Category Archives: Software

TrackerBox Mac Kickstarter is Live!

It’s been a long time coming. The Kickstarter for the Mac version of TrackerBox is live, and I’m excited to be able to finally say yes when people ask me if they can use TrackerBox on a Mac. It will only happen if the Kickstarter funds, so if you use a Mac and you want TrackerBox, make sure you back it at a slight discount, and then tell all of your friends to back it, too.

For more information on TrackerBox, you can go to the TrackerBox Kickstarter page, or you can visit the StoryBox Software website.

Please, don’t wait to back it. If it doesn’t reach it’s goal, I can’t make the software, and with every project I’ve seen on Kickstarter, if it doesn’t go well early on, it doesn’t go well at all.

October Update

September turned out all right, I guess. It was actually kind of a difficult month, as I managed to run into a curb with one of our cars, and it’s been out of commission because we can’t currently afford to get it fixed. It meant that all of the events my son needs to go to require a lot of planning to make happen (as well as help from some of his friends on occasion).

I did get that TrackerBox update out, but I couldn’t make the Mac TrackerBox Kickstarter happen. I’m hoping to submit it for approval tomorrow, though (they say it takes three days). If it all works out, it should be up and going early next week. I’ll do a bunch of tweets and facebook posts surrounding it, as well as a post here, so don’t worry that you’ll miss it.

I’ve added features for the next big StoryBox update. The wordcount calendar is now in a real calendar, and the word usage data is now in a sortable grid. I’ve added a Bookshelf feature that can show all of your stories from all of your projects in a single view with cover thumbnails and status info. I’m in the middle of adding custom document properties for each document. For Characters, Items, and Locations, these will allow you to replace the text document Q&A with a set of fields that you can fill in. Some of these fields will let you draw links between documents or characters (think friends, family, etc….). I don’t have a target date for the next StoryBox release, but I can say that it is probably a few months away, still.

On the writing front, I finished up a superhero novella for an anthology/bundle I’ve been invited to. If I didn’t miss the mark, that should be available in November. I immediately started working on the follow-up to it, which, if all goes well, will be available in December. When I finish that, I’m planning a third that should be ready in January. After that, more Grim Repo.

I’m really going to push to complete series over the next year and a half. I think one of the primary things holding me back is how wide I let my focus get. I wrote Shattered, then followed it up with Questioner’s Shadow (the first book in another series) instead of with Fragments. Then I wrote Moony, and maybe a couple other things before finally getting back to Fragments. And then I wrote more things.

Frankly, as a reader, I’d hate that.

So the plan is to tighten up the loop. I’ll finish this novella series, then finish up Grim Repo, then a Sword & Sorcery series I’ve started (and not yet published), and then I’ll tackle the remaining Wizard’s Work books. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Big plans, big plans. However long they take me, they’ll get done, and in that order.

TrackerBox, StoryBox, and Paperback News

Paperback
I put the finishing touches on the Paperback multiplayer update a couple weeks ago, and it’s live on the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. It’s a fun word/card game designed by Tim Fowers, and I suggest you go spend the $4 and play it!

TrackerBox
TrackerBox will be getting its first new features in quite a while, tomorrow (assuming all goes well).

The first one isn’t all that exciting, but you’ll be able to print your data and your charts.

The second feature is one I’m much more excited about. Filter Sets. You’ll be able to save frequently used filter settings, and restore them by selecting them from a list. If you write in series, and you only want to see how that series is doing, you can go into the titles, select the titles from the series, type in the name of the series at the top of the filter panel, and then click the save button. The next time you select the series name from the box at the top, it will restore that set of titles.

Mac TrackerBox
The Kickstarter for the Mac version of TrackerBox will be starting within the next two weeks. I just need to make a video. A lot of things happened over the summer that forced me to delay the start of the Kickstarter (one of which was the need to finish up Paperback).

StoryBox
StoryBox will be getting an update, but I think the next update will be a very large update. It will be at least 2.1, if not 2.5 or 3.0. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve got a list of seventeen new features I want to add. I don’t know when it will happen, other than it will happen after Mac TrackerBox, assuming that gets funded. If the Kickstarter fails, it’s possible this could get pushed up, but I might have to find a different bit of work to pay the bills. Still, I wanted to let you all know that I haven’t abandoned it. It will get love, too.

What’s Going On?

I haven’t posted much here in a long time. It’s challenging when nothing seems to be happening, when writing isn’t going well, to talk as if things are okay. It’s been a challenging year (yes, another one), and I just find that I don’t want to speak publicly about it. It’s hard to feel, sometimes, like anyone cares. I know people do, I know you’re out there, but knowing doesn’t really alter my perceptions.

But it’s time to climb out of the hole, take a peek outside, and see what the lay of the land looks like, now that spring seems like it might finally arrive (the rain this year has been relentless).

So, here’s what’s going on.

I’ll be running a Kickstarter for the Mac version of TrackerBox in the near near future. If you have been waiting for a Mac version of TrackerBox, this is the only way it’s going to happen. I’ll post more when it goes live.

I have been writing, but I’ve been writing songs. You can hear demos of some of them on SoundCloud. They’re all kind of rough, but you should get the idea of what I’m aiming for. And when I say they’re rough, each of them were written and recorded in a single day. The plan is to write a few more, then do some work on the demos, and record an album.

I’m still working on the multiplayer part of the game Paperback, which you can find on iOS and Android. It’s a great word/card game. That should be done soon (I’m timing the TrackerBox Kickstarter around when I think that will be done).

Do not worry, more books will be coming. I can’t leave Robert and company, Grim, or the other the crew from Minders alone for too much longer.

If you’re still listening, thanks for hanging around in my absence. I’m going to try to be better about posting regularly.

A TrackerBox Update

When I first released TrackerBox, the plan was always to have an introductory price, and then raise the price to something that made more sense based on what TrackerBox is and the market for it. It’s been sitting at $60 since 2012, and since then, I’ve updated it fifty four times. I’ve added features, marketplaces that people have requested, and I haven’t charged one extra cent for that ongoing support.

I’ve had people suggest that a yearly subscription fee might cover the cost of that ongoing support, but I’m not at all interested in charging a subscription fee. I want to offer you a one time fee for something you get to keep and continue to use on your hardware. I want it to be a value for you over time.

But I still need to support the ongoing updates.

I’ve looked around at the other options available, and there isn’t another application available for your desktop that does what TrackerBox does. There are services where you put in all your information, and they give you similar information, but they will cost you at least $60 a year, and if you have any number of books at all, they can cost twice that or more.

With all that in mind, I’ve chosen to raise the price of TrackerBox to $89.99.

It’s $30 less than the first year of the biggest alternative, and you get an application on your computer that is frequently updated, doesn’t require you to store passwords on someone else’s website (or even your own computer), and saves you hours of time each month over playing around with spreadsheets.

I have some more updates planned for TrackerBox in the coming months, and I’m working on a solution to a much asked about port to Mac. I don’t know if it will happen, but I’m working on finding a way to make it happen.

So, if you’ve read this far, and you’re completely angry with me for raising the price right as you were about click that buy button, I’ve got a coupon for you.

Through the end of August, you can get TrackerBox at the old price of $59.99 by entering the coupon code TBAUG2016 at checkout.

TrackerBox Mac on Indefinite Hold

I have talked for over a year and a half (might be two years, now), about releasing a Mac version of TrackerBox. I’ve even done quite a bit of work on it, and could probably have it complete in a month of concentrated work.

But, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve had a lot of personal life difficulties that have pushed it out, further and further, and I think it’s time to be realistic about the chances of me ever finishing the Mac version of TrackerBox. They’re pretty much slim to none.

It’s not that I don’t want to give my favorite writer friends who work on a Mac the opportunity to shave hours off of the time they spent dealing with their numbers. I’d really love to be able to do that. However, I have an eight hour a day side job, kids to manage, books I want and need to write, a wife to keep happy, and the the current versions of TrackerBox and StoryBox to support.

Recently, after our car decided to stop shifting gears, I had to visit the doctor because I had soreness in my left arm, a high heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and unexplained sweating. After an examination and an EKG, he prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

It became clear to me that there was a reason the Mac version of TrackerBox kept slipping. I just don’t have the bandwidth for it.

I’m really sorry I’m not able to follow through on it, but I’ve got to do what’s in the best interests of my health and my family.

With all that said, if there is some intrepid Mac programmer out there who would like to help take the Mac version to completion (I estimate it’s about 30-40% done), contact me and we’ll see if we can work out the details. You would have to know Objective C and C++ fairly well, and I would like to see examples of software that you have taken to completion.