Speaking of New Models for Self-Published Authors . . .

13

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Hmmm, an interesting idea that. OCR programs can make a scanned in document editable? I didn't realize that. Do you know any good sources for such services?

    THAT would certainly give me some options again with kvs. 

    (I wonder if Paul, who may or may not be reading along, knows anything about this via Lulu?)  

    The majority of 'home' printers/scanners come with OCR software, and although they are not always 100% accurate they are very handy. Many will actually save as a docx.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 11
    Kevin, I don't even know why I respond to you. You get everything bollixed up. First the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are ANOTHER contemporary source. (I read them, too, in preparing to write my book.)

    Second, I  am, I assure you, quite aware of the raid on Lindisfarne and what followed.

    Third, there ARE ruins of the Norse settlements in Greenland but no, their descendants are not to be found there today as ALL the Norse of that era died out or, one theory has it, went native and joined the Inuit or, another suggests, fled to Canada, a two day sail from Greenland. Modern Scandinavians in Greenland are descended from Danes who came over post-Columbus.

    Fourth, in 1960 the Norwegian archeologists Helgi and Inga Ingstad found the remnants of a small Norse settlement at L'anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland. It was NEVER warm enough there in that era for wild grapes so Vinland, if the name means Grapeland (there is some dispute about that though Eirik the Red's Saga specifically says they found wild grapes there), could not have been in Newfoundland. The two extant sagas both report a later effort to establish a settlement in North America by the Icelander Thorfinn Karlsefni, but it collapsed in three years when they ran afoul of the natives. According to the sources they abandoned their southern settlement, called Hof, and relocated to a more remote, safer location they called Straumfjord (stormy inlet or bay) which COULD have been at L'anse aux Meadows. But the area was not conducive and they pulled up stakes and went back by way of Greenland to Iceland. After THAT there are no more records of attempted settlement.

    You are confusing Leif with his father. Unlike Eirik, Leif had no reason to lie about the land he had discovered (he NEVER attempted to settle it let alone lie to lure others there). It was green, heavily forested, teeming with game and good farming land.

    As to what "stumbling" gives them "credit" for, what are you on about now? No one here said they were great seafarers though as it happens, given their open boat sailing technology, they were pretty damned good at it. You try crossing the North Atlantic in an open Norse ship and let us know the result! By the way, the crossing from Greenland to coastal Canada is, as I said above, only about a two day sail though it takes a bit longer to sail down the coast to a region of North America where grapes grew wild back then.

    One more thing: I am very aware that the Norse are a significant part of English history which certainly explains why kvs did pretty well on amazon UK back in its heyday.

  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Oh, by the way, there was a strong affinity between Old Norse and Old English:

    https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Viking

    EtymologyEdit
    Borrowed from Old Norse víkingr. Already in Old English as wīcing and Old Frisian witsingwising, but extinct in Middle English and borrowed anew in the 19th century.
    Old Norse víking (“marauding, piracy”) itself is from Old Norse vík (“inlet, cove, fjord”) + -ing(“one belonging to, one who frequents”) (the -r is the nominative desinence). Thus, “one from or who frequents the sea’s inlets”.
    The Old English and Anglo-Frisian form, existing since at least the eighth century, could also have been derived from or influenced by Old English wīc (“camp”), on account of the temporary encampments which were often a prominent feature of the Vikings’ raids.[1]


  • swmirsky said:
    Hmmm, an interesting idea that. OCR programs can make a scanned in document editable? I didn't realize that. Do you know any good sources for such services?

    THAT would certainly give me some options again with kvs. 

    (I wonder if Paul, who may or may not be reading along, knows anything about this via Lulu?) 
    Unfortunately doesn't sound like a service we offer. 

    Out of interest I did some research (I typed some search terms into Google) and found a ton of info about free and open source OCR. Google even has their own, Tesseract
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Thanks Paul. Have been thinking some more about this proposal by Ron but the more I mull it over the less enticing it seems. At 637 pages that's a lot of scanning and then a lot of page by page review to correct for any problems that get created by the process. While it probably would be easier than just sitting down to manually re-enter all the text onto my pc, it would still oblige me to put a huge effort into the fix. Perhaps I could contact Xlibris again though (even if I'm not happy about the probable cost of re-issuing through them -- there'd have to be significant upside to my doing that which I don't see at the moment). So, for now, KVS is probably going to stay as it is and that means available but not drawing much in the way of sales anymore. The one hope for that book is a shift to a different medium (film, cable/streaming production) but my efforts in that direction haven't yielded anything. So I guess things will remain unchanged. Thanks to Ron, though, for the suggestion.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    swmirsky said:
    Kevin, I don't even know why I respond to you.
    You have no idea how many times I have asked myself that very same question.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 13
    I just noticed this from Kevin:
    But the point is, Mr Erikson did not land in the New World.
    Where do you get this stuff? There's abundant evidence that the Norse, possibly led by Leif Eiriksson (not "Mr. Erikson" since they did not use surnames in those days, it just means Erik's son!), did land in the New World. The grape reference is one indication. The actual sailing directions described in the sagas plus the descriptions offered provide ample evidence of the landfall in North America. Finally, the physical artifacts discovered on the northern tip of Newfoundland shows a short term residence and Newfoundland, though an island, is associated with North America. So even if one wanted to say that the Norse never made it to the mainland (which is highly unlikely from the other evidence) recognizing a short term Norse settlement on Newfoundland is effectively to acknowledge that "they made it to the New World."

    Now there are two extant sagas about this and one of them (Groenlandinga Thattr or the Tale of the Greenlanders) says that Leif himself never actually landed, that he just sailed past it and saw the land and reported back to his friends and family in Greenland who then followed up with a number of attempted settlements. But Eirik the Red's Saga (the other saga in this pair) says Leif, himself, actually landed and set up some "budir" (booths) for a summer before heading back to Greenland, never to return. Which of the sagas is more accurate? We don't know but Eirik's is more detailed (but also contains more fanciful elements). Groenlandinga is generally held to be the older of the two and the more realistic but because they share common elements it is also thought both came from an earlier source, now lost to us.

    Kevin has argued that tales told round the fire on cold winter nights cannot be true but it is well known that much that is historical has been preserved this way and researchers often have recourse to oral tales to capture information otherwise lost to history when written records were unavailable. And as with oral tales, written records are also susceptible to fictionalization, error and the like. That's why there's a whole scholarly field of historians and archivists collecting old tales and records and combing through them to piece together as much as we can of the original events.

    In the case of the Vinland sagas, it was once thought that they were fanciful material with little real fact as their basis but modern scholarship is no longer so dismissive, especially since the Ingstads uncovered the remains of a Norse settlement at L'anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Other references, including the detailed sailing directions with information about the landmarks and landfalls are also corroborative.

    Whether Leif Eiriksson actually made it here as maintained in one saga but not in the other, is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that there is ample reason to conclude that the Norse did make it here and attempted a settlement which failed. 


  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited March 11
    swmirsky said:
    Thanks Paul. Have been thinking some more about this proposal by Ron but the more I mull it over the less enticing it seems. At 637 pages that's a lot of scanning and then a lot of page by page review to correct for any problems that get created by the process. While it probably would be easier than just sitting down to manually re-enter all the text onto my pc, it would still oblige me to put a huge effort into the fix. Perhaps I could contact Xlibris again though (even if I'm not happy about the probable cost of re-issuing through them -- there'd have to be significant upside to my doing that which I don't see at the moment). So, for now, KVS is probably going to stay as it is and that means available but not drawing much in the way of sales anymore. The one hope for that book is a shift to a different medium (film, cable/streaming production) but my efforts in that direction haven't yielded anything. So I guess things will remain unchanged. Thanks to Ron, though, for the suggestion.
    It can go faster than you think. Almost all of my Lulu books are reprints of old, rare editions of early space-related novels. Since many---if not most---are unavailable through Gutenberg, I scanned copies in my collection. Since my scanner sits by my side, I can work on one thing on my computer while the scanner is busy scanning pages...which it can do two at a time, by the way---meaning that your book would require only 317 scans instead of 637. All I need do I flip to another spread when a scan is done and continue with my work.

    At about 30 seconds per scan, it would take less than 3 hours to scan your book.

    Another possibility would be to have someone do the scanning for you. When I wanted to add half a dozen books all at once to my Lulu collection, I talked a high school student into doing all the scanning for me, which he did for $20.

    Many of the errors that occur in OCR come from simple things such as misreading closely paired letters. For instance, it might read "cl" as "d." If the copy being scanned is clean and clear, there will not be very many mistakes, however. But even so, most of these---being essentially spelling errors---will be highlighted by Spellcheck, so you really don't have to read the entire MS word for word. Just look for the highlighted ones.

    As I mentioned, you might want to give this a shot since having the book in editable MS form may make it more useful for some of the purposes you hope to pursue.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    swmirsky said:
    Kevin, I don't even know why I respond to you. You get everything bollixed up.

    In what way? Do you not read what you type?

     First the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are ANOTHER contemporary source. (I read them, too, in preparing to write my book.)

    Contemporary to who? They began to be compiled in 900 AD, and not by any Vikings, hence the name of it. The history within it is mainly based on the UK and written by British people. The common consensus is this >>  though not all are of equal historical value and none of them is the original version

    Second, I  am, I assure you, quite aware of the raid on Lindisfarne and what followed.

    I don't recall saying you did not, I was just pointing out that the Vikings did not call themselves Vikings.

    Third, there ARE ruins of the Norse settlements in Greenland but no, their descendants are not to be found there today as ALL the Norse of that era died out or, one theory has it, went native and joined the Inuit or, another suggests, fled to Canada, a two day sail from Greenland. Modern Scandinavians in Greenland are descended from Danes who came over post-Columbus.

    Vikings were Danes, but did I not say that their DNA was passed on? They were not the only people there, and they were there for 500 years.

    Fourth, in 1960 the Norwegian archeologists Helgi and Inga Ingstad found the remnants of a small Norse settlement at L'anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland.

    1960 was decades ago, get up to date, and it was hardly small for that era.

     It was NEVER warm enough there in that era for wild grapes so Vinland,

    Well, actually it was a lot warmer around then than it is now.

     if the name means Grapeland (there is some dispute about that though Eirik the Red's Saga specifically says they found wild grapes there), could not have been in Newfoundland.

    I am not even sure that grapes were even native to the Americas. Then again, they named it Vinland.

     The two extant sagas both report a later effort to establish a settlement in North America by the Icelander Thorfinn Karlsefni, but it collapsed in three years when they ran afoul of the natives. According to the sources they abandoned their southern settlement, called Hof, and relocated to a more remote, safer location they called Straumfjord (stormy inlet or bay) which COULD have been at L'anse aux Meadows. But the area was not conducive and they pulled up stakes and went back by way of Greenland to Iceland. After THAT there are no more records of attempted settlement.

    No, really. They were on Newfoundland for around 100 years, as shown by the evolution of the types of buildings they put up over those years, and they used it as a boat repair place (forging nails for one thing) and a place to stock up. It was a staging post. It is a shame they never wrote anything down ...

    You are confusing Leif with his father. Unlike Eirik, Leif had no reason to lie about the land he had discovered (he NEVER attempted to settle it let alone lie to lure others there).

    I did not say that he did settle there. He went back home and told people about it, causing others to go and look at this new wonderful land.

     It was green, heavily forested, teeming with game and good farming land.

    Trees and game, indeed, game that they trapped via gamepits, but hardly conducive to crops. His actual description could be of a place much further south.

    As to what "stumbling" gives them "credit" for, what are you on about now?

    You said it as if they found it accidentally, in fact they already had an idea it was there, from tales told by sailors blown off course who had seen land.

     No one here said they were great seafarers though as it happens,

    Did you miss 'not' out of that?

     given their open boat sailing technology, they were pretty damned good at it.

    Indeed. I said that.

     You try crossing the North Atlantic in an open Norse ship and let us know the result!

    Why would I want to do that? But it has been done. There's a museum that also has a boat yard building repro boats and ships. They have 100s of them  https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/ they often go out in them.  https://www.drakenhh.com/expedition-america-2016/

     By the way, the crossing from Greenland to coastal Canada is, as I said above, only about a two day sail though it takes a bit longer to sail down the coast to a region of North America where grapes grew wild back then.

    Yes, I too have a map, even Google Earth, but just two days is optimistic. They did not have engines. A week would have been good.

    One more thing: I am very aware that the Norse are a significant part of English history which certainly explains why kvs did pretty well on amazon UK back in its heyday.

    Well we do like fiction about it also. This chap is perhaps the best at it  http://www.bernardcornwell.net/  but his main gripe is it's hard to do research on the subject because little was written down ...


  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 11
    I see the value in your suggestion, Ron, though am still reluctant to undertake the task you've described. However, I just emailed Xlibris (I don't have any relationship with their management anymore, not since they were taken over by AuthorHouse!). Before proceeding down the path you suggest I figured it'd be a good idea to find out what Xlibris would want for me to re-issue through them (or, best, to return the file to me so I could work on it a bit as there were some changes I thought would benefit the novel which I began back before I lost the entire ms. file).

    So we'll see what comes of this. If they agree and it's not prohibitively expensive, maybe I could tap into your cover design skills (if they're not too costly!) as well. Maybe a reissue with a better cover would give it the kind of new life you alluded to. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Oh, by the way, there was a strong affinity between Old Norse and Old English:

    Quite so. I did say they eventully did colonise a huge area of Britain, then we were invaded by the Normans, who did not speak Old Norse or even Old English. Looking at our langage now it's peppered with words from all over the planet.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    swmirsky said:
    Thanks Paul. Have been thinking some more about this proposal by Ron but the more I mull it over the less enticing it seems. At 637 pages that's a lot of scanning and then a lot of page by page review to correct for any problems that get created by the process. While it probably would be easier than just sitting down to manually re-enter all the text onto my pc, it would still oblige me to put a huge effort into the fix. Perhaps I could contact Xlibris again though (even if I'm not happy about the probable cost of re-issuing through them -- there'd have to be significant upside to my doing that which I don't see at the moment). So, for now, KVS is probably going to stay as it is and that means available but not drawing much in the way of sales anymore. The one hope for that book is a shift to a different medium (film, cable/streaming production) but my efforts in that direction haven't yielded anything. So I guess things will remain unchanged. Thanks to Ron, though, for the suggestion.


    There are many copytyping services still around, here is one.

    https://fingertipstyping.co.uk/prices/

    I mentioned that OCR software is almost always supplied with scanners and printers that have scanners built in, but as you rightly say, it can be a chore. First slicing up the book then scanning each page in turn (with a page per leaf of course!) But if you are fortunate there are many reasonably priced 'domestic' machines that one is able to put up to 50 leaves in and they will automatically scan the lot, and both sides. It's called Duplex when looking to buy such a printer.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-In-One-Printers-Auto-Duplex-Ink-Laser/s?rh=n:430585031,p_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin:2830024031

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    swmirsky said:
    So we'll see what comes of this. If they agree and it's not prohibitively expensive, maybe I could tap into your cover design skills (if they're not too costly!) as well. Maybe a reissue with a better cover would give it the kind of new life you alluded to. 
    Always willing to help out a friend.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 13
    Kevin, you wrote:
    Their decendents are no doubt still there. Denmark still owns it.
    Greenland and Iceland were NOT settled by "Vikings" or vikings though there may have been some who had been vikings in their number. Denmark had NOTHING to do with Greenland in its Norse period. Norway, by then a unified kingdom had nothing to do with it either. Greenland was settled by Norse refugees from Norway who fled that land when King Harald Fairhair unified that country and drove out some of the landed gentry and their hangers on who would not knuckle under to him (Heimskringla). These folks fled to the Hebrides, Dublin, the Faroe Islands, northern Scotland AND Iceland which ultimately became a Norse nation in its own right. Icelanders settled Greenland and Greenlanders, for the most part, explored North America. None of the Norse who lived in Greenland in that era left descendants. Denmark, which eventually came to own Greenland in the post Columbian age of colonization, sent settlers to Greenland in later centuries. These people left descendants in Greenland today. They are not identifiable as "Vikings" which, as I've said before, is a vocation, not an ethnicity.

    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is arguably older than any of the sagas because it was written contemporary with the earliest part of the so-called Viking Age. That period began in the ninth century and extended to the eleventh. So Greenland and Vinland were reached by the Norse at the end of the Viking Age. During THAT period, many of the old tales were written down in Iceland by literate clerics but also by some laymen. Snorri Sturlasson is a famous Icelandic chieftain who lived during the last years of the medieval Icelandic Republic in the 12th century who also, while imprisoned, took time to write down several of the works we have today:

    Heimskringla (the Norse Book of Kings) 
    Egil's Saga (though there is some dispute about his authorship of this one)
    The Prose Edda (also known as the Younger Edda which is essentially a guide to writers who want to write in the old style of the skalds then disappearing with the advent of literacy in Iceland)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorri_Sturluson

    There is much that is historically reliable in his works and in many of the other sagas though, arguably, the saga "voice" these works tend to be written in is of a later date than the events described, some of which are disputable but many of which are confirmable from other sources. For instance, both Heimskringla and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle preserve a similar account of the invasion of England by Harald Hardrada and his death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge before Hastings. There is certainly a different point of view recognizable in the different sources but also much information in common. (Note that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles were written by many different clerics over many years so that they tend to be contemporary with or close to the events. A similar provenance defines the Russian Primary Chronicle which was compiled by Greek Orthodox monks, either from Byzantium or locals trained in Byzantium, which describes the rising of the first Russian state, Kievan Rus, as a function of Scandinavian adventurers trading and raiding along Russia's many rivers until just before its destruction by the western Mongols or Tatars.)

    Kevin writes:
    . . . actually it was a lot warmer around then than it is now.
    True but irrelevant since in that era it wasn't warm enough for grapes though grapes were growable farther north than they are today (in Maine, say, where grapes can't be grown today, but Maine is much farther south than L'anse aux Meadows).

    Kevin:
    I am not even sure that grapes were even native to the Americas. Then again, they named it Vinland.
    There is some thinking that maybe Tyrkir, who was said to be the one who recognized the grapes since he came from Germany, not Scandinavia, may have confused grapes and blue berries but the fact is that a variety of wild grapes was native to North America so grapes they could have been!

     Kevin writes:
    They were on Newfoundland for around 100 years, as shown by the evolution of the types of buildings they put up over those years, and they used it as a boat repair place (forging nails for one thing) and a place to stock up. It was a staging post. It is a shame they never wrote anything down ...
    That would be interesting to me if backed up by some evidence. Do you have a source? If so, can you please cite it so I can have a look?

    Kevin:
    I did not say that he did settle there. He went back home and told people about it, causing others to go and look at this new wonderful land.
    If you are referring to Leif you're wrong because he did not go back home to Greenland (which was where he was from) and lie to his friends and kin about the abundance to be found in "Vinland" since he had no reason to lie. It was abundant and teeming with resources. Just ask the colonists who came half a millennium later. It was Eirik Thovaldsson (known as Eirik the Red) who went back home to Iceland and concocted a PR story to convince his friends and neighbors to throw the dice and join him in settling Greenland which, despite its heavy ice cover over most of the inland area, was actually pretty green in the short summers along the narrow strip of southwestern coastal land where they settled.

    Kevin again:
    You said it as if they found it accidentally, in fact they already had an idea it was there, from tales told by sailors blown off course who had seen land.
    According to one saga, it was Bjarney Herjolfsson who sighted land while sailing to find his father who had left Iceland for Greenland but he did not go ashore. That was left to Leif to do. According to the other saga, it was Leif, sailing home from a stint at the court of the Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvasson (who only ruled for five years by the way so this can be closely dated) who sighted the coast of North America but did not go ashore, leaving it to one of his brothers and, later Thorfinn Karlsefni, as well as Leif's sister, to try their hands at a settlement there.

    There is some evidence that some sailors had seen rocks in the west and so believed land was there but they did not ascertain what sort of land was to be found. The same is true of Greenland, i.e., earlier sailors had sighted land in the distance and brought word back to Iceland, which is an explanation for why Eirik the Red, faced with a three-year outlawry for killing a neighbor, thought it worthwhile sailing west for his period of exile rather than east to Norway (where he couldn't return in any event since he had also been exiled from there for another killing).

    Kevin:
     Why would I want to do that? But  it has been done. There's a museum that also has a boat yard building repro boats and ships. They have 100s of them  https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/ they often go out in them.  https://www.drakenhh.com/expedition-america-2016/
    Indeed. Perhaps you recall my reference to VikingSail2000, an international event which brought a small fleet of Norse replica ships to L'anse aux Meadows in the year 2000? One of the ships that was due to come, by the way, out of Iceland, named Islendingur, never made it because its crew, modern sailors all, refused to continue and turned back when they hit a rough storm.

    Kevin:
    I too have a map, even Google Earth, but just two days is optimistic. They did not have engines. A week would have been good.
    In the 1950s a Scandinavian sailor named Edward Reman tested the thesis with regard to Norse sailing vessels and concluded two days, assuming good weather, was all it took to make the crossing from the point identified as the Western Settlement in Greenland to Baffin Island in Canada (identified as Helluland or slab land in the sagas). He also documented that it would take around two weeks to journey down the coast to where Vinland might have been.

    Using the preserved sailing directions from the sagas and reinterpreting them from the point of view of shipboard rather than from the land (or from any maps), which, of course, is how they would have been reported back in Greenland and preserved there, he concluded that the most likely landing place would have been on the northern coast of modern Maine at a place where there was a rather unique tidal behavior (the Bay of Fundy) that fit the description found in the saga record. This was all pre-Google of course. I used Reman's work as a basis for establishing the setting of my novel by the way.

    Bernard Cornwell is a very successful and good writer. His current Saxon books are being produced as The Last Kingdom, now for Netflix but previously for BBC. I did not like his earlier Arthurian stories though and his Norse-Saxon novels do not partake of the saga voice though they are very nicely written and interesting to read. They make great film, too! 




  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Kevin writes:
    I did say they eventully did colonise a huge area of Britain, then we were invaded by the Normans, who did not speak Old Norse or even Old English. Looking at our langage now it's peppered with words from all over the planet.
    Actually the language affinity predates the Danelaw. Old Norse, Old English and Old German were all Germanic languages and much closer to one another than any of them are to modern English or modern German or, in fact, modern Scandinavian tongues today. The closest to Old Norse is modern Icelandic which is still very much like its ancestral form. Perhaps the analogy can be drawn between Spanish and Portugese. Speakers of both languages (and Italian, a friend in Rome tells me) can make themselves understood pretty easily to speakers of the other.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 11

    I see that I got a few things wrong. Helge Ingstad's wife was named Anne, not Inga, and Vinland is thought to mean wineland, not grapeland as I sloppily wrote above (it's been a long time since I was steeped in this stuff).

    Otherwise, though, here is some information on the only confirmed Norse settlement in North America:

    L'Anse aux Meadows (/ˈlænsi ˈmɛdoʊz/; a French-English name meaning the bay with the meadows) is an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of the Great Northern Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Archaeological evidence of a Norse presence was discovered at L'Anse aux Meadows in the 1960s. It is the only confirmed Norse or Viking site in North America outside of the settlements found in Greenland.[1][2]
    Dating to around the year 1000, L'Anse aux Meadows is widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It is notable for being the only confirmed Norse site on mainland North America,[3] its possible connection with Leif Erikson, and with the Norse exploration of North America. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.[4]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'Anse_aux_Meadows

    If Kevin has information that indicates a hundred year occupancy that I am unaware of, I would certainly be glad of any link or other citation he can offer!

    Note this, however:
    This area is no longer rich in game due in large part to the harsh winters. This forces the game to either hibernate or venture south as the wind, deep snow, and sheets of ice cover the area. These losses made the harsh winters very difficult for the Norse people at L'Anse aux Meadows.[26] This lack of game supports archaeologists' beliefs that the site was inhabited by the Norse for a relatively short time.
    So far as I have seen, there is NO evidence the Norse remained anywhere in North America for a hundred years. But I would like to see if Kevin has some information about this that I have missed!

    Based on this information, I would suggest that these remains are likely to have been Straumfjord, the second settlement the Karlsefni expedition established after being forced out of their first, Hof, farther south. According to the saga record, they spent all of three years in North America trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to get a foothold here.
  • SeamusSeamus Creator
    Speaking of the Norse, this post is a Saga
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher

    Now, see, that's the sort of thing where one says to oneself, "It's three triangles on top of a box. How hard can that be to sketch?" But then the entire proportion thing kicks in, and the end result is vaguely monstroud.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    So, frankly, Gentlemen and any ladies who wandered in, I've kind of avoided commenting on the concept here for a few reasons.

    One of the statements made recently touched on a reason why I would be dis-inclined to join such a cartel: What if we cannot sincerely praise a work? I can think of a few examples, and I'm sure you can as well.

    In one case, the gentleman writes very well; exceptionally well. But I cannot in good conscience endorse his content. In most cases, the writers write exceptionally poorly -- and I'm sure that some of you can name some names, if pressed. And let me say that no one whom I know to be active in this thread fits either of those cases.

    Vetting and review is only useful if it is sincere and honest, and it is only valuable if it bars lesser works based solely on quality and not on content. For example, and excuse me for naming a name, but if Seamus, an excellent writer, were to compose a book on the Mysteries of Magnet Motors, I could not in good conscience endorse such a book on the one hand (because magnet motors are voodoo pseudoscience) nor could I tell everyone not to read the book, because I believe that ideas should be available, and should stand or fall on their own merits. So I would be stuck.

    Hopefully Seamus will not write a magnet motor book, but instead a book of pure fiction, perhaps another caper of some sort, and that book I could heartily endorse (If you haven't read  POW, I recommend it heartily).

    But you see my point: I'd be stuck.

    So such an arrangement of reviews -- or curation, if you prefer -- would need to have caveats. For example, if someone were to submit a book to me that left me stuck, it would need to be understood that "I'm sorry but I cannot endorse this" would be a perfectly acceptable reply that fully abates the onus on the reviewer. No pushing, no pulling, no demanding an explanation: The reviewer read the book and declined to comment, no further explanation needed.

    On the other hand, if the reviewer were able and willing, then the author would have imprimus to use the reviews for marketing as appropriate:

    "Lamentable Dreck,"  -- Og Keep, author of _Caveman Apologetics_
    "Are you kidding me?" -- Cliff Robison, author of _A Trufflesome Murder_
    "Eh, it was okay." -- Fluella Mae Flunkenbush, author of _How to Marinate a Ham Sandwich_

    -etc.

    With such caveats and understandings -- that silence, or even a negative review, are no grounds for recriminations against the reviewer, and that the author is permitted to honestly quote the review, with a citation style to be mutually agreed upon -- then it might work. But only if everyone has thick skin. We're talking pachyderms, folks.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Thick skins, yes. And also a group with varied interests and ideas so that a consensus of a majority rather than all would carry the day (think the nine justices of the Supreme  Court if that's not too exalted a model to imagine in this context).
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Greenland and Iceland were NOT settled by "Vikings" or vikings though there may have been some who had been vikings in their number. Denmark had NOTHING to do with Greenland in its Norse period. Norway, by then a unified kingdom had nothing to do with it either.

    Your replies are getting too long, but I will answer that >> you are aware that Vikings were Danes and did not call themselves Vikings??
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    So far as I have seen, there is NO evidence the Norse remained anywhere in North America for a hundred years. But I would like to see if Kevin has some information about this that I have missed!

    I told you the evidence. But try this >>   https://www.fiweh.com/01/21/2019/americas-lost-vikings-science-channel-tv-show-launches-next-month#.XIemqXd2thE  there's also potential evidence they got at least as far as where New York now is, but I will let you research that yourself.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Now, see, that's the sort of thing where one says to oneself, "It's three triangles on top of a box. How hard can that be to sketch?" But then the entire proportion thing kicks in, and the end result is vaguely monstroud.

    What that posted in the wrong thread?  :)
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Thick skins, yes. And also a group with varied interests and ideas so that a consensus of a majority rather than all would carry the day (think the nine justices of the Supreme  Court if that's not too exalted a model to imagine in this context).

    Just go and join some local writing club.
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 12
    In reference to who settled Greenland and tried to settle Vinland, since I denied that they were vikings, Kevin wrote:
    . . . you are aware that Vikings were Danes and did not call themselves Vikings??
    And neither should we because "viking" is a job description not an ethnicity and, of course, because Danes had nothing to do with the settlement of Greenland or the exploration of North America ("Vinland").

    When I asked Kevin for evidence that, as he claimed, "Vikings" settled in America for a hundred years he gave me a link to a television show based on speculation and nothing more:
    This isn't evidence of anything. It's like a tv special on UFOs, rife with speculation and possibilities and unproven theories. Sorry Kev, doesn't cut it. I'll stick with what is established based on the evidence, to wit that the remains of the settlement uncovered at L'anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland revealed a short term presence only and that the saga literature actually reports a mere three-year effort, at two distinct sites to put down Norse (not "Viking") roots in North America, an effort abandoned after clashes with the natives and an inhospitable second location (called Straumsfjord) made remaining unpalatable. This falls well short of the hundred year mark Kevin has proposed. 

    Sometimes, Kevin, the wise thing is just to fess up and acknowledge error instead of making things worse.


  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 12
    Hey Ron, Xlibris has responded to my inquiry, informing me that I can, indeed, reissue KVS for additional fees:

    $250 for printer set-up
    $25 for textual changes on the cover
    $70 for design changes to the cover

    On balance this would probably be a lot easier than going OCR but I want to get a sense of how costly it would be to redesign a cover in line with your advice. Do you have any specific ideas about what you'd do and what kind of cost that would add to this?

    Although I do have some interior changes I'd love to make (a few typos did slip through originally and I later came to feel I'd used too many commas in some of the sentences, an archaic 19th century mode of writing not altogether suitable for our contemporary usages), that would add another $250 fee to the above, probably still require my reacquiring the manuscript and would still be a major task so I think I'll forego playing around with the interior.

    So basically I'd be doing this to create a better cover than the one I was able to get for the book from the Xlibris of old. Remember that whole thing cost me $730 for their Level II service (cheap as dirt compared to what they charge today).

    For the record I'd rather do all this through Lulu but that isn't doable without a manuscript which, as I've said before, I no longer have.

    So, assuming you've read much of what I've written above about the Norse visits to North America (the backdrop of my novel), do you have any ideas about a new cover design (and a figure on the costs question)?

    I still have to determine from them, by the way, whether or not I can just upload a whole new cover or will have to use their services in the cover design process . . . something that's not yet clear from their response.

    If you prefer, we can discuss this privately. My email address is [email protected] .   But I have no objection to discussing publicly as well as I think it useful and relevant to others here, too.

    If Paul has thoughts about how we could transfer this to Lulu, I'm open to that, as well, since I am more comfortable working on this here than with them. But if not I can proceed with them if the costs aren't crazy.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    I will send you a private message later regarding your cover.

    But speaking about the text, it’s hard to imagine how OCRing your text would cost $250...and you would have the chance to do the changes and fixes you would like to do. And, as I pointed out earlier, if one of your goals is to place your book before producers and agents, I think it would stand you in good stead to have a copy in MS form. And, of course, you would have a fresh text if you decided to publish through Lulu.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 13
    I guess it's the thought of all that work scanning in the material, Ron. It's a thick book and not easy to press it flat so it has to be done manually (637 pages which, as you can imagine, makes an edition done through Lulu even costlier to sell). And then there's the thought of combing through the new digital manuscript to correct it, page by page. The fees they quoted me aren't onerous while hours and hours of work restoring the manuscript would be. But I haven't decided what to do with them at this point. All will depend on the cost factors. But I think you're probably right. If I have a chance to improve the cover I probably should do it. Might make the book more competitive in today's "Viking" literary world!
     
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    edited March 12
    According to the saga record, the place where Leif landed had abrupt tidal reversals which stranded their vessel for a time. Edward Reman, following the saga sailing directions, as he interpreted them, came to a place where such tidal action occurred: the Bay of Fundy at the corner of southeast New Brunswick and northeast coastal Maine. Here's a photo of the bay when the tide is out:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/couple-with-dog-coming-in-with-tide-on-the-bay-of-fundy-news-photo/629540923

    Here's another:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/low-tide-rocky-beach-royalty-free-image/1058105756

    And another:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/sunset-at-bay-of-fundy-at-low-tide-royalty-free-image/575698051

    A shot looking down at the tidal action:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/basalt-rock-on-bay-of-fundy-brier-island-high-res-stock-photography/885318730

    Perhaps there' an interesting image here that can create an arresting visual for the story that follows. Just thinking about the possibilities. 


  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Here's another image, this one of a cliff side on Grand Manaan Island, the "third land" the saga reports them sighting after leaving the land they named Furdustrands (marvelous beaches) before making landfall on continental North America according to Edward Reman's reckoning. Although I'd never been there when I wrote the book, and Google was not yet a fixture on the Internet (which, itself, was a mere shadow of what it has since become) this image, and related ones, looks strikingly like what I'd imagined from the descriptions I'd read of this place (described by Reman and other writers I sought out in the course of researching the novel).

    This, too, might form the basis for some interesting cover art:

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://www.hecktictravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Grand-Manan-Cliff-Camping.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.picswe.com/pics/grand-manan-island-2b.html&h=649&w=974&tbnid=1kdGPFAB8FExKM&tbnh=183&tbnw=275&usg=K_OLyHcizS0xiuU79iLYHo-tYr48k=&docid=Z8ZGDH_OeKQnoM&itg=1
Sign In or Register to comment.