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Posts from the ‘business’ Category

The value of ‘name’

Now once upon a time (your cue that this is merely a made up tale. No real coffee machines or companies were involved), there was a clever young man who made a new kind of coffee machine. It, simply, made better coffee than anyone else’s machine. It was reliable too. He could have sold his patent, but he was proud of his coffee-machine, and wanted the quality to stay the same. So he got his funds together, started a little factory, and made great coffee machines all his working life. He named them after his father, Frederico. They were expensive (because it was small scale, and used only the very finest materials, with craftsmen doing the artisans’ work with love and care), but the best. Read more

Apropos of Covers…

The group writing blog, Writers in the Storm, Melinda VanLone recently had a different take on covers. Some of the points underline what Sarah, Cedar, and others have said – covers are not first and foremost works of art. They are tools for selling.

The second point… I’m not entirely sure about, although based on the problem on the ‘Zon with “Just what is Urban Fantasy anyway?”

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Well, That’s Interesting…

Amazon has just signed a contract with Dean Koontz to publish Koontz’s books.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-signs-book-deal-with-dean-koontz-with-free-collection-coming-in-november-2019-07-22

Apparently Amazon has been looking into direct contracts with major authors for some time, but now they have the oomph and distribution power to match [and exceed] what Traditional Publishers have offered.

So, if more major names sign straight to Amazon, will TradPub start offering better contracts to potential Big Names? Or will reversion clauses and other rights-returns disappear all-together and we see greater limits on use of author names.

For those interested in the TradPub option, and in the publishing business in general, it will be interesting to see if the ‘Zon signs up more Big Names before the end of the year, and what the response from the rest of the industry is.

H/T The Shatzkin Files and The Passive Voice

The Successful Writer

Detail from a ceiling. Author Photo.

Ah, that legendary beast of misty lore, the creature that haunts authors’ dreams, whispering in the dark of night, then disappearing in the harsh light of dawn…

OK, sorry, that’s the neighborhood cat that gets Athena all riled up by perching on the windowsill.

These days, depending on which news stories you read, it is easier than ever to become a successful author, or you are doooooomed by the lack of government support (UK) and the enormous numbers of independently published books of dubious quality. Either you can make lots and lots of money, or the pie slices are shrinking faster than an ice-cube on the hood of a black car in Phoenix, Arizona in mid-August.

What is success? It depends on the author’s goals. How do you get there? It depends on your goals. Read more

Picking up small rocks

So today was move da rocks day to patch da road day. I was the young, tough guy, who was collecting and throwing all the bits of granite that had missed the road, into the bucket of the skid-steer, while Alan drove it along at a steady pace (so no slowing down, just keep bending and throwing).  I did about three and half tons of rocks… Which ain’t 16 tons of number nine coal. But 1) I’m not young. 2) I’m as tough as a junket sandwich 3) at least with a shovel you don’t have to pick them off the ground by hand. It’s the bending that killed me. I still feel another day older and deeper in debt. Although, as a sensible self-employed writer I avoid debt like the plague. Income is erratic. Don’t owe money. That way you’re only broke. Read more

Not Publishing, but Content Creation

An illustration from a book by Maximilian II Habsburg. Author photo.

That’s the basis of Kris Rusch’s piece Rethinking the Writing Business: Part 1 over at Kris Writes. We authors are looking at ourselves as publishers, or working with publishers and trying to match their take.

Nope. Wrong. Too limited. Read more

The Slothful Writer

The sloth earned it’s name not from it’s habits, but the human perception of them. You see, there’s a sin of slothfulness: laziness, the inability to get things done, much less in any kind of timely manner. So how did the innocent animal get named for a sin? Well, it’s slow. Takes the sloth a while to get anywhere. Takes the sloth a really really long time to poop (look, I was briefly a children’s librarian. Kids love poop facts. More than that, they love to share them with any adult in range. What can I say? Did you know the wombat has square poops?). Read more