Indie Author News – Multnomah Co. Library Wants to Read Your Book

I was tipped off to The Library Writers Project just this morning. The Multnomah Co. Library is looking for books by local authors:

From October 11 to December 15, 2016, the library will accept submissions from local authors who would like to see their books added to the library’s e-book collection.

The book needs to be available on Smashwords.

You don’t have to live in Multnomah County to submit your book, but you do need to have a MCL card.

Live outside Multnomah County?

You can get a free library card if you are a resident of:

  • Clackamas County, Oregon – except for Johnson City
  • Hood River County, Oregon
  • Washington County, Oregon
  • Clark County, Washington
  • Klickitat County, Washington
  • Skamania County, Washington
  • Yale Precinct, Cowlitz County, Washington
  • Cities of Ariel, Cougar or Woodland, Cowlitz County, Washington

Also, October 8, 2016 is Indie Author Day.  You can check that to see if your local library is participating.

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 14

I went ahead and posted chapter 14 today. It’s a short one, just a couple pages. That’s halfway, there are 28 chapters all told. I’m planning on posting chapter 15 this Wednesday. I seem to have several in a row that are quite short, so I don’t want to go too long between posting them. I hope you’re enjoying, if you’ve been reading, and thanks bunches to those who have.

A couple pics from today. Got some blue sky which was nice after all the rain and gray we’ve had lately.

blue sky 12-28-14

And the eagles were enjoying it, too

eagles in afternoon sun 12-28-14

And first quarter moon tonight:

1st quarter moon 12-28-14

Kind of baffles me that I seem to be able to get clearer pictures of the moon than I can of those eagles.

Revenants Abroad – Chapter 13

In case you missed it, I posted chapter 13 on Christmas Eve, a little early. Follow along there, or buy the full novel on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc (see Smashwords for all options, including mobi format for Kindle). Go shoot pool or take a hand of cards with the guys. Andrej and Neko are really very sporting. Well, Neko – maybe ever so slightly less so…

Many thanks to everyone who’s been reading, and/or purchased the book. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that these characters resonate with so many, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for. I love these guys, hope you will, too.

I’m trying to hunker down and get some words in on the sequel, which I haven’t actually got a working title for yet. :::rubs chin::: Well I kinda-sorta do, but it’s not very good. Revenants Abroad riffed on Twain’s “Innocents Abroad” so I’m casting about for a suitable classic to “adapt” for the next book. I’m thinking either Age of Revenants, or House of Revenants (with apologies to Edith Wharton). Hm, well, there’s time.

Sunset from December 22, 2014, first full day of winter. Rare to see clear skies this time of year here.

Sunset 12-22-14

Are We in League With the Pirates?

In the Tarot world, as in the book world, there are small and large publishers. Some of the largest Tarot publishers include U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn. Most of the decks they produce are done in large quantities, and as in any industry large volume reduces the final cost to the customer. Then there are smaller independent publishers, like Adam McLean, who hand-craft decks and often sell them at cost. People like that make no money from the effort; whatever they sell covers the cost of producing the decks and leaves very little to fund the next endeavor. These decks are a labor of love: love for art and love for Tarot.

Now, because of deck piracy by various Web sites, small publishers like Adam are being forced to give up on producing the beautiful art decks which would never find a home at the larger publishing houses. These sites not only scan and post copies of entire decks in direct violation of copyright laws, but encourage others to do the same, going so far as to publish directions on how to scan them in at a high enough resolution that illegal copies can be downloaded and printed by anyone who pays these site owners for access to the decks. The artist and the original publisher of course never see a cent of this ill-gotten gain. The answer seems obvious: don’t steal. Unfortunately, some people seem to have missed the ethics gene. Adam is now realizing he can no longer afford to keep producing these decks since the pirating of them has caused his sales to drop so dramatically.

As Adam said on his blog this morning:

“The various people who scan my materials and distribute these illegally on the internet are effectively closing me down. They are responsible for destroying my tarot publishing project and stopping future publications.”

Even I had one of these pirates e-mail me to try to enlist me into scanning in decks for them. Of course they try to portray themselves as simply “wanting to share the beauty of these decks.”

The connection to book publishing seems obvious here. The more books enter the electronic sphere, the less control publishers and authors will have over sales, and profits will become essentially nil. I can’t envision most of these publishers continuing to produce books simply for the love of literature. The largest publishers may be motivated to take legal action here and there for well-known authors whose books bring in the largest chunk of their revenue, but for new or less well-known authors I imagine little to nothing will happen. In the case of small publishers, they simply won’t have the resources to initiate legal action against book pirates. Will writers end up working for free? As it is, the writer is often the last person to get paid. Why is that?

And then there seems to be this attitude among writers (and I have been guilty of espousing the same philosophy) that expecting to be paid for writing is SO gauche, that writers must only be writers for the love of the written word.

Why? Why is writing the one art form that seems to think it’s ok to give away work for free? On the front page of WordPress today is an article asking if we’re witnessing the Death of the Paid Writer? Everyone’s rushing to post their work at free sites, on their own blogs, getting people used to the idea of free books. Do we see painters giving away paintings for free on the side of the road? Not even those homicide-worthy black velvet paintings of Elvis are free. So why do writers do this to themselves? Between the thieves and our own attitudes towards money (eww, ick!) we’re destroying our own livelihood.

The genie is out of the bottle, and I don’t really see any way to get it back in. The wild west that is the internet seems uncontrollable, and to an extent that’s a good thing. The exchange of information is a wonderful thing, no one argues with that. Were it not for the internet, small publishers would have a much harder time reaching any audience at all, so it’s both to and against their benefit.

But publishers, and writers, can’t live on nothing. As the NYC Ballet said years ago, “We can’t live on love alone.”

Arrrr, Matey! Book Piracy Has Set Sail

Peter Blood leads his fellow slaves to victory - 45kb

We all knew books were being illegally downloaded over the net as soon as they’re digitized, but who knew the would-be captains of industry were off to such a felonious start?

From EIN Press Release Network:

According to file-tracking company Attributor, piracy has already cost the publishing industry almost $3 billion in lost sales. The company believes that nearly 10,000 copies of every book published are downloaded for free, with business and investing books being the genre of books pirated the most.

Oh the irony!

Macmillan Lowers E-book Payments to Authors

More fuel for the fire. Macmillan is cutting royalties for authors on e-books to 20%, when the industry standard is more like 25%. John Sargent, CEO at Macmillan, sent out a letter to agents on Monday advising them of the change. Somehow the NYT got a copy of the new contract.

Says Richard Curtis, a literary agent who posted the letter on his blog,

“The point is whether we should be playing on such a low ballfield at all,” Mr. Curtis said, “and whether the industry should not really be thinking about a 50 percent royalty of net receipts.” He argued that because the cost to publishers of producing e-books was so low, authors should get a higher proportion of sale proceeds.

Indeed, Laurence J. Kirshbaum, a literary agent and former publishing executive, said: “I don’t really understand the logic since e-books really do not require any additional work on the part of the publisher.”

Please read the one comment at the bottom from Andrew Kennedy, as well. Go get ’em, tiger!

E-Books and Ads

And here we go. I knew it wouldn’t take long before they started with this. To wit: Barnes & Noble’s new e-book reader, the Nook:

Nook ad

And look what we have across the bottom panel: Ads! Right now they’re displaying books, but I’m sure that’s easy enough to change. According to this article in Marketing Vox it’s only the beginning:

As print publishers increasingly seek to diversify into the digital space, these efforts will lead to more granular opportunities to target advertising locally, or by gender, or by consumer taste.

The only thing that surprises me here is that B&N beat Amazon to the punch.

Somehow, they say you can loan e-books, free of charge for up to fourteen days:

You can share nook to nook, but it doesn’t stop there. Using the new Barnes & Noble LendMe™ technology… you will be able to lend to and from any iPhone™, iPod touch®, BlackBerry®, PC, or Mac®, with the free Barnes and Noble eReader software downloaded on it.

Interesting development. The nook starts shipping in November, you can pre-order them now.  Whatever. Just give me the hardcopy.