Business

Thief stealing a book

This is another one of those things that crop up all the time on writer’s forums: help, I don’t dare to post/critique/ask for beta reads of my book because I’m afraid that it will be stolen.

Don’t worry, I’m here to lay rest to that fear. But first, some honesty: yes, books get stolen.

Hemingway had a suitcase with his manuscripts in it stolen in the 1920’s…

But in all seriousness, it doesn’t happen unless you’re famous, and even then it’s very, very rare. (more…)

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The Pirate Publisher
The Pirate Publisher by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (1838-1894) / Wikimedia Commons

I keep hearing, often from new writers or aspiring writers, that it’s pointless to write, you’ll never make a career of it today because AI is coming and spamming Amazon with rip-offs, knock-offs, or plain crap. AI will kill writing! AI will kill publishing! The Great Wave of Spam is coming!

Nope.

It’s already here, and it’s been here for a long, long time. (more…)

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Illustration of a sales funnel for books

So you’ve put out a book, or two, or three. You stare at your KDP dashboard and wait. And wait, and wait, and wait.

Crickets.

Your friends and family might have bought a few copies, but apart from that, nobody seems to care about your book. What’s wrong?

Probably one of these five things: (more…)

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There’s a battle going on right now, between the pro-AI futurists and the anti-AI rights creators. Both sides got some excellent points that you can find online. I’m not going to comment on that.

I will say that I’ve been using the Midjourney Art AI and while it took quite some getting used to (and the results, as yet, can’t compare to a true illustrator – for one, a human illustrator can count the number of fingers on a hand,) there are some things that AI is really, really good at.

Like scraping lots of images and extracting the similarities from them. Which is exactly what we do when we’re doing cover research. Take a look at this:

AI-generated Western covers. It may not be the greatest covers in the world, but they’re definitely western covers. That’s the prompt I used “book cover, western”.

If I was writing western, assuming I knew nothing about the genre or the covers, I’d instantly know a few things: (more…)

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Another Seth Godin post, because the man’s an underappreciated marketing and business genius.

When making a choice between two options, only consider what’s going to happen in the future, not which investments you’ve made in the past. The past investments are over, lost, gone forever. They are irrelevant to the future.

Sunk costs are the number one reason for inertia, for failing as a company. You’ve invested so much money, prestige, emotions into something that you can’t change course.

You’re stuck in the past, rather than considering the future. You’re working with old paradigms, trying to get your foot in the door at a Big 5 publishing house when you could just as well go indie, or go with small genre publisher, or share your writings for free and earn money from supporters.

There are thousands of options. Don’t be the one who holds onto hard-won knowledge that’s become outdated!

And read Seth’s take on sunk costs.

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  1. Stop making excuses and write.
  2. Stop whining and write.
  3. Stop fucking around and write.
  4. I take my own advice.

Read: Nora Robert’s Here’s How I Work on Facebook

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Banner Piles of MoneyTLDR: The increasing popularity of Kickstarter is a death-knell for traditional publishing, but great news for writers, both new and established, who’ll get access to better-paying and faster publishing options.

People, especially new(ish) writers, keep complaining that Brandon Sanderson’s kickstarter is going to hurt writers, publishers, and book-loving aliens from Mars.

I’ve seen arguments that it will make publishers less willing to pay writers, less willing to gamble on new writers, and less willing to publish non-best-selling books.

That’s great news!

Check this: the big trad publishers are dying. Have been for the past 30 years, and it accelerated as online shopping accelerated. (more…)

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Yes, that’s Brandon Sanderson. Check out this interview with him on CBS:

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Banner Piles of MoneyI talked to a neo-pro indie writer who soured on the whole experience, having paid $460 for editing, formatting, cover, keyword research, and a bunch of other stuff to get his book published.

In his view, he’d never make that money back. Which is quite true. But that’s not his problem.

His problem is that he overpaid. A LOT.

I published my first self-published novel in November. Total cost: $0.78 for two stock images. (more…)

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Crowdfunding Your Ficiton by Loren L Coleman CoverThere are two types of business books: the ones that talk about business, and the ones that teach you how to do it. Coleman’s Crowdfunding Your Fiction falls solidly into the second category.

If you’ve ever thought about using Kickstarter (or a similar crowdsourcing platform) to launch a book, you need to red Crowdfunding Your Fiction.

CYF (which I’m going to call it from now on) gives you a high-level overview of everything you need to do in order to successfully launch a crowdfunding campaign. Then it dives into every little detail, and holds your hand while guiding you through every step, including pointing out where to click on the homepage. (more…)

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