Sunday, June 16, 2013

checking in - archery

The snow is passing as rain. It's miserable enought to make me wonder what I did with my summer wages, if I'd had any. I'm sure the top Strzlecki is coated in white stuff, as is Tasmania, and I don't mean dandruff or soap-powder.

We had a go at archery yesterday. My wife is very keen on it. I think I will stick to the .22 as an efficient way of gathering dinner (and I hit the target more often).

One of the only advantages to having your kids in foreign countries is you get their father's day best wishes too. I've never had those from ought but sons, and it's rather neat having daughters now :-)

Other than that it's been a not very constructive day's writing. I'm battling with focus right now. Oddly A Mankind Witch is selling (to me anyway) quite well on Kindle - 59 copies so far this month.

The Forlorn - on the other hand - has sold one copy.

I wish I had the least idea why - what I have done wrong with the latter or right with the former. These mysteries are too deep for me.

I made kebabs (or sosaties?) with some lamb skirt this evening -not the best cut for the job, but I parcooked the onions and interspaced it with dried apricots. Discovery: dried apricots keep the heat in vey well - much more than lamb. Do you think I deserve the Nobel prize (so long as it isn't for politics...)?


  1. archery with one of the new compounds is quite different from the old traditional style, even if one uses a sighting system on the trad bow.
    Some of the faster new one are almost laser like in the arrow flight path.
    My left shoulder is still giving me issues so I've not shot my Hun Bow in quite some time.
    Guess I should go see a doc about my left arm (I am left handed). So I certainly have done none of the practice needed to be really good with the bent stick and string.

    1 Forlorn total, or one this month??
    I got it when you first put it up to see what differences you made (loved the added ending), and I'd hate to be the only one who's gotten it.

    I didn't get Mankind (sorry). Read the first book in the series. I guess I need to read a bit of Mankind to see about getting it after I finish the two I have left in another series set during the Mongols' over run of the planet. I'll just hop forward a few centuries to the 16th

    1. That's this month. Last it was 20 (AMW, 40). Sorting out the arm issues sound a good thing. Seriously, as an interest in traditional human hunting - a bow appeals, but for food -gathering I'd have get really good, which takes a lot of practice, which takes a lot of time, and lot of money for the good gear -neither of which I have. AMW is intended as a mostly stand alone BTW - and there is a brief precis of the universe and characters (and the charater list) at the beginning. Try it some day - based on what else you like, I think you will like this one.

    2. Yeah, trad style shooting really takes a lot of practice to be a good enough shot for "Must eat" hunting, and while a nice new compound (or even a slightly older one) is easier to get "good Enough", a fair amount of time is still needed, and some serious dollars forked out ... even the cheapest arrows for a good compound start running up in price, and that's here in Texas, hate to see the "Delivered to Dave in Flinders" price.

      As an aside, some of the best traditional arrowheads right now come from Aussie-land ... they get used on Water Buffalo, so one wants to make sure they get a good hole when you make a hit.

      I'll definitely look at AMW in the near future.

    3. Finished AMW and it was great. Reading lately has been a bit harder. Even though they whine about it I read at work (some of my 'work' entails staring at a tote of thick goo as it goes through a gear pump which takes 3/4 of an hour or more), but my jobs lately have been to involved and haven't allowed much, and at home I been gone a goodly bit riding my motorcycle or out working on the old one,so I been spending less time with the e-book aps open. But AMW took just a few days to read.

    4. Thanks JP - good to know it was enjoyed, and read fast

  2. "Burdens of the Dead" is out this month and I recently got a Kindle. I bought "A Mankind Witch" because I was completing my Kindle collection of the Heirs of Alexandria series (I already have the book in paperback). You can probably expect a bump in sales for this book every time a new Heirs book comes out. I don't know about others but what attracts my book dollars are world, characters, story, subject, and author style. For example I generally like Eric Flint's books but I love his 1632 books and his Belisarius series and I hate his Joe's World books. Books I love get bought (as available) as both hardback and DRM-free ebook and sometimes paperback as well. Books I like get bought as paperback and/or ebook. Books I'm not sure about get checked out of the library or may be bought as used paperback or, very rarely, as a new paperback if I am curious enough about it. If your ebook is priced like a used paperback I might buy it to try it if I am in the mood. I am sorry Dave but you are competing for a limited amount of attention time/span as well as dollars.

    Good Luck - Sally Wu

    1. Hi Sally - there is definitely a split - readers who follow a universe, a series... or an author. It's very difficult as an author to actually go on producing the same quality in the same universe without a break, which is why you'll find so many authors do it. (you're spending hours or at most days with the characters. I am spending 6 months or more) Some are more flexible than others about style and type, so I do understand why readers are wary about the follow-across. Still, I'd expect at least some readers to do so, unless they regretted their intitial purchase (possible!)

      All my books are DRM free (unless a publisher puts it in, whether I want it or not. That happens). The pricing issue is a difficult one - I've experimented. (The Forlorn was cheaper until about a week ago - and wasn't selling.) There are two issues here. If it is priced at $2.98 or less - Amazon's royalty rate changes to 35%, over that it is 70% (a publisher would give me 8-10% on paper sales, and 15-20% on the e-book). You cannot sell for less than 99 cents. If I was able to sell 1000 copies and get 35 cents a copy -it would possible for me to survive doing this. But alas, I have never sold more than 15 copies in a month of anything priced at 99 cents. The trouble is the second thing - the market is flooded with wannabe writers - some very good, a lot not really much good - actually all the stuff that got rejected for the right reason by agents and publishers - AKA this is the reader paying for the privilege of reading slush (which most publishers consider a kind of torture, reserved for new-kids and losers). And they ALL price their books at 99 cents. So while for the reader who knows my work 99 cents is a bargain - a chance to try a different area without much financial risk, but obviously they are labelling 99 cents as 'rubbish' because those sell worst. And I don't care how fast you read (and I can devour a book in 2 hours these days. I've got slower), really, books are being undervalued as entertainment (in Australia, overpriced, I'd agree.) Find another form of entertainment - a movie, a glass of wine with a friend, a ticket to a museum - whatever - and compare it. And you get to re-read it if you want to. I'd be cheerful with the idea of reselling e-books - if it wasn't so easy to abuse.

  3. So, Father's day is the same the world 'round? I didn't know that. I'd wish you a happy one but a) I'm too late and 2) you're not anywhere near old enough to be my father (in fact, if I recall correctly) you're younger than I am). Tell Barb I haven't forgotten her wool. I've finally found an appropriately sized box and will try to get it into the mail before she doesn't want it any more.

    Lisa S. in Seattle.

    1. No, I wasn't being clear - it's a different day in the UK to Australia (here it is September) so I get two days. I really wouldn't stress about rushing - my wife has been knitting for as long as I have known her - more than 30 years - and it seems unlikey she'll stop :-)

      Being a good father is a tough job. I would like to have been better at it.

  4. I thought The Forlorn was great. It's hard to believe I bought the only copy for my Kindle. I buy everything Dave writes, except the YA stuff (being much older the young (70's))

    Peace Marty Halvorson

  5. Dave,

    I don't know if this is useful, but I see a difference in both the descriptions and covers that would make A Mankind Witch more appealing to me. The description for A Mankind Witch mentions two characters and gives a hint to the problems they face. Conversely, The Forlorn speaks in broad terms about humanity and Morkth--you give me no one specific with which to identify.

    A Mankind Witch has the silhouette of an archer, graphic and easy to recognize in thumbnail size. The Forlorn cover, although interesting when enlarged, is a muddied blur in thumbnail. For those two reasons alone, A Mankind Witch would appeal to me over The Forlorn. I hope this feedback helps.

    Mary R.