Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
In a world where everything is changing so rapidly, the publishing industry has been trying its best to stay the same. They were slow in realizing the impact e-books would have on the market, and even after Amazon showed how easy it is for authors to reach the public without the benefit of a traditional publisher, and how profitable it can potentially be, they are still reluctant to change. Low royalty rates are still the norm, as are the long delays between manuscript acceptance to publication. But as long as there was no real competition, they were content to let things ride. Will they continue to be content now that Amazon has thrown its hat into the ring and now is offering authors better deals than they were receiving with their current publishers to publish under their own imprints? Is this the shake-up the industry needs?
Over at Crime Fiction Collective, Andrew E. Kaufman, best-selling author of While the Savage Sleeps, weighed in on this very issue, and he was kind enough to allow me to re-post his entry here.
Amazon has already shown authors they no longer need an agent or a big-name publishing company to get their books into readers' hands, thanks to their groundbreaking self-publishing model. However, this next move seems push the notion up a notch and has many wondering if traditional publishers will soon find themselves on the same boat as bookstores did after Amazon singlehandedly brought them to their knees.
Word from industry insiders is that publishers aren't just wondering about that prospect-- they're plenty worried about it, too, and rightly so. There’s history to consider. Amazon revolutionized how we read with their Kindle, and if this publishing endeavor succeeds, they just may influence what we read as well.
Will Amazon one day put publishers out of business? Several years ago, that might have been a preposterous question, but today more than a few feel it's a distinct possibility. The publishing industry hasn’t exactly shown much tenacity when it comes to keeping up with Amazon’s fast-moving forward-thinking business acumen, one that has placed them far ahead of the pack. And in an industry that as of late seems to be reinventing itself practically by the minute, not keeping up could mean falling by the wayside. Historically, we’ve seen this happen repeatedly--will we see it again here?
Amazon has already proven itself as a force to be reckoned with on the technological front as well after its Kindle survived the great iPad invasion. Now they’re raising the stakes by aggressively going after the market share with their new Fire, a smaller, lighter, and most importantly, cheaper tablet that could give Apple a run for their money. But more than just a media device, the Fire may also help push Amazon into the role as publishing giant. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has referred to the device as an "end-to-end service," which can only be interpreted as something that will keep them in the loop every step of the way, from the product's inception to its final destination: the customers' hands.
Of course, opinions vary on the subject, and this is just mine. But what about you? Do you think publishers will become a thing of the past? And if Amazon does manage dominate the book biz on every level, what do you think the implications of that might be?
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
The year 2010 also saw my return to writing after a long hiatus. During the course of the year, I had started numerous projects—five novel projects, one novella, and over a dozen short stories—very few of which have been completed. They may never see completion. Am I disappointed by that? Not at all. I had to wipe off the cobwebs and grease the hinges on that part of my mind I had closed the door on five years ago. I started two blogs: the one you are currently reading and Woofer's Lair (http://www.wooferslair.blogspot.com/), a site dedicated to book reviews, as well as showcasing some of my own writing. I also stumbled across a completed first draft of my first novel manuscript, Ursa Major, that I thought was forever lost. I have not found the disks, but I do have the hard copy, which is better than nothing.
So what will 2011 hold in store?
My first priority will be polishing up the short stories I have completed and get those circulating. My second priority will be to get a final draft of Ursa Major completed. The second draft is well underway, and once that is completed, I will be sending it out to a group of beta readers. While that is out with readers, I will be working on completing the first draft of a ghost story I started last year. I have a little over 60,000 words towards it already, but I put it aside because I thought of a new beginning for it and was trying to decide to restart it or to keep going until it was done. I've decided to restart it. The good thing is, I will be able to keep a majority of what I already have.
In order to get this done, I have done something I resolved to never again do—I made a New Years Resolution. I have committed myself to a five day writing schedule, with a minimum requirement of 1,000 words per day. If I get more done, so much the better, but I am committing to a minimum of 1,000 words.
Have you made any writing-related resolutions? Feel free to share them with us.
Monday, December 6, 2010
As October draws to a close, I start seeing postings on Twitter and Facebook about people gearing up for NaNo. I see some published writers stating that they will be participating, while other published authors knock NaNo and see it as some sort of joke. When I questioned one of these authors who spoke negatively of the month-long activity, he said to me that if you are serious about your writing, you should be doing it on a daily basis, not saving all up for a one-month exercise.
He has a point. But to make snide comments and to treat the efforts of those participation with such derision shows a lack of professionalism. And maybe just a little bit if jealousy. But back to his comment: If you are serious about your writing, you should be doing it on a daily basis. Is he right?
Most of the books on writing written by writers state that you should write on a daily basis. Set yourself a daily word goal, set aside a block of time, and write until you meet that goal, even if your don't feel up to it. It sounds like good advice, if you can find a couple of hours in your day in which to meet that goal. Other writers have told me it doesn't matter how much you write, as long as you write every day--again, even if your don't feel up to it. Some days you may only get a couple hundred words down, but there are other days when you just might get a couple thousand down. This also seems like sound advice. But the best advice I ever got was from Hal Bodner, author of Bite Club, In Flesh and Stone, and For Love of the Dead. He told me writing is a job, and just like any job, you are entitled to your weekend, you are entitled to your sick days, your personal days, your holidays, and your vacation. However, if you decide you are going to take a weekend, make sure you only take two days off, then get write back to work. If you decide you are taking a vacation, decide if it's going to be a week, two weeks, etc., and at the end of that time frame, get back to writing. This is what you do; this is your job.
I've tried all of the above, and I find Hal's advice works the best for me. By allowing myself my two days off every week, I find I can approach my writing fresh. If I don't feel like sitting down in front of the computer on a day that I found particularly stressful, I don't feel like I have to add to that stress by forcing out a set word goal, most of which will get deleted the next day because it sounds exactly like what it was -- forced. And I have found that by allowing myself this time, and knowing that there's a scheduled vacation at such and such time, I don't feel like I'm suffering the burnout that I did when I spent months on end writing without a break, even when I didn't feel up to it.
Which ever way you decide to approach your writing sessions is up to you, as long as you keep in mind the goal is the same no matter how you look at it -- to get the words down because writing is, after all, just another job.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Anyway, awhile back, Mark made a comment about being the Father Confessor and we should come forward to confess our sins. Since he writes about zombies, I made a comment about literally eating my girlfriend and wanted to know if I would be going to Hell for it. That comment wouldn't leave me alone. It stuck in my head for about a month before I sat down and starting weaving it into something with some dark comic overtones. Never did I think it would see the light of day, let alone print -- I just needed to get it out of my head. Never did I dream it would be the piece that would get me published.
My completed novel manuscript, working title Ursa Major, which is currently in the editing and revising stage, started out as a bizarre dream that haunted my sleep for a couple of months. I kept playing with it, trying to figure out what I could do with it, and finally things just fell into place.
My second novel manuscript, which is just about at the half-way point, was inspired by Reba McEntire's version of the song Maggie Creek Road. While there is nothing supernatural about the song, the minute I heard it, the story was born. Other projects I have waiting in the wings have been inspired by questions posed in Facebook, snippets of overheard conversations at different locations, tabloids, the nightly News, etc. The sources of inspiration are endless; you just have to be open to them.
Where did you get the inspiration for your current work in progress?