How to self-publish a book

Occasionally, I get messages from people trying to break into the “traditional” (as in 20th century) publishing industry, and they always seem to be under some distress. In fact, the messages often come off like the pleading of abuse victims, with authors talking publicly on twitter sounding like battered women excusing their abuser. Everybody is aware of how lame it is to “pay” an agent (in reality, they pay you, and you better hope they are honest, unlike Chuck Palahniuk’s agent, who left him broke) to have coffee with someone at the publishing imprint, who then takes years to make…

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How Short Fiction Died (and how it can come back)

If you want the deep read, check it out on JD Cowan’s blog: https://wastelandandsky.blogspot.com/2020/07/what-are-friends-for.html The ultra-short summation is this: Science fiction short fiction didn’t lose popularity like wearing bellbottoms, it was destroyed through the actions of a small clique of contemptuous busy-bodies who took over the scifi magazines and shifted their subject matter away from what was popular towards what they wished to be popular. The result, of course, was a loss in popularity over time, but process repeated multiple times, until brands which were important in the 1930s are worn like skin suits by people who hate what was…

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The Diversity War never Ends

It doesn’t matter how much you shut out men. It doesn’t matter how concentrated alternative lifestyle adherents are in your industry. They will always call for more. You are in an eternal state of sin for the color of your skin. Take note of this. Not only are the goalposts shifting, there were never any goalposts to begin with; or rather, the goals are different than what they say they are and aren’t actually on the field. The point of pretending there are goalposts is to get you to play the game they want you to play. If your industry…

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The Attention Economy and Alternative Publishing

Great thread here to spark this article: I sell my books a variety of ways – Amazon, all other alternative direct sales, and through patronage on subscribestar. The problem with building alternative platforms or alternative methods of artist support is not, and has never been, the difficulty of actually programming or organizing such a venture. The problem has always been attention. Building alternatives to Amazon to sell your books is largely putting the cart before the horse. In fact, it is more like building a cart while the horse is still being trained in Arabia. Also, there are dozens of…

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Romance Writers Implode

Corporate cancer has afflicted the romance writers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/01/08/romance-writers-america-cancels-awards-program-writer-racism-controversy/ The saga continues. This time, the entire organization has folded back on itself, much like something that is frequently described in the tomes of the membership. This won’t end well, of course, but we must also ponder: What exactly is the point of a professional membership organization like the Romance Writers of America, anyway? Is it a trade union? If so, it’s a shambling corpse in the newpub landscape. Is it for author support? Clearly the constant harassment and infighting doesn’t serve that purpose. They cancelled their awards, so they are clearly…

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FANTASY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR 2019

For a limited time only, you can get all of my published books in one mammoth volume – $9.99 for the ebook or (very appropriately) $20.19 for the gigantic paperback. I thought this would be a fun way to offer all of my stuff in one place, and also to publish a very large, very red book. The paperback is A4 size, set in two columns at size 10 font to pack everything in under 600 pages, making the volume quite affordable for the rather large amount of content within. Check this thing out!   This will be GONE come…

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Stormlight Archive/Way of Kings review and analysis (with Matt Wellman)

Matt and I talk shop about one of our favorite books, The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, and we also talk about the follow-up Words of Radiance, and some of the technical problems it has compared to the first book in Stormlight Archive. We both agree that The Way of Kings is an excellently well-constructed fantasy novel where Sanderson uses his flashback narrative techniques to create plot points that wouldn’t be possible in a more straightforward style.

Writers of the dawn is:

David V. Stewart – Fantasy and Historical Fiction Author, musician

Matthew J. Wellman – Urban Fantasy author, musician