Non-Fiction writing, Illegal Digital Versions, Roses & I’ve given up apologizing

…for not keeping up with my blog posts. I write for a living, which means that I’m either actually writing something or researching something, or thinking about what to write or research, or I’m wrapped up in “Real Life” commitments and wishing I were actually writing or researching something so I’d have a damn good excuse for NOT dealing with “Life As It Really Is”.

Here I am, a reasonably happy divorcee for the last ten years, and my ex-wife is still nagging at me from the black depths of my memory. Maybe large amounts of alcohol would help with that, but I don’t drink. Besides, I rather enjoy ignoring her, even if it’s only in my own mind.

In short, I have some perfectly good reasons ready to hand for not keeping up with my blog posting. So there.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system (guilt is a great motivator), I am tickled pink to report that my first novel, “The Big Bend”, now has 10 reviews on Amazon and a 5-star rating.

Amazon.com sends out email blasts to purchasers with recommendations based on their buying habits. Over the last several weeks I have received four or five such emails featuring my own novels… Being the manly, disciplined fellow that I am, I have – so far, anyway – resisted the urge to purchase another copy of my own novels.  But it sure is entertaining to get those emails!

Morgen Bailey, a British blogger-buddy of mine, forwarded one of those emails to me, too, and that sure made my day.

Needless to say, my Kindle sales have benefited from the free advertising. That will make my bank manager very happy.

One final note on the business side of things; the publisher of my third novel, “Twisted Key”, XLibris Publishing, has again begun to market a digital version of TK on a few web sites. This is the second time they have done this to me. This is contrary to our rights agreement, since I specifically did not – ever – give them the right to publish any digital version of the novel.

Amazon sent me an email on 5 October notifying me that they found a digital version on Sony’s eBook retail site (I have since found a second site, scribed.com, is also marketing a digital version provided by XLibris), which puts me in violation of my agreement with Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon will remove MY version of “Twisted Key” from participation in their Prime program if that ‘illegal’ version is not removed before 15 October.

That will cost me money. I notified XLibris’ customer service department via email that they were – again – in violation of our agreement. I was assured in a return email that the digital versions would be removed. I was told in that email that the ISBN for the digital version was ‘retired’ a year ago and this should not have happened.

They were right. It should not have happened, but it did. Twice, so far.

I replied to the email stating that I hoped their illegal version would be removed from all retail marketing sites and deleted from XLibris’ files entirely, since they were never to have produced a digital version in the first place.

So, if you do come across a digital copy of “Twisted Key” on any eBook retail site other than Amazon.com after 15 October, please do let me know.

Let’s move on to more pleasant topics.

Terry and Cathy Rankin, the stars of my Rankin novels, are enjoying a year’s break as they settle into their lives in their new home in Tampa, Florida. They’ve got a new addition to their family, too, so I am staying out of their way for a while.

But it does hurt that they haven’t even thought to invite me over for dinner…

In the meantime, forced to rely on my own devices, I have taken up a non-fiction project; a primer for rose care. It is quickly growing into a good deal more than I intended, since there is a lot of material I could include about caring for the Queen of flowers. Along with keeping the text short and sweet (not to mention clear and concise), I also have to do the photography and photo-editing for the volume.

The release date is mid-November, and that puts me under some stress to get the text finished ASAP so I can spend the next few weeks in photography and editing. Don’t waste any time thinking you’ll be seeing pictures of pretty flowers – I’ll be converting my photos of canes and branches (no flowers) into black 7 white pencil sketches to illustrate problems in branch structure and how to correct them.

The price is already set – $3.00 for the Kindle version, and this is one of those projects that will not be released in paper.

Once that project is published I’ll be back to writing fiction; non-fiction is so much harder to write, since you cannot make up your facts as you go along. Terry and Cathy, and Matt Diamond and Mike Banks and the rest of the crew had better enjoy the rest of their vacation, because the first of January, 2013 will see us all sitting around a conference table, drinking coffee and eating donuts as we lay out the next Terry Rankin novel.

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About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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One Response to Non-Fiction writing, Illegal Digital Versions, Roses & I’ve given up apologizing

  1. Sara Flower says:

    That’s awesome your book has been doing well! Free advertising is the best. All the best with your non-fiction writing as well. It’s great you can do it for a living.

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