Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - hardnox

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
After two years messing with the difference between the word counts in MS Word and the Windows Explorer file browser, I decided to *gasp* put my writing aside and go play programmer again.

So I researched and wrote a VBA macro for Word 2016.

There's been a known workaround for the problem for a few years--klunky compared to good old Ctrl-S/Opt-S save. Long story short, it uses Word's ribbon tab for "Review" in which there's a "Word Count" item that pops up a detailed count. You have to click OK or keypress Enter to get the dang thing to go away, and then you press Ctrl-S and Voila the count magically shows up in Explorer. This is because Explorer calculates word count with a different algorithm--usually for a larger number.

OK, here's the macro--a silly little VBA lyric. You can copy/paste into the Visual Basic window (Developer/Visual Basic on the ribbon)

Code: [Select]
Sub SaveWithWordCount()
' SaveWithWordCount Macro
With ActiveDocument
    With WordBasic
        .SendKeys "%R%"
        .SendKeys "%W%"
        .SendKeys "%H%"
    End With
End With
End Sub

Simple, elegant, the result of 30+ years in software engineering. But I digress.

When I created the macro (Developer/Macros/Create) I assigned keystroke Alt-S to it first. You can do as you wish. Now, whenever I want to save my work, I just press Alt-S and Word's word count goes into the Explorer word count. I find this a useful metric for tracking progress and assembling chapter files into a book file. And other stuff.

I'm not sure how this plays in the Mac world. Maybe not needed if the iOS equivalent of Win Explorer is more accurate. I don't know, but as far as the macro goes, VBA is VBA.

Hope some of my KBoarder buds can find this helpful.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Word experts - I need help
« on: June 18, 2018, 08:48:59 AM »
Just a stab in the dark, but if you go to your C://Users/[username]/Appdata/Roaming/Microsoft/Word folder you may find a vestige of something left there before you overwrote.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover porn or "oooo, shiny!"
« on: June 17, 2018, 05:22:40 PM »
Worthy of the words inside, if it's anything like your others. Keep 'em coming!

« on: June 02, 2018, 09:56:31 AM »
Just published the prequel to my Sumerian historical trilogy after Cat did a super job as beta reader. As with the first book, she pointed out what worked and didn't work, gave the MS a thorough evaluation, and even caught some typos on her way thru. Highly recommend this professional.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The bubble has burst
« on: May 20, 2018, 05:06:12 PM »
The slush pile has moved from basements of traditional publishers to KDP.

Not only has it moved, it has GROWED! You couldn't fit Amazon's slush into all the lit agents in the world. For one, the trad world of old had physical limits, as in how many reams of paper can you stuff in the hallway. It had time limits (still does). An aspiring author was discouraged by the amount of wait time required just to get a manuscript looked at.

Today, on Amazon, aspirers can pump out anything good or bad, readable or not, and it not only goes over the transom, into the publisher inbox, and past the marketing gatekeepers, it gets SEEN, as in distributed as a product as worthy as anything else. The poor reader, then, has to wade through that slush--the stuff no lit agent would give even a "Not For Me"--and navigate Amazon's shifting algorithms to find anything decent.

Sometimes the impact of this mountain of unappealing verbage gets lost in the hoo-ha about KU and all the other Zon problems. Slush is as slush does, and there's more of it flying in the ether than ever before. That is just one of the factors bursting bubbles.

Apple folks....

you can turn off the smart punctuation thingies...

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard, and then turn off the "Smart Punctuation" toggle.

Betsy, this needs its own thread.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Not a Moderator anymore!
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:01:40 AM »
Eminently understandable. Most of us struggle just to find time to write, let alone moderate a busy forum. You've done brilliantly and we'll miss your fair, even-handed censorship blue pencil moderation.  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Will my half-**sed marketing ploy hold water?
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:57:33 PM »
As the series isn't in KU, it might annoy some subscribers that they can borrow the prequel but not book 1 or, later, the rest of the series. Bear in mind also that the prequel won't show up on the series page so you'll have to make very clear links to book 1 in the back matter. I suppose putting the prequel in KU might spark a sudden surge in KU interest and then you could return the rest of the series from wide. But going back and forth isn't generally recommended.
As to waiting for books 2 and 3 before putting out the whole series, I think you could work the prequel now to generate interest in the rest of the series, but if it's in KU, you're reaching a different set of readers. Personally, I would have the whole series in or the whole series out from the beginning.
All very good points to ponder. This got my mind churning. If I release the prequel wide with a back-matter link to Book 1, I won't get the KU initial visibility, but I could expect interest from my (small) mailing list at least. All-in to KU doesn't appeal to me for this genre, and I agree switching in and out of KU isn't a good idea.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Will my half-**sed marketing ploy hold water?
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:53:42 PM »
From the experiences of my clients I've learned that releasing around holidays is very effective, because a lot of people love curling up around a good book in their time off.
Good to know that, particularly from your broader experience. Thanks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Will my half-**sed marketing ploy hold water?
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:27:45 PM »
I would do the KU and see what happens. Then, get the heck out and push it wide.

Makes sense, and what's to lose?
Eh, who knows? I scheduled a free promo day and ENT slot for my first in series on Memorial Day, not realizing it was the holiday.  I guess I'll see if anyone's paying attention.
Good luck. Let us know how that works for you.

Writers' Cafe / Will my half-**sed marketing ploy hold water?
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:48:54 AM »
The second book in my Sumerian Chronicles series, actually a prequel, is out for beta, I plan publication May 25. Book 1 of the trilogy got published over a year ago, sold enough to pay for the Damonza cover. I went wide with it after the 90-day KU crickets. More crickets wide, but I've done nothing to promote Book 1 since, based on advice here and my own belief that the trilogy should be complete before investing in a promo campaign. So writing.

My plan is to use this prequel (80,000 words standalone) as a reader magnet for the trilogy. I'm about 50K words into both Books 2 and 3 and plan to crunch to the finish line for both around 1 August 2018. That's tight and ambitious but I need the pressure.

As this is ancient historical rom/adventure, I don't expect it to appeal to KU readers the way SFF and Romance do, so plan to stay wide for all four books. Later on, that could change, but it's my plan for now. (Withholding commentary on KU viability).

Following Patty's mantra, I expect to market the prequel as my free first-in-series, rather than Eden's Bride.

So, should I try Prequel in KU for 90 days while I finish 2 and 3? Or just hold onto Prequel and blop the whole thing out when the trilogy is done?

And does publication on a Friday before a 3-day holiday make sense? Or should I hold for the following Tuesday?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Appearances Matter
« on: April 28, 2018, 12:42:42 PM »
My nefarious plot succeeds.  :P
I considered reporting this post to the moderator, but realized that would be redundant, so I ate a piece of cheesecake and now I'm all better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are you ready for GDPR?
« on: March 15, 2018, 07:24:24 AM »

Hi Melanie,

There are two things to consider.

1. What you do with the current people on your list
2. How you deal with new sign ups.

Part of the reason this is all so complicated is that there are also rules for each country. In the UK with have the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR... yes... PECR ;D)
This says that "Implied consent can also be a valid consent in some situations - You may conclude that the person consents even if they have not said so in as many words"

This means that if someone has gone to your signup and given their email address then we're safe to assume that they have given their consent. Also, by regularly sending emails and having a clear opt-out option in them, they can remove themselves at any time.

Under GDPR, consent is for the 'time being', but does not automatically lapse. So pretty much everyone on our lists is fine I would imagine.

GDPR says these things against consent.

Consent must be:

1. Unambiguous
2. Freely given
3. Demonstrable
4. Specific
5. Informed

I think as authors we can address these by...

1. Being clear what will happen when they sign up and what mail they will receive
2. This relates to the wifi example I mentioned above. I think we're ok on this as they don't have to sign up, it's a choice... but I'm not an expert!
3. You need a record of them giving their consent. I get an email every time someone joins my mailing list which is further proof along with Mailerlites records.
4. You need to state in your privacy policy what you are going to use their data for exactly.
5. All of the above really.
Thanks for your helpful insight. Exactly what I hoped for by posting.

I was interested to read the commentary below the Mailerlite article. Some people (not authors per se) have legitimate concerns answered there.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are you ready for GDPR?
« on: March 14, 2018, 01:07:08 PM »
A revalidation email is not required. I went on a GDPR course recently in London.
True enough, I think they're just advising it as a precaution. Most of their clients run businesses that collect a lot more personal data than we as authors do.

Writers' Cafe / Are you ready for GDPR?
« on: March 14, 2018, 11:37:55 AM »
Mailerlite just pushed out a warning to list managers that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect May 25, 2018. If you're collecting anything beyond email address, such as surveys, that is personal data according to their interpretation. The EU is tightening on data abuse and may require us to revalidate subscribers.

Here's the article.

Some of us are already compliant, but it bears consideration to avoid list management hassles. If all you collect is email address and you do a double opt-in, you're probably good to go. MLite suggest sending a revalidation form to make sure.

The same may occur soon in the U. S. If you do a search on GDPR, you'll see references.

ETA: just got same from MailChimp.

Writers' Cafe / Re: kindle x-ray
« on: March 13, 2018, 05:13:36 PM »
My ancient historical (see first in sig) uses a lot of Sumerian names and places. I provided a pronunciation guide in the front matter and still got some feedback from neighbor readers regarding difficulty with terms.

It seems to me this could be an issue for writers of SFF as well.

I just went through the process to enable X-Ray, worked the list after they scanned the ebook, and approved for publication.  I got 153 items from the X-ray scan. I typed in or copy/pasted 72 from my own pronunciation guide, Used 6 Wikipedia refs. The rest I marked No for showing description to readers--things with only 1 or 2 references, words like House, my name from back matter, names from my Acknowledgements, etc. Total elapsed time: 4 hours, my effort: 2.5 hours. I'm waiting as I write to see what I get.

Also exchanged emails with Libbie Hawker because I saw that a book of hers has X-ray enabled. She didn't even know it, didn't know what it was for. We both wondered if the enabling was bot work based on some algo interpretation of content.

Donald Westlake, Carl Hiaasen, Christopher Moore. Westlake is gone but pretty much defined the genre.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help! (with HTML)
« on: February 26, 2018, 01:12:05 PM »
Becca, PM me. I will need a beta for the prequel to my sig historical rom. I have an obscene number of years with HTML/CSS.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My life is crashing down around me...and I can't write
« on: February 26, 2018, 10:23:38 AM »
Ask what writing IS for you. If it's a comfort, a pleasure, and a way to vent and work through your issues then, by all means, keep on trucking.

If you're forcing yourself to hit a deadline while 'your life is crashing down' then put it to the side. Forget it. And don't apologize, you don't owe anyone an explanation.  Only a spoiled child fails to understand that s**t happens.

I hope you bounce back quickly.
Lots of love coming your way here, Rosie. Soak it in because it's heartfelt and it heals.

Jessie addresses the writing question same as I would. Use it as a catharsis if that works, otherwise don't add burden to your full plate.

May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Psychological Thrillers All Women Protagonists?
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:47:58 AM »
Interesting this thread should open just as Alex Newton publishes his first K-lytics study of female detectives and sleuths.

As Alex puts it, female protags are "crushing it" in five crime fiction categories. While we can debate the why and wherefore endlessly, it's interesting to see actual data showing woman sleuth bestsellers solidly established in category, market performance, financials, search words, and his hot mainstream strategy map over the past three years. Psychological Thriller is one of those categories.

Encouraging to me, several male authors besides Adam Croft are writing female sleuths with success. This includes Dugoni, Eisler, Koontz, Alan Bradley, Patterson, Donald Bain, and others. BTW, our own Amanda M Lee ranks No. 16 in estimated monthly sales (Yay, Amanda!). But yes, the charts are dominated by woman authors. JD Robb (Nora Roberts) owns it by a long shot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do I convert word document to epub?
« on: February 19, 2018, 02:24:38 PM »
It's $39 US, but in terms of time saved for me it has paid for itself many times over.
I used Calibre for years, by the way, and you couldn't pay me to go back to it.
My experience with Calibre has been iffy too. So I just tried to download a Windows trial version of Jutoh, but my virus checker blocked it.

Due to recent widespread attacks that hijack and hold computers for ransom you should block this file for your own safety unless it comes from a trustworthy source.

Got blocked on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions from Jutoh website and two other sources. Bummer, because based on KelliWolfe's comment I'd like to try it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Rescued from myself by a dragon
« on: February 15, 2018, 06:24:33 PM »

Please allow me to hijack your thread, sort of. I tried voice recognition software many years ago. It was reasonably accurate, but I was a using a professional microphone and headset in a quiet environment. My problem with it was that when I speak, I ramble. When I type, I stick to the point. Do those of you who use voice recognition software find that your writing style changes with the method of transcription?



Good question. So far for me, no, but Christopher Downing's book (see link above) outlines an approach to dictation that *could* help one stay the course with practice. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Rescued from myself by a dragon
« on: February 15, 2018, 08:36:14 AM »
I have a different dragon. It's Mac OSX built-in dictation. Works very well, but not perfectly. I can get a lot 'written' in a short amount of time by using it. I still have a difficult time adjusting to using my voice versus using my fingers. But if I had to, it's sure nice to know there's software out there which can make all the difference. This thread is inspiring me to try again with my voice.

Yes, I've heard the Mac's built-in is quite good. Scott Baker gives it high marks but says DNS is better, and he's used both. Nice to know you're inspired.

OUCH! You have my sympathy.

Thanks a lot. Only hurts when I pick up after the dog.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Rescued from myself by a dragon
« on: February 15, 2018, 07:19:20 AM »
FWIW, for anyone who has BeatsX wireless bluetooth in-ear headphones, the mic works for dictation as well as my Blue Yeti mic (at least on my iMac). I wear them like a necklace when I dictate.

That's really good news, because Scott Baker's blog says his experience with bluetooth devices wasn't so hot. But he wrote that in 2016. I would expect his opinion to shiift as the technology evolves. He has mics given to him by the mfrs to review.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Rescued from myself by a dragon
« on: February 15, 2018, 07:10:01 AM »
I've been working with DNS off and on for the past couple of months, but it's been a bit of a chore. Just like any other skill, DNS takes practice and discipline to become proficient. Anyone that thinks you can just plug in and start dictating 5000 words an hour is living in a dream world. It takes time to develop that kind of speed just as it would if you were typing by hand.

Absolutely right. Author Christopher Downing has written his process for it. While his method may not be for everyone, there are nuggets of wisdom in those pages. Several have helped me already. Also Scott Baker's advice to train Dragon using your own work and not the canned piece that comes with. That gives Dragon the flavor of YOUR writing style, not someone else's.

The trick for me is to slow down and enunciate. But I'm pleased with my progress so far (just four weeks).

My motivation may be a little more urgent than most.  :D

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8