Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Money’

Giving Your Own Book A Five Star Rating Is Just Outlandish

January 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Some people have no shame.  I see it all the time with authors who give their own book a “5 star” rating on Goodreads and other, similar sites.

And the worst part about it is that they aren’t even shy about it.  They plop it up there and are almost so proud that they are beaming with joy over their actions.

Does any author really not like their own work?  If they don’t, they why are they publishing it?  It is sort of implied that, when an author publishes a book, they think it is a great story that other people should read.  But to advertise this by giving it a rating in such a bold manner is, frankly, outlandish behaviour that to me borders on narcissism.   Especially when you consider how willing other people are to give even average works five stars whether for free, for a little quid pro quo, or even for money. Read more…

Things I Simply Don’t Believe

September 8, 2012 Leave a comment

There are just some things I simply don’t believe.  For example, someone with 100,000 followers, but who only follows 1,000 people him/her self, on Twitter chooses to follow me.  Ok, I really would like to think I am that interesting.  Really, I would.  Maybe I am.  But I’ve been to this rodeo enough to know how it is going to play out. Read more…

Interview Your Perspective Agents

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Many writers jump, head first, at the first offer for representation they receive from a literary agent. It is an understandable reaction. Most authors get beat down by many rejections before someone shows an interest in their work. Therefore, when someone tells them they think them can sell the author’s labor of love, the author is too happy to think about anything else once the good news arrives. Yet repeatedly, I hear horror stories from authors that did not look before they took the leap and signed a contract with a literary agent.

Just like with any other endeavor, it is very important that you, as a writer, interview your perspective agent just as the perspective agent is giving you scrutiny. I have mentioned this a couple of times to other writers I know and the general response has been shock that I would even suggest it. I don’t know why. I think it is only logical, especially considering the many horror stories I have heard from other authors about how bad either their current or former literary agent was.

I do not know about you, but I do not want to experience the following:

• Signing with an agent who does not return my phone calls for up to six months.
• Having an agent who repeatedly “looses” my manuscript.
• Landing an agent who insists on meeting with me face-to-face multiple times a year, and, worse, that I come to see her in New York, spending oodles of money on plane tickets when she has yet to sell my manuscript and secure at least an advance for it.
• Having an agent who repeatedly sends me emails intended for another client, discussing confidential contract and project information and then quickly having to send another saying, “OOPS! Ignore that!”
• Signing with an agent who constantly calls me “John” rather than my real name.
• Signing with an agent who feels the need to send me every humorous spam email he receives, which is upwards of twenty a day
• Landing an agent who argues with me over the clearly detailed commission she is supposed to receive based on our contract, complaining that it was a typo, and that she is really entitled to twice as much.
• Having an agent who does not send out commission checks until months after they are received or not at all until gently reminded to do so.
• Signing with an agent who pitches my novel to an imprint that has never published a Fantasy novel in its entire existence and has no interest in ever printing such things.
• Having an agent who tells me what my next novel “must” be about because XYZ publishing house is looking for yet another cheesy vampire tale to sell to teens and preteens and who then gets into a shouting match with me when I say no.
• An agent who insists on calling me at 2:00AM because he is a night owl, another author he represents is also a night owl and he just wants to see how things are going with me and when he can expect my next manuscript.

Yes, these are all real stories other authors have shared with me. And yes, most, if not all of them could have avoided these problems if they would have done some do diligence about who they were signing to represent them.

Free Writing Excercise (Conclusion) – Sheala Backstory

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is the conclusion to my free writing excercise.  You can read part 1 and part 2 if you like.

[Begin]

Sheala looked over the contraption more fully than she had up until now. Its complexity led her to a conclusion that she was sure was right. “It’s impossible,” she proclaimed. “It cannot be done.” Every wire attached to every trigger was so sensitive that there was no doubt in her mind of that statement.

She looked at Arias for approval. He pointed at the dummy. “It is a good lesson to learn,” he said, “that sometimes some prizes are not attainable. A good thief knows this and how to recognize that a risk is greater than the reward before getting caught. But, this is not an impossible task.” Arias stepped around her, pushing her gently to one side. With his hand he smoothly removed the purse without a single trap being sprung. “See?”

He put the pouch back onto the hooks as Sheala started to ask, “But how?”

“Practice. Now, you will try this again and you will keep trying again until you get it right. And just incase you feel that the risk is greater than the reward – ” Arias again retrieved the purse from the hooks without setting them off. He dumped the contents into his hand. Six Gold Imperials that fell out. “Get it off, without springing a single trap and you can keep these.” He returned the money to the pouch and placed it back into the mechanism.

Six Gold Imperials? That was more than a month’s pay for even a full member of the guild. And it was certainly more money than Sheala had ever seen at one time. Sheala immediately decided that she definitely wanted those coins. She collected herself and tried again. She tried to be careful, lifting the pouch slightly up and to the left, then a little more and then a little more still without any of the traps triggering. She had this she thought. It was a piece of cake as long as she paid attention. But with her next move one of the trips was set loose. Her confidence caught up with her as the metal strip cracked off her arm.

Arias was unfazed as Sheala screamed in pain, her arm hanging limply at her side. He just reset the dummy one more time and again told her the same as before, “Again.”

Sheala could not protest. She tried again. Again she set off the trigger that sent the metal whip into her leg for the second time.

“Again.” Arias set the device back to the ready.

Sheala went again for the trophy. Her fingers were light, lighter than they had been on her previous attempts. But they moved faster than before too. In a second she was holding the liberated purse in her hand and stopped. Stunned she anticipated the strength of the blow she had expected from a trap she felt certainly she should had sprung. But there was none. She had done it. Pleased with herself she quickly opened the bag and poured the contents into her hands.

But instead of six Gold Imperials there were just six simple, steel bits. Worthless. She looked up as Arias was heading out the door of the storeroom and back out into the hallway. He stopped and gave her an admonition. “And that child is your second lesson. Never, ever, trust a thief.”

Sheala was just too stunned to answer. Arias left the room.

[END]

Time: 36 minutes 13 seconds