Pub Notes

So I’ve been trying to get this whole publishing beast to fly and mostly, with the exception of extreme delay on the first print book release, it’s going pretty well.

I’ve been reading a bunch of queries from authors lately. This is the first time I’ve ever been on this side of the query business, and I have some thoughts.

If you are an author, please pay attention to what the publisher accepts. I have seen this advice from literary agent blogs, etc and I can tell you that it’s really annoying when you open your inbox and you see a bunch of emails that do nothing but waste your time.

Also, please don’t try to query through a comment on a blog. Just…no.

Please don’t send books you already published, especially if they aren’t killing the game. Asking someone to pick up your slack after the fact is a no-go, for real. People are interested in new releases because they’re new.

Lastly, keep your book description brief and bare-bones simple. I keep getting these queries that I can barely finish reading, not because the writing is necessarily bad, there’s just way too much information. Seriously, I’m practically cross-eyed by the end of it. Whoever reads your query does not need every subplot and its cousin crammed into one email.

That’s all I have for now. I may have a new collection post tomorrow. We finished our movie and TV license plate collection, so it seems like an appropriate enough time to post it.

Now please enjoy this picture of a very long Bleu.

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Anne Rice and Her Advice

That’s right. My post title rhymes.

Today I have a video. Well, actually Anne Rice has a video. I especially enjoyed her assertion that there are no rules in writing. That made me like her even more than I did before. A lot of people who offer advice on writing seem to have these strict ideas in their heads about what writing should be. Don’t use adjectives or adverbs. Don’t do this or that. Bah. They can keep that mess.

While I was watching the video, I got sidetracked and needed to pause. I caught Anne looking surprised. If you jumped out of her closet and scared her, this is the face she would make.

terrified anne rice

Here’s the video.

Lazy Literary Agents In Self-Publishing Money Grab via Argo Navis

Shady, shady business, my friends. I realize everyone is trying to find a way to keep on going, but, ethically, this is a push in the wrong direction.

David Gaughran

argoI was at the London Book Fair last week – and I’ll be blogging about that soon – when the news broke that David Mamet is to self-publish his next book.

His reasons? “Publishing is like Hollywood—nobody ever does the marketing they promise.”

While I think it’s great that someone as high-profile as David Mamet is self-publishing, I was very disappointed to find out the way he’s doing it.

Self-publishing is big business. By my estimates, self-publishers have captured 25% of the US ebook market. It can be lucrative on the individual author level too, with writers getting up to 70% royalties if they publish themselves.

The reason why those percentages are so high is that self-publishing allows you to bypass the traditional middlemen (agents, publishers, distributors) who each took their own slice of the pie before the author saw any money.

Literary agents in particular must be worried…

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Getting published: what’s it worth to you?

Did you see my pretty book cover? It went up earlier this morning only to get buried by this post.

I recently stumbled on a small publisher who shall remain nameless. This is how their publishing deal works: if they decide to publish your book, they take care of formatting and some editing and some promo, although they do make it clear that the author is responsible for the majority of the promotion (not unusual) like setting up appearences and such.

The publisher offers no advance. In fact, they keep your royalties until they recoup the cost of getting the book together and published. Also, their distribution doesn’t seem much better than what I get on my own.

I understand why they operate that way with the money, but I’m not sure how beneficial it is to the author, other than the fact they get to say they’re published. I don’t think I could trust a small company who tells me they might eventually give me some money. Maybe. If they decide to be truthful about how many books you’ve actually sold.

Of course, that could be a concern with any size publisher. I might just be paranoid.

From here, this is what I see – authors possibly making less money (risk) but gaining whatever prestige comes with being a “published” writer. Am I just being cynical about a company who means well but has limited resources?