline for the 12th Annual Independent Publisher Book Awards is coming up on April 1st. Check it out: http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php 
Another book contest 2008 Beach Book Festival:
I know nothing about these contests, except that Charlie Brough won an award in an earlier Ippy contest.
Remember, our main site's address is an org. As in: http://www.northwestauthors.org/   Why? Because that was all I could get at the time!
This address is an org. too.
Oh, bother! (Pooh)
I've tried to post some of your business cards this morning, but they didn't show up very well as is--I guess they'll have to be enlarged, and I'm out of time for today...
2-24-08-Product alert! I've had trouble with my new HP Pavilion. Lots of trouble. I assumed it was what my husband calls pilot error, but a member of my family has the same laptop, and his is giving him fits too. Just something to think about if your getting ready to upgrade.
Are you interested in YouTube as a marketing tool? Casio has a new camera* ( Casio, 8.1-megapixel Exilium Zoom EX-Z80) that has the proper settings to make a piece of film that is compatible with Youtube and iPod. At $200, it's too pricey for me, but I know some of you will see the value in this piece of technology. *(exilim.casio.com)
2-21-08- I've decided I'm going backwards on this blog so the new info will always be at the top. How brainy is that? This will be the basic format for our new site. It will grow and change as we need it to. Any suggestions will be considered, but I'm a busy gal and I fear this site will never be a thing of visual beauty.
Writing blues-I am now over halfway into my next novel (it's going to be short), and it has some serious problems. The main one is the hero is much more appealing than the heroine. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

2-21-08- I've been going over my marketing file and found a note about Guerilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson. It came highly recommended, but I never got around to ordering it. I'll bet it's in the library...
2-18-08-There's something new in the wind. iUniverse is starting a pod imprint that is really unusual. It would be good for small books--Christmas presents, family cookbooks, etc. What makes it different is that the author would download the book himself onto a special software and could then have as few as one copy printed. Unfortunately, I've lost my notes. I'm looking for them!