Welcome to new subscribers from E-Gov. Because many
are receiving this free monthly newsletter for the first time, let
me tell you what it’s about. Regular subscribers, feel free
to skip the next paragraph.
TaleCatcher news has four regular sections:
You’ve Got To
Be Kidding. My choice of the most humorous or peculiar
cybersecurity event of the prior month.
Treasure Hunt Clue.
A hint to help readers find the message hidden in the book (and
in the sample pages posted on our web site). The prize is $1,000
and recent clues have brought this contest within reach.
Adventures in book promotion. This includes successes, failures,
and experiences in marketing my novel that might be of interest
to friends, fans, and fellow writers.
Whining and Dining.
Restaurant experiences mainly in Northern Virginia.
During September, a movie studio inquired about
film rights for the novel and Jill and I set up the lone author
booth at a tradeshow of publishers and booksellers. Also, the Naked
in Cyberspace poster series continued, with the unveiling of the
naked cat. Check out those stories and more in News Headlines.
The Amazon top-500 author of No
Buy the book on: Amazon.com
or read sample
Got To Be Kidding
Spam plumbed new depths with the note that
advertised, “Spy on Anyone by sending them an E-Greeting Card!”
Below the graphic, large type directed the recipient to “Click
here.” Right. A firm that claims to surreptitiously install
spyware when someone clicks through to their e-cards tells you to
click through to their site for information. A snippet of dialogue
comes to mind.
Legal counsel for spammer: “Let me get this
right. You’re accusing my client of doing to you what you
planned to do to others?”
What might spyware do? I did not click through to
find out. It’s certainly possible for spyware to record every
keystroke on the target machine, package them up, and spirit them
away. Heck, it could also record what’s said
in the vicinity of the target computer. And if the target has a
web cam… Well. See you later.
Got To Be Kidding Archives
This month’s clue is that the author’s notes and acknowledgments
are part of the book. Combine this tidbit with the summary of clues
in the September
newsletter and you could win $1,000. The sharp-eyed person who
spots the hidden message is going to slap a high-five against his
or her forehead and wonder why it took so long.
As always, remember
that this is a game of skill and no purchase is necessary.
Okay, so you’re wondering about the film studio. It’s
a Los Angeles studio that does both mainstream movies and TV movies.
Turns out a long-time cybersecurity acquaintance read the novel,
liked it, and passed it on to his daughter, a film producer with
a can-she-really-be-this-young voice. She had her people read it;
they “loved it” and drafted a report for the top guy.
The producer asked whether I’d sold the film rights, since she didn’t
want to pursue the opportunity otherwise. Pursue away, I told her.
They say Hollywood is an old-boy network, that it’s all who
you know. Never thought my connection would be through a young woman
I’d never met.
The quest for extreme marketing humiliation continued
with an excursion to a tradeshow of publishers and booksellers at
the glitzy Borgata casino hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. What
could I do to get noticed, I wondered? Easy. Rent a booth on the
tradeshow floor, the only author
booth in a sea of booksellers and publishers. Hey, I might be different
from the rest of them, but at least I could Be
a Good NAIBA.
What else does an author do to get noticed and sell
books? What’s worked best for me have been speeches. I did
two during the month, the most prominent being a luncheon keynote
speech to 160 people at an E-Gov Information Assurance conference.
Two sold-out E-Gov book signings followed that talk. A week later
came the role of conference chair at an Information Superiority
Other promotion experiences were routine, a three-way
video teleconference meeting with the MITRE Knowledge Management
Book Club (thank you Antoinette Arsic), an interview with Alison
Stern-Dunyak, a delightful MITRE reporter, and a telephone interview
with journalist Sharon Gaudin, who had the session published and
posted on a Datamation
eZine within hours of our chat. Other web sites and at least
one email list picked up the story, generating some online sales.
At this point, many of you surely are disappointed.
For the past two months this otherwise modest newsletter has featured
a naked gal and a naked guy, both serving the shameless purpose
of drawing attention to the novel. Those of you who hunger for more
flesh will not be disappointed, for the Naked in Cyberspace series
this month features a naked
cat (1,011 KB file). Okay, maybe this wasn’t what you
had in mind, but at the NAIBA tradeshow all three naked images were
featured on T-shirts and the image that drew the most attention,
hands down, was the cat.
As a not-for-profit, work-in-the-public-interest guy by day, it
is difficult to admit to bribery. But for years, bribes worked to
get us wonderful tables by the fire at Old Anglers Inn in Potomac,
Maryland. The maitre d' always protested, I always insisted, he
always took the money, and he always gave us a great table. We had
a relationship that worked both ways, a partnership. Then Old Anglers
changed hands and my friend disappeared. I felt as though I’d
lost a member of the family, and we definitely lost that seat by
the fire. Ouch.
Imagine my delight to find my old partner now a
host at L’Auberge Chez Francois. The trouble is, there’s
nothing to buy. We only visit L’Auberge to dine on their terrace,
which by the way has the most spectacular ambience of any outdoor
restaurant in the D.C. area, thank you, no contest. The incredible
thing about their terrace is that they don’t take reservations.
Those are taken only for indoor tables and you have to call weeks
in advance. For the far-superior outdoor tables, you just stroll
in a few minutes before they open. Voila. We can do that. The thing
is, all their tables are great. Bribery is unnecessary. I felt so
sorry for my old partner.
The food? It’s fine but nowhere near as phenomenal
as the restaurant guides say. For an in-depth assessment of a meal,
see Kathy Wang’s
web log. One feature we enjoy is the assortment of veggies.
We ordered a beef entree with two meaty medallions and a vegetarian
entree and split them. The vegetarian dish had maybe ten different
veggies! This was awesome. I once ordered the vegetarian entree
at the Hunan Lion in Vienna and they dumped before me a colossal
mound of a green leafy thing they might have found on a beach at
low tide. I didn’t know what it was and didn’t want
to know. At L’Auberge, I recognized everything on my plate.
Taken singly, each was routine. In aggregation, the dish was delightful.
As usual for us, the culinary high point proved to be the berry
tart, in the classic French style so rarely found in the U.S.
For something different, visit Bill and Jill's book-signing, antiques,
and crafts booth at the MITRE Craft Fair & Flea Market on Saturday,
25 October, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, in the MITRE 1 parking lot at 7525
Colshire Drive, McLean, VA. You'll be able to buy books, the Naked-series
T-shirts, and other oddities. For the holidays, remember that a
signed book is a great gift. The rain date is 1 November.
Throughout August and September, reality
emulated my novel with worms and blackouts. Spread the word by recommending
my talk: Cyberterrorism;
We’re Toast. The talk gives the story behind the news,
is informative and entertaining, and is in great demand. Mandatory
honoraria are coming, although I’d prefer organizers buy copies
of the novel rather than give me a fee. So far, six groups have
bought almost 800 copies and several other groups are considering
purchases. Of course, if the organizers don’t buy books for
the crowd, then I need to be able to sell and sign books after the
talk. Think of this not as an ad, but as a public service announcement,
since the novel raises awareness about our national vulnerability
Enjoying this newsletter and wish there were more
to read? Try the novel. Several people have likened the writing
style to that of Robert Ludlum. Incidentally, hardcover copies are
now available from Amazon.com and bn.com.
No Outward Sign
© 2003 Bill Neugent, All rights reserved.
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From Bill Neugent's TaleCatcher™ News eZine. Please visit
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