Thursday, April 28, 2011

Advice to Future Authors

The following is an email that I sent to someone asking advice about publishing a book:

There are two publishers whom you can publish anything you want for free: and . The only cost that may be incurred to you is ordering one "proof copy" of your book, and that should not cost more than about ten bucks (or less).

I've used Lulu and it's fine. However, a friend of mine, Richard Carrier, has used both publishers and he says that createspace is the way to go. When people order your book, you will recieve royalties (profits) based on the book's price (which you set yourself) minus the cost of printing the book and a percentage taken by the company. If you publish on Lulu, you'll probably want to join their "distribution plan" which will post your book on amazon. However, when you publish through Lulu, the books sold through will generate smaller royalties, simply because lulu and amazon both take a cut of your money.

So here's why createspace is better: createspace is almost the same as lulu in its service, but createspace is owned by the amazon corporation. So the revenue you earn from books sold on amazon will be higher because now you only have one company (instead of two) taking a cut of your money. In my experience, most people would rather buy a book on amazon than on Lulu, so most of your books will be sold on amazon, and since createspace is so "Amazon-efficient" it is the better choice.

Some other advice: do some "google research" on writing books with Microsoft Word (or whatever program you are using). I did, and it helped me out a lot. Also, I've read that anything you upload to createspace has to be in pdf format, but it shouldn't be to hard to find a program to help you do that. In fact, you could sign up for lulu (for free) and then start a project, upload your microsoft wordfiles, and then generate a top-notch pdf from those. Doing that requires no special skill at all, Lulu advertises these services, and they are free.

Other than that: make a point to read the advice and instructions of the company you choose, and choose good, knowledgable friends to proof-read your book. In case you're wondering, I use Lulu (I hadn't heard of createspace when I published) and even copies of my book that I sell through Amazon bring in over a dollar a copy, and my book is priced at only $13.99! My book:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

King Heathen Reviews my book!

Below is a video review of my book Atheism and Naturalism. My book is available in print and download from LULU. It is also available on if you click here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Anyone out there have a "Net 10" phone

Recently I purchased a Net 10 phone card with 300 minutes/60 service days from walmart for 30 bucks. Long story short, I won't myself be needing the card. Is there anyone out there who could use this card? If so, leave a comment on this post so we can get in contact. I'd like a little bit of compensation for it (after all, I did use my money on it) but I'm not expecting more than twenty bucks for it.

A little off topic: For those interested in the Resurrection, here's a great blog:

Jesus as an Archetype

One idea that I have been contemplating lately is that Jesus may have been viewed as a sort of archetype. If you read the link and understand the definition of an archetype, it makes sense to think that this is what Jesus was to early Christians. For example, Jesus is baptized even though he did not sin (according to the gospels). Why? I've always thought that he was portrayed this way in the gospels as a man setting an example for what Christians were supposed to do. And how would this bear on the resurrection issue? Christians believed that at the end of time they would be resurrected, and so it only makes sense that Jesus would have been said to have been resurrected after his death.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Question During the Carrier-Holding Debate

Richard Carrier recently debate Christian apologist Robert Turkel aka "JP Holding" and here is some audio I found from the debate. In the video below both speakers are asked what evidence they would need to see in order to change their belief system. Carrier, of course, has answered this question at length in his essay Why I am Not a Christian (which has now been revised and published as a book: Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith Holding's answer to this question is rather bizarre and somewhat nonsensical, as the video itself points out:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shows That Are Like Me

Ever seen "Malcolm in the Middle"? That show has multiple parallels to my own life, almost like the creators vaguely knew my family. Malcolm, Reese, and Francis are all different aspects of me. When I was growing up, I was an evil genius of rebellion just like Francis. I knew all my parents' passwords on the TV and computer. I was smart and studious like Malcolm, but also destructive and stupid at times (like Reese). Like the boys in the show, I too have a foreign, chainsmoking grandmother who was mean as hell (how many people can say that?).

"Family Guy" also has a strange parallel to me. The dog on that show loves to write, is an atheist, is moody at times (though very intelligent). And his name? Brian (=Ryan).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

She Believes, He Doesn't

Matt and Tracy on The Atheist Experience give some advice to a male atheist who loves a female Christian. That's really a tough issue. In fact, I know I need to think about this a lot more. I'm single now, but nonetheless I would like to marry one day, and I need to work out my views about this. I've never had a problem dating Christian women, and most of the time they haven't had any issues with my views. Truth be told, I would like to find a woman who shares my naturalistic outlook on life. But that wish may very well (and in all probability, I'm afraid) not be fulfilled. Then what? If she's agnostic or some sort of generic theist, then I doubt any problem will arise. I'm not overeager to corral someone in to my exact belief system, especially since I consider atheism to be pretty well irrelevant to my day-to-day life. What worries me is falling for someone who is head-over-heels for Jesus or who is involved enough in Christianity that her beliefs end up causing her to worry about my eternal fate, or to do/say/support things that I consider foolish/wrong/immoral. I guess my solution to this problem is that I will generally try to seek women who do not meet the description I just gave, and further, if I do begin to get involved with a woman who meets that description, I'll try and persuade her of my point of view. And if that can't be done, I will know it is because she is a) correct, in which case my beliefs change and no conflict arises, b) wrong, but only because she doesn't have enough exposure to my beliefs, in which case further exposure and discussion will be called for and in which case she will either end up in the same boat as me or will fall under categories a or c, or c) wrong, and wrong because she refuses to listen to reason. If this woman is a C, then things become difficult. I mean, who would turn down a near-perfect woman just because she was short-sighted about one issue? On the other hand, a C could be a real problem when it comes to raising children or just in day to day life issues. Could a Christian woman with a more-than-lukewarm passion for her faith accept living with an atheist who blogs all kinds of things that she would consider devilspeak? Could I accept her? Should I? It's a difficult question, but at this point I'm just mulling over hypotheticals. And again, I'm hoping to dodge this one altogether.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Homologous Legs This Week

Homologous Legs does a great job of showing the predictive bankruptcy of "intelligent design" here.