Money, Markets, and Misogyny, oh my!

Gonna try to make up for the lack of postings here with a veritable flood of reading material and opinions.

First off, I have my monthly sales report up over at the other blog:

Sales Report for March 2012

Along with that, I want to point your attention to a couple of other writers blogging about money, income, and just earning a living.

First up is Lawrence Block, who talks about Getting by on a Writers Income. He’s been in the business for about twice as long as I’ve been alive at this point, so I figure he knows his stuff.

After that, take a look at Lindsay Buroker’s about what factors contribute to helping a writer to make a living. Note, while she focuses on indie publishing, I think the majority of her observations matches advice given by long-term pros. Feel free to consider and apply as you see fit for your own career:

Are More Authors Than you Think Making a Living Self-Publishing?

With our money talks wrapped up, I have our weekly dose of Kris and Dean posts to give you. They seem to be thinking quite a bit lately about the different markets available to fiction writers. Between Kris’s post about the importance of building a dedicated Audience for your work and Dean’s post about When to Mail Short Fiction to Traditional Publishers (as opposed to self-pubbing it), I’d say you have a solid basis to start doing both. Just for good measure, however, I decided to throw in a post from Kris’s Freelancers Survival Guide about Giving Up On Yourself. It’s a gem of a chapter in her self-help book that I reread just this morning (purely on a whim; turned out to be the best thing for me, as I’ve been frustrated lately about where I’m at career-wise). Hopefully you’ll find it as encouraging as I do.

Rounding out the continuing “traditional vs. indie” (why does it have to be a dichotomy?) discussion, I have posts for you from David Guaghran and Vincent Zandri. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, David maintains a highly popular publishing blog titled “Let’s Get Digital,” where he is constantly exploring new avenues for sharing our stories with the world in this brave new world of technology-driven distribution models. His post on Jodi Picoult and the Myth of the Segregated Marketplace is yet another opportunity to talk about the supposed Slush Pile that many fear will develop out of this ebook/indie-publishing revolution. Read, discuss, form your own opinions.

On a slightly more militant side, Vincent Zandri is a best-selling thriller writer who had an unlucky experience with traditional publishing and ended up getting screwed when his book came out. He chronicles that experience alongside his much more profitable and enjoyable experience of publishing with Amazon at his blog post:

Hate Amazon? Well Read About What Random House Did To Me And My Family…

NOTE: I try not to link to too many of these one-sided, anecdotal examples when I put up points of publishing discussion. I think a lot of the hate being thrown at traditional publishers is extreme, even if some of their supporters have been just as extreme in their views on indie publishing. One of the reasons I like Dean and Kris so much is because they aim to present a balanced approach to publishing, backed up by experience and hard data that fits the current moment, rather than personal griefs about the past or expectations for the future. As such, I hope you’ll take the above two bloggers with a grain of salt, and that you can apply some of the warnings and observations found within to help you make well-reasoned business decisions (or at the very least to remind you to be careful in any business dealing, indie or traditional).

Okay, now we’ve got a pricklier one to consider.

Catherynne Valente, speculative fiction writer and literary critic, wrote a post about misogyny in genre fiction as a meditation on Christopher Priest’s criticism of this years Clarke awards. (Priest is the author of The Prestige, among other things.) There’s a LOT of politics in these two posts, both within genre fiction circles and the world at large.

On the one hand, I’m sorry to push this on you, as it’s difficult sometimes to think about the failings we as humans face and embrace every day. On the other hand, though, I think it’s necessary to talk about these things, in order to move past them.

So, take a look, read the posts, and consider where you fit into all of this. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issues and how they manifest in our world.

Let Me Tell You About the Birds and the Bees: Gender and the Fallout Over Christopher Priest

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3