Morning Cuppa – 05/28/13 – 90% of everything is crap! Amazon Fanfic! Indies in stores!

I feel a little more like an adult this weekend. The missus and I bought a new to us car under my name. While I’m excited about it, it does mean staring down the barrel of some very real 5 year debt. Ah well, it does add some much desired freedom!

  • Tobias Buckell has a really great article about why 90% of the advice you hear right now about writing and selling ebooks is pretty much bullshit. Be careful, it may shatter some illusions, but there are valuable lessons here.
  • So last week to everyone’s surprise and to some people’s horror, Amazon opened up their KDP program to fanfic. Sounds like 65% of the profits for fanfic will be split between the copyright holder and Amazon, and the rights to the work are handed over by the fanfic writer. It should then come as no surprise that writers, writer’s associations and even writers of fanfic are kind of upset by the deal.
  • Hey indie writer! It may be possible for you (yes you!) to get your books into bookstores! There are some quotes from Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith in there, two powerhouses who know what they’re doing… read it and decide for yourself, I’m kind of skeptical right now.

Morning Cuppa – 04/21/13 – Hemlock Grove! Jose Canseco! Deadbeat publishers!

This weekend I began reading Brian Jacques’ Redwall, the novel that launched his epic fantasy series involving mice, rats, badgers and other sorts of small woodland creatures. I’ve never read any of his books before but after slogging through a couple of none-too-inspired books recently, it’s refreshing to be back reading an author who actually enjoys the subjects of his book.

  • Have you watched any of Netflix’s new series Hemlock Grove? I still haven’t found the time but it’s starting to sound like the initial reviews may be proving out. Lauren Davis over on io9 says that, “in fact, it’s sometimes downright boring.” I didn’t read the full spoiler-filled review but it’s already got me wishing that it had come together better.
  • Dean Wesley-Smith is documenting his day to day ghost writing of a novel. It’s a fun look into someone’s novel writing process in general. When I see that he wrote 7600 words in his first day, it’s a little stunning, but hey this is his full time gig.
  • Amy Chavez details 10 points that may indicate you’re being taken for a ride by your publisher. (via Passive Voice)

    8. They shun Amazon sales because they don’t make as much money as they do selling the book on their own website, where they are charging US$11.00 for domestic shipping on a 220-page, 10.4 oz book.

    9. They say it is not in their “business model” to get your book into major bookstores. (See numbers three and eight.)

    10. They eventually admit that they did not get your book reviewed by any major reviewers, including Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.

    Her conclusion after the affair: “Next time, I’ll self-publish.”
    This sort of experience really begs the question, are traditional publishers digging their own graves?

It wouldn’t be Sunday without some funnies:

Morning Cuppa – 04/02/13 – Used ebooks! Do you need an agent?! Porn!

As you may have discerned, everything in my post from yesterday was a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun. I sincerely hope that there will come a day when I can honestly report that I have a book deal in the works, but until then…

  • The music and book industry has long argued that what you’re purchasing when you buy electronic copies of their products are not actual goods but electronic licenses that are not transferable. Bruce Willis ran into this when he was told that he couldn’t leave his iTunes collection in his will.
    So it left many of us scratching our heads when Amazon decided that there was such a thing as a ‘used’ ebook and that they would begin selling them. It smacked of wanting things both ways. Either we are buying actual products that we own or we’re not. Just because you’re courting a monopoly doesn’t mean you get to call the shots. And US District Court judge Richard J. Sullivan seems to agree, at least tangentially. He ruled that a company called ReDigi who operated as a used marketplace were infringing on Capitol Records reproduction and distribution rights. This ruling would naturally seem to negate Amazon’s used ebook marketplace but we’ll see how it plays out.
  • I’m really digging this new release and event calendar that io9 contributor Charlie Jane Anders put together. It has book releases, conventions, author appearances, new episodes, movie releases and more in a clear layout for the month of April.
  • Dean Wesley Smith is a prolific and successful author who has managed his way in the publishing industry all the while bucking the assumptions of how things are supposed to be done. Passive Voice points to a post he has written about the usefulness of agents and under what circumstances they’re useful.
    Among his quotables, “99% of all agents are buggy whip manufactures who are trying to convince everyone who buys a car you need a whip to keep the engine going.”
    Seems like a pretty incendiary statement but is it true? I’d love to hear from published, successful authors what their take is on this post. There’s a lot more than just the incendiary stuff though and it’s well worth the read. Smith is like taking a master class in publishing, his knowledge is so voluminous.
  • The most laughable news today is that the group Morality in Media (they’re a conservative group… yes I see you feigning surprise) has named the American Library Association and Barnes & Noble part of their “Dirty Dozen” for being among “the top 12 facilitators of porn”.