Being P. H. Campbell

Official announcements, greetings and things going on in my life.
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Phill
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Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Sat May 05, 2012 3:17 pm

This thread will detail some of the things going on in my life. Nothing fancy, of course, but people are curious and I hope your curiosity is satisfied by what you find here. If you don't see anything, then either I haven't gotten around to posting anything, or there are no registered users yet. ;)

Don't expect daily posts. This ain't Facebook. Also, don't expect the details of my life to be all that detailed. I'm more than happy to talk about my books, but my private life is not something I share a lot about with strangers (hence why I don't do Facebook). It's just the way I am. I think of this site as being more about the books than about who wrote them.

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5 May 2012

Post by Phill » Sat May 05, 2012 4:42 pm

So, for today, I spent most of my time getting this forum set up.

For those who don't read author backgrounds, I run an I.T. business and have administered several forums, so I have something of a clue about how to run this one.

It's not common knowledge, but I also do my own cover art. So if you think it's amateurish, you're probably right. I can handle digital art to a degree, but I rely on others to produce "real" art. I don't consider myself an artist in that respect, even if you like what I did. Most of it is just layered from other pictures with some effects added. Only recently have I acquired the programs to create figures that I really want to have - most specifically the SCOUTS series. The first two covers were from found images. The third was from a program called DAZ Studio (A simpler - to me, at least - 3D imaging program than Poser), combining characters I created along with clothing and accessories available for digital artists (at a price).

My book covers are all part of each of the books I publish and it takes a day (or ten) to make them. The backstory of each book will include cover art information - once I get around to it - for those of you out there wondering how I did it (be it good or bad). The nice thing about e-publishing is that I CAN update cover art as well as content at any time with about a one day lag before it "goes live".

This forum is still brand new, so there's a lot of content not in it yet. For those books which are published, links and content are provided. For the rest, well, I'll get back to them. As I publish the books in the unpublished section, they'll go into the published section - along with the posts that you folks have made.

As for what's going on in my life, I'm looking for a new place to live that's more conducive to peace of mind since the neighborhood's REALLY gone downhill over the last couple of years. Packing up and moving is always a pain, but I'll always have Internet (since my business relies on it) to stay connected and being able to make my own schedule helps take away some of the pain of moving.

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Re: Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Almost a year later, I finally get the chance to come back and say a few things about what's gone on. The short answer is "not a lot." Which, I suppose, isn't a bad thing. After all, a Chinese curse is "May you live in interesting times."

Well, to be more honest, actually, a lot has happened. We (My wife, my cat and I) moved into a house on a quiet street where craziness isn't going on 24/7. But as with all blessings, some are better than others. We traded one source of stress for another - a roommate. Interesting dynamics there, but for various reasons, the adjustment period has been somewhat rougher than we had expected. We're all hoping things get better.

My wife finished her bachelors in Business Administration and is working toward a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yes, that means I expect to be needled - literally - in the future. We're discussing combining her new education, with her degree and my business contacts, to start a TCM clinic. To be blunt, I never expected it to amount to much, but after surviving the "cold and flu" season under the influence of Chinese remedies, I'm beginning to be a believer in them.

Overall, I've been focusing on my writing. I'm not conceited enough to believe I'm going to be a Robert Heinlein or an Issac Asimov, but I'm hoping to be able to achieve a decent level of success in that.

This last year, or so, has had its ups and downs, as all years do, but overall, we're in a better place.

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Re: Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:38 pm

On the very off chance that you noticed your posts have disappeared and you can't actually log in again, it's because my counter-spam measures were a touch too simple. I've since replaced them with something a bit more difficult. Hopefully folks can still sign up with it, but I should be getting the more standard "re-captcha" method installed soon.

We got spam-bombed by about 50 bots, which have subsequently been booted, their IP's banned and their accounts and posts deleted.

If you happen to see spam (other than my own, of course. ;) ), send me a PM and I'll take care of it ASAP.

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Re: Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:22 pm

It's the 12th of March and the results of the ABNA contest for the next rounds' winners have been posted. Shockingly, I didn't make it. Ah well, you can still read the book The Empathy Epidemic at my usual Amazon outlet.

But having the need to redeem myself I have taken Scouts: On Leave, the 4th in the Scouts series, and put it out there for my readers. It's NOT yet published (it's in review) but should be by the end of the week - around the 15th or so. That's why it doesn't show up in my currently published books list (if you don't happen to see it there).

The Scouts series is my best-selling books, outselling every other book so far. You can read up on Scouts: On Leave in the unpublished works thread until it's been moved to the Available Books section.

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Re: Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:58 pm

It's been too long since I published a book, so although I have one new one written (the first book of the Sunderland Saga - Arcania), I'm digging into my older works to put out Unicorn Dreams.

It's the exciting story of how unicorns came about. It has sex in it. Some people like that.

As for the rest, Sunderland has my attention now. I plan on having all three books of the first trilogy done mostly because the way the trilogies are written, it's just one, really long book. At least that will be apparent by the second trilogy, which is why I'm disciplining myself to wait until the trilogy is done before putting them out. I want the story to be told (at least the part the trilogy covers) and not leave people hanging quite so much.

The second book right now is more than half way done, but it's tough going. I had hoped to be done by the end of the year. It's POSSIBLE I will be, at least with the writing, but the cover art will be a major pain (I do my own, and my artistic skills are based on what DAZ Studio can do for me), and I still have to edit it, so I'll probably be into February before that trilogy is released at the soonest.

Speaking of editing, if anyone wants to volunteer for a co-credit in editing (or a dedication, or both), in exchange for a free copy of the book (in paperback, signed, once it's published - yes, I'll spring for that), I'm open to offers. You must be detail oriented and possess both excellent grammar skills and pick up those really annoying typos like the wrong word that's spelled correctly. I also need someone who works relatively fast. My goal is to put out books every six months at a minimum, but I shoot for every three.

In addition to the one book in Sunderland, I have two more unreleased, unedited, finished books that I consider worthy of publishing - Full Spectrum and Warrior King. Additionally, the ones I have out are, well, they could still use some professional editing, but that's not "new" and I'm focusing on "new" at the moment. When I'm not working on Sunderland, I'm playing with Booster Cogwheel.

Frankly, if I made enough money at this, I'd hire an editor. But I don't, so I can't and have to beg for favors with the promise of future rewards in a "I knew him when he was an unknown" sort of way. But if I make it big (as in I can actually live off of my writing), I promise at least the going rate at the time for editing services payable as often as the services were used (if they were used every six months, it would be paid every six months). Bonuses if I get really popular.

Any takers? Join up and send me a message, or send me an e-mail at phcampbell.author@gmail.com

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Re: Being P. H. Campbell

Post by Phill » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:10 pm

Wow, talk about a rush...

The Alpha trilogy of the Sunderland Saga is finished, and all three books are posted to Amazon. Considering it's been a thirty some year wait to do this, it was pretty emotional getting them written.

Editing, of course, sucked, because all three books were re-written (sometimes extensively) no less than four times and edited along the way.

Cover art also proved to be somewhat unmanageable. I had envisioned much different things for the three covers than what you'll see. But then it dawned on me that I'll be writing twelve books in total, and a certain consistency (or at least theme) will be needed, even if a lot of things are different from cover to cover. So I compromised, ended up doing something entirely different (and technically simpler) that will stand in good stead for the whole series.

As far as this release goes, I'll be doing more promotion than I've done before. I'll also be releasing more new books this year than recycled material from years ago. The next trilogy will be written, and published, this year.

I've found, based on sales, that single-books don't have any market power these days, and that's understandable. People don't want to get into a world or characters only to have it be a one-off. I've always kind of looked at series work as the lazy way of doing things - using the same, old characters over and over. It's fine for a trilogy or something like that. But I've thought of it as a simplistic way of writing. New characters, new worlds, new ways of looking at life are more personally rewarding for me.

So to balance things out, I'll probably still write one-off books, mostly for fun for me (and perhaps posthumous publication), but I'll mostly be publishing series work from now on.

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A New Hope (Sorry, George Lucas!)

Post by Phill » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:03 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and all the ships at sea, your attention, please.

Having labored long and hard and long (did I mention long?) in what I've come to term as "total anonymity", I've come to the conclusion that I want to write for a living.

Betcha ya didn't see that one coming! /sarcasm

The biggest issue with getting income from writing is being known. Who you know, who knows who, etc. In order to become known, one needs to network. I've found that when I network with other authors sharing circumstances similar to myself, I become depressed and suicidal because all we do is lament about our mutual plight to one another.

That is not conducive to good writing.

So, having finally gotten a belly-full of belly-aching, I'm going to do something unusual. It's called Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a form of crowd-funding, basically begging people for money. It's a quid-pro-quo system in that donors expect something in return for their donation.

My goals are simple: Fund the professional editing of one book, get it professionally reviewed and get it professionally marketed with a mass market and social media campaign.

The donations are in $20.00 or $81.00 amounts, with the $20.00 donation getting a free e-book per the results of the campaign (the details of what they get, when they'll get it and if they need to add extra postage will be in the fine print) and a $81.00 donation gets a personally signed paperback of whatever book is involved.

I have a one book goal for a successful campaign ($4,050.00), and incremental rewards and goals for getting $16,690.00 (to get 7 of them edited, 2 reviewed and me marketed) and $31,772.00 (to get all 14 edited, 4 reviewed and me marketed), and even have a plan in case it goes over $31,772.00 (I can dream big, can't I?).

There's a specific order in which the books will be done (generally based on their popularity) and what happens if the secondary two goals aren't quite met. Everything that comes in is going toward the cost of the rewards, the editing, reviews and marketing.

I'm still working out the licensing costs for the songs I want to use in the video (that's out of pocket, so they can't be much), and confirming the costs and time frames involved in doing this with the editor options I've found (so I can tell people when they can expect their rewards for donations if it's successful), but this is the only way I'm sure to be able to get at least one of my books at least a one-pass professional line edit, review and marketing. I figure, assuming the book doesn't suck, that should be enough for me to fix the rest of that book.

I'm hoping I can do them all, but that's still a bit of a way off. It will only take 50 people donating $81.00 each to reach my goal of $4050.00. It'll take 392 people to reach $31,755.00. I have numbers for the $20.00 donation, but it takes a lot more to reach those goals.

For a 30 day campaign, I don't think those are impossible goals.

Anyhow, this will (hopefully) be ready sometime this month.

With any luck, starting around the beginning of February, I'll have a bit more exposure and more sales of better reading books.

Focusing on this as I am, I'm not doing a lot of other writing. I did put on hold the next books in the Sunderland Saga and have been noodling around with a book that hasn't been mentioned here (actually, a fusion of text from one book and an idea from another). Where it goes, I have no idea, but I'm over 80,000 words into it and still don't know how much more I have to do.

But all that's on hold, too, until I get this Kickstarter thing off the ground. Then I'll be doing some writing until I know whether the Kickstarter campaign was successful and I need new cover art. The first book to be edited, reviewed and promoted will be Arcania, and the cover art for that is strictly e-book format. I'll need paperbook formatted cover art to put it out there for on-demand printing for the donors' reward. That'll take less than a day to do. And if more books get funded for editing - which comes first - then most of them will need cover.

So, Kicksterter is ruling my life, and I haven't put anything on there yet. But if you wonder where the next installment of my Sunderland Saga trilogy series is, this explains what's going on now.

Once Kickstarter is live, I'll be posting links to it.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives.

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How long will it take me to get my book?

Post by Phill » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:45 am

As I mentioned in the FAQ's on my Kickstarter campaign, the book can take between 3 and 18 months (estimated) before it is edited, uploaded, becomes available as a paperback or e-book, shipped to me to sign, then sent on to you. Obviously, e-books won't have any shipping times. But that's a long time to wait and I want you to know why it may take that long.

In traditional publishing, a book can take up to five years to hit the markets. Editing takes up the vast majority of that time. Editing is normally very much a back and forth process between writer and editor. When having a book professionally edited, the writer doesn't just hand an editor the manuscript and expect to get back a finished product ready for the presses. Mistakes in phrasing or word usage have to be fixed, scenes, descriptions or other minor things have to be elaborated on or re-done and several other million details normally dealt with through the editing process have to be addressed. Only with a proof-read edit, in which case they're correcting as they go, do you get back a "finished product".

And that's only if the work doesn't have major issues. I don't THINK my books have any, but I'm a writer, not an editor.

The editor points these little things out and the writer fixes them, feeling their ego deflate with every keystroke.

All of that takes time.

I have 14 books, but fortunately, I'm not trying to traditionally publish them. I'm going the self-publishing route and that benefits my benefactors (that would be you donors), and my readers, because it's a whole lot faster. All I need to do is finalize the editing with the editors on a book, and it will be ready to be sold within 48 hours (It takes up to 48 hours for the book to be reviewed and put out there for sale).

It just might take some time to finish the editing. Each book takes about a month to be initially edited (that is for the mistakes to be found) and then about a week or two to correct them and proofread it again.

My editor is in London, England. I'm in California. That adds to the complicated process of getting things edited.

Fortunately, my books are far from first or rough drafts. Each has been edited three or four times (some have been edited even more than that!). But one person can only do so much and professional editing is pretty much mandatory in order to put out a professional product. Because there's probably less to "fix" in my books than a rough, first or second draft would have, I expect it to take less than a month after I get a book back from the editors to finish the editing. I think I can finalize the editing on 14 books in a year to eighteen months. They only work on one book at a time, so the process would take at LEAST 14 months for all the books, even if there aren't any changes to be made (and there will be).

Once the editing is done for a book, it will be put out there for sale within a day (some formatting changes are needed for physical books versus e-books and that adds a few hours). The bottom line is, when the editing is done, and it's out there on the website, your free, signed book will be on its way to you within a week for a physical book, or within a day with the e-mail message for the e-book.

If you want to know what happens to any "extra" money, see the FAQ's on the Kickstarter page.

I will be updating my status on all of this here as things happen. The marketing campaign will start once all of the books have been edited and the reviews finished.

If you want a "collector's item", for the $100.00 donation, you can select one of the four books I have available now in paperback. If the campaign is successful, I will sign it and send it to you. It won't be professionally edited, and you'd have to buy the second one as a comparison if you want, but you'd have a very unique item that may not remain available for long.

Whether $1.00, or $100.00 or increments thereof, please help make a dream a reality.

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The Kickstarter Campaign Is Live

Post by Phill » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:30 pm

Howdy All!

Well, I started the Kickstarter campaign almost exactly 24 hours ago (as I write this) and it's off to a good, if not breath-taking start. If you're reading this from another site, here's the link to the campaign.

If you're a donor, or even a fan, please post the above link to your social media sites (Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, hell even MySpace and Yahoo - I'm not proud!). If you're NOT a donor or fan, please do the same thing. You may not like my stuff, but that doesn't mean everyone you know doesn't like it either.

I'd offer jackets and cookies, but the rewards I can actually offer differ from those somewhat, depending on the amount donated. You can check it out on the link above (assuming you're not here from the Kickstarter site itself already).

The campaign ends on November 22nd - close to Thanksgiving here in the States. It would be wonderful if I had a lot more to be thankful for than usual.

Thanks in advance - and stay tuned. More to come.

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