It can be a struggle to reconcile the need to be creative and the need to be disciplined and to set standards when writing a book. Often, the balance of efficiency and spontaneity will be determined by the circumstances under which we write. Strict deadlines necessitate efficient writing processes, whereas passion projects can operate under a looser timeline. Regardless of your purpose for writing, it is difficult to argue against the benefits of streamlining your self-publishing process and increasing your efficiency. You stand to save time which eventually leads to financial savings through increased productivity and greater output.
I'm pleased to report that I've finished my last draft of the third book in the Frank Adversego thriller series. It's now in the capable hands of a half dozen Friends of Frank who have kindly agreed to be beta readers. Pre-launch ("beta") readers are a huge asset for to authors, helping them catch not just typos, but all the other sorts of gremlins that can be hard for an author to ferret out and banish because the author has become to immersed in the text to spot them.
Today the old Gray Lady, the New York Times, no less, weighed in on election hacking in an Op/Ed piece titled The Election Won't be Rigged. But it Could be Hacked. Of course, anyone who's read my second cybersecurity thriller, The Lafayette Campaign, a Tale of Election and Deceptions, already knew that.
The particular focus of the NYT article is that since voting can be hacked, it's vital to have a way to audit elections after they occur to see whether that has been the case, and to reveal the true electoral result.
One of the big political stories this week is that experts believe that Russia has hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers in an effort to help Trump win the presidential election. Today, security expert Bruce Schneier went further, in an editorial in the Washington Post, suggesting that Putin’s next move may be to exploit the woefully inadequate security of US voting machines to hack the election itself.
That’s a warning worth heeding, because the possibility is all too real. So far, though, no one has focused on another vulnerability that may have already been exploited as the first step towards stealing the election. That’s surprising, because the hack is so obvious.
Well, that's a blog title I never expected to use here.
Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.
In principle, every author (self published or otherwise) should be in favor of diversity and competition in the book distribution marketplace. The reason? Because competition in any area of commerce fosters continuing innovation, more choices, and more price competition. Unfortunately, sometimes a competitive marketplace turns into a monopolized one. When that happens, idealism may have to take a back seat to pragmatism, and an author may have to just make the best of what she’s got.
This article is by Ellie Martin. You can find Ellie's web site here. When one thinks of a good book, it’s quite rare that the first thing that comes to mind is the book’s design. Why would it? It’s generally agreed that a good book is all about the words on the page and the power of the story between the two covers. It makes sense, then, that an author’s main focus is on the content of the book. The story is and rightly should be any serious author’s number one priority, but it should not be the only priority.
Or so we might hear Sarah Palin taunt a liberal. Just about every other pundit in the media, however, continues to scratch their heads in wonder, asking themselves, “Can this many people really, I mean really, be voting for Donald Trump?!? Well, if they had taken the time to read a recently released thriller by an unknown political satirist, they’d know that the answer could be, well, maybe not.
So far, the 2016 US presidential election has borne an eerie similarity to the plot of my book, The Lafayette Campaign, A Tale of Deception and Elections. Totally improbable candidates have shot to the top of the polls, and then succeeded in the Iowa caucuses. Which raises an interesting question: would you rather think that an election could be hacked, or that Americans really would vote in droves for someone like Donald Trump? If that’s too depressing a question to confront, you can escape from that disquieting reality for a few minutes by seeing how the New Hampshire primary unfolds in my book instead. Here goes.
There’s a heart-warming story in the New York Times this morning that tells the tale of a brand new independent author with a flair for marketing who not only turns her first erotic novel into a best seller, but goes on to start her own imprint and build similar success for equally talented Indie authors who don’t have that special marketing gene. Great! you say? Well, maybe not so great. Read on.