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Steal Like an Artist
Links
a_r_williams
A moderator at Kindleboards posted this link to an excellent blog post. It talks about quite a bit more than the title of the post. It's got a lot of good things to say about art and about life. I highly recommend it.

Demon Song Published!
Woot!
a_r_williams
My story "Demon Song" has been published in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. I am very excited about this as I love this story and H.F.Q. is an awesome e-zine that has been on my top ten magazines I would like to have work published in. If you like Sword and Sorcery this story has action aplenty and if you don't I hope you still stop by to take a look at it :)

Libraries and e-Books...What's a Fair Policy?
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a_r_williams
I'm sure a lot of people here have heard about Harper Collins setting a limit to how long libraries can loan out copies of their e-books before having to purchase another. karen_w_newton tweeted this link today: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/business/media/15libraries.html?hp

And it got me to thinking. How do you get books into the library system? What rules govern the check out of e-books? What is a fair length of time for libraries to loan e-books before having to purchase another? Can self-published authors get their books into libraries?

My immediate reaction and feelings (based on a gut feeling and not factual evidence) on the matter is that I would allow libraries to loan the books for 1,000 checkouts. If someone wanted to check out my book, even if it was already on loan, they could do so, because it would still count against the 1,000 loans. If a lot of people want to check out my books, then a new book would need to be purchased sooner (and I would see the profits from that sooner), the reader wouldn't have to delay reading the book (which may get me a new fan sooner), and the library would be able to satisfy their clients and attract more visitors (sooner).

How do you guys view libraries and e-books? What do you think is fair?

The Parts of a Book
S.P.I.
a_r_williams
Here's a link to the various parts that appear in books and what each part is supposed to accomplish. This is good to know if you ever consider self-publishing any work.

Self-Publishing Basics: An Unabridged List of the Parts of a Book

The World Eventually Catches Up to Fiction
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a_r_williams
You know how in SF or James Bond movies, governments sometimes have these super small spy cameras hidden on artificial animals. Real life has caught up. An article from the Associated Press says:

"You'll never look at hummingbirds the same again.

The Pentagon has poured millions of dollars into the development of tiny drones inspired by biology, each equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds."

You can read more [here].
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Apex Blog Post: "Phssst...Ignore the Master Teacher (eventually)"
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a_r_williams
I have a new blog post up at Apex Book Company. "Phssst...Ignore the Master Teacher (eventually)" is about the need to find your own path.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Writer Survival Guide
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a_r_williams
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has written another outstanding blog post about what writers will need in the new age of publishing. It's a continuation of her excellent series regarding the changes in publishing and what it will bring. You can find it [ here ]

Why I Will Self-Publish...
A.R. Williams
a_r_williams
As with most things in life, people have differing reasons on why they do what they do. The other day I read a blog post by Erika Napoletano in which she talks about why she is an entrepreneur. Many of her reasons for starting her own business resonated with me, so I wanted to discuss why I will self-publish here on LJ.

Now, I know many people out there draw their own conclusions about why they think people self-publish. That's fine. They can think it's because the writer's impatient. They can think it's because they are not good enough to break into traditional publishing. They can think it's because self-publishers have big egos that need to be filled. For some people that would be the right answer. But there is always a danger about lumping a group of people together and saying that all of them are just alike and have the same reasons for doing what they do.

You would be wrong if you did it once and you would be wrong if you did it a million times.

The reason I believe so strongly in self-publishing is....because I have had jobs. You know, those things you go to and follow other people's rules.

How many of you out there have had a job where they decided because of the poor economy they were not going to be able to give raises this year? Raise your hand.

How many of you out there have had a job where they said the same exact thing the next year ( meanwhile asking you to give the company all you can for the Christmas rush )? Raise your hand.

How many out there have had a job...that wanted to call you an independent contractor so they could use your car (and not pay you for it), use your gas (and not pay you for it), use your insurance (and not pay you for it)? So they could make money. Raise your hand.

Ever had a job that got bought out by another company? After many meetings about what a wonderful company it was and how they enjoyed the quality of the organization...blah, blah, blah...but we must save money and lay people off. That means you and your hard working ass. Raise your hand.

Ever had a job, where the job you were doing was worth more than what they were paying? Raise your hand.

I've experienced all of those. And I work damn hard. But the thing is, when you always play other people's games, with other people's rules...it's designed so that they win. Not you.

If I design a product. Build it. Promote it. Perfect it. Why should I play by someone else's rules? The times in publishing have changed. And I no longer have to play the game...unless I choose to.

Was there ever a time in your life, where you decided to go against the grain? Did you play the hand that was yours to play? Or did you fold?


Elementary My Dear Watson...Shall We Play a Game?
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a_r_williams
karen_w_newton posted about the computer, Watson, playing jeopardy against humans. I haven't watched the show but wanted to find out what or how the machine functioned so I went to that library of things video...Youtube.









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The Battle for E-Book Rights
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a_r_williams
There have been a lot of interesting posts recently about the rates publishers pay authors for e-book rights. Currently, publishers pay authors 25% of e-Book royalties and there is some contention about whether this payment should be more. Here's some good articles about the topic.

This first one is not recent, but it sheds some light on what author should be aware of and try to get in their e-Book contracts if possible.

Michael Stackpole: 9 Must Have Clauses for Digital Rights Contracts

Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about the need for new writers to take responsibility for the contracts they sign. Much of this post deals with e-Book rights, the tactics of Publishers, and the need for writers to be aware:

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Beginning Writers

The next two posts were provided by members of Amazon's KindleBoards. One discusses an author's response to contracts offered, and  the other shows what the difference in royalty percentage looks like:

Difference in Rates

and here's another take on the above, but it comes with analyzing the impact of the tactic

House Always Wins

Author Nixes Book Deal



ETA: added another link