Showing posts from October, 2010

4 Things the Publishing Industry Should Change

Io9 has a great piece on 15 science fiction and fantasy books the publishers rejected. Damn. I just knew spies told publishers to reject me. Which leads a pundit at PC World to suggest four things the publishing industry should change: 1. Stop belittling or dismissing self-publishing. By thinking of self-published books in the same way you think of proposals, you can learn to view the self-publishing market for what it is: a farm program that is the key to your salvation. 2. Think about a book in the same way that a cloud-based service thinks about its product -- always a work in progress and never finished. Most nonfiction and even some fiction should be rereleased frequently with improvements, corrections and updates. 3. Stop thinking that a book is a bound stack of paper. A book has no physical form. It's a collection of ideas. It's intellectual property. You don't sell tree pulp. You sell stories and information, and you should sell it in any form and in any medium t

How Not to Juggle Multiple Responsibilities

The baby was sick last night (=no sleep) and it's a gray, rainy day. Result: depression. There's an online service to track your mood I belong to called Moodscope . My only problem is that I only feel motivated to use it when, as now, my mood suddenly dips low. When I'm happy, I don't bother. As a result, the picture of my "average" mood is skewed. I awoke to a message I had to redo my cover. In fact, I ended up having to redo the interior as well. I don't think it looks as good. But that may be just because I'm depressed. I've learned not to trust my own self-evaluations when I'm depressed. I can't even stand to look at my blog right now. It's so ugly I just want to delete the whole thing. (I won't.) I'm also experiencing "buyer's remorse" or, in this case, "self publisher's remorse" where I wish I had never put my book out there because I will only humiliate myself in public, blah yada blah. I won&#

CreateSpace To Do List

So here was my To Do List: - Final edit on Word File/apply editor's corrections -Write author's bio -Learn InDesign -Format file in InDesign -Figure out page # of final document to calculate cover art template -Find or ReDo cover art -Upload interior PDF and cover art PDF to CreateSpace And here's what I have left to do: - Order Proof copy - Correct Proof copy - Upload corrections - Go live with print book Yeah, that whole "Learn InDesign" took a wee bit longer than expected. Go figure. I took a crash course by signing up for a month's worth ($25) of training videos at I watched hours worth of videos and followed along on my own files. Great site, it saved my butt. Also, I never did find my file for the cover art for the print book (which, unlike the ebook cover, included the spine and back copy). I had to redo it. Fortunately, I did still have the front/ebook cover. Now I'm waiting to hear back from Amazon to hear if my PDFs were formatted corr

Whew...I think....

I think I did it... I actually managed to format my book in InDesign! Yeah! More on that tomorrow. Plus, maybe another Intrepid Writer comic. I now have a clean PDF file for all of you who want a free copy to review. I'm looking forward to taking a break from formatting and ISBNs and all that good stuff and having time to catch up on all the blogs I haven't been able to read in the last week.

Authors Just Wanna Have Fun

There are times I want to write something truly DEEP. And then there's the rest of the time. I just want to write something fun. Yeah, I know the battle between the four-armed rakshasa and the two-headed dragon isn't profound soul-wrenching stuff, but it would make for great eye-candy in the film version. Special effects! Explosions! Hot babes in chain-mail bikinis and bare-chested hunks waving swords! Add a kickass soundtrack. Sometimes I like to write books that would be best watched drunk. Is that so wrong?

Tara Maya, Intrepid Writer!


Tara Maya, Intrepid Writer!

I wanted to do some xtranormal vids, like Zoe Who? but I haven't come up with anything yet. While doodling storyboard ideas, I came up with this comic. I have a couple of episodes, but I won't post them all at once. (I don't know why it's so small. Help?)

My eBook Is Now Available for Sale! Plus, Win a Kindle!

Yay! This time I'm not messin' with ya'll. It's really, truly for sale. The description is still not showing on the .us Amazon, although it is showing on .uk for some reason. There are no reviews yet, of course. I'll be eternally grateful to anyone who will post a review. The print version is still not available yet, but I am working hard to bring that to you. I also signed in to Amazon Associates, so if you click through to Amazon from the link on my blog or webpage, I will get a referral fee in addition to my royalties. Man, I got three kids. Every little bit helps. And while we're on the subject of shameless pandering, if you've been on the fence about buying a Kindle and the thought of reading my ebook has, inexplicably tipped you into buying one, then now would also be a good time to click through the link on my site and buy it. Not yet? Well, I'll just stick it next to my blog posts in case you change your mind. * * * WIN A KINDLE... Meanwhile, I&

Two Other Ebooks Now for Sale

I've made my corrections and I'm waiting for them to go through the system. Once they do, I'll post the link here to buy the book. If you haven't bought it already, please hold off until then. Should be later today. In addition to Conmergence, which I'm selling for $2.99, I've extracted two of the novelettes to sell separately for 99 cents. Each one is about 12,000 words. I hope people won't be angry that's too short. I clearly state the word count in the description, but you know how it is. I wanted to do this to (A) have some 99 cent items, and (B) have fun with more covers. The cover of Conmergence is more of a mood piece and doesn't relate to any specific story. But these covers reflect the stories: The cover art on Tomorrow We Dance is by Natalie Holkham. So the cover for this 99 cents book actually cost me much more than the cover for the anthology proper. I really love it though. Here's where you can find more work by Natalie: websites: ht

Upload Update

The book is showing in the store, but none of the product information is there. In case anyone wishes to buy the ebook, I advise waiting a few more days, if you don't mind, because there are some changes I do intend to make. One of the things I intend to check is how easy it is to make those changes. Sales do show up very fast, and I have to admit, that rocks. Now I have to bust a gut and get the POD ready to go. Oh, and I have one other version coming order to have a 99 cents offering on the table, I'm going to take just one of the novelettes in the story and offer it alone. I need to write a new introduction and acknowledgements for it. I found a badass picture for the cover and the artist was kind enough to let me purchase the rights to it. This will allow me to compare the effect of cover art and price points on sales. Should be fun. * * * UPDTATE TO THE UPDATE: I feel a little silly for announcing it's up but then warning people not to buy it yet. Um, sorry! B

Map of Online Sociality


Uploaded To Amazon

Well, I uploaded the book to Amazon. It could take "up to 48 hours" to show up in the store, so I don't know if it will actually be available by Monday. That's okay. I still have the POD to work on. I just wanted to see what it looks like "live" and make sure I could do the process. I had a little trouble with my formatting. Some of the fancy internal links I had hoped to provide didn't show up as links, so I had to remove them. The chapter headings are left-justified instead of centered, and some spacing isn't showing up right. I don't know why, but it's 3:15 am as I write this, so I'll worry about it later. I think the version that's up is legible otherwise, with decent paragraph breaks and chapter headings in larger font.

Boarders Turns to Indie Authors

Boarders turns to indie writers for salvation from bankruptcy. Crazy. As eBooks have become increasingly popular, many major eBookstores have created ways to fill those eBookshelves not just with the titles of well known authors but with the works of any author willing to cough up the fees to have their projects published and distributed in this new format. And today, Borders throws its hat into the ring with a partnership with the Boulder-based startup BookBrewer, offering a service that will let independent authors publish and sell their eBooks via the Borders' eBookstore. The deal with Borders will give authors who use BookBrewer a choice of two publishing packages: the $89.99 basic package and the $199.99 advanced publishing package. With the basic package, BookBrewer will assign the book an ISBN - something that typically costs $125 value - and will make it available to all major eBookstores at a price set by the writer. Authors who purchase the advanced package will receive

Balance Sheet for Conmergence

I'm hoping to have the ebook edition of Conmergence up by Monday. I was going to bring the POD and ebook out at the same time, but I decided it's less stress to do it this way. I promised I would log the steps of my journey for those interested. The big step I took this week was setting up a business account so I can keep my writing expenses and income separate from my personal accounts. It's too expensive to incorporate yet, although that is safer, so I have a sole-proprietorship. However, having a separate account should help me out at tax-time. I deposited $150 to maintain the account. Good practice would have been to deposit the money I needed in the account, then draw out my expenses. I haven't done that. I won't take any money for expenses out of the account until I see money actually going in. I registered on Amazon's CreateSpace program under my business name and linked the royalties to directly deposit in the account. I have kept an ongoing balance sh

Meet Amazing People Through Kindle Singles

Kindle Singles is not a dating service. I know. Sorry. But what is it? What does it mean for readers? For writers Is this a reprise of Amazon Shorts for the Kindle? Less than 10,000 words or more than 50,000: that is the choice writers have generally faced for more than a century--works either had to be short enough for a magazine article or long enough to deliver the "heft" required for book marketing and distribution. But in many cases, 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages) might be the perfect, natural length to lay out a single killer idea, well researched, well argued and well illustrated--whether it's a business lesson, a political point of view, a scientific argument, or a beautifully crafted essay on a current event. Today, Amazon is announcing that it will launch "Kindle Singles"--Kindle books that are twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book. Kindle Singles will have their own section in the Ki

Why I've Been Too Busy To Blog

"Fortunately or unfortunately, the historian has not the novelist's freedom." And the same goes for the grad student.

King of Kindle

It so unfair he can sing and write. And be funny. I *heart* Parnell Hall.

How Many Things Do You Have to Remember for a Duel?

There aren't enough history geek cartoons, but at least there is Hark! A Vagrant!

Frankfurt 2010 and Ebooks

Ebooks are a big topic at Frankfurt 2010. The questions are about how soon will ebooks take over? and who will dominate the market? Emphasis mine: In a 2008 survey, some 40% of 1,000 industry professionals surveyed said digital content will overtake traditional printed book sales by 2018. Now, it looks like "it may be sooner than that ," Mike Shatzkin [said]... But the first session of the afternoon, on e-books, really captured the pace of change now hitting the publishing industry. Speakers included Brian Murray, CEO, HarperCollins; Evan Schnittman, managing director, Bloomsbury; Andrew Savikas, v-p, O’Reilly Media; and Rick Joyce, CMO, Perseus; and the panel was moderated by Google's Tom Turvey. All of the panelists noted explosive growth in e-book revenues. Murray said e-books made up about 9% of HarperCollins' total revenue, but when that number was adjusted to filter out things like children’s books or other materials not easily consumed digitally, closer t

Monarch Will Be Published by Rhemalda

My friend Michelle Davidson Argyle has a contract for her book Monarch. Yay!

Royalties, Book Sales and Ebooks

A look at royalties -- with cool charts! -- courtesy of Jim C. Hines. The Kindle edition of Mermaid's Madness is $6.99, just a dollar less than the paperback. If Joe Konrath is right, this might be one reason for the relatively poor ebook sales. Speaking for myself, I won't buy the Kindle version for that price; I'll wait until I can afford the paperback. (Which won't be this month because I had to blow my monthly book budget on nonfiction.) At least it's not as bad as Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, though, which had a Kindle price of $19,99! WTF! It's actually MORE than the hardcover. I was not the only one outraged. A huge number of infuriated fans gave the book 1-star, and declared a boycott. Dutton, Penguin is the publisher. Have they lost their minds? Honestly.

The Brain Phone Is Ringing

Who could not want this? Via Futurepundit: "In an interview with The Atlantic the CEO of Google reveals he does not want to implant a Google interface into people's brains. Luddite." Two of the short stories in Conmergence feature a similar technology, a cybernetic "eye" immplanted in place of one biological eye. It's not meant to be a prediction -- although I think if some sort of internet lens could be designed, that would be big. C'mon, you know you'd want some.

Headwind - Booktrailer of the Day

This book makes me wish I were taking an airplane flight somewhere. Because I love a good spy book to read on a plane. Historic footage serves this trailer well. The placement and font of the writing is a little odd. But the soundtrack is wonderful. This book is by Karen Brees from Chalet Press. I understand there will be two more books in the trilogy. Yay!

She Thinks, He Thinks

Her: He's hitting on me. What does it say about his expectations of relationships that I'm pushing a baby carriage, and that doesn't spell MARRIED? Him: She got knocked up once, she must be willing and able. Her: On the other hand, it is kinda flattering. I guess despite that extra thirty pounds, I'm still hot! Him: I like big butts, I can not lie.

Agent Publishes Through CreateSpace

Even agents are epublishing these days: Agent Andrew Wylie shocked the literary world this summer when he made an Amazon exclusive deal on backlist titles from some very big name authors. Now Sharlene Martin, a Seattle-based literary agent, is following in Wylie’s footsteps with her agency Martin Literary Management. Publishing Perspectives reports: “Martin’s agency published Cirque Du Salahi: Be Careful Who You Trust on September 15. It’s the story of Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who Martin represents along with the book’s author, investigative journalist Diane Dimond. Martin decided to get the book out quickly, short-circuiting the normal one — year publishing process, by publishing it through’s CreateSpace program.”

Quote of the Day + Zombie Cartoon

"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -- Anton Chekhov

Early Dawn - Book Trailer of the Day + Is it Worth the Money?

This has two things that interest me. One is the use of the old sepia photos, which I like. My favorite part is when the sepia turns to color, although this isn't a constant effect throughout the trailer. The second is the way the words are written on bands across the screen, which I'm more ambivalent about. This book is a Western, which I don't normally read, and to be honest, I might not read this one, but the trailer did catch my interest in the story. * * * Slightly off topic... I know some people think booktrailers are a waste of money. This one is by Circle of Seven Productions, so it wasn't cheap. I really like them, but do worry about whether a $1000 trailer can pay for itself in sales. Then again, trailers do have one advantage, which is that I watch trailers for genres I normally never read, and if the trailer is good, I often watch it several times. Sometimes I watch it so much, I feel an overwhelming curiosity to read the book, even when I initially had no i


Sorry I couldn't keep up my blogging while my eye hurt. It still hurts a bit, but it's better.

Bronte Sister Fun

Dude watching with the Bronte sisters. Bronte sister action heroes.

This is What I Talk About when I talk about Writing

I can't write a substantial blog post today because of my eye, but fortunately, I have a guest blogger! Yeah! Give it up for Chase Henderson. If I were to say that I had written my book The Spaces in Between with absolutely no intention of pursuing traditional publishing it would be a lie so grand my beard would shrivel and die. If I were to say that I wrote it with any intentions of finishing my mother would break a leg. I may be mixing up my lying clichés here. I can’t attest to other creative people. I don’t live inside of the head of anyone I didn’t create. I wasn’t thinking of genre or marketing strategies. Or hell even story structure. The one and only truth was that there was a story in my head, and it was going to get out one way or the other. So I wrote it. A short story about a man in a near death out of body experience. Whose wandering soul is then kidnapped by a space pirate in order to rob a museum. In space. Another story followed. This time the Pirate King found a sh