My “The Bone and The Bear” now on Tall Tale TV

I love it when a favorite piece gets published.

The Bone and The Bear took a while to find a home, and find a home it did.

Note to authors and writers – to all creatives for matter – keep at it. Sometimes it’s exhausting finding the right one – in love, in life, in publication – and there’s always one out there.

You can hear The Bone and The Bear on any of YouTube, Facebook, on the Tall Tale TV website, and as an MP3 podcast.

Chris Herron, publisher of Tall Tale TV, thinks so highly of my work he even created a YouTube playlist of my stories he’s published.

Nice to be honored like that, isn’t it?

You can also listen to it here (again thanks to Chris Herron):

Enjoy!

A Tale of Six Publishers – Part 1

Never do business with someone who threatens you

My novel publishing journey began in 2016. I’d had stories and articles published before then, almost all of which were business or neuroscience oriented. A few fiction pieces here and there, and only enough to keep me in the game, so to speak.

Prior that that, my publishing experience came from back in the days of Print (note the capital “P” Print). The late 1980s-early 1990s were my heyday, and specifically for trade-technicals (it was the height of the PC boom. Technical publishers offered book deals to anybody who knew how to program and could put two words together) and science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories and novellas.

My strengths were a powerful, engaging, authoritative voice, and a deep knowledge of my subject material.

These two things carried over into my fiction writing. I’m repeatedly told I have a unique, engaging, authorial voice and a deep knowledge of what my characters are experiencing (when the PC book market collapsed, I studied a variety of things. At one point people referenced me as a world-class neuroscientist, mathematician, … I heartily denied then and deny still all such appellations. What is does mean, though, is when my characters talk neuroscience, it’s real neuroscience, when a scene involves AI, it’s real AI, when my characters do anthropological excavations, it’s based on real anthropological excavations, …).

What all this comes down to is I had some expectations about the publishing industry. Said expectations focused on three critical issues I learned from my previous publishing experience:

  1. Marketing – how would the publisher get word of my book out to potential readers?
  2. Distribution – how would the publisher get my book into potential readers’ hands?
  3. Career Development – what would the publisher do to help me become a better author?

What I share now is how deeply erroneous those expectations were (although each was firmly rooted in my previous publishing experience), and why.

I’ll be covering five publishers who failed (and not due to unfulfilled expectations, due purely to a lack of business expertise, management skills, and, in two cases, downright deceit) and one who succeeded unexpectedly. I’ll post one per week starting today.
Continue reading “A Tale of Six Publishers – Part 1”

Mr. – umm, I mean – Ms. Hawk

We are graced by the anonymous Mr. Hawk.

You may wonder “How can one be anonymous and still be a Mr. Hawk?”

Well, part of the problem is my assuming a gender and being incorrect.

Let’s start again…

We are graced by the anonymous Ms. Hawk.

Who, once we are corrected, happily shares her name, Angeline.”

Looks like an Angeline, now that you know, doesn’t she?

Perhaps the unisexual Ange?

Ah, well…perhaps not.

 

Copyrights – How I got screwed out of $30k because my publisher didn’t fulfill their contract obligations

Long story short: When you see a line in your contract something like

Copyright shall be taken out by the PUBLISHER in the name of AUTHOR in the United States of America, and in foreign countries as the PUBLISHER and AUTHOR may deem advisable.

make sure your publisher takes out the copyright.

US-based self- and indie-publishers should go to Copyright.gov (non-US authors – look up the copyrighting organization for your country). Copyrighting your work is far less expensive and more profitable (in the long run) than having attorneys deal with publisher malfeasance.

I’ve attended classes and readings by “established” authors (ie, someone who’s written more books than you), publishers, and editors, and encountered something like

4. Don’t Talk About Copyright
Never say you have copyrighted your book with the Library of Congress. Your book is copyrighted the moment you put the words on paper. To have it done officially dates your material – forever.
Let the publisher do that.

Some of that advice is reasonable: Don’t say you’ve done it.

Want to know why?

Because most agents, acquisition editors, and their associated first readers aren’t lawyers, have no legal training, and to them this signals you don’t know what you’re doing.

Because when it comes to this, they don’t know what they’re doing.

Or, having copyrighted your work is a clear sign they can’t take advantage of you later on.

But the rest of the advice is dreck: Your work isn’t copyrighted simply because you’ve written it. Want a cheap alternative to Copyright.gov? Print out your work and USPO (or whatever mail service is in your country) mail it to yourself. Receive it and never open it…until an issue like this arises. You’ll still need a lawyer and the USPO’s processing mark because that mark shows the date your package passed through their system. You have proof of when you finished your project and a little evidence goes a long way when your publisher’s an idiot.

Read on for the details of my plight and an actual attorney – who deals specifically in intellectual property law – said about it.

You have to be a Wordsmith level subscriber (25$US/month) or higher to view the rest of this post (hey, I had to pay to learn this stuff. Allow me to pass that cost on to you). Please or Join Us to continue.

Bottomline
The bottomline here is obvious, me thinks: Copyright your work.

You don’t have to tell anybody.

Until you see them in court.

The Return of Opie

The Mighty Ops has been missing from these posts for a while.

We’ve known both Opie and Opalina have been about.

They leave calling cards.

You don’t want to know.

Shy yet ferocious, The Mighty Ops takes on all challengers.

Discretion is the better part of valor, of course, and still…

Don’t get between Opossum and their meals.

Remember their war cry – Beware my piercing teeth, Two-Legs!