Things make up things

I don’t usually participate in twitter chats much, usually because I find myself chasing short people into bed around the same time that the chats are taking place. Somehow, tonight, I managed to slip into the #indiechat with the topic on Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report thingy that has, apparently, whipped up a frenzy of deniers and what not.

Now, while I did read the report itself and heard writer pals talking about the panicky, accusatory anti self pubbers who attacked it, I really don’t pay much attention dramaz going on. I’ve got my own rl dramaz I’m dealing with, and following the naysayers and the yeahsayers and everyone in between isn’t going to pay the rent or water bill. Anyway, I sat in on the convo, figured I’d learn a thing or three. Hugh showed up and the whole chat trended. It wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked. But it was fascinating to see the perceptions and views expressed.

It was fun, stimulating, and thought provoking. I went back and reread the report (over here if you want to look at it) and then, since I missed the dramaz, went over to PG to see what he was sharing. And it’s…

You know what? go see for yourself;

The Passive Voice just start reading and going back. You’ll find some interesting views, some I agreed with, some I don’t. It’s educational, and (imo) very interesting.

It think, when it’s all said and done, JW Manus summed it up fairly well (emphasis mine):

……It’s really not about the money…. Money is very nice and pays the bills. But every real writer I’ve ever met (and by real, I mean the passionate, even hypergraphic wordsmiths and storytellers who love nothing more than bringing mere words to life) will write and tell stories even there is no money in it. Their real goal is not money, but readers. Because without readers a piece of writing is incomplete. It exists, it is tangible, but without readers it is dancing on an empty stage in a closed theater or singing in the shower. Readers complete the connection.

 

Go read the whole post over here, I was nodding and agreeing all the way through.

~*~

SO, I’ve been kinda MIA these days. There are reasons, some have to do with unexpected house guest staying for a time, some are health related, mood related and digi art related. Yes, digi art. My other obsession. I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ve been caught up in some very not cool things that have had to be dealt with. We’re still trying to get the fires put out, and it might be a few weeks before things start looking back up. In the meantime I’m plugging away at Bastard Prince and trying not to feel guilty for not having as much done as I wanted to. The tentative release date is April 12th, but depending on the current RL issues, I may have to push it back a month.

I started redoing covers, starting with The Magic Maker and have hit a wall. I know what I see in my head, but doing it is another thing. I’m worried (I always worry) that it is too dark. Here are two examples. I have a third I haven’t rendered yet, but I’m not too sure I’m going in the right direction with these.

testcover      testcover1

There was something else I was going to mention but I’ve forgotten. -.-  Remind me, I owe yall a post on digi art, but now, it’s late, I’m behind on words and I need to get to bed. Hope yall are having a great Febuary.

**waves**

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Digi art and other meanderings

I love digi art. I love playing with programs such as Poser and Daz3d. I love being able to look at a piece of art I have made using those programs and “see” the characters I write about. So yesterday I kinda took a break and just *played* and came up with this:

Zander test render 2

I am quite proud of this picture. Despite the fact the clothes aren’t aligned right at the legs and arms and the hair is not exactly right… And I just noticed he doesn’t have eyebrows… **snerk** I find that funny

It is still very close to how I picture him, in his youth. Before shit hits the fan.mwahahaha **coughs**

#

We’ve been, in chat, having an ongoing discussion of traditional publishing verses self publishing. There is a lot of distrust between the two sides. Which makes me very sad. There is a lot we, as authors, should be able to do. Respecting others’ decisions on how they want to distribute and manage their writing career should be paramount. Luckily, for the most part, the folks I chat with have this respect, and are willing to accept other folks’ decisions… as long as they aren’t pressured to go the route they don’t feel comfortable with.

When I was working on the Zombie thing the other day, a friend advised me to find a publisher for it. And I realized, I’m having far too much fun to do that.

There is a lot of trad publishing hate out there. And it is not very surprising. They’ve been underpaying and mistreating their writers for years. (not getting on that soapbox) I have multiple reasons why I am just not comfortable with going the traditional route. So much is changing, so fast and the publishers, agents and writers are scrambling to figure out what next. I could list off things and reasons why I choose not to trad publish, but there are so many of those declarative posts out there that it feel like it is feeding a negative air that surrounds self pubbing. Honestly, when it all boils down to it, I’d rather list off reasons why I choose to self publish.

  • I love making covers. I am such a geek. I love fiddling with the digi art, I love putting together concepts, I love knowing that if I screw up on the cover it is MY fault not an underpaid and over worked artist who is given minimal information about book they are doing a cover for.
  • Time frame. Instead of wasting my time sitting on pins and needles waiting for a YAY or NAY from an editor/agent, as soon as my work is deemed publishable, it takes about a day or two to format and do the cover and then put it up. Months/years vs a day or three… Yeah
  • More freedom to write what I want. I am not locked into a genre, so if I want to explore doing sci-fi stories instead of fantasy or maybe a zombie thing or two… I CAN without needing to ask an agent or editor if I should or not. I have trouble with that idea.
  • If I need to handle real life I can give myself more time. (like the past three or four months) I don’t have to ask for patience from someone who has their bosses breathing down their neck because their author hasn’t delivered yet. That would make me feel real bad.
  • It is fun. Just, fun. I love the community, I love the people I have gotten to know. I love the options. I love seeing what I can do.
  • I love waking up to see sales. I won’t lie. That is one of the coolest things. I woke up the other day after having a series of minor disasters (flooded basement, leaky water heater, out furnace in 30 degree weather…) and saw sales. And I geeked, it made me smile big. Reviews would be nice but hey you can’t have everything can you? 😉
  • Returns on sales. I get about 30% on every sale (for the .99 price range) from Amazon, I’d have to double check on the Smashwords sales. To my knowledge, based off of discussion with my friends who are trad pubbed, trad published authors get far lower percentage per sale than that. Which makes me very sad. You trad published writers work so hard for your publishers they should be paying you more per copy imo.
At this point in time I really don’t see myself pursuing a trad publisher or agent. I can do everything they can do for me, for the most part, and thats just fine and dandy with me.
Now that I’ve procrastinated enough 😛 I have a zombie thing to finish (and find a title for), Bastard Prince to finish and Crossroads and Crown of Bones to outline all before the end of Jan.
Hope you all have a good Monday.
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