crappin' on about the inconsequential, man bites dog, Not Quite the Man for the Job, the reason why I am doing this

Happy Birthday to YOU (again)!

Another year ticks over and it’s once again time for a birthday ebook sale. Last year I offered a 50% discount on my ebook poetry collection and novel for 41 hours, but this year I’m going one better (and by “one better” I mean to say “967 hours better”) by offering both of them for NINETY-NINE CENTS EACH FOR THE NEXT 42 DAYS.

Because I’m 42 now. Get it?

Anyway, here’s the link: Go and get yerself some cheap ebooks.

found poetry, i would like to recommend these people's writing, Not Quite the Man for the Job, people who are nice enough to publish me

Sharing Ink – Free Beautiful Things Just Left On the Street!

Journal15If you’re in the Melbourne CBD this Thursday, the 1st of August, you might keep an eye out for something that looks a little like your man here on the right.

It’s one of the journals being released as part of the Sharing Ink project run by the delovely Sayraphim Lothian. The idea is that she’s leaving 30 hand-stitched blank books made of gorgeous handmade paper all over the city between 1 and 10 August.

Each of the books has been given to an “inscriber” who has contributed a bit of their own art, writing or what have you to the first page as a kind of dedication/welcome/thank you/inspiration.

It’s kind of a reward to those people who are curious and adventurous enough to interrupt their journey through the city for whatever reason to pick up something beautiful and unusual. What they do with it then is up to them.

Continue reading “Sharing Ink – Free Beautiful Things Just Left On the Street!”

man bites dog, Me and my opinions, Not Quite the Man for the Job, the writing process

Post-Sale Debrief

I’m not sure how long I spent converting my old out of print books into ebooks, but it felt like a bloody long time.

It was exciting at the same time as being exhausting. I taught myself how to do it through a combination of online searches, asking for advice, manual reading and trial and error. Eventually I got there and the books were done, thanks in no small part to the generosity of the people who preordered copies and kicked some cash my way as part of my pozible campaign.

Since then, the response has been… shall we say not overwhelming?

Since September last year, when I finally released the ebooks of Man Bites Dog and Not Quite the Man available for sale over on bkclb I’ve sold about ten copies of both books combined. Before the sale earlier this month that total was three. During the sale I sold another four copies to three individuals, and then another three at full price to two people a few days after the sale finished.

Continue reading “Post-Sale Debrief”

man bites dog, Not Quite the Man for the Job

Happy Birthday to YOU!

EDIT: Sale’s finished. All done. Thanks to everyone who bought a book. Hope you like ’em.

I just turned 41. To celebrate I’m having a CRAZY 41-hour sale whereby you can buy either of my lovely ebooks for the half-price price of just $2.50 between now and 2pm, Friday 17 May (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

Yes, that’s right. A Leunig-endorsed poetry collection AND a Nick-Earls-lauded novel for $5 bucks total.

What a bargain. That is a bargain for YOU.

You can sample the wares or buy sight-unseen over in my Bcklb store. You’re welcome.


crappin' on about the inconsequential, i would like to recommend these people's writing, Not Quite the Man for the Job, poetry, the writing process

Scientific Shame x4.

Recently I found myself enjoying Words for Empty and Words for Full by the inestimable Bob Hicok and came across “BRCA1” (which you can read in this .pdf extract – it’s about four poems in), a poem that makes reference to adenine, one of the four nucleic acids that occur in DNA. “Doesn’t he mean “adenosine”?” I thought, remembering my own poem, “Rush”, about coffee, which references all four of said nucleic acids.

Having become slightly more circumspect with age, these days if I’m unsure – and also if I am quite sure – I know the meaning of a word, I make an effort to double-check that I am, indeed, actually right. With this in mind I popped open my handy dictionary app and searched for “adenosine”. No result. Okay – what about “adenine”? Yep:


Continue reading “Scientific Shame x4.”

man bites dog, Not Quite the Man for the Job, the writing process

Now with extra e!

No need to worry about facing out on THIS bookshelf!
No need to worry about facing out on THIS bookshelf!

Long time coming, but I finally finished making the ebook versions of my novel, Man Bites Dog, and my second poetry collection, Not Quite the Man for the Job.

They are now available to purchase and download in either .epub or .mobi format from the folks over at bcklb. Just head straight over to and they can be yours for the measly price of $US5 each.

Copious thanks to all of the kind people who donated to the crowdfunding project on pozible that let me raise the readies to license the original cover images these books were published with when they were released by Allen & Unwin.

Thanks also to the bkclb crew for their invaluable support with the whole ebook-making thing. They steered me right when I was heading the wrong way, so cheers to them.

It was a really interesting process going back over these two books in as much detail as I had to in order to make sure all of the formatting &c was where it should be. There were times when I cringed a little at what I’d written way back in the late nineties/early naughties, and I can’t deny that I was tempted to take the odd poem out or to rewrite a scene here and there. I resisted though, and what you’ll see on your reader screens is practically indistinguishable from the old-school print versions when they were released.

Yeah, okay. I did make one or two changes, but they’re of the minor-yet-immensely-satisfying kind, taking care of a few glaring errors and one thing that’s bugged me since I read it in published print for the first time.

In Not Quite the Man for the Job, the poem “Veclocipe” went to print claiming indirectly that the units of acceleration are metres per second and not metres per second per second. You can see how a proofreader might have innocently deleted the second “per second” there, but when I showed it to the editor on the book she screamed out in embarrassment, confessing that her boyfriend was a physicist and she knew the units of acceleration. An easy mistake to make, and I totally forgave her right then and there. Now and here too, especially since the lawful restitution of that second “per second”.

The other error was a bit more egregious, which is to say that when Professor Albert Einstein was referred to in the subject index of Not Quite the Man for the Job he was referred to as “Alfred Einstein”. I have endured the shame of that malapropism for almost 14 years, but now it too has been rectified. Einstein, Albert. End of.

Finally I gave a minor tweak to a scene right at the end of Man Bites Dog that, no matter how I read it, was completely ambiguous about whether Steven (our hero) was doing something or just imagining that he was doing it, so when it came time to proofread that part of the novel I snuck a quick look over my shoulder, added a clarifying phrase and released a nine-year-pent-up sigh of relief. No, I’m not going to tell you what happens in that scene. Spoilers, yeah?

So yeah. ebooks. I made some.

Not Quite the Man for the Job, poetry, the writing process

Lookee eBook!

Well that was quick. As of last week I’m pleased to say that thanks to the ineffable generosity of some beyond-lovely donors, I’ve raised the money needed to buy reproduction rights for the covers of Man Bites Dog and Not Quite the Man for the Job to use in their ebook iterations. Thanks from the bottom of my everything to everyone who donated. You’re ace.

The fund actually allows three months to raise the dosh, so with roughly 61 days left, there’s still time to score yourself a cheaper-by-one-dollar copy of either book if you like.

It occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t actually tried to make these epub versions of my books actually work on a “device” as they’re called in teh biz. The closest thing I have to a device is an iPod shuffle, and that ain’t so ebook friendly. I’ve been testing them out on Adobe Digital Editions on my laptop, with plans to try them on an iPad down the track, but I read a scary article about epub standards and validation and stuff that made me wonder if I might be completely fucking things up by doing it that way.

So I put the latest test version of the book (still some margining issues to sort out, still needs proofreading, plus some other stuff…) onto the iPad at work and, well, that was a learning curve. After I got over the whole “what do you mean you can’t just open a new file?” and got my boss to add the epub to his iTunes and then sync it to the iPad it was ready to actually test.

Which is the point where I started all giggling and shit. Because look! I made a ebook! And the pages, like, turn and stuff. Plus the subject index works. Which is a good thing.

Like I said, there’s some rough edges need knocking off, but it’s nice to know the sucker works. That would have been embarrassing.

man bites dog, Not Quite the Man for the Job

Imma make some ebook!

(check out the full details of the Adam Ford eBook Cover Fund over on )

As the above video will attest, I have this crazy plan to turn Not Quite the Man for the Job and Man Bites Dog into ebooks.

I’ve been tapping away for a while now, mucking around with html and freeware ebook converters, picking the brains of other ebook publishers, and I think I’ve got most of it sorted now, at least in terms of the internal pages. Getting the poetry to sit right was a bit tricky, but I eventually sorted something out (stay tuned for a future post on how to make poems retain their line-integrity in ebooks – riveting stuff, I know…).

The covers, though, are a slightly different matter. I thought it would be good to use the covers that the print books had when they were released, but to do so I need to pay a wee licensing fee to Allen & Unwin, under whose good graces the books originally came into the world and also under whose good graces the delovely covers were commissioned.

That’s where you come in. In order to raise the money to license the rights to the covers I’m offering both ebooks for presale at a discounted price through crowdfunding website Pozible. The nice thing about Pozible is that if, for whatever reason, I don’t make the goal target, then your pledge doesn’t get honoured and you don’t have to pay any money at all, so it’s reasonably risk free.

If this interests – or even merely intrigues – you, you can pre-order the books at the aptly named and sign up to stay informed about my progress towards the lofty goal of three hundred of your Earth (i.e., “Australian”) dollars.

Further samples of Man Bites Dog and Not Quite the Man for the Job can be found on this website somewhere.