Showing posts from February, 2011

UK Cover for The Unfinished Song: Initiate and Taboo

I didn't expect to do so many revisions to Taboo, the second book in The Unfinished Song, but wow, my editor had some great ideas that add just that perfect extra bit of yum to the story, and I am having so much fun with this book. I hope you guys will enjoy reading it as much as I am writing it. Meanwhile, I wanted to share the news that there will be UK editions of the series. Ok, right now, everything about the books is pretty much the same (even the spelling, sorry UK readers) except... drumroll... the covers. There's this theory that Brits like different covers. Symbolic and schematic covers are supposed to be more popular than covers with people-oriented scenes. I have no idea if this is a myth or reality. I suspect it's nonsense. That is, I'm sure there are readers who prefer symbolic/schematic covers to people/scene pictures; however, their dispersion is probably statistically unrelated to their nationality. But hey, I'm willing to experiment. So here

Cover Art for The Unfinished Song: Taboo

It's a brave new world of epublishing, and one theory I would like to test is that cheaper, faster, shorter will win the day. But how does one do this with epic fantasy, which notoriously requires at least 300,000 words just to get the first 3000 characters introduced? (*cough* Robert Jordan *cough* Terry Goodkind *cough* Stephan King *cough* excuse me I have a cough, sorry about that *cough*) You can't just dash out a 50,000 word epic fantasy once a month in your spare time. That's what Sword & Sorcery is for. The answer to the length of fantasy stories has always been to break them up into smaller, more digestible elements. Lord of the Rings is really one story published in three volumes, not three books. There's a fine difference. That's how I am approaching my epic fantasy The Unfinished Song . I could publish a 400,000 word ebook, but I thought it would be more delectable to parcel it out in delicious snack sized bites of epic. That also means, howeve

What Does Change in Copyright Law Mean for Writers?

I caught this item of news from Piers Anthongy: Meanwhile, of interest to other writers: Congress changed the law, and now publishers can't hang on to an author's rights until 70 years after s/he dies. The new Copyright Act allows authors and their heirs to terminate contracts 35 years after the contract date and "recapture" the books, regardless whether they remain in print, beginning with contracts dated 1978. All my books are on license, meaning I can get my rights back after about ten years, except for 17 at Random House/Del Rey. Now, year by year, I can start recovering them. Other writers should check this out, because their publishers will not tell them. There's a gold rush going on right now for the e-rights to millions of backlisted titles by previously published authors. A lot of these are older folks who aren't comfortable with the new tech and may surrender their rights without realizing it. If you fall in this category, or you are related to a

Google-Apple Smack Down

Apple and Google are going at it for the future of publishing! What does it all mean? Frankly, I have no idea. I'm hoping to sort through all of this and figure out what this means for writers, readers and books. Here's how Google responded to Apple's subscribtion model: Here’s the key nugget that everyone seems to be overlooking: With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps. I’ve confirmed that this means that customer information collected by Google will be shared with publishers. What kind of information? Name, zip code, and most importantly, email addresses. Billing information will not be shared, we’re told. Users can choose to opt-out of sharing this information, but they’ll have to explicitly do so. By default, the information is shared. And as we’ve talked about before,  that’s a huge win for publishers  who mainly fear these online subscription

Love Is a Triangle

Rick or Vic? "Under stress, two people tend to draw in a third. They stabilize the system by forming a coalition of two in relation to the third. The basic unit of an emotional system is a triangle." -- Monica McGolderick, Genograms Does ever great love story actually involve three people? I've been wondering this as I work on the outline for a romance. Originally, I envisioned the conflict as coming from the opposing motives of the hero and heroine. But I feel as though perhaps a third charcter, now on the periphery, might move in to create a love triangle. What do you think? Is there more tension when there is a serious second contender for the hero or heroine's heart? Clearly, the love triangle has the power to generate interest above and beyond the simple romance, or it wouldn't be such a tried and true plot device.... Ed or Jake? Then again, Romeo and Juliette was not a love triangle. Jessica Rabbit was not actually playing patty-cake on Ro

Publishing, One More Bastian of Male Chauvanist Pigs (Apparently)

In 1903... a disgruntled sorcerer in eastern New Guine a announced that within three days he was turning every man in the village into a woman, and every woman into a man. The men were panic stricken, New Guinea being such a male dominated society, but, as the investigating white magistrate observed, “the women viewed the threat with supreme complacency.”* Laura Mille r, over on Salon, chips away at the issue of why there aren't more female authors. Franklin, who was chagrined to find that only 33 percent of the books she reviewed last year were by women, concluded that "magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year. The question now becomes why more books by women are not getting published." Since publishing a book tends to burnish the reputation of a reviewer or essayist (just as publishing well-received reviews and essays in journals can lead to a book contract), the two situations are certai

A Talk and Booksigning with Deborah Harkness

I attended a talk by Deborah Harkness last night at USC, the university where she teaches. It was the release day for her novel A Discovery of Witches  and the first book signing in what's likely to be a whirlwind tour. She's already a bestselling novelist. A lot of profs from the history department were there, as well as grad students and undergrads.  Syrie James , the author of  Dracula, My Love  and Nocturne  was also there, but not too many other novelists that I know of. (If you know otherwise, correct me.) The talk was held in Doheny Library and books lined the room where she spoke, so it was a fairly rarified academic atmosphere...the perfect background, given the book. Nonetheless, I resisted, as long as possible, the urge to geek out and take notes. I mean, she's used to students taking notes when she give lectures, but I figured she probably didn't want note takers during her novel reading. My resolve lasted all of fifteen minutes. Then I broke down and took

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

#1   in  Books  >  Literature & Fiction  >  Genre Fiction  >  Horror  >  Occult #2   in  Books  >  Science Fiction & Fantasy  >  Fantasy #4   in  Books  >  Romance  >  Vampires So yesterday I was obnoxiously boasting I knew someone who would be famous today. I hadn't decided if I should do the big reveal or not. But what the hell. The author is Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches , which is ranked pretty high on the Occult, Fantasy and Vampire books on Amazon. (Along with an indie author, J.R. Rain .) Feel free to snicker at me for getting all excited about this, but Deb Harkness was my history professor, a delightful teacher and a wonderful person, so I'm pretty thrilled at how well her book is doing. Also, I downloaded my copy this morning and I've been racing through the book. It's awesome. It's not surprising I would think so, is it? I don't mean because I know the author, but because she wrote a book th

I Know Someone Famous!!! So Obviously, I'm Cool Too

No, the person I know is not  Lady Gaga , sorry. I know someone who's about to become famous. She's going to be a famous author, in my field (fantasy). She's also already pretty famous in another field that's important to me, but I already knew that before I met her, so it's not as thrillingsome . I've been thinking about fame lately, and how, in some ways, it is more enjoyable to bask in the aquaintance of someone famous than to be famous. But even better is to know someone before they are famous, so that that you can prove to the world that you knew how cool that person was long before everyone else. I know her now before she's famous, and I can see fame gathering like rainclouds on the horizon. I mean, she's going to become famous, literally, tomorrow.  And it's pretty awesome. It's great for her and all that, but it's even better for me. Because, well, I KNOW her. Or, more to the point, she knows me. She's not my bff or any

How Magic Dominoes Are Like the Internet

First check out these magic dominoes that tip each other over without touching. Then you'll understand my analogy to the Internet. (Hopefully.) It used to be that we mainly impacted people who were near to us. Like, three feet near to us. All of human evolution has been a process of expanding that distance. First, spoken language itself. About 100,000 years later, through writing on clay and stone. Papyrus, books, those were really just refinements. The internet couldn't exist without the alphabet. The alphabet is a set of magic dominoes that can knock down whole governments without even touching them directly. Just my thought for the day.