Wising up to Smart Quotes in Word
(And fixing them when they go wrong)
Sep 16, 2020 [permalink]
So, yeah, been a while since I did a blog post, thought I better do one. :)
Since ReAnimus Press deals with a lot of OCR'd and funky copy&pasted manuscripts that have all sorts of wrong style of double quotes in them, I thought I'd share a quick tip how to fix smart quotes in a Word document.
(Smart quotes are the ones that are left and right facing, “like this.” As opposed to non-smart "straight" quotes, that are the same for left and right, "like this." Printed books almost always use smart quotes to look more professional, and a book with straight quotes in it can look amateurish. In the old days of computing and before that for typewriters, there was only the one double-quote character on the keyboard. Typesetting and modern character sets allow for the left/right facing quotes, but they're different characters. Word can do either approach. There's still only the one key on your keyboard, but Word guesses when the smart quotes option is turned on. OCR and copy/paste often make a mess of smart quotes, or maybe they just weren't in there to begin with.)
First—ok, first make a safe backup of your file under some other name in case anything goes south—then—
First, turn on the option for Word to always do smart quotes in your document. It's in something like Tools / Proofing / AutoCorrect Options / AutoFormat / "Replace straight quotes with smart quotes." Check that box wherever you find it. Also check the same box in the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab.
That's for what happens going forward. But you've still got a file full of the wrong kind of quotes, right?
To fix the existing non-smart quotes, go to Find/Replace. In the Find box, type one double quote. In the Replace box, same thing, one double quote. Now do Replace All. That will go find all your double quotes and replace them with... double quotes... but because the Smart Quotes option is turned on, viola! they all turn into curly quotes.
Now, I've found that at least my version of Word has a hard time guessing which direction quote to use when it's adjacent to an "em-dash" (—) character. Like,
“Next time“—his eyes squinted viciously—”I'll take a chance on murder.”
Oopsie! If you can see the font ok, the quotes face the wrong way next to the dashes.
If you have any em-dashes in your text, I suggest you check the quote directions after you do the Find/Replace. To do that easily, do a Find for this: "^+ and this: ^+"
That's a regular quote on before/after ^+ (circumflex plus-sign) which is a Word "Find" short-cut for the em-dash.
Look at each of those you find, one at a time, and fix any wrong ones by deleting the quote and typing a new one (sometimes that works) or, if it still picks the wrong direction, type a space, type a letter like "x" and another space, then type the quote you want either before or after the x (Word usually guesses correctly when it's on the appropriate side of a letter), then delete the x and the spaces you added. That will leave the quote character behind.
To fix single quotes, do the same Find/Replace trick, replacing ' with ' —Usually this goes ok, but in the unlikely case you have single quotes next to em-dashes, check those. (I rarely see that happen, but, only you know what you're writing.)
One added tip: If you know most the quotes are correct and you don't want to risk mangling any of the already-smart quotes near em-dashes, but you think you might have some straight quotes you still have to fix, do this: When you do the Find/Replace with the one double quote in each box, _also_ turn on the extra option to "Use wildcards." When in "wildcard" mode, Word only matches a straight quote in the Find process; whereas normally during Find a double quote character will match any of the three kinds of double quotes (straight/left/right). Wildcard mode happens to turn that off. (You'd have to really type in a left facing quote to match one during wildcard mode, if that was your goal. But put in the straight one and it will only match straight ones, so you can fix just those.)
Hope that helps!
Random thoughts on Bitcoin
Nov 19, 2018 [permalink]
So, on a forum some guy posted saying, "wow, check out BTC's growth chart!" plus a referral link to a Bitcoin trading site (presumably one from which he gets a referral fee). :}
Putting on my Computer Science professor hat for a moment, my thought was...
Yep, check out that chart -- a classic bubble. Like "Tulip-mania" in the 1600s, except once the value cratered, you could at least plant the tulip bulbs and get a flower. :)
Bitcoin is backed by nothing, and has no intrinsic value. It's basically just a number.
It may be useful for instantaneous transactions where the value doesn't change, e.g. a low-fee, instant exchange from USD to EUR using BTC as the intermediary at an agreed-upon rate[Update: But wait! It's now very slow, and costly, so scratch this idea...] (but even then you'd have to be sure the liquidity is there; see the Zimbabwe example for where it isn't; and this purpose isn't related to the amount 1 BTC is worth -- it could be worth $15,000 or a penny, so long as it doesn't change during the USD->EUR transaction). Not to be confused with the blockchain concept, which is entirely separate from bitcoin; it has potential uses (but isn't something you can buy).
As for bitcoin as an "investment", good luck with that (luck being the operative word; unless you have a time machine).
So, hey, psssst, I got this random number in my head... I'll sell it to you for $15,000 -- maybe you can sell it to some sucker for $30,000! :) :)
Tips to protect deliveries, and keep people from knowing you're on vacation
Dec 1, 2017 [permalink]
Since it seems to be the package stealing time of year :} I thought it might help to share some links I've found useful to keep tabs on packages and mail, and also vacation holds to keep stuff piling up outside when you're out of town...
- UPS "my choice" service lets you get notices when packages are coming and when delivered. You can also set delivery instructions for where to leave packages if you don't want them sitting at the front door. (There's a sort of vacation hold service too, though they charge for some of the options.) -- https://www.ups.com/mychoice/
- Fedex - same deal -- https://www.fedex.com/werl/enrollment.html
- The post office has a nifty new service where they will send you an email with scanned images of the letters they're delivering that day, called "informed delivery", so you can see if any letters were potentially missing (though sometimes they've delivered letters the next day; and it's only for letter-sized envelops, not e.g. manila envelopes). It has a package delivery info system too. -- https://informeddelivery.usps.com/
- The post office also has a great vacation hold system, makes it really easy to stop the mail when going out of town -- https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
- For folks who still get the Denver Post (hey, good for starting fires in the fireplace), they have a vacation hold system too -- https://myaccount.denverpost.com/login.aspx
What are other people's favorite tips for tracking deliveries, etc.?
Fasten Your Seatbelts... For the Whole Flight?!?
Nov 16, 2017 [permalink]
It is just me? I've noticed an annoying trend while flying, that the captain no longer seems to turn off the fasten seatbelt sign when they hit 10,000 feet like they say they'll do, and used to do. Instead they seem to "accidentally" leave it on, and on, and on... despite no turbulence... and on, and on... maybe turning it off after a looooong time -- then, oops! little bump -- back goes the sign on again, and on, and on... more hours of no turbulence... still on... and on...
I get it that it's easier for the flight attendants if they don't have to contend with those pesky passengers going to the restroom, but, really... only 20 minutes of the sign turned off during a smooth four hour flight is just ridiculous. THis seems to be the norm now from what I've experienced.
Like crying wolf for hours on end, this seems like a safety problem to me, in that people eventually just ignore the sign and get up to use the restroom. Pilots are training passengers to ignore the seat belt sign. I know I've been trained.
Of course, that means if there is suddenly some turbulence, blam, I risk hitting the bulkhead. Not a good policy to abuse the fasten seat belt sign by leaving it on when it's not bumpy. I definitely keep my belt buckled while I'm in the seat anyway, so this is purely about when we're not "allowed" to get up.
This seems to be rampant on U.S. airlines -- and not a problem on the foreign airlines I've recently flown on. (It was so refreshing of Air France to turn off the seat belt light at 10,000 feet!)
So, hey, pilots? -- flight attendants? -- FAA? -- could you please go back to the intended actual safety-based policy of minimal seat belt sign usage, only when it's really a safety issue?
It's okay now: AP says you can lowercase the 'i' in Internet
Apr 3, 2016 [permalink]
The Associated Press's AP Stylebook was just updated to say it's okay now, you can lowercase the 'i' in Internet.
Oops, I capitalized it. 30+ year habit.
So, yeah, probably doesn't matter now. I know, it's a proper noun, so we oughta. But we say "a web site" not "a Web site" (or, gack, "a World Wide Web site"). Give me a kleenex. Oops, "Kleenex."
My recollection from ye olde ARPANET days about why we capitalized it was the concept that "the" capital-I Internet was to refer to that One Big (TCP/IP) Network of networks, whereas "an" (lower-case-i) internet was any of those random assemblages of just-as-commonly-talked-about networked networks (not themselves connected to THE Internet, and not necessarily using TCP/IP). Of course, now we really only think of one network (and rarely even think of it as a network of networks, per se -- CSNet anyone? Bitnet? Tymenet?), so there isn't really much use for saying "an" internet these days. "The" Internet has taken over the meaning of the word to such an extent that if you did say "an internet", people would probably think you mean, like, another globe-spanning "the Internet" on some other planet or something. :) Or they'd think "an internet" is an adjective, followed by a noun, say, "an internet connection," and if the noun wasn't there, it wouldn't parse right... So at this point it doesn't matter; now "internet" == "Internet."
I just hope people don't start leaving out the "the"!! :) "I'm on internet" still sounds to me like a confused grandma. (As dissonant as "I'm on phone" or "I'm on bed" or "I'm on way.") Aauuuuuugh! :) :)
Note: We're turning over the bloggy keys to Roger Pseudonym as a temporary guest blogger. Roger is a pro writer, but isn't anyone working on the site; his views and experiences are his, not ours, he's not speaking for the site, etc. He's convinced us he has some things to say to certain folks that are useful to say. You can read more about Roger in the 'about' bits. He's got more truthy things to say to nerds, continuing with...
You catch more flies by smelling bad
Apr 3, 2016 [permalink]
What you wear under your clothes is at least as important as the clothes themselves, so make it a point to bathe and shave daily, take care of your teeth (bad breath will kill your cred faster than leprosy and Tourette's combined), use deodorant, sit up straight, and generally keep yourself tidy. A lazy Sunday is all well and fine, but if you plan to slink from your Fortress of Solitude and face the real world, you never know who you're going to run into. Looking and smelling like a homeless person is not going to help you, ever.
I shouldn't have to say any of this; for most people it's so basic it doesn't get discussed at all, past about the fourth grade. But I see nerds all the time who fail this test, who stink and slouch and look like they slept in a hedge, are unpleasant to stand next to and embarrassing to be seen with, and nobody ever seems to tell them. They get that they're unpopular, but they don't know why. So, no offense, but even the painfully obvious is going to get discussed here, because some of you out there actually need to hear it. Bathe, Oscar!
On a related note, you also need to get your hair cut on a regular basis. Seriously, put a recurring event in your Outlook calendar so you don't forget. Your hairstyle is an important part of your overall look, and you want to maintain it at least as well as your anal-retentive neighbor maintains his lawn. If you let it go too long, then you'll not only look unkempt, but when you finally do get it cut the sudden change in length and style will be a lot more noticeable, drawing attention to the fact. The only exception I can think of is if you're putting in a ton of overtime at work, in which case "I don't have time for a haircut!" is an acceptable—even cred-enhancing—thing to say.
For men, short hair is easier to care for but needs more frequent maintenance. Long hair can make men look kind of freaky, but some women find it artistic and sexy, and if it fits with your overall personality then yeah, go for it. But wash and condition it every day, do not tie it back in a pony tail, topknot, bun, or any kind of shit like that, and don't lean over and drag it in other people's food. I've seen this happen, and it's way gross.
For women, I'll advise against short hair unless you're going to do something really interesting with it. Long hair is going to be more attractive with less effort, and I assume that has some rational appeal for you. As for barrettes, scrunchies, headbands, etc., these things are tricky to get right, so unless you have help I would steer clear. Just use a curling iron or something to give your head some character.
What about hair color? There are lots of options these days, not just for women, and yes, blondes really do have more fun, but brunettes are perceived as more intelligent and more mature, and redheads as more passionate. Really! Daring colors like pink and blue might be fine if you work at Piercing Pagoda or Orange County Choppers, but in most office and lab environments you should probably hold these to a highlight or two along the sides.
As for graying or thinning hair, you're never too young to start worrying about it. Most women cover up their gray without thinking twice, but men have a harder choice to make. When you get to that certain age, gray hair might lend an air of authority, particularly if you're in a senior tech position or angling to move there, but for junior dudes losing their hair or its melanin prematurely, I tend to think the gray (or the male pattern baldness) makes you look like you've been left behind. I started going gray in my mid-20s, and several of my friends started going bald, so I know what I'm talking about here; a hair-challenged engineer is either an overpriced has-been whose edge is slowly blunting, a coward who never grabbed for the brass ring, or else a clod who tried but couldn't reach it. I'm not saying any of these things are true, but if they look true you're screwed anyway, so why risk it? Rogaine and Just For Men are effective and cheap, and no one has to know. And hey, the business guys are doing it too, so even if they find out, they're not likely to care.
Or you could go the other way and bleach out your gray. Weirdly, it's only the salt-and-pepper look (or the thinning-but-combed-over look) that makes you seem old; for some reason, a full head of hair that's uniformly white or platinum gives a much younger, more vigorous impression. So does shaving the whole pate, which is just about the only hair option that's allowable for men but not women. Go figure.
Facial hair? Sure. Beards and moustaches can be trimmed into countless styles that not only express your personality, but also make it clear that yes, you do actually have a personality. You don't want to be too off-the-wall here (that Ming the Merciless or reverse-Hitler will get you beaten up), but the main thing is to look like you've made an effort. Even three-day stubble can be cleaned up around the edges to make a rugged-yet-classy impression.
If you're a woman, shave or wax your legs and armpits, please. The only thing less appealing than a hairy hippie chick who knows better is a hairy nerdy chick who doesn't. Smooth nerdy chicks are kinda hot, though. How smooth? Well, what you do with your bikini zone depends on who's going to see it and why, but the prevailing philosophy these days seems to be that less is more. Look up "landing strip" for guidance here, or take a peek at the girls in Playboy to see what I'm talking about. You should probably try to look (ahem!) like an adult, but the one absolute rule here is that nothing should peek past the edges of an actual bikini. Really. Seriously.
On a related subject, you may be surprised what a difference perfume and cologne can make in your life. You don't want to be that receptionist who sits all day in a Bhopal cloud of toxic sandalwood vapor, but a splash of after shave, a dab of cologne and a strategic spritz of body spray can add that hard-to-define finishing touch that people really respond to. We're still animals, you know.
Now, you didn't hear this from me, but you might even consider doctoring your scent with synthetic pheromones from the Athena Institute. This cocktail was invented by actual scientists from actual MIT, and if used correctly it's clinically, double-blindedly proven to get you 40% more sex than you'd otherwise receive. Of course, 1.4 times zero is still zero, so if you got no skills this stuff won't help, but presumably you do carry some level of charm and appeal and have some chance of scoring with the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that's your thing). If so, why not stack the deck at least slightly in your favor?
And the benefits may not just be sexual. If you believe the Athena scientists (who are fellow nerds, after all), pheromones are odorless to the conscious parts of our brains but strongly active in the limbic system, sending machine-level signals about how strong, aggressive, confident, dangerous, and successful we are. It's a cheap trick (well, a hundred-dollars-a-bottle trick), but it might just attract/annoy/unsettle the business guys and gals who (like it or not) control your destiny. OK, most of the time they're not getting close enough to smell your neck, but when you find yourself crammed into a taxi or an airplane seat or an insufficiently air-conditioned conference room, would you rather smell like Comic Book Guy or like some weirdly intriguing man of mystery?
If you do use pheromones, though, just don't tell anyone you're hacking the most intimate corners of their brains, or they may compensate by being extra-super-duper unimpressed.
Guest Blogger: Roger Pseudonym
The Glamorous Geek's Guide to Surviving the Real World—Winning Money, Success, and Love On a Planet Full of Jocks and Charmers
Nov 19, 2018 [permalink]
Note: Aburt is turning over the keys to Roger Pseudonym. To clarify any possible confusion, Roger is not Aburt. You don't know Roger. Well, maybe you do. Roger is a pro writer. You can read more about Roger in the 'about' bits. Anyway, he's got some truthy things to say to nerds, starting with...
A fashion statement using actual fashion
I once watched a daytime talk show where a bunch of angry, pierced, leather-clad punk kids with green hair were complaining about how badly the world reacted to them.
"People treat you like the clothes you wear," one young woman complained.
Well yeah. Hate to break it to you, sweetcheeks, but aside from holding out the weather and covering the reproductive sockets, that's what clothes are for. Oprah (or Rikki Lake, or whoever was hosting) clucked sympathetically at these kids when she should have smacked them upside their chrome-studded skulls. Clothes make the man—even cave people knew that!
This is also reflected in how police treat suspects; no one doubts that if you dress like a thug you're more likely to be treated like one, whereas if you dress like a golfer or a movie star, you'll at least get arrested politely. And guess what? When it comes to fashion, we're all cops.
Now, if you're a woman, half a dozen episodes of TLC's What Not to Wear (2003-2013) can tell you everything you need to know about clothes and makeup. You may think you look just fine the way you are, and maybe that's true. Maybe you do. You may even think people should get over appearances and appreciate you for who you are inside, and you may be right about that as well, but let's at least not frighten them away in the mean time, hyah? A tiny amount of color around the eyes, of coverup on the blemishes, of thought and care in the wardrobe choices will make a huge difference. I've watched this transformation in dozens of nerd women, and never once met one who was sorry she'd done it.
If you're a man, the task is even easier, because you can just ask your booth-babe communications major of a girlfriend for advice. Hahahahaha, just kidding; we both know your girlfriend wore a Cthulhu pendant and shock-pink hip boots to your brother's wedding and is no more qualified to give fashion advice than, well, me. Seriously, though, you might try looking up an older TV show called Queer Eye For the Straight Guy (2003-2007) or, more painfully, picking up some issues of Maxim, GQ, or People for some guidance on different looks that may work for you. Or hire a personal shopper / image consultant? This will probably pay for itself within a year, if not sooner, in both improved job prospects and reduced expenditure on ugly clothes. Failing that, here are a few for-dummies guidelines:
First, it never hurts to dress a little nicer than the people around you. You can slob it up occasionally—especially if you're trying to make a particular statement (e.g., "I just completed a 5K, bitches!")—but you're not cool enough to get away with it as a habit. I'm not kidding about that, boyo. You're really not.
Second, on a typical day you should wear one (or at most, two) "down" elements and the rest "up". Blue jeans with a dress shirt and shoes. Dress slacks and shoes with a solid-color t-shirt. Or dress like a hobo, but throw a nice Armani jacket over the top. Or wear a swimsuit and flip-flops and that koa wood necklace you bought in Hawaii, with a tasteful Tag Heuer wristwatch.
Armani? Tag Heuer? Yes. And Coach, and Louis Vuitton, and even Calvin Klein. This is a refrain you'll be hearing a lot from me: while swanky or well-known brand names can't make you cool, they sure as hell won't flag you as uncool. In fact, luxury brands are usually also high-quality products that will last a long time, and if you find a style that fits your frame, they give a favorable impression that says you care about yourself, and at least allow for the possibility that you might be cool. Custom or "bespoke" items can do this as well, for clear scientific reasons.
"Signaling theory" is one of several newish fields that straddle the borders of psychology, sociology, economics, and evolutionary biology, and basically posits that the things we wear on our bodies are exactly analogous to the poisonous red of a tree frog or the iridescent "eyes" of a peacock's tail. I.e., their purpose is to signal our genetic fitness to potential mating partners, hunting partners, golf buddies, and predators. They also signal our tribal affiliation, so that awesome periodic table T-shirt of yours (you know, the one where the radioactive elements glow in the dark) is unconsciously meant to reassure your fellow nerds, from a distance, that you are not going to stuff them in a gym locker, and might even fancy a game of 3D chess.
Unfortunately, it also signals to the jocks, on some dim amygdalic plane, that they should stuff you in a locker and that you might ask them to play some stupid-ass game they don't see the point of. Who needs that? On the other hand, taking this concept too far can land you hard on the other rail. That hockey jersey you have in the closet? Fugeddaboudit. Even if you're a die-hard fan of the team, even if you actually play hockey yourself, you're still a nerd, and a sheep in wolf's clothing will not fool the real wolves. Just make `em hungry.
No, what you want to do is abandon the jock-nerd axis entirely and signal in the orthogonal direction of success. Now, success doesn't necessarily mean money, and money doesn't necessarily mean fancy clothes. I'm betting the last guy you saw in a tuxedo was a men's room attendant, and the last millionaire you saw was passing incognito in a t-shirt and khakis. But pay attention, because that shirt may have been 20% silk and cost a hundred and eighty bucks at Tommy Bahama. The watch and sunglasses and shoes will give him away, too, if you know what to look for, and guess what? He knows what to look for. Why signal "sloppy assperg" when you could broadcast "savvy something-or-other" instead? And hell, if you're also wearing a tasteful Cthulhu pendant he won't know what the fuck that is, or care, unless he does, in which case you probably just made a new friend.
Eyewear? That's tricky, because nerds are supposed to have glasses—the thicker and heavier-rimmed the better. It's fun to defy the stereotypes, but let's face it: you've spent way too many hours with your nose in a book or staring at computer screens to get by on your original equipment. Contacts and laser surgery are always an option, but if you're anything like me, you don't want nobody touching your eyeballs nohow. So you probably do wear glasses, and they probably do look pretty dorky, but so what? They're not exclusively a nerd appliance, and they do at least give off a vibe of competence, so just let the optometrist's assistant help you pick the right frames, and call it good.
I like amber photochromic lenses myself—a little triumph of function over coolth—but just as an aside, my extremely nerdy father owns a pair of actual rose-colored glasses. He doesn't wear them very often, but I've encouraged him to, because they're actually rather striking, and make him look like a movie producer or eccentric billionaire. He's a retired software engineer who keeps his hand in with various projects, and I suppose he's past the age where he feels a need to look striking, or really to project any "look" at all, but I'm not past the age when I want my dad to look cool if my friends are around.
But I digress.
Interestingly, what we "wear" includes vehicles. Thanks to a million-plus years of human evolution, the body maps in our cerebral cortex are actually elastic enough to incorporate temporary elements such as hats, tools, robotic forklift suits and yes, cars. Neurologically speaking, our wheels really are an extension of our bodies, and as important to our projected image as the clothes we wear. More on this later.
Anyway, personally I do wear nerd t-shirts when I'm at a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts. First of all, t-shirts are standard garb there, and dressing any fancier than that just makes you look like a narc. Plus which, I've already got on the boots and jacket and helmet and gloves, and I rode in on a friggin' motorcycle, so that signal is about as sent as it's going to get. Why waste valuable real estate on a redundant Harley Davidson shirt when a well-placed Jedi Republic logo can ping for fellow techies in the crowd? Conversely, if I'm at science fiction convention I will wear the Harley shirt, or maybe a Boston Marathon running jersey, because my very presence already tells everyone I'm of the tribe. Here, what I want to signal is that I'm a fit, well-rounded person with cool outside interests.
See, even among your fellow nerds, the clothes actually matter.
More thoughts anon.
Most Common Story Titles
Apr 10, 2015 [permalink]
Before I begin...
So, yeah, I've been pretty bad about blogging recently. :) I've got a plan to do something about that. (This post isn't it.) I'll be having a guest blogger take some turns, so watch this space. I think you'll find it quite interesting. Okay, on to this post:
I saw in Neil Clarke's post a list of most-common short story titles submitted to his market.
Interesting, I thought. I wonder what the most common titles have been in Critters. Critters has seen about 25,000 submissions, so it should be a comparable data set. (Compared to his 50,000.)
Well, they are:
12: The Gift, Sacrifice
7: Legacy, Inheritance, Faith, Awakening
6: The Price, The Box, Reunion, Remembrance, Release, Rebirth, Chrysalis, Afterlife,
5: The Wish, The Voice, The Tunnel, The Other Side, The Hunt, The Changeling, The Calling, Sticks and Stones, Skin Deep, Shadows, Road Rage, Requiem, Reflections, Lost and Found, First Contact, Discovery, Crossing Over, Broken, Avatar, Ashes to Ashes, All That Glitters
4: The Traveler, The Tower, The Rose, The Prophecy, The Prisoner, The Oracle, The Meeting, The Last, The Invasion, The Interview, The Hive, The Heart of the Matter, The Guardian, The Game, The Book, The Black Rose, The Apprentice, Spare Parts, Smoke and Mirrors, Sixth Sense, Rescue, Keeper, Identity, Hide and Seek, Hero, Freedom, Forever, Empathy, Emergence, Descent, Coming Home, Blood Ties, Birdsong, Anima, Alone, Adrift
Not a single "Dust"! :)
And lots of "Homecoming", but no "Home"; nor "Hunger".
So, me wonders, what are the titles our lists have in common, and not?
Only on his list we find...
Deus Ex Machina, Disconnected, Dust, Flight, Genesis, Going Home, Happiness, Heartless, Home, Hunger, Last Call, Memories, Monsters, Night Terrors, Perchance to Dream, Rain, Red, Skin, The Choice, The Collector, The Dark, The Door, The End, The Fall, The Machine, The Visit, The Wall, Voices
Only on the Critters most common list are...
Afterlife, All That Glitters, Anima, Ashes to Ashes, Avatar, Birdsong, Blood Ties, Choices, Chrysalis, Crossing Over, Descent, Discovery, Emergence, Empathy, Faith, First Contact, Forever, Freedom, Hide and Seek, Identity, Keeper, Redemption, Release, Remembrance, Requiem, Rescue, Reunion, Road Rage, Shadows, Sixth Sense, Smoke and Mirrors, Spare Parts, Sticks and Stones, The Apprentice, The Black Rose, The Book, The Calling, The Changeling, The Game, The Guardian, The Heart of the Matter, The Hive, The Interview, The Invasion, The Last, The Meeting, The Oracle, The Price, The Prophecy, The Rose, The Traveler, The Tunnel, The Voice, The Wish
And, drum roll, on both lists, we have:
Lost and Found
The Other Side
So, those are your weeners, my friends, titles really really often used.
Go forth and write stories, with, um, not those titles. :)
Okay, so, next time, we'll have us a special guest blogger. Stay tuned!
Looking for Beta Testers for Smartlinks for Smashwords Authors
Dec 13, 2014 [permalink]
Looking for some beta testers! If you publish through Smashwords, and want to include promotional links to your other titles, but can't because Apple doesn't allow non-Apple links—and you would, of course, want your links to point elsewhere outside of the Apple edition... Then I've got a solution for you to check out.
We developed a "smart link" at ReAnimus Press to solve this, and I've just put a public interface on it so any other Smashwords authors can use it. The smart links seem to work well (and Apple has been satisfied); I haven't found any bugs in the public interface, but I could use some help making sure the public interface to it is working correctly.
So if you publish multiple books with Smashwords (otherwise this wouldn't be of use to you), drop by here—
—and enter the info for your Smashwords titles. Then you can put the actual smartlinks into your books and update them at Smashwords; that part works great and we've had them approved for Premium status. Let me know if you find any problems or confusing bits. Thanks!
Looking for Volunteers Who Sell Books, for an Experiment
Jun 21, 2014 [permalink]Y'all know I love experiments...
Sooo, I'm trying an experiment with a physical means of selling ebooks—and looking for volunteers... You get free ebooks (an All Access Pass to ReAnimus's entire ebook catalog), the fun of participating in an innovative experiment, and, of course, you get a share of the proceeds. :)
So, do any of you out there happen to sell print books in person? For example, at a dealer's table at cons, or if you work in a book store, or some other store that has books on a shelf, etc.
(This experiment doesn't apply to online sales or mail order, since it's already easy to sell ebooks online.)
This experiment would be selling ReAnimus's titles (Ben Bova, Robert Silverberg, etc.), but if it proves viable, it could be of use to all authors who want to sell ebooks of their work through bookstores, cons, and so on.
If you do work with physical book sales, let me know if you're interested in helping with the experiment! Should be quite interesting.
ReAnimus's First Acquisition - Advent Publishers!
Random Thoughts on Apparently Silly Ways to Do Math
System Changes I Hope You'll Like
What if Google Knew Who You Were Talking About... and Told Them?
On Signing SFWA's Founder, and Other Goings on at Chez Aburt
How Many Spaces After the Period, Take Two
Yay! Amazon KDP Adds Payments and Foreign Exchange Report
Enter to Win a FREE KINDLE!
Henry Gee's amazing SIGIL TRILOGY is on sale for the Solstice! Book One is FREE!
Micro-rant: Irritations of Paperless Billing
25% OFF Cybermonday and LOTS OF NEW RELEASES at ReAnimus Press!
Nook Sales Fall Off Cliff and Other Irregularities - Big Problems at Barnes&Noble
Bestseller BAD KARMA: A True Story of Obsession and Murder by Deborah Blum, just released in paperback from ReAnimus Press
22 Norman Spinrad titles back in print from ReAnimus Press — including a first print release of MEXICA!
MEXICA, by Norman Spinrad - Hot off the presses!
Nano-rant... Argh! Why can't web browsers save your form posts if you accidentally close your window???
The Demise of our Car Culture? Not.
Random Musing of the Day: Annoyed at Target
FREE Weekend Special! - Download SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of THE SIGIL TRILOGY for Free
Harlan Ellison Helps Ed Bryant! Get their PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES and you can too!
THE SIGIL TRILOGY has been nominated for Best Novel in the British Science Fiction Association awards
Why I Voted For Obama, and Think It's Better If He Wins
Hey, Target, What's With Selling So Much Expired and Nearly Expired Food? Ick.
Hey, Credit Card Companies etc. - Quit Bugging Me To "Go Paperless"
Survey time! How do you like your trilogies?
RAGE OF STARS - Michael Moorcock, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress all love it!
Books at a steal for Talk Like A Pirate Day!
New Comment System - Beta Testers Wanted
UNDERHANDED CHESS - A hilarious handbook of devious diversions and stratagems for winning at chess
One of the Best Books I've Ever Read
Tired of the Doublespeak of "Cutting the Deficit"
W00T! Henry "Nature Futures" Gee's SIEGE OF STARS, Book 1 of The Sigil Trilogy, is now in ARC!
Fans of Print Remain Hopeful vs. Ebooks, Despite the Cold Equations
Olympics coverage in prime time: Booooooooringgggg.
THE MARS MONOPOLY - an original Ace Double by Star Trek master Jerry Sohl
Ben Bova's TEST OF FIRE from ReAnimus Press
Thoughts on Smashwords Finding That Higher Ebook Prices Are Better
Libraries and Ebooks - An Interesting Question
Something Wicked This Way Came
99 cent special on I, ALEPPO from Star Trek master writer Jerry Sohl
Beta Testers Needed
Ben Bova's ESCAPE!
I forgot - today is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day again! Free book!
When Two is Not, Apparently, Better than One
Like a Newly Found Heinlein Book - POINT ULTIMATE by Jerry Sohl
A fun poem for writers - what a language we have!
DOJ Ebook / Apple / Publisher Lawsuit First Thoughts - Arrghhhhh!!!
Useful New Features from the Post Office - and More They Could Do
Staying Alive - New Ebook on the Business of Writing from Norman Spinrad
Special 99 cent Deal on Ben Bova's EXILES TRILOGY
How To Improve Your Speculative Fiction Openings - Amazing Research
ReAnimus Press Updates: 30+ New Books from Ben Bova, Norman Spinrad, Jerry Sohl, Wil McCarthy!
Solved! How to keep your facebook sorted by "Recent Stories First"
Ben Bova's THE CRAFT OF WRITING SCIENCE FICTION THAT SELLS is out from ReAnimus Press
What could B&N, Smashwords, etc. do better? Share your ideas...
Five review copies of A Private Mutiny and Side Effects available - email me if you're interested
A Private Mutiny, Ben Bova's Latest Ebook, and Amazon
Meet Biff America
20% off Bova, Silverberg, Spinrad - everything in the ReAnimus Store
Are We Beginning to Enter a Post-Capitalism Era?
Eek! Heads up: Facebook Hides Messages You May Not Know About
How the 1% Could Set a Good Example
99 cent Special on Ben Bova's THE WEATHERMAKERS on Amazon from ReAnimus Press
A GUIDE TO BARSOOM from ReAnimus Press - Just went live!
Analyzing the Amazon Lending Library
Recycle Your Money
New tool for Smashwords authors
What Greedy CEOs Need to Understand (it's not that difficult)
So, Where do you buy your ebooks, and Why?
Ebooks and Bridging the Digital Divide
Survey Says: People Really Like Ebook Readers
If Amazon is Clogged With Spam Ebooks, Who is Buying Them?
Eternity is a Loooong Time
Caveat Emptor - Aburt and the $5 Epic Fail Site
It's Freebie Friday in the Critter Members' Bookstore! http://critique.org/c/store
I'm still here, but the Rapture took my cable modem
It's Freebie Friday in the Critters Members Store!
A paper-like screen you can roll up and crumple...
Fascinating characterization article about the science of Good and Evil
A mischievous thought on HarperCollins' limiting libraries to 26 loans of an ebook...
Musings on the State of Space and Time and Travel therein
Nooks now got Apps
Nooks for under $75!
New eBookstore - http://critique.org/c/store
Milestone: AAP reports ebooks are now the #1 book format
The Evolution of the Golden Ratio
The end of Rejection Dejection?
Bill & Ted's new movie title, my suggestion
Kindle - What price for ads would you pay?
Dear American Idol: About those critiques...
Ebook Sales Continue Massive Growth, Numbers as Projected
Nearing the breakeven point selling your own ebooks
Free ebook: Use coupon code NZ24U to read "A Sailor on the Sea of Humanity" at http://bit.ly/hfuAlL
Publisher to limit number of ebook library checkouts
We're living in a Simulated Universe? Are you sure?
B&N eliminates their dividend, Stock falls 16%
Making an Ebook for Kindles and iPads and Nooks, Oh My!
Email Blog Alerts
Ebook Sales Cannibalizing Print
Survey on book earnings
If you made a movie out of the worst book ever written, would it be the worst movie ever made?
Borders Declares Bankruptcy -- While Amazon Sells More Ebooks than Paper
Tip of the Day: A Quick Way to Minimize Pain
Displaying What You Read With Ebooks?
What Do Ereaders Need To Improve?
Signs, Portents, Omens; and the Future of Selling "Physical" Ebooks
Saving Moolah with Media Mail for Manuscripts
2011 - The Year of the Ebook?
Ebook sales -- Comparing Apples to Apples, and Besides, it's Not the 10% Today, it's the "If This Goes On..." Tomorrow
Evidence Found of First Internet, Early 1900s
What's the best price for an ebook? -- A Survey
What Can Publishers Do For Authors in a Mostly-ebook World?
How to Sign an Ebook
Refinancing -- How to tell what's good: http://tech-soft.com/loancompare
Digital paper demonstrated — cool!
The TSA Has Gone Too Far
Why DRM is bad, reason #732
Critters is 15 today!
New Feature -- Credit Sharing Among Workshops
Unveiling — Workshops for Everyone!
First impressions: Pandigital Novel ebook reader review
Tweaking the site
Are you prepared for The Big One?
Stephen King now reads half digitally
.epub and .mobi Files for Manuscripts