Thursday, 30 June 2011

There's blood in the water...

I've finally taken the first steps into taking my ebook publishing 'career' a step closer, my short story "Carved" is now with an editor and no doubt undergoing some grammatical surgery to bring out what I'm hoping will be the best of my writing in a very personal account of one of the UK's biggest murder investigations.

Carved tells my side of the story as a witness in the Thames torso murder that happened ten years ago in September shortly after the 9/11 attacks when I discovered the butchered torso of a 5 year old boy in the River Thames.
The book will be released onto Kindle,Createspace,Nook,B&N,Smashwords and Overdrive through ORB publishing.

I've got to say that while the prospect of launching an Ebook is a somewhat gigantic leap into the unknown the whole thing fills me with a certain amount of dread as well, the fact I'm putting my name on something and releasing it into the big wide world will either be one of the best things I ever did or I'll just curl up and die when the reviews come in.
But then I guess that's what it's all about isn't it, laying it all out there for your peers and critics to love or loathe.

My main saving grace is that it provides me with a unique opportunity to write about a very personal and life changing event that very few people ever experience. If the book was fictional then I'd have a problem, it would have nothing trully unique to make it stand out from all the other crime novellas and short stories on the market. The fact that its non fiction and based on a true event means that it's far more appealing, or at least that's the hope. Thats not to say that the market for fictional novellas is weak, far from it but the very real personal aspect of my story meant that it was far easier to write with just enough content that it isn't padded out with uneccessary filler.

Someone once said "there's a book inside each of us" I guess the ultimate trick is to figure out how you get it out and get it working for you.

Battlefield 3 Vs Modern Warfare 3

There's a fight brewing and it'll be a big one, two of the biggest FPS franchises in videogames will go head to head in an effort to dominate the digital battlefield late in 2011.

So who has the edge, EA's ultra detailed Battlefield franchise from big hitters DICE or Activisions Modern Warfare juggernaut from its triple studio effort Infinity Ward,Sledgehammer and Raven studios?

The interesting thing about both publishers and developers is that the last eighteeen months hasn't all been plain sailing for either of them. Activision are still buffing out the dents from what could be a costly court action and PR mess as former Infinity Ward employees Jason West and Vince Zampella contest ownership and loss of earnings among other things in what could be a very revealing court case. DICE on the other hand have to maintain momentum and get back in gear from the hiccup with the luke warm reception for the Medal of Honor franchise despite a brilliant marketing campaign and P&L targets being met. EA's primary problem is that Medal of Honor and Battlefield are fighting for the same space and the same consumer dollar in a tough economy. This is further compounded by the fact it uses the same dev talent to help develop both internal franchises rather than opt for new teams and a distinctively different look and feel.

Another factor coming into play is the 30 FPS Vs 60 FPS, traditionally the higher framerate is superior so it will be interesting to see how Battlefield 3, a 30 FPS product fares on home console against MW3 superior 60 FPS. Ideally EA needs to define how and when the two franchises can share the same buyer and introduce more innovation to the Medal of Honor franchise sadly lacking in the Afghanistan themed Tier 1 Ops reboot.
For Modern Warfare 3 lead studio Sledgehammer has had considerable financial backing from Activision to prop up the remains of Infinity Wards heavily depleted dev team, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey founded Activisions Sledgehammer studios back in 2009,the pair previously employed by EA at Visceral Games, the makers of EA's space horror "Dead Space".
Activision will be relying on brand strength and the current strong retailer pre sale backing for its Novemeber launch. It has its work cut out to see if it can't grab the sell through crown from Treyarch who has helped Activision sell through 3.72 million units of COD Black Ops in the UK beating Infinity Wards Modern Warfare 2 tally by twenty thousand units.
DLC will play a major part in maintaining the franchises longevity with fans,Activision no doubt also still confident it can squeeze a cost of 1200 MS points for additional Map packs with its Xbox 360 consumer.

With map packs such as the recent Annihilation pack adding to the ever growing Call of Duty cash cow several months down the line from release it's a big market to dominate and proves that DLC not only maintains brand awareness but enforces brand loyalty to FPS fans.
Battlefield on the other hand has already wowed global audiences and FPS fans with a simply stunning viral campaign of in-game video footage that has underlined its full committment to delivering visceral FPS experiences and incredible attention to detail.

Like I say, there's a fight brewing, its up to you to decide what team you're on.

Bin Laden Raid - The comic book

Captain Dale Dye,Vietnam veteran Bronze Star and Purple heart recipient, businessman, movie consultant, actor and writer adds yet another impressive accolade to his ever growing talents as the first one out of the gate to cash in on the Navy SEAL induced demise of the world's most wanted terrorist and porn collecting muslim Osama Bin Laden...with a comic book.

Dye who served with the 1st battalion 5th Marines in Vietnam and acheived rank of Captain has lots of fingers in the media pie. On his retirement from the Marines he founded Warriors Inc, a production company that trains actors for authentic military roles in TV and film which included HBO's Pacific, Band of Brothers, Oliver Stones Platoon and Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan.
Dye's latest writing foray see's his military prowess extend to the comic book format with his latest offering "Codeword: Geronimo" an 88 page graphic novel depicting the clandestine US Navy SEAL raid into Abbottabad, Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. Released in September just prior to the anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks on new York the graphic novel has been written by Dale Dye and his wife Dr Julie Dye. The graphic novel has been illustrated by comic book artists Gerry Kissell and Amin Amat and will be published by IDW.
What's interesting to me is that I raised the issue of cashing in on the Bin Laden raid during a 90 minute meeting with a specialist Military book publisher based in Oxford earlier this month. Having emphasised to them that the first one out of the gate with a publication that could recount the final moments of the Worlds number one terrorist could generate decent revenue I was surprised to be told there just wasn't enough information to generate the content.
Except for a full colour 88 page comic though eh?, DOH!