Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Nine Worst Provisions in Your Publishing Contract by David P. Vandagriff

The Nine Worst Provisions in Your Publishing ContractThe Nine Worst Provisions in Your Publishing Contract by David P. Vandagriff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

David Vandagriff is a lawyer with a lot of contracts experience, who got interested in publishing when his wife started writing fiction. He's worked with a number of writers on contract issues, and has been collecting contracts from many more writers to keep up with what sorts of contracts are being issued by traditional publishers. He blogs at The Passive Voice, posting mostly links of interest to people in the writing/publishing business, but he's also posted a lot of commentary about publishing contracts and similar matters, from the point of view of a lawyer looking in from the outside at things writers and publishers have taken for granted for decades. Check out his blog, particularly things posted under the "Contracts" category.

In this book, Vandagriff looks at the worst clauses routinely found in publishing contracts, one per chapter:

Your Contract Lasts Forever -- Life of Copyright
No Minimum Performance Standards -- Out of Print
Non-Compete Clauses
Option Clause
Rights Grab
Assignability of Contract without Consent
All Money to the Agent -- Agency Clause
Unlimited Liability
Payment Every Six Months with Reserve for Returns

Each chapter is organized in the following parts:

What is this Provision?
What's the Problem?
What does it look like? (sample language)
How do I fix it?
Rationale for Change
Special Notes

If you work with a traditional publisher, or are considering doing so, I highly recommend you read this book. It's short and to the point, and is easily readable. This isn't some long, dense slog through the legal swamps.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Neil Gaiman on Impostor Syndrome

Ever get the feeling that you're not really all that good at whatever you do? That people who praise you are just being nice, or they don't really get you, and when they figure out how ordinary you are they'll be angry and start sneering?

I feel like that sometimes. I think most people who've found some success do. Neil Gaiman does, and he talks about it in a really excellent Tumblr post. Check it out.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Writing Fantasy Heroes, ed. Jason M. Waltz

Writing Fantasy HeroesWriting Fantasy Heroes edited by Jason M. Waltz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a non-fiction anthology of writing advice from various fantasy authors:

"The Hero in Your Blood" by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
"The Heroic Will" by Cecelia Holland
"Taking a Stab at Writing Sword and Sorcery" by Ian C. Esslemont
"Writing Cinematic Fight Scenes" by Brandon Sanderson
"Watching from the Sidelines" by Cat Rambo
"Man Up: Making Your Hero an Adult" by Alex Bledsoe
"Two Sought Adventure" by Howard Andrew Jones
"Monsters -- Giving the Devils their Due" by C.L. Werner
"NPCs are People Too" by Jennifer Brozek
"Tropes of the Trade" by Ari Marmell
"So You Want to Fight a War" by Paul Kearney
"Shit Happens in the Creation of Story" by Glen Cook
"The Reluctant Hero" by Orson Scott Card

This is a decent book, and I learned a couple of things from it. I think my major disappointment was that it was focused more narrowly than I was expecting. When you say "fantasy heroes," I think of all kinds of protagonists in all kinds of fantasy. In actuality, in this book, most of the contributors interpreted "fantasy heroes" to mean hulking Conan types, the big, barbarian hero who swings a sword and hacks limbs off of bad guys. Okay, that's one kind of hero, but there are a lot of others, most of whom weren't addressed at all.

Orson Scott Card's chapter stepped away from the mighty-thewed barbarian, but even reading that one, I had the impression that it was only a small slice of what he had to say. His chapter was entitled "The Reluctant Hero," and that's where he focused, but he mentioned a couple of other sorts, and I came away with the feeling that I was missing a lot of info. (Much of which is included in Card's other writing books -- he gives great writing advice.)

Paul Kearney's chapter, "So You Want to Fight a War" was useful at the level of how to organize a war at the classic fantasy tech level, so although it wasn't about writing heroes per se, it was still one of my favorite chapters.

Cat Rambo's "Watching from the Sidelines" discusses how and why to write from the POV of a character who's not the one hacking and casting. It's an interesting viewpoint and let me see how that kind of "from the sidelines" POV could be effective in telling a story, so good stuff there.

If you write classic sword and sorcery type fantasy, there's a lot of good, useful stuff here. In general, though, I would wish that the editor had made sure that a broader selection of hero types were discussed. Either that, or made it more clear in the title and/or marketing blurb exactly where the general focus of the book was going to be. My star rating reflects more the marketing disconnect and the disappointment I felt with the narrow range of focus than with the quality of the book over all. For me, as a writer who writes different kinds of fantasy, it was decent but not great. I don't regret reading it; I just wish it had been labelled more clearly.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one. If you want to get an e-mail notification when the listing is posted, get the list a week early, or get a full listing of everything I've found (as opposed to the two months' worth I post here) a week early, you can support my Patreon.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets (if any) are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.


31 May 2017 -- Chiral Mad 4 -- ed. Lucy A. Snyder and Michael Bailey

While previous volumes of Chiral Mad focused more on psychological horror, with most stories having some sort of chiral aspect in plot or character development or structure, Chiral Mad 4 will be open to just about anything, as long as the story has some sort of dark or speculative element. The only required chirality is with the collaboration itself … multiple minds working as one, in other words, to create something entirely new. We want this anthology to be as diverse as humanly possible, and will be looking for stories that bend and blend genres, stories that experiment with structure, and most importantly, stories that are not dependent upon common tropes.

Unlike past Written Backwards projects, this fourth volume in the critically-acclaimed series of anthologies will be a completely collaborative effort of originality, collecting 4 short stories, 4 novelettes, 4 novellas, and 4 graphic adaptations (to celebrate this 4th book), all co-authored and/or co-created. And the anthology itself will also be co-edited!

The goal of Chiral Mad 4 is to help bring our creative community together, to make us stronger, to strengthen relationships already in place, and to help create new relationships entirely. It’s time for all of us to play nice, to get along, and to do what we do best: create somethings out of nothings… and we’re going to create these beautiful somethings together. Have a specific writer/artist you’ve always admired? Well, now’s your chance. Reach out. Ask! That’s all it takes to get started. Find a partner, or two, or three, and start collaborating! The more unique the collaboration, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. The more diverse the collaborations, the better the chances you have of making it into Chiral Mad 4. Now, here’s the hard part: knowing whether or not someone is already collaborating… Email if you have any questions or concerns about this, or to simply email your submission.

While half the anthology will be filled with commissioned works (the book is nearly half-filled already, with a few of the early acceptances announced below), the rest of the anthology is open for submissions for a short period of time. The submission window for non-commissioned contributors closes May 31st, 2017. So get to it! This is a very short window of opportunity.

Acceptances for non-commissioned work will not be announced until after June 30th, 2017, so we ask that we hold onto your work exclusively until then, as each submission will be carefully considered and agreed upon by both editors of this anthology. No simultaneous submissions, please.

What are we looking for?

== 4 short stories (5,000 words max)
== 4 novelettes (10,000 words max)
== 4 novellas (20,000 words max)
== 4 graphic adaptations (1,500 words max, or 10 pages)

Payment will be $.06 per word, capped at the max word counts listed above, split evenly between contributors. Two contributors writing a 5,000-word short story, for example, would split $300, or $150 each. Contributors writing a 10,000-word novelette would evenly split $600. Contributors writing a 20,000-word novella would evenly split $1,200. Graphic adaptations will be determined by the publisher/creators prior to acceptance; these are unique collaborations and payments for such are not as simple to calculate. In fact, 3 of the 4 slots for graphic adaptations are already filled, so please query before submitting. And, as always, contributor copies of each edition are part of the deal. Written Backwards has worked with many illustrators and artists in the past, so if you have a script but not an illustrator/artist lined-up, please let us know and we can arrange one for your story if we fall in love with your script.

So, hopefully all of this gets you excited, gets you eager to reach out to others in our creative community. Chiral Mad 4 is the most ambitious project ever imagined by Written Backwards. Please, be a part of it. Send your work to


1 June 2017 -- Corporate Cthulhu -- Pickman's Press

Of all bureaucracies, corporations are the most powerful, seeming to have a life and will of their own. They're privately held with a multi-national reach, seemingly bottomless resources, and armies of lawyers jealously guarding their trade secrets. Anything and everything is justified by the bottom line. Who needs a Cthulhu Cult when you've got Cthulhu, Inc.?

Into this insidious world are thrust our heroes—the curious, the puzzled, and the frustrated. Defying authority, seeking answers they'd be better off not knowing, the secrets they discover threaten their sanity and their lives. Will they become the next whistleblower media hero? Or disappear, leaving nothing behind but an empty desk and whispered rumors in the break room? Remember: it's nothing personal—just business.

Corporate Cthulhu is a Lovecraftian horror anthology about the intersection of the Cthulhu Mythos and corporations or other large bureaucracies.

This is an OPEN call for submissions—anyone and everyone is free to submit a short story to the slush pile. Feel free to share this with other writers you think might be interested.

What We're Looking For

== Short stories up to 7000 words.

== Original, previously unpublished fiction.

== We're particularly interested in submissions from writers traditionally underrepresented in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. This includes racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with disabilities.

== Stories must include at least a passing connection to the Cthulhu Mythos and/or Lovecraft's other work. The stronger the connection, the more likely the story is to be accepted.

== Stories that make skillful use of Lovecraftian horror themes: insanity, helplessness and hopelessness, inherited guilt, old isolated locations, books of forbidden knowledge, ancient extraterrestrial influences on humanity, the risks of runaway science, civilization vs. barbarism, humanity's insignificance on the cosmic scale of space and time, unanswered questions about what lurks behind the curtain of reality, etc.

== Although we're expecting a lot of stories where management is a cult in disguise (and that's fine!), we encourage writers to think outside the box. Other elements of the business cycle include labor (a union strikes over a bizarre demand) and customers (how far will a struggling company go to meet their biggest customer's increasingly strange requests?).

== Although the primary focus is on corporate bureaucracies, ANY large private-sector bureaucracy is fair game. This could include (among others) charities, nonprofits, NGOs, private universities, for-profit hospitals, labor unions, large churches, fraternal organizations, youth groups, etc.

== Stories set in any time period during the modern industrial capitalist era (roughly 1800 on up). Query first for stories set in other time periods.

== Comedies, parodies, and/or satires are acceptable.

What We're NOT Looking For

== Romances or erotica.

== Stories under 2000 words or over 7000 words.

== Stories taking place in governmental or other public-sector bureaucracies. As much fun as it may be to have Cthulhu running the IRS, save those ideas for a later Political Cthulhu anthology.


If selected, authors will receive $0.03 cents per word for original, previously unpublished fiction. Original fiction strongly preferred; query first for reprints. In the unlikely event that we do accept a reprint, payment will be $0.01 cent per word. Publication is dependent on a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. There will be no kill fees.


Exclusive global English first print and digital rights for one year, and nonexclusive print and digital rights for term of copyright. All other rights are reserved to the author.


Stories should follow the format laid out in the submission guidelines; if not, it may be automatically rejected. Submissions should be emailed to with the story included as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, and must be received no later than midnight, Central Standard Time, June 1st, 2017. The email subject should read [Submissions: Story Title by Author Name]. If accepted, minor edits and revisions may be requested. The Kickstarter campaign will begin after the stories have been selected.


30 June 2017 -- Welcome to Miskatonic University -- Broken Eye Books

Miskatonic University is still going strong in the Arkham Valley (and in various satellite campuses and research stations around the world). Resilient and forward thinking, few institutions can weather the times and adapt like good ol' MU. It's a strange brew of conservatively reaching into the past while progressively marching forward. And it's a hotbed for the weird and the wonderful!

So what might a modern MU look like? What might student life be like today? These tales combine college life and the cosmic weird. Of course, there's beer, sex, and parties; study groups and all-night cramming; campus activism and impassioned discourse; vital research and faculty struggling for tenure. But also, you know, gruesome and psychedelic cosmic weirdness.

What avenues of study has the university sanctioned either publicly or privately? Where are they getting so much funding? The university's been around the block and are at the bleeding edge of certain realms of research. Occult studies have seeped, seemingly innocuously, into various branches of nearly all academic departments and inform everything from quantum physics to computer science, sociology to modern American literature. Library studies is hands down the best, most advanced in the world, likely one of the most well funded of sectors at the institution with ever-evolving safeguards and best practices.

But there's bound to be lingering effects from all the occult activity, like "sensitive" people and locations with breaches to the "other side." People disappear all the time; sometimes they even come back. Entire wings are off limits to humans indefinitely. As a whole, this anthology is about the angst and drama of college life, the promise of big occult ideas, and the terror and dread (and headfirst exploration) of the unknown, of the forbidden. And some dark humor would not be misplaced.

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for the weird. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.)

== We want weird fiction set in a modern-day Miskatonic University. Stories should be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted views on race and gender.
== Subversive or experimental stories are welcome.
== No pastiches of previous eras.
== Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
== Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English.
== Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
== Only one submission per author.
== We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.

Submit your story in standard manuscript format as an attachment to submissions(at)brokeneyebooks(dot)com with a subject line of the following: [WTMU] "Your Story Title".

Submission window open from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. (We are working on streamlining our review process. We will start reading submissions in May after making headway into Ride the Star Wind edits. We cannot confirm receipt of your manuscript.) The published anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit.


We're trying to present a living, breathing setting for MU. There's no requirement or even request for any coordination of story details. We just ask that you avoid the more world-ending (or even university-ending) plots. Sure, people will die, just as new faculty is hired and new students fill empty seats. Buildings will crumble or disappear into wormholes, but there is always new construction. Monsters will come and go, sometimes with fanfare and sometimes not; some even stick around as lab specimens, secret pets, lazing in the sewers, or disguised as faculty. But above all, Miskatonic University persists.

For this anthology, Miskatonic University is assumed to be a fully modern, multicultural hotbed of cutting edge occult and technological research. In this modern incarnation, we're assuming that it has fully embraced modern technology and norms and has both a faculty and student body thriving with personalities from all walks of life (no matter race, religion, gender, or anything [so it's not just a bunch of white dudes])--and it's been that way for at least decades. Of course, the institution will have its secrets and likely everyone there has their own agendas as well. So while there could certainly be your occasional reactionary character pining for the "old days," those characters are not the norm. Hope that helps!

Content & Style:

Rape: Avoid rape, especially that intended only to demonize villains or raise heroes to action. Avoid rape victims serving only as plot devices. And on the instances when rape is vital to a story, we need to see the victim's reactions, their journey after, the consequences. We prefer characters to have agency, not just be plot points and set pieces. If those considerations are unattainable in the writing, no rape. Also, no bestiality or child abuse.

Sex: Sex between consenting adults is perfectly welcome, regardless of gender, including with aliens and monsters. It doesn't need to be tasteful, just consensual (though we're not currently shopping for stories that are solely erotica). Incest, however, should be treated with the same considerations as rape (see above).

Hate: Vile, hate-filled (such as racist or sexist) characters/speech, that which could promote such hate, should not be reflective of the entire work. Any such characters should not be portrayed as narrators; such speech should not be adopted by the narrator. Such topics would be of interest to us if well navigated, as in LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom.

Style & Theme: We are happy to consider subversive themes, marginalized voices, and experimental styles.

Editorial: We will edit your work in collaboration with you and "in broad daylight" in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style and our experience. We are always open to discussion.

Current Tropes to Avoid: Forced Motherhood; Chosen One.


15 July 2017 -- Strange Beasties -- Third Flatiron

Slipstream. Are you itching to invent your own odd literary devices or creatures? Impress us, delight us, or scare us with the diversity of your fiendish creations. Creatures of the id don't necessarily have to be monsters, but they do need to be strange.

Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We want tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme.

Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something illuminating to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, mild horror, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Inquire if longer.

Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We want to showcase some of the best new shorts available today.

For each anthology, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the "Shouts and Murmurs" feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.


31 July 2017 -- Chthonic: Weird Tales of Inner Earth -- Martian Migraine Press

Pelucidar. The Hollow Earth. DEROS, and the Shaver Mysteries. Blue-litten K'n-yan, red Yoth, and black, lightless N’kai. The Amigara Fault. Derinkuyu. Agartha. The world (and worlds) below. Inner earth, a near infinite space of vast, echoing potential … our (possible?) birthplace, and the place where we all return, either as corpses, or something other? … the churning, chaotic underworld, and true home of all that is weird, unconscious, and forbidden. Descend with us in this anthology of weird fiction; descend to the realms CHTHONIC.

We are looking for weird fiction that explores the mystique and terror of caverns, abyssal spaces, and subterranean worlds. As with previous MMP anthologies, we will be including a seed story from H. P. Lovecraft’s oeuvre (in this case, The Rats in the Walls, though many of his stories went underground). We want to see bizarre civilizations, mind-boggling physical and biological phenomena, horrific rituals, mad science and madder sorcery. We want to feel the tunnel floors beneath our feet shake with the passage of beasts, machines, and gods that have never seen the light of the sun; sentient oils, intelligent muck, living rock, molemen, formless spawn and Efts of the Prime, worms, Dholes, and ghastlier things. But CHTHONIC won’t be just a serving of pop culture “surface” material, if you’ll pardon the pun. We like to see stories with depth (oh god, another one, sorry!); emotional and psychological explorations of the internal spaces of the human mind and soul, as well as the ground below. Write us stories that induce crushing claustrophobia or open us wide to new dimensions of thought and being. If your story can do both, so much the better.

Final story count for the anthology will be determined based on quality and number of submissions. CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth will be released as a softcover paperback and as an electronic book in multiple formats.

Submission period closes JULY 31, 2017. The anthology will be released in early December of 2017.


Please use Standard Manuscript format when submitting. That’s double spaced, left justified, Times New Roman or Courier or something at least readable, a header on the first page (at least) with your author info and word count and… well, you know the drill. RTF or DOC files preferred, but DOCx and text files also accepted. Obviously, you could send us something that’s not in Standard Manuscript format, but it will lower your chances of it being looked at seriously.

We will look at both original work and REPRINTS.

To submit a story to CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth send an e-mail (with the story file attached, not in the body of the email) to:, with subject line: "CHTHONIC, [title of your story] [your name]".


For short fiction, we’d like to see anything from 1,500 to 7,000 words.

FLASH FICTION: got something under 1500 words? Send it in. However, the following still applies…



All accepted submissions will be paid .03CAD per word, via Paypal, as well as two contributor copies (paperback) of the anthology, and copies in all electronic formats (mobi, EPUB, and PDF). Authors are also entitled to electronic copies of three additional Martian Migraine Press titles of their choosing.

Replies and Queries

We will try to acknowledge receipt of your submission within a week of its arrival in our inbox. The submission period itself will close on July 31, 2017 and we should be responding to all submissions, yes or no, throughout the submission period and no later than August 2017. We do our best to ensure that all submissions are contacted and kept up-to-date, but sometimes items fall through cracks, so, if you haven’t heard from us by September 15 2017, please query.


31 July 2017 -- Sharp and Sugar Tooth -- Upper Rubber Boot Books

Announcing an open call for submissions for Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good, an anthology of dark, speculative fiction, edited by Octavia Cade and to be published by Upper Rubber Boot Books in late 2018 or early 2019.

Sharp & Sugar Tooth is looking for creepy, seductive stories about the dark side of culinary life. The emphasis should be on the preparation, or the consumption, of food—horrifying, mouth-watering stories that make us hungry despite ourselves.

Sharp & Sugar Tooth is part of Upper Rubber Boot’s in the Women Up To No Good anthology series, so subversive, diverse stories with protagonists who identify as girls/women are appreciated. We want these characters in the kitchen—and out of it—using their butcher knives and baking skills to create meals that are dark and lovely and empowering, because consumption has a dangerous and tempting taste…

Stories can be any variety of fantasy or science fiction, provided the element of horror is present. Strong language and sex is no problem, but we’re not interested in torture-porn of humans or animals (regardless of whether they end up on a plate).

== Word/page count: Up to 5,000 words/story.
== Payment: six cents per word.
== Publication history: Original stories only. Reprints may be submitted by invitation only.
== Multiple submissions: No.
== Simultaneous submissions: No.
== Deadline: 31 July 2017. All stories will be replied to by the end of August.
== To submit: Please send stories in standard manuscript format, attached in .doc or .rtf files, to with the subject line SUGAR TOOTH. Be sure to provide mailing address and a short bio.
== If the work is a translation, please also provide a statement from the rightsholder that you are authorized to translate and submit it (both author and translator will receive full payment).

Authors must identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity.

We encourage and welcome stories from voices underrepresented in speculative fiction, including (but not limited to) writers of color, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities, and writers in translation.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Becoming an Every Day Novelist by J. Daniel Sawyer

Becoming an Every Day NovelistBecoming an Every Day Novelist by J. Daniel Sawyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a few novels under my belt, but I'm always interested in what other writers have to say about the writing process. You never know when someone else is going to come up with some tricks, tips, or points of view that might come in handy, or make you think about something in a new way. And sometimes, even when you already knew something, hearing it restated can make you take another look at it, or just remind you of something you haven't thought about for a while.

There's a lot of that in Dan Sawyer's Becoming an Every Day Novelist.

The book is organized as 30 days' worth of advice, with the idea that you'll be writing a novel in 30 days. You might be doing NaNoWriMo, or you might be doing your own personal novel-in-a-month challenge, or maybe you just want some help getting your head down and developing the work habits and work pace that'll give you a shot at becoming a full time fiction writer. However you're coming at this, I think you'll find a lot of value in how Dan presents the material.

Each day's advice is tailored to where you probably are in your novel, if you're reading along as you write. There's info on how to get started, what elements you need (beginning with the "a character, in a setting, with a problem" approach), how to handle sections that are often problematic (getting through the middle, powering up to the climax, finding your ending), and discussions on how to carve out the time to write every day, what to do when life prevents you from writing for a while, and how to keep your writing habit from destroying various parts of your body.

[There are some minor glitches here and there, some spellcheckitis, and one really obvious formatting oops, but nothing that makes a line or paragraph hard to understand, which is what's really important. Not enough to deduct a star for.]

There was a lot here I was familiar with (Dan and I have some of the same mentors) but reading it was valuable anyway, and I expect to reread this at least once or twice. Good stuff -- highly recommended.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

About Audio

Dan Sawyer, a guy I know who's been doing audio for a long time -- from audiobooks to movie soundtracks -- did an interview with Joanna Penn on audiobook production, distribution and sales recently. I finally got around to reading it, and it's good stuff. (Joanna does a podcast, but she also posts a transcript, so you can listen or read, whichever you prefer.)

They talk about a lot of different audiobook-related subjects. Here's a chunk of one that made me sit up and think:

Your copyright on any work, and any work meaning finished form, applies to the finished form and everything contained in it, including derivative rights, transcription rights, everything else.


There's a lot of stuff that's been ferreted out by case law, but it all reinforces that principle. Things like audio rights are not a single right, they're a basket of rights that can be as multiferous as how you define that and what the market will bear. Currently, there's about 36 different kinds of audio rights that have proven market viability.

And you get those by adding on one axis the number of readers, on another axis the style of production, and on a third axis the level of abridgment, and on a fourth, the level of adaptation. Each of those has a couple of viable options in the current marketplace and you multiply them together, you get 36 potential forms of audiobook.

Even if you never plan to produce your own audiobooks, or directly hire someone to produce one for you, knowing about the rights involved is vital if you're signing contracts with, say, a traditional publisher that wants audio rights. There's a lot there, so if your publisher wants the whole kaboodle, make sure they're compensating you for it.

There's a lot of good stuff here. Read/hear the rest at Joanna Penn's blog.

Also, Dan wrote a book for folks who want to do their own audiobooks, or who want to know about what goes into it so they can be informed consumers when they hire someone to do an audiobook for them. It's called Making Tracks, and he just last month released an updated second edition. Check it out.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Release -- No Humans Allowed

An anthology called No Humans Allowed, edited by John Helfers, has just released. I have a story in it called "The Scent of Murder." It's an SF mystery where an alien troubleshooter has a problem. The Terran captain of a trading ship has suffered a catastrophic fluid rupture and died while docked at an Yzantris station. Thinker of Useful Ideas Yazvoras is on a deadline to figure out who murdered the human before the Terran ambassador claims the crime scene and has it removed. The time limit is completely unreasonable, but aliens are often incomprehensible. And as the Yzantris say, the world is. No Humans Allowed is part of the Fiction River anthology series by WMG Publishing.

This one was a lot of fun to write for. John wanted stories where the protagonist wasn't human. They couldn't have been formerly human either, so no vampires or ghosts or zombies or anything like that. Writing from a non-human point of view is a challenge, and it can take some time to figure out what I want to do and get into the proper mindset, but once I have that, it's a blast to write. I hope you enjoy reading it. :)

* * *

Humans prove great fodder for fiction. But what about the universe of possibilities offered by the nonhuman protagonist? The eighteen daring humans of Fiction River’s latest volume explore just that. From a goblin who must choose whether to risk everything for love to a heroic rat adventuring at sea to sentient underpants (yes, underpants), these nonhuman tales demonstrate why Adventures Fantastic says: “If you haven’t checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There’s something for everyone.”

This volume contains….

“In the Beginnings” by Annie Reed
“At His Heels a Stone” by Lee Allred
“In the Empire of Underpants” by Robert T. Jeschonek
“The Sound of Salvation” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Goblin in Love” by Anthea Sharp
“Slime and Crime” by Michèle Laframboise
“Always Listening” by Louisa Swann
“Here I Will Dance” by Stefon Mears
“Rats at Sea” by Brenda Carre
“Sense and Sentientability” by Lisa Silverthorne
“When a Good Fox Goes to War” by Kim May
“The Game of Time” by Felicia Fredlund
“The Scent of Murder” by Angela Penrose
“Still-Waking Sleep” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Inhabiting Sweetie” by Dale Hartley Emery
“The Legend of Anlahn” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“Sheath Hopes” by Thea Hutcheson
“We, The Ocean” by Alexandra Brandt

PS -- "Empire of Underpants" is great! :D

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