Business Musings: The Third 2017 Process Blog

My cat died in June. He wasn’t just any cat. He was what Dean and I call “a heart cat.” We have cats whom we love and cherish, and then we have special cats—the ones who simply take over our hearts and hold them hostage. Galahad was the best of the best, and we had him for fifteen years.

I’m telling you this not to get sympathy, but because Gally’s death factored into my process this summer. I knew he was going to go at some point, but he went fast. Fine one week, gone the next. Not as fast as our Ella, who literally died in an instant (vet thinks heart attack or stroke) in February, but still, faster than expected.

That, on top of the deaths of several friends since the first of the year, some close and some not as close as they once were, left me reeling. I hadn’t realized how down I was until I figured out that my writing had nearly ground to a halt.

In fact, the one thing that kept me going was the schedule I had drawn up earlier in the year…

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Business Musings: The Grant of Rights Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

As I’m revising the old Dealbreakers book, I am finding a lot of material that no longer applies. 2011-2013 was a transitional period in the ebook revolution. Traditional publishers didn’t know anything about ebooks, and writers had a lot more leeway in what they could do.

Now, things are so different that some of the contracts I’m touching feel toxic to me. I want to wash my hands after holding them.

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Business Musings: Personal Paradigm Shift, Again

As I wrote earlier this year, the changes in the publishing industry continue to smack me in the head. I learned the old publishing industry very well—the one that existed from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. I survived the early 2000s, and then indie publishing came along. I started this blog—in a different form and under a different blog title—in April of 2009. All […]

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Business Musings: Buggy Whips, Pollsters, Collisions, and Us

I’ve been very frustrated in the last several weeks because some of my preconceptions got blown out of the water. I’ve been dealing directly with some traditionally published writers for various projects, and some of the things I’ve encountered have been head-shaking. I’ll be blogging about a few of those things in the future, with the names changed to protect the—innocent? Ignorant?—I’m not sure which label to use. Suffice to say some of the things I’ve run into are simply and completely unbelievable to me, in 2016….

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Business Musings: Authors Guild 2016 Letter

I want to support what the Authors Guild is doing here. I really do. I believe this “conversation” needs to commence. Writers—particularly writers of the Take Care of Me school—need to understand that their publishers and their agents are not their friends. Those two entities are in business for themselves and will devise contract terms to benefit them. But…

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Business Musings: Some Thoughts on the International Market

This morning, I found out through the magic of Facebook that four of my sf novellas, translated into Italian, are four of the five bestselling titles in my Italian publisher’s bookstore. As I mentioned in my blog on translation a few weeks ago, that’s not due to me. That’s because I have an excellent translator. It’s a good marriage of translator and story, because books […]

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Business Musings: Choices

I’ve been watching the reactions to John Scalzi’s 3.4 million dollar book deal with great interest. If you’re not familiar with this particular news story, it might be because you have a life, and because you were doing something with your family on Memorial Day weekend instead of watching the publishing trades. But this one even made The New York Times in the media section. […]

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Business Musings: Things I Learned (Or Relearned) in 2014

In the past two weeks, I wrote two year-in-review posts, “What Traditional Publishing Learned in 2014,” and “Things Indie Writers Learned in 2014.” Those two posts came after I started this one. I’ve been writing bits of this one off and on since October, as the year has become clearer in my brain. Usually, I do a year-end analysis just for me, and there’s a […]

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The Business Rusch: Where Art Meets Commerce

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably think I make a business decision every time I sit down to write. You might assume that I have audience-tested my ideas and have planned my next works in excruciating market-approved details. And if you think any of that, you would be wrong. When I write, I create, markets be damned. When I’m at my […]

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Recent Free Nonfiction, An Interview, and Great Fiction Sampler

I’m in deadline hell for the next several months, since I took on a project that crammed everything together.  Plus I’m teaching a lot, so I’m unusually busy, even for me. All of that goes a long way to telling you that I’m behind in letting you know the current news and links. My bimonthly column has appeared in The Grantville Gazette. This one is […]

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