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Advice from another incredibly succesful self-published author

WOOL is selling like gangbusters. It's a post-apocalyptic book that sounds like (and I mean this in a good way) Fallout fanfic as it deals with survivors trapped in a mysterious subterranean vault that extends for miles in all directions and a surface world that is strange and inhospitable. Hugh Howey: How My Self-Published Book 'Wool' Became A Hot Movie Property
I currently enjoy the best of both worlds: The ability to write what I want and enjoy the generous royalties inherent with self-publishing domestically, while also working with a major publisher overseas to hone my craft and produce the best physical books possible. Because of this avalanche of good news, I've been blessed by IndieReader to come here today and thank you all for turning what once was a fanciful dream into a mind-numbing reality. Yeah, I'm thanking you. My inbox lately has become sprinkled with missives from other independent writers asking me for any advice I might have. So I tell them what you have taught me: Please the reader. Write your best works for them; make those works affordable; interact with your fans; and take their feedback to heart. Without a single dime spent in advertising, a short story I wrote and didn't even work to promote climbed to the top of the Amazon charts. It drew the attention of Hollywood. It landed me an agent and half a dozen foreign book deals. All because of word of mouth. Because I happened to please you, and you told someone else, and they spread the word further. The first WOOL story came out in July of last year. At just over 12,000 words, it qualified as a novelette, and not much more. I forgot about the story until it began garnering a slew of positive reviews that could muster only a single complaint among them: Where was the rest? They wanted more. So I began writing more. I released the rest of the story in installments, something I'd always wanted to try, and I enjoyed the quick turnaround and the immediate feedback from readers. The entries grew as the series went along, until the fifth and final WOOL story was the length of a short novel. Once the tale was complete, I collected the five books into an Omnibus, which was when it began to really take off. The WOOL OMNIBUS is now roaring up the charts, and I like to think of the work as much as a collaboration as a singular effort. It was borne out of the call from reviewers for more and forged almost as it was being read. Cover art has been supplied by (and paid for, of course) by fans. Typos have been rounded up and summarily vanquished by helpful readers. And so the story of WOOL's creation has become as interesting (to me, at least) as the story contained in the book itself.

W.H. Auden basically wrote poems about his Dungeons and Dragons campaign didn't he?

In the Time of War, XII - WH Auden
In the Time of War, XII And the age ended, and the last deliverer died. In bed, grown idle and unhappy; they were safe: The sudden shadow of the giant's enormous calf Would fall no more at dusk across the lawn outside. They slept in peace: in marshes here and there no doubt A sterile dragon lingered to a natural death, But in a year the spoor had vanished from the heath; The kobold's knocking in the mountain petered out. Only the sculptors and the poets were half sad, And the pert retinue from the magician's house Grumbled and went elsewhere. The vanished powers were glad To be invisible and free: without remorse Struck down the sons who strayed their course, And ravished the daughters, and drove the fathers mad.

May 17, 2012

Erotica publisher claims book banning is a violation of First Amendment rights

I'm pretty sure he's wrong. I don't think the First Amendment forces libraries to carry your crappy Twilight fanfic BDSM pap. '50 Shades of Grey' Publisher -- Library Bans Are Unconstitutional | TMZ.com
The publisher behind the steamy New York Times bestseller "50 Shades of Grey" is coming out swinging against libraries that have banned the book -- claiming the censorship violates readers' First Amendment rights. A rep for Random House tells TMZ, the publishing house "fervently opposes literary censorship and supports the First Amendment rights of readers to make their own reading choices." The book, in case you don't know, is about a man and his sex slave in Seattle -- hooray! -- and libraries in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Florida have already banned it due to its racy content.

May 15, 2012

Why you should never publish anything with Undead Press ever

When publishing goes wrong…Starring Undead Press -- Mandy DeGeit Mandy deGeit submitted a story to one of their anthologies and they took some liberties with it, changing the gender of the protagonist, adding gratuitous rape, and inserting lots of typos. Fun!