The moment has arrived; your book is ready for its debutante ball. But no matter how finely honed its grace and manners, formatting and prose, it still needs to be dressed in an eye-catching cover that lets the readers of the world know exactly what genre and subgenre she is, and what promises are being made that will be revealed if they can take her home…
And if you’re like me, you’re not an artist. (Really; I just feed them.) So you have to get someone else to do that. Read more
I woke up this morning to see that the beautiful, wealthy people at the top of the American publishing scene are telling me publishing is doing well! Whew. That’s a load off. And here, I can’t actually remember the last time I purchased a hardcopy genre novel. I suspect it was before Wee Dave was born, for a couple of reasons. First, disposable income. Second, I don’t remember a whole lot of the last four years.
Ok, the truly entertaining part of John Sargent’s (CEO of Macmillan) comments wasn’t thanking President Trump for trying to block the publication of Michael Wolff’s magnificent work of fiction Fire & Fury. (I still think the POTUS’ mobilization of the DOJ – aside from being apparently juvenile – was mostly trolling his political and cultural opponents.) Oh, no. That’s what followed, where he pulled off his gleaming helmet, wiped his noble brow, and assured us he believes “free speech … is the greatest value” in publishing. Such a paladin. I’m so glad powerful businessmen are there to defend our rights. I just wish they’d do it consistently, since that’s what they claim to be for.
Okay, guys (and gals, and others, etc.) I don’t usually go this route, but I’ve been watching things unfold from the front row, and my harping on professionalism is coming ‘round again. In short: always be yourself, always be above board, and always be a professional.
For those who aren’t aware (just decanted from a cloning tube, released from cold-storage, or been rocking the mountain-top guru gig (nice work, if you can get it)), a couple of months ago, ConCarolinas announced that Friend of the MGC and all-around good guy John Ringo had been selected as an special guest for the 2018 convention, which just wrapped up this past weekend. The internet almost immediately kersplodeyed, and the crybullies mobbed in force. All the usual suspects came swinging all the usual epithets, and everybody else got tired.
I’ve written before about how important it is for any indie or hybrid-author to keep up with the terms of service for all outlets for their books. That is particularly important because those ToS are fluid. Every store changes them from time to time. Sometimes it is in response to a problem they have seen. Sometimes it is in response to what other stores have done. The reason for the change isn’t really important. What is important is that we, as authors, know what the rules are and do whatever it takes to stay in good standing with the store. Read more
This one slipped by me while I’ve been too busy offline: Author earnings did a presentation on Science Fiction & Fantasy at the 2018 Nebula Conference.
Impressions? Thoughts? I’m still fairly swamped, so I’m betting I’m going to miss a few things on my initial read-through.
(And you see that book I put up in the image? It’s an excellent book. I’m getting to read the fourth one right now, because for some crazy reason, Margaret thinks I can write blurbs. If you want hijinks and hilarity, grad students and grackles (think raven, but smaller and even more annoying), check it out!)
And guess what? The sequel’s out! An Opening In the Air has campus protests, outside agitators looking to volunteer students to be martyrs, even more grackles, grad students who just want to math (and teleport. and fly), and really that wasn’t supposed to be on fire… Check it out!
Occasionally, you’ll hear a new writer to the field (especially one who’s come in fully indie, in the last 10 years), ask “Why is X genre called a dead genre?” If there’s a group of indie authors, all equally focused on writing stories, they may start getting deep in the weeds on themes versus character arcs vs. popular movies vs. whatever to explain it. Those have nothing to do with it. Read more
Science Fiction and Fantasy are oddball genres, because they’re based on setting instead of type of plot. Romance and Horror have an emotional plot arc they have to hit in the story, while Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense have to start with a problem or puzzle (usually a murder, for mystery) and solve it by the end of the story. Scifi, though, can have any other genre… in space!
This leads to my husband asking me for keywords, and then looking very confused when I tell him “heist!” Read more