Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

photoshopped photo sneaks past Attitude editors

Looking through the Attitude website to find out if the October issue had been published, I clicked on a link which just enticingly said ‘MEN’. It took me to this page: http://tinyurl.com/cr2833e which encouraged me to vote for their hukiest cover star. I found the following photo with the caption: ‘Hell Yeah!’

So, my interest firmly aroused, so to speak, I went a googling for ‘Swedish Decathlete‘ and quickly found this item: http://tinyurl.com/c98ug8z, which said the athlete in question, one Bj√∂rn Barrefors, had been the unfortunate benefactor of a photoshopped penis enhancement. I would have thought Attitude might just have been a tiny bit more careful in their research of this picture before publishing it!

And I found this rather wonderful ‘before and after’ animated gif:

Maybe not the most riveting piece of news, but the opportunity to post the photo was largely irresistible! I could watch this for hours!

Having recently learned how to make my own animated .gifs, I couln't resist the opportunity to try and see if I could return the favour. It proved absurdly easy. Here's the result:

Incidentally, when I tried to download the picture, I got a different file, so I had to do a screenshot of the before and after and make an animated .gif using www.makeagif.com. Then it wouldn’t animate when I looked at the preview of the post. I’ve had to resort to hosting it on my own website and then using the URL of the image in the <img> tag.

tinyURL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/cevqgu4

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bokassa to Feature in Attitude!

Just received a request for the cover artwork of my book from Attitude Magazine, one of the leading national glossy gay lifestyle magazines here in the UK. Apparently they are planning a feature on my book in their next (October) edition! Whether this will be a very short piece with a cover illustration or something more substantial, I do not know. Hopefully any editorial will not be like that in Bent or Midland Zone who basically just rehashed the blurb. I think it was the Sainted Oscar who said ‘No publicity is bad publicity’? Any coverage in a national magazine with such a high profile is welcome. Interestingly, the email came from one of the interns working with them. This seems to be a growing trend. The Gay Times review was penned by an intern and, in their case, hidden away on their blog (although arguably a blog gets more views than a print publication these days). The online magazines, like Polari had more space to devote to my book and gave a full editorial review.

tinyURL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/c3wgkhl

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Tale of TWO Amazons

OK, so now my book is on Amazon and has passed the publication date, I can theoretically do loads of cool stuff to make it look more inviting. Prime amongst these is having an Amazon ‘Author Page’. I duly created an account at ‘Author Central’, created an author page and then tried to customise it. It let me add a photo and bio, but generated an error code when I tried linking my blog and twitter feeds. After a day or so, the error code stopped happening. But I wasn’t able to link my paperback, only my kindle, to the author page. Each time I tried to find my book I was told it was unavailable. I successfully created a unique link to my author page: www.amazon.com/author/rodshelton. Progress, of a sort.

Going to the amazon page for my book now gave a pop-up when I hovered the mouse over my name. On it there was a link to visit my newly-created author page. I clicked. No blog or twitter feed. I went back to author central. It said to click to view my author page. I clicked. There was my last tweet AND my most recent blog posts. Very curious.

Only today have I finally worked out what I had done wrong. Perhaps the address of the author page beginning ‘amazon.com’ should have warned me? Somehow, I had created the author page on amazon.com, NOT amazon.co.uk. Ever likely I couldn’t get there from amazon.co.uk!

I went to amazon.com. I searched for my book. It said ‘out of print – limited availablilty’ and showed no other information about the paperback. The Kindle was listed, however. Clicking on the link to the author page got me to the version with the twitter feed and blog feed.

Going back to amazon.co.uk I found I could create an author central account there as well, only this time I checked the URLs of the pages I got to very carefully as I registered to make sure I was still in the UK. Sucess! I now have TWO author pages and TWO author central accounts. Better still, I added my twitter feed to the UK author page and it came through in a matter of hours, not the days it had taken before. Unfortunately, there seems not to be the option of adding the RSS feed to my blog in the UK at present. dommage. NOW I can tell anyone looking at the US author page to go to Amazon UK if they want to order the paperback.

Although whether a US buyer would want to pay the postage from the UK is another question. OK, so why not set up an account at amazon.com and sell it there? I hear people asking. Simple! I need a US$ bank account IN THE USA. Worse, if I used fulfillment by Amazon, I would have to ship a stock of books TO THE USA. And it is far from clear how shipping could be calculated on amazon.com for books shipped from the UK. And, even if this could be done, the shipping would still be prohibitive.

Although this does rather beg the question of whether I am going to have to set up author central accounts on each and every one of amazon’s various websites in France, Germany, even Japan…?

The dual account problem goes further. To make my book available on Amazon required me setting up an amazon seller account. To add the ability for amazon users to click on the cover of my book and see a sample of the contents, I had to send in a pdf of the text and the cover. But where do I send it to …? That’s right, to the USA. That meant setting up an account at seller central in the USA. And then the UK site was updated with the search inside facility. So I now have no less than SIX accounts with Amazon, my regular customer account, two seller accounts, two author accounts, an amazon associates account and an account at kindle kdp. How confusing is all that?

tinyURL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/d4q68jd
 
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