Sunday, May 29, 2011

Interviewed on Authors On Show

Check out my interview on AOS - the first one since my high school newspaper interviewed me:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Hate It When People Say...

  1. “The Kids today just aren’t as smart as they used to be.”  Yeah right.  If you believe that, then you’ve forgotten what it was like when you were a student.  It’s such an overused phrase – I’m sure people have been saying that since the cavemen learned to speak.
  2. “At the end of the day…” We all know that is a figurative saying.  But the end of one person’s day is the middle of another’s.  I imagine a conservative and liberal saying “at the end of the day” and maybe they will both be right as the pendulum swings back and forth.  Overused.  I hear everyone saying it WAY too much.  From now on, I'm going to play dumb and take it literally every time I hear this. "Really? Tomorrow?"  Maybe if enough people play dumb then this hackneyed saying will die. 
  3. “World Class.”  The county where I work offers a “World Class Education.”  Then I went to GMU where they offer a “World Class Education.”  Who started it, Prince William County School District or George Mason University?  Perhaps neither because I also heard a “World Class Radio Station” and a “World Class Bakery.”  Google “World Class” and you get: coaching, gymnastics, driving, ink, beverages, paints, organization, etc
  4. “Signature.”  A restaurant’s menu claims: that’s our “signature” dish.  There are “signature” foods at supermarkets.  It’s just as bad as “World Class” when it comes to companies using it as a slogan.  Come up with something more original.
Add your least favorites here:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Copyrights and ISBN Numbers

I should have waited before hastily posting my last blog. Ends up my publisher knew all the answers - next time I will go to him first. Here is Slush Pile Readers response:

so here's the deal:

An author of a text does not need to file copyright. An author automatically receives copyright when he or she writes a text. It is as easy as that. However, some people prefer filing for copyright just the same, to feel more secure. Some argue there are definite benfits, others argue it is unnecessary to file for copyright. Should there be legal issues down the road (someone plagiarizes your for for instance) it is of course always better to have your work registered and filed with the proper authorities.

When a book, or text, or website, is first published it is instantly protected by copyright. Just the same, some prefer filing so that if any dispute were ever to arise they can prove, by showing the filing date, that they have copyright. However, in this day and age it is easy to trace texts online. For instance if you search fro SPKG on google you find all the different versions that you have put up online. It will be very difficult for anyone else to claim they should have copyright to it: on SPR for instance we can trace the day you registered and when you put up SPKG. In sum, copyright is quite easy to prove these days. Besides, copyright infringements of texts is very rare (beside people copying snippets for uni. papers and articles, but that is something else) and really doesn't occur much, if at all.

On SPR we describe the copyright process and we end it by stating it is up to the author to file or not.

As to the time it can take, it depends on their workload: anything from a month to several months.

ISBN is like a social security number for books, a unique numeric identifier for a specific edition and variation of a book. ISBN is not per se necessary for e-books sold in a single outlet. If a book will be sold in many outlets in paper format it does needs an ISBN not to hamper sales. A publisher usually buys a big lot of ISBN numbers so they always have some handy and assigns them to the books they publish. When it is time SPR will take care of that for you! So you don't have to worry about it! If you want to find out more about ISBN you can check out

Hope that answers everything! If not, ask again,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Have You Copyrighted Your Book?

I have poked around Slush Pile Reader and other sites and seen enough books that I know are published, so I have a couple of questions:

I applied for a copyright on April 15th and I still haven’t heard thing one.  I thought it’d take a week or so and now it’s over a month.  What takes so long, do they actually read the entire book?  If so, I applaud their efforts.  Have you applied for a copyright and how long did it take?

I’m a little confused – when you get a copyright, is that when you get an ISBN number or does that come when the book actually gets published?  It’s something that I’m going to find out soon enough but I’m still curious.

So how has the publishing experience been for you?  Would love to hear your thoughts...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Am I Stupid, a Jerk, or Some other Adjective?

Every year I go to a different baseball stadium with a couple of friends.  We’ve
gone to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Baltimore, St. Louis,
Washington, Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, and LA.  This year we decided to go to
New York.
Here’s the problem: I’m editing a book.  I couldn’t afford to take a weekend off
and head to New York to watch a few baseball games.  I’ve been delaying it for
far too long.  It should’ve been done weeks ago. It shouldn’t take me too long
to edit a book – this is my dream after all.

And going to New York would mean leaving my wife alone with Xavier, who’s only
11 months.  Xavier was having his first swim lesson.  And Monica was going to a
party an hour and a half away, which meant she’d have to travel three hours
alone with Xavier in the car.

The Monday before, I realized it was a stupid idea.  I got an email from my
friends.  It cost 180 dollars per night to stay in Manhattan.  And add another
160 dollars for the two tickets.  I pulled out my checkbook.  All I had to do
was write a check for 340 dollars and I’d be free to work on my editing and I’d
be able to help Monica with Xavier.

Monica refused to let me.  She insisted I go.  She didn’t want me to break up
the tradition.
So I went.
I packed my laptop with my USB.  Maybe I could do some revisions while I was in
New York.
I called Monica on Saturday morning.
Xavier loved swimming.
He laughed and the teacher picked him when modeling what to do.
Things where great.
Monica and Xavier were happy.
I went to the game.
The Yankees won.
Everything was going according to plan.  I hoped to do a little editing before
going to bed.
Then Monica called again.
Xavier apparently missed his father.  As Monica drove home, he wouldn’t stop
crying.  She put the cell phone on speaker as I heard Xavier make sounds like a
wounded animal.  He cried and cried as Monica had to stop nine times.
Nine times. The hour and a hour ride took over three hours.
Xavier sweat so much that his clothes were soaked.
So was his hair and the car seat.
Monica was frazzled.
As I helplessly listened to Xavier crying for a half an hour.
If only I didn’t go, this would not have happened.  And writing
that check for 340 dollars would have saved me a lot of money.  Do you know how
much food costs in Yankee Stadium and in New York City in general?
Yankee Stadium is beautiful.  They spared no quarter when they made it.  But
looking at it, I felt miserable even though the Yankees won both games.
Am I stupid for putting off editing and finishing my manuscript so I could spend
a weekend in New York?  Now my book will come out at least a week later – if not
Am I a jerk for leaving my wife alone with Xavier wailing in the back seat – not to mention missing his first swim lesson?
I decided that this would be my last year to indulge in Baseball Weekend.
KJ Kron

Friday, May 6, 2011

How do you keep track of your edits?

I sit down to edit and I have to remember, where did I save my latest copy to SPKG?  I pull out my three USBs or flashdrives – I’m not even sure what to call them.  Remember when ATMs first came out?  I called them “cashflow” machines.  That’s what my bank called them.  It sounded more normal than “ATM” but no one says “cashflow” anymore.  Does anyone call them “flashdrives”? Are they known exclusively as “USBs”?

My USBs are old.  One only has 128 MB.  That’s the dark ages.  Another one has 1 GB and the other has 2 GB.  Even those seem outdated compared to the amount of memory offered now.  So when I do a major edit on SPKG, I rotate my USBs and even computers.  First edit, desktop. Second edit, laptop. Third edit, my oldest USB. And so on.  But that got too complicated.  It’s much easier to just save it to the same USB.

I feel like I’m doing this wrong.  I have to remember – where did I save it last?  I check the properties to see which version was saved last since I have forgotten.  There has to be a better way.

So what do you do?  Always save over your original copy or do you change the name after an edit.  Do you save it in different places or always the same place?