12 October 2011

Writings, LinkedIn, and Amazon Kindle

I promise I HAVE been writing vigorously. It's just been taking a while as I'm also between careers and looking for a full-time job. My current project is Peter's origin story tentatively titled "Run" (though I am planning another short story for late October/early November). So far I have a chapter written, with four more to go. This will be a novella and sell for $1.50 on the site. Just for your reading pleasure here's an extract from the first draft:

“How much do you have for a ship?”
Alfred Zwinger stared at the ragged pup in front of him.
The young man had the trademark white-blond hair of Sternvolk that lived the majority of their lives on the community ships of the fleet. His skin was pale from a life of exposure to only artificial lights.
It was the man’s eyes that sent a shiver down Alfred Zwinger’s back. They were as cold as the ice on Titan.
They were predator’s eyes.
Now they were locked onto Alfred, studying him.
“I have five hundred thousand marks with which to purchase a ship,” the young man said.
Alfred shook his head. “Can’t buy much for five hundred.”
“I’m not looking for a yacht. I just need a ship that works.”
“Not many ships for that price, period.”
“Don’t feed me that crap. I know that the Community Fleet took four pirate ships within the last two standard weeks, and that at least two of the Community Fleet picket vessels are on your payroll. You probably paid the crews half what those ships were actually worth.”
The kid was informed, Alfred had to give him that.
“What makes you think I want to sell any of my vessels to you?” Alfred asked.
“Because I have money in the bank, which is money in your pocket. You don’t have to worry about finding me if I don’t pay. Less risk.”
He had a point.
“You can verify your funds?”
The man proffered his new-model data pad. His account information was displayed on the screen.
Sure enough, there was five hundred thousand marks.
“You didn’t kill anyone for this money, did you?”
“Would it matter if I did?”
“Not unless it comes to bite me in the ass.”
“No, I didn’t kill anyone. I earned some of it. Part of it is a loan.”
“So the bank may come looking for you.”
“I’ll worry about the bank. You worry about finding a ship that matches my offer.”
Alfred scratched his chin in thought. It was a good deal.
With a nod Alfred stuck out his hand. “Alright, let’s see what we can do, Herr. . .”
The blond man gave Alfred’s hand a firm shake.
“Drexel. Peter Drexel.”

When I first heard of LinkedIn I thought it was just a mobile phone App. Those of you who know what LinkedIn is are probably balking at that statement. When I discovered the actual site (i r smrt) I found myself in a whole new world, and a whole new platform to market my products.

But LinkedIn is more than that. You can connect with like minded people, find people with certain expertise, and ask questions and receive feedback. For example I posed a question to several of the writer's groups I belong to in order to gather info to improve my website (note: expect changes to the website). It's also a place to find jobs and post your resume to a global network.

If you're a writer like me and you want to get into some of the good LinkedIn writers' groups, I would suggest Writer's Hangout, Science Fction readers, writers, collectors, and artists, LinkEds & writers, Independently Published Author's Marketing Association, and Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, & Writing Professionals. All are excellent sources of knowledge and info full of numerous people with tons of knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing your work.

This is a bit delayed, but I thought I'd bring it up: Amazon now has a whole new line of Kindles. The newest basic Kindle is now $79. This is a great price for such a device and makes it more accessible to more people. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard are $99. Again, cheap and reliable.

I rue this last bit, though, because I purchased my Kindle Keyboard for $139 just months ago. $139 is the price of the Kindle Keyboard with 3G. And finally the Kindle Touch with 3G is $149. Very reasonable prices for eReaders. Such low prices will allow more and more people to purchase them and make reading eBooks more common.

Finally Amazon has debuted it's tablet, the Kindle Fire, set for release November 15th and priced at $199. While there has been debate over whether it will dethrone the iPad as the tablet of choice, there's no doubt that the people at Amazon thought this one through very well. It can play movies and music, and allows users to read digital magazines and books. Amazon advertises thousands of apps and games. Web brousing will be done with the browser Amazon Silk, and Amazon provides free cloud storage for all your Amazon content. And if you're an Amazon Prime Member you'll enjoy unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows.

All the details can be seen HERE.

So what do I think?

Do I think? 

As one wise filosofikal kitteh once filosofikized, "Aifinkso, derefor it iz!"

Anyhoo, I like the Kindle Fire so far. Relatively cheap price compared to the iPad with numerous similar features from a company that (I think) has been reliable with its technological products. Amazon didn't just release this product. They worked years on it to perfect it and make it the right device. Not so companies like HP, whose tablet was dead on arrival, or ASUS who ran out of ASUS Eee Transformers within the first month of release. The only drawback with the Kindle Fire is that it doesn't have 3G capability. That said, though, many people have wireless in their homes or portable 3G/4G wireless hotspots (I have a built-in 3G hotspot in my iPhone), and many businesses have wi-fi in their buildings now.

 Honestly I would have to play with a Kindle Fire to get a real good feel for it, and only time will tell if it's the product everyone is anticipating.

Until next time. . .