San Diego comic fest

This is not the San Diego comic con, this is better.

This is a convention of makers and doers of comics. It’s small enough that you can have a conversation with those that are making and have made comics without standing in line for hours.

This year the convention celebrated the 100 birthday of Jack Kerby. Lots of Kerby artwork on the walls. One artist created large statues of Kirby themed and Kink Kong themed works. Big enough to stand in and have towering over you while your picture is taken.

The comic fest was held at a new location. All activities were on the first floor. Very wheel chair friendly. For those of us staying in the hotel the parking was free. You don’t find that at many San Diego hotels. Artist alley was spread out with plenty of elbow room and room to expand. Not like the old hotel.

A shopping center was only a few blocks away and there were plenty of places to eat outside the hotel.

The rooms for the presentations and panels were a bit small and sometimes filled to overflowing.

And as hard as the staff tried it is almost impossible to get some of the panel members to stop talking.

I attended two talks on Mars rovers. Good talks.

I attended one talk on using Adobe software to build the frames or panel on a comic book page. Adobe software is too expensive for me, but you have to get all the techniques you can find.

Attended a panel on the upcoming solar eclipse. Get your special glasses to view the eclipse now.

Talked to several (OK I hound them, badgered them) artist on artist row for pointers on coloring and drawing. I also bought books and drawings for those I talked to.

The dealer’s room was full.

It rained getting there and while the convention was going on. But once there I stayed inside and the rain let up so I could go for breakfast and dinner without getting soaked.

Stay strong, write on.            Professor Hyram Voltage

Change can be real, go read a book

The stock market taught me that when everyone say “this time it’s different,” it’s not. The dot com bubble proved the world is still filled with greedy people, and people can still be fooled by hype and marketing. As P. T. Barnum said “there’s one born every minute.” At today’s population explosion rate, there’s one born every second. I have many friends and co-workers that lost lots of money, a good part of their retirement, even their house in the dot com bubble. I’m not saying do not invest, I’m saying be careful when people say the world has changed. The greedy will not become saints at the wave of a wand. People are still out to make money any way they can.

Where am I going? The other day on the local NPR FM radio station was a news bite about Amazon setting up a new program to stress the selling of books printed on paper. Kind of nice, they’re getting back to their roots.

The next news bit was an interview with a guy from the Harvard Business Review. He had written a piece in the Review about how to read a printed (paper) book. The piece had a lot of the stock advice, turn off the TV and put away the remote, shut down the cell phone. Common sense stuff.

That noise I heard in the back ground was people, like Samuel Clemens, turning over in their graves. If you skipped high school English he’s better known as Mark Twain and wrote the book Tom Sawyer, or do high schools even teach that any more?

The guy doing the piece in the Harvard Business Review should have done a YouTube video about reading a printed book, or at least a power point slide show. If people don’t know how to read a printed book, will they know how to read a newspaper?

The world has changed if you have to tell people how to read a book.

Here’s a great chance for a writer to generate a 99 cents book, How to Read a PBook (printed book). Batteries and charger not needed.

Stay strong, write (and read) on.         Professor Hyram Voltage

How much does it cost to write an ebook?

A lot more that you would think.

I recently ran across a blog titled; The True Cost of Self-Publishing a Book. Interesting article. If you peruse the infographic (the link to the infographic is buried in the text) you will find that authors that use the Reedsy service pay an average of $4800.00 for editing services (just the editing services). Then there’s the book cover, any formatting you want done, and the dreaded other things. It comes to a total (average) of $6,340.00 for professional services for a 60,000 word book.

Michael Doane who wrote the blog post (at set his goal to have his book produced for $3,500.00. He did it, but $3.5K is a lot of money.

I’m trying to control cost (yes a moth would starve to dead in my wallet) and I’m looking at some serious editing at three cents a word for a 50,000 word for the book. That’s $1,500.00 for editing.

Book lay out people go on and on about how a poorly laid out book will turn off readers. I don’t get it. I have heard readers talk about how a book was hard to read, but they read it anyway.  Can you remember what the type font was in War and Piece?  Can you remember what the type font was in the last book you read? Do you care what the type font was? Do you know what a type font is?

When I formatted my first book I got out copies of five different books I liked. I liked the stories in the books not the format or grammar. All five books were laid out wildly different. They were all from major publishers so I got out a couple of indie books. No consistency there either. So I thumbed through the books picked out the things I liked and use them.

Things like; did the book have chapters and chapter titles. the font used, the margins used. The font I used is a default, I used Times New Roman. You can’t go wrong with Times New Roman. Margins were set to the same margins that were used in a paper back that I like and ended up being change to the Kindle default. Default font size was on the big side, it’s an ebook so paper cost is not a worry and as you get older you want large default font size (12 point or larger). My book looks like a book because it was make to look like a book. It didn’t cost $1200.00 to $2000.00 for a book designer. No ones has ever complained about the layout or that the book was hard to read. I would change it quickly if they did.

Note, I used a font with serf’s. Scientific tests show that fonts with serfs (serf means that the letters have little feet on the bottom, like the f and S in this post) are easier to read and are preferred for fiction.

I’m still looking for an editor that will do structural/developmental editing followed by proof reading after I incorporate the structural changes and copy editing after I incorporate the copy edit changes and I will pay the going rate.

Stay strong, write on.                    Professor Hyram Voltage