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Posts by TXRed

How Much Context?

I recently finished slogging through a non-fiction book for Day Job. The book is very well written, but has a cast of hundreds, covers at least six states, and provides no background. The authors are telling the story of a small group of people involved in the Civil Rights movement, so their focus is appropriate. But I kept falling out of the book thinking, “Sheesh, I know why this happened, and I know what that term means, but I bet other folks are really going to be confused.” Unless you already know a great deal of history,  the adventures take place in a vacuum. Read more

Publishing’s Crystal Ball – Slightly Cracked?

What will 2019 hold for authors and publishers? Change. What sort of change? Ah, there’s the rub… Read more

Business Filler Post – Print Sales in December

Howdy! I was browsing the news and thought this article from Publishers Weekly might be of interest:

“The publishing industry does not look like it is headed for a big finish to 2018. In the week ended Dec. 15, 2018, unit sales of print books fell 6.5% compared to the similar week in 2017 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Read more

Oh, Decisions, Decisions…

No, not “indie vs. trad-pub” or “Kindle Select vs. going wide.” I was thinking more about the decisions we make as we write and when we publish.

One question that I used to see popping up fairly often was “How do you know when you’re done?” The question seems to have faded in importance, in part because the GRRM-sized tome is not as in demand as it was 5 years ago, but it’s still a good question. How long the book should be depends on what you are writing and for whom. I write until the story is done. That can be 100K words, or 60K, or in-between.  110K words for me is a long book, really long. But I’m not writing to a market with a set length, be it short story or novel, so I can stop when the story does. If you are writing to a contract length or to a magazine or anthology market, you have a minimum and maximum that may require padding a little or trimming a little. Read more

Good Intentions Don’t Excuse Theft

Readers may remember the news breaking earlier this year about the author Chuck Palahniuk being robbed of several million dollars worth of royalties by his agency. Palahnuik was not the only victim of the agency’s bookkeeper.

That agency has filed for Chapter 7 protection, because the bookkeeper skimmed royalties from Palahnuik, Edward Gorey’s Estate, and others to fund a corporation that did good works .

Read more

The Chosen Hero

It is a trope that has been overdone, especially in fantasy, or so everyone seems to say. A prophecy of a Chosen One, a child born to be special, or a man or woman blessed by the gods to be better, stronger, wiser, braver, the one foretold who will save the world. And so he or she does.

I suspect my mind wandered this direction because this is the time of year when readings and songs talk about a Chosen One, a hero sent to save his people, a messenger of G-d. Now, the idea of signs and foreshadowings is not limited to Judeo-Christian traditions. King Mithridates used the legends of Alexander and Cyrus to have himself shown as one foretold. Some Chinese traditions hold that the mother of Confucius was visited by a special animal, a ki-lin, that foretold she would bear an especially blessed and noble child. Read more

Technical Glitch or Malice Aforethought?

Those of us who are writers might want to read The Passive Guy’s description of a problem that arose with Mrs. PG’s books on Amazon. How often do we triple check things we released a year or so ago? I know I haven’t in quite some time, unless there are edits/corrections that I have to upload.

As he puts it: Read more