My recent reward for watching TV

viggle

I bought my HTC One V for Virgin Mobile from Amazon in December and one of the first apps I installed was Viggle because a friend uses it and posted the advertisement on Facebook.  I’m always looking for ways to get rewarded for doing things, like surveys, blogging, tweeting, installing and playing games and whatever else I can do.  Well, Viggle gives you rewards just for watching TV and doing trivia during your shows.

Since December I have been racking up points.  I had over 63,000 points and I was saving it for a really expensive reward, the Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD.  The problem is, those are 482,500 and 560,000 points and well, let’s just say if it has taken me 6 months to get 63,000 points, I’m sure it will take me a long time to get the Kindle, so I figured I might as well pick a reward of lesser value for now.  I decided to get the Barnes & Noble $25 gift card for 50,000 points.  This is what I bought.

the hunger games trilogy

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins for $24.49.  I waited for a few days after getting my Viggle reward because I wasn’t positive what I wanted.  I can’t recall exactly what made my decide on The Hunger Games, but I suddenly remembered that I wanted to read the books before seeing the movie.

I wanted to buy many ebooks at .99 cents each because then I could buy 25 ebooks, but I think getting this trilogy was better.  It’s not the quantity of the ebooks that matter because chances are I’m not going to have time for all 25 ebooks, and who knows if I will feel like I made a huge mistake because the books aren’t quality writing.  So I’m glad I bought this trilogy rather than a bunch of books I may not like.  Although I’m not positive I will like the hunger games, but I know it is something that I am interested in so I’m sure I will.

I have started reading the first book, but haven’t gotten too far because I just didn’t feel like reading.  I have to be in the mood to be able to really get into it, and I don’t want my lack of interest in reading to make me like or hate a book.  I will wait until I’m ready to start reading it.  I actually have a few other books that I’m halfway through that I would like to finish before starting another story.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that Viggle is a good app and this is proof that you do actually get rewarded for watching TV.

H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set

HT Night

I don’t normally review books or advertise for books unless I really like a book or I know the author personally or on social network websites, but I wanted to type something up for this particular series.

H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set is available for the Kindle and the Nook for only .99 cents as of this posting.  Amazon estimates it at 886 pages and Barnes & Noble doesn’t actually say how many pages it has.  I bought it on my Nook and it actually shows 1921 pages.  What’s interesting, or odd, is that when I turn the page, it will flip about 2 or 3 pages.  I am on page 98 and I hit the button or swipe the screen to flip the page and it will say 100.  I find that unusual behavior for my Nook because sometimes I might be on the same page number for 4 pages.  So my guess is that this author formatted the ebook very strangely to make it show 1921 pages and flip 2 pages at a time.  I formatted mine to be sheet of paper size 8.5 x 11.  This author probably formatted it at 4×6, I’m guessing.

I read some of the reviews on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble and have seen so much negativity towards not just the author, but their writing style.  I agree it’s a bit odd, but everyone has their own writing style and their own skill level, so I am not going to grade this writer because he had the gumption to write a long fiction novel which is more than I can say.  Actually, more than just 1 fiction novel because I see he has many more stories on Amazon.  I do recognize what some of the reviewers are saying though because I see a lot of strange things as well, but I don’t hate it.  I look at it as like one of those B movies that you see from the 60’s and 70’s and even some of the B movies on SyFy like Sharktopus lol.  I don’t mean to sound harsh towards the author, but that’s what it’s like to me.

I haven’t read the entire series, but I’m sure it won’t take very long to read.  It says in the title that it is 8 books, but when you are in the ebook you only see 4 titles.  In the contents you see that it is sectioned into 8 parts. I click Go to > Chapter > eBookVersion1_split_1 (that is actually how it shows up on the contents), it goes right to page 256 which is the 2nd page of chapter 32 of the first book.  I don’t get why this author didn’t format the ebook chapters properly.  It is split up into 8 sections, but there are actually only 4 ebooks in there.  That’s rather misleading.

Here is a picture of my Nook showing the cover page with the title that says it is 8 books on the top and saying it’s only “FOUR NOVELS” with each book title under “VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES.”  That is not 8 books, so where are the other 4?  You can’t sell a 8-book box set with only 4 books and call it 8 books and section it off into 8 sections.  People aren’t stupid.

ht night nook

Well, it’s only .99 cents on both the Kindle and the Nook so with all of it’s formatting and misleading title saying it’s 8 books when it’s really only 4, it is still an interesting story and it’s easy to read. I actually don’t (or haven’t yet) seen any flaws in the story or seen any misspellings or any other errors so I’m not listening to the negative reviews about that. The formatting doesn’t really bother me as much as it would seem. Perhaps the 8 books were combined so 2 books are actually 1 book, who knows. I find the writing style easy to read and the book is hard to put down. I said it was like a B movie, but it’s really not that bad. I’d say it’s a higher caliber.

I am updating my status on this series on Goodreads and here they are.  I have to admit that I do like this book.  Although, I have noticed a few errors here and there, but it is still good.

Goodreads Updates:

6/29 – “This isn’t going to take very long to read. It’s actually quite addicting. I love that I can actually understand everything and I don’t need to use the dictionary on my Nook lol.”

7/2 – “I just finished the first book Moon Dance and I absolutely loved it. It was so easy to read and very difficult to put down. Now I am about to start the 2nd of 4 books in this “8” book series (LOL) called Vampire Moon. (25% done)”

Reading My Book On An iPhone/iPod

Want to read my new book “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!” but don’t have a Nook or a Kindle but have an iPhone or an iPod?  Not to worry, that is why I published my book with RainboweBooks.com.

You actually don’t have to have a Kindle to be able to buy Amazon ebooks, or a Nook to buy Barnes & Noble ebooks.  You can download the app for your phone and create an account and start buying ebooks.  That way if you decide later that you want to buy a Nook or a Kindle, you already have an account and books in your library.  But if that is not what you want then you can also use iBooks from the app store.

What you do is simply download iBooks from the app store and install it.  Now go to RainboweBooks.com on your computer and buy my book.  Now download it in .epub format.  Open iTunes and drag the file from your computer into iTunes and a new item will show up called Books.  Plug your iPhone or iPod into your computer via the USB cable.  When iTunes finds your device, simply drag the book file to the device and it will upload it.  Disconnect from the USB and open the iBooks app and viola it’s in your bookshelf.  Open, read and enjoy.

You may notice that the book is going to be well over 1000 pages, but that is because it only shows one or two paragraphs.  The book is actually only 296 pages in e-book format but the iPhone/iPod cannot show the full page and if it did you would need a microscope to read it.

So there are your simple instructions.  I hope you enjoy my book on your Apple product.

Publishing My Book

The time has finally come for me to announce that my book is FINALLY FINISHED!

Seven months of hard work has finally paid off.  Not only have I learned how to write, but I have also learned how to grammar… wait no that’s bad grammar!  But seriously, my grammar has greatly improved, compared to when I started writing anyway.

The only thing that is preventing me from publishing my book now is an author picture.  I don’t want to publish it until I can get dressed up in my gay uniform, that being my “Legalize Gay” t-shirt that I got from the Human Rights Campaign from when I volunteered with them a few months ago at the gay pride here in Bakersfield.  Although I am not set on that shirt as being the only thing in the photo, I may bring a dress shirt.  Who knows, I may combine them and wear the dress shirt unbuttoned on top of the Legalize Gay shirt.  We’ll see.

I was going to use my own domain xanapus.com as the hub, but decided to buy a new domain name www.diaryofagaynerd.com with links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rainbow eBooks, GetGlue, Facebook, Twitter and here.  Of course I’m paying every month for 1 single html page lol.  That doesn’t seem fair since I have a lot of space over here, but whatever.

Oh I mentioned GetGlue, yeah I haven’t really talked to them yet but I sent a tweet to one of the GetGlue people that I know.  I want to offer a sticker for my readers.  I already have the sticker made, I just need to give them the file so they can give it to people when they check-in.  Although I don’t know if a lot of writers offer stickers for books, maybe I’m the first.  Wouldn’t that be awesome if I were?  How cool would that be?  I’m a GetGlue pioneer LMAO.

So I will just focus my energy now on getting that picture so I can publish it.  Hopefully tomorrow, but no promises.

I do have future plans for another book, actually a series of fictional stories about my character Xanapus from the game EverQuest.  Of course I won’t be able to write about Norrath, I will have to make up my own fantasy world.  That will just make it more fun to write if I make things up as I go.  I will probably start the first story with a short story to make sure I know how to write fiction, of course I will be taking a course on writing fiction first.  It was one thing to write an autobiography because I didn’t have to make anything up, a story based on one single character living in a world that doesn’t exist yet is going to be the difficult part.  If I can write a short story with one little tiny quest, then we will see if I have what it takes to write a 200-300 page novel, 8 of them in total to be exact.  Yes, I am aiming high lol.  Don’t hold your breath…

Until tomorrow when I have more news about the book that I already wrote…

My book is almost ready to publish, only one tiny issue left…

My book files came back to me a couple of days ago (two beta readers as I like to call them) with highlights of things for me to fix.  I have read my book at least 30 times and I was just getting so sick of reading it and they wanted to read it so I figured they could read it early, but I’d love to have bug reports.

So I went through the highlights which weren’t all that major.  I missed a few capitalizations and punctuation issues.  There were also a few words where I forgot to add a letter, like instead of writing the word “from” I wrote “for”, don’t ask why lol.

As I was getting the paper book put together with all of my corrections made, I noticed a little issue which turned out to be a major issue.  There were grey boxes where spaces were supposed to go.  It wasn’t everywhere, but it was annoying that there were so many.  I was able to delete them as I went, but that didn’t help because it was still messed up.

The paper book got put together and turned in to check for errors, which I’m happy to report weren’t any.  I converted the .odt file to epub and was going to publish to Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  It looked great on the Nook, but the Kindle wasn’t doing so good.  Here is what I was seeing…

You see the top paragraph?  It’s not exactly a paragraph is it?  That was what happened because of the square boxes.  Also look at the other paragraphs, they weren’t indented, except for the last one.  I went into Sigil to look at the html code of the chapters and this is what I saw.

That is supposed to be a little paragraph.  Those <.span.> things were out of control.  That is what was causing the text to move down.  So the only way for this to work is to cut all that crap out.  I tried to do find and replace, but unfortunately each one of those lines has its own number so it’s not like I can replace all of them throughout the entire document, they have to be deleted one at a time.  ANNOYING!

I worked for 8 hours to get rid of them and then discovered that if I converted the file to .html, it got rid of all that.  So that was a waste of time, but it was a learning experience.

I fixed all of the capitalization and punctuation issues, but I have a feeling I am still missing something so I’m going to have to read the whole thing again.  It sucks but I don’t want to publish a book that isn’t right.

I said I would get it published by January 1st and here we are nearing February and it still isn’t ready to publish.  I don’t know how long it will take but I will get it out there eventually.

Publishing My Book

I spent this summer writing my life story into a 289 page e-book.  It took a lot of time to write and it has taken even longer to edit because I am not what most would consider to be a writer.  I barely manage writing a blog, I have a difficult enough time thinking of what to write in a greeting card.

I have already copyrighted (pending) my book (title and unedited contents) so that when I am ready to publish it, I won’t have to worry about waiting for the copyright to kick in.

I have already signed up with Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a self publisher, which was so easy that anyone can do it.  I also wanted to sign up on the Rainbow Ebook website as a self publisher because I want to support them as an e-book store.  It’s nice to give back to my community in any way that I can.

As soon as it is completely edited, I will publish it and start advertising and promoting via here, twitter, Facebook, my space and anywhere else that I can advertise it for free.  I may even pay gay and gay friendly bloggers to advertise it for me.

I am not looking to get rich on this book, in fact I mean to do the opposite.  I can only make so much money per year on top of my disability so I can’t get rich off of it.  I am only going to sell it for $6.99 so that I only profit a few dollars from the sale of each book and 10% of those profits will go to charity.  10% from Amazon, B&N and Rainbow Ebooks combined will be split up to go to the Human Rights Campaign, ChildHelp.org and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors fund.

My book will hopefully raise awareness to so many issues in our society about the way children are being raised to be as abusive, racist and bigoted as the parents who are raising them.  I feel it’s important not just to tell my story about the trauma I went through, but hope that it will help parents to change their hateful ways and views and know what they are doing to their children when they raise them full of so much hatred.

I wanted to be able to publish it before Christmas but then I got to thinking that it’s not the kind of thing you want to read during a happy time of year.  Instead, I will probably publish it after Christmas or maybe after New Years.  Keep in mind that it is still being edited so it is possible that I won’t have it ready to publish until January.

So until then…

Update: I signed up for the free trial of Grammarly and was shocked to see that they raised the price from $20 to $70.  I thought that I would just go ahead and do the trial and get it done as quick as I could but it was catching too many errors that weren’t even errors.  So screw that, if my grammar checker in Open Office doesn’t show me those errors then they aren’t errors in my opinion.  I will read it one more time and fix any errors I think need to be fixed and then publish it when my copyright goes through or January like I said before.

I Finished Writing My Book

I am happy to report that I finally finished writing my book.  I have edited the hell out of it about 20 or 30 times but it’s finally done.

I sent the file to 2 friends to proof read and send me bug reports if you will lol.  Basically, they are beta testing my book for the lack of a better term lol.

The book in doc format is only 181 pages but in epub format it is 289 pages.  I don’t know why there is a huge difference but there you have it.

I have learned a boatload of stuff about myself while writing this autobiography.  For example, I remembered things that I had blocked because they were too painful.  I don’t know how I remembered them but I’m glad I did.

The timeline of some memories were wrong in my head and it took writing it for me to remember when everything happened.

Well, I am just exhausted from writing.  My eyes are killing me from staring into a white screen for 6 to 8 hours a day.  I can’t even imagine this being my regular job.  I mean blogging is my job but I’m not doing it for 6 to 8 hours non stop day after day.  Some weeks I’m lucky if I have 2 posts written.

To celebrate my victory today I decided to play Lord of the Rings Online.  I finally did an epic quest so I can check that off of the list of things I have to do in the game.

The book won’t be published until my beta testers have read through the whole thing and given me their input.  When they do then I will have to read it one or two more times before I send it out just to make sure it’s right.  Who knows, I may even have more editing lol.

I’m pretty sure that it is finished so I do plan on getting it copyrighted this or next week so that I can sell it through Amazon and Barnes & Noble as ebooks.  If they sell enough copies then I will have it printed for those who don’t have a Kindle or a Nook.

Wish me luck!