Business Musings: Learned Helplessness

I was in the middle of a long blog post about writers licensing the rights to their work when the news broke about Donadio & Olson embezzling from their clients. I stopped what I was working on and wrote a different post, because I finally had public proof of something I’d been saying for years: that important, well-known literary agents mismanage and/or embezzle the monies […]

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Business Musings: What It Feels Like To Have An Agent

If your agent is stealing from you and still paying some of the money, then you might be making a small boatload and to you it feels like a ton of money. If the agent wasn’t there, you would be making a fleet-of-yachts money. But to most writers, most of whom have been poor, a small boatload is a great deal.

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Business Musings: An Agent Nightmare Revealed

The news broke publicly over the holiday weekend. If you blinked, you missed it. The bookkeeper for a prestigious New York literary agency pled guilty to embezzling millions from the agency, leaving the agency “on the brink of bankruptcy.” Donadio & Olson has existed for 49 years. Started by legendary agent Candida Donadio, the agency has represented some of the biggest names in fiction for […]

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Business Musings: The Books We Want To Write

I had an odd little experience recently. I found a book that I wanted to write. Which sounds weird, I know. But what I mean by that is that someone wrote a book that’s tailored just for me. Usually I’m the only one who does that. In fact, that impulse to write a book that I want to read is what gets me to the […]

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Business Musings: Workshop Excitement

Recently, someone asked me why Dean and I continue to teach writing workshops. Most established writers don’t, unless they’re asked to address a college class or spend a week at Clarion. Even then, they’re following someone else’s format, and simply putting their spin on it. Dean and I have developed an entire curriculum, both online and in-person, and we continue to add to it. We […]

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Business Musings: Writers, Publishers, And The Peter Principle

You all have been so wonderful in keeping me up to date on the new stuff that’s happened since I moved. I’m going to get to a bunch of the tips you’ve sent me, but I’m still doing more catch-up than I want. So some future posts will be analysis-heavy and some won’t. Some of the things you’ve sent me have already had others weigh […]

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The Branding Book And A Bargain

In the middle of all of this moving, I managed to finish what I was calling “The Branding Book.” Last spring, I wrote a series of posts on branding for authors, and like so many topics I explore on my publishing blog, this topic grew and grew as people asked questions. You can see the original posts (in a slightly different order) with the comments […]

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Business Musings: Cultural Change And The Traditional Writer

It’s been a heck of a year. Or two years. Or three. So much has been happening—not just in my life, but in the world—that it’s almost impossible to keep up. And here, in the United States, the news cycle moves so fast that a short story I wrote and sold as science fiction almost a decade ago about updating news features every thirty minutes […]

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Business Musings: Schedules and Structure

The in-person Oregon Coast writing workshop ended on Saturday, and worked relatively well, considering all the things we had to do to deal with my unexpected need to remain here in Vegas. Some things worked as usual, and others didn’t. Surprisingly for me, I ended up as tired on Sunday as I usually am when I am talking with everyone in person. I think that […]

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Business Musings: Limitations

In last week’s post (titled “Bread and Cupcakes”) I talked about how businesses need to pick and choose their growth. In it, I discussed knowing when you have enough on your plate. I was talking on the macro level. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessary mean you should do something. This afternoon (Saturday April 14 as I write this), I got smacked with […]

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