Write Us A Story!

Howdy, folks! I’m thrilled to announce that Emily Leverett, Margaret McGraw and I will be editing another anthology of stories from the dusty alleys of the weird west, this time for Falstaff Press! It’s called Lawless Lands: Tales From the Weird Frontier, and we have a fabulous lineup of anchor authors, including:

David B Coe Laura Anne Gilman Barb Hendee Faith Hunter Nicole Givens Kurtz Margaret McGraw Seanan McGuire Devon Monk Edmund Schubert and now, Jake Bible!

But nine stories isn’t enough, and that’s where you come in… we’re opening the submissions right now! Lawless Lands will be funded with a Kickstarter, which will run in December of 2016, so we want to have our stories in hand in order to guarantee an amazing campaign. We’re looking for stories that embody the frontier spirit of the American West, but with a weird twist. Gunslingers with laser pistols, cattle drives through […]

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Making Money. Giving Up. Not Both.

Making money in the business of writing is hard.

Every writer learns that at some point, even New York Times Bestselling writers learn it when a book or a new series tanks, when a beloved editor is canned, or when a cover stinks, when a line of books is ended, or a company folds. The disappointment is boundless, the resulting depression can be dark and deep as an ocean. We all know that.

But success can be found (even if it was lost ). Money can be made, at any level, with perseverance and determination and creativity. It can’t be done if you give up. There’s that.

Many of you know my story.

Fifteen years with only 1 (ONE) short story sale. SO MANY REJECTIONS. HUNDREDS OF REJECTIONS. Yes hundreds. Just one positive note in 15 years. Think about that. 15 years to find the dream. Then —

Two book […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding A Writing Community

I’m finally home after ConCarolinas and the Roaring Writers Retreat, where I taught and led critique sessions for a fun, productive, wonderful week. (Thanks for inviting me, folks — it was fantastic!) My third night home — last night — I attended a meeting of the writer’s group of which I’m a part here in my town. And, of course, I’m posting this to MW, which has been the foundation of my writing family for eight and a half years.

So, I thought today I should post about community and its importance to writers of all levels.

Writing can be a lonely profession. We often work on our own, toiling alone for hours at a time, sending our work into what can feel like a marketplace vacuum, and waiting for feedback that can be hurtful, even brutal. It’s hard, and our solitude makes it harder. Yes, we have loved ones […]

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Three TOP TENs

I just got back from CONCAROLINAS 2016. This is a great con. If you’ve never been, you should go! However, at all cons there are the usual problems—some big, some merely annoying, some that might be viewed with disagreement. At CC this year, the biggest problem was with the AC not working in the ENTIRE WRITER AREA. It was hot!

To make your future con experience better, here are my thoughts on Cons in general: Top ten things NOT to do on a panel.

 

We’ve all been there, when someone disrupts a panel. (Maybe we’ve even done it, all without thinking, and regret it later.) We’ve been on a panel and we see actions by someone in the room that just feels wrong. Or an action by a moderator that lets things get out of control. So for the writer out there who hopes one day to be on […]

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The Inciting Event

Before I even start, go ahead and google the phrase Inciting Event.

Don’t bother to read them all. Half make no sense. But I did like one by Lucy Gold at Answers.com. According to Lucy, an Inciting Event is, “The conflict that begins the action of the story and causes the protagonist to act. Without this event, there would be no story.” She has edited the original with a more wordy and writerly addition, but really, it was unnecessary. This says it all, and it’s pretty much how I explain and use the concept.

Understanding the theory of the Inciting Event, and its placement, and executing it well, are, together, the most important things in grabbing readers for your story: novel, short, novella, novelette, or even an epic series of a million words. “Wait!”, you say. “George R.R. Martin’s sixth novel in the Game of Thrones had color pictures and […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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