Thanks for the super replies, guys. Actually, I started out to write a fiction-based-on-factual-events sort of tome, and I was well into it earlier this year when I had a stroke in May. Not to worry, it was a "minor" stroke, and I was in a large hospital within 45 minutes of the first attack, so I was already on blood-thinners before any permanent brain damage occurred. No paralysis, no loss of motor or sensory function, and my memory and vision and speech are unimpaired. I walked out of the hospital 24 hours later, feeling perfectly normal, as a matter of fact.
The only thing that really changed was my priorities. I decided to write a no-holds-barred political diatribe of about 31,000 words instead of the fiction. Big turnaround.
I started on the writing in late May and finished it, proofed and edited, within a week — the first week of June, in fact. I designed the cover art, copyrighted everything through the Library of Congress, and released it in two venues: CafePress and through Amazon, where it has been drawing slight sales for about a month now. For my one-man marketing campaign, I have employed the social networking sites such as Facebook, press releases, and a number of related-interest political sites and blogs. The response in these latter target markets has been good — about 50/50 split between those who love it and those who hate it.
A fifty-fifty response in the political genre is ideal. The one thing you don't want is a NEUTRAL "ho-hum" response. I've additionally managed to create a few heated political debates in many forums. When they ask for my reference material, I cite my book. LOL
I've been talking to one of my associates in the public relations business, and he's very interested to line me up with some radio interviews this month — which is like the JACKPOT, in my experience. If you nail a 1% response from an audience of 2 million listeners, you're in like flint.
The reason I didn't go through a literary agent and a big publishing house is that I know there is an often-lengthy period of courtship before an agent or a big publisher will take you into the stable. As I see it, with the mid-term Congressional election season heating up, I didn't have time to court an agent or a large publisher, who would still be kicking the thing around in pre-production long after the election season came and went. I wanted the book out there NOW, and it is.
Word of mouth might be strong for some products, but you have to get a book in front of their EYES before they start moving their mouths, right. I appreciate all your fantastic advice, guys, and I'm going to USE IT, starting immediately.
Hey, guys, it's the old gray ghost of Nikola Tesla comin' atcha, Stan Lee style.... No, not really. I'm not all pumped up, I just need to sit down and have a talk with published authors of Alphadrome for a bit. I need to learn (crash course) how to market my book from a flat-footed and independent stance. This is an odd situation, because I've published stuff for other people for 25 years. I have not attempted, however, to write for myself, and purely for myself as a direct means of making money. As a professional writer, I've been contracted out to this corporation and that government and this politician and that professor and so on, for decades. Wow. When I put it in a sentence like that, I feel incredibly OLD.
Anyway, what is the coffee table advice on publishing and marketing a hot book? I want to know what to expect out of this.
Jeez, I had all of the most dangerous toys from the 60s, and a few that weren't mentioned.
I'm kind of puzzled that the legendary Red Ryder BB Gun wasn't included in the most toxic toy list, nor was the Benjamin Air Rifle, both of which were frequently awarded to "good little boys" every Christmas. My little brother put one of the neighbor kids in the hospital with a Benjamin — shot him in the leg, the pellet went straight to the bone and imbedded in the femur. Ho ho ho.
In addition to burning ourselves with the 750° Fun Factory (hooboy, LOTS of scalding plastic fun), we also discovered that you couldn't use a 100 watt bulb in the Lite Brite, because the thin plastic housing would melt like a stick of butter. A major fire hazard that didn't make the list.
The most deadly Christmas gift for a kid, in my opinion, was the Gilbert Chemistry Lab, which contained fragile Pyrex flasks, a bunsen burner, wood alcohol, and about 20 toxic compounds, many of which could be combined to produce pyrotechnic results. In addition to poisoning myself once, I also caught my mom's kitchen floor on fire with one "experiment," which also filled the house with dense sulphur dioxide fumes, requiring an abrupt evacuation.
Along the same lines, Gilbert also manufactured a Biology Lab with a rather nice electric microscope, a box of delicate glass slides, several dead animals preserved in formaldehyde, and an array of formidable dissecting instruments, including a razor-sharp steel scalpel, pointed steel forceps, and a needle-sharp 5" probe.
My parents were sure I was going to become a scientist of some description, and they repeatedly provided me with such kits from an early age. As far as my dad was concerned, anything was better than my becoming an artist. LOL
WOW! That looks super! So... When you get a new robot, you render its image in Corel Draw? Maybe I'll give it a try. I usually work in Photoshop, but I've been hearing good things about the most recent version of Corel Draw.
Oh, I'm not remarking on the models or figures, I'm ranting about the original Terminator concept, dating back to the first two movies. In other words, I'm being an anal-retentive, nit-picking geek, as is my wont.
No, actually, it would have to be many, many times more complex than that! I know they're kind of limited by the very first images of "the foot" from the first two movies, because they have to keep referring back to it in order to maintain continuity.
But the Terminator's foot couldn't just be a metallic version of a human foot. The human foot evolved to work within a given range of weight and activities, and its function is intimately dependent on the flexibility of the human spine as well as that of the muscles and cartilage and ligaments of the upper and lower legs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... So the human foot is actually a highly sophisticated and dedicated component of a bipedal system that evolved over millions of years.
In short, as robotics engineers have discovered over the past 40 years, you can't just manufacture a metallic version of the human skeleton and expect it to perform superhuman feats. It won't. It can't.
In order to bipedally handle the weight and stresses of a more-or-less rigid all-metal skeleton and execute such a superhuman range of motion — including doing battle with other superhuman Terminators — the Terminator's foot would need to be an extraordinarily sophisticated multi-axis servo assembly that provided instantaneous balance & stress correction in 360°...like an F22 vectored-thrust nozzle.
Anybody else disappointed with the Terminator's feet?
Since the very first movie, I've never been satisfied with the Terminator's ridiculous feet. These things are supposed to be able to mimic human movement convincingly, but that foot would absolutely prohibit human-like movement.
With those rigid, right-angle feet, in real life the Terminator would be walking like a spastic, falling down every two steps.
Where is the 5-point pivoting ankle with hydraulic assist? Where are all the hideously complex components for maintaining balance, for walking, running, jumping, dancing, kicking-ass, etc?
I mean, considering what the Terminator is and what it's supposed to do, it would require a formidable array of servo components in the lower leg.
Amazing the mechanical accuracy they omit in moviemaking.
Also, for conventional laser printers and paper stock, you can generate an image at 144 dpi that will look just as good as 300 or 600 dpi. The only time you need really high resolution is when you're printing to slick photographic-quality printers. The lower 144 dpi will give you a great printed image, but the file size won't be gigantic — makes it easier to attach to emails, and makes it faster to print if you go to Kinkos or Staples or Office Max or wherever you decide to print it.