Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Further updates from the Keegan Zone

At last! The post you thought would never actually appear here ...

GROUND ZERO has finally, and I mean finally, shown up in the Amazon engine, as a paperback. It's been month getting there. The proof was delivered and approved weeks ago, and ... well, it's probably that Amazon is fairly overwhelmed with the volume of prep work for Christmas that's going on behind the scenes. Because we've never seen them take so long to process a book through from proof to "buy it here."

Anyway --

...there is it, on PAPER. At last.

I'd intended to have a booklaunch for this one, but the fact is, the book has been out for so long now, and the ebook has been announced, advertised, tweeted, promoted, reviewed, massaged -- it's actually too late to have a booklaunch for GROUND ZERO, so ... we'll have a book punt. That is to say, the book is already out there, floating in mid-stream. It drifted off from its moorings almost unnoticed, and now is gently dragging its anchor in midwater. So let's give it a punt.

Consider it punted. If you've been waiting for the paperback, this is your chance to give yourself a Christmas gift!

So much is happening behind the scenes, one hardly knows where to begin. GLBT Bookshelf is still growing ... I just wish it would grow faster. Why? Because when it's twice the size there will be enough members to raise enough funding to hire a professional programmer and get the whole thing automated! Right now, we're in a kind of twilight zone, with about 500 members, *all* of whom would have to put up a ten-spot to get together the five grand to get the programming done. Not going to happen.

So, as the wiki sloooooowly grows, the amount of work involved in nurturing it, keeping it running smoothly, continues to increase, and increase, yet at the same time the growth curve (the rate of acceleration ... if you know anything about logarithmic curves?? No?? Don't worry about it) has flattened right out. We're riding a plateau right now, with about 10 new members per week. That's not bad at all, but it means another YEAR to get to the 1,000 member mark.

Now, what would make the wiki grow faster? Advertising! But that would also cost more funding than can be raised at this moment, so -- nose to the grindstone, Keegan! Stop being daft, get your head down and do some work. And in fact -- am doing. Am doing.

My apologies if I sound a little "out there" today. The weather is not cooperating. It's 141 degrees Fahrenheit in the courtyard at the side of the house, and if you step away from the a/c, you're swiftly reduced to a slurpy, blubbery mass of semi-congealed goo. This doesn't tend to contribute to sanity and clarity of thought.

Meanwhile, we've FINISHED the new design for the GLBT Bookshelf bookstore. It's part-way based on the Diesel Ebooks model, but with a greater depth of content, and a lot of "free listings," as well as numerous "sponsored ad" spots, with various rates of "oomph factor." They range from a big leaderboard ad which will grab anyone's attention, to "micro-ads" which give a cover and a slogan. Prices will range between $2/month (with a minimum "spend" of $4 ... now, there's a hardship...) and about $12/month for the leaderboard

Here's the plan: funds raised through the advertising on the bookstore are pumped into advertising FOR the bookstore. And we might even register a new domain for this, something like (!) gaybooksonline.com, or gay-books-galore.com, something that even Google, in its infinite density, couldn't fail to understand.

More about this in due course. Right now, we've hit a wrinkle with the OpenX code which handles the actual content placement for the page ... this is a plug-in from an external server and something got stuffed up when we set up the account. It could take a few days to sort it out, but then we'll be off and running.

Right now, I want to thank everyone who's been helping with the Bookshelf -- there's a couple of dozen people whom I'm calling "angels," and they've been amazing, indispensable. THANK YOU!

And I must give a plug to one of my favorite new blogs: Adventures In 3D. If you're missing this, you need to skedaddle over there and check it out. Here's enough to get you interested --!

...all of which brings you about halfway up to date with what's been going on in the Keegan Zone. We're getting there ... slowly but surely. My most fervent wish is for a sudden rush in memberships on the Bookshelf, and then a really, really successful fund-raising campaign, enabling us to hire a programmer, automate the whole shebang ... and I can get back to doing what I used to do. I, uh, used to be a novelist! Really.

I all seriousness, I would like to get back to writing, but I'm also completely committed to GLBT Bookshelf. This project WILL work, even if I have to get out and push.



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