Morning Cuppa – 04/29/13 – Self publishing! Amazon draws a line! Steam powered AT-AT!

Since my partner and I are born three days apart, our birthday celebrations usually stretch out into a week long hullaballoo (I’m certain that’s the first time I’ve used that word in this blog). So due to some, uh, issues with weariness and dehydration, I took the weekend off. Fret not my 4 readers! I have returned!

  • Over on Amazing Stories, Michael Sullivan details the ‘50 Shades of Self Publishing‘ and why it’s so hard to making sweeping generalizations about it. From the hobbyist, to the hybrid, to the unworthy… which one are you?
  • Speaking of self publishing, Amazon decided to draw a line in the sand with their KDP store and required that all submitting authors have at least 2500 word submissions or their books would be removed. There’s been a mixed reaction with some people feeling like it’s a good thing because it can feel misleading to pay full price for a book and end up with a short story (Amazon doesn’t have an average page count in the description, just a listed file size which can be thrown off by graphics).  Others feel like without an open self publishing route to the Amazon Singles market (your submission must be accepted by Amazon), they have little choice but to use the KDP.
  • I don’t get too much into steampunk but this steam powered AT-AT is pretty freaking cool.



Morning Cuppa – 04/22/13 – Ben Peek! Barry Eisler! Star Wars speed run!

Good morning folks, 34 years ago today my mom gave birth to a cone-headed baby boy. I know some of you have always wondered what planet I’m from and while I can’t say for sure, I can say that it’s been a strange journey but a pretty good one so far.

  • Ben Peek announced on his blog today that he has signed a six figure, multi-book deal with Tor UK for world rights to his Children trilogy. The first book, Immolation will be published in Spring 2014. I’ve been following Ben’s blog since around 2007 and am elated to see this happen.
  • Author Barry Eisler apparently ruffled a lot of feathers at the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference this past weekend. As a keynote at the conference, he gave a speech that is essentially summed up thusly:

    The primary value-add offered by legacy publishers has traditionally been paper distribution. Certainly legacy publishers offer many other services (much of which is outsourced) — editorial, copyediting, proofreading, book packaging, and marketing, to name the most obvious — but the primary service, the one the others are built on, has always been paper distribution.

    In response a number of agents and folks who work for traditional publishing got in a huff and started posting some gripes on Twitter. I’ll let you read the blog post for more details but it does encapsulate the sort of fear that I see from long term members of the section of the publishing industry that I work in. And frankly, it is scary. But denying the reality is not going to preserve your place in the future, in fact it’s almost certain to seal you on one side of a barrier that is rather uncomfortable.
    I’d love to become a traditionally published author but the more time goes on, the less I would want a traditional publisher to have anything to do with the electronic distribution of my books.

  • And now, the Star Wars speed run:

Morning Cuppa – 03/15/13 – Hugh Howey! Rhetorical questions? Star Wars High!

Happy Friday! We did it everyone! Pat yourself on the back and count down the hours until your sweet, blessed freedom…

  • Hugh Howey is a genius of self publishing. He released his book Wool as a series of short stories/novellas on Amazon’s Kindle tatooinemarketplace. After garnering a surprising amount of success he was courted by publishers but held out signing a deal until he got the contract he wanted. Simon & Schuster finally got him to ink a deal where he keeps sole ownership of publishing rights for ebooks while they’ll distribute print copies. He’s even sold the film rights with Ridley Scott rumored to be working on the project. In the new age of digital publishing, this guy knows his stuff. So when he gives advice about how to get ahead if you’re a wannabe writer, it’s good to turn an ear his way. 
  • The Creative Penn talks about using and overusing writing special effects… exclamation points! rhetorical questions? and more. I’m very guilty of the rhetorical question myself, take a peak and see what you can get rid of in order to streamline your writing.
  • The Mary Sue features some illustrations by Dennis Medri that speculate, what would Star Wars look like if it were set in a high school in the 80’s? The artwork is amazing, and though I doubt that he’d be able to get the rights to release it as a comic, it’s a fun idea.

Morning Cuppa – 02/21/13 – Mark Hamill DDoS’s the INTARWEBS! Nebulas! Mars!


  • Star Wars news and rumors have been blowing up the intarwebs this past week and Mark Hamill finally threw down the gauntlet. Hamill was quoted* as saying, “Fuck it, me and Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels. We started a posse.  Boom. Enjoy your DDoS of EVERYTHING, internet!” He then dropped the mic and left. mark_hamill
  • Yesterday the nominees for the Nebula Awards were announced and it’s a pretty exciting crew. GalleyCat has free samples of each so you can check them out.
  • Will the first manned mission to Mars be from a private entrepreneur? If space tourist Dennis Tito is to be believed, the answer is yes and soon.
  • Joe Hill has some great advice for people who are writing a novel and hoping to “not waste their time” on a book that doesn’t sell.
    • Whether you sell the book or not, it won’t be wasted time. You will be developing crucial skills for the next book. You will develop ideas you can recycle later. Success comes from the things you learn when you fail. If you can’t bear to fail, it’s hard to grow as an artist. **
  • And as always, for what remains of the month of February if you’re an author who would like me to buy and read your book, please leave a comment below.

*Mark Hamill probably didn’t say these things, but he should have.

**Joe Hill did say these things.

Morning Cuppa – 01/25/13 – Friday! Star Wars! JJ Abrams gets mad at me!

It’s Friday, you rebel scum, and I have a Jawa’s Sandcrawler full of Star Wars news to share.

  • I’ve been sitting on this one for quite some time… it was embargoed by upper management at the Death Star but I can finally share that Darth Vader is returning to CNNdarth-vader-face
  • JJ Abrams MUST have read my blog and saw me mention the term Super 8 yesterday with nary a whisper of his name. Well, he threw a shit-fit and came out to the Wrap, saying, “I’m directing the next god damn Star Wars, let’s see that asshole forget to mention me now!”*
  • And for the trifecta, writes about the odd differences between the original Star Wars movie (yes, original, wanna fight about it?) and the novelization of the movie. Seems odd there’d be any differences. Normally a movie novelization is just a crappy reproduction of the movie, cynically added to buff out the marketing plan and dry-hump an idea for some quick coin. No one ever accused anyone within the Star Wars franchise of doing that though.


*JJ Abrams probably didn’t say this.