New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

Check it out! It works! It works!

Awright! I refuse, absolutely refuse to admit what I forgot to do. Too many irons in the fire is my only excuse and even I’m not buying that. But the download should now work! If it doesn’t…wait ten minutes before telling me. I wanna go take a shower! :D—>J

THE BUTTON ISN”T WORKING YET: WE ARE POSTING RIGHT NOW DON”T CLICK IT yet!!!! Here, my friends, is the first freebie download. It’s a zip of Closed Circle’s first publication, and I need feedback. The request for name and e-mail? We’re puzzled by that too, but that’s the way the downloader wants to work, and we just toss it.  It will  send you an e-mail with the link, then forget the address. It will come from something called your-domain, but that’s us. We’ll fix that later. Now it sends it from ” ” so be sure to prepare your spam filter and declare us to be friendlies, or ‘trusted’, or it will almost certainly stick in your spam filter. The transmission should be instantaneous, so if you don’t find it in the next few seconds, it’s in the spam filter.

I’m already aware of a couple of glitches in the ‘reverse of the title page’ of the epub version, which don’t manifest in the mobi version, plus a duplication of the signature image, and a strange page break on the first of the text. I think I know where they come from, and I’m going to fix it. What I need to know is whether these artifacts are showing up in other types of files: FB2, RTF, LIT, etc. And if you are detecting more glitches further on in the epub files or find any in the Mobi files.

Just unzip the omnifile, pick your file type, and load that file into your reader. Then tell me what you know. I hope you will enjoy the little book.

   The Writing Life: A Writer’s Journal Vol 1

It starts sedately, in 2004, as we attempt to survive a very warm fall; and proceeds through computer misfortunes and a comedy of disasters: my book in question is likely Pretender. And trying to write—well, when people ask me how do I find time to write, I think the answer is—it’s a mystery.  FREE!


111 comments to Check it out! It works! It works!

  • ericf

    Wasn’t thinking about logging in first but I’m not getting any download links sent to me even after logging in.
    I’ll wait ’til tomorrow to see if it has arrived by then.

  • ericf

    Seems like the third time’s the charm. Got me two links this time.

  • reading-fox

    More format thoughts. the two Epubs are 204 pages and 300Kb each. the PDF – also without out metadata is 93 pages at 550 kb. These are much more sensible download sizes! Cover ‘works’ for all of them, but in black and white isn’t very clear. I know this is specifically a problem with using an ereader, but it is possible to have greater contrast between the colours even when they’re greyscale rendered.

    But it’s great that it is all getting so close!

  • Walt

    Since you asked for nits, em-dashes and apostrophes are undefined characters in the RTF (read by Word or Wordpad), and WP 12 hangs trying to convert it. FWIW, copying from the PDF and pasting into Word or Wordpad gets everything but the copyright symbol and art.

    Some uncertainty attaches to using (c). It is not explicitly allowed, and decisions have apparently gone both ways. To save you the look-up Copyright Basics says:

    Form of Notice for Visually Perceptible Copies

    The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all
    the following three elements:
    1 The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word
    “Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.”; and
    2 The year of first publication of the work. In the case of
    compilations or derivative works incorporating previously
    published material, the year date of first publication of
    the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year
    date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural
    work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is
    reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery,
    jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article; and
    3 The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an
    abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a
    generally known alternative designation of the owner.
    Example: © 2008 John Doe

    Oddly, I can copy the © above and slap it into Word or Wordpad with no problem. I’ve seen examples of this bad conversion all over the web, but I don’t know the exact circumstances that cause it. I blame WP. 😉

  • I downloaded the journal/book and realized I’d read it years ago…

    Still, critically interesting, yet…

    As an author, I know all about the mundane gremlins that surround my mission…

    Each (small) note about your actual writing experience is a gem to be treasured!

    Don’t know if you’ve checked out Google Wave yet but, when I got my invite and dove in, I found nothing about you. So… I started a wave about my authorial heroine:!w%252B5xu3hl-tB

    One does need a Wave account to access that link but I do have a few invitations left…

    Email me at amzolt )at( gmail )dot( com and I’ll let ya have an invite to the Tsunami of Goggle Wave (as long as my alloted invites last…)

  • That link to the Wave about Ms. Cherryh didn’t electronically transfer properly. Clicking it will be very unsatisfying. If you have a Wave account, copy the whole address and paste it into your browser…

  • kokipy

    Is it okay if I download it twice? I did it last night with Mobi but I’d like to try it now with Calibre. Or can I move it between them? I am far worse than OSG at this.

    • CJ

      Sure you can. But this is why when we go to a ‘paid’ download, I want to have all the files available to you: just tell it to save the whole omnifile in your Downloads folder, and then you can go back at leisure, make a dvd of it, just in case next year your computer blows up, a rich maiden aunt gives you a European reader, your uncle leaves you his Rocket reader, you decide you want a Kindle, and then you find out your cellphone wants FB2. Just make yourself a little CC downloads section in your downloads folder, transfer them to disk and then boomf them off to Dvd, whence they can be recovered at the drop of a Kindle.

  • “just in case next year your computer blows up, a rich maiden aunt gives you a European reader, your uncle leaves you his Rocket reader, you decide you want a Kindle, and then you find out your cellphone wants FB2.”

    tee hee 😉

    Love those possibilities. Picturing the rich maiden expat aunt who has lived in Paris for the last 50 yrs, scattering random wrongly-dated age-inappropriate birthday presents, and the fuddy-duddy nerd uncle who got a Rocket way back when …

  • IanRH

    Successfully downloaded without any problems and both the pdf version and Mobipocket files appear OK when read on my computer.

    Transferred the Mobipocket version to my BeBook and it again looks satisfactory.

    The process was painless, my only thought for the future was that you might like to think about an option to download only the format of choice (similar to the Baen Library). People are on broadband will not be concerned with size of the download but it might restrict the size of the market. I am impressed with the number of formats but again the sheer number might confuse some potential customers.

    Keep up the good work, I look forward to discovering the ‘new’ items promised in your earlier reply to me.


    • CJ

      That’s a good point. I don’t know if we can arrange it with our software. You get only one link. I *think* it will stay active for 12 hours, which *might* let you get several versions down, as a precaution against future changes. But we’re not set up to be able to have people coming back to us 2 years later asking for a re-download, and we’re trying to give you the whole thing for one price.
      Let me talk it over with Jane, who understands the technicalities of the download files far better than I do. I prep ’em, she loads ’em.

      My other possibility, and certainly a course of less work for me, is to restrict the download to what I use to produce the files: one mobi, one e-pub, one PDF. From there, if you have Calibre, you can produce all the others yourself.

      • we’re not set up to be able to have people coming back to us 2 years later asking for a re-download

        Why not? You need to make a note of who buys which book, so you already have the purchase date, the confirmation they’ve paid, the fact they’ve used the link. At least, you *should* have those things in your database.

        When they contact you later, you can look them up – yep, user known, user has paid, here’s a new link.

        And if I were you, I’d set up an option for users to be added to a database for future notifications: click here if you want to be informed immediately when we make further books available. Click here if you want our monthly newsletter.

  • Sgt Saturn

    I never got the download link sent to my “” email address, but it worked like a champ with my ‘’ address. I looked in all the likely repositories of filtered spam; the first email just went to a black hole. One possibility is that I fat-fingered the first address. Perhaps, it would prevent future hassles for all concerned if you required the email address be entered twice and compare them. I know that I have always found this a hassle when other sites do it, but it may be the lesser hassle.

  • mikemike

    The download worked just fine. I’ve installed both Calibre and the Mobi Reader on my PC (XP Pro SP2) and got a really weird effect from Calibre when I loaded the EPUB file. Wherever there’s “update” in the file, it’s rendered as “up Date:”(the same goes for every other word with “date” in it!) Is this something caused by the formatting of the file or is the reader inserting control codes on his own?

    Otherwise, the file looks fine. Ach, the joys of installing Win 98 SE when you’ve got to begin with a Win 95 installation. Been there, done that. Win 98 now lives in my Virtual Box installation.

  • mikemike

    The “up Date:” in my previous post should have read “up (carriage return/line feed)Date:” but the software seems to have eaten the crlf string.

  • Richard

    The Stanza reader is go, and the link worked perfectly.

  • The EPUB format worked great on my program called “FBReader” on my Android phone!

    About the only thing it doesn’t do right is it doesn’t show me your name as the author. (Just says “unknown.”) But the book works fine!

    • CJ

      Yes, when you use the Calibre conversion process, you get a chance to input the metadata on mobi and ePub, but not on the rest of the formats. So if you do get the opportunity, you can fill out your own metadata forms. I believe Calibre also has a metadata software that will enable you to organize your e-book library; and once you start grazing in Project Gutenberg, you can have a situation that needs organizing, for sure!

  • WolfOfCampscapel

    Hi from a rather dark and gloomy Oslo!

    -there seems to be no graphical cover page on the PDF version? I would expect that. Readable in various pdf readers, no problem.

    -the .epub version looks good in FBReader on Linux, cover page and all (yay!)

    -the .fb2 version gets FBReader terribly confused. I get random disjointed sentences and fragments from the text, five pages’ worth in all. Looking at the XML, it is pretty broken, p/ paragraph markers where there should be just p for paragraph start. Something broke badly in the conversion program, looks like.

    Tons of good luck with it all!

    • CJ

      Thank you! Ah, Oslo. I remember an intermittently sunny and rainy Oslo—a lovely city, with lots of delicious food!

      We are very close to having this go, and one of the very nice things is having everywhere in the wide world on even footing when it comes to getting books!

      Hurrah for getting the cover page!

      My own recommendation is to try the .prc, the .epub, and the jpg in that order, if you’re not sure of the format, because .prc is more generic, .epub covers a lot that .prc doesn’t, and .jpg is usually going to work!

  • aReader

    Download at home on my (recently rebuilt) ms compatible desktop pc in pdf format. Thankyou, cannot wait for the store to open 🙂

  • The download and getting-e-mail-sent part works.

    I haven’t yet looked for software to resolve all formats, and I have a few niggles:

    I’m not easy with getting a download link directly after entering the address once. OK, this is a freebie, so I wouldn’t mind too much, but for a purchase, I very much prefer to have some sort of feedback that says I’ve purchased. For technical reasons (to do with my computer setup and slow connection etc etc) I would much prefer to be diverted to a page containing the link than to have a direct download link per e-mail. (This would solve the next problem, too).

    I appreciate that it’s really too much for you to add all the different formats in any possible combination, but I hadn’t expeted a 4.3 MB Zip file to start downloading. On a fast connection that isn’t a great problem, but if you’re trying to download an e-book to a reader or over a mobile phone or on a slow connection, the ability to choose just one format and download the others later, and separately, would be useful.

    I don’t know what kind of encoding you have used to produce the rtf file, but mine (Mac) renders apostrophes as it?s throughout. This makes the text exceedingly hard to read. (I assume it’s a problem of smart quotes as the PDF doesn’t suffer from this.)

    The PDF, on the other hand, is rendered in Arial 9pt. 1400 words per page is an impressive feat of squeezing letters into a page, but PDF pages are cheap: I can’t read this. Of course, I can enlarge it, several times… but then I’m still left with up to thirty words per line (twelve to fourteen are standard) – which *also* is pretty much unreadable, and I’ve got a computer with a normal screen. If I tried to read the PDF on my Palm, I’d be screaming blue murder.

    And that’s leaving aside the fact that Arial is not the world’s most readable font. I would really like to see your e-books to have internal design as well as covers (I know you have a cover, because it’s on the widget above, but the book itself comes without it). Interior design is vital in making a text accessible to the reader, and right now, yours is actively stopping me from reading. (I did peek at the odd entry, but they’re so much work to read that I haven’t had the energy to read more.)

    Right now, the presentation doesn’t do the contents justice.

    • CJ

      Hopefully the actual free download actually inside Closed Circle will work better…though for various reasons of computerish sort it still wants you to fill out the addy, etc, on a freebie; and we’re unable to offer the MINI download (which is only 3 file types, and loads much faster. These restrictions do not operate on the purchased sort of thing.

      What puzzles me is that you SHOULD be able to change those font sizes. Ask Calibre to make that adjustment for you?

      The bad reads on ?s is probably but not guaranteed to be a device interface problem. Some file formats (notoriously .txt) will not reproduce the cover, or italics, but that’s what .txt does. Hmm. But it’s bizarre that the pdf is coming through in legal print. I do not know the Mac OS, but the fact you’re on some things not getting scaling in the fonts and in another are getting it set at legal print size COULD be a clue for us…

      What I have had reported is that Mac plays well with Calibre, which would be e-Pub, and not with the .prc or Mobi player.

      Have patience with us and we’ll be trying to sift through trouble-reports and figure what to recommend. Not having all these devices at our disposal, we’re working blind in some formats: we ourselves read only three of them—.prc, .epub and .pdf, and the rest are all a shot in the dark, illumined only by our readers. I’d like other Mac users to chime in on this one and see if we can figure it collectively.

Leave a Reply