All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing

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My Brain Hurts

I can now relate to both the Monty Python guy who said, “My brain hurts” and whoever it was that said he’d give his kingdom for a horse!

It is not just a matter of creating the podcast in GarageBand and then purchasing the WordPress media upgrade and uploading the audio file to WordPress.

Oh. So. Not. So.

You then need to create a feed in FeedBurner – which I did. But I wound up with two and opted for the first before I read all the stuff at the bottom. It was evidently the WordPress one I somehow already had. So now I have some of the correct info in the iTunes listing. And some not. But it’s up there! Am I disappointed? Yes. But I’ll mark it a Triple and go for the Grand Slam next time I’m at bat.

Meanwhile, would it not make sense to mention that there were additional steps to getting the correct url for iTunes. Never mind. I clearly have no business messing with this stuff. However, I am going to continue because having a career as a freelance writer is evidently not painful enough.

So – does anyone want some posts about how to do this, given that I can get you about 98% of the way there? By that I mean, your podcast will appear in iTunes and people can subscribe. The exact description of the podcast may come from the header of your blog rather than your heart’s desire.

Next up? A trailer for my book – which I saw on the shelf  at Barnes and Noble in Bethesda yesterday!!!!



Oh. My. Stars.

It’s not that I thought a podcast would be simple. I mean, I’m a writer. On demand, I can imagine some truly vivid worst case scenarios. Seriously, even my fevered imagination did not do justice to this effort.

First, I spent a couple of days figuring out the GarageBand was going to be just fine. (It was not at all obvious to me from the info on the Apple site!) I quickly discovered that using just the mic on my computer left me sounding like a child screaming into a tin can on a string in a cave with a serious echo. Enter the Blue Yeti microphone. I suppose there is a way to make it less obvious when I press and un-press the mute button – so far this eludes me. Likewise cutting the audio and re-taping a portion. If I were in charge of the audio for a film, the entire cast would sound like they had a bad case of the hiccups. I hasten to add that I am not blaming this on the mic. It clearly took care of the problem of sounding like a child with a tin can.

Now that I’ve invested days in this endeavor, I have a 10-minute podcast. I honestly am excited about it – I just wish it sounded more professional. I know how to get it into my iTunes. Next up for today is how to get it onto the iTunes store and add a link to my blog.

Fingers crossed, it will all work out just fine.


Buying Your Way to the Top

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece about business authors who have bought their way to a top spot on various best seller lists. The idea is that the books are purchased in bulk in such a way that they are not recorded as bulk sales. The author pays for the books that are purchased as pre-sales, either as a reduction in speaking fees or by collecting the check from clients and friends. Alternately, a significant number of books are sold as pre-sales on that first day. The following week, more copies of the book are returned than are purchased.

How does this get a book to the business book best seller lists? When the book comes out, there are immediate sales that number in the thousands. This is enough for a business book to capture the number one spot for oh, say 15 minutes. Those fifteen minutes are enough, however, to earn the author the bragging rights to earn higher speaking fees and to be asked to speak by organizations that might otherwise never have heard of them or the book.

There is one company at the heart of this lying cheating questionable business practice — ResultSource. Interestingly enough, ResultSource principal, Kevin Small, declined requests for an interview. The WSJ states that ResultSource states on its Web site that, “We create campaigns that reach a specific goal, like: “On the bestsellers list,” or “100,000 copies sold.” Several ResultSource clients filled in some of the details. One author – who shall not be named (why add more fuel to this joke?) – said he was able to purchase about 2,500 books by collecting the funds for pre-sale orders from his clients. All it took above that was a fee in the range of $20,000 to $30,000. What did he get for his money? His book hit number 3 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover business best-seller list in the first week. It hit number 1 on the list soon after. Sales since then — about 1,000 print copies total.

So, you may ask, what difference does it make if the author sells all the books he’s going to sell in week one? My question in return would be to ask why there is such a hefty fee and why it’s necessary for ResultSource to skirt the safeguard against bulk sales that are in place by the companies that calculate sales for the purposes of the best seller lists.

Whatever happened to writing a book and promoting it through hard work?

Wall Street Journal, How are Some Authors Landing On Best-Seller Lists?

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Review of My Book!

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Press Release!

The press release is out today! It’s listed on EurekAlert! This is amazing.

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My book came out in October and it’s been a scramble ever since. I’ve never promoted a book. Even though I’ve read what others have done to promote their books, I still wasn’t sure where to begin. I started doing anything that would attract my attention and – voila – I’m getting a mention here and there. My press release goes out tomorrow. My website is ready. My general science blog, Synthesis, is ready. My fluid dynamics blog, Fluid Dynamics in Action, is all set. I’ve tried to create a meaningful Facebook presence – sorry to everyone who has been pestered with unintended emails today!!!!!

Now all I can do is see what happens next!

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My Book is Out!

Yes. Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky is out! even has a “look inside” feature on my book!

I’ve discovered that a site called Novel Rank allows me to track my ranking on I’ve also learned that the ASIN number is the ISBN-10. I’m looking into ways to market my book to science profs, teachers, schools, professionals….

I’ll keep you posted!

(Here’s the blurb: Modeling Ships and Space Craft: The Science and Art of Mastering the Oceans and Sky begins with the theories of Aristotle and Archimedes, moving on to examine the work of Froude and Taylor, the early aviators and the Wright Brothers, Goddard and the other rocket men, and the computational fluid dynamic models of our time. It examines the ways each used fluid dynamic principles in the design of their vessels. In the process, this book covers the history of hydrodynamic (aero and fluid) theory and its progression – with some very accessible science examples – including seminal theories. Hydrodynamic principles in action are also explored with examples from nature and the works of man. This is a book for anyone interested in the history of technology – specifically the methods and science behind the use of scale models and hydrodynamic principles in the marine and aeronautical designs of today.)

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Author Page on Amazon

I just created my Author Page on  It was easy and — to tell you the truth — sort of fun!  Assuming I’ve done everything correctly, this post will show up on the page sometime in the near future.  We’ll see!


It’s all in the works at this url: