SPS-415: AI & Aggregation with PublishDrive – with Danica Favorite
A year. This is how long Danica aims to hold a study for authors to better understand where they sit on important issues like AI, but how can you yourself get involved to have yourself heard? And why are they surveying authors? This week, Danica presents her survey!
- PublishDrive and what it does.
- PublishDrive’s survey.
- AI in the creative space.
- The survey’s goals and details.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
SPS LIVE: Get your digital tickets here
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POST: Why TikTok Sells Books
PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page
AI & Aggregation with PublishDrive – with Danica Favorite
Speaker 1: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers, no more barriers. No one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing? Join Indie bestseller Mark Dawson and James Blatch as they shine a light on the secrets of self-publishing success. This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch: Hello and welcome. It is the Self-Publishing Show with me, James Blatch
Mark Dawson: And me Mark Dawson.
James Blatch: One of us is in the Christmas Spirit. If you're watching on YouTube, you can see my Christmas jumper, one of my many Christmas jumpers knitted. Actually, I consider this a winter. Is that the word you use if you don't like saying Christmas?
Mark Dawson: I dunno. That sounds ridiculous. Yes, it's quite festive, but yeah, it is kind of more kind of finish. What was I
James Blatch: Would George's Dad's Christmas in Seinfeld. Oh God, I know. It involved the airing of the grievances and various stages. What was it called? Oh, everyone would be shouting at the radio now. iv. The Radio iv. I think it's Festival, festival, festival for the rest of us. And now the airing of the grievances. Anyway, yeah, so we're getting to that period. If you listen contemporaneously to the podcast, if you are going through the back catalogue in July, it's a bit weird unless you're in Australia. I suppose it's wintery there. But yes, so we have a few episodes over the Christmas period. I've actually recorded one interview this week and during the interview I realised this should be the Christmas episode. We were talking about Dungeons and Dragons and games and video games and really fun stuff with Patty Finn, who's doing such a fantastic job with his team over in Northern Ireland. Really, really fun interview. And I thought this is the Christmas interview, so that will be next Friday's interview, my esteemed colleague who's really turning into a bit of a pirate radio station, a one man pirate radio station. Mark, you've recorded? Yes, another one, which is going to be the interval between Christmas and New Year, we think.
Mark Dawson: Yes, I did that last night and I'm so busy. I've forgotten why I talked about, what was it? I know, yes, local launches. So talking about local launches
James Blatch: For local people.
Mark Dawson: It did feel a little bit legal gentlemen and also a little bit Adam Partridge, but it was talking about what I've done this year with Atticus in Salisbury. So had a book signing on Saturday in Waterstones, which was fun. And I've sold, I think around about 2000 copies in the one store in Salisbury since March, which is their biggest selling title by Miles actually. And so I've spoken about why I've done that, how I've done it, and I think it is also something that's something that I think most authors would be able to do. So why you might be interested in a very local campaign that's one bookshop in your local high street or your local mall, wherever other words are available for describing collections of shops.
James Blatch: Shopping centre. We used to say before Americans
Mark Dawson: Mall, I yes, mall for our American friends. But yeah, it was good. Interesting chat with me by myself. Yeah, you're
James Blatch: Not going insane, are you?
Mark Dawson: Well, who knows? This may all be a figment of my meditation. I don't know. That jumper clearly has been made up, so
James Blatch: Yeah, I did watch a confusing episode of Black Mirror last night. I dunno if you've watched the latest season. I'm just catching up on it, but by the end of it, you are scratching your head trying to work out, and it does one of those, they get under your skin a little bit. Those episodes, they're very well told and you do start to doubt what is real, what is not. Yes. Anyway, the Twisted Mind of Charlie, whatever his name is.
Brooke? Yes. Look, we have an interview today and it's about a survey, and this is a survey to end all survey. So when Mark sends out a survey, it takes you four seconds to fill it in. It's normally like two questions, isn't it? I notice your surveys, this survey will take you 20 to 30 minutes to fill in, so they're not expecting to get thousands of responses, but each response is going to be very, very valuable and useful. It is created by published drive who are an aggregator, and the result of this will be a really good insight into where we are as an indie community and all sorts of subjects, of course, a bit of AI and selling direct in there, the hot topics, but also just what size and scale the indie community is at. So if you get a chance to take part in this survey, go to publish drive.com. You'll see it. It should be on the front page by the time this interview goes out. But here is Danica favorites, who is their, I think, community person who I bumped into briefly in Vegas, but here she's to talk about that survey and how you can take part in it.
Speaker 1: This is the Self-Publishing show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch: Okay. Danica favorite? favorite, favorite, favorite. It's
Danica Favorite: Danica favorite.
James Blatch: Danika. Like
Danica Favorite: Your favorite author. Of course.
James Blatch: It's funny how I said favorite correctly, but it said Danika wrong. Danica
Danica Favorite: Danica. But it's all good. I'm so used
James Blatch: To responding to anything.
Danica Favorite: Right. As long as it's nice, I'll respond.
James Blatch: Now I saw you in Vegas briefly. It's such a strange conference. So many people there, you kind of say hello once say, oh, we'll catch up and never see someone again for the rest of
Danica Favorite: The week. Right, exactly,
James Blatch: Exactly. I know that Publish Drive, you were there with published Drive, but you are also an author Danica. I
Danica Favorite: Am. Yeah, I am.
James Blatch: Just tell us about your writing before we talk about pd.
Danica Favorite: Okay, so I'm a romance writer. I am hybrid published. I've done 19 books with Harlequin and then I have some Indies out as well. So I know a lot of the industry, although what I'm learning as I'm with Publish Drive is I know romance really, really, and I know Harlequin really, really well, but in terms of the whole indie landscape, I'm like, wow, there's so much for me to learn, which is so exciting.
James Blatch: But you've been with Publish Drive a while now, haven't
Danica Favorite: You? Yeah, I just celebrated my one year anniversary.
James Blatch: Is it only a year?
Danica Favorite: Really? Yeah. Isn't that crazy? It feels like it's been forever sometimes. And then other days I'm like, wait, I feel like there's so much to learn, which is really true of the Author Adventure. You think you've got it handled and then you're like, oh, oh yeah, I still have a lot to learn. But isn't that exciting? That's the fun of it, I think
James Blatch: It's like the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know.
Danica Favorite: In publishing,
James Blatch: There's so many a lot of things,
Danica Favorite: But that's the fun of it, at least for me. But I'm high in the learner strength and I could learn about stuff all day long and be perfectly content. So
James Blatch: Good. And talking of published Drive, let's talk about them actually in Hungary at the moment because Pub Drive is headquartered in Budapest. And of course we have Kinga on from time to time, but Kinga Hass had some fabulous news recently. She
Danica Favorite: Does. She just gave birth to her first child, little baby boy named Benjamin, and he is super cute. So she's on maternity leave right now and I'm doing a lot of the public stuff for her so that she can spend time being a mommy, which is so exciting for her.
James Blatch: Yeah, I've seen the pictures of very, very cute baby. And we wish Kinga well, king and Adam well in the future. So Danica, one of the things that we want to talk about is the survey that you're doing, which is quite exciting. I'm being blinded by the sun, so I'm going to close my blinds here. But before we do that, why don't we just, it's actually quite nice to have some sun, but probably not directly.
Danica Favorite: Yeah, I bet. I bet it's really grey here, but just delighted to be here. So I'm not complaining about the weather.
James Blatch: Great. Cold and grey in Europe this time of year. Let's talk about Publish drive in general terms, and then we're going to talk about this survey and I do want people listening to hang on for that bit because the more people take part in that survey, the more useful it's going to be for our industry.
But let's start with the bit about Publish Drive, because draught of digital around the longer, I always use them as a reference in terms of what the type of model that you're in, but do you want to talk specifically about Publish Drive and how they differ?
Danica Favorite: Yeah, yeah. So Publish Drive is very similar in that we are a book aggregator. So you upload your book to Publish Drive, and we send it out to a wide variety of markets, which is really great I think for indies to be able to get their book out to as many markets as possible. So where we differ is, number one, we're available in way more markets. We have the largest market reach of anyone, so we can get your book into all kinds of places, especially in Europe and China and things like that where you can't otherwise get your books. So we have a lot of exclusive access to various distribution points. There's no other way for you to get to. The other way that we differ is that we're a subscription model, so we don't take a percentage of your earnings, which for someone who isn't making any money, that's probably not a great deal, but if you're making a lot of money, it's really a good deal to say, rather than give 10% of thousands of dollars, you're paying a flat monthly fee, which saves you a great deal of money. But also, at least in my opinion, which I know draught to digital also does for me to have everything in one place is so convenient because rather than checking all these different dashboards, you go to one dashboard, you've got everything there. So because you're not paying a percentage, you can have your Amazon and your Apple and your Barnes and Noble and all of that with us because you're not paying extra money to do so. It's all the same cost to get to all of those different markets.
James Blatch: And I know that you also have a few tools that are useful, such as the Author Split tool, which I remember I used quite a lot in my early days of Fuse. We've got probably too many authors now, but if you're doing a co-writing series with someone, it's a really good useful tool.
Danica Favorite: It's a really great tool to be able to split those royalties. I remember the days where you would be in a group project and you'd have somebody, not me because I'm a writer, not a Mather, you'd have them go and split out who gets what and what a pain in the neck to do that by hand. The other thing that's nice is we've got a lot of marketing tools built into our product that is so nice because we have a deal with written word media, for example, where you can submit your book to one of those promotions that they're doing. And if you get accepted, you get it for free, which is so nice because again, I've paid for a lot of different promotions and things and it gets to be pretty costly. And it's so nice that with Publish Drive, you could submit to a promotion and if you get accepted, you're not paying for it. That's part of the service we offer. And we also have promotes with Cobo and Apple and a lot of other stores that we're involved with that. There's a nice little promotion tab, you see which ones your books qualify for, you hit the promotion. And we've had a lot of authors get a lot of success from being able to promote their books through the promotion tool. Like I said, you have to be accepted, but what a great opportunity to have your book promoted for free,
James Blatch: Really useful. And in terms of the interface, I've always felt publish strife, have very nice, clean, usable interface, which is part of what this is all about, really making it as easy as possible for authors. And actually you're uploading your book into multiple retailers already, completely painful. But to not only be able to do that in one place and then make it a nice aesthetic experience, I think it's quite useful thing.
Danica Favorite: Yeah. Yeah, I think so too. I think having that easy to use interface rather than uploading to each store, which for me, I'm going to be very honest. Number one, I'm a PC person. I'm not smart enough to do Macs, so to get to the Apple store on my own, I literally gave up. And even trying to get into Barnes and Noble, again, I am not a tech person. I am a writer. I want to write my books. And so trying to figure out just doing that direct was a headache. And so having it all in one place, you upload your book once and literally it's just click, click, click, click, click of the stores you want to be in. And what's also nice is let's just say you don't want to be in one of our stores. You just don't click the button. So I love that it's just a button you push.
James Blatch: Yeah, yeah. No, it is nice. And it's funny, the Apple system, because Apple normally, it's quite an aesthetically pleasing company a bit. I was sort of describing the way Publish Drivers, but their book upload system, I can remember doing it for our launchpad course and it is painful.
Danica Favorite: Yeah. And like I said, because I have a pc, it's even harder. My phone's an Android. Everything I do is Android because I give all the props out there to the Mac people. You guys are way smarter than I'm,
James Blatch: I don't think that's true. But I do like my Mac good. And Publish Drive has always been like D 2D and other companies always been in a position to have a bit of a helicopter view of the industry because
you see a lot of data coming in, you see sales numbers and so on. What's your feeling of how things are at the moment? And I guess we're going to lead onto the survey here.
Danica Favorite: Yeah, yeah. It's really interesting because I talked to some authors and authors are saying, oh yeah, it's so hard. It's so hard. Which I think, okay, yeah, I understand that. But definitely the data isn't supporting that. The data that we're seeing, the things that we're seeing in terms of sales are better than ever. And so I think that yes, it can be difficult and props to people who are saying that it's hard for them, but again, for those people who are with Publish Drive or are looking at moving to Publish Drive, we do have those availabilities to promote your books, which might help. But yeah, and that's part of why leading into the survey, because we are seeing such a difference in author saying, okay, well the market is harder. No, we're doing fine. Sales numbers are increasing. Well, okay, what are we attributing that to? What is helping people be more successful? Where are people struggling? And how obviously as public drive can we help you? But then how as an industry can we help each other and how can we learn from this and find ways to be more successful? Because I think that's why we're all here, right?
James Blatch: Yeah, exactly.
So tell us about the survey. It's not a quick brief survey. We often send out surveys or three questions. This is going to be one that is going to be a bit involved.
Danica Favorite: It is very involved. And trust me, there was a lot of debate over how involved we wanted to make it. And simply we chose to go more involved because I think that the publishing market is more complex than we want to admit that it is it, it's so funny, I'm rewatching my favorite TV series, the Good Place. And one of the things that they talk about is how complex humans are. And they were talking about, well, as time evolves, humans get more and more complicated. And I think that's true of the publishing landscape. It gets more complicated, there's more things to look at. And so we really wanted to look at how different things are being impacted and why. And so, okay, for the authors who are saying things are getting worse, why are they getting worse? What is getting worse? And for those who are saying No, things are getting better, okay, why are things getting better?
What are you doing that's making it better? Because we want everyone to be able to learn from that. We want people to understand that. And so even the AI question, and obviously that is such a hot topic in the industry right now, and we want to know, okay, so all of these people who are angry about ai, why are you angry about ai, where you feel AI is problematic? And then for people who are finding success with ai, why are you finding success? Where is it being used and how, because I think that those are the things that we really need to understand as an industry. I like to think about my friend Elizabeth Ann West and her work in the AI world and how she says AI is here anyway, so let's be part of helping AI evolve into what we as an industry want it to be. Because we can sit here and we can say all day long, I hate ai, or AI is bad, or I love ai, AI is good, but ultimately it's not going to go away. None of us are going to stop this. So let's figure out how we in the author community, we in the publishing world can make AI work for us and how we can be involved in making that the future we want it to be as opposed to it controlling us.
James Blatch: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And we've just put out our ai, AI marketing course, very careful not to talk about using it for writing, it's just for marketing, for images and copy and stuff. And still, mark and I have had some fairly abusive messages and it's pockets of it, but really militant, really militant writers, and I just don't think it's a sustainable position because of, as you said, quoting Elizabeth Ann West, it's here, the genie out of the bottle. So in a year's time, virtually every tool you use, whether it's Photoshop, which is already using it or search engines or Vem or whatever, it's probably going to have elements of AI in it. So how are you going to avoid it? Are you going to, in the end, you're going to go back to a typewriter just so you're not going to using it? It's part and parcel of the way things work in the future.
I absolutely, it's like any tool, you can abuse it and you can do things that are unethical or do things against your own. I don't really care. If somebody else uses AI to write a book, they want to do that, fine. But I will never do that because the best thing I do in the world, I have all the things I do and I do a lot is sitting down writing my books. I love it. So I'm never changing that. But when it comes to marketing it or it comes to helping some ideas within the book or helping me plot a little bit, why the hell not is my view.
Danica Favorite: Right, exactly. And I think that that's the thing is that I don't think people understand how much it's been used in the past and how much it's been used all along, especially for marketing. Before I came to Publish Drive, I worked for one of the big five publishers, and I will tell you that I was on their marketing team and we were using AI tools to write marketing copy. We've been using it for years, and it's there and people don't realise it. And I think just in this past year we've become more aware, but even I just updated my phone and it's hilarious because now when I do a Google search on my phone, the first thing my phone comes up with are the AI results summarising all of the articles, which I find really useful because I can read that summary and say, oh, yeah, hey, I want to read more.
This article that they just summarised is exactly what I need. So that just saved me probably five minutes of scrolling on my phone, which again, I know AI does come up with inaccurate results, but it does give me those article citations so that I can read more and understand more. So it's here, we've been using it, so let's figure out how we in publishing can use it for everyone's benefit in a way that feels good to people. And like you were saying, whether people use it or not for different purposes, let's at least give that grace in that room to people to use it in a way that feels good to them, but also in a way that we are helping publishing.
James Blatch: And I guess you're going to find out the level of use in this survey. So a couple of things that spring to mind is
how confidential is this? How will this information be used before we just take part in it? Can they be sure it's not going to be used to market new products to them, et cetera, right.
Danica Favorite: Absolutely. Yeah. So number one, everyone's responses are completely confidential. So when you send in a response, I have no idea that James Blatch said A, B, C, D, I have no idea that you said that. So you are completely anonymous, completely confidential. At the end of the survey, you will have an opportunity to put your email in to only receive the survey results. So it's not going to add you to the marketing list, and it's only if you opt in. And then there's also the opportunity at the end if you feel really strongly about something or you want to give me a deeper perspective, there's also a place where you can say, Hey, Danica, let's have a conversation about this. Again, those are options and you can completely opt out out of all of it, but unless you give me permission, I have no idea what your answers are.
James Blatch: And in terms of the results, how are they going to be published and where?
Danica Favorite: So what we'll do is once I get all of the results put together and tabulated, we will publish them on our site and everything. We also will email them to the people when they filled out the survey, said they'd like a copy, and then it's something that we would be happy to come back to your show and talk about, talk to anyone who wants to really, because this is really something that is important to us just to make sure that we're helping the industry. We're not just here to, Hey, look, we provide a service and we want to take your money. Like we're here for the long haul and we are part of this industry. I'm an author obviously, so we all care about making sure that we're shaping the future of the industry in a positive way. So the more we can share that and whoever we can share that with, that's a win for us all.
James Blatch: Great. And where can people find the survey? Danica?
Danica Favorite: So I have a link that I can share with you, but you can also find information about it on our [email protected].
James Blatch: Okay. So people go to publish drive.com, it's going to be prominent there, and they can
Danica Favorite: Yes.
James Blatch: Take part in the survey there.
Do you have an idea of what does success look like to you in terms of how many respondents you get? Bearing in mind a 20 to 30 minute survey will narrow the field of it,
Danica Favorite: Right? Absolutely. Absolutely. I would love to get as many as possible. Originally, I set the goal of a thousand respondents. I don't think I'm going to get there, so we'll see what we get. But like I said, the more respondents we get, the better the results are because if you're like, Hey, this is too long, that's great, but then your voice isn't heard, and so we don't know what your perspective is, so we don't have that perspective that maybe is important. If you feel really strongly about one of the topics we just discussed, then you want your voice to be heard, not just yelling out into the internet abyss, because that's not going to change anything. Just angrily arguing on a thread about AI isn't going to influence anyone. But if we've got the survey where people are sharing their opinions and their thoughtful responses, then that becomes part of a report that can help inform and educate other people about the topic. So something really important I think, to keep in mind.
James Blatch: Yeah, well, there's encouragement for people to take part in it because the more people take part in it, the more information we have and hopefully the better the industry will be as a result
Danica Favorite: Of that.
James Blatch: When do people need to respond by?
Danica Favorite: So I would love people to respond by the first of the year. So you've got a couple of weeks to do that and really take the time. Probably early January is when I'll close the survey and then we can start putting together the responses and seeing what we're getting.
James Blatch: There you go. There's always a couple of hours on Christmas day when you're not doing anything else.
Danica Favorite: Well, yeah. Or you've got your crazy nosy in-laws bugging you.
James Blatch: I've got some work to do. Worst
Danica Favorite: Thing I've got to do,
James Blatch: They dunno. Yeah,
Danica Favorite: Yeah. There you go. I just gave you all your holiday out.
James Blatch: Yeah, perfect. Okay, well look, it's really exciting. I guess we need to come back and talk about it perhaps at some point in the future when you've had a chance. And it'll take you a while probably to analyse all the results I suspect, and see the trends and so on. But there'll be a lot to discuss, I'm sure.
Danica Favorite: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
James Blatch: In the meantime, we encourage people to go to publish drive.com. I have actually been to the site, I can't see it very prominently on the front page. Oh,
Danica Favorite: There should be a popup, but if not, I will talk to the team. Yeah,
James Blatch: I think because going
Danica Favorite: To make it's more
James Blatch: Prominent, that is going to be key to getting people to sign up. But you don't have a direct, it's not published drive.com/survey or anything. You haven't got a quick link set up for
Danica Favorite: It? No, no, I don't, but
James Blatch: Well, I'll
Danica Favorite: See what we can do share. I'll
James Blatch: See what I can do. Share the link with us. We'll put it in the show notes for this show so people can go directly to it and we'll stick it in an email as well that goes out and hopefully we'll get as much interest as possible in it.
Danica Favorite: That would be fantastic. I really appreciate that.
James Blatch: Great. Danica favorites, our favorite author. Thank you so much indeed. That's right for coming onto the show. It was nice to see you briefly in Vegas. Give our love to Kinga When you see her, will you see her? I will too. Is she going to keep out of the office?
Danica Favorite: Well, so part of why I'm here annual planning meeting, but it will end with our company Christmas party and I believe she will be there. So I will give everyone's love to her and I'm sure she will just be glowing with happiness
James Blatch: Because
Danica Favorite: She is just loving being a mom. I'm
James Blatch: Sure she will, and she'll be a great mom. Good. Okay. Well let's talk in the future. Danica, thank you so much for going on.
Danica Favorite: Thank you so much for having me.
Speaker 1: This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.
James Blatch: There you go. There's Dan Komi Should say congratulations to Kinga Ticus. I can never quite say it right, who has given birth to a baby boy called Benjamin, I think, and mother and child look to be doing well. I think the pictures looked gorgeous. Beautiful little boy and king of beaming. So congratulations to her part of our community. We've got another, so that's how quickly the indie community is expanding Mark
Mark Dawson: One right at a time. Yeah, absolutely. Congratulations to Kinga. I, when was the last time we saw her in Nick? Probably wouldn't it. Wouldn't it have been perhaps even London? Dunno. Yeah,
James Blatch: I think London probably. Yeah, it's been crazy a couple of years. I'm sort of slowly decompressing from this year. It's been slightly crazy and it's slightly hard to decompress. I mean, it's easier for me than it's for you because going on in the background stuff we can talk about in the new year, there's always something going on in the background that we can't talk about, but you are disappearing in a Brazilian world to use the film reference, not the country of bureaucracy. I'm surprised you are a candidate for going postal at some point. I could read
Mark Dawson: This. Yeah, it's definitely possible. Yeah, I am exceptionally busy at the moment and trying to get everything finished by Friday When this goes out, I'll be downing tools and then going away on holiday on Saturday for 10 days. But you can 10 days over Christmas. I'm quite looking forward to it. And I'm not taking a laptop. I'm going to be completely well uncontactable pretty much. Well, I'll say that there'll be an emergency kind of bat signal, but I'm not intend to do much work. A lot of reading. Subtle actually. Really? You are like this I I'm reading Ian Banks at the moment, the first Consider Fbu or Yes.
James Blatch: Yeah, I love that book.
Mark Dawson: So yeah, I've got an addition from the Photo Society, which is very lovely and I've read lots of his.
James Blatch: Yeah, you're a fan of his literary stuff, aren't you? His
Mark Dawson: Literary fiction. Yeah, enjoyed that. Haven't ever read any of his sci-fi, so I thought I'd give that a try. I'm quite enjoying it.
James Blatch: Yeah, they're very different I think is the culture. Civilization is in most of them, but yeah, very good. Some of them always have a mediaeval feel. But of course if you're going to write about the U Galaxy, different stages of development. Yes, I'm reading still trying to get to the end of a very long, I always do this, I buy a book on my Kindle and then I think this has taken me a long time to read and I see it in a bookshop and it's like this thick and no wonder. So I'm reading Peter, someone's almost authorised history of MI six. I've almost at the end of it now, it's turned out to be more like a history of Britain's independent nuclear deterrent, which is not what I was really looking for in this. But I'm also just finishing Mark Cameron's last. Ah,
Mark Dawson: Jack Ryan.
James Blatch: Jack Ryan, yeah. Tom Clancy book. And I have thoroughly enjoyed that. Enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I used to love Tom Clancy and then went off of him a little bit and Mark has really, you told me he's quit writing 'em, which is such a shame. Yeah,
Mark Dawson: He did seven, I think he's handed over to someone else, so I know the name. Dunno the writer, but he mentioned that 20 books in Vegas.
James Blatch: Yeah, so I'm mired in the Cold War. In fact, I talked to Pad Finn because if Patty says that Dungeons and Dragons, we will think about fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons, but actually almost any genre could lend itself to that type of gameplay. And when I suggested we could do a East German based cold boy, oh my God. He was like, absolutely. So I need to find someone else who's as geeky as me about
Mark Dawson: Good luck
James Blatch: How the East German Glock worked,
Mark Dawson: The East German Glocks. It's not the
James Blatch: Austrian stolen East German Glocks that they used. They did use Glocks in East Germany. They're Atri. Are they Austrian? I can't remember Glock. Anyway, you should know that your
Mark Dawson: Territory, I think they're Austrian I think. And
James Blatch: They don't have a safety.
Mark Dawson: They don't. It's how much you pull the trigger. Yes.
James Blatch: How much you pull the trigger, pull it a lot.
Mark Dawson: Glock. Our Austrian. Yes, there we go. There you go.
James Blatch: Anyway,
Mark Dawson: Guston Glock, Austrian engineer. Guston Glock. Yes. Good.
James Blatch: Interesting. And I've been writing, again, I think I've told you, and I do enjoy the geeky bits of this. I've got this pilot in just near East Germany who has a very specific mission into a base just south of La Viv in the Ukraine. You can remember what the Russians kept in Ukraine during that time. Very specific strike mission. You need to, so I actually had a chart out today and drew an arc on it for their return where they could possibly land that be friendly. And it's brilliant because this arc runs through all the hostile territories of Czechoslovakia down to Yugoslavia, but there's 59 miles of friendly nato, Austria just sticking into that, which includes Vienna. So that will be their relief landing ground. Now that is the sort of thing that I enjoy doing, mark.
Mark Dawson: Yeah, fair enough. Interesting. I go a million miles away from what I do. So I'm writing about Siberia at the moment, which is quite fun. People say, do you go to the locations? What I do sometimes, but I'm not going there.
James Blatch: The gags.
Mark Dawson: Yeah, I'll avoid that.
James Blatch: Have you ever read the gag Archipelago? The Kin,
Mark Dawson: The gag Alego? I can't say
James Blatch: Algo. Isn't that not right?
Mark Dawson: Archipelago. Archipelago.
James Blatch: Mind
Mark Dawson: You,
James Blatch: Archipelago. I don't think you're a reliable source
Mark Dawson: Pronunciation. I'm
James Blatch: Not.
Mark Dawson: But
James Blatch: Anyway, definitely not. Anyway, the Gulag Island by Alexander Snitkin, it was one of my parents' bookshelf. We've got a really old copy of it and I've always thought I'd probably actually quite enjoy it. I don't think I'll ever read Doky, but I might read Snitkin. Is that my street?
Mark Dawson: I'm just going to play this archipelago. There you go, archipelago. That's what I thought. Archipelago. I think that's
James Blatch: What I said, isn't it?
Mark Dawson: I think you said something completely different. Actually.
James Blatch: Wind the tape back and check it. People always message me after saying, you were right about that. Sometimes they did. On the one occasion I was right about something. Anyway, you
Mark Dawson: Segued into something.
James Blatch: Yes. That's the one I was right about.
Mark Dawson: I'll never
James Blatch: Forget. No, you never do. Never forget, never forget, never forgive.
Mark Dawson: No. In those instances, no. Absolutely.
James Blatch: Anyway, good. Okay, look, we've got another episode next, which will be our Christmas episode where I insist that you wear a Christmas jumper mark. So you have to find one or at least something Christmas or your hat, your kids will have something for you. And that's the pad fin episode. We'll be back for that. And until then, all the remains for me today is there's a goodbye from him
Mark Dawson: And a goodbye from me.
James Blatch: Goodbye. Goodbye.
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