Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!


What?  You didn't know that santa has robots?  How else would he keep up?  Those elves can't work 24/7 you know.

And for those wondering, yes santa forgot to dye his eyebrows back to white after he went out incognito earlier to check out the latest gift trends.  You know he can't just appear in a store normally, everyone will come wanting to sit on his lap. ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nano 2014: Success

Nano this year was a success (the writers challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month).  While I didn't end up with the word count I aimed for (time travel stories take a lot of research which really slowed me down), I did make over the 50,000 requirement and I do have a novel that will be released in the near future.  I can't give a exact time table but within the next year to be sure.  And I am currently working on editing the first draft (among other projects).

In other news, and what has slowed me down considerably as of late: Insurance.  As most of you in the USA know our health care system has been turned up side down.  While the Affordable Care Act was suppose to make things better, so far I only see it making everything 1,000X worse.  I for one had a insurance policy that worked well for me, and I have had it for years.  At the end of last year I was informed that everything was fine.  Then about August I get notification that due to ACA, my policy has been canceled and I would need to find something else that qualifies under what the ACA defines you must have.  And of course if you don't, then the government slaps you with a large fine.

While the ACA created a online health insurance marketplace, which is fine in theory, bad in practice.  At least in the current implementation.  There are many cases where you find a policy you like, then call in to find out for some reason or another it is not available to you.  Even though the marketplace says it is.  So for what was intented to be a one-stop-shop, rarely is.

Then add on the convulted requirements ACA gives (and not many fully seem to understand even after it has been in place for a year), the confusing aspects of the insurnace policys themselves making it difficult to know if the local doctor you have is in the network or will be more expensive be he/she is not.

And to add final insult to injury, anything you find now, will likely change in a year or less.  The whole system moves around more than a piece of lint in a hurricane.  What is fine now, likely won't be next year.  So much for making it "easier".

Gone are the days where you spent some time finding the policy that met your needs and stuck with it unless something in your life changed requiring you increase your coverage (illness, marriage etc).  Oh how I want those days back.  Now one needs to be a insurance expert to pick out the proper plan, which is almost impossible, and will likely change in a few months to a year since the law is so fluidic at the moment (and will likely continue to be).  The one good thing is that the law allows for cancellations or other such problems.  And in that case you are able to switch without penalty, either into a state funded plan or a private one should you choose.  Personally I find the state basted plans are far more expensive than the private ones, which they promised the opposite would be true.  Just another case of government doesn't make things better, only more complex and expensive.

They say writing is hard work, but I would rather do two novels in a month than go though this insurance fiasco again.  But I already know I will have to face it again come this time next year.

When not being driven crazy by insurance, Don DeBon is busy writing and is the author of Italian Fever, Red Warp, and Soulmates.  Currently available on  Nook, iBook, Kindle, Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd, and Kobo.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Yes I know it has been far far too long to post something here.  Where I have I been you ask?  Mostly reediting my older books and working on new ones.  While I didn't find any major problems with my previous books, I did spot a few grammatical errors that somehow missed the several rounds of original editing.  Nothing is being changed in regard to plot, characters, or otherwise.  They are the same stories you know and love, just more grammatically polished.

I have been working on these for the past few months and I expected to have them done LONG before now.  Hence the reason I haven't posted here.  I thought "Oh I will have this done next week, I will wait till then until I post."  And that kept happening one week after another.  It is nothing new for authors, but it is new to me.  My normal day-to-day life has been hectic the past few months as well stealing time I would otherwise use on my writing.  But I am pleased to finally announce my progress.

The first of the reddited books is Red Warp, and Italian Fever should be out soon.  Red warp also has a new cover.

It is very close to the original but I think it gives more of a feeling of what the warp really is.  The rerelease is now available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Scribbed, Oyster, and Smashwords.

On top of all of this, I am working on updates for this site, and doing NANOWRIMO.  So yes I have been a bit busy, but still that is no excuse for leaving everyone in the void as to what has been going on.  Rest assured, I have not abandoned you.  I am still writing and will continue.  And I will post more so you know a bit of what is going on.  Right now I should have a new book out 2nd quarter 2015 and will be posting more about that in the future so stay tuned.

And finally Soulmates should be out in print soon as well.  I started using Createspace, but I ran into quality control issues with regard to my cover.  Now I am not saying that Createspace is not a good printer, because they are.  It is just that their system is lacking in a couple of areas with regard to the virtual store image can give a wrong impression of some book's actual cover.  In a future post I will go into detail on my experiences.  Right now I am working with Lightning Source and so far I am not having the previous issue.  I will let everyone know when it is available.

Whew as you can see, I may have been silent here, but still very busy.  Again I apologize for the lack of communication, and I will do better from this point on.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Amazon Vs Hachette

Anyone interested in books has been watching the situation between Amazon and Hachette with great interest.  While the true facts are hard to determine since both sides are accusing, the general situation has been: Amazon wants to discount ebooks from Hachette, and Hachette will not allow it.  A lot of insults have flown back and forth.  Hachette says they are defending authors and cheaper prices will only hurt them.

Amazon says they are looking out for the reader's best interest AND the author by selling more books the royalty check will actually higher.

Who is right?  I am not sure.  I see both sides of the situation very clearly.  And today Amazon sent out a email (which you can read here ) describing the history of the mass-market paperback is akin to their situation, saying that the paperback was a revolution and now the ebook is doing the same thing.  Publishing didn't die then by lower prices, and it won't now.

With the situation of prices and ebooks, I have to agree.  Story telling has been on going since the beginning of time.  That won't stop, the method of distribution may change but stories and the industry will go on.

Amazon says they have given Hachette several offers.  We don't know for certain if said offers were as quoted, but I suspect Hachette also gave offers we don't know about that Amazon rejected.  It will be interesting to see Hachette's response.

Lower prices will likely help in the long run.  I have to agree with Amazon that 14.99 for a ebook is too high considering there are none of the costs that print books have.  But it is Hachette's right to sell them for that and I don't think it was proper of Amazon to pull books or otherwise try to give leverage to its position.  In the end most people will not purchase books at those prices, and Hachette will have to lower them.  Or they will go out of the ebook business, which would be financially unwise.

I also think that having any company too large is bad for consumers in the long run.  Nothing against Amazon, but they are certainly not perfect, and history shows that sooner or later greed comes into the equation harming the consumer.  It may not even happen for many decades, but it will happen at some point.  It is just the way of the world, market competition is the only thing that will keep a company honest in the long term.  And the price of not doing so will harm their business.

Here is a classic example, there is one utility (gas, electric, phone, etc) provider in a certain area.  A customer has a issue, it is filed but the company doesn't really work hard or quickly fixing the issue.  They don't care.  The company isn't evil, they are not trying to cause problems, but they just don't have the motivation to deal with situations quickly.  They figure "we will get to it, and where else are they going to go?"  This is the problem of monopolies.  Then there is the other end of the spectrum where the company does this (and far more) on purpose.  Or raising prices just because they can and "where else are you going to go?"

I am not seeing Amazon as a saviour in this situation, while they are trying to get better deals for their readers, it is not out of their good hearts, it is for their bottom line.  And while it is not bad, one does need to keep this in mind.  They are doing this is to improve their business, not just for the readers or authors.

Hachette is doing the same, but while their reasons are also for their bottom line, charging the same for a product that does not have any of the costs of the traditional format never sits well.  This can only end badly for them if they don't relent soon.

What is the best way out of this situation?  It is simple: Hachette agrees to lower prices, but not just for Amazon ebooks.  If they lowered them across the board then it gives readers what they want: lower prices.  But it does not give Amazon what they (really) want: a deal just for them.  Both companies won't get what they want, however it will end the stalemate.  It will also raise the image of both companies, which to be honest, is suffering greatly.  And sometimes we don't get what we want, but what will work and pull our bacon out of the fire.

I and everyone else will continue to watch the situation unfold, hoping sanity will prevail.

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever, Red Warp, and Soulmates.  Currently available on  Nook, iBook, Kindle, Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd, and Kobo.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Why write Sci-Fi? We are the future.

I have come across several articles arguing which genre of fiction is best.  I think all genres have their place and the arguments are often poorly founded.  However it is my personal belief that Science Fiction is (in general) the best kind of fiction to have written.  Why?  Well it is quite simple.
Do you know how many inventions that are common place today were created because people were inspired by Science Fiction stories they had read?  There are many, and I will give a classic example: the Star Trek Communicator.

Back when Star Trek was broadcast there were no cell phones or anything of the kind.  Manual typewriters were still commonplace and phones were very basic indeed.  The closest thing at the time was a car phone.  It was very expensive, large (hence needing a car to haul it around), and limited in range.  You could not drive very far past the tower before the signal was too weak.  If your car had a problem, unless it was in the city, the phone was useless to call for help.  Of course there were exceptions but this was the general rule.  Also there were not many channels one could use making congestion a problem.  Not to mention if someone was closer to the tower, they could supersede your call.  Similar to having your favorite radio station "swamped out" by a closer one at almost the same frequency.

Now we have cell phones that fit in your pocket, and the power requirements is greatly reduced since the signal does not need to reach as far (there are cell towers every 2 miles in a normal cell network).  Where did the inspiration come from?  If you compare a modern day cell phone to a original Star Trek communicator they look similar.  Although late 1990's models often have more in common looks wise, Dr. Martin Cooper, inventor of the first hand held mobile phone credits Star Trek communicator as being his inspiration for the technology.

However Star Trek was not the first with such a idea.   Arthur C. Clarke in a 1959 essay wrote about the future where everyone will communicate instantly with one another though simple hand held devices.  Sounds like today doesn't it?

In short, many of the Science Fiction dreams of the past became today's reality.  Science Fiction pushes the limits of what we believe is possible, and many times inspires the scientists and inventors that, eventually, make it happen.  This is why I write Science Fiction, although I doubt my stories will ever inspire someone to actually make a new technology possible. 

But then again if you believe, anything is truly possible.

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever, Red Warp, and Soulmates.  Currently available on  Nook, iBook, Kindle, Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd, and Kobo.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Soulmates RELEASED!

I am pleased to announce that my latest book SOULMATES is now available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, Smashwords, and Oyster!  Plans are in-work to bring it to print soon as well.  Stay tuned for updates!

Mechands . . . everyone has one. The metal race built by man to serve our every need. But Aleshia is about to find out they are not the benevolent protectors that she has always been taught. And who is this strange man in her dreams? The man who actually exists and reveals the whole world is not as she thought.

The holo projector building shook as raw power flowed into the dish.  Building exponentially until a large beam shot up out of the center and hit the Mechand ship head on, blasting right through the middle section.  Time seemed to stand still as the beam rapidly increased in size until it was the full size of the building.  The ship hovered helplessly as if speared through the heart.  Then the beam grew in size again into a full conical blast that totally engulfed the ship.  Fire buried from the inside out in a ever expanding plume of destruction until it disintegrated as though it never existed.

"Wow."  Aleshia muttered under her breath. 

The building shook again but this time for a different reason.  The automated voice boomed over the speakers.  "Warning!  This facility will overload in two minutes!  All personnel must evacuate immediately!"

Deven grabbed Aleshia's hand.  "Time to go!" He said pulling her out of the building and towards her car.  The projector dish shook again, which reverberated out to the other buildings.  Signs and porches began to fall off.  Glass windows exploded under the strain. 

Aleshia looked up and saw different cars, large heavy lifting construction vehicles, and cargo haulers ascend into the sky and disappear like fireflies into the night as they engaged their overdrives.  The ground's ever increasing movement made it impossible to run by the time they reached Aleshia's car.

Deven hopped into the drivers seat.  "I'm driving."  But the car refused to power on.

Aleshia pulled him out of the seat.  "No I am! The car is keyed to me, get in!"  She shouted pushing a button that popped the passenger door open as a building fell behind them.

"Okay you don't have to tell me twice!"  He said hopping into the passenger side, while she fired up the engine.  A moment later they were hovering up out of the complex.  "Um I don't mean to be pushy, but can this thing go any faster?"

"It is safer if I let the engine warm up a little before I apply full thrust."

"Look in a few seconds, if we are not away from here, we won't have to worry about anything ever again!"

Aleshia's eyes widened.  "You mean ... wait a sec how big of a blast is that thing going to put out?"

"I don't know, and I don't want to be anywhere around to find out okay?  So PUNCH IT!"

Aleshia hit the overdrive dialing it to maximum.  They were slammed back into their seats with the sudden acceleration as the holo projector reached critical mass.  The large dish shuddered and folded in upon itself, then exploded in an ever growing fireball.  Microseconds later it engulfed the entire complex and continued to expand.  Fire lashed out at them, and melted a tail light before they were out of range.  Red hot lava broke through the surface incinerating anything not already blasted and burnt beyond recognition.  Several large jets of lava shot up over two thousand feet into the sky with the pressure fully released, then came back to earth as large solidified rock.  A new volcano was born.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Barnes & Noble is Shutting Down Their MP3 Audiobook Section

I just ran across this and it is sad to see.  But I have to agree with the article, I doubt many people even knew about it.  I have a Nook and have a lot invested in the platform, yet I never knew they had audio books.  Part of the problem may be it was only though OverDrive, which requires their media console app, and of course that only works on the tablets.  I have the OverDrive app and it is ok, I would prefer something without DRM but that is my only complaint about it.  But again I had no idea B&N sold audio books though OverDrive, and I even have the app installed on my Nook tablet.

I tend to think B&N's biggest problem is lack of proper promotion and advertising.  And when they actually do (such as last years Christmas advertisements) it is not exactly placing their store in the best light.  Most of the people I talked with hated the commercials and I suspect they drove people away from the stores rather than their intended purpose.

I have heard they are planning on a new Nook release, and I hope they finally do their promotions properly.  The platform is a good one and the only complaint I have is the "locking" of the device.  Although Nook HD no longer is and has full Android Market support.  But they should have had the devices more open from the start.  I doubt they would have the current problems if they had.

And for those that have been asking about Soulmates, it should be out in ebook by the end of this month, and print form shortly thereafter.  I know it is way behind schedule, but I am sure you will think it was worth the wait.

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever and Red Warp.  Currently available on Smashwords, Nook , Kindle, Scribd and Kobo.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Soulmates Nears Release!

Some people have been wondering what I have been up to as of late, and here is your answer: my next book!  Soulmates, is progressing well and is basically finished.  I just need to do a final batch of editing on it.  I don't have a exact release date yet, but it should be out in the first quarter of this year.  The cover is done and here is a sneek peek:

Stay tuned!  More to be released soon!

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever and Red Warp.  Currently available on Smashwords, Nook , Kindle, Oyster  and Kobo.