Sunday, March 17, 2013

This has been an odd week.

So usually, as alert readers of this blog know, I have a little news-about-me section, and then a longer post about something that I figure people actually want to read about.  And this week I've got tons of topics that deserve a whole blog post, to wit:
  1. John Scalzi's withering take-down of Random House's contract for its new Hydra imprint, which was at least partly responsible for the publisher's revision of the contract terms (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, of which Scalzi is president, also threatened to de-list Hydra from its qualified professional markets on the basis of the original contract). Scalzi has put together a list of his posts on the subject here; I recommend reading "New Writers, Ebook Publishers, and the Power to Negotiate" in particular.
  2. Unfortunately, the PublishAmerica class-action suit I wrote about last year has been dismissed -- but another is in the works.  The same law firm that's looking into Author Solutions' deceptive practices (and if you've been a victim of any of their imprints, please go here and let them know) has filed an amended complaint against PublishAmerica.  Fingers crossed that this suit doesn't meet the same fate as the previous one.  Both Author Solutions and PublishAmerica have been raking in money for decades by preying on naive newbie authors.  It's time they were stopped.
  3. Or I could talk about all the other people out there who would like to part indie authors from their money.  One example is eBookPlus, which Rich Meyer wrote about this week on Indies Unlimited.  They want to bring down the cost of e-books (isn't that nice of them?) by inserting ads into each book.  Specifically, they want to put an ad at the beginning of every chapter.  Yeah, no.
But I'm just not going to have time to cover any of those things the way I'd like to, because this week I need to talk about me.  Damn the luck anyhow.

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On Tuesday, Seized was named a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.  To recap what that means: Amazon cut off entries at 10,000 books.  Of those 10,000 entries, we're now down to 500 -- and Seized is one of them.  It's heartening and humbling at the same time.  You can read the excerpt here; feel free to add your comments.  Semifinalists (just 25, aieee!) will be announced April 16th.

Speaking of heartening/humbling, I received word this weekend that Seized is up for another award: the Big Al's Books and Pals Reader's Choice award.  This one, I need your help with.  Voting opens tomorrow and runs for two weeks.  I'll post the link to the ballot on my Facebook page and G+ profile as soon as I have it, and I'd be very pleased if y'all would then click through and vote for Seized.

I'm also gearing up for my presentation on indie publishing to the Indianapolis chapter of Sisters in Crime next weekend.  If you happen to be riding the Amtrak Cardinal from DC to Indy on Friday, look for me.  I'll be in coach, trying to sleep....

If all that's not enough, this is launch week for Gravid.  On Wednesday, I'm trying something different -- I'm trading posts with another author.  Cheryl Kaye Tardif has a new book out called Submerged.  It's a thriller, but it has some paranormal elements, and you guys are an eclectic bunch anyway.  So I'm going to post a Q&A with her here while she hands her blog over to me for a guest post.  I know that Wednesday is an odd day for a post at hearth/myth, but I hope y'all will stop by and say hi.  Oh, she's running a contest, too.

And so am I!  Three, count 'em, three contests:
  1. At Goodreads, I'm handing out an autographed set of the first three Pipe Woman Chronicles books.  There's a link over to the left.  Contest ends Wednesday.
  2. Same-same at LibraryThing. Their giveaway list is harder to navigate (I couldn't figure out how to link to my specific contest), but I tell you what, if you're looking for the best odds, as of this writing I've got 24 entries at LibraryThing and more than 100 at Goodreads.  Just sayin'.
  3. Right here.  I've got two very cool holographic bookmarks up for grabs -- one with a black panther and one with a leopard (which is the closest I could get to a jaguar -- apologies to you purists). What the picture doesn't show is the way the leopard stands out from the background, and the way the panther jumps closer to you when you move the bookmark back and forth.  Oh, and I'm throwing in a $10 gift card to the e-bookseller of your choice -- Amazon, B&N, Kobo or Smashwords.
Good luck!

The Rules (sorry, gotta have 'em):
  1. Friends and family may definitely enter.
  2. Winners from my previous contests may win again. 
  3. Someone will win.  I am getting this stuff out of my house, one way or the other.
  4. As always, the judge's decisions are arbitrary, capricious, and final.

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