Business Musings: I Spent Decades Developing My IP (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

I was trained in traditional publishing, where writers go begging for opportunity. Writers are taught to beg, from professors (let me into your class!) to critique groups (is my writing good enough?) to agents (will you take me on?) to publishers (will you buy my book?).

We’re not trained to value what we’ve built.

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Business Musings: Rethinking A Title

  I blame Marvel. As I finished my Kris Nelscott/Smokey Dalton novel, Stone Cribs, I realized that the victim in the book, Valentina Wilson, was one amazing woman. And she needed a story arc all her own. I knew how she was going to end up, and who she would be years after the events in Stone Cribs, but I needed to write the story […]

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Free Fiction Monday: Incident at Lonely Rocks

Oscar cleans portable toilets for a living. He loves the job—it takes him to beautiful isolated places, like the Lonely Rocks Wayside on the Oregon Coast. Nothing really grosses him out either—until he discovers the body, slashed to death, with a knife still in the chest. Then he sees a break in the guardrail above the ocean, a second car, a ruined bicycle, and Oscar realizes his troubles have just begun.

“Incident at Lonely Rocks,” by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is free on this website for one week only.

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Business Musings: Rip Van Winkle Syndrome

I remember how overwhelming it was for me to make the transition to mostly indie. I’m not entirely indie. My short fiction is still hybrid, as is all of my work in translation. But I can’t see any situation where I would ever go back to a traditional publisher for my novels. The contracts are awful, the lack of support profound, and the benefits nearly nonexistent.

The traditionally published writers who are being cut loose or who are being offered terrible deals are just beginning to realize this. And they’re at a complete loss as to what to do.

I feel for them. I really do.

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Recommended Reading List: August, 2017

I read a lot in August. I’m line editing two Fiction Rivers, so I got to revisit some excellent stories. I’ll point them out when they get published. Right now, though, you should pick up the current Fiction River, Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. I line edited that in the spring. Excellent unforgettable stories in there, especially those by Travis Heermann, Debbie […]

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Business Musings: Tempest in a Bestseller List

There’s less reason to game the Times list now, however. The list has bifurcated so much that you can climb the top of one of the many lists with sales that my first novel (which didn’t even sniff at the list) blew out of the water in its first week twenty-five years ago. Big publishers don’t make a lot of money on 5,000 copies. Indies do, compared to expenses. But big publishers do not.

So, the amount of work that someone had put into placing Sarem’s book on the bestseller list made no sense to me at all. Where was the profit here? What was the point? Bragging rights are nice, but unless you have money to burn, ordering 18,000 copies of your own book is pretty expensive.

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Business Musings: Eclipse Expectations

I live in the zone of totality for the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017. The eclipse happened on Monday morning, August 21, 2017. My little town, Lincoln City, Oregon, was where the eclipse hit landfall first in the United States. The eclipse then cut across the entire country, sending a shadow across America. The actual eclipse took about 90 minutes to travel from sea […]

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Business Musings: My Day in Negotiation

In dealing with movie and TV producers, and foreign rights publishers, and pretty much anyone who wants subsidiary rights to my book, I hold all of the power in the negotiation.

I know, I know. A bunch of you just did double-takes. How can I have more power than a Hollywood studio?

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Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 3: Aggressive Growth (Branding/Discoverability)

  Here’s the surprising post. Many of you who read this blog regularly probably think that I’m opposed to major marketing campaigns. I’m not. I’m opposed to them when they’re done incorrectly. What’s incorrectly? Pretty much everything you see from traditional publishing to most indies. You have to look outside of publishing to see how to do a smart, aggressive growth campaign designed to grow […]

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Recommended Reading: July 2017

Unlike June, which started so slowly I couldn’t even start the reading list until the middle of the month, July started off with a bang. I enjoyed almost everything I read, and I was reading a lot. One day per week, I started accompanying Dean on his trips to find stuff to stock the stores. He’d head off to a Goodwill or a charity shop, […]

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