Archive for November, 2012

The Battle of Kuith – Youmacon 2012 Preview

Posted in Grumblings on November 17, 2012 by chemiclord

Some of you may have known that for Youmacon 2012, a preview of the first full-length MegaToyko:Endgames light novel was prepared for reading. Well, as a matter of course, I don’t like restricting those sort of things to only people who have the time and money to attend one of these conventions.

So, for the benefit of those who couldn’t make it, here it is!

The Battle of Kuith Preview

Granted, it’s just a very short snippet, but I think it’s a good look at the sort of prose you can expect, as well as a taste of the splendid artistic talents of a man named Patrick Coyle, who has been most gracious and helpful not just with the art, but in the editing process of the manuscript as well.

Truly, I am surrounded by men of many talents.

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Adventures in Publishing

Posted in Grumblings on November 14, 2012 by chemiclord

As you all may know… I do a lot of writing projects.

One of them is my own attempt at a science-fiction setting.  The first book in that series, The Second Gate, has been sitting largely finished with no real hopes of being published seriously.  It had a short e-book run that no one cared about, and for good reason.  It was just the barebones manuscript with no bells and whistles… and wasn’t even worth the $.99 it was sold for.  But even then, it’s chances of seeing the light of bookshelves is somewhere between slim and none.

“Why is that, Tommy?” you ask.

Okay, you don’t ask that.  You really don’t care.  But I’m gonna tell you anyway, because this is my blog post, and I’m morose and cranky.

Firstly, getting a major publisher to sign onto it has been an exercise in futility.  All these discussions have gone the same way (pretty much to a fault):

Publisher: “Yes, we have your manuscript.  We like it.  We’d like to publish it.”

Me: “That’s great!”

Publisher: “We’ll contact you shortly with a contract and the sale of copyright forms.”

Me: “Uhh… I have no interest in selling the copyright…” (hears clicking noise) “Hello?”

Basically to sum it up, it’s reached the point where major publishers don’t even want to talk to me.  Their line in the sand is the line they try to take with ALL authors.  Any refusal to transfer all copyrights to the publisher is a non-starter, and ends any negotiations.

“But Tommy… there’s self-publishing options!” You might say, if you cared enough to entertain my bitter rambling.

Well there are problems with self-publishing options too.  First of them is my problem… I can’t sell myself.  Mostly because I have next to no worth in my own abilities.  It’s something I’ve been getting better at, but I still have a hard time with the idea of saying, “Hey!  I wrote this!  You should buy it!”  I can’t fake enthusiasm in myself very well (can’t you tell?).

Secondly is a problem that frankly all of the publishing world shares… the price they charge prospective readers is just too damn high.  If I wanted to produce a short run of my novel (a 500+ page novel) would cost you the reader about $25… for a PAPERBACK.  Even if I split it into two parts (which is possible in the manuscript), I’d still be looking at roughly a $15 cover price in order for me to make anything resembling a decent profit margin. 

And the e-book option?  Yeah, I went down that road.  Amazon and Barnes&Noble gouge the living hell out of those (you make a pittance if you attempt to charge less than $10 for an e-book… which to me kinda defeats the purpose of a medium that supposedly costs a fraction of print media.

Anyway… I’m sorry for the rant.  But that’s my adventures in publishing.  Any of you try to break into that world?  Got any secrets, ideas, or commiserating of your own?  Misery loves company, they say.  Feel free to share your tales.

Youmacon 2012

Posted in Grumblings on November 5, 2012 by chemiclord

Having stumbled back from the Motor City at about 10pm yesterday (I’m not always a night person, exceptions will be explained below), it took me a while to kinda get back into something resembling an equilibrium.  But I’m back, as back to “normal” as you’d call it, and ready to get back to work.

Youmacon was actually a blast… probably the first time I’ve actually enjoyed myself at a convention (something that is rare for a person who no doubt suffers from some degree of social anxiety).  A lot of great memories and awesome people… probably stories that will only interest me, but ya know what… this is my blog post.  So there!

From drinking out of something that came from a resin skull (it was claimed to be vodka, and since it was unlabeled and my alcoholic palette is non-existent to put it gently I can only take the bartender’s word for it) with Mookie of Dominic Deegan fame and Jon St. John of Duke Nukem and damn near everything else fame… to kicking back until 2:30 am Saturday morning chatting about the creative process with Linkara, That Guy with Glasses, and Sonny Strait of We Shadows… to crank calling my friends with the help of Mr. St. John Sunday afternoon… it was a whole ton of fun and the whole bunch of people I ran into helped me come to terms with something about myself.

The people and guests I met at Youmacon made it quite clear to me I belonged, that I wasn’t any more of a hack than anyone else, and that I’ve got a really good thing going.  For much of that, I have all of you to thank.  The people who vote on the Top 100 listing (and still do), helping keep this comic relevant, who didn’t run off screaming when they heard “new writer, hi”, or merely stop in every so often, check things out, then leave… you’re what make this happen.

Apparently, I also need your help again.  A big part of exposure is going to conventions like this, meeting more people and spreading the word.  Of course, I’m a fairly destitute writer-type person, so I can’t just jet off whenever I want, but if you have a con in the area, and want to see me there, let the people in charge there know.  I’m certainly in no position to turn down chances to prostitute the site for greater views and exposure, so hey… give a shot.  Help me help you… or help you help me?

Maybe just “help?”  Because that might be what this is all a cry for.

Oh well.  Catch you all later.