Patrick G Cox

Sometimes it seems ...

Sometimes it seems that progress is not in the direction or the speed desired. I'm going through one of those phases at present.

The cover art for On The Run, the latest Harry Heron adventure, is coming together and should be ready, I'm assured, in a week or so. At the same time I'm waiting on a photograph for the redesign of the cover for Their Lordships Request ... and neither seem to be making the sort of progress I would like to see! The trouble is you can't rush the creative process and trying to take short cuts is often disastrous and counter productive - so patience is a vitue I'm having to discover yet again.

The entire MS for On The Run is still with my editor, so, from my perspective, I have to be patient and wait to see what changes she requires to the text before anything else can happen anyway. Once those have been made it will go back to her so she can check to see there are no glaring contradictions as a result of the changes and then to the typesetting process.

In the meantime, of course, I'm trying to prepare my marketing strategy. I knew there was a reason for my being in the fire and emergency services for my career. I doubt I could sell an eskimo a snow-ski ...

My Swan Impersonation

Ever get the feeling you're riding a runaway train? Then you know what I mean by the title of this post, presenting a serene and controlled appearance on the surface, while paddling like fury to stay afloat.

At present I have On The Run with an editor, the cover art in development, several personal matters to resolve in respect of papers required from government departments reluctant to respond quickly and a conference to prepare for. The conference requires that I write two papers and prepare the presentations, so there's not a lot of free time there. There have also been problems with speakers pulling out at the last minute and having to find suitable replacements. Coupled with that, having moved countries, I am having to track down and obtain copies of documents I have never needed before. Dealing with bureaucrats is NOT one of my favourite occupations and is seldom actually a productive exercise...

The publisher for On The Run is also pressing me to get my marketing strategy together, so there no pressure there then! The book won't be available until end September on current time scales, but they are, of course, right. Marketing has to be launched in advance of the book. And I'm trying to revise a large MS for a book I really do want to see in print and on sale.

OK, so all of the above is self-inflicted. Who wants to be an author?

A fascinating read ...

I have long pondered the direction of the our "western" society and its ultimate fate. I see I am not alone in this. A new book has crossed my horizon and I would have reviewed it here, save that someone better qualified has done it already. His review of the book;

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic can be found by following the link I've embedded.  The book itself, while I found it heavy going in parts and dealing, as it does, with things I am familiar with only through news and TV reports, pretty much confirms my own feelings on a number of issues.

I certainly commend this to anyone writing for a 'future world' genre.

Hurdles

Had a message yesterday from Abbott Press yesterday to say that their legal team had gone through "On The Run - A Harry Heron Adventure" and have given me the all clear - in other words there is no plagiarism or anything which could be said to be the "intellectual property" of anyone. It's always good to know that your work is not duplicated anywhere else I suppose and if we are honest, there is always the possibility that an idea could have come from someone else.

Now the book is in their "editorial review" process and I await the outcome of that with some trepidation. I have no doubt there are things that can be 'tightened up' and improved in my writing, but I just hope that after the number of revisions I've already made to On The Run, there won't be too many this time round!

Now I await the cover art, being prepared by my brother (An artist of considerable talent) in Cape Town. From the sounds of it so far - this will be interesting and exciting. 

Reading Matter

 

<a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1529316.FRIGATES_SLOOPS_AND_BRIGS" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="FRIGATES, SLOOPS AND BRIGS (Pen & Sword Military Classics)" border="0" src="http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1184781535m/1529316.jpg" /></a><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1529316.FRIGATES_SLOOPS_AND_BRIGS">FRIGATES, SLOOPS AND BRIGS</a> by <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/597177.James_Henderson">James Henderson</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/189946016">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

 

Editorial Revisions ...

Following on from an Editorial Review I commissioned of my book Ego Sum, I have started a revision to see how best to implement the very good suggestions made for its improvement. This is a long haul task, to get it right means taking each chapter apart carefully, looking at how it fits with the rest of the story and then looking at how that can be improved  - or even whether it is necessary.

Nor is it an easy task. The yawning trap at each step of the way is that, because I know what I was trying to show, or what I wanted to show, it becomes very easy not to see how it would bore the reader. As the book is based around the idea that the subject character is telling 'his' story to an audience, the second trap is to leave in to much 'telling' and not leave some of it to the imagination of the reader by 'showing' the key elements through the dialogue and letting the reader fill the gaps.

There is a small problem with that in places, since in the early part of the story, the subject spent long periods isolated by language, culture and social position. Later, in a more social context it becomes easier, but still tricky because he wasn't always accepted by those he was surrounded by. I'm not going to put in a spoiler here - the book is a very special project. It's one I believe needs to be told. It needs to be told sympathetically and it is also about someone who many would say is extremely well known ...

At least the legends about him are. The man behind them is even more fascinating than the legends.

Another milestone ...

Managed to complete another manuscript today, a story set in the latter part of the Napoleonic War in an around the Baltic. It's been quite an interesting one to write for a number of reasons, not least being the historical background to the tale. The Baltic campaigns between 1808 and 1812 were pivotal to the outcome of the Napoleonic War. Had Napoleon succeeded in holding together the alliances which prevented the import of British manufactured goods into Europe and the export to Britain of vital shipbuilding timbers, Britain would have lost the war.

In fact, they came very close to total economic collapse. Before 1808, Britain's trade with the Baltic area was worth some £43 million per year. After the Treaty of Tilsit in 1808, the blockade steadily reduced the trade until it dropped below £5 million a year. At this point the British were forced to introduce "Deficit Budgeting" - with the government printing money it didn't have the cash to back. The legacy of this is still with us, on bank notes which are actually "Promissary Notes" and carry the statement "I promise to pay the bearer on demand ..." and signed by the Secretary to the Bank of England. It is also with us in the manner in which all western governments now budget for their activities - borrowing against the taxes they hope to collect ...

Britain was saved by the rivalries and the ambitions of the various royal families and by Napoleon's own ambition. That and the fact that his imposition of his brother as King of Spain, caused the Spanish to revolt. Wellington's successes drained the French at a moment when Napoleon decided to stamp on the Tsar - and lost to the Russian winter.

Through it all the Royal Navy fought a difficult and successful campaign against gunboats, privateers and fixed fortresses. This is the background against which I have set a romatic historical novel ... 

It's here!

The eBook version of Out Of Time was released this morning by the publisher - ePublishing for Success. It has been an interesting and exciting ride, but worth every moment of it. Their Lordships Request ... will, I hope follow soon. The delay is due to redesigning the cover, the book itself is ready. 

ePublishing a step closer...

The release of Their Lordships Request ... and Out of Time as eBooks came a significant step closer today. 

Both have now been converted to MOBI, PDF and EPUB and will be released as soon as the Publisher and I have agreed on the marketing blurb and the pricing. I am obviously excited about this as now everyone with a Kindle iReader or simply the Adobe Reader programme on their desktop can buy an electronic version, download it and read away.

OK, enough fanfare for the moment, back to writing the marketing blurb. 

ePublishing

 

Turns out to be a bit more complicated than we thought. There are a range of things to consider, such as the systems and readers the work will be available on. Ot appears there are several different operating systems in use and each has its own coding process. Plus, it isn't as simple as just copy/paste into the required format.
To be successful, it has to have the same appearance as a printed book - so pages have to be formed, bookmarked and formatted. In short, it is the same process as is required to produce the Galleys for a printed book - but with the added twist that, because it will appear on a screen, you have to be able to scroll it and go to a page, chapter or section on command. It's been quite a learning curve. Guess I'll now have to buy an e-reader so I can actually get used to this technological stuff myself.
Cutting to the chase - both Jada and I have books in preparation for the New Zealand based company - <a href="http://46s.biz/">ePublishing for Success</a>.

Turns out to be a bit more complicated than I thought. I should have realised it is almost as technical - or maybe more so - than producing a print version. There are a range of things to consider, such as the systems and readers the work will be available on. Ot appears there are several different operating systems in use and each has its own coding process. Plus, it isn't as simple as just copy/paste into the required format.

To be successful, it has to have the same appearance as a printed book - so pages have to be formed, bookmarked and formatted. In short, it is the same process as is required to produce the Galleys for a printed book - but with the added twist that, because it will appear on a screen, you have to be able to scroll it and go to a page, chapter or section on command. It's been quite a learning curve. Guess I'll now have to buy an e-reader so I can actually get used to this technological stuff myself.

Cutting to the chase - both afriend and I have books in preparation for the New Zealand based company - <a href="http://46s.biz/">ePublishing for Success</a>. It's proving to be very interesting!

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