While I take what will hopefully be a short break from working on the sequel to Betrovia (which now consists of 30k words!). here's some commentary related to a few March Madness 2012 games that were played yesterday.
The MU Tigers, picked by many here in MidMO to at least make it to the Final Four, had the last shot in their game yesterday to take it to overtime. Phil Pressey's 3-pointer hit the rim and bounced off. The shot was rebounded by one of the Norfolk State players. And then the game was over! MU, a 2 seed, lost to a 15-seed. A 2 losing to a 15 had not occurred since 2001. MU lost because they relied on their long-range shooting instead of working the ball inside. They also allowed Norfolk State to shoot threes; the problem was Norfolk State made too many of those threes. Basically, if MU had put more pressure on the ball in the first half, they would have won that game.
The Duke Blue Devils, also a 2-seed, lost to a 15-seed yesterday as well. They can credit their loss to about the same playstyle as the MU Tigers: not enough pressure on the ball early in the game. Even though Lehigh was 3-15 to end the first half, they were only down by 2 points! Duke exiting the tournament in the first round is not that unusual; they were knocked out that early just a few years ago.
Now with Duke and MU out of the tournament, North Carolina, Syracuse and even KU appear to be the best bets for being in the Final Four. By the way, my brackets have North Carolina taking the trophy (beating the Blue Devils in the process).
Now, on to a few Betrovia details.
The novel, both Kindle version and paperback, sport new covers. A few weeks ago, I was searching the web for an image with which to build a new cover, I found a very nice artsy photo from Rachel Linder. I grabbed it from her blog and used it to put together a new Kindle cover. Then, after letting her know what I had done, I bought a hi-rez verssion of the image from Rachel and used it to construct the cover for the paperback. The original paperback cover was basically provided by Amazon via their Createspace division. So, I was treading in unchartered waters as I worked on that cover, The first one I submitted to Createspace was way too large (and I realized this a few hours after uploading it!) But the second one was formatted to the right size! I ordered a proof last Sunday, and it arrived the following Wednesday, Even though the overall tint of the cover is a bit "greener" than the image I uploaded, I ordered 20 copies which should arrive this Monday.
As you may know, Amazon has a program that allows authors to set their books as "free" for a certain number of days each year. Yesterday, the Kindle version was "free" on Amazon. By noon over 350 had been downloaded. I was pleasantly surprised by that number; when it was free last December, not more than 100 were downloaded on any of the 5 days when it went free. By midnight last night, when it went back to costing $2.99, over 2000 had been downloaded worldwide! I had read that 1000 downloads was pretty good, but am pleasantly shocked that twice that number were grabbed! As of 10:30 this morning, basically 10 hours after the "free" day ended, 3 copies have been purchased. None had been purchased at all this month before today!
I'm hoping that a few nice reviews will also trickle in due to the "free" day.