Monthly Archives: December 2011

E-Book Pricing and My Thoughts There Upon

I’ve read a lot of posts on ebook pricing, the economics behind it and so forth.

To be honest, I really hate agency pricing. It smacks of price-fixing to me.

I dislike piracy on principle but I also recognize there will always be the little twerp who steals the gum. I’ll be doing a post on DRM soon where I will cover my views on that but I tend to agree with Eric Flint in his introduction to Baen’s Free Library

3. Any cure which relies on tighter regulation of the market — especially the kind of extreme measures being advocated by some people — is far worse than the disease. As a widespread phenomenon rather than a nuisance, piracy occurs when artificial restrictions in the market jack up prices beyond what people think are reasonable. The “regulation-enforcement-more regulation” strategy is a bottomless pit which continually recreates (on a larger scale) the problem it supposedly solves. And that commercial effect is often compounded by the more general damage done to social and political freedom.

I really like ebooks. I’ve been reading them since early 2000. I wanted to get a palm pilot when I was in high school specifically because my band director had one and had a copy of a book I couldn’t find anywhere on it. To say I was an early adapter is to put it mildly. I saw the potential right away and jumped in with both feet, as far as my income would let me.

Sad to say, I couldn’t afford to get an actual ereader until last year. I bought a Kobo and I loved it. I could side load the hundreds of ebooks I’d purchased over the years onto it. However, I couldn’t put new books on it. That’s irritating and has gotten me slowly moving to the thought that I may have to buy a Kindle. I don’t want to buy a Kindle. Yes, I can buy new books but what about all of my old books? From all indications, unless I bought them through Amazon, I can’t really load all of my old books onto the Kindle. Am I going to have to carry 2 ereaders with me? That seems a bit, I dunno, excessive.

This all brings me to price.

In order to afford a Kindle, all of the adults in the household are going to have to live on Ramen for a couple of months, and that’s if we can swing it with my hubby being out of work. But, hey, I can download new books from Amazon!

If I can afford them.

Like I said, I’ve read many of the arguments on both sides of the price ‘debate’ about ebooks. When an ebook a day was a choice between a latte and a new book, well, I learned to make coffee at home and would buy almost 30 books a month. But now, when the choice is between 2 new ebooks (priced at 14.99 each) and diapers? Well, I can’t really justify that choice.

I’m finding a lot more books I would like to read at 3.99 and supporting indie authors. I’m also doing my best to make those purchases from the authors themselves, rather than any of the retailers.

I also love the “Humble Indie Bundle” concept of pay what you can/think it’s worth.

So, I’m going to offer something similar here.

Hit the tip jar for any amount and I’ll send you copies of both ebooks I have, in any format you’d like. If you want it from Amazon, I’ll send it to you as a gift.

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Filed under ebook, ebook pricing, ramen, self publishing

Goals For The New Year

I don’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions. They’re too easy to make and then forget about.

Rather, I use the first of the year and the first of July to take stock of where I am, where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. Yep, I do this twice a year. I usually wish all of Facebook Happy New Year on July first. Most of my friends who know what I’m doing laugh and wish it back. I understand I’ve convinced a few other people to do the same thing. Score!

My goals are always doable, if a bit of a stretch sometimes, and they always follow these 3 rules: Personal, Positive and Present-Tense.

I will explain.

Personal: This means something that I can control. “I will be published by a big 6 publisher” is not something I can control. “I will submit my first finished book to 10 publishers” is something I can control.

Positive: I am working towards something, not running away from something. “I will quit smoking” is not positive. “I will develop positive personal habits to replace unhealthy behaviors” is better. “I will take a walk or do push ups every time I crave a cigarette” is even better because it names a specific alternative to smoking rather than a vague “positive personal habits”.

Present-Tense: This one is a bit harder to do at first, but much fun once you get into it. “I will submit to 6 publishers” becomes “I am submitting to 6 publisher this year.”

Easy enough to understand, yes?

So, what are my goals for 2012?

Professional goals:

I am writing and finishing 3 novels this year. Amaria, Urban Fae and Cthulhu Penguin are the titles I am finishing and submitting to publishers.

I am writing, finishing and publishing a short-story every month of 2012. I am continuing in the worlds of the first two stories that are published and will be collected into an omnibus edition for each of the worlds at the end of the year.

Personal goals:

I am visiting Jillybean in New York.

I am going to continue working with my doctors to find out what the heck is wrong with me and I will seek professional help if my phobias block my ability to do this.

I am walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week.

I am adjusting my cooking and snacking to make what I eat healthier.

These changes will contribute to the loss of about 1 pound a week, with an over-all goal of losing 50 pounds in 2012.

So, these are my goals for 2012. What are yours? Will you be stretching yourself or staying within your comfort zone?

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Filed under goals, new year, publishing, self publishing, weight loss, writing

And The Year of Suck Just Keeps on Giving

I hate posting negative blogs but sometimes, I just gotta do it.

To say that this year has been one of ‘challenges’ would be to understate the case. Badly.

Between health problems, that are yet on-going and financial set-backs, we’ve been hit with a lot of punches. We’ve been rolling so much, I think I’m getting dizzy.

We’re getting hit again. The Hubster is being let go from his teaching job. In the middle of the year.

And my computer is dying.

We’ll hang on until we find something, I’m sure.

In the meantime, hit the tip jar if you’re so inclined or buy one of the books on sale at Amazon.

What am I doing? Looking for work and writing. Always, always writing.

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Failure is Not an Option

I’m putting together a post on goals for the coming year and just had to share this one by one of my favorite writing/publishing bloggers, Dean Wesley Smith (I have to be honest, I haven’t read any of his fiction yet. Bad Kort, no cookies for you.)

I’ll bet a few of you got very uneasy by me starting off a goals and dreams series of blogs with the words: “Failure is an Option.”
That’s right, you must fail, over and over to become an artist in this business and to just survive. And that’s normal and perfectly fine.
Let me say this clearly. The reason I am starting right here, talking about failure, is that until you understand failure in publishing, you don’t have a lot of chances at success and setting goals for success. Failure is very much an option in publishing in all levels. However, quitting is not. You quit, you are done. You go into the “whatever happened to…?” authors and after that the “blank look” authors when your name is even mentioned.
So first let me talk about failure. It’s going to take a minute, so hang on. I need to try to see if I can get everyone on the same page here.

Read the rest here. He’s got a lot of good things to say and it just might be the kick in the pants some people need to get going in the year to come.  I’ll be putting him on my to read list for next year.

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Filed under 2012, dean wesley smith, goals

Christmas Eve

I’m sure everybody is spending time with their families this weekend, just like I am.

Merry Christmas and I’ll see you next week.

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Filed under Celtic Thunder, Christmas, Neil Byrne

New Ebook Release: Tone Deaf

It took a few days long to get out than I had hoped but it’s here!

This story has had a long and semi-interesting history. I think I submitted it 20 times? Maybe more. I’d won multiple moderators choice awards and readers choice awards for it on several forums but it just didn’t seem to fit easily into a category. I got more personal responses from editors saying they “loved it, but is just doesn’t fit with our publication.” It was too fantasy for literary magazines and not quite fantasy enough for fantasy magazines.

So, here it is, available for the Kindle.

Tone Deaf: short story. Thirteen years ago, Heather was sent home from the bardic college in disgrace. Now, lives hang in the balance as she once again takes up her music to right the wrongs perpetrated by a despotic warlord.

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Filed under ebook, kindle, self publishing

Why I Write

I’m writing this post in response to Angela’s blog post over here about why most people quit writing and why you shouldn’t.

I’ll be honest, I did quit writing. For a very long time, I couldn’t bear to look at a blank page or a computer screen. The thought of having to commit anything to any medium where it could be remembered made me shake with anxiety. I took creative writing classes in college to force myself to move through this fear. Every time I had to read something I’d written in class, I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. I got a degree in English Literature where I had to write essays and I ended up pouring parts of myself into them because I couldn’t not. I couldn’t write them sober, though. It hurt too much to be aware of what I was writing, that I was writing.

I gave up writing because I was afraid I was going to become an alcoholic.

It felt so good to write, though.

I started sewing because I refused to write. I took beautiful, luxurious fabrics and gave them a shape and a purpose. I created order from chaos and gave the fabrics I chose a purpose beyond just themselves. They were lovely to look at and a joy to wear. Just thinking about it makes me want to pull out the rose crepe I have and turn it into something, a dress or a shirt, perhaps.

Writing is the same thing. There’s a release, a high, that comes to giving form to the lovely places I can see in my head. I love the image of Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone as she weeps writing the final scene of her latest novel. It’s cathartic and terrifying to write the words “The End” when the story is finished. You’re letting go, even if just for a little while, of those characters you spent so much time with and came to love.

I mourned my writing, even when I couldn’t stand to do it. There finally came a day when I had to look at myself in the mirror and say “You can blame whatever issues you have on your family but you can only blame yourself for not getting over them. You are a grownup. If you want to do this, do it, and don’t become Hemingway.”

So, this is why I write. I give form and voice to worlds that nobody else can see. I pour a little bit of myself into the book so it comes alive for anybody who reads it.

Writing is hard. So is rejection and fear. But it’s worth it.

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