Not All Agents and Editors are Honest

Business Musings: Writers, Scam Artists, Agents, and More by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I’ve been following Kristine for many years. She often has a lot to say about the writing business, writers, agents, publishers and everything else regarding the publishing world. This post is no different. We may enter a relationship with an agent, editor or publishing company thinking this is the best thing ever only to learn months or years down the line that it was the worst thing ever.

Here’s what Kristine writes…

Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water…

FREE eBook Read

I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes reprinting some of the older stories, which means we have to deal with estates.

Too often, estates mean agents.

But even some lazy-ass living writers give their agents control of everything. It took me one year—one year—to get my hands on a non-fiction reprint that I wanted for a project of mine. The centerpiece for that project was an editorial written more than 20 years ago by a writer who had forgotten they had even written it. This writer, a friend of mine, doesn’t do email, and mostly stays off-line. (I know, I know.) I didn’t know about their tech phobia when I started into this, and had sent five different emails before I asked another editor friend how to reach this writer.

The editor advised snail mail.

Continue reading

Amazon’s New KDP Print Feature is Bad News for CreateSpace Users

The first news I heard about KDP Print was in an email from Amazon on February 15th. Since then, I’ve read articles, blog posts and comments about it and watched the praise given by Amazon for this service dwindle quickly.

In the email, Amazon announced they were making print book publishing easier for writers. They stated, “KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties, so you don’t have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory.”

That’s what CreateSpace does. Sort of. I believe CreateSpace takes the cost of the printing of the book from the sale price, then takes a cut of the royalties. Until I see the numbers and do the math, I am unsure which service will offer a better financial deal for authors.

The message also stated, “It also enables you to receive consolidated royalty payments for paperback and eBook sales. You can view combined reports and manage your print and eBook publishing from one website.”

Except, I’m okay with visiting two sites to get my sales reports. In fact, I prefer CreateSpace’s sales report much more than I do Kindle’s. Kindle’s is not straightforward and too clunky to find answers quickly.

Continue reading

Canadian Authors and the Public Lending Rights Program

If you are a Canadian author with books published in Canada, you should ensure they are available to readers through the public library. There are many reasons why but in this post, I will focus on the Public Lending Rights (PLR) program and how it benefits Canadian authors.

I first learned about the Public Lending Rights program almost a decade ago from the late Jay Underwood. Although I had been writing for about a dozen years before that time, I had never heard another writer speak about the program and the benefits to authors.

What is the Public Lending Rights program?

From their website: “Each year millions of Canadians access books from their public libraries, free of charge. This free use we enjoy means that authors potentially lose revenues from sales of their books; readers who might otherwise buy a book can instead consult or borrow it from the library.

“The Canada Council’s Public Lending Right Program helps to address this inequity. Each year it distributes payments to authors to compensate them for the presence of their books in public libraries. The Program has grown steadily since it was established in 1986 and last year over $9.7 million was distributed among over 17,000 authors registered in the Program and the average payment to a registered individual was $568.”

What does it cost?

It is free to register books in the PLR program.

Continue reading

Writer’s Income from Access Copyright

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to brush the dust off everything you had published in 2015 and claim it at Access Copyright.

Haven’t heard of Access Copyright? If you are a published Canadian writer, you should know about it.

What is Access Copyright?

From their website: “Access Copyright is a collective voice of creators and publishers in Canada. A non-profit, national organization, we represent tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works.

“Through agreements with sister organizations around the world, we also represent the works of hundreds of thousands of foreign creators and publishers. This rich repertoire of content is highly valued by educators, students, researchers, corporate employees and others who need to copy and share content.”

What do they do?

Again, from their website: “We license the copying of this repertoire to educational institutions, businesses, governments and others. The proceeds gathered when content is copied, remixed and shared are passed along to the copyright-holders.

“These investments help to ensure the continued creation of new and innovative works.”

What does it cost?

Affiliating with Access Copyright is free.

Continue reading

A New Formatting Tool for eBooks

The world is always changing, and nowhere is that more prevalent than the publishing world. What was once great last year, no longer works this year, and the tools we use are constantly upgraded and changed to accommodate this rapid evolution.

When I first began publishing eBooks, I formatted them myself in MS Word. But I could not format ePubs. I’ve tried Scrivener to format the file, but I was unhappy with the results. Then I tried Calibre for ePubs, and that worked great for a few years. Last spring during my six-month review, I found formatting issues with eBooks available at a few online retailers. There were no issues with the files I had manually formatted, but the ePubs were a mess.

So I took the leap and rented InDesign. There’s a large learning curve, but once I conquer it, I’ll be able to create eBooks and print books professionally.

Continue reading

Reclaiming my Disclaimer to reflect my personality and the story

A few months ago, I happened upon a post on The Book Designer blog regarding writing disclaimers. I have never given much thought to disclaimers; they’re as necessary for publishing as ISBNs, and just as boring.

I created the disclaimers for my novels by consulting already-published books to see the wording they used. It’s all pretty standard, and I’ve never read one that stood out. The main point was to tell everyone you didn’t write this book about a real person, so you wouldn’t be sued if someone thought they saw themselves within the story. Basically, you wanted to tell the world, “This is fiction. Nothing real to see here. Move along to the end and buy the next book in the series.”

Original Disclaimer

The disclaimer I created and used in print and eBooks came out to read as…

Continue reading

Important Information if You Plan to Publish a Colouring eBook

Lessons in Self-publishingThis year—I’ve been told—is the year of the adult colouring book. I’ve seen them around in local stores. My first reaction was to giggle. Colouring books for adults? Seriously?

Then I flipped through them and thought, “They’re complicated. I’ll stick to my kids’ old colouring books.”

You see, I don’t think it’s horrible for adults to colour. I’ve been colouring all my life. With crayons. Coloured pencils. Markers. And whatever I could get my hands on. I think colouring is a great relaxing exercise, and it’s a great physical exercise for your hand. It also sparks imagination, and trust me, I’ve got lots of imagination to prove it works.

Continue reading