They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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All Right, Who's Running This World?

One of my interests is, of course, breaking into the exciting world of SF authorship. Advice abounds as to how to do this, and I attended Clarion in 2004 to improve my writing and learn from some professionals more about the business of SF publishing. All very good. But then there are the wackos -- and I think they're gaining on us lately.

In True Blogosphere Fashion...

... the links I am going to reference here may not be either where I originally found them, or where the topic originated, but where there are also the most interesting comments and additional links. While some of these aren't actually SF, the theory is the same either way.

New Authors = Prey

The mantra I've heard and read repeatedly the last few years is "Money always goes TO the author, not the other way." That hasn't stopped a whole industry of predatory agents, editors, book doctors, publishers, vanity publishers and now POD publishers, who will cheerfully tell you how wonderful you are and tell you that all you need do is buy this service, pay this fee or work with this referral, and success will be yours. Some of these are out-and-out scams, which will never publish anything for you, but will bleed you until you give up or they skulk away in the night and reform their business elsewhere. Some of these actually do offer services and printed books, but other than the satisfaction of seeing your words in between covers and printed by someone else (usually at your expense), you're not "really published" in the sense that any major SF reviewer or bookstore is going to deal with your work -- and as we shall see, doesn't really count here.

So Writers Beware has put on the web a list, which Making Light cites, of the Dumbest of the Twenty Worst Agents. The dumb part comes in because one of these notorious people is sending messages all around to Cease and Desist for libel. Here's the thing about legal notices -- have a lawyer send them, don't send them yourself. Unless any self-respecting lawyer tells you that you haven't got a leg to stand on, and then no one is going to believe you.

Hey, It's MY Idea -- I Only Just Used Your Characters And Setting...

I've already mentioned the case of the Star Wars fanfic novel that the author tried to sell on This has generated such scorn and commentary that I'll list a couple of places to go for more details:

John Scalzi Part I, then The Author's Website (may be down) and interview, scalding comments about the book itself. It wouldn't be so bad, except the author also says she's an editor and publisher -- boy do I not want HER at the protector of MY copyright. (grin). You can also poke around that website and find out about the poetry of Ravi Shankar...

Finally, but probably not, John Scalzi Part II deals with another blogger, in what turns out to be a side discussion.

Then There's This...

Which actually isn't about publishing, but it's about a gutless hotel hosting an SF convention: John Scalzi and Dave Klecha and a discussion about "Tea Time" in SF at Penguicon 4.0 this past weekend near Detroit. Seems the hotel didn't want "War" to be talked about in a public room. So the clever SF panelists and fans used codewords (War = Tea Time) and held the panel anyway. They promise audio or a transcript Real Soon Now.

But Wait! There's More!

Today's outrage has to do with what I can only call a Pre-Book Doctor, "a packager who helped the author to develop her fiction ideas". WTF? An author who can't figure out what to write for their FIRST novel? Next you're going to tell me that many celebrities don't actually write their own books (or apparently in some cases, read them). (grin) But then the Harvard Crimson reports that this author is a plagiarist, or so it seems.

Writers Beware! You have been warned...

Dr. Phil

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