Live your book

I figure if you’re going to write about something, you should also experience it to whatever degree is possible.  Alas, I can’t go to other worlds, but I can take a precision rifle course to better understand shooting dynamics.

Over the weekend I took a Precision Rifle Course in Bend, OR.  Initially, I was going to take it in August, before releasing Surveyor, but the class got cancelled due to fire hazard (Bureau of Land Management shut down the range).  I had hoped to include the knowledge and skills I would learn in the novel, but couldn’t.  Glad to see I wrote it up properly.

As to the course, it was AWESOME!  Over two days I took my shooting skills from pretty damn good at 100 and 200 yards and extended them out to 1,200 yards.  The furthest I had shot before had been 300 yards (M-16), so I was doubtful I would hit the mythical 1,000 yard mark that the course instructor said I would be able to.  The first day was about three hours of instruction (learned about the effects of gravity, wind, and rifle twist deflection), followed by several hours of shooting from 100 to 500 yards.  I was totally stoked when I hit the 400 yard target, as that was farther than I had ever shot before.

The second day we shot starting at 500 yards and eventually worked our way up to 1,200 yards.  I think my spotter was more stoked than I when the first round I fired at that distance hit the metal silhouette target (on the left side) – the second round was dead center!  The wind was blowing steady at 10 MPH with gusts up to 15, so between the twist drift and wind drift, I had to set my scope adjustments (windage and elevation) so that the rifle was pointing about 5 feet left of the target and 23 feet above the target while the scope was on the target.

For those who have never shot long distance, one of the amazing things is to watch the passage of the bullet downrange as it displaces air.

Of course, during the friendly competition among the three groups (there were six students, one shot while the other spotted, then we traded places), I blew it.  Instead of moving my windage left, I moved it right, just before the first shot.  Every shot after that was off 😦  Good learning experience.

I hate Pirates

In the past I have lectured and written about pirates – ancient and modern sea pirates, that is.  Today, I’m writing about another type of pirate – intellectual property pirates.  Just like the pirates of old, these pirates are scum, stealing from those who work to benefit themselves (yes, I found a pirated copy of Surveyor).  Perhaps, if we were to resort to the old punishment to pirates (i.e., hang them from the yardarm), we would see less.  Perhaps not, but I’m willing to see the time and energy invested into it.


After a couple of e-mail exchanges, the local library (King County Library System) will be carrying Surveyor.  Yep, five copies.  Pretty cool.  I know it means less sales (as people prefer free stuff), but it also opens it up to more readers.  Besides, after borrowing books and movies from the library for over twenty years now, it’s payback time.

Paperback available

Forgot to mention, Surveyor is now available in paperback format.  If you’re a reader, get it on Amazon (but buy it from me, not one of the many resellers trying to hijack it) or request a copy from your local bookstore (they can get it from Ingram).

Please, please, please support your local bookstore.  For us, the two major ones are “A Good Book” in Sumner, WA and “The Sequel” in Enumclaw, WA.

The frustration continues

So far, no joy in Mudville when it comes to converting Surveyor into an ePub file.  Grrr. Hope to get this problem resolved in the next day or so, as I’m hoping to be on Kobo by the weekend.  In other news, the paperback edition will be available on Amazon in the next 3-5 days (just approved the proof).  Still waiting to hear back from IngramSpark on how that’s going (they’re a Print on Demand, or POD distributor that sells to resellers/retailers, like my friend Evelyn of “A Good Book and Cafe” in Sumner, WA.  Go visit her for some great books and even better deals.

Issues in publishing

Well, so far I’ve managed to make Surveyor available on Amazon Kindle, but am still awaiting them to mail my paperback version so I can proof and approve it.  They’ll notify me when they mail it, so until they do, it’s a waiting game.

CreateSpace found issues with my cover (not sure why, I think the cover artist did a great job).  I hope to resolve that today.

The big problem is converting the book to an ePub format (used extensively throughout the world).  I had installed the Nook reader app on my computer, so every time I tried to open ePub, it saved as a Nook format.  This did not translate well to other readers (such as Kobo in Canada, eh – special shout out to Pete Drewcock for working with me on this by reviewing all the versions I sent him).  I removed the Nook app, so the latest version worked fine.  Just need to tweak it (more html work) before it’s set to go (but I’ve got papers to grade – did I mention I’m a college “Affiliate Professor” or something like that?)

Back to the salt mines.