Recommended Reading List: August, 2021

I threw out a book of essays in August. I mean literally tossed the book in the trash. The book was considered one of the best books of 2019 by a whole bunch of mainstream literary reviewers, all of whom are on my suspect list now. The book is exceedingly well written. The author writes about all the awful things she’s seen in her life…and […]

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Business Musings: Writing Screenplays (Hollywood Part 3)

The short version of this post: Don’t. Just don’t. Don’t write screenplays, even if someone tells you “you’ll make more money if you do.” The medium version of this post: Write screenplays only if you want to work in Hollywood. Otherwise, write the next book. The long version of this post: Brace yourselves, and settle in for the read. Before I go any farther, let […]

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Business Musings: Content, Content, Content (Hollywood Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I got a survey from the Global Licensing Group, the people in charge of the Las Vegas Licensing Expo. They wanted to know my opinion (and probably hundreds of other people’s opinions) about content. Is it important? Why is it important? How should I/we/they handle it? Oh, and am I a content provider (licensor) or someone who licenses content (licensee)? I […]

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Business Musings: A Cautionary Tale (Hollywood Part 1)

I’m starting a tiny new series because of everything that’s been in the news of late. But first, let me give you a caveat. For decades, Dean and I have said “Hollywood” when we really mean the film and/or TV industry. That word wasn’t accurate 30 years ago; it’s less accurate now. The industry has mushroomed. It’s not even one industry anymore. You can do […]

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Business Musings: The Kickstarted Game Changer (Part Two)

For decades publishing has been a stagnated industry, relying on fifty- and sixty-year-old methods to sell books. Most of the practices within the industry are also at least fifty or sixty years old. Sure, the industry has made some modifications to accommodate innovation, like the ebook, but those are minor tweaks. Those tweaks do not take into account the actual changes in the world. What […]

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Business Musings: Time and Money (Again)

And so it begins. I received three different emails this week from writers, wondering what to do about delayed or non-payment. These writers are smart enough to ask. I have no idea how many others aren’t asking at all, but believing all will be Just Fine Eventually. At the end of April, I wrote a blog post titled “The Trainwreck.” It’s mostly about traditional publishing, […]

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Business Musings: Paradigm Shift (Rethinking The Writing Business Part 16)

I knew, when we planned this year’s Business Master Class, that bringing in a representative from the Global Licensing Group would be essential for the business-minded writers who were attending. I did not realize how essential. One of the reasons it was so essential was Deidre Manna-Bratten herself. She came in as prepared as a non-writer could be to explain licensing to a bunch of […]

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Business Musings: Three Kinds of Writers (Rethinking The Writing Business Part 14)

In the middle of September, an article on Medium.com went viral. In an article titled “How To Lose A Third of A Million Dollars Without Really Trying,” the writer managed to blame everyone but herself for her stunning ignorance of the business of writing and publishing. I wouldn’t normally link to that kind of ignorance, but I feel it’s important here, for this blog post, […]

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Business Musings: Outrage Fatigue

Every time I log onto my Twitter feed, everyone is screaming at everyone else about something. Even my go-to writers are angry right now. I logged onto #Caturday last Saturday, terrified that the silly cat pictures had devolved into some kind of war between Siamese and tortoise shells, but I haven’t found that so far. Although this photo gave me a moment of concern: Granted, […]

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Business Musings: An Example of Writerly Cluelessness (Negotiation/Contracts)

The universe keeps giving me excellent examples of things I try to teach on this blog. When I wrote a recent post titled “Knowing What You Want,”  that example was one of the first positive examples I had found on how to negotiate. Today’s post does not contain a positive example, I’m afraid. It’s an example of something I stress over and over again, but […]

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