Quick-Tip Tuesday: Revisiting the Past, and Finding Out We Sucked

I owe an apology to all of you.

Seriously.

To every person I have critiqued at a Live Action Slush, to every student whose manuscript I’ve marked up, to every aspiring writer I’ve advised with arrogant confidence, I am truly sorry.

For what, you ask.

For failing to realize just how fortunate I am, and have been, to have the career I’ve had.

What has brought this on?

Well, I am editing Children of Amarid, my very first novel. I have the rights back to the book — to the entire series, actually — and I’m planning to come out with what I call the Author’s Edit (kind of like the Director’s Cut of a movie). So I’m reading through the book, editing as I go, rediscovering the tale that kicked off my career.

And it’s awful. I mean TERRIBLE. I am mortified to realize this book has been in […]

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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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Success–what exactly is it?

I need to say before I start, that at the last minute tonight, we decided to run off to the mountains to dig for rocks for a couple days. So any comments I will respond to when I get back. Hopefully we come back with cool rocks.

 

I’ve been talking about self-publishing for awhile, and now I want to wrap that up with a discussion of success. How do you know if your book is successful? How do you know if your career is successful?

Here’s the truth: there’s no single target that you’re trying to hit, all the targets move, and only you know what they look like.

Let’s start with that third one, because the other two will become clear in that discussion. Only you know if you’ve succeeded because only you determine the metrics of success. Is it to be published by one of the Big […]

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Making Money Mondays – Anthologies

I'm too cute for words, but not too cute for Magical Words!

Good Morning!

Okay, I’ll admit, I rarely see anything good about mornings. I firmly believe that morning exist only to keep night and afternoon from bumping into each other too much and getting muddled about. At this point in my writer’s journey I’ve firmly embraced my role as one of the “night people,” and as such, kinda hate mornings.

Except I get a lot done when the house is quiet. And I get a lot of kitty time.

Because the internet is for cats. And if it’s good enough for Scalzi, it’s good enough for me.

One of the things I talk about a lot at conventions and at writing groups is writing for anthologies. I participate in a fair number of anthologies each year. Not nearly as many as Gail, but my fair share. I also edit anthologies, and now, in my new role as Publisher of Falstaff […]

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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 […]

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Yog’s Law—It’s More of a Guideline

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 […]

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Quick Tip Tuesday: A Challenge to All — Time to Take the Plunge!

How many of you have complete manuscripts that you have yet to send out for publication? A lot of you, I’d wager. For some of you it might be a novel that you’ve finished but want to revise one more time. Or maybe two more times . . . For others it might be a short story, or several. All of them are finished, but none of them feels quite ready. You can’t imagine showing them to an editor, at least not yet. One more pass. Just a little more revising and polishing.

And you may be right. The works in question might need a bit more work. Or they might not. For all you know, they’re ready now. For all you know, the only thing standing between you and that first sale, is your reluctance to let go of your work.

I see this a lot with aspiring writers. […]

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