(Brad is away from his keyboard today so I pulled this post of his from January 2017. It is as timely now as it was then. — ASG)
Not very long ago, the intarwebz — or at least that part of the intarwebz which is fascinated with all things authorly — became infuriated over this toss-off commentary from the Huffington Post. Now, toss-off commentary is not surprising at HuffPo. In fact, one might say that toss-off commentary is HuffPo’s raison d’être. Articles like this are supposed to inflame. HuffPo wants clicks, and caterwauling. That’s how HuffPo functions. And while men far better than me have taken the commentary to task, I think it’s worth pointing out that the article does bring up a very valid question, which lurks in the shadows at every author workshop, convention, kaffeeklatsch, and bar conversation: when will each of us know we are legitimate? Read more
The other day, I opened one of my social media accounts to the chest beating and teeth gnashing of a number of authors. No, it wasn’t a mass rejection by publishers that caused their angst. Nor was it news that their Amazon KDP accounts had been canceled. It was the sound we hear every couple of years when Amazon decides to enforce its terms of service when it comes to reviews and authors — and other product suppliers — suddenly realize their review numbers have diminished, sometimes drastically.
In a conversation with several author friends about this last night, I wondered if I was odd. Okay, okay, I know I’m odd. I meant more odd than I already knew. You see, other than occasionally checking my reviews to see if there’s a common thread in them, I don’t pay that much attention to them. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every review I get. But like many writers, I’m insecure. Putting a new book out is like shoving my baby out into the world on his own for the very first time. I’d much rather keep him home and safe, whether that’s what he wants or not. When it comes to writing, it is too easy to obsess about negative reviews or to start to believe the positive ones — if that happens, it can keep a writer from turning a critical eye to their own work. Read more
Kristine Kathryn Rusch & Dean Wesley Smith hold an Anthology workshop that I’ve been very curious about since I first heard of it, because it’s as practical as a genre writing class by Dave Farland (Wolverton) or Brandon Sanderson… instead of a giant critique group, it’s run by a panel of editors, one of whom is actually looking for stories for an anthology, and will buy from the stories written that week.
One of the most frequent comments you’ll hear when you ask someone why they want to sign a traditional publishing contract has to do with the “services” they get from a publisher. Next to distribution to bookstores, probably the most often quoted reason authors want a publisher is so they have an editor. They trust the publisher to make sure their book goes through not only content editing but also copy editing and proofreading. Because of that, they don’t worry as much about turning in a publication ready manuscript as they would if they were going the indie route.
It doesn’t matter if they are talking about a small press, mid-sized press or one of the Big 5. Too many authors believe the hype publishers try to sell – that they will get the kind of attention you see the Castles or other fictional authors receiving. Unfortunately, just as they won’t get the sort of promotion and push they see in fictional settings, they also aren’t guaranteed the level of editing they believe they’re going to get. Read more
This question came up recently in comments – why should we, on MGC, report on what The Big 5 (4?) are doing, or on B&N?
1. There’s scope and scale. What business are we in? We’re in the entertainment business. We’re competing with every other entertainer out there for Joe Sixpack’s beer money – and for Jane Doe’s attention span when she wants something to take her mind off the fact that she’s in a waiting room. Read more
of how out-of-touch much of publishing is when it comes to what their customers want. Arnaud Nourry is a walking, talking example of publishing trying to hold to the old model. Not only does he fail to understand the market but he fails to understand that the market is changing. This attitude hurts not only publishers but also writers and readers.
As you read the Scroll.in article, there can be no doubt where both Nourry and the article’s author stand when it comes to e-books. To start, you have the headline where one thing is made clear: Nourry thinks e-books are “stupid”. Then there’s the author’s own bias when Gill claims Hachette “won against Amazon” with regard to e-book pricing. Read more
(This is a guest post by author Nitay Arbel)
One of the nicer features of reading an ebook on a Kindle (or in the Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet) is that you can press and hold on a word and see its definition, or on a place name and see a brief description. Many of the more recent books go one step further, and add “X-ray” content: one can click on a character name, say, and get a brief description of the character. Read more