Lisa Shea Publishing

Books on Publishing

Success! Just finished an enormous effort and updated books 3-4-5 in my author’s essentials series.

Book 3 is an overview of the various ways you can get published.

Book 4 is all about traditional publishing including magazines.

Book 5 is a dense, in-depth section-by-section-with-screenshots explanation of how to self-publish on Amazon and Lulu for both ebooks and paperbacks. It also covers Draft2Digital, SmashWords, WattPad, etc.

I’d love to have some beta-readers of my updated versions. Let me know if you’d like to see one of these!

What are you up to?

Camera Shutter Count

Free Canon EOS40D Shutter Count Software

Digital cameras might seem as if they take an infinite amount of photos. However, the hardware within the cameras does have a lifespan. If you’re buying a used camera, it’s important to know if it’s been used to take only 100 photos or 100,000 photos. That makes a critical difference to the life left in the components.

However, for whatever bizarre reason, the camera maker doesn’t just tell you that information on a menu screen. You have to download software to your computer, install it, hook the camera up to your computer with a cable, and then have the software tell you the count.

Very strange.

You can’t just look at the numbering on your memory card, either. It’s easy enough to reset that back to zero.

So here’s a few shutter count software packages I have tried. I’ll note I’m on Windows 8.1 and am connecting my Canon EOS40D via two different USB cables. I even tried my Canon EOS 7D Mark II to all programs, using a different cable, to help test.

First, make sure your camera is connecting to the computer. Look in Device Manager under Portable Devices. You should see your camera listed there. If you don’t even see your camera in the device manager, you have to fix that problem with your cable or USB drivers.

Ideiki AstroPhotography Demo

https://www.ideiki.com/astro/Download.aspx

This installs an astro photography tool. It’s all about taking photos of the sky and stars. But as an added bonus, when you connect your camera, it says right there in the log what the shutter count for it is! For free! Quick and easy!

FreeShutterCount

http://www.freeshuttercount.com/

This website downloads the file setup_freeshuttercount.exe. It installs from the publisher Keerby Application.

When you run it, it detects the camera fine. So it is doing something. HOWEVER, it then requires you to install LibUSB-win32 with “Zadig”. It says it is recommanded (their typo) but there is no way to do anything at all without installing LibUSB drivers.

If you look up Zadig, you’ll find it’s an actual entity for installing USB drivers. So it sounds fairly legitimate. When you install this, it says it is from Akeo Consulting. That is an actual software house in Ireland that does work with LibUSB. You get this window.

Make sure you choose Options – List All and choose your camera from the main drop-down. Then over in the WinUSB drop-down toggle down to the LibUSB option.

When you install, you should get a SUCCESS message.

But now, when you open the software, it doesn’t see the camera any more. Or, when it does, it asks you to install the Zadig again.

Which makes me wonder just what is being installed … I wrote them a message, but when I hit SUBMIT it just took me back to the site homepage. So I’m not sure they even got the message.

I’ll also note that in the footer of this website it says: “The software Free the shutter count number at no charges up to 1000 actuations. Premium version needed for shutter count number greater than 1000 is charged 7$.” – that makes me think if your camera has taken more than 1000 photos they’re going to charge you $7 to show you the results. That’s not really free. But since I can’t even get it to work with two different cameras, I call it not worth the effort.

AstroJargon EOSInfo

http://astrojargon.net/EOSInfo.aspx

This is one that a LOT of people recommend, but it’s also quite old. The change history says it was last updated in 2009. The file you download is called SetupEOSInfo.exe. This installs EOSInfo.MSI from “Unknown” publisher.

Unfortunately, this is all it ever shows. My cameras say “Busy” and never connect at all. Since my cameras worked with the AstroPhotography software, I am not sure what is going on here. Nothing useful, it seems.

ShutterCountProgram / Magic_h2001@yahoo.com

The filename is shown as EOSInfo.exe at a Google Drive. I’m not going to even try this one. You download the software from a google drive account, and the email address in the readme is associated with known scammer software systems that take passwords. It’s easy enough to do a Google search and find those for yourself.

So, to summarize, I highly suggest the top cool astro photography program which for FREE shows you your shutter count simply as the start-up information about your camera. Quick, easy, useful! Heck, get a telescope and really put the software through its paces!

Corona Typewriter

Writer’s Market and Penguin Random House

For decades, the Writer’s Market book and then website was a reasonably independent publication. Both were quite popular releases by F+W Books. The Writer’s Market was a massive database of publishing, agent, and magazine information. The hundreds of pages covered the vast number of publisher options fairly.

Unfortunately, by June 2019 F+W Media was in bankruptcy. A judge oversaw the selling off of its assets. One of those prime assets was F+W Books. The very name F+W comes from its two main components – Farm Quarterly and the Writer’s Digest. Writer’s Digest was the magazine while Writer’s Market was the annual book (and then website).

The organization also published some of my favorite art magazines – Watercolor Artist, Southwest Art, and Artist’s Magazine.

The fact that these guys could go bankrupt shows how our world is always changing.

While those art magazines went off to Peak Media Properties, the book section including Writer’s Digest and Writer’s Market was bought up by Penguin Random House.

Once Penguin Random House took control, the Writer’s Market website pretty much immediately came down. And as of February 2020 it is STILL NOT UP AGAIN. That’s pretty phenomenal for a resource that thousands upon thousands of writers depended on for information.

So right now it’s a waiting game. We’ll have to see when this finally resolves itself.

Books and Reading

Do Autistic Readers Prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Common wisdom is that the majority of those on the Asperger’s Autism spectrum prefer non-fiction books, especially about trains and elevators. But there are pockets of interest in a variety of areas, like SciFi / Fantasy or Jane Austen.

If you’re on the spectrum, or know someone who is, what do you / they prefer to read?

Writing and Designing a Successful Book

Writing and Designing a Successful Book

Yes it is 2020! That means I am revising all of my Author Essential books on writing, publishing, and marketing. I give these away to attendees in my free writing seminars I teach.

First up! Writing and Designing a Successful Book. I’m looking for beta-readers to let me know if I need to change or update anything.

Let me know if you’d like a PDF copy!