It’s Tuesday after the 40th annual Norwescon, held in beautiful and scenic Seatac. While it’s fresh in my mind, I thought I’d jot down a few notes since there had been some interest in things I learned.
I got curious recently, and poked at some numbers for ebook sales. I often wonder whether there’s value in not caving and using Amazon exclusively. Amazon has some perks for people who only publish ebooks through them. You appear in Amazon Unlimited, Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, and get better royalties in some international markets.
But I’ve avoided doing it because it means aiding a monopoly, and it doesn’t sit right for me.
I’ve generally known that my stuff on Amazon sells better, but I don’t usually bother do do an extensive comparison. But here’s a look at 2016 numbers. I’m sharing it here in case anyone is curious.
Today I got a slap in the face for not being more scrupulous about third-party services and Terms of Service Agreements. I don’t have any recourse, so all I can do at this point is share my experience and hope others learn from my lesson.
Shilling is a crappy part of being a writer. Or publisher even, since I technically qualify as that too. I really hate doing it, and when I do shill I try to do it in respectful, non-spammy ways.
I also make no money as a writer and even less as a publisher. So there are obviously some flaws to how I market.
Still, nothing turns me off more than strangers randomly trying to mass network with me. I wouldn’t even think I was worth shmoozing, but it does happen once in a blue moon. (A friend and I were approached after we were on a panel at a tiny convention by someone who wanted to press their business card on us. I had no idea what to do.) Even my tiny little zine, Mad Scientist Journal, gets a bit of spamming from people who don’t know me but want to team up or something.
This weekend represented the first convention I attended in which I got to appear as a panelist. RustyCon is one of the smaller conventions in the Seattle area that caters to the general fan community. The impression I got is that they consider themselves a bit more of a family friendly convention compared to Norwescon. According to their site they have membership of about 500-600. It didn’t seem that crowded to me, but then there were parts of the convention we just never went to.
This year I attended my second conference run by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. This year was a very different experience from last year in many ways. It was at a different hotel, I was able to attend on Thursday and Friday, and I wasn’t pitching to any agents or editors. This led to some good moments, some bad.
I’ve come to realize it’s been almost two months since I last posted anything here. Things have been a little stupid busy round these parts, not helped by the fact that work has been busy and then they revised their internet policy to prohibit 99% of personal internet use.
Mulling around something I came across, but first wanted to mention a couple bits of news.
First off, Wily Writers has a new story up. This week’s offering is “Valentine,” an urban fantasy tale about a woman who is trying to steal a living supernatural heart to save her mentor’s life. She discovers it’s more difficult than she expected.
Secondly, Rose Lemberg has launched the debut issue of her literary speculative poetry magazine, Stone Telling. I encourage you to check it out.
The bit that I’ve been mulling around is a slightly different model of revenue generating than I’ve usually seen. I’ve pondered it myself, but didn’t think it would work so well for me. But I’ve now seen one author pull it off with one short story, so I figured I’d mention it.
Author Ann Charles has an article on five tips she learned from best selling authors. I think it’s neat and worth a look.
I’ve tried to set this blog up so that it automatically posts to Twitter. We’ll see how that goes.
Anyway, last night I went with the girlfriend to the Cyndi Lauper concert. It was one of several outdoor concerts our local zoo puts on. My girlfriend is a big fan, especially of her older stuff, and I have a few of Lauper’s songs that I like a lot. I’m not a huge music geek. I love music, but most of what I love is based more off of nostalgia than technical skill or innovation or whatever. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “She Bop” take me back to the mid-80s, watching wrestling with my grandfather. “Time After Time” reminds me of high school and college when I heard the song for the first time in the soundtrack for Strictly Ballroom. (And, really, that movie is directly responsible for one of my tattoos. Just saying.)
What we didn’t realize prior to buying the tickets was that Cyndi Lauper had just released an album called Memphis Blues in which she sings blues songs. Specifically, she sings blues songs with her thick Bronx accent. It has apparently been at the top of the blues charts for a while. This concert was part of her tour to promote this blues album.
So the opening act was an old blues singer who was part of the blues band that she was touring with. And then when she came on stage she spent almost an hour and a half singing blues songs.
When she did the Obligatory Encore, she sang four or five of her older songs and ended on another blues number. Through most of the show the crowd was pretty mellow, just hanging out on the lawn and listening. A few people, who I suspect were chemically altered, were grooving around like they were at Woodstock again. Or still. But otherwise, really sedate. When Lauper busted out the old songs, everyone sprung to their feet and the entire field was filled with people dancing.