Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year Starting With Free Stuff

I hope everyone had a great holiday and is humming along back at work. I'm doing well -- could hardly be worse after 2012 -- and have a couple of major goals for this year. One is to write at least 250K words of fiction. I've done that before, should be able to do it again, and have joined a challenge through one of the mailing lists I'm on to help encourage me along the way. On track so far, yay.

The other is to get into indie publishing this year. I have backlist stories that are sitting on my hard drive, unavailable to anyone who doesn't hang out on pirate sites, and I need to get those back up and available. I also have stories that've collected multiple positive rejections -- the kind that say, essentially, "Good story, well written, not buying it, enjoyed reading it, looking forward to reading more from you." If you have to be rejected, that's the kind of rejection you want to get, but it's still a rejection. I have some stories that've gotten multiples of these, from multiple professional editors. I figure any story that multiple pro editors thought was well written and enjoyed reading would probably be enjoyed by readers too, so I'm going to start putting them up myself.

To help me along with that, I downloaded and printed out the Smashwords formatting guide, figuring that was a good place to start. Then, in a great piece of serendipity, I heard that Adobe is giving away free copies of a lot of its older-version software, stuff that it's been using phone-home DRM on for a number of years while newer versions have been released. It's no longer cost effective for them to maintain the validation servers for their older packages, so rather than cut off all the customers who've handed them money for their software packages, they've released free, non-DRMed copies of this stuff, and it's open for anyone to grab. The list includes both Photoshop and InDesign, and I've grabbed copies of both. If you're thinking of indie pubbing, or if you're doing it already but have been saving up for expensive high-level software, I highly suggest you grab it too: Free Adobe Software. I have no idea how long this is going to last, so get it while you can.

And major props to Adobe for being cool about this. Plenty of companies in the same position just say, "Too bad, buy the new version, here's a percent-off coupon," and leave it at that. Making sure that the honest customers who've handed them money in the past can keep using the software they've paid for is a class act. Letting other people (like me) try these older versions for free is also very classy, and might make them some money in the future, if I like these tools and decide to upgrade.

Angie

8 comments:

Suzan Harden said...

Holy crap! Thanks for this tip! I've been saving up for PhotoShop and relying on PAINT in the meantime. I can't wait to play!

Angie said...

Suzan -- you're very welcome. I knew there were a few indie-pubbers on my lists who'd probably appreciate hearing about this. :D

Angie

Missouri Dalton said...

I seriously might love you right now. I've been using GIMP (Which is perfectly fine) but I've really been wanting a copy of Illustrator.

Angie said...

Missouri -- welcome. :D Have fun!

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

Can't hurt to get some of that stuff up via indie publishing. Luck, of course. Keep me in the loop as to what is available.

Angie said...

Charles -- I just checked and it's all still up. I suggest you go grab what you want ASAP; I don't know when they'll take it down.

Angie

Dawn Colclasure said...

Good luck with the indie publishing, Angie. :) I have been fortunate to get stuff published through indie publishing. So nice to be able to get books published before I'm dead! :) (Ahem. Seriously.)

Angie said...

Dawn -- LOL! Yes, it'll be nice to get some things out the door. :)

BTW, if you're indie publishing, that's not "fortunate." That's rolling up your sleeves and doing the work to make it happen. Props on putting in the work and getting your stuff out there!

Angie