Okay, folks, here's one (and in fact, by far the smallest) of several projects I've been working on over the last few months. What you see is the cover to an e-book I was hoping to wind up (given its title and cover imagery) yesterday, but as I am not a graphic designer by training, and am still learning how to use GIMP, it's a day late and a dollar short.
(By the way, if you're just starting out with designing graphics for your own stuff, don't know where to turn, and can't afford -- or don't even know how to choose -- commercial software, I can't recommend GIMP highly enough. Such a cool program. There is a learning curve, but a ton of tutorials out there. Did I mention it's free? Awesome. The internets are a wonderful place. Go check it out now, and block out a few hours just to mess with the many cool features it comes loaded with. Disclaimer: I have had zero contact with anyone from GIMP, nor am I being compensated in any way to talk about it. I just think it's really cool.)
Anyhoo, although Blogger has made the attempt to bump up its features, it still apparently does not allow you to upload PDF files. Weird, right? No worries, friends 'n' neighbors, Uncle Heywood found a workaround. You can go here to download your very own copy of this fine retrospective of the year that just transpired. Wasn't it just terrific? Yes it was, and you can relive it right now, by electronically thumbing through a couple dozen posts handpicked by yours truly as best representative of the year, and of my jabbering about it.
Now, I know you're all chomping at the bit to swipe your Visa cards and punch in some phat numbers, you just want to know what I'm demanding for such a hot commodity. I decided to try out the model used by Radiohead for their In Rainbows album from a few years ago -- I'll let you, Tonstant Weader, determine what this hot mess is worth to you. Go ahead and download it, give it a spin, and it's up to you whether it's worth five bucks or five cents. Or nothing at all. There's a PayPal link at the upper right of this page, as well as at the download page.
There are a couple things I do ask of you, and they are free, and will take only a modest amount of your sweet time: One is that, whether you love it, hate it, or couldn't give two lonesome shits about it, you drop by and share some feedback in the comments thread. (Or email me your comments or suggestions; I do actually check the GMail account pretty regularly these days, and I will respond.) Love one of the selected posts? Awesome. Hate the cover art? That's fine too.
The second thing is that you tell a few people (I'm hoping at least two or three for each of you) about it. A comment on a site you frequent, where you think like-minded folks might be interested. That sort of thing. Just spread the word here and there in your daily rounds. It's not that I don't want your money, but right now I'd like to see how much interest can be generated. If that E.L. Fudge broad can turn Twilight fanfic into a kajillionty-pound cottage e-income, this should hopefully generate a ripple somewhere.
Just to be clear about what this book is, it's a compendium of posts from this glorious year. There is some new material, in the form of an introduction, as well as introductory material for each post. Collectively, I think (and hope) that it stands as a representative sample of what this blog has attempted to cover, and what hopefully makes it a bit different from other blogs. I dunno, you tell me.
Couple of final points:
- This project is what I would term a "first-final" draft, meaning that there may be a few minor, cosmetic changes forthcoming over the next week or so. Again, due to the self-imposed deadline, and the fact that I am something of a control freak on creative projects, I may revise the cover art a bit, reformat the main text slightly, create a back cover page, screw around with headers or footers, things like that. But the content itself is absolutely final as is right now, set in stone, will not be changed unless I spot a typo (after reviewing the whole thing at least five times in the past two weeks).
- I want to apologize in advance to any of my fellow bloggers, because while I will try to keep it to a bare minimum, I may occasionally barge into their open threads and pimp this thing. Again, my goal here is pure notoriety; I want as many people as possible to check it out -- and if they've never been here before and don't know what to expect, so much the better.
So that's about it for now. Please check it out, grab a copy, give me your feedback, tell at least a few other people about it. I have some more thoughts and concepts about self-publishing, which I plan to discuss in one or several upcoming posts, but this is a start.