You’ve no doubt heard of Yog’s Law. It was coined by James D. McDonald and advises ‘money always flows toward the author.’
That’s generally good advice when you’re dealing with scam agents who want to charge ‘reading fees’ or vanity publishers with contracts that steal your rights and obligate you to buy thousands of dollars worth of your own books for the ‘privilege’ of publishing with them.
It’s also a relic of a time in distant memory when big publishers fully underwrote all the costs of publishing their authors—including promotion, tours, advertising, giveaways, and full-service editing. Nowadays, like the pirate code, it might be best to consider it more of a guideline, really.
(John Scalzi and John Hartness have already done excellent discussions on how when you self-publish, there’s ‘Writer-You’ and ‘Publisher-You’ and you pass the wallet back and forth. You can read those here and here for their […]
Continue reading Yog’s Law—It’s More of a Guideline
Like pretty much every writer I’ve ever met, I grew up wishing for books for every present-giving holiday. Every birthday featured at least one book I desired (and often more.) A book was always nestled among the candy eggs in my Easter basket. Christmas was the same – Santa granted my book wishes every year. As a child I received the Marguerite Henry horse books, the complete Chronicles of Narnia, Nancy Drew and the Happy Hollisters. I can’t remember a Christmas that didn’t end with me lying on the floor under the tree, reading whatever story Santa had brought me, until I was forced to put the book down and eat lunch with my family. Reading and Christmas go hand in hand for me. It’s just not Christmas without a book under the tree.
I know not all of our faithful MW readers are not celebrating Christmas for reasons of […]
Continue reading Climb Up On Santa’s Lap
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”
“I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because I […]
Continue reading Read Like a Writer
I have a terrible habit of guessing who the bad guy in within the first fifteen minutes of a mystery show. Or I suppose it’s not bad that I guess, but that I announce it out loud to the person watching with me. And because television is based on formulas, I’m most often right. (I have learned to keep my mouth shut in movie theaters, for which my husband is grateful. *laughs*)
The other night I started reading a new author, and within three chapters, I’d already guessed the bad guy and his motivation. Sometimes an author intends for his reader to know who the villain is right away, but this book is trying to keep it a secret until the big reveal at the end… and there I was, already nailing it. Which means that the author didn’t do what he wanted. The writing was solid, but the author […]
Continue reading It’s All In What You Consume
On Thursday, we lost Sir Terry Pratchett. He’d been diagnosed with a rare, early-onset Alzheimer’s a while back, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But he was only 66 years old (every year that passes makes that number sound younger and younger to me) and I don’t think anyone was ready for him to go. I’m grateful he never had to deal with losing his identity. I also admired his determination to die on his own terms, instead of letting the disease transform him into an empty shell of what he once was. I don’t know if he died by his own hand or not – they’re keeping the specific reason for his death very quiet – but I do know that the world of fantasy is a little less bright now that he’s moved on.
Within hours after hearing about Sir Terry, I got word that a wonderful man […]
Continue reading It’s Been A Rough Week