Category: Industry


Coauthored Books

CO_Authoer-ImageA lot of fans have dreams. Meeting their favorite author. Getting sneak peeks at an anticipated book. Getting two favorite authors to team up — oh, yeah, that’s one that will get people excited.

But that brings up a can of worms that might not be obvious at first look. Who’s ultimately in charge? If there are disagreements, how do they get resolved? Whose name comes first on the cover? If it’s not a 50/50 royalty split, why? And how is that determined?

This is something that shows up a lot in academia, because whomever shows up first in the list of authors has pride of place (unless possibly, but still often the case when, it’s just determined by alphabetical order). In a multi-author academic paper, the first name is not always given to the one who did the most work, but rather the one who will get the most notice and bring the most credibility to the findings. The last person on the list might well have been the one who did the lion’s share, but the first name usually gets most of the credit.

Unfair? Well, there’s a reason for this arrangement.  Continue reading

How to Fix the Oscars

academy-awards2I already laid out why I think the Academy Awards aren’t culturally-relevant. Lots of others have as well. What I noticed was missing, though, was how that could change.

Similarly, there’s a long-standing charge that the Hugo Awards (the equivalent of the Academy Awards for science fiction and fantasy, at least in terms of aspiration, and almost as old) are not representative of the genres the awards claim to cover. There’s a curious parallel, where we see that both sets of awards are chosen by a small minority compared to the total population of those who consume the relevant media.  Continue reading

Short fiction — anything less than 40,000 words, at which point it’s officially a novel — is often overlooked. After all, even the definition of the novel seems small today, since a 40,000-word novel is, at maximum, 200 pages long. (And that’s if you use really long words.) When’s the last time you read a modern adult novel that was 200 pages or less?

Let’s take a look at some of the myths of short fiction, and why you should ignore them. Continue reading

Update on Tuscany Press

A few things have happened since I posted my opinion on an essay published by Tuscany Press.

Tuscany has now added a hasty disclaimer to the end of Nico Gnoci’s essay, but you have to scroll all the way to the end to see it and they haven’t bothered to clean up the formatting mistakes. The editor-in-chief also told me in an email that it is opinion, and should not be confused with the stance of Tuscany Press.

They’ve also added a new essay giving a direct rebuttal. It’s by Declan Finn, and it’s a cleaned-up version of what he already posted. I recommend reading the original for full effect, though I admit the newer version’s title (“Set Catholic Sci-Fi Argument for Stun! – Captain Kirk Responds”) is 110% better than Declan’s original.  Continue reading

EDIT: Since posting this yesterday, several people have privately told me of more issues with Tuscany Press. Some of it has been anecdotal, but others have been verifiable; and it all adds up to an unpleasant picture. The editor-in-chief at Tuscany has told me that the essay I fisked in the following post is opinion and should not be construed as Tuscany’s stance, but he did not address the issue that it was approved by Tuscany despite being obviously wrong. I may do an update on this issue soon.

ANOTHER EDIT: I’ve posted an update on this situation here.

Tuscany Press has been my go-to publishing house to recommend to fellow Catholic authors. I’m associated with Chesterton Press, a smaller indie Catholic Press (my Novel Ninja business is separate and not exclusive to Catholic fiction), but Tuscany is a larger operation and can handle more submissions at a time. However, I’m no longer recommending them, due to a recent post on their subsidiary, CatholicFiction.Net, on why science fiction is evil.  Continue reading

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the world’s most well-known union for SF&F professionals, has finally opened up membership to members of indie presses and self-publishing authors. As they acknowledge in their announcement, it’s a decision that took five years to make.

Yep. Five years. Five years in which the publishing world has changed more than in the previous fifty. The writing was on the wall as far back as ten years ago, so this heel-dragging on a membership model designed around 1970s publication standards (updated only to adjust for inflation and canonize or excommunicate certain outlets) has been particularly head-scratch-worthy.

And that’s not even including the fact that membership gives you . . . well, basically nothing.  Continue reading

AuthorEarnings.com has come out with a new Amazon earnings report, and the trends are eye-opening. As they say, it’ll be fascinating to see this go through a full year’s cycle — though at that point I’ll want to see multiple years, because I’m the kind of guy who actually likes charts and stuff. (Oh, and information is good too.)

Continue reading

As I noted before, AwesomeCon is much bigger this year. I forgot my camera and didn’t want to just use my phone, so I’ll take pictures tomorrow; but I found myself looking around the dealer hall in disbelief. That room alone would convince anyone who didn’t know better that this was an established con, and not something in its second year. The staff and other volunteers were doing a top-notch job, and the convention center staff were extremely helpful to everyone.

Also, I was amused to hear one of the screens playing “Everything is Awesome” (from The LEGO Movie) on continuous loop in the library. Despite its ultimate meaning in the movie, I was still appreciative! Continue reading

Book Prices

World-famous, multiple-time New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia recently posted a rant. This is nothing new; he rants a lot, though the difference between him and your average Internet Joe is that his rants are educational snark and not simply complaints. (Well, other than stuff like complaining about government bureaucracy, but hey, if my wife were treated that way, I’d be ticked off too.)

This particular rant was about something I talk about a lot too: the pricing of books. You can click here to read what Correia wrote (language warning), but the gist of it was that someone posted a review of one of his novellas without reading it, simply so he could complain about the price. It seems that a 30,000-word novella written by a very big-name author in a moderately big-name IP (Warmachine), with full-color illustrations and accessible to people who know nothing about said IP, is not worth the huge, huge cost of . . . five bucks.

Similarly, there’s a member of a Facebook writing support group I’m in who has said multiple times that he won’t bother reading any ebook priced higher than $3.99, because “That’s how much mine is and I doubt anyone worked any harder than me.”

Continue reading

You may or may not have heard the latest faux controversy about J. K. Rowling. No, it has nothing to do with her characters. Instead, it’s a Huffington Post writer named Lynn Shepherd complaining that Rowling is such a good author that she’s crowding out everyone else. She tells Rowling that she should just stop writing and give other people a chance. If you don’t want to click on her article, here’s the summary: Rowling has too much of a market share, which means every book she publishes is a book overlooked from another author who hasn’t become famous yet.

There has been a lot of pushback so far. I won’t post more than one link, mainly because the BBC’s article has more than enough links from successful authors who say this is ridiculous. I wasn’t even going to do more than link to that article, because every single point has been refuted multiple times by the authors linked there, and that’s just a small sample so far. What could I add? Continue reading

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