Polite Spam

I logged in after about a week and decided to check on my comments. I had over 70 waiting for me, maybe three-fourths of them supposedly from the same person but all with different starting URLs and email addresses. They were all really nice, full of complements and praise, although also very generic, not always matching my webpage, and clearly written by someone for whom English is a second language. Sadly, my site has apparently been the target of a very polite botnet. I am clearly going to have to add Captcha to my comment fields so that I can differentiate humans from bots trying to praise their way past my defenses.

So if you are an actual human who happened to like my website, said something nice, and then never saw your comment posted, I apologize. You just happened to be overlooked in the flood.

Thank You, Readers!

I just received two more 5 star Amazon reviews today, one for Hell Holes 1: What Lurks Below and one for Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton! I can’t tell you just how much your reviews mean to me. They really make my day, and every one is important to me, getting me just that much closer to the magic number of 50 positive Amazon reviews that are needed to get to where significant book advertisers will consider advertising your book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And remember, everyone who writes an honest review of Hell Holes 1 will receive a coupon code for a free download of Hell Holes 2! And a review of Hell Holes 2 will get you a free download of Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back, just as soon as I finish it. And your reviews definitely incentivize me to keep writing.

Marketing to Libraries

I’m trying something new, marketing my hell hole books to libraries as well as individuals. I’m starting with Alaskan libraries, which seems reasonable given that the books take place in Alaska. I will be interested to see how it turns out. If successful, I plan to branch out to libraries in other states. Ah, the joys of being an indie author and responsible for marketing as well as writing.

Library of Congress

It turns out that you cannot get a Library of Congress Catalog Number for books published by indie authors or an indie author’s publishing company (Magic Wand Press is mine) unless it publishes more than three books by authors other than the owner. Luckily, all is not lost. They have the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) Program, which allows one to get a unique PCN for new books and new editions of existing books that haven’t been published yet. Yesterday, Magic Wand Press was approved as a PCN publisher, and today I applied for PCNs for the next editions of Hell Holes 1 and 2. Once I have the PCNs, I will be able to finish the CIP data blocks and insert them into my copyright pages. Then, once I get set up with a wholesaler, I can finally start selling to libraries. And then, maybe I can finally get back to working on Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back.

Nuclear Bombs – Researching Content for Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back

Writing Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back, which involves taking a nuclear bomb to the Demon home world to destroy the portal complex being used to invade Earth. Spent the last couple of nights researching on the Internet. I have decided on what bomb to use (B61-Mod12), what yield to use (5 kilotons), how to turn it into a man-portable “suitcase” bomb, what the bomb’s pre-flight controller (computer) looks like, and how to modify/reprogram it so that it can work as a timed bomb. Very interesting stuff; it’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. Think I’m probably going to have that part of the book reviewed to ensure I didn’t accidentally include any classified information (just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s not classified). Still, realism rocks when writing apocalyptic science fiction!

Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility

Last week, I had a private tour of the US Army Corp of Engineer’s tunnels through the permafrost just north of Fairbanks, Alaska. I learned some interesting facts that I intend to incorporate into Hell Holes 3: To Hell and Back. For example, before the tour, I did not know that tunnels into the permafrost have a distinctive, very strong, musty smell that is similar to (but different from) dirty gym socks. Similarly, as the ice sublimes (turns directly into water vapor without passing through a liquid phase), the solid matter is released to fall to the floor of the tunnel in the form of an extremely fine brownish gray dust. You can see all sorts of things in the walls of the tunnels including ancient bones, buried tree roots, ice lenses, molds, and even frozen grass that remains green after having been frozen tens of thousands of years. All in all, a very interesting experience.