dianeduane: (New DD Av)

ETA: Offer extended for one more day because the damn conjunctivitis GOT THE OTHER DAMN EYE. More details at the original Tumblr posting here. Also (over there) a link to a horrid, horrid pic of the first eye. Peter, I am so going to get you for this.


I hate being sick generally. (It's all true about [even former] nurses being terrible patients. Even more terrible than doctors, probably.) I've had a cold for the last few days (it's Peter's: I mutated it a bit -- what else would I do with a disease but tinker with it). I've been drinking tea and feeling my lymph nodes and sulking and doing all the things one does at such a time, when they feel their medical knowledge should by rights protect them from the smaller indignities of life.

Around eight last night I started feeling like I had something in my left eye. That there's-an-eyelash-stuck-in-there feeling: you know the one. I had just had some ramen with wasabi in it and I kind of laughed and thought "Right, maybe I got some wasabi up there." Funny.

By about midnight it was becoming plain that wasabi was not the issue. The upper eyelid was swelling.

4 AM I woke up and asked Peter (in his office working, he's the Owl in the Owl Springs Partnership) if he'd wander downstairs and make me a hot pack with a washcloth and a Zip-Loc bag. I was thinking maybe I had an inflamed tear duct or something. Got some relief from the pack, turned over and tried to sleep a bit.

8 AM ... went to take care of things and look in the mirror...

This was definitely nothing to do with wasabi. NOT AT ALL. (sigh)

(Normally the understanding is "Pictures or it didn't happen." Forgive me for not posting something here that would, as Hawkeye once said, "put you right off your french fried lobster." Peter took one look at me and said (torn between awe and pity, since when I look awful I look really awful), "I don't think I want to go to the pub with you tonight. The neighbors might think I punched you.") ...So what have we got? Sudden-onset eye irritation, swollen upper or lower lid (both in this case, we do nothing by halves around here), incredibly bloodshot sclera, at the same time as a cold? Snap diagnoses: Viral conjunctivitis. OH JOY.

(BTW: What you can't see here is me stopping every five minutes to put a cold pack on my eye, or wipe the constant tearing out of the bad one so I can see to type. I HATE THIS I HATE THIS I HATE THIS SO MUCH.)

So. Measures taken: In-house hygeine alert, as this this is incredibly contagious. I become a pariah in my own home. All towels, facecloths, and other impedimenta in contact with me become untouchable. Mild saline solution prepared to cleanse eye. Aspirin taken. Cold packs prepared. Sticky note on monitor says (in large letters easily visible to nearsighted woman without glasses) DO NOT TOUCH YOUR OTHER EYE STUPID, NO NO NO. (ETA: Resistance was Futile.) Husband warned to treat me like a walking case of Ebola (because, though he is a mirror of all virtues and a wonderful person, he is also, if at all possible, even worse as a patient than I am.) (But oh God, no cuddling, no, argh, no anything really until I cease to be infectious. This sucks unusually hard. DAMN YOU ADENOVIRUSES!)

And: to cheer me up, because I could really use it: I hereby declare a sale at the Ebooks Direct store. 50% off everything, today only. Use the discount code BUMEYE. Go on in and get yourself a 3-book set of the Young Wizards New Millennium editions or the full original-YW-series 9-book set or a copy of CSI Alfheim or some fairy tales or something. Do.

If you saw this pitiable rant on Twitter, please do RT it if you can see your way clear. (OUCH, inadvertent optical pun, sorry.) If you saw it on Tumblr, reblog it if you like, it'll be much appreciated. (OW OW OW this damn eye cold pack again). Knock yourselves out. I'm going to sit here with this squishy plastic dishtowel-wrapped thing against my face making me functionally useless, and practice cursing in Rihannsu or something.

...End of strop. Thank you for your continued support.  :)

(Dammit, what's the point in being sick in such a way that you can't even lie in bed and watch Sherlock DVDs successfully? Gaaaaah. ...And this cold pack's not even cold any more. What, did somebody leave entropy running again? Feck.)

dianeduane: (Default)
You missed.
"You missed."

And right there you can see why.

That's Mr. Goodman. He's the last of  our cats. All his previous companions have departed our household over the last few years due either to old age (Mr. Squeak was eighteen when his body simply wore out) or an increasingly frequent and profoundly upsetting new form of attrition: roadkill.

The little country road which was very quiet when we moved here -- it'd be an event if a car passed more than once an hour -- has become busier and busier over the last few years. Our house is badly placed in that we're just past a sharp curve which forces drivers to slow down... and after that, they then (in the all-too-familiar manner of frustrated Irish drivers in the countryside) immediately hit the gas again.  They don't much care what's in front of them when they speed up, it seems.

Bubble, Beemer, and little Pip were all lost to us this way. In all cases it was mercifully instantaneous... not that this was much consolation. They had all been raised as outdoor countryside cats:  keeping them in was never a realostic option. They lived happy lives until those lives stopped. Now only Goodman's left, and he's sad, because until now he's never been alone in his life. We've been holding off on dealing with this while we started working out how to handle the problem, since we really don't want to lose any more cats the way Beems, Bubs and Pipkin went. 

Now, though, it's time to get Mr. G.  some friends, and we have a request in at the best of our local rural vets for a pair of female littermates, eight weeks old. But these guys are going to be actively dissuaded from going out in the road. We're going to be installing in-the-ground pet security fencing, the kind that keeps the pet from crossing it. Goodman won't mind this, as he doesn't roam much at his age (he's thirteen and was neutered early) and the kittens won't mind either; our yard's a good size inside the fencing, and they'll have plenty of room to do the usual crazy kitten things. (And ideally they'll run Goodman ragged, which he'll enjoy. Even at thirteen he has a lot of fun in him: when he gets the wind up his tail, his "handbrake turns" on the tile at the bottom of the stairs are something to see.)

Last week we ran a sale at our Ebooks Direct store to help defray the costs of the fencing (which are fairly hefty). Since we're not quite where we need to be on this as yet, I've asked our store manager to rev up the discount codes and start the sale going again. We're deepening the discount a little, too: until further notice, everybody can have 60% off anything in the store. The discount code is JUNEJULY -- if you need info on how to use the discounts at our shop, it's here.

All the ebooks in our catalog are included -- you can browse the catalog here to see what we have to offer. Newest in the store are the Peter Morwood "Horse Lord" prequels Greylady and Widowmaker, and DD's new ebooks Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South and Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: The Author's Cut; and of course we also feature (and are discounting) the 9-volume Young Wizards International Edition complete sets.

All you have to do to obtain the discount is use the discount code / coupon code JUNEJULY during the checkout process. As mentioned above, instructions about how and when to put the code in are here.

If you feel inclined to pass news about the sale on to others by Tweeting or retweeting, blogging, reblogging (from Tumblr), sharing (on Google + or Facebook), or whatever, that would be very kind of you, and Peter and I and Goodman will all thank you very much indeed.  (But you knew that.)   :)


dianeduane: (Default)
We're doing 60% off everything, again... but this time for a reason. (Because guess which birthday is coming up on Friday!)

Details are here.   Enjoy, all!
dianeduane: (Default)

For no particular reason whatsoever, we're doing a quickie sale on March 26 / 27.

From now until 23:59 Hawaiian time on March 27th, everything in the store will be 60% off. 

All the ebooks in our catalog are included -- you can browse the catalog here to see what we have to offer. Newest in the store are the Peter Morwood "Horse Lord" prequels Greylady and Widowmaker, and my new ebooks Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South and Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: The Author's Cut; and of course we also feature the 9-volume Young Wizards International Edition complete sets.

 All you have to do to obtain the discount is use the discount code / coupon code FLASHSALE during the checkout process. (Instructions about how and when to put the code in are here.)

 Thanks for visiting!

dianeduane: (Default)

Absolutely no reason for it, but just for today, October 10th: 50% off everything at the Ebooks Direct Store with the discount code NOREASON. Pass it on.  :)

dianeduane: (Default)
(EDITED [29 Sep] TO ADD: Got some sorrowful emails from folks this morning saying “HEY I WOULD HAVE HELPED YOU BUY YOUR CHAIR IF I’D HEARD ABOUT THIS IN TIME…” So, okay, we’ve extended the 50%-off offer for another 12 hours. But that’s it.  :) Those of you who were sorry you missed out, go on and get yourself something, and then I can get not only the chair but, let’s say, a nice throw to go over the chair… (which the cat will probably shred. Well, better the throw than the chair…) Thanks again, everybody!)

I have this recliner chair in which I curl up and do a lot of my writing. Well, I had this recliner chair.

Last night I sat down in it and something went SPROING in the base, and it nearly chucked me onto the floor. It is now officially very, very busted: it wobbles and rolls like some kind of bargain-basement thrill ride. The only one who can sit in it now is the cat, and even he gets wobbled around when he jumps up on it. (You should see his face.)

The sooner I can replace this thing, the happier it’s going to make me. So for one day only, we’re offering all comers a 50% discount off everything at the Ebooks Direct store: the Uptown Local anthology, the Young Wizards International edition singles and 9-book bundles, even Peter’s “Tales of Old Russia” series. All you need to do to get the discount is use the coupon code BUSTEDCHAIR at checkout.

We’ve never done a discount offer this deep before, but our web lady Lee said “Well, if you really want to replace the chair when you go out to
do the shopping on Friday, better do something drastic!” So here it is: a day’s worth of drastic. :) If you’ve passed through the store before and thought “Maybe later”, knock 50% off what you saw and see if the result might now be “Today’s the day!”

So the clock starts ticking… now! (And to those of you who’ll be taking advantage of the offer: thanks in advance!)
dianeduane: (Default)
Kobo logo

After the posting that went up yesterday on the unavailability of digital versions of the Young Wizards books in Canada, we had a really interesting response in the comments…

 Hi there,

When we saw this blog post we contacted HMH directly to inquire about where Canadian rights for the Young Wizards series stand. They confirmed that the titles do have Canadian rights, so as of a few hours ago they've been available to readers in Canada: (use this link.)

Nathan Maharaj
Manager, Merchandising

You folks are stars.  Thank you, Nathan! We’ll update all the web pages at YoungWizards.com and DianeDuane.com to reflect this.

I also note this response to Nathan from”Jc”:

And are the errors fixed?

I’d say it’s a fair bet that they won’t be, and indeed can’t be, considering that the distributors of ebooks — like Kobo and Smashwords and B&N and Amazon —  are specifically enjoined by the publishers against changing the content of ebooks. Errors or other production issues in an ebook have to be addressed by the publisher in question itself.

Seriously — and it seems I have to keep saying this, since there are a surprising number of people who’ve been writing me in a “tone of voice” that suggests they expect me to fix these problems personally — my influence in these matters is minimal. Maybe that’s annoying, but it’s the way things are. While I personally supervise the quality of ebooks that come out of Badfort Press and Errantry Press, I have no direct quality control over ebooks produced inside Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. As consumers, if you find that the presentation of the product you’re being sold falls below your expectations of quality, you need to be contacting the publisher yourselves and making your opinions known. If enough people do this, there’s a chance of something happening.

Anyway, congratulations to Kobo! I didn’t even know you folks existed until very recently. I’m impressed by your proactiveness.  :)  Canadian YW fans, if you would check the Kobo link above and make sure that it produces results for you, I’d appreciate it.

Secondary to the above: 

ETA:   The excellent Nathan Maharaj has provided us with a complete set of links to the ePub editions of the YW series now available at KoboBooks.com. These are available to Canadian .ePub readers:

So You Want To Be A Wizard (eISBN 9780547545110) 
Deep Wizardry (eISBN 9780547538662)
High Wizardry (eISBN 9780547540306)
A Wizard Abroad (eISBN 9780547546797)
The Wizard's Dilemma (eISBN 9780547546827) 
A Wizard Alone (eISBN 9780547546803)
Wizard's Holiday (eISBN  9780547546834) 
Wizards at War (eISBN  9780547546810)
A Wizard of Mars (eISBN 9780547487953)

dianeduane: (Default)
Work in progress (ain't it always)

I just want to direct everybody's attention to Chris Meadows' article here, which is brilliantly expressive of some of the problems I've been noticing a lot more acutely of late from early sorties into the production end of ebook management.

Some of you will have noticed that I've been overseeing a project whose time (I think) has come -- international editions of the Young Wizards novels. The YW books' North American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, only holds publishing rights for the US and its possessions, Canada and (for whatever reason) the Philippines. When UK YW fans (who briefly had print editions in the early 90's) complained to me that they couldn't purchase the books from Amazon in their ebook editions, I checked with my agent's contract lady to make sure that self-published ebooks would be kosher, and then started to see what I needed to do about it.

It's been an interesting journey. My first stab at ebooking happened over at Smashwords (where the Door Into... / Middle Kingdoms books are available). They make the induction into the process as easy as it can be made, I think, explaining the basic issues of how and why a document file (or previously typeset document) must be stripped for ebook formats. And I have no complaints about their distribution of the Door books, particularly into Barnes & Noble: for the past few quarters they've been doing pretty nicely.

But with the YW books I was forced into a situation that Smashwords could not be used to solve, due to the territorial restrictions attached to the works. Smashwords has no mechanism to control what territories books are sold into, and to prevent them being sold where you don't want them to be. Amazon and B&N, obviously, do. I investigated all kinds of other possibilities that would enable me to run around this particular problem... but even the best of them (the DianeDuane.com site's present implementation of Zen Cart) was imperfect. Finally I realized that whether I liked it or not, if I was to reach an audience of any size (LIKE SOME OF THE REST OF THE PLANET, shrieks the Auctorial Subconscious in ill-concealed irony) with the YW novels without violating my contracts with HMH, I was going to have to take up the cudgels of bottom-to-top ebook production.


Read more... )

May 2017

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