In case you missed it on my other social media posts, Goodreads is doing a Best-Of contest. Only book 2 of the Bobiverse is on the list. That’s fine, as I don’t want to split votes.
Some of you might have noticed that the site was down for about a day. That’s because yesterday my Graphene theme wanted to be updated from 1.9.something to 2.0 . Fine, sez I, and hits update.
Turns out 2.0 is incompatible with older versions of PHP. This is the second time I’ve gone down because of a PHP incompatibility–the last time was with my backup plugin. I think it’s time to open a ticket with my hosting service and ask them to move into the 21st century.
Meanwhile, the new version of the theme comes with shiny new colors. Not sure I approve. I’ll wait a day or two, to see if it grows on me.
What really rankles about all this, though, is the waste of time. I picked a hosting service and wordpress because I didn’t want to have to deal with apache or IIS or whatever. I want to be a dumbass, ignorant end user who pushes a button and then forgets about it. But noooooooooooo… I have to get involved in ftp-ing stuff up to the server and unpacking it to recover my stupid web page because there’s no backout option when an update banjaxes your site. Argh!
To paraphrase Homer Simpson: The internet: the source of most of life’s problems and the solution to all of them.
I just got my first short story published. It’s in Explorations: Colony . It was an interesting experience–turns out writing short stories requires an entirely different mindset from writing novels. I have to admire authors who do this as their primary focus, and I especially have to admire authors (like many golden-age greats) who did both effectively.
Audible has sent me soundcloud samples, so here’s a recap of samples for all 3 books:
The storm seems to be about over. Audible has fixed the truncated audio file, re-enabled Whispersync, and emailed customers about it. However, I’m still getting some reviews and comments about the “cliffhanger” nature of All These Worlds, so not everyone apparently reads their email. Or, more likely, they figured it was another marketing email and deleted it unread.
So what happened?
I’ve discussed it with Audible, and they don’t know. It’s never happened before, it shouldn’t happen at all, and the engineers can’t see how it could happen. Gotta love computers, right?
Anyway, the bottom line is that the audio file is uploaded to the server in chunks, and one chunk just. Didn’t. Arrive. This meant that the file served up to all the pre-orders and early sales was missing the last 13 chapters, 64 through 76. Needless to say, there was an immediate uproar about the “cliffhanger’ nature of the book. No kidding. I read chapter 63 while visualizing that being the last chapter in the book, and it made a Batman episode look like War and Peace.
As an aside, I’m impressed at how many people had listened right through to that point by the first morning.
By the time I’d gotten up, mainlined my first coffee, and read my social media (with a rising sense of panic), and contacted Audible, they were already all over it. They assured me they were rebuilding the file and would have it up by mid-day.
Audible delivered on their promise, and also sent emails (as earlier mentioned) to customers. Then they started working on the Whispersync function, which apparently requires its own processing to link up the audio and e-book files. That took a little longer, but got done.
By now the cataclysm has been fixed, and if you think All These Worlds is a cliffhanger book, please check your chapter count. If you only have 63, delete the file from your device and re-download it. You should end up with 76 chapters.
On another subject, I’ve been asked to say something about my future writing plans. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m a full-time writer as of this summer. Honesty requires me to admit that this means afternoon naps more than anything else. But even with that, I should be able to be more productive.
Keep in mind, when I’m talking about my schedule, that I’m not self-published, so there’s a gap between when I finish a book and when it hits the market. And I have an ‘exclusive’ with Audible for the next five books, which means a book will be available from Audible for four months before it’s available in any other format. Sorry, they kept throwing money at me and I’m a weak, weak man.
Anyway, the Bobiverse trilogy is now complete. I’ve also almost finished Singularity Trap, except for possibly an editing round or two. ST will probably be published on Audible in early 2018.
I’m currently working on a short story, to be published in the Explorations anthology, in the Explorations: Colony edition. They’ve just released Explorations: War. It’s a shared universe and an ongoing story from edition to edition. Worth having a look at.
My next novel-length project will be a significant re-edit of Outland. Outland was my first novel, and although I have a soft spot for it, I freely admit that it’s not my best work. Stephen King says you have to write a million words before you’re an accomplished writer. Yes, I know, there’s some doubt as to who actually said it first. Don’t care. The important point is that, in writing, practice is critical to success.
So, with a few books under my belt, I’m going to go back and hit Outland with a very large hammer. There’s some question as to whether that will be considered a new edition, or whether I should re-release it under a new title. That will be a subject for discussion. In any case, it should be done by November or so, then there will be the usual six-month lead time for publication.
Next, I’m going to finish the sequel to Outland, which I’ve tentatively named Earthside. I’ve been promising a sequel to Outland since before I finished Legion, so I guess I’d better get on it. I’ll hope to have that finished by early 2018.
After that, things will slow down a little as I’ll be writing “net new” books. My intention is to write a Bobiverse book, which would be finished somewhere in summer 2018. As usual, add up to six months for publication.
The book after that? Not sure. It might be another Bobiverse book, or another Outland book, or something entirely new. It will depend on discussions with my agent and Audible and most importantly, on what the readers are demanding.
So that’s the scoop, seen from the point of view from my couch, today. Ooh. “The View From The Couch.” Dibs.
I’ve been in contact with Audible, who are responsible for setting up Whispersync for Amazon/Audible books. Apparently there’s more involved than just flipping a switch. When they had to re-upload ATW on Tuesday, they essentially had to re-do the Whispersync setup, which is not trivial. I’m told it’ll be up by end of day today, though (Aug 9th).
As I write this, there are about a dozen comments awaiting moderation, pointing out that All These Worlds is missing the last dozen or so chapters. Not really the debut I was hoping for. 🙁
I’ve already contacted Audible, and they’re aware of the problem. They’re working on it, they say it’ll be fixed this morning some time, and they’ll have the fixed version uploaded. You’ll be able to re-download the book at that time.
My apologies for this issue. This is like buying a book and discovering the last page has been ripped out.