Andrew Liptak posted a good introduction of my upcoming translation ORBITAL CLOUD for The VERGE with excerpt of full prologue.


On this article, preview of cover art is disclosed.  Publisher Haikasoru respected Japanese original edition’s image, which both are photo took at International Space Station.  I love those, letting me feel we live in the fragile globe.


Serials for Mac Magazine

I’ve started short story serials titled TALES of BITTEN APPLE on paper magazine “Mac Fan“.  In Japan, traditional paper magazines are surviving in several genre.  One of the longest survivor is Mac Fan which is launched in 1993.  Beautiful A4 magazine delivers not only Macs but also iPhone, iPad and another Apple’s news, but had not shared pages for fiction until my serials started during 23 years.

Mac Fan shared me a spread pages, which contains only 3,000 letters ( almost 1,500 words ).  It is short for my dense information style, but I guess that genre speciality magazine readers allow gadget words, and decided to start.  It is not necessary to describe how new iPhone model is, how Apple Pay works, and how Mac is far differ PCs or Windows.

Stories share main character and complete in each articles.  Odd number’s stories are set in 2025, and main character is Hachiya, who were Genius of Apple Store GINZA.  His friend brings clients and to offer him to fix old Apple products.  Because Hachiya stories are set in 2015, iPhone 6 could be handled with nostalgia.  Even number’s stories are set in these days, and main character is Jumbo, who is illegal trader handles Apple products.  I don’t have idea to connect Jumbo and Hachiya stories in future.  Even Hachiya setting are 2020, these works are not science fiction. 1st episode is like that …

When Hachiya got Malaysia airline to go San Fransisco to sell restored dozen of iPhone 6s for “old” Apple products fans, an announce froze him.
“Is there … on plane, Is there an Apple Genius on plane?”  And air martial stood in side of him, and whispered “This plane is hijacked, by old Apple phone… iPhone.  Come with me”…

Illustrator of this serials is 灯夢 (Tom) who belongs to DIGITALNOISE which is solution provider for comic artists in Japan.  I love her picture book style illustration.

I hope TALES OF BITTEN APPLE to translated in English in future.

Higher royalty than sales price

Amazon goes lower price elsewhere policy with e-books, and fixed royalty rates in Japan.  These 2 policies make some publisher company and self-publishers to earn higher royalty than sales price which is matched with competitor store by Amazon.

Amazon pays royalty by fixed rates of registered list price.  The rate could be differ from publisher company who contract directory is closed by parties but rate for KDP is known, as you may know, 35%.  (In Japan, moving 70% rate is limited for KDP select).  Both this fixed royalty and “lower price elsewhere” policy of Amazon make them to pay higher royalty than their sales.

If a KDP author set $5 for a book, royalty per book sales is $1.75.  And when this author set $1 on Rakuten Kobo for campaign, Amazon sell this book by $1 and pays $1.75 royalty for this author.  Amazon pays $0.75 back spread from their pocket.  What a trick!  And when large publisher which has thousands backlist did same way, Amazon should pay millions dollar for back spread.

A news, “$0.099 e-comic sales earns $1,170,000 royalty” tells that a comic author got 1.3 million dollar royalty with super cheap $0.099 comic sales campaign in Kobo.  If all royalty are earned with Kobo, number of purchase should be 26 million, but it is too much considering number of Kobo users.  During this sales, price of Kindle comic are set same with Kobo, $0.099, then I guess 1.17 million royalty are paid by Amazon by collected with list price of his comics.  Amazon might pay $1 or higher royalty for $0.099 per sales.

I didn’t care if a publisher company or self-publisher get royalty from Amazon who pays out of their pocket, even if publisher know, and I also don’t sympathise with Amazon’s Catch 22 situation which they made themselves.  These are their business.  But if publisher had a plan to earning with back spread is planned AS BUSINESS, I will not rely on this publisher.  And if this type of “business”, digital goods business habit will face serious moral consideration.

TouchID for Mac, MacID

I had a dream, when I leave Mac, it could be automatically locked.  Now, MacID solves.

When my switching for OS X from MacOS was finished in 2002, I tried to move KeyChain file which is password bundle from iBook’s HDD to USB drive with reading Create a physical, removable USB-based Keychain [macosxhint.com].  It was a pretty good  idea, but I faced many problems.  Locking keychain was easy and work well, just remove drive physically. But recovering KeyChain made me input master password.  To type passwords frequently was not my hope.  And many applications uses password cache on their own file, then Web, FTP, e-Mail, telnet and another client was able to login with my account even KeyChain had removed from HDD.  Then I turned my policy to lean on locking screen.

And I used to be worried to type password actually for years.  If I look around nobody are trying shoulder surfing in front of locked Mac, ID thieves might aim me.  “He is going to type password”.

After iOS supported TouchID, I consider to unlock Mac with my iPhone.  MacID solves my idea and more.

MacID locks and unlocks Mac by distance of iPhone with using Bluetooth radiation strength.  Just going away from Mac, MacID locks, and getting back made Mac awake.  In fact, MacID is not secure designed software as itself.  It stores master login password and type-in password field with using OS event.  But smooth experience made my computing to be secure totally.


Scrivener guidebook in Japanese

“Scrivener changes the meaning of writing”.  These words were born in conversation with Paolo Bacigalupi and Pat Murphy when they came Japan in 2013 at Hiroshima for attending 2nd International Science Fiction Symposium.  At that time, even I was brand new pro-author, I discussed with them about writing tool Scrivener with those great writers.

Scrivener is not popular writing tool in Japan because it is not capable for writing in legacy Japanese vertical text flow and no Japanese user interface.  Even for me, I’ve started to use Scrivener for merging text files written in iPhone via Dropbox, not for writing on it.  And now, I write all story and essay on Scrivener and tell about it in interview, seminar and so.  I hope many writer notice this great tool, but I’ve posted only 2 entries on this blog in Japanese.  Because Scrivener is too large tool to explain, and I forgot how I started to use it yet.  I’ve tried to post a tip, recommends or thought about Scrivener, and remove them.  But hesitation days was finished.  Japanese writer have a good guidebook for starting with Scrivener.

BNN published “Scrivener guidebook -for the writer who thinks-” in 18th March.

This guidebook is good 101 for entering Scrivener.  How to purchase, to install, to make first project and to sync with cloud services like as Dropbox and Evernote.  Paper edition is B&W but e-book one keeps full colour images.  I recommend this book for Japanese writers even not have Scrivener yet.  Writer Mukai interviewed me and shared 12 pages for my case, and he added how to write this book with Scrivener on post notes.  Both case might push writer for considering Scrivener, the tool “Changes the meaning of writing”.

For English user? Sorry, this readable guidebook is written in Japanese and for Japanese.  Instead of this book, you can read official 800 pages manual, which is the reason why I respect Scrivener developer team.  Current software development and marketing, online reference is the most. Video tutorial is second important tool how to use software.  Legacy book-style manual is going to die.  Official book-style manual spent so large cost for PC/Mac software development, but they did well.

I have experience to write, edit and publish both ones which are 3rd party and developer, and know that third party guidebooks are rather readable than one wrote by developer.  Official manual should care wider type of users, writes with spec sheet not with actual software and team should post thousands bugs to bug-tracking-system before plotting chapters.

Legacy book style manual should explain all options, features and moves in software which should be ignored in force going video tutorials. And writer should make story for users who uses only 1% features of software.  If in 10 years ago, Scrivener team could price $500 for it, and hire dedicated technical writing team like as historic software did.  But current market does not allow pro-writer.  I guess why they develop expensive book-style user guide could be their pride to develop writing tool.