New entry Mar 20
Network speeding up
I'm switching the connection over to a new, shiny 10X faster network because of all the load. There might be bits of downtime as your boxes learn new addresses and things. Should be brief. Let me know of any prolonged outages you see.
Preditors & Editors Changeover
With the very sad passing of Dave Kuzminski, who ran P&E, I've taken over the P&E duties. Lots of what I hope are improvements; check it out at pred-ed.com.
Free Web Sites
Free web sites for authors (and others) are available at www.nyx.net.
How to Write SF
The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova, best-selling author and six-time Hugo Award winner for Best Editor. (This is one of the books your ol' Critter Captain learned from himself, and I highly recommend it.) (Also via Amazon)
Space Travel for SF Writers
Hot off the presses from ReAnimus Press! Space Travel - A Science Fiction Writer's Guide— An indispensible tool for all SF writers that explains the science you need to help you make your fiction plausible. (Also via Amazon)
is Dying has been Replaced
THE SIGIL TRILOGY: The universe is dying from within... "Great stuff... Really enjoyed it." — SFWA Grandmaster Michael Moorcock
Announcing ReAnimus Press
If you need help making ebooks from manuscripts or print copies—or finding great stuff to read—look no further! An ebook publisher started by your very own Critter Captain. (And with a 12% Affiliate program.) [More]
Would they publish the worst book ever written?
To dispel PublishAmerica's statements that they are a "traditional publisher" and claims that they inspect submitted books for quality like a true traditional publisher does, such as--
a collection of SFWA authors (and, ahem, non-authors) concocted to write a very poorly written book. Under "direction" of James D. Macdonald, each author was given minimal information from which to write a chapter (with no idea of the chapter's location in the book, time of year, background of the characters, what the plot was, etc.), and encouraged to write poorly. It's a truly awful book, a serious contender for Absolute Worst Book Ever Written. The result was submitted "for review" by PublishAmerica to see if "has what this book publisher is looking for." It did. :-) PublishAmerica offered a contract.
Here's the book, "Atlanta Nights" by "Travis Tea" (say the author's name quickly...) Be aware, as Allen Steele has said, "A note of caution: reading this thing may cause temporary brain damage." :-)
- The manuscript itself (PDF)
- The acceptance letter from PublishAmerica (PDF)
The contract offered by PublishAmerica (PDF)
Other links of interest:
- TravisTea.com - Travis's official web site
- The press release at PRweb
- Purchase a print copy via LuLu.com (a Print On Demand publisher that doesn't pretend to be otherwise; the book may prove useful to you as a doorstop, or as a teaching aide, illustrating the worst writing mistakes professional authors could concoct; proceeds from sales go to SFWA's Emergency Medical Fund)
- Read some of the blurbs
(Some of the authors and others have contrived humorous blurbs to describe
how bad it is without specifically saying it's bad... :-)
Tip to aspiring authors: Non-vanity publishers (Random House, etc.) pay authors substantial advances [payment in advance of publication, usually measured in thousands of dollars, typically calculated as the publisher's estimate of how much the book will sell and earn the author]. Vanity publishers do not pay authors significant advances (PublishAmerica pays $1 just so they can claim to pay an advance). Vanity presses pay at best only royalties, and usually collect sizable fees or other consideration. Publishers from which authors earn real money put their own publishing company's money at risk up front, to the extent of a great many thousands of dollars, and bear the responsibility to earn it back by selling the book for the author (and themselves). This is what differentiates the two types. Vanity presses do not put any of their own money at risk, and thus engage in no (or minimal) marketing to sell the authors books. Most authors of vanity presses are unable to market books in any significant quantity (beyond family and friends). They thus do not sell many copies -- studies of data from Xlibris and PublishAmerica suggest the average sales are under 100 copies total -- and authors make little or no money (and are out whatever fees or other consideration they paid).
Vanity presses and self-publishing may have value to you for projects where you have a captive audience and are able to tap it; established authors can profitably use such avenues to bring older works back into print, for example. The critical point is this: For ordinary books from new authors, do not expect to earn any money or build any readership from this path. You may even lose money. Do not believe claims to the contrary from outfits like PublishAmerica.
For more information on this topic, see www.WriterBeware.org
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