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It’s a Cover Up I

Sarah provides a lot of good advice in this article. As someone who designs book covers for other people, I find myself in a bind at times because the client, the person paying my bills, isn’t necessarily interested in my input. They just want me to create the cover based on what they envision. When I suggest that putting five characters on the cover is going to make it too busy, and much too difficult to distinguish at a small size, they often tell me to go pound sand and then find someone who will make the cover without providing advice. But you as the writer looking for someone to make a cover for you can benefit from Sarah’s article and either make a decent cover yourself or commission a cover that doesn’t suck.

Mad Genius Club

Most indie authors have rolled, with relative ease, into hiring content editors and even copyeditors, (just don’t put either under “editor” on amazon. That editor tag on Amazon is for anthologies. You also shouldn’t put your cover artist under “illustrator.” Before I figured out that clueless authors were doing that, I passed up a bunch of books because I thought “An illustrated hard boiled mystery? Too weird for words.” That tag is there for actual illustrated books.)  or figuring our how to swap with other indies for these services (which amounts to hiring) or other more creative arrangements.

One stumbling block remains in most writers’ publication schedule: covers.

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Relationships and Anthologies

I am very pleased with the relationship I have with Chris Kennedy Publishing. Their contract is very clear and fair for participating in an anthology. I’m still thrilled that I had the opportunity to participate in one of their Four Horseman anthologies – “Luck is Not a Factor”.

Mad Genius Club

I got involved in a conversation over on a friend’s social media this week. He’d referenced a memory, and commented that it had been 8 years since he’d been published in these anthologies, and he’d never seen any money from it. No upfront payments, no royalties, nothing. Now, it’s not that Jason Cordova is a bad writer. Far from it. And the man grinds at his work, he’s not lazing around waiting for something to hit big. But it rankled him that there had been big promises, brutally constrictive contracts and in the end… nothing. The conversation wandered from discussing, in veiled non-specifics, the publishing company that had burned him, to talking about how to find anthologies that actually care about the writers involved.

I was asked to write about how to find non-predatory small presses, and I’m happy to give my small insight into this, but I also…

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A day short and a dollar late

Short stories have always been a challenge for me since they tend to be plot driven at the expense of character development. Still, I think it’s a skill worth developing if only to force myself to work tighter.

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Image by 7854 on Pixabay

The short story, once the absolute heart of the sf writer’s career has long since dwindled off to become so irrelevant that many a successful author never writes one, and certainly many (me included) never sold one prior to selling a novel.

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It’s Finally Out? Yes, really!

I cannot believe I am actually typing these words. Volume Three of the Chronicles of Shadows – Exile’s Legacy – is finally freakin’ out! Yes, I am as stunned as you, good reader. In addition to the story itself, I redid the primary map and updated it to show that Teresland is no longer around and to show the area where Raven’s crazy forest is proliferating. There is a new map as well which depicts the Badlands where Croaking Wisdom’s people live and where the city-state of Uhtheim stands, home of the mysterious Dragon Queen. My maps still won’t be winning any beauty contests, but I do think they are much improved over the original.

Oh! You want to know where the actual book is, what it looks like and stuff. Well, okay, I guess I can help out in that area. Currently, only the ebook version is out. I expect the print version to go live around Wednesday (1/23/2019) after I have a chance to review the proof copy Amazon is sending me. You can check out Exile’s Legacy here (click image):

exiles_legacy

If you don’t mind, after you’ve read the book, please, please, leave a review. Reviews both good and bad provide legitimacy when potential new readers are considering whether to read a series. In theory, you can leave a review using this link: Leave a Review for “Exile’s Legacy”

Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout

Yet more good reasons to self-publish.

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I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts.

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Additional Classes

I haven’t watched any of these videos yet, but I perused them and there are a ton of topics covered. There is bound to be at least one which will prove entertaining and maybe even informative.

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LTUE – Life, The Universe, & Everything – is a symposium in Utah every February by writers for writers. Unlike Comic Cons where panels are likely to on costuming, and literary cons where the panels are by authors for readers, LTUE panels cover things like “writing action” and “balancing the books”, and “boring beginnings” and things like that.

And you don’t even have to go!

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