Tag Archives: publishing

Review: SHARKK Backlit Ultrathin iPad Keyboard

IMG_20140630_201815_999After three tries I finally found the perfect keyboard for the iPad: the SHARKK Backlit Ultrathin iPad Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard by this progressive company called SHARKK.

I love writing with this new set up. It syncs up to the iPad almost instantly for quick typing and the response is immediate.

The keys just feel good and they are back lit with a range of zazzy colors to choose from. The keyboard clips to the iPad securely and easily with magnets and the sleek aluminum profile looks good, feels good and is professional without being boring. I can’t say enough good things about this keyboard. It’s so fun to work with I bet it even cures writer’s block ;D

Here’s my video review on the subject – thanks to first time camera man xmonkeydoox for helping me create it!

Journal Jabber – Alicia Sparks – Radio Show 6·1·14

jj1After a few glitches and a lot of learning, the new Journal Jabber shows are starting to come out.  Listen in as Alicia Sparks heats things up as we chat about her newest release, “Sin Bin,” hockey and her birthday.

Journal Jabber on YouTube!

Here it is – the first Journal Jabber show in it’s new home, nestled comfortably on the Ember Spark channel.  What a great first show as well – four authors of microfiction pit pen and prose against each other in a battle of words to see which will walk away as the Iron Writer 2014.

Future shows will be posted on the channel and we will start posting the archives as well.  We will have more freedom to do extra shows and be much more creative than our former platform allowed.  Please have a listen, like and share.  Subscribe to catch them all!

Thanks Ember for hosting Journal Jabber on your channel!


Is it The End for Indies?

Amazon has decided to move their independently published books to a separate division.  This is to provide “readers a convenient way to explore and browse some of the indie selection available on Kindle”.

In addition I noticed that Amazon has removed the tiny photo of a Kindle off of the majority of the book covers on their site, further dissociating themselves from independently published books.  I think it signifies the end of the indie free-for-all.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think independently published books are here to stay, and they are generally a good thing.  Now no agent or publishing house can come between us and our readers.  We turn our noses up at the mountainous slush piles on the editors’ desks and head directly to “Go” to (hopefully) pick up our $200.  It has truly been a revolution, but like any revolution some heads will roll.  In this case, it’s our own.

By introducing a flood of poorly produced books, we have signed our own orders for execution.  In the beginning I was excited by the flood of inexpensive books by undiscovered authors.  Now, two months into my exploration I barely bother getting any new books, even if they are free. 

Stories so riddled with basic spelling errors that a high school English teacher would have failed them are populating the shelves of Amazon and Smashwords.  Plots that have the literary consistency of yesterday’s lumpy oatmeal are being presented to us as feasts.  Character’s with all the depth of Bart Simpson are being paraded around like rock stars.  Reading, once my favorite activity, has become very much a chore.

When I was a punk rocker in the 80’s I spray painted my jacket with the A in a circle along with my friends.  Representing anarchy, I thought the idea of a lawless self-governed society was the way to go.  I liked it until I realized that most of us were incapable of governing a party without having major issues, let alone a society.

I would like to see independent authors continue expanding, but not in anarchy.  With carefully plotted courses and developed characters we can change the face of publishing to benefit readers and authors alike.  If we continue to churn out garbage we will only succeed in furthering the distance between us and ‘real books’.

More reading you might enjoy:

Kindle Indie Books

Why Self Published Authors Know Best (thx to Notes from an Alien for that link)

Self Publishing by the Numbers