The good news is that modern technology helps readers with a vision disability:
Luckily, we live in an era of technology where the world of literature should be easily accessible. People are able to read electronic text with the assistance of text-to-speech technology. This is a pretty basic aspect of life with a print disability in the 21st century. There are many varied programs available from those on your desktop or laptop, to your mp3 player and phone. These programs fit a range of needs and the world of reading is at everyone’s fingertips. Thank goodness we live in the future.
As you’ve guessed from the title, though, restrictive anti-consumer media locks hurt these readers the most.
The vast majority of ebooks available for purchase, however, have DRM enabled. Amazon is the biggest culprit and disappointment in my life. There are so many books now available in electronic format taunting me from the Amazon store.
Do read on here:
This local anthology opens today, to a wide range of genres and authors who have any sort of connection to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia (up to and including having been on holiday there).
The anthology stories, up to 5,000 words, need to be inspired by one of the photographs on offer on the anthology website. Personally, I work better with these kinds of creative constraints, so I think that’s a positive. The anthology pays $100 per story, which is excellent.
You have until the end of August – make it happen!
All details available from here:
Good words from Visibility Fiction:
Once upon a time literature was overwhelmed by straight, white, able men and occasionally women. In response, a diverse and inclusive culture had to break through the barrier of expectation. We had to come out, explode forth, and express ourselves as the new freak nation. Fighting to find a place in culture, we had to announce our difference, explain, re-explain and declare our right to be different and a part of the culture all too keen to place us in tidy boxes neatly out of sight.
But times change. People know now: We’re here, some of us a queer, we’re all a little ‘different’, but none of us are going away. Instead of writing ourselves into boxes to declare our existence, it’s time we write ourselves out of boxes. Better yet, let’s do away with the boxes altogether. Instead of writing within expectation, we have to change the expectation.
Read on to get some more insight:
I don’t often promote no-pay markets, but Pavor Nocturnus is getting their first magazine out in October 2013, and they have a print version, so why not. It looks interesting!
We’re looking for horror stories that will make us dump our pants … in the absence of that, give us a story that we’ll remember! Listen, folks, horror isn’t always about jumping, screaming, shitting our pants, and running. Sometimes horror gets in slow, slips under your skin, and festers like an infection. Sometimes you don’t even realize it’s horror until sometime late in the night when you’ve been tossing and turning in your bed, and you just can’t get the images you read out of your sweaty noggin.
Horror shorts from 1,000 to 7,500 words, as well as poetry, art and movie/book reviews, so check it out.
Check it here:
Ok, it’s not going to be much of a surprise what this research tool is. This article is more about convincing you that it’s a great idea:
Tap into the power of your friendships, using social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You will be amazed at the breadth of knowledge your online contacts have at hand, and how quickly they can deliver that information to you.
Caveat: this doesn’t really work if your social media ‘reach’ is low, but on the other hand:
It turns out that people enjoy helping writers get it right.
Just remember to maybe give your friendly researchers a shout out once you publish something!
Read on here:
Ian Sales discusses his experiences and sales after winning the BSFA for his self-published novella, Adrift on the Sea of Rains:
Commercially, Whippleshield Books has not been a “winner”. I’m okay with this – I didn’t set it up to make me pots of money. If anything, I expected it to be a financial burden for much of its life. Happily, it went into the black in March this year… but then the ecommerce annual fee came due and I also had to reprint Adrift on the Sea of Rains. But it’s been back in the black since the beginning of May and seems likely to remain there. Whether it’ll have earned enough to pay the cost of producing book three of the Apollo Quartet is a different matter, however. I’ve been funding Whippleshield Books out of my own pocket so far, so if it doesn’t it won’t affect my planned publishing schedule.
Ian throws out a handful of graphs, and gives some indication of where and how the majority of sales are coming about (hint: Kindle sales, gods help us all). There’s also some insight into what doesn’t affect sales, and observations about the luck factor of making it big in self-publishing. Worth a read, especially for self-publishers or writers still trying to decide which approach will work best for them.
Check it out here:
Look. It’s possible that I will never stop yelling at people about how DRM is expensive and doesn’t work, which is basically the business definition of ‘waste of time’. Until that time, I will continue to present you with evidence.
User ‘danps’ (sorry, I tried but couldn’t easily find any more attribution information), discusses how the publishing industry seemingly hasn’t learned anything from other media industries (this argument extends to the movie industry too, but that’s the same argument for another day):
Listeners hated DRM because it restricted their ability to enjoy the music they paid for. Towards the end of the last decade businesses began to realize that DRM could be a headache for them as well, so eventually they wised up. By the end of 2011 all the major music stores were DRM free.
Short version: It was a hassle and there were some growing pains, but in the end the industry figured out how to deliver its product in a way consumers were happy to pay for. Lessons learned, all’s well, hooray!
The lessons haven’t been learned as widely as some of us hoped; the book industry seems to have spent the last fifteen years in a state of suspended animation. It is in the process of making exactly the same kinds of mistakes the music industry was making a decade ago.
Danps describes his recent experience with a Barry Eisler sale on Amazon and comments:
The book industry isn’t there yet; it’s at odds with its customers. Readers want to be able to read the books they buy, publishers want locked down exclusives, and creators (even forward thinking ones like Eisler) are left to navigate those waters as best they can.
Read the rest here:
Abe Sauer says:
In March, I put together the fourth annual March Madne$$: The School Tuitions Of The NCAA Bracket. A popular piece, I watched as numerous sites reposted the work wholesale and sold ads against it.
That’s when I tried something new in the ongoing efforts of writers to get paid on the Internet. Instead of angry emails or cease and desist notes, I just sent invoices to site editors and managers.
His story touches on the hypocrisy of massive copyright-enforcing and -tantrumming media organisations, who blatantly repost, and often reformat, other writers’ articles and then sell ads against them.
In a way, too, it touches on sites such as this one, where I ramble a little about other articles I’ve found, and excerpt small sections. On the one hand, I’m not making any money here, but on the other, I am trying to make Literarium a useful source of writing-related information, hopefully so that when the software comes up you’ll take a look at it. So where do we draw the line? I draw the line at copying articles wholesale and spoiling the punchline, but is that enough?
Anyway, do have a read of Abe’s attempts to get money out of large companies who simply swiped his work but would never let anyone else do the same.
I wonder if this would work with those ebil e-book pirates. If you sent them a PayPal invoice for $3 for downloading your e-book, I wonder how many of them would be happy (or able) to pay? If someone does try that, please let me know.
Read about Abe’s invoicing extravaganza here:
The Colored Lens is an online and e-magazine publishing four to five short stories a quarter in speculative fiction genres, “ranging from fantasy, to science fiction, to slipstream or magical realism”.
The Colored Lens is looking for short stories that shift perspectives of how we see the world. We are specifically seeking stories that cause the reader reflect, not just on the story, but on how it relates to their own world.
We publish all varieties of speculative fiction, from alternate history, to high fantasy, to nuts and bolts hard science fiction, to dark fantasy, so long as it meets the guidelines above. Whatever the genre, the focus should be used to comment on our world and society rather than exclusively to keep the reader turning pages.
They’re after stories and non-fiction up to 10,000 words, with a preference for 500-5,000 words. Payment is a token $20 per story, with some variations based on length.
Read it here: