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Thread: Hello Everybody!

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hello Everybody!

    Hi everyone!

    Iím Dan. I came over to this forum because I heard about it from some friends. Actually they warned me to stay away but I wanted to find out what all the brouhaha was about. I read a blog by Robin Sullivan that said she got banned. Apparently someone named Mac called her the f-word:

    "Just get the hell off my site. You're relentlessly snotty, rude, and you're a fucking bald-faced liar. I'm done with you."

    She has a screenshot of it because people didnít believe her. I took a look at it. It looks authentic.

    Please donít ban me! I just want to know if this is true. Did Mac say that to her?

  2. #2
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    Hi, Dan. Welcome to AW. Anything that happened between Mac and Robin is between them and let's leave it there.

    Feel free to poke around the forum and participate in the conversations.
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  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Alright. That's cool. I take it that it is true then. Wow.

    I'll poke around the site and see what everyone's up to! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Crypto-fascist Soccer Mom's Avatar
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    Mac is the owner of the site. If you wish to know what someone said about something, I suggest you ask that person directly in a private message. You can message Mac if you want to.

    Welcome to AW.
    Last edited by Soccer Mom; 06-17-2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: adding link
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  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Hi, Dan.

    You can read the last thread Robin participated in here, to get the context. May I suggest that you click on her name to find More Posts By, and read them and the threads there were in to get the full history and all the context.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks, James!

    I read the thread. Hmmm, I still don't see why someone would call her the f-word, or ban her. She may have a strong opinion but she wasn't that rude to anyone. I didn't see her use foul language (maybe she did and I missed it). In fact, many of her points I agree with but that could be because my circle of friends are indies.

    I haven't published yet but I write a lot. Not sure if any of it is publishable yet though. Once I do write that novel, I think I will try self-publishing. From what I have studied, it seems to be the best way to go. I have been reading blogs that my friends have directed me to: Passive Voice, Kris Rusch, and Robin's blog. I also know that there are some really interesting developments happening in indie publishing that is making it very easy for authors to indie-publish. One of my friends directed me to Lucky Bat Books, a publishing company with a different publishing model - they don't take your royalties. Also, another friend who has a best-selling, self-published indie novella out showed me this website:

    http://indie.kindlenationdaily.com/?p=218

    It's a site that helps indies get reviews that will help bolster their sales. I think all of this is really exciting!

    What do ya'll think?

  7. #7
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Iverson View Post
    Thanks, James!

    I read the thread. Hmmm, I still don't see why someone would call her the f-word, or ban her. She may have a strong opinion but she wasn't that rude to anyone. I didn't see her use foul language (maybe she did and I missed it). In fact, many of her points I agree with but that could be because my circle of friends are indies.

    I haven't published yet but I write a lot. Not sure if any of it is publishable yet though. Once I do write that novel, I think I will try self-publishing. From what I have studied, it seems to be the best way to go. I have been reading blogs that my friends have directed me to: Passive Voice, Kris Rusch, and Robin's blog. I also know that there are some really interesting developments happening in indie publishing that is making it very easy for authors to indie-publish. One of my friends directed me to Lucky Bat Books, a publishing company with a different publishing model - they don't take your royalties. Also, another friend who has a best-selling, self-published indie novella out showed me this website:

    http://indie.kindlenationdaily.com/?p=218

    It's a site that helps indies get reviews that will help bolster their sales. I think all of this is really exciting!

    What do ya'll think?

    I think that if you have seriously looked at trad publishing and self-publishing and have decided to self-publish - I think it's great! As I just went on and on about in another thread, self-publishing is a business. You have to take off your writer's cap and put on the publishing one - and that includes marketing and operating a business.

    Unlike in trad publishing, the "rule" 'the money flows to the writer, not from the writer' (did I get that right?) isn't true. Well, it still is but now you're both the writer and the publisher so you will have to spend money. You will need to set a budget and it will be a business. But, since, you already have friends who self-publish and have been following the blogs, you probably already have realistic expectations.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Leigh,

    Which thread was that?

    That's absolutely right! You can't just publish something and expect sales to just appear on their own. People have to know who you are. You have to do a fair bit of marketing which in the indie way is through online bloggers ... for now. Things are changing fast though. I've heard Kris Rusch say that becoming an indie is a slow grow process but I'm willing to do that because of all the freedom it allows me.

    Also, what is great about Lucky Bat Books is that you don't have to take off your writer cap and don your publisher cap. They will do the pubbing for you ... but yes, at a price. It's not that expensive though.

    You're right about the rule in trad pubbing being: "The money flows to the writer, not from the writer." It's not the same in indie-pubbing. I learned that at the Superstars Writing Seminar I attended this past January. It was a great seminar. It is held by best-selling authors like Kevin Anderson, Dave Farland, Eric Flint, etc. These guys are pros who have been in the business for a long time and will teach you about both trad and indie. I think the next one is in Apr/May of 2012 in Las Vegas.

    Anyhow, better be off. Thanks for all info. This is a good site with a lot of good information!

    D

  9. #9
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Hello, Dan. Welcome to AW. I hope you'll find it a useful and friendly place, no matter what brought you here.

    You might want to say hello in the Newbies section; and make sure you read the Newbies guide which is there. It'll give you all sorts of helpful information about how things are done here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Iverson View Post
    ...

    One of my friends directed me to Lucky Bat Books, a publishing company with a different publishing model - they don't take your royalties.
    I don't know of any good publisher which "takes your royalties": trade publishers pay for editing, typesetting etc and then pay you your royalties as your book sells, and we wouldn't publish our work with a bad publisher, would we? I suspect I'm missing your true meaning here, but I'd love it if you'd explain this bit of your post.

  10. #10
    'Twas but a dream of thee El Jefe MacAllister's Avatar
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    Welcome to AW, Dan.

    Really? People (and supposedly writers, at that) are having vapors over "fucking" as a modifier?

    Yep. I wrote it. I'm not going to explain myself beyond that, though.

    In the meantime, there is a great deal of terrific information here. There are a number of amazing people sharing their experiences here, as well, with both commercial publishers and self-publishing. Hope you find AW helpful.
    Last edited by MacAllister; 06-17-2011 at 11:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    Welcome Dan. As someone not considered an author by Robin (ie I earn less the 40,000 a year), I welcome you to AW and hope you find this site as helpful and informative as I have regardless of what brought you here.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean about a company that doesn't take your royalties? If you have to pay up front surely that's the same thing. The money to pay for complete edits, fonts, cover art, copyright registration, IBSN and all the other things involved in publishing has to be paid somehow. If it's prepaid by the author or taken from profit later it all means the same. It's all money and has to come from somewhere. They do take your royalties by requiring an initial investment. At least that's how I see it. That's before the support system of a publisher, promotion and marketing are taken into account.

    I would like to self-publish one day for the experience of it. That's why I read the thread and listen to the experienced writers about the good and the bad. At the moment I don't have time or experience to do it myself and I prefer to know the people getting my book ready for publication have as much to lose as me if it doesn't sell. I'm paranoid like that. I don't sell, then they don't make their investment back. I don't have the confidence as yet to pull off self-publishing to the professional standard I would like so for now I will keep watching and learning.

  12. #12
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alitriona View Post
    Welcome Dan. As someone not considered an author by Robin (ie I earn less the 40,000 a year), I welcome you to AW and hope you find this site as helpful and informative as I have regardless of what brought you here.
    To clarify what Alitriona said above, here's what Robin said:

    Quote Originally Posted by rsullivan9597 View Post
    But for purposes of my posts when I refer to a "writer" I mean someone who can earn $45,000+ a year or more from writing. Which will disqualify all but a few (I think).
    So Robin doesn't just consider those not making $45K a year not to be 'authors', she doesn't even consider them to be 'writers'.

    Most of us here at AW are a lot more inclusive than that. So...welcome, fellow writer!
    Last edited by Terie; 06-17-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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  13. #13
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    Thank you for correcting me Terie, I should have quoted if mentioning that post, my bad. I'm so glad we are more inclusive here. I have a long way to go to that level of earnings from writing.

  14. #14
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    Welcome Dan.

    I'm not going to say anything about the Robin thing because it's over and done with and it's not cool to talk about someone when they aren't able to defend themselves.

    I hope you like AW, the people are, despite what you might have been told, nice and friendly and many are very experienced in the industry.
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  15. #15
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Iverson View Post
    I also know that there are some really interesting developments happening in indie publishing that is making it very easy for authors to indie-publish.
    Those same elements that make it easy to indie-publish make it hard to indie-succeed.

    Make no mistake about it: Self-publishing is a part of commercial publishing. Money still flows toward the author, even if its flowing from one pocket to another in the same pair of pants.

    Take Person A. Give her a split personality: A1 is the writer. A2 is the publisher. A2 pays for all the formatting, the covers, the editing, the copyediting, the proofreading, the artwork, the distribution, the publicity, the marketing ... and also pays A1 15% of the cover price of each copy sold. None of those items are optional.

    If A2 can't see a way to pay royalties to A1 from the very first copy sold, if A2 doesn't have paying the author built into her business plan, then A1 should take her book elsewhere.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Old Hack, nice to meet you! I read your question:

    "I don't know of any good publisher which "takes your royalties": trade publishers pay for editing, typesetting etc and then pay you your royalties as your book sells, and we wouldn't publish our work with a bad publisher, would we? I suspect I'm missing your true meaning here, but I'd love it if you'd explain this bit of your post."

    Yeah, I should expand on this. There are two issues here. I think this will also answer Alitriona's question too:

    The first issue being that, as we all know, trad pubs offer a writer a contract which spells out the terms of the deal. Usually, they give the writer 5-15% of net and an advance that is essentially a loan (that they can reclaim if they want, if the book does not do well) The pub takes the MS and pays for all the tasks that are involved in pubbing - editing, artwork, etc. Then they see to the distribution. When the book sells, every party involved gets their cut (retailers, agent, etc.) and what is left over (net) is the money from which the writer is paid. The percentage the publisher gets is part of what I mean by publishers "taking your royalties."

    Here is the other part: I'm not sure if any of you have read Kris Rusch's blogs on Royalty Statements but I strongly recommend it:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/04/20/the...ements-update/

    In her blogs she describes how she came a cross a huge discrepancy between her trad sales and her indie sales. She first noticed it with e-books by comparing her Bookscan numbers and also by comparing her Amazon rankings to her sales. Then she came to find the same discrepancy in print books. I don't have time to explain all the details so if you want to know what she did, I suggest reading her posts. By doing some digging and talking to other authors, she discovered that some of the major publishing houses are under-reporting both e-book and print sales, some by up to 90%.

    Dave Farland talked about it in one of his Daily kicks:
    "Recenlty some friends of mine have been examining royalty statements and finding that the e-sales seem ridiculously low. Been doing a bit of checking, it appears that some of the major publishers in New York are under-reporting their e-book sales by 90%. In other words, even if you do go to a New York publisher, the chances are good that they’re stealing your money. Some of them are very up-front about it. Books that should be reverted to authors are being sold as e-books by some publishers—without any royalties even being reported. One major romance publisher is sending out letters telling authors that their out-of-print books are being entered into “an exciting new program. . .” In such a world, authors really may have no choice but to walk away from the New York model."

    This is the other part of what I mean when I say the pubs are "taking your royalties." They are under-reporting sales. Pretty soon you may be hearing about this in the news.

    Now, how did I get onto this topic? I think I was comparing trad pubs to Lucky Bat. Oh yeah, with Lucky Bat you pay a flat fee to them for publishing services but you keep all the royalties (which is 70% on the pubbing sites.) You don't pay them any percentage of your sales. This is their publishing model and for me, it fits. I prefer it.

    So I hope that answers your questions. Feel free to let me know if you have any more. Thanks!

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Terie!

    I saw your post. Hmm, maybe what she meant was that she considers anyone who makes 45K or over to be a "writer" in the sense that you are making a living writing. I know a lot of writers out there who do it as a hobby (like me) and who make less than 45K, some quite a lot less, but they have day jobs. So, for example, they may work as an engineer during the day and write in their spare time. A "writer" is someone who makes a living doing it and a decent living these days bottoms at 45k. Maybe this is what she meant.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi James,

    I saw your note:
    "Those same elements that make it easy to indie-publish make it hard to indie-succeed."

    What I meant was that there are new developments that are not only helping indies publish but they are also helping indies succeed. I have more information on that but I don't have time right now to list everything (I will as I go ...). In short, indies are coming together and organizing sites - building the new indie pubbing world.

    I am particularly happy about this after having read Kris' latest post on Bookstore observations:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/06/15/the...-observations/

    If any of you don't know who she is - she is an award-winning author who publishes both indie and trad, who has been in the writing business for decades. Kris is sharp and to the point - no nonsense and she writes plainly about what she sees. Her observations in the bookstores (B&N) this past week scared her as a trad published author. She explains why. I recommend reading it.

    Here are some other posts of hers I recommend:

    Writing Like it's 1999:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/11/the...like-its-1999/

    Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/04/the...-sneaks-oh-my/

    Surviving the Transition:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/18/the...tion-part-one/
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/25/the...sition-part-2/
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/06/01/the...sition-part-3/

    Anyhow, I hope this helps you all. I read Kris' blog every Thursday. She has taught me a great deal and I am forever thankful.

    Peace out.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Mac! Nice to meet you!

    "In the meantime, there is a great deal of terrific information here. There are a number of amazing people sharing their experiences here, as well, with both commercial publishers and self-publishing. Hope you find AW helpful."

    Definitely do! Thanks!

  20. #20
    An old, sappy, and happy one. Requiescat In Pace CACTUSWENDY's Avatar
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    Cool

    Sorry, but if I never make $45,000.00 a year or not....I am a writer. IMHO

    Since I am the only one that may believe that, it is still my opinion. It's the same as someone that is a painter but does not make big bucks from their craft. In the world of the 'arts' it is a very personal thing to be considered a doer of ones' craft. IMHO

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  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    You need to read more widely about the publishing industry. Pretty much everything in this paragraph is wrong for most major publishers:

    Usually, they give the writer 5-15% of net and an advance that is essentially a loan (that they can reclaim if they want, if the book does not do well) The pub takes the MS and pays for all the tasks that are involved in pubbing - editing, artwork, etc. Then they see to the distribution. When the book sells, every party involved gets their cut (retailers, agent, etc.) and what is left over (net) is the money from which the writer is paid.
    Yes, there's a contract, but the advance is not a loan and is not repaid unless the author defaults. Major publishers pay on cover price, not net. It's become common for epublishers to pay on a "net" that's the cover price minus the distributor's discount, but NOT minus the cover art, editorial, etc.

  22. #22
    I write novels
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    What Jan said. Plus the royalty percentage is closer to 6% for mmps, and 10 to 15% for hardcover. Ebook royalties are more like 25% on net, with net being what Jan described.

    And I still don't get where that myth of the advance being returnable comes from. Standard contracts from commercial publishers do include a clause for repayment in specific extreme cases, but those all have to do with the author failing to deliver a manuscript, or with things like plagiarism, not with sales.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Lillie's Avatar
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    Hi Dan.

    Kriswrites. I love that blog. I read it a lot. I feel like she has taught me all sorts of things about the publishing industry that I'd never known before. Quite an eye opener for me.
    I've read some of her books too. She's a great writer.

    But at the same time I feel that she is not really writing for me as I am now. (unpublished, might one day think of trying to get a novel published, or self publish it myself.)
    For the most part she seems to be giving advice that would be useful to people like herself, rather than like me.
    People who are already published, who have signed contracts and have backlists.

    If ever I need to sign a contract with a publisher or an agent some of her advice will be invaluable to me. But I have never really seen her site as one written for the unknown newbie like myself, the one without the backlist, or the known name, or the publishing credits.

    Perhaps you are getting something more out of her blog than I am, but when I read it I don't get the feeling that it is encouraging people like me to self publish, rather its encouraging everyone to be very careful what they sign and consider their options.
    And I think that is a valuable lesson in any walk of life.

    Anyhow, nice to meet you, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about her blog, because I really enjoy reading it.


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  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Jan,

    "Yes, there's a contract, but the advance is not a loan and is not repaid unless the author defaults. Major publishers pay on cover price, not net. It's become common for epublishers to pay on a "net" that's the cover price minus the distributor's discount, but NOT minus the cover art, editorial, etc."

    This is not what I have heard and I've been taught by several best-selling authors - the Superstars authors, like Kevin Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flint, Dave Wolverton, Brandon Sanderson, and Kris Rusch. I highly recommend taking the Superstars Writing Seminar next April:
    http://www.superstarswritingseminars.com/

    These authors will teach you the ropes. They are very experienced.

    Where are you getting your information, btw? I'm just wondering.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi eqb,

    "What Jan said. Plus the royalty percentage is closer to 6% for mmps, and 10 to 15% for hardcover. Ebook royalties are more like 25% on net, with net being what Jan described.

    And I still don't get where that myth of the advance being returnable comes from. Standard contracts from commercial publishers do include a clause for repayment in specific extreme cases, but those all have to do with the author failing to deliver a manuscript, or with things like plagiarism, not with sales."

    Yes, this is correct. I was referring to the print book. The e-book is a bit more - 25%

    As for the advance being a loan - Kris Rusch says it:
    http://kriswrites.com/2011/05/04/the...-sneaks-oh-my/

    In many contracts, the publisher can take the advance back if the book doesn't earn the advance out. She mentions it in another place on her blog, but I can't remember where. I will look for it ...

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