Recent Reads

A mixed bag of books read the past few weeks, some good some not so good.

Worth the Wait (St James Book 1) by Jamie Beck

If you can’t guess the ending by page 5 ….. So why the “12 Years Earlier” section … sorry I lost the will to look at the next page at that point.

Two Girls on a Mission by Steven W Johnson

Silliness of the endearing kind. If you want to read something with no weight, no social commentary and no long term impact on anything …. This is the book for you.

Sublight by V G James

Lets take a nerdy ham radio fan (and his mates) add some naked aliens, a few nudists, the US Air force, a Senator and the President of the USA and shake it all up together and you get another enjoyable romp in which everything ends up for the best … unless you are the one alien who gets sick. Yeah Fun!

The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin

A short story from the creator of Rebus, a very different book from the detective stories.  A case of take a pinch of Dorian Grey mix in a generous helping of Jekyll & Hyde with elements of Don’t Look Now. A compelling story set in Paris … worth reading

The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

A classic … very different from the black and white film … The first book in the Complete Novels of John Buchan (down loaded for just 49pence!!) Brilliant story well told. I will be reading the rest of the collection over the next few weeks.

The Kings Traitor (The Kingfountain Series Book 3) by Jeff Wheeler

I rather like the easy escapist writing of much of Jeff Wheelers writing. I have worked through the Muir Wood stories before moving on the Kingfountain so I guess that is apparent to you. While they are aimed at the teenage reader these stories present interesting and twisted plots of murder mystery and magic. I will continue to read these books as they appear.

Now a real book!

A real book!

The Uncovered Policeman – Rags to Riches Book 1 is now a real book!

A Real book
Uncovered Policeman book jacket

At last  I have reached the point where The Uncovered Policeman is now ‘clean’ enough to be committed to paper for ever. If you read the previous posting about proof reading you will now know where I was coming from.

Creating The Real Book from an e-book

 

Well once this is ink on paper there was no way to change any of the spelling, punctuation or add missing words. Fortunately Mrs Bun has managed to make the time to do the proofing and find about 200 changes that needed to be made.

Then the text had to copied into the template for the size of the book (5 x 8 inches). The auto set up tool tells you it is an ‘unexpected size’ for the proposed publication size 5 x 8 inches. I tried other sizes that didn’t help, but in the end it was accepted.

Then there was the cover … it had to have the print on the spine with a margin for the fold. Which meant that the whole thing depended on the number of pages bound in the book plus the two margins. Sounds simple enough but there were fewer pages than the estimated number, so the cover, which was a .pdf file, had to be changed.

I could have gone for a generic cover or paid “from £300” for a professional design, or is that from 200 copies?

The joys of self publishing for small volume sales .

In the future other books in the Rags to Riches series:

  • Undercover Policeman: Abroad
  • Uncovered Policeman; In and Out of the Blues
  • Uncovered Policeman: Goodbye Blues (due out in October)

will be coming out as paper backs provided  there is some interest in this one!

Currently the Uncovered Policeman is only on ‘createspace,’ and on Amazon.

The Amazon link http://amzn.to/2bRlOIb

Or if you are in North America you can use the createspace link https://www.createspace.com/6550919

 

The case for proof reading?

Proof reading is an attempt to over come the  Pareto principle  that is the “law” that says 80% of your errors will get picked up by your word processor but 20% wont. It also means that while 80% of the changes are correct 20% are actually new errors.

Confused? I am ! So on to the practicalities of why proof read and why it might not be a good idea.

It is interesting to read some of the comments turning up on the Amazon Reviews of my stories. Quite a few refer to the need for proof reading. I accept that my spelling is appalling and my finger (yes a one-digit typist) is often over taken by my imagination and words get missed.

The story that used to attract the most comments
The story that used to attract the most comments

Now here is the rub, if Word fails to point out a mistake, how am I supposed to spot that I have made one?

This is a comment from a review, it is of another authors work but the same person review one of my books.

“I have read many hundreds of books (fiction and non-fiction and mostly not erotic) and the vast majority of them were grammar and punctuation perfect. So I think it’s a pity that erotic book authors don’t take more care because I believe it must have an adverse effect on their sales.”

This is where we, in my opinion – feel free to decry me, hit the big problem.

As far as I am aware none of the authors of naturist fiction (#naturistfiction) are actually making a living out of their naturist fiction. It is a part-time endeavour even a hobby. I think most of us write for our own enjoyment initially then decide to share it. Something that has become possible via Amazon’s KDP, Goodreads and Smashwords.

So, to proof reading. looking for mistakes in an existing piece of writing has to be done by a new set of eyes. Remember Pareto is watching you 20% of your corrections will be extra errors! It takes a lot of effort to carefully read ,, word by word,line by line looking for mistakes rather than enjoying the story. I am lucky I had a volunteer for the Uncovered Policeman Abroad and my wife is a “finisher-completer” and had the time to do the Uncovered Policeman; In and Out of the Blues. Otherwise you pay a specialist. This is great if you have a publisher. They will deduct the cost of proofing, editing or buying you a cup of coffee while arguing about artistic integrity of a phrase, out of your advance on the copies they expect you to sell.

Well, I am planning a party to which you are all invited when the first of my stories sells its 500th unit. (Bring your own bottle, I’ll provide the pork scratchings.) If I had paid for proof reading by a professional I would not be able to afford the pork scratchings until I had sold 700 books and what sort of party would that be? Hey we are having a really big party, after all you are only 47 years old once … nope it doesn’t work.

“OK Ted, do you have a solution?” You ask.

Well, sort of. Most of the #naturistfiction authors (I’m a story teller not an author by the way) seem to be approachable. It is rare not to find an e-mail address in the blurb around the story. Review the story, the writing style and how you felt about the reading experience. Then if you have found specific errors send the writer a nice e-mail pointing out the errors. I am sure most will change the manuscript to correct these mistakes. One of the big joys of these electronic publications is that they can be changed almost daily unlike a printed book.

One word of warning never, never try to correct a plot line! You may discuss why the author chose that path but don’t correct the plot if you want to live long enough to come to the 500th Book Party.