Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I totally meant to write something this week. And life kind of got in the way. That's kind of how my writing's been going lately, too.
So, let's jump start our writing. You know the game. I start us off with a sentence. In the comments, you continue the story. You may write as much or as little as you like, just so long as you continue the story where it left off with the last commenter.
The doorway shimmered in the fading light until it almost disappeared...
Thursday, January 12, 2017
After an agent accepts our manuscript, euphoria erupts. We turn virtual handsprings and tell everyone the good news.
Your words. Your manuscript. You dream of the New York Times Bestseller list, fame, money, news conferences. But, not so fast.
The agent who you worshipped, the one who offered you a contract, just quit her job at the literary agency. And the agency isn’t interested in your baby. So, you begin again to find representation.
Or let’s say you submitted to a small press. They accept and seem to adore your writing. You sign a contract and you are back in business.
Then, the unthinkable happens and the publisher declares bankruptcy and all your efforts are for naught.
So, what are some of the reasons?
My publisher, Musa, was amazing. To all their authors andemployees, Musa seemed solvent. I received my checks on time and they answered emails promptly. Sadly, I didn’t appreciate how fantastic they were until after they shut their doors two years ago.
The publisher seemed to be going strong. They’d hired more staff, publicists, editors, and creative talent. E-books were offered rather than print. An E-zine was popular. And yet, they couldn’t do it. Maybe they tried to expand too much, an overload of authors. Don’t know. Bottom line, it didn’t work out.
But they did right by us. They promptly return our rights and we received our last checks, every penny.
Example of another, less scrupulous publisher is All Romance e-Books, ARe. They gave their authors three days notice and generously offered ten cents on the dollar for the last quarter.
They came to the decision to keep ninety percent for themselves, you see, so they can avoid bankruptcy. Not that they weren’t raking in the cash. They just decided to keep it.
All the time, they were offering gift cards before Christmas and asking authors if they wanted to advertise on their site. I received a request about the middle of December for an advert spot. Imagine my displeasure if I’d taken them up on it.
They knew they were having trouble but chose to slither along.
RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response.As a last kick in the pants, ARe email to authors stated:
“...published authors are offered rights reversion on condition that they consider this "a negotiated settlement of your account to be 'paid in full'...”Ain’t that special? Holding the authors' rights hostage?
How do you know if your publisher is running out on you? Given the above examples, the good and the horrible, I'm not sure an author can. Some good links I have posted below might help but in the end, I think we take our chances.
I'm sticking with self-publishing. Maybe I'm not making a ton of money but it's enough to pay the groceries. I'll be the first to know if my publisher—ME—decides to go out of business.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Dear Unicorn Bell,
Two years ago, Kristin Smith asked me if I’d like to join Unicorn Bell. Huntress and the other moderators welcomed me with open arms. The fact that you all saw something in what I was doing on my blog, and you invited me to join you here, thrilled me. Thanks, ladies!
And thank you to all Unicorn Bell readers for embracing me and my Dear Writer posts. Your comments, shares, and support were amazing, I was honored to be able to share writing advice and writerly motivation. I truly hope I helped and inspired you.
Today is a new year, though. I am sorry to say that I will be stepping down from being a Unicorn Bell moderator to make room for other responsibilities. I’m going to continue blogging at Write with Fey, but even there I’ll be blogging a little less. This will allow me to focus on writing, freelance editing, and being an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (my big job with them is the monthly newsletter).
Before I go, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Here are all of my Dear Writer posts published on Unicorn Bell:
Thank you again for making my time at Unicorn Bell special.
I’ve cherished your friendship, and I look forward to continuing it. You can sign up for my free monthly newsletter for updates as well as giveaways. (I’m doing a 12-Month Book Giveaway throughout 2017!)
I’ll see you around the blogosphere. :)
Author of Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.