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and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.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, […]

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Making Money Mondays — The Beginning of the End (Part One)

THE BEGINNING of the END of PUBLISHING as WE KNOW IT (PART ONE)

Those of you who have been around MW for a while are rolling your eyes at my poor joke (the title), since most writers have been accusing the commercial publishing industry of dying for over 20 years. Claiming that the latest changes are just its latest feeble gasp, its final kicking of legs, as the lion of change continues to choke it to death. Out with the old, in with the new. That, more or less, is what I’ve been known to think.

Why? Because when I was first published (in the dark ages) there were over a hundred NYC publishers. After the huge Penguin Random House merger last year, now there are Five. Five.

 

Penguin Random House Simon & Schuster HarperCollins Publishers Macmillian U.S. Hachette Book Group

 

However, publishers do still exist, and today, […]

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MAKING MONEY MONDAYS!

Happy New Year!!!It’s the start of a new year and new things and new beginnings.

After a few years of trying different things, formats, writers, and concepts here at MW, we are making some changes to try to meet the needs of our readers. We are trying old things. Yep. Old things.

For starters, some old and wonderful names and faces and writerly pens will be coming back to MW on a regular basis. I will be here two Mondays a month. In case you have totally forgotten me (sob whine) I’ve put a bio at the bottom of this post and an old photo.

John Hartness will be taking the other two Mondays. I know, right? Squeeee! Together, we will be talking and sharing and dishing about the financial aspects, the commercial aspects, and the New York publishing house aspects of the biz (dismal for the most part). But […]

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Of Success and Failure – Magical Words

Hi Y’all!

This month, next week in fact, I was supposed to have new book out. First book in a new series. Big dealio. Mucho excitement. I scheduled this date at several blogs to get the word out. I had PR ramping! Yes, as early as six months ago.

Annnnd it didn’t happen.

Why? Simply put, the book was not ready. BLOOD OF THE EARTH, the first in the Soulwood series, needed a serious—and I mean deeply serious—rewrite. It had bones. It had some good bones. But it wasn’t put together right.

I know, you are singing “The toe bone’s connected to the … ankle bone…” and you hate me right now. But bear with me.

I knew there were problems with the book but I could not see what was wrong. I was too close to it. This is why a writer, even an experienced writer, needs a developmental […]

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Diamonds, Magic, and Mystery

Whenever I get sick–like the flu or something like it–I watch TV. And not just any TV; when I’m sick, I watch fairly specific kinds of shows. I look for documentaries first. Even though I normally like regular hour-long dramas and comedies and movies and HGTV, I always head for documentaries. If I can’t find anything I like there, I will go to the shopping networks. I know. The two together don’t make any sense, and I don’t go to the shopping networks at any other time. Ever.

The last time I was sick enough to do that was several years ago. In that session, I learned a number of things that have found their way into my writing. (I believe I also bought some blankets and sheets and called my husband at work about a vacuum cleaner, which I did not buy). In particular, I watched a documentary on […]

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D.B. Jackson: The Writing Life, part II — Living With Success and Failure

As I’ve mentioned before — and as Faith and others have mentioned as well — the release of a new book can be incredibly stressful. Of course there is satisfaction in seeing the finished product in print (or ebook format). Writing a book is a big deal. That completed volume represents a tremendous amount of work; it required a huge investment of time, and of emotional and intellectual energy. It represents as well, an admirable accomplishment, and there is nothing wrong with taking pride in that. The problem is, releases are fraught with additional significance. Right or wrong, the success of a new book is judged on a collection of external factors that have little or nothing to do with the work itself, and everything to do with how others receive that work.

Every writer, aspiring or established, knows what I’m talking about. How many of you have finished a […]

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Nuts & Bolts – Back Cover Copy and Why Yours Is Bad

There might be a little hyperbole in the title, but probably not much. A friend who self-publishes posted her new cover on Facebook this morning, and it was beautiful. A striking image on the front, very nice typography, it looked good in a thumbnail (which many, many major publishers are terrible about, especially in urban fantasy, BTW. Those incredible dark, moody, painted covers look like nothing but black and blue blobs when shrunk down to Amazon thumbnail sizing. That’s why the author names have to be so big, so the consumer has SOME way to figure out what the book is!), until I started reading the back cover matter.

Back cover copy is critically important for any book, but it’s only really relevant to a self-published or small press author. Most major publishers A) Do back cover copy pretty well most of the time and B) won’t give you […]

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