At this point, I cannot control when it changes, so… Go! Quickly!
Until the end of today, Serpent Heart is free at Amazon. It has been in the top 100 Free Kindle Short Reads for Science Fiction and Fantasy for the past few days, and that’s a happy-making thing. So if you’re interested in picking it up, you have a very few more hours! More books on sale and for free can be found at The Dealer’s Room.
Until the end of December, Sand of Bone is available for review through NetGalley. Three days and a few hours are left for you to make your request. It has already picked up two professional reviews (and will be included in the Indie Fantasy Bundle), so now is the time!
Outside of that, I’m grabbing moments to write between happily-undertaken familial activities since my parents and my nephews are in town for a few days. Productivity has been low since the day after Christmas, but family happiness has been high, and THAT’s the reason for the season.
For the entire month of August, Sword and Chant will be discounted to $2.99 via Amazon!
Because I both want to and am able to do discount pricing when I wish. 🙂
David Gaughran outlines the on-going influence and growing reach of the Penguin-owned vanity publisher Author Solutions.
Follow the links he has provided. You’ll find an extensive background on Author Solutions, as well as the current lawsuit against them.
Write down the names of publishers that have chosen to support Author Solutions by funneling their own imprints to them.
Write down the names of those publishers’ imprints.
Consider those lists when deciding which publishers you’ll submit your work to. Expect to read your contract very, very closely, and have an IP attorney review it as well. As Gaughran stated, “And it’s much harder to tell the scammers from the legitimate organizations when they are owned by the same people.”
After seeing the number of major publishers and writing-related businesses that have chosen to bind themselves to Author Solutions, this writer is far far far more concerned about steering new writers away from such exploitation than I am that Amazon will somehow subjugate over a 150,000 writers. Alas, most of the business seems to be otherwise occupied.
From Joe Ponepinto at The Saturday Morning Post:
“Literary writing teachers are fond of telling students they should write for the love of writing itself. But I wonder what they would tell their charges if the university wasn’t sponsoring that philosophy; if they had to work eight hours in a cubicle or on an assembly line.
That attitude also conditions writers to believe they don’t deserve to make money from their writing, and helps make it easier for publishing companies to keep straight faces while offering today’s Draconian contract terms.”
It’s nice to see that sentiment spreading. Writers have been offered little or no pay only because so many writers are willing to accept little or no pay–not because there is no money to be made from writing. Even as novel advances fall and royalty rates remain low, and writers are given the impression funds are scarce, major publishers are posting incredible financial gains. When a publisher can afford to give all its employees a $5000 bonus, you know things are good.
But the writer is told to never expect to make a living from such work–usually by the folks who make a living processing and packaging the work of writers.
In contrast to Ponepinto’s reasoned piece is this in Salon. It is, sadly, a view inside the mind of a writer who jumped into self-publishing without researching the business, and who is now angry and resentful that the world hasn’t responded as he wishes. Had he invested perhaps a month or two investigating what are fast becoming Professional Practices in self-publishing, he would have known that 1) self-publishing isn’t synonymous with ebook only, and hasn’t been for quite some time; 2) sending mass emails to reviewers is the fast-track to being ignored; 3) self-publishing sales tend to happen over a period of months and years rather than weeks. Lastly, he’d know there is a community of writers who are making good sales and are willing to help other writers do the same.
Every published writer deserves to see their publisher act with competence, diligence and professionalism. When a writer is self-published, the writer should expect the same of herself.
Alas, given the tone of his piece, I suspect he’s a person who will have a hard time putting down his anger long enough to learn what will actually help him. Too often, writers who’ve been trade-published expect self-publishing to work the same way and, when it doesn’t, call it a failure. And that sense of failure will persist until a shift of thought is made.
Is the self-publishing market different for literary works than it is for genre? Of course. But “different” isn’t insurmountable. It’s merely challenging.