New bio by Veloce about me

New biographical profile about me has been uploaded by Veloce Publishers Ltd. 

http://velocenews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/author-profile-no9-adrian-streather.html 

Enjoy the read.

Please stop writing magazine content for free

One of the biggest cons of the late 20th century is the magazine industry convincing writers to provide content (articles) for free. So many freelancers have fallen for the idea that advertising and name exposure is worth its weight in gold. Yes it is, to the media owner who sells his or her magazine solely made up of free content to the unsuspecting public.

I was asked to provide free content in return for the advertising and exposure and nothing happened except that the magazine’s owner was able to fund trips around the world to visit all major car shows. He was making money off the writers, but never compensated them.

My plea to writers and not just for magazines, novelists providing Amazon and other companies with free content is just crazy. Free advertising and exposure doesn’t pay the bills. STOP WRITING FOR FREE you are worth more than that.  Stop cheapening our industry and killing our livelihood. I was told very recently that a major magazine I held in great regard, charges public RRP of $15.00 a copy and yet does not pay any of it’s regular 30 freelance contributors and that’s disgusting.

If we are not careful the freebie brigade will drive industrial relations back to the 18th century. STOP WORKING FOR FREE! YOU ARE NOT SLAVE LABOUR but by your action of providing free content you are allowing entire segments of our industry to view us all as slaves. I’ve helped out, but I’ll never work for free when others make a profit from my effort and nor should you!

Why are we all sheep?

Renewable energy is being rammed down our throats, but do we really know what’s going on. Here’s a few short issues to think about.

1/. Solar power cells require sunlight to generate electricity. How much sunlight do you get where you live? Does it snow in winter? Sunlight cannot penetrate snow and get to the solar panels to generate power. Has anyone invented a cost effective way of storing solar energy for the dark times? Nope! How often will you be required to be hooked up to your national grid? Is going green spending your hard earned cash on solar panels really cost effective? My personal experience. If you live in Australia, damned right it is, if you live in Switzerland, not a hope in hell.

2/. Wind turbines. Ugly things that blot landscapes and seascapes. Wind turbines need the wind to operate right? Well yes, when the wind don’t blow the wind turbine don’t go, but if the wind blows too hard wind turbines have to be shut down. In other words when the wind blows the power goes. Can you afford to be hooked to such an ineffective electricity supply. If you live din Australia, hell yes. If you live in anywhere it gets really cold for long periods of time, I don’t think so.

3/. Electric cars. Biggest fraud since cellulite was invented. Do you know who benefits from electric cars? China and why? China is a major Lithium supplier along with Bolivia. Is switching from middle east oil to Chinese Lithium going to be any better? Batteries require charging and what do they need? Yes electricity. Where does this electricity come from? Power stations of course and don’t many nations already have a major shortage of electricity generation. So where is all this extra electricity coming from? Bugger if I know. Did you know that the average electric car battery pack costs $9000 each. Do you have 9 grand if the battery pack fails. Where are all these battery packs going to be dumped when they fail and believe me batteries fail. I used to run a battery overhaul shop. Rechargeable battery packs can also catch on fire, thermal runaway it’s called officially. Batteries are just as dangerous as petrol in many areas and at least petrol evaporates. Finally did you know that it costs more to manufacture an electric car than they can be sold for. In other words these so called green alternative vehicles have to be subsidized and who pays these subsidies? Yes you the taxpayer. And finally how much driving range do these electric cars have? Can you imagine how your freedom of movement will be restricted if we all drove electric cars. Think about it. I could visit my daughter and get home again without a 6 hour recharge.

Going green really means giving more power to those who would restrict our freedoms. Why do you think there are green political parties run by vegans. These people want to control us. Impose their wills upon us. Next time you think environmentally friendly just ask yourself who is it really friend to? I’m all in favour of protecting our environment, but I’m not in favour of having some tree hugging tofu sucking individual telling me how I’m going to live my life. Environmentally friendly does not mean controlling me or you or anybody else for that matter. Mother nature will tell US when she’s had enough.

Flawed monopoly & greed sends proper authoring to its grave?

It never ceases to amaze me that people genuinely believe that they can become instant millionaires and gain instant celebrity status by writing an unintelligible gaggle of sentences, call it a novel or whatever and self-publish it as an eBook on Amazon and sell it for 99c (86p in UK). Why do I mention UK? Because most of the self-published crap on Amazon is written in English meaning it’s only available to a very limited market.
Here’s a little statistic to be getting along with; You will make on average of 1 online sale for every 1000 views of your specific product as opposed to 1 in every 100 physical inspections in a physical shop environment. This means on Amazon to sell 1000 eBook downloads you need 1 million product hits. Is your 99c unedited, unchecked eBook going to get 1 million hits when it’s amongst 4,999,999 other pieces of crap on Amazon? Answer = dream on. If you sell 99 copies be happy because that’s highest level of best-selling 99c crap. Now if your story/manuscript was really worth publishing it would have been picked up by an agent or publisher by now and be available for a download license fee on just 2 websites. What’s better for your success as a writer? A flawed monopoly model for authors offered on Amazon Kindle where you only own the embedded words in Amazon’s software (same applies to all 3rd party eBook software). OR your work being seen and promoted at all the world’s major book fairs around the world, sold into the trade in every English speaking nation AND available in every good bookstore! Remember everything that’s been published with your name on it, good, bad or really crap, will forever have your name attached to it. If you write and publish crap you will be known for this. IF anyone actually ever reads your work and that’s a very BIG IF.

Buying reviews is same as drugs in sport: It’s cheating and corrupt.

Corruption involved in obtaining product reviews issue just seems to get bigger. A major and trusted travel advisory website has uncovered a large number of travel related businesses using corrupt review generating practices. Most common are:

  • Paying customers to write good reviews of business
  • Paying customers to write fake bad reviews against competition
  • Staff writing fake good reviews for business
  • Staff writing fake bad reviews against competition

In the book reading world attacks in the form of one star reviews are being against some eBook authors. Their crime is not writing rubbish stories, but charging a fair and reasonable price for their work. Proper pricing of professionally published eBooks has upset somebody or something (insert name of your favorite monopoly) who or what clearly want prices driven down. How is this battle being fought? By large numbers of untraceable individuals writing one star reviews primarily on everyone’s favourite monopoly online shop. If anyone believes these reviews are true & honest I have a bridge to sell you.

The corruption of the product review system is the equivalent of drugs in sports. It’s corruption and cheating, but we all know that to win at all costs overrides honesty, decency and all concepts of fair play. As the years roll by it’s clear that the bad guy is winning and depressingly it seems that nothing can be done to stop his or her onward march. However, I want to make one thing crystal clear. The bad guy is not the devil or some other super natural entity, it’s human nature. As our species matures it gets nastier as conscious and goodness are eroded by the general dumbing down and tolerance to badness. The recent riots in London are a graphic example of what I mean. 27% of the rioters were before the riots law abiding citizens unknown to law enforcement. Only 25% were hardened criminals.

Anyway to all those authors who’ve cheated or paid for good reviews: SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on you. Remember cheaters never prosper and you will be exposed for what you are on day. Hopefully when you are a better known writer so your fall from grace is even harder. And by the way, it’s pretty easy to identify the book review cheaters/buyers. Arrogance and ego, wallowing in their own self-importance (especially posting links on Twitter) makes them too stupid to notice that 75 5-star reviews for a 99c piece of eBook junk is clearly bullshit!

 

From crap to cracker, just hand over the cash!

Call me naive, but I never considered book reviewers as being part of a business. To me critics/reviewers were performing a kind of public service and many still are, but there’s a seamy side to all of this. Did you know that you can buy book reviews? For a fee ranging from $99-499 these companies businesses to organise written reviews for an author’s title. This service is mainly aimed at the self-published authors, however, anyone that pays can buy reviews, authors and/or publishers. If an author and/or publisher is prepared to pay for sufficient number of good reviews it’s clear it’s possible to convert a crap book into a cracker. In other words through online opinion manipulation more commonly known as corruption.

Sadly though this is not the only area of corruption in the book business. Online customer reviews at the major stores which permit such things are clearly being manipulated. Obscure books with hundreds of reviews, A-list authors with very few reviews and original proper 1 or 2-star negative reviews swamped by 5-star reviews. In some cases all reviews under 4-star removed altogether. One has to ask what’s going on, but one major advantage the established monopolies have is that they answer to no one. Legally organised crime syndicates where the shareholders are God and the customer cannon fodder.

There’s not much else to say except that now I understand how the book review is being used to manipulate peoples buying decisions and the market as a whole by simply mass purchasing bogus review I am seriously less likely to bother reading any again except from old school trusted sources such as newspapers and established magazines. Bloggers and online book review sites will have to prove total impartiality before I will believe them again.  In my humble opinion only of course.

Mediocrity

It deeply saddens me when I am constantly reminded of the rise of mediocrity across the world. Why has such an evil concept been allowed to flourish across all the human race?
I use as one example self-published eBooks, which are not just the epitome of individual mediocrity, but a victory for egotistical vanity over self-respect. If ones written work is not accepted by the publishing industry for whatever reason, why should it still be rammed down the throats of the book loving and reading public?
There are obviously many answers and one would have to get inside the head of the sel-pubished,but there is a driving force behind mediocrity in the eBook publishing industry in particular: There are monopolistic global corporations out there living and breeding mediocrity across all land. These corporations make money from volume sales and none care one iota about quality of the product sold. In fact said corporations have developed compost heap style of self-publishing software for which, said corporations are absolved by its users from any responsibility for the rubbish the software crunching spews out in the form of an eBook. However, I digress.
I am a great fan of earning the respect of ones peers and readers (our customers) by producing quality material. I agree that we can’t get it right all the time, but at least in most cases the reader (our customers) know who stuffed up. I have had numerous manuscripts and ideas rejected by my publishers over the past 10 years. 19 titles published in four languages and at least 6 rejected.
However, mediocrity is not limited to the great unpublished who continue to moan despite the fact that their mediocre work is finally getting an opportunity to pollute the earth.  It’s also rising within the print publishing industry because so many imprint (individual publishing brands singular or within a larger group) senior executives have their collective heads stuck in the sand hoping that all the bad shit will pass them by. Won’t happen people and if you don’t lift up your heads and positively respond with desperately needed change, we’re all doomed to being crushed by mediocrity and unemployed. The publishing industry must shed itself of old ways and traditions. As an example it must stop using agents as free vetting facilities and deliberately separating itself from the manuscript writer. Middlemen suck the life out of any industry and certainly suck the life out of a published author’s royalties. But mediocrity is spreading much further, expanding into politics. Okay I know what you are all thinking, politicians and mediocrity are words that are spelled differently, but mean the same thing. Bear with me though please. 🙂
In recent months the Swiss Government handed sovereign power over to foreign private industry. Can anyone imagine anything more mediocre than a Government that cedes power to foreign companies?  In Switzerland a German, French or Italian publisher can force a Swiss book retailer to sell at a fixed price. Can anyone imagine other countries ceding sovereignty. Okay all the members of the EU, but apart from these 27 nations and the Swiss anyone else? USA to China I hear many call out! And what are the mediocre doing about this? Absolutely nothing. In fact I read a comment the other day from a mediocre responding to the call to bring manufacturing back to our nations.  He said and I quote “If it was made here it would be too expensive. I want my electronic goods cheap and all my downloads free!” end quote. Says it all really doesn’t it?
It was once said that “the meek shall inherit the earth” sadly I feel it’s going to be the mediocre especially in the publishing industry. 🙁

Value for money what does it mean to you?

When we purchase something especially in these somewhat forced frugal days, many of us, if not all, are seeking value for money, right? Well clearly not because the “must have the next gadget craze on my credit card debt” seems to be gathering strength.  Millions of people are purchasing e-readers the overwhelming majority of which use proprietary operating systems.

What does proprietary mean mum? It means that the device you purchased will only display items that it’s creator has decided you can read. Usually only the stuff it pedals in its online retail store. In other words proprietary actually means the ability to exercise control over you and what you can read. Remember Microsoft getting into trouble over this type of thing with its browser software? They are all up to it, but the authorities only go after the big boys. Hang on aren’t Amazon, Google and Apple the big boys?

Anyway back to the theme of this blog and the concept of value for money. When you purchase a real book you get a real product. You can see it, feel it, smell it and amazingly read it, without anyone else’s permission. How cool is that? Is that not value for money? Plus with a real physical book, being a real genuine product you can give it away, sell it on eBay, give it to your local library or even create your own library. Interior designers love libraries. I love libraries.

Now let’s look at the so called eBook. Is an eBook an electronic version of a physical book. Well that’s what the purveyors of this product would like you to believe,but no it’s not. An eBook is not even a book it’s a computer software program with a viewable readable element embedded inside.  eBooks are treated as software by all in the very restrictive unfair trading chain. You don’t buy an eBook you pay for a single license which gives you permission to view the readable contents of the software program. What did you expect for 99c?

So now you have permission to read the contents of a computer file on your expensive e-reader or even more expensive tablet. Trying to read a computer file masquerading as a book on a smart-phone just doesn’t work by the way. I know I tried. What do you do after you’ve read it. You can’t pass it on, sell it, install it in your own library or donate it to a public library. Nope all you can do is store it on your expensive reading device and what’s the point of that?

So what’s your idea of value for money? A physical product that you own and can do with as you please as long as it’s legal or paying for permission to read what somebody else wants you to?

The choice is yours of course,but when the power goes down and the Chinese withhold the required chemicals needed to manufacture electronic gadgets you need to read computer files, the physical book in shops and libraries near you will still be there and in my opinion biased as I am as an  author of real books, I believe the physical product in my hand offers far greater value for money than paying somebody for a license code and their permission.

You don’t need my permission to read my books or on how to dispose of them when you’ve finished reading.

In my humble opinion eBooks are being falsely marketed. I can legally trade in printed physical real books, but I am not permitted to trade in eBooks because of the license agreements between author, eBook publisher, eBook distributor and eBook retailer. In most cases this is all done within just one company. Where I come from this is called unfair trading practice and a monopoly.

Note to self: Why did me and my mates serve during the cold war guarding and protecting against Soviet style tactics entering our lifestyle only to have then enter through the back door called mergers and acquisitions?

I have written about the Soviet Industrial system and today’s big boys look awfully similar not just in image, but in attitude and action. Comrade online retail.

Who’d a thunk it?

Back in 1986 the Warrant Officer Disciplinarian (W.O.D.) of No. 2 Aircraft Depot (2AD) was venting his unreserved rage upon my person because he caught me walking with my hands behind my back. Abuse of subordinates was something these guys enjoyed, a sadistic ritual often reaching into the boundary of abuse of power. Often screaming at people was done simply because they could. It had nothing to do with discipline it was power afforded by military rank. Anyway this person was ranting his nose a few inches from mine that only the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and others of noble could walk unsanctioned with their hands behind their backs. Dumbarse Corporals fucking marched he literally spat in my face as his rage peaked. Naturally this dumbarse Corporal said nothing he just stood there and allowed this person to abuse with his voice and saliva my being. I was comforted by the fact that in a few weeks I was “getting out” of the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F) and this fuckwitt would have to pick on others.
Fast forward to 2011 and who’d a thunk it? I have finished my family history and discover that I am related to a real Duke, real Earl and a real Baronet along with a few knights of the realm including one belonging to a famous acting dynasty family. My best mate is a Baronet and a good mate is an Earl. All genuine Nobles so Mr. W.O.D. wherever you are I am still walking around with my hands behind my back and if you see me, please oh please try it on again.
For the rest reading this little rant you may or may not believe what you read. For me it’s no matter as I didn’t believe it at first, but who’d a thunk it? I was entitled to walk with my hands behind my back after all.  🙂

PS: If you want to know who these people are you will have to buy my families history book when it’s published. The writing is finished and I am now collecting photographs.

Selling your soul for 99c a download!

All my titles are published through traditional publishing methods…but the only route left for the ever increasing mob of the great moaning unpublished is via free self-publishing, where quality and professionalism are replaced by cheap shit proprietary computer file downloads.

Who writes a novel over a three year period, allows it to be converted into a proprietary computer file and then downloaded for 99c a copy?

Sadly thousands of rejected angry authors that’s who! Those weak of mind and spirit willing to sell their souls to the free self-publishing companies that use marketing techniques aimed at stroking the egos of the great moaning unpublished with offers like:

  • Authors given full creative independence (code for playing the ego card).
  • No manuscript rejected (code for we don’t care about the content quality).
  • Huge royalties of 50 to 70% of the license code price (code for 50-70% of nothing is still nothing).

But are these promises of full creative independence accurate? Well not if these two samples from an online self-publishing website’s terms and conditions are to be believed:

2a. Publication of Work As Is. Generally, xxxxxxxx will Publish Author’s Work as it is delivered to us, and not edit or modify the Work. Certain modifications may occur caused by file or design conversions. xxxxxxx does not guarantee accurate preservation of the original Work’s formatting. To assist authors with their book formatting, xxxxxxxx has published the free xxxxxxxx style guide.

5. Formats of Digital Conversions. Author shall submit their Work as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Xxxxxxxx shall utilize its proprietary technology to convert the book into multiple ebook formats, and publish the work for use in sampling, distributing and selling the work. The author/publisher is not authorized to independently sell or distribute xxxxxxxx-generated file conversions outside of the xxxxxxxx site or xxxxxxxx distribution network without first receiving written permission from xxxxxxxx.

One click on these terms and conditions and an author is doomed , but none of the angry unpublished are reading these terms and conditions and the 99c shit is getting out there in monstrous amounts swamping the good and the great stuff. A good author wouldn’t get out of bed for 99c a copy first time around. Okay after 20 years of a book’s life in print, but as a first product not a chance, but then a self-published eBook is not a real book anyway. Once read it’s becomes just another useless computer file. Cannot be given away, sold or donated to a library. It however, can be stored on the expensive e-reader so many have been sucked into purchasing.

Why do self-publishing websites exist? What’s in it for them publishing the shit rejected by traditional publishing houses? They feed material to feed the proprietary e-reader sales business. No good having e-readers and nothing to read, but in the end it’s a pure numbers game. 99% of everything that’s written and submitted to publishing houses is pure shit. Millions of pieces of written shit are rejected every year by traditional publishing houses, but somebody discovered that in this electronic age of the internet there’s real money in selling permission to read shit to an unsuspecting public. What one actually downloads and pays for permission to read is a lottery and for 99c per download one can only expect shit to flow across the screen of one’s expensive e-reader.

How does this system works in practice? A company offering full free turnkey self-publishing services creates one million new eBook files a year retailed at 99c each. At this very attractive price each of the new one million eBook files copies attracts one new buyer a week for a full year.  This means the company sells 52 million downloads, but each individual author only receives royalties on 52 downloads…70% on 52 license codes sold at 99c each = total income of $35.88. That’s not very inspiring is it? Scam of the century for the authors? The difference between rejection and self-publication/gratification is less than 36 bucks.

Let’s just spend a few moments on the customer here. When a somebody buys a real book they can hold it, smell it and read it. When finished they can give it away to friends or family , sell it, put it in their library or give it to the local library. It’s theirs to do with as they please as a purchased product. Can the eBook download customer do this? Nope, the license code only allows the customer to read and store the computer file. Yes eBooks are actually proprietary computer files containing the embedded words the downloader thinks they want to read. The eBook is like a virtual Darth Vader…”more computer software than book” and are controlled the same way proprietary computer software companies control its products. An eBook is NOT an electronic version of a real printed book.

Now lets get back to the author who self-publishes and allows an organisation to sell downloads containing his or her words for 99c each. What’s the customer expecting for 99c? To be honest shit! And remember you will be blamed because it’s your name on the shit front cover. Your reputation as an author will be ruined if you  self-publish shit for whatever reason. You will become known as a shit desperate writer and bad reputations are almost impossible to live down.

You will read about self-published authors who have sold a million kindle formatted eBooks. Actually they have sold one million eBook license codes, but saying sales looks far more impressive. However, let’s look at the facts. The authors making these claims are already best-selling print authors with massive reputations. Their eBook subject is usually how to make millions from silly buggers willing to read and believe! But here’s the real clanger; selling 1 million eBook license codes at 99c gives the same return as selling 100,000 real printed books at $9.90 or 10,000 real printed books at $99.00 which for the record I have done. I much prefer my route it was a lot less work and I hazard a guess a lot more fun.

Epilogue: As it stands the great moaning unpublished determined push to get its shit published via the current free self-publishing services provided may destroy a complete industry that employs real people in real facilities around the world. The self-published shit creator is nothing than part of a lynch mob spurred by monopolies who want total control over the all writers and readers alike. George Orwell where are you when we need you?