Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Win a Juried Art Competition

Here's what I see when I go to a juried art show (competition).

I see three kinds of art pieces:

1. The kind of work that most show attendees will recognize as having some kind worth, albeit widely varying worth.
2. The kind of work that is really different. I may not appreciate it fully, but I take notice.
3. The kind of work that I look at and look at and look at...and finally say I really don't get it.

Now, what category do the winners fall into? Maybe you'd think #1 or maybe #2. Nope. It could be any of the above and very often is #3.

But almost all of them are larger than average in size and priced quite high. So that's what I have learned in my semi-successful five years of entering juried art shows. Enter big, but not ridiculouly big canvases and give your work a pricetag that would give the potential art buyer pause. It doesnt hurt to name the piece something a little odd, like 'Muse of Light, Reflection#5'.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Books Priced Back to $2.99

I didn't find much effect in sales, so I re-priced all of them back to $2.99.

Great News for those eBook Readers who use IPads and iPhones!

Yesterday Apple unveiled iOS 8, the new Apple operating system upgrade that will come out this fall.

This entry below was copied from an email I received from Smashwords, my ebook distributor. Great news for ebook readers who have iPhones, IPads. 

Buried in a slide during the live demo event referenced as "iOS 8 features we didn’t have time to talk about" was an ebook retailing bombshell:  iBooks will come pre-installed on iOS 8.

The iBooks app is Apple's ebook store.  Inside that app is over 250,000 books from Smashwords authors.

This is a game-changer for ebook retailing.

iBooks will come pre-loaded on every device with iOS 8.
Image modified from original sourced from BGR.com

According to the latest public information, there are over 800 million devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) running prior versions of Apple's iOS.

The new iOS will be available as a free upgrade to users of the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display. 

Prior to iOS 8, readers who wanted to shop iBooks were forced to click to the Apple App store, search for the iBooks app, sign in with their email address and password, and then install it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reducing All Books to $1.99 from $2.99

I am reducing the prices of all my books to $1.99 from $2.99 indefinitely. I want to see how sales are affected by the reduction. It may take a while to see the effect since the changes will not take place immediately, but rather over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

UnZombies Starting to Show Up at Online Vendors!

I've located UnZombies at Scribd and Barnes & Noble thus far. Just a matter of time before it's at most. Smashwords is taking care of this distribution quickly. I'll be doing Amazon over the weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Premium Distribution Approved for UnZombies!

Wow, that didn't take long. That is, Premium Distribution approval. Now, Smashwords, my distributor for my books, will be shipping the book to all its channels. They include Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Page Foundry, Library Direct, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Baker & Taylor Blio and Baker-Taylor Axis360. I will handle the distribution to Amazon. It may take a week or two to show up in these markets.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Brief Excerpt from the Book

This is a passage where Roberta Wiederganger meets Morton Revenant for the second time, only under more stressful circumstances.

Ro had earned a reputation in her close circle of friends who trained together as an unforgiving fighter. She was one who could take a tremendous beating, while demonstrating an indefatigable ability to rise again and again, eventually and most often overcoming a vastly superior opponent. It was her  over-the-top determination coupled with an unworldly insensitivity to pain. She once missed four days of work, using the excuse of an unreported car accident. Those who witnessed her underground fight saw Mama Oso (the 'Bear'), a female Mexican behemoth of a fighting machine standing over six feet two and weighing almost two hundred seventy pounds, spend over an hour pummeling the smaller female Police detective from El Paso. The undefeated Mexican fighter broke several of Ro's ribs, her jaw, and an ankle bone, while giving her two black eyes and innumerable bruises.  For 75 minutes, a largely Mexican crowd, having bet exclusively on her victory despite 40-1 odds, watched the most lop-sided fight they had seen in years. They had come to watch a terrible beating and were getting their money's worth.

The fight was almost stopped early when Ro became blinded by the amount blood on her face and in her eyes and another when she almost lost consciousness in a submission hold. However, the fight took a dramatic turn after an hour and fifteen minutes. Mama Oso decided that Ro was beaten down enough and it was her time to end the war.  She sensed that Ro was now vulnerable, sore, tired, and bruised enough to be unable to sustain her final, overwhelming attack. The two stood some fifteen feet apart. Ro slumped, sensing the attack. Rope-a-dope style, a la Muhammed Ali, she tried her best to look defeated and defensive. Oso bought the ruse and came at her furiously. Ro dropped to her knees, further promoting her stance as a defeated opponent, but waited patiently.  The huge Mexican got to a point about three feet away and reached down to grab Ro by an arm. Ro was much faster and agile than her slew-footed adversary, jumping to her side and striking Oso one time left hand to her throat with a followup right upward palm into her nasal cavity. The big Mexican fell like a bag of rocks, attempting to breath for about 15 seconds, then passed out. She died within a couple minutes. The spectators, first energized by the  expected ending of Oso's knockout punch, fell silent as Ro stood over her, raising her bloodied arms in victory. After the shock of the sudden reversal in Oso's fortune, the crowd cheered loudly for their new heroine. Ro never fought underground again, but her reputation never diminished. It grew, although no one really knew who she was. She fought under a thick veil of anonymity. Sometimes someone who attended the underground battle in Juarez thought he recognized her as the Yanqui beetch who defeated Mama Oso, but she never admitted anything to anyone. Knowing she had won was sufficient for her.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

UnZombies is Published in Smashwords!

A zombie apocalypse novel of 58,000+ words. UnZombies. Using the dead to fight the dangerous living and the dead. That's what they do. The secret of them is developed by an eccentric, perverse, wealthy genius.

Brief Book Description below the final cover selection...

On an archaeological dig in Alaska, a professor was bitten by a prehistoric man dead for 10,000 years. The death and reanimation of an astronaut forced the escape of others from the 'safety' of the International Space Station. News of a developing apocalyptic pandemic circulated worldwide. The ocean rescue of an infected astronaut put the worlds' two largest naval forces on a collision course toward war. Two fighter pilots, an astronaut and her police detective sister and flee zombie danger on an aircraft carrier to the American Southwest in order to survive.

Ultimately, they decide to seek refuge with the estranged, innovative, perverse and wealthy brother of one of the fighter pilots. Longtime serious family relationship issues remained unresolved before the brother offered protection from a rogue military force and the reanimated local human population.  How? UnZombies. Dead, but not dangerous.

The book has to be approved for Premium Distribution before it is sent off from my Distributor, Smashwords, to the many other retail distribution outlets, e.g. Apple, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

First Edit Complete on Zombie Book...Entries in Art Exhibition Make the Cut

Well, I'm well into the second edit of my newest Zombie novel. Each time through is another chance to fix any typos, spelling errors, continuity issues, storyline changes, etc. I'll probably finish it off with the third I have to decide whether the ending is to my liking. The thing is, an apocalypse theme usually doesn't go well, but I have to give the reader something hope....or do I?

My two entries in the Nature-themed exhibit made it through the selection process. That's good news. I'm guessing by the numbers I saw online that not many were not allowed in. Members (of which I am) were allowed at least one of their entries would be selected.

I'm looking at entering a couple of other juried exhibits in the spring and summer. More on that later.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Third Zombie Book (as yet untitled) is Finished!

Sort of. I always have to go through a number of edits which will take a couple weeks, anyway. There's a boatload of errors I have to fix, including those of format, spelling, grammar as well as story and character development, continuity, etc. I look forward to this (except for the formatting which is a pain in the butt, as usual).

There are a number of interesting characters in this. Some family dysfunctional issues and backstory. Also, story sites include an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, the estate of a very rich technology entrepreneur in the Southwest, an archeological site in Alaska and the International Space Station.

That's all for now.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Newest Painting - Illusionistic

I've posted the image of my latest painting this winter off to the column on the right. I got the idea from something I did in an introductory college course about forty-five years ago, including something I saw online with squares, then I added a lot of color, and also added some illusions of three dimensions in terms of the solid spheres as well as the more camouflaged ones more hidden within the painting.

Look for these....
There are a total of 11 spheres of different sizes in the painting if you care to find them.  Look for places where the squares seem to bulge. There are also at least five levels of depth, e.g. a large checkered sphere in the middle over the solid orange one which lies over the largest checkered sphere which lies over two other solid spheres. They in turn lie over the rest of the checkered board. There could be more.

Here's the time-lapse of the project...to an almost complete state...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Book Status Report

50,000 words...yup, that's the status report. 50,000 words. Still a lot of work to do. I'm still working on a new painting with a built-in 3D illusion. So, I've split my time between the two.