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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » E - publishing: your experience wanted (Page 2)

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Author Topic: E - publishing: your experience wanted
LDWriter2
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Two comments. There seems to be a new YA series out "The Chemical Garden" which is another futuristic tale where everything has gone to pot or hell as the case may be.

And a couple of weeks ago I realized that I have three general fiction stories and a western I could sell via Electronic means. I'm out of paying markets for the western or very close to it-doesn't seem to be as many as there once was- and I haven't really tried sending out the other three that often.

I might do the three General ones as a set since they are kinda in the same subgenera.

I don't know how westerns are doing online have to see if I can figure out how to check on that.

Is there a general list of e-stories and/or e-novels that combines the lists from all the various e-publishers? Or even most of the e-publishers?


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Reziac
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Now that you mention it, I can't recall ever seeing a western published online, and damned few deadtree in some while.

Here's an old blog about it, that may give you some leads:
LIBRACIDE: KILLING OFF THE WESTERN (2005)
http://tinyurl.com/6xzhvus

Western Writers of America
http://www.westernwriters.org/
http://www.westernwriters.org/news.htm
scroll down to
‘Roundup!,’ Latest Collection of Western Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry from the Western Writers of America, Now Available

Funny thing, earlier today i was feeling an urge to dig up and read a western, gods know where THAT came from. Time to visit OpenLibrary.org and see what old gems are available...


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Corky
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I recommend THE VIRGINIAN by Owen Lister, Reziac. If you haven't read it, it's almost definitive western. If you have, you may want to read it again and notice how the POV is handled, especially near the end, when it moves from the narrator to the bad guy for a little while.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Yesterday I saw a two-year-old playing a game on his father's smartphone (moving things across the screen with his finger), so I can certainly imagine parents downloading books for their MG readers on their tablets and handing them to the kids to read from.
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cynicalpen
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@Kathleen, I'm guessing he was bored at church, no?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I only saw him after meetings, while he was waiting with his parents to see someone. I don't know if they let him play with the smart phone during meetings or not. Could be, though.
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Owasm
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I'm in the process of rewriting some of my stuff for e-books. The advantage of going the self-publishing route for me is that I'm an old guy (63) and I can't wait years and years to get my stuff going.

The other thing is that I really like to write the old fashioned sword and sorcery fantasy. I'll even go a bit purple with it and there's not any interest out there except in tiny markets unless you've got something very dark or very blue.

I also write poetry and with e-books, you can put stuff out there for people to search on and might actually sell a few slim (metaphorically speaking) volumes of verse.

With epublishing, I think both the writer and the reader are liberated from the harsh marketing realities in big time publishing. And your work is no longer automatically judged as vanity. However, I am still considering starting a publishing enterprise and having a vanity imprint similar to Smashwords Premium and whatever they call the dross that isn't.


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LDWriter2
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Reziac

quote:

Now that you mention it, I can't recall ever seeing a western published online, and damned few deadtree in some while.

Thanks, a couple of years ago I found a free site where it sounded like anyone could post a western story but I didn't want to go totally free.

But this site wasn't that much help, unless I missed something. It sounded like you had to be a member to be considered for their markets. I wouldn't mind writing more westerns but at the moment I only have the one. Well, one pure western. I also have one tale that might be a Twilight Zone type of story and another that is SF with alternate universes two cow pokes find.


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Reziac
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Corky: Yeah, I've read some Owen Wister in the past... The Virginian is available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1298
The POV handling might be as it is because the book was actually an anthology of shorts, not written as a novel per se.

LD: There have been a few SF tales set in the western era, and at least a couple TV series -- The Wild Wild West was actually SF, ya know and what was the one that was so odd, didn't last long but was pretty good... from about 1980ish?? Anyway, it hasn't been done a lot and might strike an editor as fresh, so I'd say go for it.


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Corky
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You're sure THE VIRGINIAN was a story collection (I've heard them called "fix-up novels") turned into a novel? I don't recall noticing that about the structure.
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Reziac
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Virginian_(novel)#Analysis
"Structurally, the story is less a novel than an anthology of previously published stories about the central character, with, for example, the point of view shifting from one chapter to the next."

Or so it says. I can't claim to rightly remember, myself.


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Corky
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Well, we're getting off topic with this, but I guess part of my problem with that is I've always understood "anthology" to mean a bunch of short stories by different authors and a "story collection" (or "fix-up novel") to be a bunch of short stories by the same author--with "fix-up novel" meaning the stories are about the same characters and can be read together to tell a larger story.

So I'm balking at "anthology" in the first place. And I only remember two points of view, the unnamed narrator and, in one short section--that would not have stood alone as a short story--the bad guy.

Sorry about "hijacking" the topic.


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LDWriter2
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quote:

LD: There have been a few SF tales set in the western era, and at least a couple TV series -- The Wild Wild West was actually SF, ya know and what was the one that was so odd, didn't last long but was pretty good... from about 1980ish?? Anyway, it hasn't been done a lot and might strike an editor as fresh, so I'd say go for it.

True, but aren't they usually just in SF or that type of magazines not western? I have sent mine out a few times.

I'm not sure off hand which was the one in the 80s but there was one soon after Star Trek Next Generation went off the air. The actor who played Q stared in that series.

And now there is the new movie "Cowboys Vs Aliens" or is it "Cowboys and Aliens"?


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Robert Nowall
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Couldn't identify the 1980s SF Western from the info on the Internet Movie Data Base in the entry for the actor who played "Q." (John de Lancie.)

*****

I'll take Corky's definitions for "anthology," "collection," and "fix-up novel"---but you might also add "series collection," stories in a series, collected without attempting to unify them into a single plot.

(The Beatles used "Anthology" for the title of their documentary---I have a couple of educated guesses why but no hard information.)


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Reziac
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Nope, it's not Legend -- way too recent and wrong setup (and definitely not starring RDA). The one I'm thinking of, the MC is on a quest and on the run, and really weird stuff happens; I vaguely recall it being like his personal timeline is wonked up.

I don't know how flexible any Western publications are about fantastic elements (to my understanding, there's a fairly fixed set of allowed/required elements, kinda like romance has). I'm thinking you might have better luck with a SF/F rag that's inclined to stretch its borders. Westerns are unknown territory to most of today's SF/F readers.


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LDWriter2
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I think that series with de Lancie would be in the nineties. It lasted one year. It was about a writer whose character came to life. No, not fantasy, de Lancie just pretended to be him but used what was high tech for those days to fake it.

Rats, can't think of the writer's name even though I used to quote him so it should come to me soon.



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LDWriter2
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I looked smashwords over today and discovered they do have a Western section. I had to use the search program. Most are books, 50,000 to 60,000 words, even though a few go over one hundred thousand. Very few short stories but there were some.

Also some of those books were by Zane Gray which I thought was interesting,


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Tiergan
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quote:
Also some of those books were by Zane Gray which I thought was interesting,

I cant help but remember Zane Gray books, books from a different time. I always get a kick out of the language back then. "I saw you on the porch, dont deny it you was letting him make love to you." I am paraphrasing of course, and "make love" doenst mean what it does now, more like whispering sweet nothings in her ear.
I always laugh at that point. But I have several, I went through a period where I wanted to get every one of his, and collected quite a few, you can smell the age in the old books, I love it.


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LDWriter2
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Been doing a lot of links lately but here's one more.

This one is by someone with lots of experience, Konrath, on selling e-books.


Here


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axeminister
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@Tiergan
The Zane Gray museum is only 30 minutes from where I live. I've been meaning to go for a while now, so I think I'll plan a day-trip some Saturday coming up.

I'll snap some photos for you. I have a feeling the whole house will smell like those old books... Wouldn't that be neat?

Axe


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LDWriter2
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Had a few minutes so I finally started cleaning up one of my first stories to sell online. I probably won't wait 'till I have eleven as I original thought would be a good number but either just go with the one or wait 'till I have a set of five. Other writers seem to be selling sets of five.

I still think it's a good solid story and may not be in as bad a shape as I thought even though obviously the writing is not in good shape.


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enigmaticuser
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Where is this sir Axe? I'd never heard of Zane Grey before I met my wife. She might enjoy a trip to this museum?
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axeminister
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Lackawaxen, PA 18435

The town is so small there isn't one.
The museum (his old house I believe) is located next to two rivers. It's a beautiful place, really.

Google map it and look at the surrounding area. There's a whole lot of nothing around. I've been by it before, just never went in.

Axe


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Tiergan
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quote:
@Tiergan
The Zane Gray museum is only 30 minutes from where I live. I've been meaning to go for a while now, so I think I'll plan a day-trip some Saturday coming up.
I'll snap some photos for you. I have a feeling the whole house will smell like those old books... Wouldn't that be neat?

Axe


I think I will keep the smell to the basement, my wife already complains enough about my ancient habits. I think I will put that museum down to visit next time I am down that way though.


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MartinV
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I spent the last few weeks looking for free or low price photos/illustrations that I could put on a cover of my book once it's done. I think finding the right picture is the hardest part. Once I have the right one I know I will be able to put it together with a graphic program I already know or I will learn some new program.
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LDWriter2
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Not sure if all of these go here but here are five free e-books on writing.

http://tinyurl.com/3e7uell


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LDWriter2
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Half way done with the umpteenth revision of my story. I thought that since i was putting in so much work I might send it out again but besides the grammar, punctuation and not so good sentences, there are other things an editor may not like: change of POV, and the style of the ending, so I will go ahead and send it through smashwords. But there's a fantasy I thought seriously about doing next and if I did go over it again I may send it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, unless it's too long, first. BCS is about the only fantasy market I haven't sent it to.

But I will decide on which fantasy to do next.


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LDWriter2
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Well, I got my story ready togo. Or as ready as I can get it. Thought I could go smashwords.com and up load the story. But I forgot one little detail... the cover shot. The whole process is more complicated than I thought. I won't be able to get to it and to have it really ready 'till tomorrow late or even Monday


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LDWriter2
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I checked out Smashwords and I think I'm ready as soon as I figure out a cover image. But, I probably missed something obvious, but it took me over ten minutes to find out how and when they pay. Well, when that is, still not sure about how.

But I may know someone who can draw me a space station or a Gemini figure.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited June 15, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Speaking of my story.

I'm still waiting to get a good cover image. Can't figure out when I will be able to take a pic of a space station. I talked to someone at work about drawing one but even though he said he would, he hasn't yet... I even said I would pay him. So I may give up on him.


Not sure if I can do it but I want a space station and a Gemini head on the cover. I probably would have to combine two pics which I've never done.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited June 25, 2011).]


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micmcd
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LDWriter2 - have you tried picking up a cover artist off of deviantart.com? I found a guy who has made me some great covers for prices around $40.
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MartinV
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I thought those guys at Deviant Art charge more than that. I might look for one though I found some great images at Stockphoto.
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Crank
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For my two Smashwords publications, I created my own cover art. I very much enjoyed this additional artistic process, but it surprised me at how much longer it took to get the cover right than it did to specially prepare the manuscript.

For my upcoming young adult series, I have a specific cover design in mind, which, at this time, is beyond my artistic abilities. Ergo, I'm currently auditioning artists for the job. I'm thinking this might take as long as it takes me to finish the series.

S!
S!


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micmcd
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Some of the people at Deviant Art will charge massively more than $40. My trick to finding an artist was to find the really super duper awesome artists (who would charge up in the hundreds) and then look at the people they had listed as friends or artists they liked. Not all of them are up in the stratosphere.
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LDWriter2
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I need to check out both of those places, I knew there were a couple but couldn't recall their names.

I would like to get Dean Wesley Smith's program. He comes up with some great story covers. I've made comments on a couple of them on other threads. or was that here? and on my blog.

Anyway, I forget if that program is for sell. He has mentioned it a time or two.


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KayTi
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Dean uses stock photos/images as well - variety of stock photo sites (you can google it.) dreamstime has some great space-related ones.

I use my friend Renee's business The Cover Counts for covers. She's pretty affordable, great at brainstorming ideas, and is able to do those detailed things like mashing up two images together way faster/better/with a much more professional polish than I can manage.

Covers matter for ebooks, but remember that most ebook browsers would be looking at them on a black and white screen, often at postage-stamp sizes, so keep the cover art pretty simple, and keep the title and author name LARGE.

Good luck!


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LDWriter2
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I saved it to my favorites but she's on vacation 'till July 6.


But that is something to do this weekend.

But I would need stock pics that I can buy or use for nothing. Dean's are great.

But as to the size and all that... that could be why so many of the covers are bright. Almost too bright when you enlarge them.


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KayTi
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For anyone epublishing their own stories, I wrote a blog today with a checklist for the process, leveraging Smashwords' style guide as a source, but writing it in a more step 1, step 2 style format (smashwords style guide is uber-complete, but written in prose and I needed a "did that, move on" kind of method for my particular madness. Your mileage may vary.)

Enjoy!


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MartinV
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Good work, KayTi. Bookmarked.
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LDWriter2
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Here's a link to a list of classes concerning e-publishing. You may have to scroll down a bit.


http://tinyurl.com/3qmq2rn


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pdblake
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I'm toying with this idea myself. I have a few related shorts that are a bit niche and was thinking of putting them together as a collection on Amazon and maybe Smashwords. The thing putting me off though is the US withholding tax. The UK has a tax treaty with the US and I can get past it all but the paperwork and hoop jumping looks horrendous.

Is it really all as complicated as it seems?

[This message has been edited by pdblake (edited June 29, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by pdblake (edited June 29, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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I have no idea how that would work with England but generally speaking our taxes are complicated. But as I understand it if you're an independent contractor you pay your own taxes. Or whatever company you work for withholds your taxes but in my case whatever money I make from a couple of stories won't add that much to my taxes if anything. But if I do a couple of novels and a few stories- with a plan for more then starting a business or incorporating could be a good idea. That can get complicated I hear.

But businesses like Amazon and smashwords might have already figured it out, you could send them an e-mail.


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LDWriter2
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I checked out deviantart.com Not bad for art. A lot of forms. I thought about buying some of the wallpaper art for myself but I couldn't figure out what to look under for cover images.

I'm probably missing something obvious, I do that at times.

Some of the prices seemed reasonable but they were two prices on what checked the second seemed to be something with tiny balls.

Looked over three other sites, or was it four? anyway two had pics of space stations I could use even though for a small pic it was $35. Seems like I wouldn't a large file for a cover image.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited June 29, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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KayTi?

Does your friend have only one price for the covers? I couldn't find any price listings or any statement that says it's one charge.

The price quoted on the home page is great for novels but kinda expensive for stories.

I will keep her in mind whenever I have my first E-book ready to go. Some of those covers look niiice. And brainstorming would be good too.


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KayTi
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@LD - takes the same effort to make a cover whether it's for a short story or novel. It is probably different for the folks offering editorial services or formatting for ebook publication where the effort spent depends on how many pages you're processing, but a cover's a cover. She charges one price, and it is subject to change as her business grows and she gains more clients and more experience. I believe her rate right now is $75/cover but wouldn't be surprised if she went to $100 soon.

A quality cover is really awesome. Yes, you can do your own and do high-quality covers, totally fine. But she's fantastic, too, and there are others like her out there doing great work. I support her because she's a working mom like me and I know how much time she puts into it (her hourly rate is very low!) but like I said, there are others. (Most charge more, though...)


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LDWriter2
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Actually her price is a $100 now but she is having a sale even though in reality maybe that means she is upping her price to a hundred some time soon.

But for a Novel I think that's good price compared to over 200 I've heard of. Kinda wish my novel was ready now but it won't for at least three months possibly over six the way things are going.

Of course I still have to decide which novel to do that way. It's possible I will decide on two or three but we shall see.


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