Category Archives: Publishing

A Word To Indies: Violence And Cultural Responsibilities

There’s a lot of pros and cons to being an Indie. On the plus side, you can determine your own fate and you can be at the helm for every major decision. On the other hand, you don’t have the benefit of the advice given to the traditionally published authors as they go through the process of entering the market. You don’t have an editor, a publisher, a publicist and an agent to tell you what’s the “right” and “wrong” of your work as you go out into the world. And for some people that can be terrifying, especially as we enter a time when independent works are so easily adapted into more mainstream formats. It is possible, today, that an independent author could have their work adapted into a film or something to that effect. And because of that, it’s hard to look at certain debates and not be concerned about what your role is in it all.

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I Return From The Desert: 10 Commandments For Starting Indies

A couple of years ago, wandering through the southern California desert, I saw a burning bush (as is typical of the region for 9 months out of the year). And during the time when this bush was burning I swear I heard someone telling me that it would be a good idea to go and do something that everyone else figured was damn foolish. Now, as I say this, you might think that I was dehydrated or suffering a heat stroke in the sun. You might even think that the bush in question was of a questionable form of herb that wasn’t legal in the country I reside in. But whatever was happening in those moments I can tell you one thing for certain:

Never take your career advice from a hallucination.

Two years later and I’ve found that being indie is a longer, harder road than I even imagined. Honestly, I burned out and lost my way for a while. Thankfully, it wasn’t 40 years, but I have come back rocking a freshly styled beard and sporting a brand new manuscript that I swear wasn’t written by some mysterious ghost writer.

And anyone who claims otherwise is a damned liar

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Everything Old Is New Again: Evolution of a Genre

A couple entries ago I spoke of how Hunger Games was, in fact, a bit derivative. But, as I stated then, that’s a good thing. Holding onto conventions and rooting your works in the timeless aspects of the human experience is not only a benefit to your works but a necessity. And, because of this continual line that you can trace through works throughout time, you can follow this and see that old genres never really go away but rather evolve into something new. And evolution, regardless of context, can often be a strange force that can be hard for people to understand.

Proof of Karma?

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Everything Old is New Again: The Generation Gap

Last week, I went over some things I’ve seen or heard from writers, critics and even the audience about the relationship between the creators and their audience. The contract, the acceptance of new words and even the idea that there were no new ideas. But, when addressing “no new ideas” I came to think about it and realize that there was still something to be said about that. I’ve already expressed my opinion on the concept that there were “no new ideas”, but there are facets that I didn’t think to talk about at the time.

Namely: Why is it that an idea that clearly has roots in conventions has managed to surpass others of its kind?

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A Word to the Indies: Risk Aversion

Hello my indie friends, it’s time to gather around for story time again. For those who’ve come by here looking for more wisecracks about Vampires, that’ll be tomorrow. But I had a thought about something that stuck with me and I need to get it out of my system. I know most times when I get talking like this I start making broad stroke abstract statements about the potential of a better tomorrow and achieving our dreams. But today I’m talking about statistics!

No, no, I wont get into numbers. But I think that it’s something that everyone should probably hear because I know it’s been bugging me lately too. I’ve already talked once before about how you’re going to find a lot of people telling you that you’re going to fail. Usually the loudest voices telling you to give it up and go into something safer are the people who care about you. And, for some of those people, they’re possibly right to do so. After all, numbers don’t lie.

Sometimes they leave out a bit of the truth though.

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Inherent BS: Word Count

Let’s face it, it’s impossible to escape the fact that we live in a world where “too long; didn’t read” is, itself, too long to be bothered with. The audacity of being so lazy you have to reduce an incomplete sentence into just letters can leave the mind boggling. In the next few years there’s little doubt we’ll be seeing the semi-colon go bye bye too. And, yes, my lack of faith in the internet’s tolerance of the English language is that strong. And I’m a novelist.

So, clearly, I’m also fucked.

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A Word To Indies: Graphic Design And You

Today, I’m going to talk to you about coloring in the lines and not treating your books like kindergarten art projects.

After recent posts about publishing, self publishing and the direction I think the future should go in – I was starting to look for other topics to talk about. But as I was looking at my long To-Do list I realized that there were still things I needed to do that I’ve seen a lot of indies mess up. In fact, I’ve messed them up here or there myself. So if anyone’s going to tell you this message, it should be one of your own:

You can’t do everything on your own unless you learn what you’re doing first.

Now this isn’t to say that you have to shell out a lot of cash to someone for everything you don’t know how to do. In fact, for most things that you’re not 100% certain on, you can probably learn how to do it. But there’s some things that you just cannot, under any circumstance, allow your inability to louse up. Specifically, for the purposes of this post: don’t fuck up your cover.

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A Word To The Indies

For the last few posts, I’ve been laying it into the publishing industry for not supporting the independent authors that have been springing up like weeds everywhere. But to leave it at that, I feel, would be a disservice to everyone. There’s someone else that needs to have a little bit of a reality check: Indies.


Recently I’ve been proudly posting the banner “Indies and eBooks: Saviors of the Industry!” and I stand by that. I firmly believe the things I’ve said about how the sheer numbers of indies can and will make an impact if they’re allowed to. I believe that men and women like you, me and everyone in between can come together and patch this industry up like the music and film industries were in the past.

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Indies and eBooks: Saviors of the Industry! – Solutions

For those following me last month, you know that I’ve been on something of a rant about the failures of the publishing industry and the grim numbers they keep touting. But all along I’ve been saying that Independents and eBooks can and will turn things around if we put a full measure of support behind them. The eBook support has become so obvious that a lot of publishers have finally started to move in the right direction. But I still believe that independents just might be able to patch the rest of the holes and fix this thing once and for all before it crumbles around us.


Just one question: How?

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Indies and eBooks: Saviors of the Industry! – Nor any drop to drink

So, here we are again. In my previous entries I’ve laid out my belief that independents and ebooks are going to actually save the publishing industry. The last post even went so far as to suggest one of the ways this could work. But after all is said and done, there’s still a problem that can’t be glossed over.

Even as eBook sales start to rise, they haven’t dramatically increased the number of readers. For every new eBook sold, that really isn’t a “new” customer so much as it’s one less traditional book sold. Obviously, if publishers started to follow through on the eCommerce side of things that would only get worse. But there’s still hope.

A few years ago there was a poll conducted that showed that 1 in 4 adults in the United States hadn’t read a single book in 2006. This is pretty damn grim, especially when we can catch photos like this:


This is how Planet of the Apes happened people. Sure, the newest movie suggests that it was science gone awry. But let’s all be honest, if James Franco’s character in that movie had read a few more books he would have realized literature long ago warned us of the dangers of a smart ape turning on its masters.

worse than illegal immigration

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