Thursday, April 29, 2010

Palm, Inc. and Me:

My first book, Raven’s Gift, a fantasy novel, is now for sale at But first, a few words about Palm.

John Dvorak had a Tech Report piece on HP’s acquisition of Palm. He put it this way: HP to buy Palm. Why?

Over at Slashdot, the usual tough commenters got busy on this acquisition. One defender said it’s very simple: HP is buying experience.
But it’s easy to lose experience when you buy a company. The key people could flee if there’s a serious inter-company culture clash, or if HP does anything that looks like a lack of confidence in Palm. In any case, what has the expertise at Palm produced? They lost the PDA market. (I’m biased in their favor, by the way; I LOVED their PDA interface.) They are so-so in the phone market. Their best brilliant move in this century was to realize that people were ready for Netbooks and Tablets. They announced a product, but backed down and never built it, possibly because of how poorly their announcement was received. (They could have been first into this market, too; I wonder how they would have handled it.)

In any case, I’m with Dvorak on this one: HP to buy Palm. Why?

And now, back to me. There’s a question people ask about writing: can anyone learn to write? My own answer seems to differ from everyone else’s: A writer needs to deal with dozens of skills. Most of them are obviously learnable. So mostly, the answer to the great question is: yes. I learned how to get a cover for my book that I really liked. (Thanks, Mary K. Dolan.) I learned how to do final edits, making sure I wasn’t trying to publish a laughably grammatical text. I learned how to deal with CreateSpace, to get published and saleable on Amazon. Now I have to learn (I’m starting absolutely from scratch here) how to publicize my work. (I learned other skills as well. I shudder to think how many.) Ask me in a year whether I’m having fun. But meanwhile:

My first book, Raven’s Gift, a fantasy novel, is now for sale at The “Look inside” feature is working, so you can sample the book at Amazon’s website. And here’s my website for the book.
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