Tools of the Trade

For a writer, at least this one, my main tool is my computer and word processing program. I’ve written all my books up until this point on Microsoft Word.  When I got my iMac a little over a year ago, I got Microsoft Office and kept right on writing.  I was able to get a great price on it as a teacher– one of those few perks.

Since I bought my macbook (and I’ve already written two chapter using it), I tried to get Office at the same price and found out they would only let me have one.  I looked into getting Office 365.  With it, I would get new versions of Word, and be able to use the new Office for iPad and iPhone.  At $100 bucks, I could install it on up to 5 computers– so my son and wife could use it too.  Neither of them are really interested.  Plus, I found out that I would not get a new version of Office, but the same old Office 2011 that I already have on my desktop.

So, I decided to go with Pages, Apples Word alternative.  I already have it on both computers and both my iPad and iPhone.  It automatically saves to the cloud so I can switch between them.  I can even use Pages for iCloud if I’m on a PC.  Of course, it’s different, so it’s taking me a bit to get used to it.  I also need a .doc file to convert to ebook, but Pages does that.

I guess I am now officially converted to an Apple Fan-boy, since I have the entire line of iProducts and am using the software too.  The proof will be in the pudding though.  Can I get an entire book written using these new tools.  I think I can.

One Year Old

I just had to update my virus protection and that means that my beloved iMac is now one year old.  In fact, I ordered it January 15, 2013 and it arrived a week later.  I have to say that I have never once regretted ditching Windows.  I purchased Parallels and Windows 7 to run on the iMac, so that I could have compatibility with some older programs, but I haven’t run them in months.  Everything important has a Mac version that I like better than the windows version, including the educational software that I use at school.  I still use Microsoft Office (Mac Version), Word for writing and Excel for keeping track of book sales, but that’s about it as far as MS products go.

My first Apple product was the iPad.  Magical.  After two years, I replaced it with an iPad 3 and passed the old one to my daughter who uses it every hour.  Then I got an iPhone 4S, which my wife is still using.  I replaced it with a 5S two month ago and it’s as awesome as they say on TV.  I guess I’ll eventually get a new iMac, because I’m a techie and I like new stuff (this is about my 15th desktop computer), but it won’t be for a while, because she is humming along like no tomorrow.

I used to laugh at people who bought Apple products because they are so expensive compared to the competition.  Now that I’ve been using them, I feel like I really got what I paid for.  I just got a new Windows desktop and laptop at work and it feels like I might as well be using a clay tablet and wooden stylus to carve cuneiform.  They’re just awful.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.  The battery life on the laptop is about 11 minutes.  Bear in mind that these are in schools and schools always get the crappiest stuff, so I’m sure there are better Windows products out there.

Anyway, happy birthday to my iMac.  I think I’ll go online and buy it something pretty.

His Robot Wife – Still #25 on iBookstore’s Free Sci-Fi

His Robot Girlfriend

Since it opened, iBookstore has had His Robot Wife in the top 50 free sic-fi.  Several times, it has risen up to within the top 10.  Currently it is #25.

Thanks to iBookstore, Apple, Smashwords, and most of all to all the readers– especially those who posted reviews.  It has 1730 ratings– more 5 star than 4 star, more 4 star than 3 star, more 3 star than 2 star, and more 2 star than 1 star.  To make a long story short (too late) it has 3 1/2 stars overall.

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see my book popping up on lists of great sic-fi, favorite stories, or lists like the iBookstore or Amazon.  It reminds me once again of my new mantra: It’s not about book sales!  It’s about readers!

Good News for Indy Authors

Mark Coker at Smashwords reports that Smashwords authors have enjoyed a 76% increase in sales through Apple iBookstore after Christmas.  See the original post here.  This is aggregated from 125,000 Smashwords titles, so it’s too early to tell if that has had an impact on my books, but it sounds good.  Apple has been my best selling outlet for a while now.

On a related note, sales are up for my books at Amazon’s Kindle Store too.

Obviously having a small sales increase (of the amount that I might hope for) won’t immediately make me wealthy or allow me to retire from teaching and focus on writing, but anything that makes you feel good about writing can be a great motivator.  And getting my books out into the hands of readers makes me feel good.

The Young Sorceress and The Two Dragons Now at Sony & iBooks

Well, it’s taken a while, but The Young Sorceress and The Two Dragons have finally found their way into the Sony ebook Store.  You can find a link to all my books for the Sony Reader here.

In a related event, The Two Dragons has finally arrived at Apple’s iBook Store.  You can find a link to it here.  I am especially happy about this because Apple has been my single biggest retailer for most of my books, and especially for Senta and the Steel Dragon.

If you are a Sony Reader reader 🙂 and you were waiting to complete your series, now you can.  And thanks to all of you who purchased my books.