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February 17, 2014

These guys don't want women or people of color to write sci-fi

If they were just your usual band of internet jackasses it'd be one thing, but their group includes powerful people at the Big 5 publishers and several notable authors. Much more here on tumblr, chronicling the anti-diversity voices who seem to be believe they are waging a Culture War against an oppressive authority bent on getting them to stop being total embarrassing assholes. Anyone who thinks that sci-fi can only be written by white guys is not an author I ever want to read. The Daily Dot - Apparently, these guys don't want women to write science fiction
This isn’t a new debate. Last year the editor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) newsletter resigned over widespread allegations of sexism. From numerous harassment incidents at sci-fi cons, to a systemic lack of diversity, to major uphill battles for women and writers of color for representation in all areas of the sci-fi publishing industry, tensions between the “old guard” of white male sci-fi publishing and the new diverse community who wants more progressive media are rapidly coming to a boil. The new thread offers a glimpse into how systemic the divide really is. Fodera is the associate director of contracts for Macmillan, one of the industry's largest publishers. He calls Kowal, who is a Hugo-award-winning author, "an unperson... no one you should have heard of." Then he goes on to compare her to an aggressive dog: “Oh, I know she has no power over me. Still, I get agitated when I think about her. There was a lot of good I could have done for SFWA, and she was a primary factor in my not being able to do it... In a way, it's like my reaction to dogs... My brain kept saying 'it's a service dog; they're well-trained; he won't hurt you,' but my body wanted nothing more than to dump my bowels and flee...” Last year, Kowal spoke out against 12 members of the SFWA who had, she claimed, harassed her while she served as vice president and secretary of the organization. Calling them “rabid weasels,” she noted, “I spent four years in office and the first year I almost quit because I got so tired of getting hate mail.” . . .

February 13, 2014

"I turned down a million dollar book deal"

H.M. Ward is one of the biggest success stories out of self-publishing. Alongside Hugh Howey and E.L. James, she's been raking in millions from her independently published romances. She had a conversation with traditional publishers--the so-called Big Five--about selling the print rights to her books. But none of them were interested. They wanted the ebook rights but those rights were bringing in over $100,000 a week for her. How much more could they do? What was their plan to take her marketing to the next level? The answer: they didn't have a marketing plan beyond what H.M. Ward had already done for herself. They didn't really want anything approaching a partnership: they wanted a cash grab. A million dollars? She's making that much every two months already. Why would she sign away 45% of her revenue? I turned down over a million bucks in trad deals, plus other tips for Indies
I posted an announcement on my facebook page last night and had several ppl nudge me to post it over here. So here we go. Plus I'm adding more info, b/c info is king and it's good to be king. bwuhahaha. Over the past year I've been offered over 1.5 million bucks in advances offered by huge publishing houses. I told them to show me a marketing plan that knocks my socks off and I'd consider their offer. I had this notion that they knew what they were doing and could do it better than I could. They said they had all these ideas and they're gonna blow my mind, which was a requirement for the deal, b/c the pay was too low. About the money - if you have a book that hits #1-10 on the Kindle store, tons of people have the mistaken notion that it's gonna blip and fall and you're fun in the sun will end...unless a trad pub picks you up. It's math time! A book in the top ten sells around 5-10K copies per day. Let's take the average and give the book some wiggle room and say it's selling 7K copies a day @ $2.99. In 7 days you'll have made (net, not gross) over $100,000. So BIG TRAD HOUSE offers you $200,000 for a three part series. 'Sign here,' they say. 'Sign fast! You want to strike while the irons hot.' 'A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.' 'It's a sure thing and if you don't sign, then you could loose everything.' <--They actually said all the crap to me, and its crap. If the book nets $100K in a week, what will it do next week? What about next month? What about next year? Never mind those other 2 books. Bad deal. The most recent offer was for a high six figure deal on my next novel, on spec, sight unseen from one of the big 5. I gave the same terms - show me a kick *ss marketing plan and I'll consider it. They were excited and on it! They were going to wow me. Like I was gonna be so wowed that I'd die of the wowness. True story. Dude, the marketing plan I got back was the equivalent of, 'we're gonna do stuff.' Their email list - yeah, they don't personally have one, but this archaic place does - had 2K people on it. That was the bulk of their plan. My email list has over 30K ppl on it and I do a ton more stuff than they presented. There's a post in here about my release day marketing plan, most of which is free and time consuming. I still do that. It's listed in here with details. THEY DON'T DO THAT MUCH. I said no. And laughed. A lot. It was so weak. . . .