In honor of Presidents' Day (and the fact that I actually have it off), I'm posting one of my SFWA Bulletin articles, as I've promised to do once their exclusivity period is up. Since it was done a year ago, it's a little dated. (For instance, e-books now form more like 20% of total book sales.) However, discussions of DRM and pricing are still relevant today. I hope you find it informative.
What is the Deal with e-books? (from the December 09-January 2010 SFWA Bulletin)
I feel like I want to channel Jerry Seinfeld here: “What is the deal with e-books?” Only I do terrible impressions and it’s hard to channel someone who’s still alive and kicking. Well, the deal, my friends, is that there are so many things to think about that I struggled hugely with this article – where to start, what to say and how much before you hit information overload and run screaming into the night.
I decided to take my cue from the marvelous Lewis Carroll, “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Him I can channel. So, let us begin. Electronic books are self-explanatory – books available in electronic form. This is not to be mistaken for electronic versions, which involve the inclusion of other media and which I’ll get to in a bit.
Probably the best place to start is with the hot-button issue of Digital Rights Management (aka DRM).( Collapse )
For the SFWA Bulletin:
What is the Deal with E-Books?
Survivor...Publishing Style (October-November 2009 issue)
Demystifying the Mystical Art of Negotiation (April-May 2009 issue)
Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart Pt I (June-July 2009 issue)
Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart Pt. II (August-September 2009 issue)
Pseudonyms (Feb-March 2009 issue)
Promotion (December-January 2009-2010)
Con-Templation (Oct-Nov. 2008)
(other Bulletin articles will be published as their one-year anniversaries come and go)
Action Distraction for Babes in Bookland (scroll down to July 13th)
My Can’t Write a Blog Blog for Cats, Books, And…More Cats!
As my heroines:
Gina (from Vamped, Revamped and the forthcoming Fangtastic):
How Not to be a Hot Mess
How to Stay Dreamy When You're Dead
The Care and Feeding of Minions
Tomorrow the World
Gina interviewing Tori (from Bad Blood):
Interviewed by her grandmother (Yiayia of the Goddities gossip blog) for Romance Magicians
Demystifying the Mystical Art of Negotiation
I’ve been staring at the screen trying to figure out how to start this article. “Show me the money!” Seems too clichéd, especially since we all know we won’t actually see the money for a couple of months after negotiation…one, at least, in which to get the contracts and haggle out any remaining points, send said contracts to the author for signature and get them back to the publisher, and another few weeks for the publisher to process the contract and payment. So I went looking for good famous quotes on negotiation. There was a surprising dearth of quotes. Apparently, the concept of negotiation is either not terribly inspiring or the great negotiators like to play their wisdom close to the vest.
Finally, I found the following on ThinkExist.com, attributed to Dean Archeson: “Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than disagree.” This, of course, is the essence of negotiation. Parties come to the bargaining table because they want to make a deal. In the publishing sense, the publisher wants to buy a book or series and we want to sell it…for the right price.
There are as many ways to arrive at that price as there are stars in the sky. And it all starts well before the words “Here’s our offer” are even uttered.( Collapse )
“Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” (June-July 2009 issue)
For some reason while writing this the song “Good-Night, Sweatheart” by the Spaniels keeps running through my head. And no, I didn’t know the name of the band off the top of my head; I had to go look it up. They were somewhat before my time. (That was a hint about my super (ha) secret identity for anyone keeping score out there.)
“I hate to leave you, but I really must say….” The time comes in many relationships for a parting of the ways, whether it’s time to start a relationship with a new publisher or a new agent. Is there an etiquette? Well, of course, isn’t there always? Text or phone? Can we still be friends? How do I behave when I see her with another author?
Most importantly, what are the top four signs it’s time to move on:
-your agent or editor isn’t returning your calls or e-mails without being chased several times
-when he/she does respond, the return communication is singularly unhelpful
-you and your agent don’t share similar thoughts on your strengths and weaknesses and/or the direction of your work
-You’re not getting what you need out of the relationship, either editorially or support-wise
Now, all that said, you have to ask yourself: have I communicated my needs to my agent? Have I started frank and open discussions about the reason for the communications breakdown to try to improve matters? Is the grass really greener? Are my expectations out of line?( Collapse )
Since it's been more than a year now since my first article for the SFWA Bulletin (SFWA stands for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America), I'm now able to post it for all. Back when I started doing the Agent Anonymous articles, I was, as the name implies, anonymous. I wrote as Agent Sue Dee Nym, thinking that if I wanted to get all controversial, it would give me all the freedom I could desire. Then I discovered that I'm such a direct person, I wasn't saying anything I wouldn't say with my own attribution. So, without further ado, I present to you Agent Sue's very first article. Hope you enjoy.
Since this is my first article for The Bulletin, I wonder whether I should introduce myself or simply launch right into my topic. Hmm, what would Miss Snark do? To start, she’d probably have some brilliant witticism at the ready about Killer Yap, George Clooney and a bucket of vodka…and no, not in THAT way. Sheesh, you’d think y’all spent time reading The Priest-Kings of Gor or something. Anyway, I don’t have a cleverly-named poodle, just Facely, a hyperactive ferret who likes to build nests in my couch and occasionally pounce on my feet. He refuses to fetch, vodka or anything else, which is probably just as well. I’d take horrible advantage.
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