A contrary view on indie publishing

The blog post below appeared briefly on indie publisher JA Konrath’s blog, but has now disappeared. It was written by successful thriller writer Stephen Leather. Methinks a few feathers may have been ruffled!
Edit: It must have been a glitch because it’s back now. Apologies for the wrongful assertion. See it here

Here’s what Leather had to say:    Continue reading

Water=poop, wine=health!

water pipeI found this while looking back through my random notes on stuff that interests me.

Don’t know where it came from or who wrote it but I just love it so I thought I would share it with you.

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine… and those who don’t:

As Ben Franklin said, “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) – bacteria found in faeces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor)because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

So remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health.

Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid than to drink water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information, I’m doing it as a public service!

My sentiments exactly.

Great advice from indie publisher, Joe Konrath

joe konrathFor any aspiring authors out there, this blog post by Joe Konrath is a must-read. Forget the traditional route, savvy authors are now going indie. A post that prompts 593 comments (as of 24/04/11) needs to be taken seriously.

Here’s a snippet:

Are you dense? What the hell is wrong with you?

I’m talking to you. The writers who are still thoughtlessly defending legacy publishing. Unless you’re making over a million dollars a year with the Big 6, continuing down the legacy path is a crazy bad idea.

I see the same tired, lame arguments, over and over again. They include: It’s hard to make decent money self-pubbing.

Guess what? It’s even harder to make decent money by legacy publishing…”

Go there now and read the rest of it, you may well get to be the next JK Rowling!

Pole dancing on steroids!

Contrary to popular belief, pole dancing is not something that’s only confined to the sleazier side of the street, it has become a popular exercise discipline in its own right.

Now more and more people are taking it up as a form of exercise that’s fun and a whole lot more interesting than hitting the gym and pounding the running machines.

This video clip is from the 2009 US Pole Dancing Championships and, as you will see, a girl has to be pretty darned fit to compete in this arena. Now when I say ‘fit’ I mean as an athlete, we all know they’re FIT, don’t we?!

So I just thought I’d show you what you need to be practising on if you want to enter next year’s Championships.

This post is definitely not just another excuse to show a bit of gratuitous, scantily-clad girly stuff. Even if it was, what’s wrong with that anyway? Great choice of music too.

An old Harley Davidson

an old harley davidson
Recently I came across this old Harley D which was parked in the street. I just liked the simplicity of it compared to more modern bikes so I decided to capture a small detail of it.

Canon 5d, 24-105 f4 L, 1/400th, f10, available light, de-saturated, a little bit of split-toning, curves to increase contrast, sharpening, and finally a light coloured vignette to give it an ethereal look.

What makes a great opening chapter?

novel opening chapterWhat makes you pick up and buy a novel by an author you’ve never heard of?

As I’m an aspiring novelist – three started, three abandoned, a fourth in gestation – you may find it surprising to learn that I don’t frequent book shops much.

It’s not that I don’t like books, I do, I love them dearly, I love the smell and the feel of them, and the promise that’s held between the covers, it’s just that they’re a bit, how shall I put this? Expensive!    Continue reading

Why can’t the English make a decent cup of coffee?

coffeeI like my coffee in the morning, I’m not a caffeine junkie but a decent cup of coffee is on my ‘to do’ list every day.

I bought a cheap 49€ espresso machine and I get my coffee from the supermarket. Nothing fancy, just own brand, pre-ground Arabica costing 1.98€ for 500g (1lb-ish).

Now, allow me to let you in on a little secret: making good coffee is not hard! I just load up the machine, get a shot of espresso, steam-up the milk and voila! Although I say it myself, I make pretty-damned-good coffee!    Continue reading

5 Easy Keyboard Shortcuts for Photoshop’s Zoom Tool

photoshop zoom toolWhen you’re working in Photoshop you will very often need the zoom tool. By learning these few commonly used zooming shortcuts you will speed up your workflow and make your life a lot easier.

Using keyboard shortcuts is always my preferred method when working in post-production, it gets the job done a lot more quickly and you will be surprised at how much you use them once you’ve got the hang of it.    Continue reading

Supermarkets bin plastic bags – Green or Greed?

plastic bagsI see that many of the big European supermarkets are now gearing up to stop issuing plastic bags in their stores throughout the EU. This can only be a good thing, and about bloody time too!

Their various spokespersons are saying that the object is to raise people’s awareness of the importance of “re-using, recycling and reducing the consumption of plastic bags which are only used once”.    Continue reading

Spain’s southern coast is still Europe’s hot-spot

spain holidayNo matter what the doom-mongers may say, the Costa del Sol will always be the place where most of Europe wants to either spend its holidays, buy a home or retire to.

Being so close to Africa gives Spain’s southern coast its perfect climate, yet it’s only 2 – 3 hours away from most northern European airports.

Ok, it might not be exotic like India or the Far East, or spectacular like the Rocky Mountains, but to most of Europe it’s… near! Plus it’s still in Europe, with all the infrastructure and familiarity that goes with it.    Continue reading