lagilman: coffee or die (bitch)
I wasn't going to wade into the current WFC bruhaha (as opposed to past WFC bruhahas), because honestly this will probably continue until those who venerate Lovecraft et al over all other influences are dead, or at least out of the active field.

But look: if your idea of a celebration of world fantasy relies heavily on an old, long-dead, relevant-only-to-some-readers white male American literary figure, you're wrong. Not because you're racist or sexist, but because you're stuck in the 1970's. There has been fifty+ years of evolution in the world of fantasy the field that you're willfully blind to/ignored - more than an entire generation of readers and writers.

But hey, that in itself is not a terrible thing - everyone has their interests and if you don't want to pay attention to current trends and/or events, that's a personal choice. Just like many folk don't really care about writers who were working before 1980. But then recuse yourself from doing the programming for an event that is supposed to acknowledge ALL of the field: past, present and future. It's not that difficult: don't take on a volunteer job you know you're not qualified for or interested in.

But if you do, then getting pissy and throwing comments about "social justice warriors" (like that's something offensive) and the passive-aggressive version of "the lurkers support me in email" when many of your peers speak out against those choices? Just makes you look and sound like a badly-socialized five year old.

Nobody was impressed.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Okay guys, here's your chance to get your fingers into publishing. We're about to go to press for the trade paper edition of SILVER ON THE ROAD, so it's time to catch all the typos and errors that slipped into the hardcover.

Ready, set, nitpick!

Everyone who helps out here gets thanked in the acknowledgements of THE COLD EYE.

Note: this thread will self-destruct in 5 days.
lagilman: coffee or die (stop that)
Since everyone else has their .02 on the recent Tor/Puppies kerfuffle, here's mine from a purely (mostly) business perspective.
If you are not a corporate officer, or an acknowledged Corporate Spokesperson, you should not be presumed to speak for the company. If an employee says something that could hurt the company (negatively influencing a merger, causing stock prices to fall, etc) then they should be dealt with internally (NOT on the front page of your website). Merely expressing personal opinions on a matter affecting the entire industry? Is still free speech, for good or ill, unless said employee has signed an NDA/gag order, which to the best of my knowledge is not part of Tor's employment package.

And if someone complains about someone else's free speech? That's also free speech. That's how it works, however annoying it may become.

In my observation, Tom Doherty's reacting the way he did - while ignoring other comments on the topic, interestingly enough said by MEN - has caused more potential harm to Tor Books than anything any employee could have done.

(and this comes AFTER Tor Books allowed a reported sexual predator in their employ to quietly resign, without a similar public apology from Tom to those the employee had abused. Which...yeah.)

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)

cas eyeroll.gif
Watson's urge to kill.gif

aand then, when it all seems lost... you just give up, give in, and start STETing the fuck out of everything.
lagilman: coffee or die (happy go lucky)
HarperCollins and Amazon are at odds again. That means, as Mindy Klasky reminds us, that at any moment, all HC books could disappear off Amazon while they snit* at each other over contracts.

And now, that includes all Harlequin novels - including all Luna titles. Including, y'know...mine.

So if you're an Amazon customer, and were thinking about buying copies of..well, ANY of my UF novels, now would be the time to do it. Just in case.

(and if you weren't thinking about buying copies... *guilts you heavily about not supporting your hostess. guilt guilt oh my GOD the guilt* )

- did it work?-

*where by "snit" I mean have a very ugly battle over terms that would make people outside the industry blanch and ask how that was even legal....
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)

I find this slightly worrying and at the same time deeply reassuring.

(James Patterson and John Irving both had their break-out novel at my age, and Janet Evonavich was slightly older.  And none of them were on their first - or second - book.)

blinkbox books author careers infographic

lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
Fascinating, and rather depressing conversation happening on Twitter right now about the Great Mostly White Male "most anticipated fantasy books of 2015" lists dropping now. (the females seen on these lists? Robin Hobb and Kameron Hurley. Both potentially gender-neutral names, and Kameron says she specifically requested that they not put an author photo on the book cover).

I admit - I considered going with a male pseudonym for SILVER ON THE ROAD. I'm pretty damn sure that if I had, the book would be getting more attention, pre-pub, because the brutal truth is that male-name writers get more ink, especially but not exclusively from male reviewers. Especially if the books in question are epic (non-romantic) fantasies.  In terms of sales alone, choosing to publish under a female name is established idiocy.

And yet... this is my book. The thought of having to hide behind another name, of not being able to talk publicly about the book except through the scrim of that name, or a stand-in... to buy into the "only men write epic fantasy worth talking about" game...

Fuck that.

Hi, my name is Laura Anne Gilman, and I write some damn good epic fantasy.  And yeah, I'm female.  If that makes you shy away from a book, then you're the idiot, not me.

lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat coffee)
Mostly I'm staying out of this because there's so much posturing and BS on both sides, it's like having two mastadons butting heads/tusks while you're a wee burrowing mammal just trying not to get stepped on, but if you want a wee burrowing animal's take on it, Scalzi as usual has something to say...

And so does Walter Jon Williams.

And yeah, pretty much What They're Saying.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)

Libraries across the United States can now access the entire catalog of ebooks published by Simon & Schuster. The announcement concludes a pilot program the publisher had conducted with twenty library systems.

Libraries can now purchase one-year licenses to lend individual ebooks to patrons. As with physical books, only one patron can borrow a title at a time, but the library can lend every ebook it acquires an unlimited number of times within that one-year period.

The program includes all of Simon & Schuster’s front-list and back-list titles, with new releases being made available to libraries upon their release.

This is very cool news. I am a HUGE supporter of libraries (my parents would have gone broke with three voraciously-reading kids, if we didn't have an excellent local library) and digital needs to be as widely available as print, IMO.

Okay, the fact that S&S publishes both my mysteries and the upcoming fantasy novels (as well as the Vineart War trilogy) makes this relevant to me as a writer, but I'm mostly squeeing as a reader.

And here's a nice in-your-eye to Amazon: "In addition, libraries participating in the program will be functioning as ebook retailers for Simon & Schuster. Patrons can now purchase titles through libraries’ Web portals, with the library receiving a cut of each sale."
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
June 14th, 1989.

It was a Wednesday.  I believe that it was a sunny day, but not too warm.  I was probably sweating anyway.  I got on the train to come into NYC from NJ, walked over from the PATH station on 34th street to 200 Madison Avenue, on the corner of 35th street, and took the elevator up to the... I don't actually remember what floor.

I walked into the HR department, signed papers, and was escorted to another floor, to meet with my new boss (Neil Nyren, Editor-in-Chief and newly-minted publisher of G.P. Putnam's Sons (the hardcover side of what was then Putnam-Berkley).

Officially today, I have been in the publishing biz (on one side of the desk or another) for twenty-five years.

Which is weird, because I'm pretty sure I'm still in my mid-30's.  Child prodigy, right?

(okay, I was 21.  Close enough)

So yeah. Twenty-five years ago. If you'd told me the path I'd take to get to this point, I probably would have said... "oh, that's AWESOME!"


and now...
2014-05-17 13.26.22
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I've been working on my own post about this, to follow-up on my earlier one, but Catie pretty much sums it up.  So: ditto for DOGHOUSE, which will be out in July. If you can order Ms. Kornetsky's latest via a not-Amazon means, consider this my wish that you would.

And I WILL be doing an update on this, in my own words, RSN.

Originally posted by [ profile] mizkit at The Hachette Job

For those of you who have not been following along–and frankly, I have no expectation that the larger percentage of my readers will be, because it’s a topic that at best affects them from a distance–Amazon is trying to force publishing house Hachette to agree to more-favorable-to-Amazon contract clauses.

They’re doing this by:

- not listing Hachette titles

- setting Hatchette title prices at (sometimes extraordinarily) high price points to discourage readers from buying them

- setting shipping dates for already-available Hachette books at 3-5 weeks out, instead of making them immediately available

- suggesting other books when readers search for Hachette titles

This is not the first time Amazon has done this. (B&N has been known to do it too, for that matter.) And it’s not the first time that publishing houses and writers are the ones being hurt. Lilith Saint Crow spells out how writers are being hurt, and Harry Connolly writes about Amazon and an eye-opening experiment he ran regarding sales.

I hate this. I really do. Amazon is the biggest game in town; like Harry, 90% of my sales from self-published material comes through it. But for my traditionally published stuff, I have a favor to ask.

Don’t order SHAMAN RISES from Amazon if you’ve got another choice. A local bookstore is best by far: go in (or call) and ask them to pre-order you a copy of SHAMAN RISES. Or B&N, whether online or local to you, if there’s not an independent nearby.

And then–especially if you’ve cancelled an Amazon pre-order to do any of this–email Amazon and tell them you’re not ordering this book (or some other book, if you’re not looking forward to SHAMAN RISES (*sob*)) because their predatory approach toward publishing houses and writers gives you sufficient incentive to shop elsewhere. If enough people change their buying habits, even briefly, and tell Amazon why, it might get their attention.

Let me say this, though: if Amazon is your best available choice for whatever reason, please understand that I am *not* going to hold it against you if you keep shopping through them. It’s not like I’m going to stop *selling* through them, and I like to think I’m not quite that hypocritical. So really, truly: this is not a post to censure anyone ordering through Amazon. It’s just–if you can, this once, stick it to ‘em.

(but for god’s sake pre-order SHAMAN RISES one way or another so the first week numbers are bright and shiny! O.O :))

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

lagilman: coffee or die (the general warned me...)
So, L.A. Kornetsky now has a FOURTH editor, to go with the fourth book in the series...

At this point I'm more laughing than anything else, because what else CAN I do?  
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I think we keep messing up with the use of "professional" vs "established." You can be (SHOULD be) a professional before your first sale. Because the sale isn't the marking point. The sale just says you found the right market for a story.  Your behavior is what makes you a professional.

That doesn't mean you should be a pushover, or a suck-up.  It means that you treat co-workers, peers, and especially underlings with respect (I say especially because the underling you're kind to today may be able to give your career a kickstart ten years from now). And it means that you hold yourself in respect, too.  Because you're the only commodity you've got to trade.

Yes, this is relevant to recent certain behavior by publishing professionals, but it's also a general comment to those starting out who have been told they're "not professional yet."

You're a professional the moment you decide to behave professionally.  Being published and/or established will come when it does.
lagilman: coffee or die (do I look impressed to you?)
Yeah, I'm not real thrilled about this, for various reasons including the "my work, my decision what gets done with it, not some random corporation."

If you wanted to draw the analogy with "my body my decision," you might not be too far off.


Originally posted by [ profile] mb_galleycat at Google Wins 8-Year Book Scanning Battle

googlebooksGoogle has won its controversial book scanning fight with the Author’s Guild. US Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled in favor of Google on Thursday claiming that Google’s massive book scanning project, in which the online giant scanned millions of books and made them available through search without obtaining the permission of the copyright holders, to be legal.

According to Chin’s ruling, Google’s project makes life easier for research, makes it easier for libraries to obtain digital copies of books, brings old books to light and gives people who would not have access to books access. Here is an excerpt from the ruling

The sole issue now before the Court is whether Google’suse of the copyrighted works is “fair use” under the copyrightlaws. For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that it is.

We’ve embedded the entire document after the jump. continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
Looks like I'm about to get my third editor at S&S (over the course of 5 books).

In contrast, I've done 12 books with the same editor at Harlequin.

Which proves nothing, but is an interesting statistic to look at, anyway.
lagilman: coffee or die (truth to power)
Because all the writer-kids are doing it.

Amazon Publishing Introduces “Kindle Worlds,” a New Publishing Model for Authors Inspired to Write Fan Fiction—Launching with an Initial License of Popular Titles from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment

Like Kindle Singles and Kindle Serials, Kindle Worlds Adds a New Approach to Digital Publishing

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 22, 2013-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.


This is all I know about the project, which is just now hitting the Internet-waves.  But the following is my initial reaction

1.  This is not going to be some free-for-all of fanfic.  It's carefully curated properties, which means probably most writers don't have to worry about it, one way or the other (alas or yay, depending on your take)

2. If Amazon is licensing these properties, and paying everyone involved, it's legal and even morally fair (for payment levels of fair).

3. Amazon is reportedly prohibiting crossovers and explicit sex.  80% of fanfic's not welcome.  :-)

4.  I suspect most readers will be "why should we pay for fic we used to get for free?  Especially if there's no assurance of quality?"
(welcome to the return of the Why Gatekeepers are Good argument.  But I digress)

5. Nobody's property gets put into play without their licensing those right (see #1), so it's opt-in, just like any other subrights deal.


7.  Fanfic writers too will learn that there are wolves in the world... and that they are bunnies.  Tasty, tasty bunnies. You sign Amazon's contract, make sure you understand what you're agreeing to....

and yeah, 8.  Amazon still isn't in this for anything other than their own profit, up to and including squeezing all competition out of the field in any way possible.

Short version: I'm not thrilled with the idea, but I'm not flipping like a mammal just yet.  Engaging wait and see mode.

EtA: and Matt Forbeck has blogged about what it means to pro tie-in writers...

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Discussion on Twitter (again) about the ..appropriateness? morality? of doing promotional tweets/posts during a time of immediate crisis.

(apologies for the US-centric nature of this discussion, but those are the three recent datapoints we have were within the US).

During the Boston bombing, and the Newton shooting, people had strong, negative reactions to promotional blitzes, especially ones that clearly seemed preprogrammed/scheduled, with an inappropriately cheerful tone.

Today, as we're watching news come in from the terrible tornado activity in Oklahoma, there didn't seem to be that same backlash against promotion, or if it was it was considerably muted.

So the question rises... when is it offensive? When is it all right? So far, the dividing elements seem to be man-made vs Nature, preventable versus inevitable-if-terrible.

What do y'all think? Is there a time when marketing/promotion is out of place in the social media? Where do you draw the line, and why?

[I remember after 9/11 pretty much every publishing PR bit was yanked, to the understandable dismay of the authors that month. But that was before much of the current marketing 'net network.... I -think- it was the same during Katrina?]
lagilman: coffee or die (truth to power)
with no book-shaped horse in this race, I'm still watching & taking notes - you should, too.

I’ve been reading a lot of responses to the “deal” proposed by Night Shade Books and Skyhorse/Start Publishing, and as pretty much everything has been leaked every which fucking way (kicked off, no less, by a stupidly inaccurate and ill-timed Tweet by one of Night Shade’s own owners, which should surprise no one used to dealing with them). Myself and dozens of others have collected a lot of information and shared it round with folks affected.


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

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