Friday, June 17, 2011

Signal Received?

I don't know who's actually reading this blog, but whatever, it's more for keeping people up to date if they need somewhere to go to do that.

Right now I'm in a holding period (hence Fallout: New Vegas, which I'm still playing but can now successfully stop doing for five minutes) with my writing. Book 5 is at Ulysses Press, and they have another two weeks to decide if they want to buy it, and also if they want to buy the other five books in a bundle, which is always on the table. It's cheaper for them (there's always a risk that the advance money will be higher if you buy book by book) and a load off my mind, but it's also a huge commitment by them as publishers, so we'll see.

I was really OK with the wait for the first two weeks, and now I'm getting closer to going crazy. Normally I am pretty adjusted to waits, because publishing is all about that. Waiting to hear back from agents. Waiting to hear back from publishers. Wanting for the contract. Waiting for the book to come out. Waiting for the royalty statement. Waiting for the check to clear accounting and get to me. But every once in a while, it gets to me.

Publishing is crazy. If I don't sell a book, I only get paid twice a year, when the publisher reports royalties and provides a check if I've earned royalties (which I always do, thanks guys!). If I sell a book, there's an advance check, which is split up sometimes over the signing of contract and the publication, so you get a $1500 check once and then another like 10 months later. Or they split it up three ways: contract signing, delivery of manuscript to the publisher, publication. That hasn't happened to me yet because my advances haven't been big enough for the publishers to use that to hold on to the money for longer; publishers love holding on to money for as long as possible. It's part of their business model. Eventually I will get my money - emphasis on eventually.

I was once at WorldCon, a sci-fi convention with a lot of writers, and someone told me an old adage about writers: "Amateurs talk about craft. Professionals talk about money." Which I've found to be pretty true. I don't have much to say about the craft of writing. I sit down, I write, usually starting around midnight. Either I need to do it because I have a story in me or I don't, and then I go do something else like paint while watching movies until 5 am. I don't think that much about it. It's a physical need, something I have to do because I have a story in my head, or I don't have a story and I don't need to do it. It's like thinking about breathing - people don't think too much about breathing. I don't think too much about writing. This paragraph might seriously be the longest amount of time I've ever spent talking about it on a pure craft level.

Reminder: If you would like a review copy of The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy, email me. The same goes for the upcoming anthology The Road to Pemberley, which I put together with Ulysses, but the book will not be available until the first week of July.

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