Why Agents as Publishers is Just Plain Wrong

Trident Media group has decided to become a publisher of its clients' ebooks. (You can read about it here and elsewhere.)

As DWS has made clear, this is a conflict of interest. Period. I can understand authors who have been trad pubbed for a long while being afraid or hesitant to upload their own stuff; they might be Luddites for all I know. (Hmm...Luddite...a gold star word, heh. :-))

But as many self pubbers (myself included) have shown, formatting and uploading ebooks really isn't that hard. Pay attention to the Smashwords formatting guide, and uploading shouldn't be all that stressful. (Although it still makes me shake my head when I see so many people on Kindleboards pulling out their hair with all of their uploading problems; boggles my mind.)

You can even do your own covers if you have a graphics background or have a minimal amount of money. That's what I originally did, and what I still intend to do with any short stories I put up.

Can't do the covers or are afraid to do it? No problem. There are plenty of artists out there willing to do very nice covers for a decent amount of money, and they'll even let you pay in increments. (Imagine that! All you have to do is ask, like I did. :-))

Won't do the formatting and upload thing? There are companies offering flat fee services out there where formatting is one of a few different things they do; you choose and pay once. And again, ASK if you can pay in increments (the installment plan), because a lot of these start ups will try to accommodate you.

No commissions forever and ever. Pay one price, and you're done. You're happy, the company you engaged is happy.

Agents as publishers? First of all, how many agents are tech savvy? What about blurbs, etc? Agents are going to need to go to similar people/organizations for editing, tech stuff, writing blurbs - all the same things that self pubbers are ALREADY doing.

And, the pissy part of this is that the agents are going to get their 15% cut - and more, I have no doubt. After they've nickeled and dimed their clients up the wazoo, how much of the royalties will be left for the author, the creator of the content, hmm? A ton less than if those authors did it themselves. Even if those authors contracted for different services, they wouldn't have to worry about giving away a percentage of their earnings to agent for the life of an ebook. (Ebooks are forever, right?)

I know, I know - I've kind of gone on a long time about this. But when I see a couple of people talking about this sort of thing as being not so bad, I can't help but be angry about it.

Why should authors give up so much of their royalties after they've put in all that work? It makes no sense to me. At all.

Agents have to survive, so I understand they want to try something, anything to stay relevent.

Except they're doing it on the backs of hard-working writers, a lot of whom won't know about BOHICA. After all, it's something they've had to do in order to survive this far in their writing careers.




Life Intrudes; Cover for 2nd Book

The past couple of weeks have been nothing short of exhausting. Besides having to deal with some personal crap (which I won't go into) and the explosion of work at my temp job, I've been going nuts.

The personal side has quieted down, and I expect the office side to quiet down soon.

The Second in the Series

Obviously, I missed the production date for Night Terrors (in case you  hadn't noticed ;-)) because of - all of the above. I'm trying to wrap up the last few edits now, and should have the book uploaded by the end of this week (which is still September on my calendar).

However...I haven't touched the description/blurb/whatever as yet, and will be taking a stab at it over the next day. Will it be any good? Probably not, but I'll give it my best.

Funny how the title came about. I was driving home from work when the announcer of whatever radio station I was listening to happened to talk about his (very) young son having...wait for it...night terrors. Poor little thing! (Except the night terrors in the story are anything but little...)

I'll leave you with this cover by the talented and lovely Harris Channing:


New Cover is Finalized!

The new cover for Changing Faces has been finalized:


The lovely Harris Channing provided the cover, after I gave her some ideas.

Did I say I love this cover? :-) I love all the covers Ms. Channing provided, and heartily recommend her. Her rates are reasonable, and she's currently looking for clients; of course, that's always subject to change. (She already has a few covers up; check them out.)


Where Were You 10 Years Ago Today?

I suppose most bloggers are going to reflect today, 9/11, 10 years later.

The First Plane

I was home on 9/11/2001, recuperating from surgery. I was scheduled to see the doctor the next day, for the okay to go back to work. After being on short-term disability for a few weeks, I was antsy to get back to the office.

I was flipping through the TV channels until I happened upon a news broadcast - showing the first tower already on fire. It was freaky and unusual enough for me to call my husband and tell him about it. He was away from his desk; he called me a few minutes later.

The Second Plane

I had nothing else to do, so I kept flipping around, but kept coming back to the local news channels. I don't know which one I was watching, but as the smoke grew bigger around the first tower, I couldn't change the channel.

And then it happened.

The second plane came in from the right side of the screen. I freaked. "What? No, no, can't you see the building?" Those were my first thoughts, not knowing what really was going on...

It wasn't until I spoke to my husband just after the second plane hit, that I realized - and not until after my husband actually said, "We're under attack" - he was right.

Life would never be the same.

The Third Plane

The third plane originally took off from Newark, New Jersey, it flew over where my husband was then at work...and all those aboard perished, deciding to take down the evil turds who wanted to visit more death and destruction in Washington, DC. The plane went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in a field.

Brave, brave souls.

The New Normal

My brain just refused to accept the fact that terrorists would attack the U.S.; how could that happen?

But it did. And we no longer feel safe. Up until that point, I was under the delusion that the U.S. was secure, that we were immune to this sort of hatred, this sort of violence.

My feeling of security - and that of many others - was shattered that day.


Ebook Covers

I'm certainly not going to pretend I'm a graphic artist; I don't even play one on TV. :-) But I was having a hell of a time coming up with an idea for the 3rd book of the series, and one day, out of sheer boredom (or maybe it was curiosity), I decided to check out some of the cover designers who were having sales on ready-made covers.

I looked through a couple of them, and then one really struck me as, well, just right for the 3rd book, Demon Daughter.

Then I decided, hey, why not? I'll ask the cover person if she can do the other two covers in the series; I'll still do the covers on any short stories or short story collections, because I can't see spending the dough on stuff that's that short.

I figured with my luck, she wouldn't be available at all or until sometime next year.


She's just starting up doing the ebook cover thing, and we agreed to a price. (Nice rates, BTW. Very doable, even for an impoverished person like me, lol. :-)) Made it into an installment plan, so I wouldn't have to pay it all upfront.

I want to get the okay about naming her in a post (because I think she does very good work and deserves to have more people ask for her services), but for the time being, let me show you the new prototype cover for the first in the series, Changing Faces:

As I said, this is just a prototype, although it's mostly done. I've just asked her to consider other fonts and make one small change to the graphic.

I love it! The little image you see in the eyeball is a hand holding a dagger (which she cropped out from something I bought the license for); she added a drop of blood to the dagger, which I thought was a nice touch.

I hoping to get this uploaded by the middle to the end of this month, and, hopefully, get the 2nd book's cover uploaded (once I FINALLY get done with the editing on that one; I've fallen behind. ::sigh::).

Did I say I loved this cover? Yeah.