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Posts from the ‘WRITING: PUBLISHING’ Category

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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Know your enemy

This isn’t the post I set out to write this morning. For a bit, I considered putting up a blast from the past. I’m operating on very little sleep and getting used to a new laptop with a keyboard that feels very, very different from my previous one.. Then I realized there’s something I want to discuss, something that came up in the comments from my post last week–Amazon and what we really feel about it here at MGC. Read more

Anthologies and oddities

Anthologies are a funny thing, for someone who started as indie: you write a short story, to a mandated length instead of “until it’s done”, and on a deadline. Sometimes, it has to be on a theme, sometimes in a particular universe. And then there’s the contracts: they range from life-of-copyright (an unthinkable contract for your own work… but what if you’re playing with someone else’s IP?) to reversion after a year just like a magazine. How do you decide to be in one?
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Macmillan, the publisher that keeps on taking

Let’s face it, Macmillan isn’t known for its love of e-books. From the moment Jim Baen and, later, Amazon showed the viability of the new technology, Macmillan and others did their best to torpedo the new market. The Big 5 (remember when it was the Big 6) engaged in price collusion, ongoing attempts to undermine not only the market but Amazon and more. But now these same publishers, with Macmillan leading the charge, have targeted our libraries, blaming them for their problems making money on ebooks instead of taking a hard look in the mirror. Read more

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

When do you need a contract?

Welcome to the business of monetizing intellectual property.* No, you’re not in a different dimension or that nightmare of a class where you showed up for the test without studying (or clothes). I say again, welcome to writing and publishing.

What is a story? What is a nonfiction book, or a work of art? The writerly answer may be that it’s a form of communicating facts and emotions to an audience. The business answer is that it’s intellectual property, and intellectual property is something you can resell again and again to many audiences, in may formats. For art, the original may be an oil painting, but it can be resold as a poster, a fine art print, a t-shirt, a mousepad, a desktop background, or a book cover. For a story, it might have been written on paper (or not), but you can license or sell it as a paperback, as a hardcover, in English, in Polish, in ebook, in Indian translation, in audio, as the basis for a movie, a play, or tv show, or all of the above. As long as you hold the copyright, you can license the IP to anyone you want, or not, for any terms you can come to mutual agreement on how long, and for how much.
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They Just Won’t Learn

Today’s topic is brought to you by the continuing idiocy of some traditional publishers.

Seriously, I couldn’t figure out what to write about this morning. Stuck, I decided to check The Passive Voice to see if anything inspired me. I should have started there instead of trying to wrack my coffee-deprived brain. There, on the homepage, a story jumped out at me and reminded me of a conversation I had with my son this past weekend.

And it drove home the false logic so many publishers operate under, one that simply drives readers away from them in ever-increasing numbers. Read more