Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Little Bruce and Jenny are only 10 years old, but they know they are in love. One day they decide that they want to get married, so Bruce goes to Jenny's father to ask him for her hand. Bruce bravely walks up to him and says, "Mr. Smith, me and Jenny are in love and I want to ask you for her hand in marriage."
Thinking that this was just the cutest thing, Mr. Smith replies, "Well Bruce, you are only 10. Where will you two live?"
Without even taking a moment to think about it, Bruce replies, "In Jenny's room. It's bigger than mine and we can both fit there nicely."
Still thinking this is just adorable, Mr. Smith says with a huge grin, "Okay, then how will you live? You're not old enough to get a job. You'll need to support Jenny."
Again, Bruce instantly replies, "Our allowance, Jenny makes five bucks a week and I make 10 bucks a week. That's about 60 bucks a month, so that should do us just fine."
Mr. Smith is impressed Bruce has put so much thought into this. "Well Bruce, it seems like you have everything figured out. I just have one more question. What will you do if the two of you should have little children of your own?"
Bruce just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, we've been lucky so far."
Mr. Smith no longer thinks the little shit is so adorable...
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:58 AM
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Forbes recently ran an article listing the top 10 highest earning authors. The lead sentence: "Times may be tough for book sellers, but for Stephen King, James Patterson and Stephenie Meyer, the money keeps rolling in." Uh-huh. Times are tough for most authors, too. Just not these folks:
- James Patterson
- Stephenie Meyer
- Stephen King
- Danielle Steel
- Ken Follett
- Dean Koontz
- Janet Evanovich
- John Grisham
- Nicholas Sparks
- J.K. Rowling
Patterson's literary empire includes television, comic book and gaming deals. His foreign sales alone bring in well over $10 million a year. Patterson's e-books are posting respectable numbers, too. I, Alex Cross alone has sold 160,000 units digitally. Ironic, given that there's no computer in his home office--Patterson writes all his novels in longhand. To date he has published 51 New York Times best sellers.I haven't read any of Patterson's books. I have seen a couple of the Alex Cross movies and really enjoyed them. (Plus I get a kick out of Patterson appearing on the TV series Castle.)
The article goes on:
Vampire romance author Stephenie Meyer ranks second this year. Her Twilight series has become such a juggernaut that despite not releasing a new title in 2009, she earned $40 million over the year. About $7 million of that came from movies adapted from the Twilight series. In June the third Twilight installment pulled in $175 million in its first six days, the most successful first week of any movie of 2010.Let me just say that the majority of authors don't make anywhere near this amount of money. Most of us hold day jobs, struggle to pay the rent/mortgage and have bigger balances on our credit cards than we'd like. I don't dream about getting rich like these folks; I dream of the day when I can quit the day job and support myself with my writing.
Have you read these authors? What do you think of their writing?
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:28 AM
Monday, August 23, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Publishers Marketplace recently pointed its readers toward an article in the Indy Star about yet another literary scam, this time based in Indiana. The Indiana Attorney General's office says at least seven written complaints have been received in recent days from authors who say they paid money to New Century Publishing, owned by David William Caswell--but didn't receive printed copies of their books.
The authors, who include several prominent Hoosier politicians and first-time writers from around the country, generally claim they lost between $1,500 and $10,000 in dealings with New Century and Caswell. Unfortunately for them, this is not Caswell's first run-in with the Indiana Attorney General. The State sued him twice, in 1990 and 2005, over consumer complaints related to his employment service companies. In both cases the courts ordered him to pay a total of $99,000 in restitution and fines. As of the date of the article, he's only paid $600.
The sad thing is that the red flags were out there. A Google search on New Century Publishing turned up a link to Yahoo Answers where a writer had asked for help. The response:
Red flag, a huge one, popped up when I read their website. They have a clear conflict of interest. While they insist they are not a self publisher or vanity press, because they offer all services of a traditional, mass market publisher, their authors are required to pay for their editorial and design services.One of the first things I learned about publishing is that the money should flow TO the writer, not FROM the writer. (Yes, yes, there are some things a writer must pay for--website services, marketing, giveaway items such as pens, bookmarks, etc. Sometimes a writer may elect to pay someone to edit their manuscript--though I'm not sure that's the right step to take. A good critique group would serve you better and cost you nothing.) But to pay to actually get the book published...not a good idea. If an author is required to pay the publisher for any part of the publishing process--editing, design, marketing, distribution--then the publisher is NOT a traditional, mass market publisher. They are a vanity press, plain and simple.
If that's not enough to convince you to avoid them (and it should be), I checked two of their featured titles and neither is sold at Amazon or Barnes & Noble's websites.
For more on this, Victoria Strauss blogged about this last Monday on behalf of Writer Beware here.
Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 8:07 AM
Friday, August 13, 2010
It was a cold, dark, stormy night. The storm had come quickly and each time the thunder boomed he watched her jump.
She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance...and wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the storm.
Suddenly, with a pop, the power went out. She screamed.
He raced to the sofa where she was cowering. He didn't hesitate to pull her into his arms. He knew this was a forbidden union and expected her to pull back. He was surprised when she didn't resist but instead clung to him.
The storm raged on...
They knew it was wrong...
Their families would never understand. So consumed were they in their fear that they heard no opening of doors, just the faint click of a camera...
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:54 AM
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Dorchester Publishing recently announced their move to an all digital platform, with some titles being available in trade paperback format via POD (print on demand). Starting in September (through April), new books will only be available in ebook format. From Dorchester's website:
Given the many changes in the publishing industry over the last several years, Dorchester has made the decision to more tightly focus its distribution models so that we may fully capitalize on the most profitable emerging technologies.To read more, go here.
Starting with September titles, we will be moving from mass-market to trade paperback format. This will delay new releases roughly 6-8 months, but it will also open many new and more efficient sales channels.
And we’re pleased to say all titles will be available in ebook format as originally scheduled. The substantial growth we’ve seen in the digital market in such a short period—combined with the decline of the mass-market business—convinced us that we needed to fully focus our resources in this segment sooner rather than later.
Dorchester has always been known as a company ahead of the curve and willing to take risks. As bookstores are allocating the bulk of their capital to the digital business, it only makes sense that we do the same. Everyone keeps hearing that the industry has to change if it’s going to survive. We’re excited to be at the forefront of that change and will continue to keep you posted on further developments.
I'll be blogging at Brava Authors tomorrow--for a chance to win a copy of the anthology Belong to the Night, come on over and chat with me!
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 1:50 PM
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Yet another cool thing that books published electronically can do: enhance the content. In yesterday's Publishers Weekly, the magazine reported on the most recent releases from Harper Collins' enhanced ebooks. In part:
HarperCollins has entered the enhanced e-book market, putting three titles into the iBookstore last week and has plans to do at least five more in the coming months. Ana Maria Allessi, v-p, publisher, HarperMedia, said it is quite possible HC will do additional titles before the end of the year. “We want to do as much experimentation as possible between now and the new year," Allessi said. The three titles now available are Getting the Pretty Back, God is Not One and Louder than Words. Louder, by Joe Navarro, is one of four enhanced e-books that will be reviewed in Monday’s PW, and it features 22 in line videos that illustrate how to read, and use, nonverbal signals in business. To capture the material, HC wrote a shooting script, hired an actor and shot on a number of locations.You can read the rest of the article here.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:00 AM