The Journal, Friday, 8/28

The Day
Rolled out a little early this morning at about 1:30.

After waking up with coffee and email, I thought about yesterday’s post. I was a little harsh maybe.

For years I’ve seen writers, even retired, very successful business people, allow various companies to take advantage of them.

I despise those companies, and I don’t mind being vocal about it.

But the thing is, many writers bring these things on themselves. They’re intelligent people, by and large. They don’t have to be ignorant. And I “get” that it’s easier to just trust some faceless corporation to do the right thing than it is to check them out, or even think too hard about what they’re offering.

But you really need to do that anyway. Seriously. We are not living in the same world in which many of us grew up. Anyway, these thoughts led me to the Topic of the Night below.

So from about 2 until about 7:30, I formatted and uploaded eight more collections (all 5-story) to D2D, as well as those three large anthologies I published awhile back that were the results of contests, and the short story, “Coralín.” So all caught up on what I wanted to move over to D2D.

Now I have to update the print covers for the collections I previously published under Stringer’s or Porter’s name (personas).

And Smashwords still has the same books for distribution to a few places that D2D doesn’t go, so I probably need to update the files for them too. Not in a massive hurry for that though.

Hmmm. In fact, I might just “unpublish” the titles from Smashwords altogether. It’s a LOT of work to change the cover and the front and back matter, and the thing is, I’ve garnered a total of FOUR sales from all the remaining Smashwords venues (Baker & Taylor Blio, txtr, Library Direct, Baker-Taylor Axis360, and OverDrive) over the past four years.

Yeah, think I’ll just unpublish them, pull them from Smashwords completely. That’s only the collections that were previously attributed to one of my personas other than Gervasio. I’ll go do that right now.

All of my new short stories, novels and collections will go to both D2D and Smashwords.

Okay, I got all that done (about an hour) and then went for a walk. Though I’d be smart and go after the sun was well up, but it got hotter quicker than I thought it would. Outsmarted myself. Only turned about three miles. Guess I’ll go back to walking earlier for awhile.

I won’t be doing any writing today, other than this stuff and revisiting a magic realism story I (Gervasio) wrote a long time ago. It’s called “Carmen, Whose Face Was Cracked” and it’s a beautiful story in the ethereal sense. I’ll post it as the story of the week for this week. So it will be up on Sunday at the site and posted by MailChimp on Monday morning.

Topic of the Night: Amazon KDP Select and “Scout” Redux

You know, all I can do is tell you what I think is right.

If you go with a program like Amazon Scout, you’re keeping your work from a lot of readers who don’t use Amazon.

You’re also locking up your work for at least 5 years. Amazon’s guarantee to you is if you don’t make at least $25,000 in royalties over that five years, you can pull your book from the program. Now that sounds like a nice, big number, but seriously, can any of you live on $5,000 per year? I can’t.

And like I said yesterday, if it wasn’t a good deal for Amazon, they wouldn’t be doing it. For every person who DOES make $25,000 over five years, Amazon ALSO makes $25,000 over that same five years, multiplied by the number of people who sign up for this program. Shrug.

It just isn’t fair. It isn’t a good deal for any author.

Look at it like this. Say you own a rental property. Would you sign over the deed to that property to someone else and then pay them 50% of your income from that property to rent it out for you? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
This is EXACTLY the same thing. Exactly.

Your writing, every story, every book, is an investment. Your copyright is property.

Don’t give your property away and then split your earnings 50/50 with the new owner. That’s just insane.

Tell you what. If you’re thinking of going with Amazon Scout, you might as well go with a traditional publisher and give the TP both print and ebook rights. At least with the TP you can negotiate a more realistic royalty rate on ebook sales than the paltry 50% Amazon wants to pay, and TP probably would give you a larger advance too. AND they probably would tie up your book for only two or three years (again, it’s negotiable). Just sayin’.

And those who know me know that I NEVER recommend going with a traditional publisher. Never. But compared to Amazon Scout, TP is a better alternative.

One final note: If that $1500 advance looks attractive to you, remember that it’s only an advance. They don’t pay royalties until your book “earns out” the advance. And if it doesn’t earn out the advance? They come back to you to recoup that advance. That’s right. You could easily end up paying it back.

And now I’ll write what I should have written in the first place last night. Then I wouldn’t have had to write the rest of this. Here it is. Ready?

If You Choose To Go With Them, Read The Contract. And have a lawyer read it.

Okay, so that’s all I’m gonna say on the topic. Please feel free to prove me wrong. But don’t expect me to join you.

Today’s Writing

I pecked around a little bit, but no fiction writing today.

I think my numbers are so low for August that I subconsciously decided to take care of a lot of admin stuff instead of worrying about writing. So I did the switchover from Smashwords to D2D, I’ve kept up this blog and my other main blog, and some other non-fiction writing stuff.

Also, although I stand ZERO practical chance of getting anywhere near my 1,000,000 word goal for the year, I’m past 450,000 published words of fiction right now since January 1 of this year, and that ain’t bad.

Fiction Words: XXXX

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words
Day 2…… 1046 words. Total words to date….. 4259 words
Day 3…… 1858 words. Total words to date….. 6117 words
Day 4…… 1023 words. Total words to date….. 7140 words
Day 5…… 1587 words. Total words to date….. 8327 words
Day 6…… X943 words. Total words to date….. 9270 words
Day 7…… XXXX words. Total words to date….. XXXX words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 20501
Total fiction words for the year……………… 462901