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Posts from the ‘business’ Category

Which Genre, Anyway?

I recently launched a book on the ‘Zon and checked off the applicable genre tags. And discovered that it also appears under a horror sub-genre. “But wait, this isn’t horror! Just because it has…” Um, OK, never mind. But it is still not horror. Or is it?

What separates urban fantasy (UF), paranormal fantasy, paranormal romance (PNR), dark fantasy, and horror? Besides “Does the guy on the cover have a bare chest? If so, PNR.” Although that might change next week, given how publishers keep re-doing genre conventions on covers. Read more

Questions, questions

  • If rising carbon dioxide levels doom the planet to destruction, and fighting “climate change” is the moral equivalent of war, why isn’t anybody talking about nuking China?
  • When did Marseilles become Marseille, and what did they do with the s?
  • Can anybody tell me how to fiddle a browser so that a blog that normally appears as white-on-black reverses its orientation and shows me black letters on a white backgrouns? I like to read Francis Porretto’s blog but it’s not easy to follow his reasoning while trying to ignore the incipient headache.
  • Is there really a good reason to continue publishing paperback editions of my ebooks?

Okay; the first question is rhetorical, the second is trivia, I’d welcome an answer to the third, but the last one, of course, is where I’d be truly grateful for insights from the community of indie authors. Read more

Scary Forecasts

Sales will be slower next year. That’s a spooky forecast, and one that is easy to make, because your collective Mad Genii have seen this pattern for quite a while. 2020 is an election year in the US. The uncertainty will slow sales of books. Election years are like that, even when it is a year where the presidential election is more certain (2012) or a mid-term election. It is not one hundred percent guaranteed that sales will slow, but I’d be willing to bet money on it.

What does this mean for us, besides more time to write as we try to avoid political ads and campaign stuff on the TV and phone? Read more

Mayflies

Now I lost interest in Twitter back when I found out that besides being the crack cocaine of social media (and just as good for you) it was the worst rated for sales/reader conversion. Something like 1 sale per 1000 followers, IIRC.

I’ve got books to write, a life to live, a farm to finish developing. But one the fans brought this bit of twitter-snark about an anthology I was delighted to be included in. A CHRONICLE OF DAVIDS. A chance to be in the same collection as Dave Drake and Dave Weber doesn’t come my way every day.

So this is his priceless (as in you can have it for free) gem (as in one man’s turd is another man’s treasure, especially in North Korea). Read more

Finish it!

A couple of days ago Amanda mentioned what is possibly the single best reason for finishing what you’re working on: if you don’t finish, you have nothing to sell.

Now, it hasn’t always been quite that way. Back when traditional publishing was the only game in town, a lot of books got sold on the three-chapters-and-synopsis system: you submit the first three chapters and a synopsis of the rest of the story, and if the publisher likes it and trusts you to finish the work, you get a contract and an advance; usually half on signing and half when you submit the completed manuscript and they find it acceptable. Naturally there were a few writers who got book contracts on this basis and then couldn’t deliver. But there were very few who got a second book contract after failing to deliver on the first. And so the system staggered along… and to tell the truth, I liked it just fine. The prospect of investing all that work in a book and then discovering that nobody would buy it gave me hives. I felt a lot more financially secure with that steady stream of book contracts and staggered completion dates.

But after a while, editors started complaining that an unusual number of new writers were able to write a gripping opening but lacked the skills to carry the story through to the end. Well, what did they expect? They were selecting for the ability to grab the reader in those first chapters. Read more

Copyright Links Post

As promised, this is a link-post. I can guarantee that the links all worked, as of yesterday. However, not all of them go to equally usable sites. Some are more general IP, others are specific. I tried to avoid any that are so specific that you might not need them (i.e. things along the lines of, “How does copyright on reproductions of public-domain images differ between Poland and Lithuania?”)

www.thepassivevoice.com     If you are not reading this blog, you probably ought to at least poke around it once every-other-week or so. PG is a copyright lawyer, and posts links to original sources as well as to legal dictionaries and related sources. And quotes, and book-plugs for Mrs. P.G’s historical novels. Read more

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