Quick-Tip Tuesday: What We Can Learn From Ro Laren

The other night, my wife and I were watching old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (we own the whole series on disk). We’re on season 5 right now, and we came to one of our favorite episodes: the first episode with Bajoran Starfleet Ensign Ro Laren (played by Michelle Forbes). Ro was an amazing character — and this is a terrific episode — because she was everything a Starfleet officer wasn’t supposed to be: rebellious and disdainful of authority, prickly and opinionated, and more devoted to her own people than to the principles on which Starfleet was founded. Adding her to the cast shook things up a bit, and freshened the series at a time when it might otherwise have started to grow stale.

 

As I watched, it occurred to me that other shows of which I’m a fan had done very similar things with their casts. […]

Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: What We Can Learn From Ro Laren

A Small Press Talk

In General:

On paper, the money from a small press looks just as good as the money as from a bigger press. Better even. Percentages on ebooks from big houses usually runs 25% of net. In small houses, it’s usually 50% of net. Paper copies at big houses will start your payment 8% on mass market and start at 10% of hardback cover price. Small presses (almost) universally use POD (print on demand) for books and the percentage usually starts at 10%, so no loss or gain on percentage there.

Most larger presses are beginning to ease away from printing mass market books. The MMs never made any money for the companies. Trade paperbacks have meant higher profit margins meaning more money in their pockets. Ebooks ensure fewer returns. POD trade paperbacks can be issued per order, so no losses on returns there either. Therefore, all these changes in formats […]

Continue reading A Small Press Talk

The Beginning of the END part Four — More on the Small Press

Morning, y’all!

I ended two weeks ago with a bit of the pros and cons when dealing with small presses, over big presses, and there were just as many cons as pros when it came to dealing with and being published by New York houses. I’d like to concentrate on one single pro today, and how it may often be better than dealing with big houses and with self-publishing.

(With apologies to Di, and her post on Friday!)

Pros for working with a small press? In my opinion is this – Writers get a bigger percentages on electronic sales. NYC offers a standard 25%. Most small presses offer 50% net. And the money flows to the author. A lot of people are going the self-pub route, because they think they can make a high percentage with the first check, and they are right on a sale-by-sale percentage. But that isn’t […]

Continue reading The Beginning of the END part Four — More on the Small Press

The Beginning of the End Part 3 — The Small Press

Happy Day-After-Valentine’s Day, Y’all! Picking up where we left off, let’s talk about small presses. (I know it isn’t a rose or candy, but it’s good info.)

With stores ordering fewer and fewer books, publishing houses publishing fewer and fewer books, and more and more readers ordering electronic books (the book purchasing percentages of the Jane Yellowrock series are now 81% electronic) we have more and more writers, even high midlist name writers, looking at small presses. Herewith are a few of the Pros (prose?) and Cons of the SMALL PRESS.

Cons 1. No books on bookstore shelves 2. Poor likelihood of library purchases 3. Poor likelihood that the small press will work with distributors like Baker & Taylor and Ingram’s 4. Which makes it difficult for indie bookstores and chains to even know about your book 5. Few small presses even put out an electronic catalogue 6. Small presses […]

Continue reading The Beginning of the End Part 3 — The Small Press

Quick-Tip Tuesday: Do Not Fear the Scoop!

Welcome to another Quick-Tip Tuesday!

It’s not always easy to come up with a new topic for these posts. We’ve been over a lot of material here at MW throughout the years. I know that on my own I’ve written over 300 MW posts; all told we’re coming up on two thousand for the site. It sometimes seems that there is nothing new I could possibly publish in this space that wouldn’t repeat in some way material you can find in an archived post.

But of course, if one of those older articles was written by Faith, Misty, John, or someone else, then I might have some perspective on the subject matter that they didn’t. And even if it’s an issue that I covered myself, it may be that subsequent experience has changed my approach or given me fresh insights.

In short, just because a subject has been discussed before, […]

Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Do Not Fear the Scoop!

The Beginning of The End, Part 2

Last month, I talked a bit about the changes present and coming to the publishing industry: the way that mass market paperbacks (the small paperbacks) are slipping away; the way that publishing houses are moving to Trade (the large paperbacks), Hard cover, and E-books; the way that bookstores are going to buy and stock fewer books altogether. A LOT less books; the way that the decreasing amount of shelf space for new books in stores will change the publishing marketplace. Worse – the way that, with fewer large pubs, there will be fewer numbers of writers published. Worst — the way that those fewer numbers of books in houses and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.

These changes have already resulted in a huge transformation in the way readers shop for books, and […]

Continue reading The Beginning of The End, Part 2

Quick-Tip Tuesday: The Power of Secrets

I’ve just started teaching an online course with the Odyssey writing program, and it should surprise no one here that the course is on “Point of View: The Intersection of Character and Plot.” As most of you know, point of view is kind of an obsession for me. I think it lies at the heart of all storytelling. You can do a Magical Words search of “Coe, point of view,” and you’ll get enough hits to keep you reading for hours . . .

In talking about point of view, I also can’t help but talk about character and the process I use to develop the characters I use, primary and secondary, in my own work.

One of the things I like to do when coming up with a character’s history and/or life circumstances, is give that person a secret of some sort. Any secret at all will do. It […]

Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: The Power of Secrets