Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nothing for months...

... and then two come along on the same day.

A groping poltergeist in Canterbury, and a 'grey ghost' in Bridlington.

Both very physical manifestations, both are able to touch people and move things. The Canterbury poltergeist is not reported to have said anything but the grey ghost in Bridlington apparently talks to a small boy at night. There is no mention of what the grey man talks about, unfortunately.

There is also a rumour of a local demonic apparition which I hope to quiz some people about this week. It might turn out to be another old tale of something nobody's seen for years but you never know.

I still have hopes for the river crossing this year, as long as the mild weather holds. It doesn't need to be snow-free and warm, but I draw the line at temperatures of -20C. That's below zero Farenheit. I'm fairly sure I've narrowed down the location so I hope this winter is one of the less vicious ones.

With the sudden burst of activity, it seems this is an excellent time to publish an updated version of 'Ghosthunting for the Sensible Investigator' so having finished it, I decided to opt for self-publication. By the time it went through the publishing process, this burst of interest might have faded to nothing again.

The print version is on Lulu and I included a hardback version this time too. It was no effort and no cost which is just as well because nobody will pay hardback prices at Lulu!

Lulu also has the EPUB electronic version and it's also available for Kindle (that link is to the UK site but it will also be on the US, French and German sites). The Nook, Apple and Kobo versions should appear on those sites gradually. There are a lot of formats available on Smashwords too. The first edition is also now on Smashwords.

Formatting eBooks gets easier with practice. Having been brought up to worry about page breaks it is sometimes difficult to remember that eBooks have none. No fixed font size either, in most cases. It's strange to publish something so fluid and changeable.

I tried to keep the tone less angry this time, I really did. I think there are even one or two places where I succeeded. Well, it's published now. Maybe it will be expanded further in the future. There is plenty of scope for that.

I'll put up some extracts later.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breaking the silence.

No, I haven't yet become one of the ghosts I look for. I'm still alive.

The long silence here has been due to concentrating on a rewrite of 'Ghosthunting for the Sensible Investigator'. The new version will be longer, more detailed and less rage-fuelled than the first edition. I hope to have that ready by the end of this month.

The first edition was definitely rage-fuelled. I wrote it in a blistering fury brought on by those celebrity ghosthunting shows and by the increasing advice from all and sundry that did no more than part people from their money. Most of the gadgetry has never been shown to achieve anything at all, none of the readings would stand up to any scientific definition of 'evidence' and yet we were hearing that it was all essential.

That was in 2006. Having finally calmed down, I am now able to write a more measured edition with fewer blasts of intense anger. I wasn't going to bother. The first edition was therapy, it was mainly to get some of that fury out of my system. I put it on Lulu and forgot about it. Once every few years, Lulu would send me five dollars in accrued earnings but I didn't do anything to promote the book.

Lulu did not forget about it. They put the print version on Amazon although only on the US site. The price was, I felt, far too high for a small book. I don't think a single copy sold through Amazon.

Then Lulu put the electronic version on the Apple iStore and on Barnes and Noble. That was more reasonably priced and was, of course, immune to postage charges. That started to sell to the point where I thought it was time to take the little book more seriously. Lulu didn't put it on Amazon Kindle and have now had some kind of disagreement with Amazon so the print version soon won't be available there either. No matter, I worked out how to put things on the Kindle store a while ago.

Again, I had not intended to bother putting the first edition on the Kindle. The print copy was there and there would soon be a second edition. When I heard that the print copy was to be withdrawn, I changed my mind. I'd like that first edition to be available to anyone who wants to compare something written by an almost-calm investigator with the sort of high-speed blast of rage that those SWAT-team-like TV ghosthunters can induce in an otherwise reasonable observer.

Besides, I won't be using all the same photos again and I don't want the originals lost. The original documents and photos from that book disappeared in a hard disk crash in the intervening years so all I have of them are the ones in the book. Fortunately Lulu still has the uploaded file so I was able to take that and re-edit it for Kindle conversion.

'Ghosthunting for the Sensible Investigator' is therefore now available on the Amazon Kindle in the US, UK, German and French stores as well as on Barnes and Noble and on the Apple iBookstore. Just type 'Romulus Crowe' in the search bar. There is only one of me.

I won't bother putting it on Smashwords because it's already on the three main sites anyway. The only other useful one would be Kobo. I'll look into that, and maybe look at Smashwords again, after I finish the second edition.

There remains the decision whether to self-publish or make use of a link SW sent to me. There are publishers specialising in this kind of book and the services of a professional editor, professional cover artist and someone who actually knows about marketing would be useful.

On the other hand, self-publishing is fast. Lightning fast compared to traditional publishing. Well, that's a decision that is of no relevance until the book is done.

So I suppose I'd better get back to it.