I’ve gotten several comments, emails, and messages asking the same few things. Rather than answer them one at a time, I’m going to do a brute-force info dump.
//BEGIN INFO DUMP:
1. The e-reader version of my book has been updated.
Originally, footnotes didn’t work. And if you’ve read the original series, you know there are a lot of footnotes. On my testing platform, the footnotes worked as expected: You’d tap on the number and get a text pop-up, which you could then dismiss with a second tap. Footnotes were also provided on a per-chapter basis, so if the tap functionality didn’t work on your device you wouldn’t have to go very far to find it manually. But this functionality was stripped away after I uploaded, meaning there was no good way to access a footnote. All of the footnotes were in one giant list at the very end of the book. So to read a note you had to jump all the way to the very end of the book, hunt around manually for your footnote, then somehow find your way back to where you left off.
At least in a physical book you can stick a finger in the book to keep your page. Amazon’s digital book was somehow less convenient than a physical copy. Absurd!
This time I uploaded an EPUB file. According to the tests I’ve run (thanks to those of you who helped test) it should be working more or less as intended. I don’t know how Amazon devices handle updates or if you need to do anything special on your end to get the new version.
2. The DRM-free version of my book is coming.
Technically, I don’t use any DRM on my book at any point in the process. But I assume Amazon adds their own stuff to the book after I upload. In any case, lots of people are interested in getting a copy of the book away from Amazon’s ecosystem.
It’s on the to-do list. I don’t have a time estimate. My first priority is fixing the Amazon copy, since those folks have already purchased the book and I ought to get it working nicely for them before I go chasing new customers with new formats.
3. I’m playing through Prey 2017 again.
This game is amazing. I think I’m enjoying it more now than I did back in 2017. If all goes well, this ought to be my next retrospective.
4. It doesn’t matter which version of the book you buy.
Some people want to know if I make more from the e-book or print version of Mess Effect. As it turns out, it depends on region. In general, I make about one or two dollars more on the print version. Although, some regions I might make less and occasionally actually make nothing for one or the other. (Expanded distro networks where Amazon essentially sells the book to a company that sells the book. It’s weird. I could opt out of those regions, but sales will be in the single digits so who cares?)
The Amazon backend is MADNESS, and there’s a ton of stuff that makes no damn sense. Like, LOWERING my royalty from 70% to 35% can RAISE my cut by 40 cents. There are so many situational fees and region-specific costs that it’s too complicated to really get a handle on.
So… I probably make a little more from print, but print is almost 5x more expensive for you. So if you’re that worried about making sure I get money, it would be better to buy the e-version and then PayPal me a few extra bucks. I’ll make a little more, and you’ll spend a lot less.
Personally, I’m just happy people are buying the dang thing, regardless of platform.
5. Issac’s Computer is working.
He still has more parts on the way, but he assembled what he’s got and everything seems to work. This is his first truly new computer. Until now, he’s always inherited computers from other people. Which means he’s never known the joy of a nice fresh clean install of Windows, before registry bloat and gigabytes of /User data clutter makes the machine wonky and slow. This is also the first time he’s had to deal with Microsoft’s clingy, creepy, passive-aggressive garbage. He’s never tried to get rid of Cortana or say “no” to Internet Explorer before.
The only problem so far is the Windows license. We figured out how to get the Windows product key from his old machine. This is unreasonably difficult and apparently Microsoft doesn’t like users to know their own key. He attempted to use the key on his new machine and was told – in typical cryptic Microsoft error-message language – that the key was “invalid”. What makes it invalid? Is this a valid key but we’re trying to use it in an improper context, or is the key completely bogus?
Conjecture: The old machine began life as a Windows 7 box, and was then upgraded to Windows 8 and then to Windows 10. So the underlying key was probably a Win7 key? I don’t know how it works and I don’t get the impression that Microsoft is in a hurry to explain it to us.
Whatever. Now he needs to buy a full Win10 Home license. I don’t mind doing that. The operating system is an important part of the computer and I’m not against paying for it if I need to. I just get irritated when the rules are unclear and I’m not sure if I need a license or if I’m just making a mistake in installation / license transfer.
6. This video is off the hook.
Nobody asked about this, but I feel the need to tell you that this ridiculous thing has been stuck in my head for days.
This absurd 80-second song is the result of a real interaction the artist had with a French woman on Instagram.
As of this writing, it has just over 30k views. It should have millions. I feel like this guy is going to blow up any day now like another Marc Rebillet. (He’s already big on Instagram, but his YouTube following is still pretty small.)
To spoil the joke a bit: I’m willing to bet you a baguette that the “I get tired when I translate” is itself a poorly-translated idiom. I doubt the woman was claiming that translating makes her literally tired.
Imagine if a French woman asked me when the DRM-free version of Mess Effect is coming out and I replied with, “Ugh. I’m so sick of that question.” On her end, the auto-translate would probably say something like “This question is giving me the flu.” or something similarly nonsensical. The woman in the song wasn’t claiming that she was literally tired from translating, she was just saying she didn’t want to do it.
Even so, it’s still a really strange interaction. But it led to this ridiculous gem of a song, so who cares?
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