Of Subtext, Subtlety, and Coming In After The Fact
Friday, August 1, 2008
by Gary A. Braunbeck There's a certain type of story, one that I have come to call the After-the-Fact story. I have not seen many After-the-Fact stories written in the horror genre; mostly, they've stayed in the neighborhood of "literary" fiction. So, why haven't we seen more of this type of story ... .. read more..
Book Promotion: Part 1
Friday, June 27, 2008
When people think about doing book promotions, they often think of an author going on a book tour. Doing a book signing or sitting at an author's table at a convention or book store means you get to talk to a lot of new people and (hopefully) get your books into the hands of new readers who've been ... .. read more..
On Book Advances
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
by Gary A. Braunbeck Many dim moons ago, when Reagan had just taken possession of the White House and I'd taken possession of my 20s, I decided on fiction writing as a career, unaware at the time that my decision was due to undiagnosed brain damage, the extent of which is still being determined. I ... .. read more..
Advice to beginning fiction writers
Monday, June 16, 2008
Everyone who sets out to become a writer wants to be seen as a "real" writer, not a wanna-be or never-gonna-be. It's basic human nature to crave acceptance, status and respect. And even the crustiest, most jaded authors -- despite their protestations to the contrary -- are human beings who are warmed... .. read more..
On sales versus publications
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I was updating my website today, and it finally occurred to me that the casual site visitor might be put off by the fact that I refer to poetry and fiction sales rather than poetry and fiction publications. "Whoa," he or she might think. "This Lucy person is all money-focused. She's all commercial... .. read more..
Manuscript Tracking Tools
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Beginning writers who send out their very first stories to magazines or anthologies don't usually have much trouble keeping track of where they sent them. Why? They can't stop thinking about them! A new writer often spends her free time anxiously second-guessing herself and her submission decisions:... .. read more..
Keep Your Stories Safe: Introduction
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Every so often, I see a frantic message on Shocklines posted by someone whose computer has crashed -- with the only existing copy of a newly-minted short story or novella dead along with their hard drive. If your hard drive dies carrying important files that can't be resurrected with the aid of programs... .. read more..
More on why self-publishing is (probably) a bad idea
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
My husband was recently interviewed by a reporter from his hometown newspaper. He got a ton of website traffic from the feature they subsequently ran on him, and he was contacted by old friends he hadn't heard from in 20 years, and that's all good.However, the staffer who interviewed him - a reporter... .. read more..
Book distribution and printing cost too much. Why don't publishers switch to e-..
Saturday, October 20, 2007
N-Wing says According to this and this, the two biggest book costs are distribution and printing, both of which are essentially $0 for electronic formats. In a very small sampling, some ebooks were cheaper and some more expensive than paperbacks. Lets mention this greed thing again. My reply: I'd have to... .. read more..
Why can't most publishers print books for $1?
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(Go back to Part One: Why New Books Are So Expensive or Part Two: Why new textbooks are so expensive) spiregrain says According to Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, printing and binding a 100 page book costs $1, which is less than the admin cost of lending and taking back a library book. See ... .. read more..
Why new textbooks are so expensive
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(Go back to Part One to read about the mass market paperback pricing mentioned here) I've heard from a couple of people who don't believe that the economics mentioned in Part One work for textbook prices. I look at the biology textbooks I've used -- which have been massive, sturdy hardbacks with lot... .. read more..
Why new books are so expensive
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The other day, I was in Barnes and Noble when I overheard a college student in the literature aisle say, "I'm not paying twenty bucks for this!" followed by the slap of an 80-page poetry collection being forcefully returned to the top of the shelves. I'm sure we've all been feeling a bit of sticker ... .. read more..
How To Make A Living Writing Short Fiction
Friday, October 5, 2007
In this article, I'll take a look at the practical economics of trying to make a living writing short fiction in the U.S. This topic regularly comes up on message boards and at conventions. People usually speak in generalities ("You can't make a living writing stories!" "Can, too!") or cite specific... .. read more..
On Book Blurbs
Monday, April 9, 2007
by Gary A. Braunbeck If you look at a book, usually on the dustcover, paperback cover or somewhere in the first couple of pages you will see something like "'(This author's) writing is a dazzling bravura of wild imagery and nail-biting suspense.' – Reed McReaderson" or "'A wonderful book! I couldn't... .. read more..
The Creeping Horror of Signature Sheets
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Have you ever seen or purchased a limited-edition book that came already signed by the author or contributors? Yeah, it's pretty neat getting a book like that, and collectors are willing to pay quite a bit extra for a book signed by a famous writer.Some people think that the publisher rounds up all ... .. read more..
Five of a Writer's Deadliest Enemies
Friday, June 30, 2006
by Gary A. Braunbeck Many of you who read my posts asked for more essays on the business and technical aspects of writing, so I've decided to offer a handful of basic -- what I hope are common sense -- suggestions on how to fine-tune your writing by avoiding certain mistakes that can sink your story... .. read more..
Getting To Know Your Characters (Part 2)
Monday, June 12, 2006
by Gary A. Braunbeck In Part 1 we discussed an approach to characterization that was based on nuance -- specifically, visual nuance. I used an an example how much you can tell about a character from the way he or she eats a bowl of cereal. This time, as promised, we're going to take a look at how you... .. read more..
Getting To Know Your Characters (Part 1)
Thursday, June 1, 2006
by Gary A. Braunbeck I've been very lucky in that readers and many of my fellow writers feel I have a certain skill for creating three-dimensional characters. I'm often asked how I manage to do this, so I thought for my next few columns here, I'd go over some of the methods I employ for characterization... .. read more..
What do you do when a book deal goes bad?
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Preface: This essay was written by Tim Waggoner and is reprinted with his permission. I, too, have had a novel deal go bad under slightly different circumstances. My situation was that I sold a short novel on proposal to a seemingly well-funded specialty publisher, got a contract that everyone signed... .. read more..
The Horror Of It All
Thursday, May 11, 2006
by Tim Waggoner Want to write horror? A lot of folks do. The mainstream publishing industry may have momentarily turned its collective back on the genre, but the small press scene is thriving, not to mention the burgeoning number of horror sites on the Web. Unfortunately, a great many stories published... .. read more..
The Naming of Names
Monday, April 17, 2006
by Tim WaggonerIn Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books, magic is accomplished when wizards learn the true names of things. Discover the true name of fire, and it is yours to command. In fairy tales, if you learn Rumpelstiltskin's name, the evil sprite is banished. Speak of the Devil, though, and he ... .. read more..
Should you take a creative writing class?
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
by Tim Waggoner Have you ever thought about taking a creative writing class? Working writer or rank amateur, you can benefit from a good course in creative writing -- provided you know what to look for. Teachers and writers have long debated the value of creative writing classes. Opinions vary, some... .. read more..
Network Smarter, Not Harder
Monday, March 27, 2006
by Tim Waggoner "It's not what you know, it's who you know."That bit of conventional "wisdom" is often cited by writers to explain everything from rejection letters to the lousy state of publishing. It's not my fault, they think. It's the publishing good-old-boy network keeping me out. There's no ... .. read more..
Monday, March 13, 2006
by Gary A. Braunbeck This is going to bounce around a bit like a paper cup caught in the wind, but will hopefully come together at the end, so bear with me. One of the things I promised myself when I agreed to take part in this blog was that I would try to avoid offering advice to aspiring writers... .. read more..
Tools For Wandering Writers
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
We writers are particular. We're careful to find space for our books and our desk, and jealously guard our writing time. We crave quiet so that we can concentrate on our work. We're happy to type away in the dead of night or at the crack of dawn. Ah. Quiet, so very quiet ... except for the sound of ... .. read more..
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