For the Narcissist Lover in You…

The Rest of the JP Story

So, unless you have just  stumbled upon this page by accident while searching for goulash recipes, you are aware that I got my writing start by authoring fan fiction.  Specifically, it all began with a series about a certain boy wizard, James Potter, son of the ultra-famous Harry.  The three James Potter books have been read worldwide by more people than I could count.  It’s been a delightful ride, and I, for one, want more.  There are four more books to go in the series, and I have them nominally planned out.  I know all the secrets.  I know the three words that James scribbled on the parchment after his dream of Petra and Albus in the graveyard.  I know that we haven’t (quite) seen the last of some people we thought were lost forever.  I know whether Petra and Izzy have been permanently tainted by their actions beneath the Wishing Tree.  I know what happens in the last paragraph of the last book.

And if I may be so bold, it’s all pretty good stuff.

So.  The problem is simply this: as happy as I am to make more free James Potter stories, (and as eager as my readers are to encourage them) those stories cost me a lot to produce.  They take a tremendous amount of time and effort to write, and it occurs to me that it might be considered foolish (if not completely daft) to continue writing free JP stories when I could be writing original stories that I can actually sell.  After all, as much as I love writing purely for the sake of the story, story doesn’t pay ye olde bills.

Although I do have a few other financial ventures in the works...

Thus, I formulated a plan.  I would alternate writing one original (sellable) novel for every free James Potter story.  Ideally, the one would fund the production of the other.  Seems fair, yes?  After all, I have avoided just asking for donations outright (I hate the very idea, actually).  I have even, for the sake of the purity of the story, avoided putting ads on the websites, despite the revenue they would surely generate.  In short, I never wished to abuse the loyalty and faithfulness of the readers by turning the stories into a crass money-making venture.

But I have no problem selling my original stories to them.  After all, they are hard work, and the reader gets something for their 2.99– they get a new story, and the chance to support the free stories they have already enjoyed.  Seems like a win-win, yes?

The problem is that my readers have gotten rather used to free.  They aren’t particularly eager to throw money at any new stories.  This might be because the new tales don’t have the word “Potter” in the title.  It might also be because a lot of my readers are young and simply don’t have credit cards or income.  But it might also be because they just don’t want to pay for what they will eventually (hopefully) get for free.

Thus, when my newest original book, “Ruins of Camelot”, came out, I knew the sales wouldn’t be huge.  I hoped for just enough income from the book to push it up the amazon charts, earn some new readers via that exposure, and make enough cashola to justify the months it would take to write the next James Potter story.

Suffice it to say, that hasn’t happened.

Wait a minute, I thought this was that new Dean Koontz cookbook...

In fact, thus far (if you don’t mind me putting it bluntly) the sales of “Ruins of Camelot” have not been enough to pay the web hosting fee for http://www.jamespotterseries.com.  As of this writing, RoC has sold 51 total copies, most of them to my immediate family and friends.

This, as you may imagine, puts me in a tough position.  My readers want more James Potter stories– and I want to write them– but I simply cannot, at this point, justify the time and expense of it.

But I have come up with what seems to me to be an elegant and simple fix.  The solution, I think, is to make my problem your problem as well.  We both want the same things, yes?  Perfect.  Here it is:

I will write more James Potter bookwhen the sales of “Ruins of Camelot” and any other writing ventures allows me the financial freedom to do so.  EDIT: I want to be sure to mention that I am not intending to blackmail you, the readers, into buying RoC simply to ensure more JP stories.  I want you to buy RoC because it is a GOOD STORY.  It is of the same quality and depth (perhaps more so) as the JP books.  By getting your copy, you not only get a great new story, you support me as an author.  That support frees me up to write more stories, some free fan fiction, some more sellable books.  Either way, I hope you understand that I am mostly just pointing out a practical reality: book sales equal more books, including more James Potter sequels.

Truly, I do apologize if that sounds crass.  If it angers you, please feel free to bid me and my stories adieu with no harm done.  If, on the other hand, you appreciate the effort involved in the creation of these books and understand the need to balance my passion for the story with my need to take care of my people, then I thank you grandly for your consideration and support.

For those who don’t have the means to buy “Ruins of Camelot” or any of my other published works, there are equally valuable ways that you can show your support.  My favorite is this: go to your public library and request “Ruins of Camelot”.  it’s free to you, gets the book onto the shelves, and encourages new readers, all of which helps me immensely.  Another way is simply to spread the word about the stories.  If you read “Ruins of Camelot” and enjoy it, tell people about it.  There is almost nothing in the universe as powerful as word-of-mouth recommendations.  Finally, if you did read the book, you can leave reviews for it on goodreads.com and wherever you purchased it from.  Reviews are a hugely powerful way to encourage new readers.

Bribery works too.

Thanks a million for reading this, and for offering all of your encouragement and support.  If you are one of the fifty or so marvelous people who have already bought “Ruins of Camelot”, you have my undying gratitude.  Words can be very encouraging, but there is nothing as inspiring to a writer as when a reader chooses to invest their hard-earned coin in their story.  If you plan to suggest RoC to your library, or tell your friends about, thanks very much as well.  This is how independent publishing will succeed– with the help if each individual reader.

With your support and encouragement, the James Potter story will go on.  I will keep you all updated on the progress to our goal.  Whenever you are curious, simply ask and I will give a report (within reason– let’s keep it on a weekly basis or so, agreed?)  And whenever you see anyone asking when or if there will be another JP book, post a link to this blog post.  Spread the word and encourage your fellow readers to do the same.

Thanks much, and as always: onward and upward.

Oh, and just in case you are still wondering, here’s the best goulash recipe I know.

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79 responses

  1. Hester

    Good to see you’ve keptyour sense of humor about this! And your proposal is fair, reasonable and really not any different than the original. When Ruins of Camelot starts paying some bills, you’ll take time out and finish JP and the Morrigan Web…and so on.

    Sounds like a great plan.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm

  2. I for one am willing to put my money where my mouth is, that is begging for more books. That being said I found 2 listings on my preferred book retailer Amazon.com both Kindle & Paperback editions.

    Of the two which do you get a better share out of? I happen to own a Kindle and it is my preferred reading device but if the Paperback gives you a better cut I am sure I can handle a pulped-tree book.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    • Actually, both give about the same revenue, amazingly enough. Whichever you prefer, Hentai, I am happy for your support.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      • Paul H

        Supporting the cause, purchased!

        December 5, 2011 at 5:58 am

  3. Mahogany

    I am glad you are keeping your head about all of this. I agree that it is in your best interest to support yourself before “supporting” us. We have supported you in any decision you have made, and this decision is no different. We eagerly await the next installations in the James Potter series, and in the meantime, I personally will do what I can to ensure a steady rise to your goal. It’s wonderful to hear you aren’t simply washing your hands of the JP project (a bit hard to do, considering how much of it is stockpiled in your noggin) and I hope you succeed in this venture. In the words of a favorite author: “Onward and upward!”

    December 3, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  4. Marcelo

    Sounds pretty fair. Of course I´ll help you. RoC is a great story itself, but helping to go out Morrigan`s web it´s really a great bonus to me.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  5. Make that 52 copies!

    December 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

  6. Mia

    As far as I know asking people to buy Ruins of Camelot or you won’t write any more James Potter stories means you would be profiting from your fanfic, which would mean copyright infringement. I know of an HP fanfic writer who got into trouble when they said they couldn’t write any more fanfic until someone bought them a new computer since their old one had died. The fans chipped in to buy a new computer for the writer and the writer got into a bit of trouble for profiting from the fanfic. Be careful.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    • You may be right, Mia. But no one is giving me gifts for more fanfic. They are buying legitimate books– they get something for their coin. Still, the whole thing makes me a bit disgusted as well. Perhaps it is foolish of me to have even made this announcement.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm

  7. John Carpenter

    You know, I have been reading the JP books and also own kindle AND lulu copies of ROC and Riverhouse. I am a huge fan of your work but I find this attitude totally ridiculous. I am not saying you should continue writing JP series, maybe you shouldn\’t if you can\’t afford it, although I and probably thousands of others would love it if you did. However, blackmailing people to continue JP series only if they purchase the book is a bit senseless. I have been reading other posts on this page and quite a lot of people seem to want to buy RoC only to see JP continue. Do you think this makes a good impression of you as a writer? I thought you wrote JP series because you wanted to continue the HP world and then decided to make it public, not because you had the whole idea planned out to go on and blackmail readers to buy your other books if they want to read JP. Again, I am a huge fan of all your books, but this attitude gives me a very poor impression of you as a writer.
    People should buy RoC and Riverhouse because they want to buy RoC and Riverhouse, not because they want to see JP series continue. Both are great books and I recommend everyone buy them, but I don\’t think this is the right way to go about it.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    • I am not sure that I wouldn’t feel the same as you, were I in your shoes, John. My number one wish is that people would purchase the books simply because they are good books– suggesting they do so simply to fund more JP books does, frankly, disgust me a bit as well. In all fairness, though, I *could* simply request donations. Instead, I worked to create a story that is more than worth everyone’s investment, while simultaneously making more JP books possible. My goal is not to strong-arm anyone into paying for more JP books, but to simply point out the practical realities that they cost me a lot to make, and to suggest that by supporting ALL of my works, everyone wins.

      Still, I expected many would respond as you do, and I don’t really blame you. I just assumed most readers would rather know the realities of the situation than for me to simply shut everything down without an explanation.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm

  8. Blake Smith

    I think this is a decent plan actually. When you were talking earlier, I did not realize the sales were so low. Sorry to hear they are and I hope they go up for you. I will be buying mine soon since I have not had the chance to yet.

    Here is my question though, are you going to continue to write other original stories, novel, novella, short story and so on before another JP book or are we just all waiting around for the magic number of 3000 to continue? I know that may seem like a cynical question, but it is not, I promise. It is out of desire to know your thoughts.

    Thanks.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    • I suspect that it will take a long, long (possibly a LOOOOONNNG) time to reach that number, if it is attainable at all. Thus, in the meantime, I will surely be working on SOMEthing.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  9. A great decision.
    I already bought two of RoC, an ebook (the first day avalaible) and a paper one witch is on its way… by boat I presume because Amazon tell me it’ll come home in janaury.
    i so trilled to be called a marvelous people ! thank you, you’ve make my day.

    December 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm

  10. Hester

    Mr. Carpenter is wrong. Don’t ALL writers expect their fan base to buy their books before they write anymore? They might not come out and say that but if a book/story doesn’t sell, it is unlikely the publisher is going to ask him to write another.

    Don’t be discouraged George. You are not only writer now but publisher as well. You have to make the hard choices and one of those is that an income of some sort must be realized from Ruins of Camelot before you can afford to “gift” another James Potter story. And those stories ARE gifts. Unfortunately, it seems many do not look at it that way. They seem to be expectations and they annoyed when they don’t happen.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:45 am

  11. tommy harper

    sounds fair man an as soon as i get paid monday i will buy it!!! thanks lots

    December 4, 2011 at 12:57 am

  12. Geo,
    Urgh – the hotel internet just deleted my long response; I will try to retype it and will save it before trying to post so as not to retype the third time.

    Here it is – hope it works:

    Everyone has got to eat. I could sense your frustration in writing your blog post. Don’t beat yourself up even if some may be disappointed. Let them be disenchanted – they are not the ones having to feed your family. It is quite a let down one would feel with sales being so low after writing a great book and then waiting for a year to publish it.

    From what I know about marketing my books (albeit non-fiction) – it is all about planning your launch correctly. From what I can see from my limited perspective, you are a rare kind of person who can make things happen, period. An amazing quality. This time around it may have hurt you a tad, however. You just went ahead and made a decision to launch and then just launched. Didn’t build the anticipation enough, didn’t have people pre-purchase their copies prior to the release, didn’t tease enough, and all the other usual stuff that goes into this type of thing.

    Now it’s a question of recovering quickly to still get you on the bestseller list.

    Here are my two cents – what I would do:

    1. Update all of your websites including this blog with the news of your book being released, and the link as to where to get it. Last time I checked your website for this book, I didn’t see the link to Amazon (but I don’t rule out the fact that I was either blind or exhausted last week on a business trip).

    2. Even if you have to pull off an all-nighter, release one chapter of the next JP installment. You don’t have to write another chapter any time soon, but you need the traffic boost now. Blog about it and the Ruins together.

    In the meantime, I got 3 hard copies for friends, and will get my Kindle one when I get back from my trip.

    Rooting for you.

    December 4, 2011 at 2:20 am

  13. Zixi

    I can’t believe people think this proposition is blackmail. What business has never run a special promotion offering a free gift for a purchase of a particular amount, or a $10 rebate on a $50 purchase? What is the difference? The writing business is no different from any other. It can be brutal. Here is a post I left on one of your older blogs, for those who have not read it:

    “I was a huge fan of the original Star Trek series, and still have, to this day, two large books of ST short stories I wrote back then. I contacted the late, great James Blish, who put me in touch with a lady agent who, as he told me, was something of a rogue and might take an unknown writer as a client. She selected three of my stories and submitted them to the ST Animated series. I say that to show that not everyone is scared off at the thought of fanfiction. My story did not have a happy ending, because my stories were rejected; but my plots were stolen and used in the series, though rewritten by professionals to the point where they were unrecognizable as mine. I did not have your tenacity, and quit writing. I sincerely wish I had not. I had scribbled constantly up to that point, and have had a 40 year case of writer’s block ever since. Don’t let this happen to you. Self publishing was not an option in those pre-internet days, as the cost was prohibitive. You, however, have the talent, tenacity, and opportunity to “make it” as a paid writer, and should do anything you have to do to reach your goal. I wish you luck, and hope I can help in some small way by purchasing, reviewing, and recommending your books as you release them.”

    Now, I live way below the poverty line on a small Social Security check. I cannot afford to buy the paper copies of books, so I am pleased to learn the e-books are as profitable for you. My worsening eyesight makes the reading of book-size print increasingly difficult anyway. I have a macular hole in one eye and a thinning of the retina in the other. Eventually I may not be able to read at all, but my Kindle can read aloud to me. I have read Girl on the Dock, but will be more than glad to purchase the e-book if and when it becomes available on Amazon. I will review it at that time also. Ditto for Riverhouse. Also, I’m hoping for a sequel to GOTD, with more about Izzy and the magic you have hinted she has. In short (too late to be short, isn’t it?) I, for one, will be glad to buy any e-book you make available for us, not just because I want more JP stories (which I do), but because your writing has captured my imagination more than anyone else’s in many years. Don’t let the few negative comments above discourage you, and DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I MADE! Keep writing, and we who love and appreciate your work will keep buying, reviewing and recommending.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:04 am

  14. JP fan

    I understand Geo’s position, but it reads a bit like blackmail (i.e. if you want more JP then you have to buy ROC). Personally, I think you should have kept all of this to yourself as I don’t think it’s going to help your reputation to publicize it. The stories should sell themselves. You could have done all of this without telling us, with no damage to your reputation as an author, You also must be careful to not being seen as trying to profit from your fanfic, as that would get you into legal trouble.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:29 am

  15. Ariba

    Totally support your reasons. After all, JP series are a gift to us for reading RoC.
    And people? If you’re buying, WON’T YOU READ IT? Yes, you will. So try complaining after buying, reading, and liking/disliking. I’m sure RoC is greatt. Since I don’t live in West-and don’t get books fast, I’m gonna ask a relative to send it to me. Its going to be awesome. I’m sure. 🙂

    December 4, 2011 at 9:29 am

  16. John Carpenter

    I get the fact that Geo has to take care of himself first. And thats definitely not what I am complaining about here. It also not about the cost of the books, the books are quite cheap considering how well written they are. But forcing people to buy the books for the WRONG REASON doesn’t sit well with me.

    Honestly, I think I’d be more comfortable if you setup a donation page with something like “I will start writing the next JP book when the total donation amount reaches $x”. This way people would be paying to read what they want to read, that is for the RIGHT REASONS.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

  17. John Carpenter

    Also a promotion usually doesn’t FORCE you to make the $50 purchase if you only wanted that free item worth say $20. You could go ahead and buy that item for $20. People seem to be misunderstanding my point. Its not about the money, not whether Geo should keep writing stories for free or not, not about the future of JP series. Not about any of it. Its about the reasons why people seem to be buying RoC.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

  18. Liz

    I am not sure how soon I can do it, but if it gets me more JP stories, which have kept me up late reading for a week now, I will buy BOTH of your books, Girl on the Dock and the Camelot book. I want you to keep writing, so I will help. No author keeps writing sequels to a series that doesn’t get a response, and you shouldn’t expect to write books that can be sold and not make money on them just because you are known for fan fiction. Simple as that. Good Luck and God Bless

    December 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  19. Hester

    Your still wrong, John. The reason, the ONLY reason the 51 of us have purchased Ruins of Camelot, is because we know, from reading his previous work, that it is going to be a fabulous read.

    Personally, I don’t give a rip if he ever writes another James Potter story, as long as he doesn’t give up on putting down on paper the wonderful ideas that emerge from his rather devious, often strange, but always extraordinary imagination.

    I’m buying the book so he’ll keep writing others that I can enjoy!

    December 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

  20. John Carpenter

    Hester, I agree with you. I have purchased RoC myself because I like Geo’s work and would buy it irrespective of whether he continues JP series or not. However, if you check out the Facebook Page for JP Series, you will see that a large number people have posted something along the lines of “Ive just purchased RoC, please don’t give up on JP series.”. This is what bugs me. I don’t think RoC will get the same recognition as it should if people tie it to JP series so much so that they purchase it only to see JP series continue. What would be the point of selling 3000 RoC books if say half or more of those sales were only to see JP series continue and go unread or unappreciated?

    December 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm

  21. Solyellowsun

    I think, honestly, you’re going about this the wrong way. You’re a good writer, and a good man, and you have admitted that this approach makes you feel ‘disgust … a bit as well.’, and rightly so.

    These are the facts;

    You’re a man who was catapulted to internet stardom by writing Harry Potter fanfiction, by striking when the iron was hot, and by writing well enough that people not only thought, some of them, that you were secretly J.K. Rowling, but that when they discovered you were not, they had already come to love your stories.

    You are a man who would like to make money writing. You love writing. That much is obvious. You write fanfiction, and original fiction. Many famous authors started out writing fanfiction. Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey among them.

    I believe you need to remake your website, to not only have the fanficion stories on it, but also to be about you, to contain links to this blog, to your new work, Ruins of Camelot, and to be more wholy about G. Norman Lippert the writer, who has done both original and fanfiction. Any person who tells you this is not sound advice doesn’t really get that you have not followed a traditional path already. Why should you start now?

    Also? A word of advice? To reach out past the Harry Potter fandom, which most of those who have read your books so far are a part of, I would think it is time to look for anthology calls, in other fandoms, such as Star Trek, and write stories set there. Sell those stories too, get fans out in other realms knowing your name, knowing how well you write. Spread your name out into the world.

    You may not ever be able to sell a book sufficiently well enough to make a living off of it, but maybe you will. I just don’t think you will this way. Reach out beyond just your current fans, stretch yourself even more. It will be painful. It will be hard. It will be probably heart-breaking sometimes.

    And those of us who believe in you will be cheering you on, all the way.

    December 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

  22. Zixi

    I left my review of RoC on Goodreads last night, and guess what? Mine was the only review. Come on, guys! We can do better than that. I also put my review from Amazon Kindle section over onto the paperback book also, and added a review to both Amazon and Goodreads for GOTD. Then I bought the Kindle version of Riverhouse. Now I will go rake leaves.

    December 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

  23. Hester

    Actually, John, I have just slogged through all of the comments of the past few days regarding RoC and JP and there is NOT a large number of readers anything near what you quoted. In fact, I could only find a handful who came close to implying that.

    If there are a few readers who are buying RoC solely because it would be a means to getting more JP, then so be it. People buy books for lots of reasons. (I bought several copies of my Aunt’s ridiculous children’s book just because she’s my Aunt…)

    Once they read what they’ve purchased, they will see that George can write more than JP and perhaps expand their horizons. I suspect that these types of comments are from kids, who tend to be narrowly focused, or adults whose kids want the JP stories and love that they don’t have to buy well written stories about Harry et al…

    December 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

  24. John Carpenter

    Hester, you misunderstand me again. The difference between you buying your Aunts books and what I am describing is what I would call force or extortion. Your aunt probably didn’t tell you (I could be wrong here but I hope not), that she would never speak to you if you didn’t buy her books. If people bought RoC out of a sense of obligation they feel by themselves, its fine with me. But if they buy RoC out of a forced sense of obligation thats not fine with me.

    You are probably right that such comments are probably from kids or adults whose kids want JP stories, but its still quite.

    You might be right in that my numbers are wrong, but here is what I am seeing. As a reply to Geo’s post “I can’t keep it up, everybody. I’m trying to put a positive spin on this, but it’s just too much work.”, I just did a quick count and saw that there were 10 replies which talked about already purchasing a book or intending to purchase one in the near future in one or multiple copies(i think one person bought like 6 copies if i am not wrong) so that Geo doesn’t stop the JP series. Of course this was replies on just one post. So yeah, it may not be half the people but its still quite a few people who seem to be buying for the wrong reasons.

    Personally I don’t care why people buy the books. I just don’t think purchases due to such forced obligation would reflect very well on the appreciation of the book.

    Geo, you tell me, what would you rather see someone suggest to his friends and colleagues: “Hey mate, can you buy this RoC book so that the author could continue with the JP series? Its only 3 bucks.” or “Hey mate, I just purchased this wonderful book called RoC. I highly suggest you check it out”?

    December 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm

  25. Hester

    Don’t know where you were reading John but I read that same thread and I only count 2 who came close to saying such a thing. And I am familiar with many, if not most, of those who did reply.

    I really disagree that there are MANY readers buying it for the wrong reason. Although I am not sure wanting a conclusion the James and Petra show IS a wrong reason. There are some, but nearly so many as you suggest.

    And I am also not convinced that those who ARE buying it for that reason feel it a “forced obligation”.

    December 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    • Hester

      Ooops…I meant “not nearly so many…”

      As for my Aunt, she didn’t tell me that, but my mother did 😉

      December 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

  26. John Carpenter

    Well, not to drag the whole issue to meaningless proportions, but here are some quotes as a reply to that one post:

    “John Sydney Foreman George I bought the signed hardcover and the Amazon Kindle edition and will be buying the paperback come christmas”
    “John Sydney Foreman I also bought the Riverhouse for Kindle, the Girl on the Dock iBook and PAPERBACK!”
    “John Sydney Foreman although the money did not go to you, I DID pay to have the JP books published on LULU so I could have actual copies!”
    “John Sydney Foreman Get some backbone, Geo! Rowling had to go through a plethora of publishers before anyone took Harry seriously!”

    All of the above from just one person

    “Dustin Steiner I actually am waiting for a paycheck then rest assured my friend, a hardcover of RoC will be purchased! Please don’t give up!”

    “Corrine Nash I am so sorry that sales are not what you expected. I just bought the ebook, my 20 mo has been sick and keeping me up at night so I completly forgot yesterday was Dec 1st. : ) Don’t stress yourself out and do what you have to do. I do admite I would be disappointed if you don’t complete the JP series, though I will wait as long as it takes.”

    “Debra Forster Firstly PLEASE write the 4th JP book or my 12 year old son will be devastated. He was so excited when I told him you had changed your mind and was going to write it. I am also waiting for pay day (next Thursday) to buy a new gift card for my account and then I will be buying your book and I will leave a review.”

    “Shan Heer I reallyy want to buy it, but Amazon doesn’t support Paypal (I cant find it..) And the pre-order didn’t work i tried a few times!! :(( just for this, i wish i lived in the US and had a creditcard..
    So George, don’t give up! Some of your fans just can’t buy RoC right now, but they will keep trying!!”

    “John Sydney Foreman I WANT to give you my Money!”

    “Casey Lingelbach Well I just bought it for the kindle, and I think you are being a little hard on your JP fans. They are here to support you, and would pay for those books if you could sell them, why don’t you ask for donations on that page”

    “Katie Gilstrap Geo please don’t give up!! Give it time, I know some people might wait to get them as a Christmas present or something, it’s been a day!! You got the jitters, it’s what we all get the first time we do something, relax, everything will be fine, promise!!!”

    “Dave Britt I purchased it, and I don’t buy anything…I’m not reading it yet, so I can’t review but it’s legitimately bought and paid for.”

    And yeah, you are probably right, maybe most of these people didn’t feel the “forced obligation”. It also seems like some might even want to buy the books in the future but feel “more obligated” to try harder to buy them now because of the post from Geo.

    I’ll stop ranting now. Geo probably has read all of this. Ultimately its his work, and its his choice. I just thought I’d speak up as most people seem to be almost begging for a JP book when they should be focusing on reading the RoC. JP shouldn’t be a factor for buying RoC. People should want to buy RoC irrespective of whether JP is continued or not.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

  27. John Carpenter

    Oh and yeah, imo, wanting to see a conclusion to Petra and James is not a wrong reason, but buying RoC to see that conclusion is.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

  28. Hester

    That’s your opinion…you’re entitled to it so I won’t belabor this debate except to say that your data is flawed. Only 2 of those readers even mention James Potter or JP. You are assuming far too much. I read them as encouraging with regard to sales of RoC.

    And btw, Dave Britt, whom you so cavalierly quote is probably one of Geo’s longest standing fans AND a friend. So there you go….

    December 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

  29. John Carpenter, I am not sure why this is so dreadfully important to you, but honestly, by now you’ve made your point very clear: it is petty and wrong of me to ask people to support my sellable books for the sake of more free James Potter books.

    Like I have said elsewhere, I would prefer very much not to have had to mention it myself.

    The truth is, I want people to buy Ruins of Camelot because it is a good story, equal to or better than anything else I have written. In large part, however, they are not, thus I thought it simply informative to point out the practical realities: without the support of my sellable books, the James Potter stories (and possibly my writing in general) will cease to happen. I simply cannot afford to keep it up.

    This was not intended to be blackmail, nor do I think it qualifies as such. Your ongoing use that term, if I may be so bold, seems to be intentionally inflammatory. “Blackmail” is a threat to reveal something harmful about a person unless they pay a price. The suggestion that my goal is to harm my readers unless they pay up is insulting, twisted, and inevitably petty. Contrariwise, my acknowledgement of the personal cost of these stories was intended to be a nudge for those who don’t know the realities of the situation– who might be considering the purchase for the sake of the story, but don’t understand that said purchase does also construe support of the free stories they have already enjoyed.

    In no uncertain terms: I DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO BUY RoC SIMPLY TO PAY FOR MORE JP STORIES. RoC is better than that. I hope everyone understands this.

    Apparently, John, you would prefer that I’d have hoped for the best (and I did)– that people would simply buy RoC on its own merits, and in lieu of that, simply shut down the JP stories with no explanation of why. If I was a reader, I would want to have had the opportunity to support a favorite author, fully aware of his situation, before he simply closed up shop and went away forever.

    Your comment that you would prefer a plain old donation, with a ceiling after which I would write a new JP story, amazes me. That, by my sensibility, would be much more of a strong-arm tactic, with no reward other than more fan-fiction. I find the idea disgusting and, frankly, probably illegal. Instead, I wrote something of value– it was very hard work– and offered that up for the enjoyment of the readers, with the *side-benefit* of supporting a new free story.

    But truly, you’ve made your point loud and clear. If I do decide, based on my experience with RoC, and this conversation specifically, to simply shut down the writing forever as a hopelessly lost cause, I won’t mention it to any of you, lest people like you call it blackmail.

    Thank you for reading.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  30. John Carpenter

    I am sorry if I offended any of you with my opinion. My intention was not to be inflammatory.

    Geo, I would like to see you succeed as much as anyone as I like your works very much. As I have mentioned before, I have read all of your JP stories, GOTD, RoC and the Riverhouse. Personally I liked JP and RoC the most, but the other two were very good too. So yeah, again, I apologize if any of you felt offended by my opinion.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

  31. John

    “A little over a year ago, I embarked upon a writing journey. It was meant to be just for fun, for my own enjoyment and that of a few family and friends.”

    Don’t let the opinions of a few take this enjoyment away from you.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  32. Zixi

    I see the blackmail discussion still rages, so forgive me if I weigh in one more time. I’ve always known you have to give something to get something–work for money, money for goods, prizes to draw in new customers, etc.–so I don’t see this as any different. I certainly don’t feel blackmailed; but for those of you who do, let me give you one thought. When you have poured your heart and soul into creating something you want to share with the world, when you have laid out endless hours and money to that end, when you have collected enough publishers’ rejection slips to wallpaper your house and when you have felt the sheer, hopeless frustration of KNOWING your creations are better than 90% of the garbage that DOES get published, then you may have a right to find fault with the way an author chooses to deal with the situation.

    I am a new fan, and freely admit I started out merely hoping for more JP stories. I’ve read enough of Geo’s work now that I will remain a fan if he never writes another JP story. I will be tickled pink with a sequel to GOTD or RoC (or both). I’m an old person who has been reading classic literature as well as classic fantasy and science fiction for longer than most of you have been on this earth. This man is a good writer. He has the talent to become a great writer, if he doesn’t let a few malcontents discourage him. I hope and pray he does not; but if he does, know that you armchair critics have deprived the world of something very rare and very special. I hope you will be pleased with yourselves.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    • John Carpenter

      I see that most of you don’t even understand what I am saying on this page. All that you can read is “blackmail”. That word was not meant to be in any inflammatory meaning. It was just something that came to my mind to best describe what I thought I saw. Why is it that people are focussing one word out of a few hundred that I have written here.

      I am just as big a fan of Geo as anybody over here. I had read most if not all of his works and would support him with any new works. Also, I wouldn’t like to see him fail in his venture. I am not going through the whole debate again, but what you have written is not a reply to my opinion.

      I was only giving my opinion because I think this one thing will hurt Geo’s reputation badly and I wouldn’t like to see that. Thats all. I am only offering a little friendly opinion of mine. NONE of this is MALCONTENT or anything of that sort.

      Maybe everything I wrote is wrong, what do I know about writing? But don’t place unusual focus on some word without context. An OLD PERSON who has been reading FOR LONGER THAN I HAVE BEEN AROUND, should be able to read a few lines of text and make sense of the context instead of placing unusual focus on one word.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      • Zixi

        If I misjudged you, I apologize. However, from the tone of Geo’s last reply, I don’t think I’m the only one who misinterpreted your meaning. Perhaps “malcontent” was a bit over-the-top–almost as inflammatory as “blackmail” would you say?

        December 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm

  33. Hester

    ‘Ere, ‘Ere, zixi!!

    December 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

  34. Ariba

    Right.
    -Carpenter wants us to donate and get JP books.
    -Lippert wants to support his family, wants us to give money, and he’s giving us back a, what I’m understanding, truly amazing book which is, in the author’s opinion, even better than JP &&& the JP books.

    That made total sense. Yeah. Sure.
    And what about the other people? The ones who don’t know about Lippert. Those who have just come across RoC and bought it? Do you think you would donate the same money to the same author because he was continuing a fanfic? Do you really think they care about JP if they want RoC? I, for one, doubt it.
    The rest is your opinion.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    • John Carpenter

      Yes what about the other people? What do you think it will mean to them when they read stuff like “There will be no JP series unless 3000 RoCs are sold”. Don’t you think their first impression would be that RoC is inferior to JP? Is that good for RoC?

      I am talking about a separation of concerns. I am not saying RoC should not have been done or JP shouldn’t have been done, but RoC shouldn’t rely on JP.

      I don’t think they would care about JP if they wanted RoC, but for that to happen RoC has to stand on its own, not under the shadow of JP.

      Anyways, if everyone thinks I don’t make sense, I probably don’t make sense. Never mind.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    • John Carpenter

      Also I want people to donate to get JP books IF Geo wants to get paid for JP books.

      Basically thats what he is doing here. He is trying to sell RoC by basically telling people that they need to buy it to get JP. Why not sell RoC for its own merits, not for those of JP? Its a great book on its own.

      I am not against the book or the author. I am against the type of marketing being done.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  35. Hester

    You know, John, I think it’s time you put it to rest. You’ve made your point ad nauseum. What would you like George to do now that he has made this grievous error in judgement (n your opinion)?

    Stop writing altogether?

    Shut down the JP website and FB page?

    Post RoC on the web for all to read for free?

    Apologize publicly for being such a crass, manipulative attention whore?

    Pitch himself off the top of the St. Louis Arch?

    All of the above?

    Just drop it. I think we ALL know how you feel.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    • John Carpenter

      Ok a final reply and I am done.

      My answer to your question is none of the above.

      I’d like Geo to remove the 3000 RoC sales requirement for JP and continue promoting RoC with full force.

      If he chooses to do so at whatever date, he continues JP or abandons it completely. Totally his choice.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm

  36. John Carpenter

    I am terribly sorry Geo and everyone else. Geo seems to have already removed the 3000 RoC requirement from this page which I never noticed and pointlessly argued assuming it was still there.

    Geo, all the best in your ventures. I have been and always will be supporting your work.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

  37. Bob

    John,

    I got your point. It made sense. But some times fan get really defensive over things that they perceive as an insult.

    I can see that you like Mr. Lippert’s stories. You think that they should stand on there own merit, and to buy them for the sake of that books story, not to get more JP books out of it. I agree. But I do see Mr. Lippert’s side. He needs to make a living. It may have been articulated wrong his need to make money in order to continue JP stories, but at least he was honest.

    Mr. Lippert if you have to stop writing the JP books fans would like to know. All you would have had to say is that it is not financially possible to do it any more. We would understand. It would really suck, but we all understand needing to make a living.

    Good luck with the writing! I hope you do well! Form what I have read of RoC you will. Its the first of your books I have read any of, and I like it so far!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:46 am

  38. Fang and Talons

    Apart from this argument, I would please like to know.
    Being a new teenager-would I understand RoC? Meaning…I loved JP but it took me a little while to understand it. And I hear RoC is even more in depth…
    So I would appreciate a guide please.

    December 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

  39. Nothing wrong with ads and/or donations. If I ever get something of value on the Internet for free, I rather naturally expect it to come with some string(s) attached such as advertisements and/or some kind of nag to donate. Have you considered working with Rowling’s company to commercialize some James Potter audiobooks? They might be willing to license the Potter franchise to you under some conditions or other.

    I am a broke college student with basically zero “disposable income” – by which I mean income I can spend on forms of entertainment. I got nothing, But I will at least see about requesting Ruins of Camelot from the library – that’s a good idea.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

  40. Got home and got my own Kindle copy. Reading the Ruins of Camelot. Fabulous!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm

  41. Corrine

    Hey George,

    I just wanted to let you know that I am currently reading RoC and am absolutly in love. I am planning on buying at least a hard copy, maybe 2 (thinking of buying on for my dad) when I have the funds. I wanted to let you know that I bought this book because I think you are a very good writter. I found the James Potter series by accident but I was hooked by the end of it. I am really hoping that your fans show their appriciation for the free books by shelling out a couple of bucks for the amazing stories you are able to sell. The fact is if you need to sell books to justify writting another free one, than we as your fans need to help you make it happen. I totally aggree that it is the win win, especially since RoC is so good. I have put a shout out to my FB friends (and will do it again) and will put in a review on Amazon when I am finished reading it. Keep writing, you are truely talented and I can’t wait to see what else you write. And as one of 51 people who bought this book, I will continue to support you in your efforts as much as I can. : )

    December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

  42. Zixi

    I’m worried. I’ve found no posts anywhere, even on Facebook from Geo since the hullaballoo broke out here. I’m afraid he’s washed his hands of us. Anybody know anything?

    December 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

  43. Wow. That was amazingly mean-spirited. I haven’t gone anywhere, just been busy starting a new project. But comments like that certainly are discouraging. Thanks Faiz. You’re a real ray of sunshine.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

    • Zixi

      Whew! Glad you’re still here. I wouldn’t let that last review “Faiz” you (sorry, the devil made me do it). No better than he can apparently read, I’m surprised he knew how to spell “atrocious”. I speed read the book the first time so I could write a review. Now I’m re-reading it slowly so I can enjoy all the subtleties. Enjoying it even more this time. Love the interwoven tales. How long do we have to wait for a sequel?

      December 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

  44. Rene

    Count me is as buyer 52 (or probably more) of Ruins of Camelot. I bought my digirtal copy yesterday at Amazon.

    December 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  45. Faiz, how old are you? Are you like twelve or something?

    December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

  46. Bob

    Mr, Lippert, ignore the TROLLS! They feed on attention. Once you do they fade away into the unknown. You are good author. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Look how many people stand behind you!

    December 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  47. Faiz, you are an an unadulterated idiot. I am always open to critique, but not mean-spirited, childish taunts. No one wants to hear from you, and as such I am doing something completely and wholly unprecedented in my dealings with small-minded haters: I am unapproving your comments. Buh-bye!

    December 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

  48. King Bingo

    http://inverarity.livejournal.com/111372.html#cutid1

    December 7, 2011 at 2:09 am

  49. Hey all, it turns out that “John Carpenter” and “Faiz” are the same person. Heh. He called me a “true conservative” for “censoring” him– this after allowing him to blather endlessly and mean-spiritedly for post after post. Over the past several years, he is the only person I have chosen to shut down. I’m glad I did. I think he made his points, yes?

    December 7, 2011 at 4:51 am

  50. John Carpenter

    Hey Mr. Lippert,

    Not sure where you got the idea but after my last post I didn’t really keep up with this post so I am posting this after sometime from your post that me and Faiz are the same person.

    Not sure what made you think so, but I can assure you I am not Faiz. I am not even sure what made you think that we are the same person. I will tell you John Carpenter is not my real name, but I have no idea who Faiz is. Also I will tell you Faiz’s posts sound more like a kid. I doubt mine do, considering I am not a kid.

    I had sincerely apologized in my last post for continuing the debate on so long not knowing that you had already removed the 3000 number from your posts. I have no interest to continue the debate further as I am satisfied by your removal of the number.

    In addition, I have never been mean spirited, or childish like Faiz, at least I never meant to even if you might feel I did.

    December 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    • My mistake, John. Somebody using your name wrote a very nasty response that was virtually identical to one from Faiz. They were obviously the same person, but it may be that Faiz was using your name to bypass the block. Your comments definitely have seemed much more measured and thoughtful than Faiz’s idiotic rants. My apologies.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  51. Yeah Faiz is probably some preteen flamebaiter with a harry potter fixation and extremist entitlement mentality.

    But on the other hand, Mr. Lippert, I’m sure you were aware that self-publishing is a very risky business.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    • I am more aware of it every day. Fortunately, I have other passions. I am working on a new iPhone game for the moment, which is extremely diverting. It seems necessary, if one is going to self publish, to have other hobbies and interests to help keep one sane and fed. Heh!

      December 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

  52. Mr. Lippert, as much as I am loathe to say this, perhaps Faiz/John has a point. I read King Bingo’s link, and as the blogger notes, selling 51 books is above average for the self-publishing industry. If we assume he is correct, it is unlikely that you will be able to sell over 3,000 copies of RoC. Given that this is true, would you say that you are not ever going to write James Potter stories again?

    Please know that I am not a troll and I am not insulting you; I sincerely hope that you do succeed because you are a fantastic writer. I simply want to have an honest, open discussion.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    • Hi Ubermarx. There is no question that the critics have a point. I was well aware of it going into this process. I tend to suffer from the tyranny of high expectations. Speaking of which, the answer to your question is the subject of my latest post (just out a minute ago). But in short, I’ll just say that the news of the death of the JP series have been highly exaggerated.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

  53. Pingback: The Tyranny of High Expectations « G. Norman Lippert's Shiftlock

  54. Sarah

    Wow. Way to insult and blackmail (because that IS what it feels like) JP fans in one hit. I would imagine JP appeals to a lot of readers *because* it’s JP; it may not be a loyalty issue or a payment issue – just the fact a lot of people tend to have certain themes, genres etc that they stick to, and RoC may simply hold no interest for them (and that’s not a personal thing against the author). I buy books because I want to read the story – being told I have to buy one in order to get another, whether I’m interested or not, is actually likely to make me less inclined to purchase, because it irritates.

    Along with others, I would be disappointed if you don’t continue JP. But such is life. It’s your decision to make, and people would get over it eventually. I just think tying the two together, JP & RoC like this, and even by virtually taking over the JP Facebook page with RoC (a quick look at the page now shows nearly NOTHING about JP!) is a mistake, and doesn’t give a terribly great image.

    December 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

    • Sarah, I’ve dealt with the “blackmail” thing elsewhere. Blackmail is threatening people with the revelation of personal secrets if they don’t pay money. If you think that supporting my work to help provide more *free* JP stories is blackmail, allow me to be blunt and inform you that you have a tenuous grasp on language and are (dare I say it) a whiner. I’m done placating takers who demand more free stuff and get all itchy at the idea of supporting my published works. Feel free to go bum free stories off other writers. Mine are worth buying, and if that means I get to write more JP stories, all the better for everyone.

      Sheesh. Truly. Thanks for reading, I guess. (head shake)

      December 9, 2011 at 3:08 am

      • Sarah

        Oh for goodness sake. My post actually wasn’t an attack, and I wasn’t “whining” at all – just pointing out that despite your apparent self-absorption, people’s motives may not actually be all about you, or as simple as you seem to think. I have NEVER seen an author be so blatantly rude to or about their readers – interesting marketing technique you have going there…

        I would have had no issue supporting RoC if it appealed to me – but I read the excerpt and it didn’t. That is not meant personally – though given your responses to some of the other posts, it will no doubt be taken that way. JP did (after I stumbled across it by a chance recommendation on a messageboard), because it was JP – and had it been possible I would have been more than happy to pay for that, though I understand it is not (which is unfortunate – given it has a similar feel to HP, the powers that be would have been onto a good thing to support it, IMO). The Girl on the Dock also does, and would happily pay for that if it was available for kindle. It’s not about “support”, it’s not about “bumming free stories” – I spend a good deal of money on books over a year, that is NOT my issue, nor necessarily that of many others out there.

        I do hope the book takes off for you. You’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort into it, and there will be a good number of people out there to whom it DOES appeal, if they get to find out about it (were it not for JP, I wouldn’t have known anything about it – and I only knew about JP by a chance comment). I just think, personally, that the way you’ve gone about it doesn’t do you any favours, and it would have been better to push RoC in its own right (and that you still should!). Though apparently, you’re only interested in hearing from those who agree with you, not those of us trying to explain the other point of view…

        December 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      • Sarah, I’m sorry for saying that. I have, actually, always striven to be respectful, even in the face of pure meanness. Lately, I’ve gotten tired of just putting up– there has been a surprising amount of haters (not here so much, but via email, etc), as well as people who just want more free stuff and feel it is owed to them. You may not be one of them, so I apologize for calling you a whiner.

        On the other hand, you can’t throw out a word like “blackmail” and expect it not to be taken as an attack, or at least a bit of a lazy-minded slander. I’ve given an awful lot for free, and when people get itchy about me trying to (finally) promote my own published works, it does tend to taint my appreciation of the general readership.

        December 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  55. Fang and Talons

    Mr. McLean please don’t insult twelve year olds. Yeah Faiz is a pretty annoying weirdo kid but it doesn’t mean every twelve year old kid is 😦 I just turned thirteen a few weeks ago myself. :/ *awkward*
    BTW, Mr. Lippert-please answer me (as an adult guiding a kid and not as a write advertising his book) ^_^ I have read the JP series just a few months back and although I had to read through them twice to understand the in-depth story I LOVED IT ALOT. What I want to know is, dyou think RoC will be easy for me to understand? Like is it recommended for 13-yr-olds. I don’t really want to reveal my name as I’ve already given out my age…but please do reply me. Thanks.

    December 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    • Hi Fang and Talons– you are right: I know a lot of twelve year olds who have a lot more on the ball than “Faiz” (and have better things to do with their time than troll blogs looking to insult people).

      My guess is that if you enjoyed and understood the JP books, you would have no problem with RoC. In some ways, it’s a simpler story, actually. I’d love to know what you think if you do read it. Thanks for the comments!

      December 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm

  56. Erik

    I’m sorry to hear about the low sales for RoC. I’m a big fan of the JP books and your other stories and I’m very excited to get my copy of RoC. I hope that your are able to continue. Hopefully your RoC book will turn out like Darcie Chan’s book. Here is the link to the article. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-i-became-a-best-selling-author-.html

    December 10, 2011 at 3:53 am

  57. Mr. Lippert’s use of the James Potter web pages, social media, etc to promote his new novel are par for the course in terms of netiquette. (acceptable behavior generally expected by most Internet users) All kinds of bands and big media outlets (not to mention other authors) do stuff like that all the time, Deal with it.

    December 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm

  58. Bowbaq

    I buyed RoC last week (paperback, because I don’t own a Kindle or similar). Because I loved JPHEC, and when I love a book, I want to read another book from the same author. I didn’t manage (yet) to get through all the JP series (still due to my e-reading problem), but I really hope future JP stories will be written. I’ll manage to read them somehow 🙂
    Now I wait that my book comes to the other side of the atlantic…

    January 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

  59. Kevin

    i am willingg to read roc because i just love to read. i havee itunes giftcards to pay for it, i just need to know because, i only have an ipad no other device for downloading books; is roc downloadable in ibooks? your jp stories did fine, i just want to make sure i dont waste my money

    January 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

  60. alondon7127

    I had just finished re-reading the Harry Potter series a few weeks ago. Not wanting to leave the HP world, I read the whole series again. Then I happened upon your books on GoodReads. Now initially, I admit, I was quite averse to the idea of reading them. Fanfic has honestly just never been my thing, as in my mind, if it wasn’t written by the original author, it just didn’t happen. Then I started to think about it. JKR is never going to write about the next generation. The comments all say that though it’s not HP, its the next best thing. I downloaded all three books and started to read, though with some trepidation.

    Mr. Lippert. I absolutely love this series. I’ve only read the first two, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the third and fourth. I was reading up on the series and saw that you may not write any more, and was devastated. I’m thrilled that I found this blog post- not just for the goulash recipe, which I am actually really excited to try, but because I now have the opportunity to tell you this. Before I had any idea that this post existed, I had planned to spend my “fun money” next paycheck on The Girl on the Dock and on any Ruins of Camelot series books available. It’s icing on the cake that my purchase might bring about more James Potter books. You’ve taken the setting and some characters from my favorite series, and made stories all your own. I am delighted and surprised, and in my mind, your series is part of HP cannon. I can’t honestly say that I am more open to fanfic now. Your series may be the exception for me. But I am so happy I gave it a chance, and look forward to any more James Potter books you may produce, but also to any books from a new favorite author of mine, G. Norman Lippert. Thanks for your creativity, for continuing the magic of HP for me, for introducing me to new characters in the HP universe, and for the new characters I can’t wait to meet in RoC. 🙂

    November 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

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