It is time, the walrus said, to speak of Pros and amateurs…

I had the unlovely experience last week of being contacted by another author via Facebook chat. Mind you, I didn’t initiate this conversation, and I truly, truly hate being contacted via Chat by someone I don’t know in order to berate me. It seems I had committed the unpardonable crime of deleting the ‘gentleman’s’ – and I use the term loosely – post for a violation of the rules of the Facebook page I administer.  It seems that he has the best book since the invention of the printing press and I was damaging his career by not allowing him to promote on my page in clear violation of the no-promotion rule. Oh dear. He also said unflattering things about my personality and character, but that’s neither here nor there.

There seems to be an odd rash of authors doing that sort of thing lately. Another self-published/Indie author – although apparently he’s FAR too good to be lumped in with the rest of us – went off on a rant in a forum, protesting the fact that his posts kept getting moved to the self-published thread. His books are published by himself under his own imprint. That would seem to make him self-published I would think, but apparently he disagreed. Vehemently. His book, too, was supposed to be the best thing since Gutenberg.  What an amateur.

So, how do you tell a professional Indie writer from an amateur? Continue reading “It is time, the walrus said, to speak of Pros and amateurs…”

In the E-reader era…


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I saw this article in my local newspaper – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/business/in-e-reader-age-of-writers-cramp-a-book-a-year-is-slacking.html – borrowed from the New York Times – and I just shook my head. I feel for the writers who commented, really I do. The notion of having to write a novel a year? That’s tough. (Just look at James Patterson. Oh… bad example.)

It’s also an artificial construct. In other words, a lie.

I admire all the writers mentioned, and I do feel bad for them if they feel they have to write 2000 words a day 7 days a week. That’s a lot of words. 730,000 to be precise.  That’s the equivalent of two epic fantasies and a few novels. So, I feel bad.

After all, it’s partly my fault, and the fault of a friend of mine. She writes at least three series for a mid-level publisher and puts out the equivalent of two books a month, much less a year. Her erotic novels put her on the USA Today bestseller list.

Of course, I do have to point out that the one novel a year concept is a creation of the publisher, not the writer. Continue reading “In the E-reader era…”

Quality/Control

Quality has suddenly become a buzzword in the Indie Community, whether it’s Indie books, gaming, movies, etc.

Imagine that!  (All of you should know by now that this is my personal bugaboo.)

It’s certainly become a topic on the readers forums on Amazon and elsewhere, as someone commented.  “All these freebies which we use as promo for sales seem to be creating an environment where some readers only go free because they toss it after one chapter if it’s rubbish and only pay for a “real” author.”  One response to the Indie title on one site was  “That’s good support for why attaching a label like “Indie” and trying to make it be a badge of quality might be more trouble than it’s worth. After all, eventually, the work defines the label, not the other way around.” As to that last, he’s right. The work does define the label, and for too many Indie writers that doesn’t seem to mean much. The gentleman in question added later  that there’s not much value for an author to call themselves Indie.  One author recently proposed that – lacking an editor – you should just post to the marketplace and wait for the readers to comment, then revise and repost.

That has to change or the perception that Indie writing is rubbish is one that will stick and all of our hard work will be for nothing. And the traditional publishers will be proven right, that this Wild West Indie publishing thing was just a flash in the pan, a global slush pile from which a rare few gems emerged. Continue reading “Quality/Control”

Box? What box? We don’t need to think outside no box…!

On genres and tropes and gender roles and HEAs and HFNs and all the other neat little boxes some people still think we need to use….

For those who don’t know what a trope is, it’s a metaphor or literary device. I’ve seen the word used most often in regards to romance and erotica writing, where the ‘trope’ is the semi-requirement that all the heroes be tall and good-looking and every novel has to end Happily Ever After (HEA). Or, in the case of erotic romance sometimes just Happily For Now (HFN). Just recently I was dinged on this (dinged being my word for the sound made when someone whacks you upside the head) by a reader of one of my books. She said she liked the book overall but that it ‘couldn’t be a romance because it didn’t have an HEA’ and gave me one star.  Well… we won’t mention (often) that the book in question is a thriller, not particularly a romance – although it does have a romance in it – and the ending was pretty much telegraphed from the beginning, because I understand. Most of us who aren’t watching Game of Thrones want our happy endings. But as G.R.R. Martin has proven Continue reading “Box? What box? We don’t need to think outside no box…!”