Writing activites update : November 2023
Table of Contents
Some news regarding my writing activities for this month !
Update : I’ve received my ISBN segment, all of my books are being republished with them.
New upcoming books
First of all, I’ve finished the English translation of La dernière expédition (The last expedition). It’s still under review but most of the work has been done.
I’ve also finished the main writing of a third one, its cover illustrates this article. It took quite a lot of iterations on Stable Diffusion to obtain something I like for this BTW.
Entitled “Le patient Daniel” ("The patient Daniel" - not very difficult to translate this one if I may), it’s the story of a man placed in a psychiatric asylum, depressed, claiming he has lived thousand lives and reliving them again following the loss of something dear to him. It’s around 70 pages and 8 chapters long. In fact, this story has been started during mid-October and recently became quite personal to me. The reason will be explained in the preface.
The book has still work to be done on and I’ll put it aside in order to finish another related short story. Since I’m a young writer (well, physically not really, but I won’t consider myself as ‘old’ at 39) I know it’s a challenge to ask people to buy books from an unknown guy like me (and I’m very grateful to the people who did it). So I took the opportunity of an event mentioned in Le patient Daniel to write a very short story (around 20 pages) that will be proposed for free as a preview of my work.
Don’t worry, it won’t be a “hard connection” like the Marvel Cinematic Universe requiring to have seen 30 movies and TV shows to understand what’s going on there.
More platforms to publish
Since I’m still a beginner in the domain of books publication, I’ve recently discovered the platform Draft2Digital. The interest ? They publish in many platforms in one shot including the ones I’m already on (Amazon KDP and Kobo). And the commission is fair to me, 30%, similar to Kobo and Amazon.
Here’s the list :
- Apple Books
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo (including Kobo Plus)
- Smashwords Store
- Baker & Taylor
Linux Explained has already been published there.
So far, I was publishing myself on Amazon KDP and Kobo but now I will be able to reach a larger audience. I’ll still publish the books on Ko-Fi with the free first chapter previews. The previews will remain available on my homepage too.
BTW I’ve discovered how to publish a free book on Amazon KDP : you need to contact the customer service to ask for a price alignment by demonstrating the book is available for free elsewhere. That’s not a very efficient way IMHO but they’re cool and answer very fast. So the free book I intend to publish will be available there for free too.
Regarding the previews, since Kobo rejected them I’ve gave up to publish them elsewhere and they will remain on Ko-Fi and my homepage.
Now I have an hesitation. In complement of Ko-Fi, should I open a Patreon page ? I’m not a big fan of the platform, but I know I could publish on it my books and make them accessible using a membership tiers for people who don’t want to buy them individually. Because so far, on Ko-Fi, I wanted to apply a 100% discount but you cannot set higher that 99.
I’ve ordered my own ISBN segment
After some hesitations, mostly because it does have a cost, I’ve finally order by ISBN segment.
Why is it so important since Amazon and Kobo, and now Draft2Digital, propose them ? First, the books have different ISBN and that’s not something very cool because it’s supposed to be a unique identifier. Second, these ISBN are related to the platforms and I’m not allowed to use them elsewhere (for example : Kobo will refuse to allow me using their ISBN on Amazon KDP). Third, it’s a dependency I don’t want to have.
Ordering ISBN numbers does not cost that much, 36€ for the French organism managing them - the AFNIL - and obtaining a new series of numbers (I’ve ordered 10 so far) is free. You pay only if you ask for a speed-up procedure. The delay is quite long, three weeks, and I should receive them soon hopefully.
In fact, I’m waiting for them so I could republish all of my books using Draft2Digital and my own ISBN segment.
Writing about my experience with Generative AI
During the end of October, I’ve subscribed to the free trial of GitHub Copilot in order to try the Copilot Chat beta, the more advanced version closer to ChatGPT but still development-focused.
It end-up with this little project to test the capabilities of the tool.
But, following the redaction of the feedback I’ve started to write, I’ve had an idea. As I’m using Generative AI-based tool since the beginning of the year, ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, a little bit of DeepL Write, and now GitHub Copilot, I thought it would be nice to share my experience regarding them.
So I’m currently writing a series of five articles about that.
So far, the current plan is the following one :
- Part 1 : What is AI and Generative AI ?
- Part 2 : Write a book using Generative AI
- Part 3 : Create images using Generative AI
- Part 4 : Create software using Generative AI
- Part 5 : A conclusion with the observations made during the experience
For each part, I’ll remind which tool is used, how does it works, how do I use it, and what kind of limitations I’ve observed. I’ve sent on Fosstodon a little call for help if I would missed something important to treat.
But there’s something else. I’ve proposed this series of articles to the head of the redaction of a French online IT news site I like, NextINpact. I’m still waiting for their response. But as they’re a small team currently under a new management with all the changes that could imply, I know they have much to do. While I’m waiting for the answer (I know the mail has been acknowledged) I’m continuing the project.
If this opportunity got realized, the articles will be obviously be re-written in French (so far I’m still writing them as articles for this blog, in English) and may be available for the IT journal subscribers. However, they have a policy for paid article that makes them available for free after a period of time (usually one month). And I’m also waiting to know if this work will have to be exclusive for them or if I could publish later here.
I must say it’s a little intimidating to propose a series of article to an IT press website, even if it’s a small redaction they still have a quite large audience. Not as large as the big media-owned French sites, because they’re independent, but that’s still a big population. And very challenging BTW.
So, which me luck.