Monday Markets – Autumn Cthulhu anthology – October 31, 2014

Lovecraft Magazine is reading for its first print anthology, Autumn Cthulhu:

Well, the words Autumn Cthulhu sum it up somewhat. But, though pastiche can be done well, I don’t want it here. In other words, less “Mythos” and more “Lovecraftian”. I’m talking about the themes of Lovecraft: cosmic horror, deep time, man’s irrelevant place in the universe, horrific truths about reality, etc…

So the story should be Lovecraftian, set in the fall. You could include Halloween, and in fact I very much hope some of you do, but it’s not a necessity. There’s a mood and a magic and a mystery to autumn; think colorful falling leaves, crisp days, rainy afternoons and evenings. A cold drizzle.

Quiet horror.

They’re looking for horror on theme, from 3,000 to 6,000 words, paying a flat rate of $150. Deadline October 31st, so get writing!

Submission details here: http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/09/13/now-accepting-submissions-for-autumn-cthulhu/

Sunday Services – Tablo – Create, Share & Discover Great Books (HT: @galercristo)

My good friend Nicholas Roots discovered this on a podcast for me, and I had a quick look into the service. It’s a beautiful and very glossy website, and an interesting service. You can write and prepare your work, while your fans can read your in-progress work. When you’re done, you can publish the ebook directly. The site describes it as follows:

You can drop in a document.

If you’ve already written a book, just drop the document into Tablo and watch the magic happen.
Preview the results & edit in the cloud. You’ll be a published author in seconds!

 

Or you can write in the cloud.

With a clean, focused writing environment, chapter control, autosaving & plenty of sharing features,
you’ll love creating your book with Tablo. It’s a literally awesome place to write (get it?).

 

Preview in the browser, download to your device.

Spin up a perfect preview of your eBook with a click, or download ePub files for a more thorough test.
If you know how to write (and you probably do), you can create gorgeous eBooks for the iPad, Kindle and more.

 

Publish globally in seconds.

This is the cool part. Click a button and your books will be published on Amazon and the iBooks Store.
Tablo assigns ISBNs, produce your files and distributes your books globally. It’s as easy as publishing a blog post.

But.

But I had a look at the plans, and maybe I’m missing something, but this does not seem sustainable to me.

The publishing plans range from $8/mth (paid annually) to $30/mth. At $8/mth (in perpetuity) you can publish a single book (including free ISBN) to various online bookstores, and keep all the royalties.

But… but when you stop your subscription those books are suspended from the stores. With a cap of 1 book publishable in total at the lowest plan, and 10 at the highest (contact them for custom plans that support more books), it seems like your subscription fee would rapidly eat up any royalties, and totally kill the ‘long tail’ effect of having a broad catalogue for fans to purchase.

What this kind of price pressure produces is a need to sell eBooks at more than $5 a pop, which I would call the ‘danger zone of customer detachment’. ie. A price range where you lose the casual interest of readers, which impacts the discovery and sharing of your work.

I can’t comment as to whether the social aspect of the site will make up for this cost, but I just don’t know how it could. Perhaps someone has experience with Tablo, or someone can clarify it for me.

In any case, check it out here. A free account can’t hurt, and you can always try to use it to build up a fan following which might translate into sales, as long as you publish elsewhere: https://tablo.io/

Friday Funny – Literary Holidays! (via @melvillehouse)

I retweeted this on Twitter but I realise not everyone would see it, so here’s a quick post.

It’s been a little quiet here while Lucas and I are actually finally polishing Literarium for our early-sign-up alpha/beta users. I’m quite excited to see the project in its present shape and can’t wait to inflict it on you all!

Anyway, this list of suggested comical national reading holidays struck a chord with me because we had to try to read 2666, and apparently that national holiday is January 13:

January 13: Give Up Trying to Read 2666 Day
On the one hand, you’ve read 400 pages. That’s a lot. On the other, you’ve just read the first 100 pages four times. It’s time to admit defeat and pass this “international sensation” along to one of your friends. Tell them they have to read it.”

I also quite like:

June: NaTwiWriMo
Everyone’s heard of National Novel Writing Month, but what about your personal #brand? Writing a novel won’t help with that—not one bit. So in June, put the novel on hold (let’s be honest—it’s probably terrible) and instead, dedicate yourself to your Twitter account! Get those followers up up up, keep the hashtags fresh, and remember—if you’re not making three autocorrect jokes a day, you’re not Tweeting Like a Pro.

Check out the others here: http://www.mhpbooks.com/major-literary-holidays-other-than-read-an-ebook-day/

Monday Market – Uncanny Magazine (via @uncannymagazine, HT: @tansyrr)

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Uncanny magazine is now open to submissions:

Uncanny is seeking passionate SF/F fiction and poetry with gorgeous prose– intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs from writers from every conceivable background. Uncanny believes there’s still plenty of room in the genre for tales that make you feel.

They’re after fiction from 750 to 7,500 words, paying a phenomenal 8 cents per word. They also accept poetry ($30 per poem) and reprint art ($60 per piece).

Check out the full guidelines here: http://uncannymag.com/submissions/

How to make the Time to Write (via: @RosBaxter, HT: @altait)

Ros Baxter gives some advice on finding time to write. I need this, because I suck at time management:

I once read that Capote would write lying casually on a couch (probably a chaise lounge), with a glass of sherry in one hand and a pencil in another. TS Elliot had a hideaway above Chatto & Windus, a publishing house on St Martin’s Lane. Edgar Allen Poe could only write in black; Mark Twain in white.

I suspect if they had a smartphone with a constantly scrolling newsfeed and/or Angry Birds it might have had some impact on their productivity.

Ros gives us 7 things to help get that time in. I’ve used 5 quite effectively, with just a low ‘300 word’ requirement.

  1. Become a voyeur.
  2. Staple a notebook to your arse.
  3. Set goals.
  4. Make time to write every day.
  5. Set yourself a daily word count.
  6. Not feeling creative?
  7. Finally, be grateful

Details and explanations at the original article if you’re keen: http://www.allisontait.com/2013/03/starting-out-10-how-to-make-the-time-to-write/

Library Book Dumping Signals a New Dark Age (OH NOES! – Ed) (via @smh)

Well of course it doesn’t, but it is interesting:

In May, Sydney University announced its library “restructure”.  This magnificent library, among the country’s finest, had already, a decade earlier, deacquisitioned some 60,000 books and theses. More recently there were further, unquantified and undeclared cloak-and-dagger dumpings to make space for the wifi and lounge-chairs that have given the once magical Fisher stack the look and feel of a church playgroup.

I’m posting this more as a thinking/discussion piece. I don’t necessarily agree with the doom-and-gloom of this piece, because the notion of a place where you go to pick up an deposit paper books is a little old and impractical, and notions like having a ‘who’s who’ is ridiculous in the age of the Internet.

Which is true? And what exactly is a library with no books, beside a website, a database, a cloud? Why, in the age of mobile mini-tech and ubiquitous wifi does such a library even exist? Couldn’t it just be a basement server with a million e-books on remote access?

With all due respect, I think the author is missing the point. A modern library is not a place where you go to get books. It’s a communal space celebrating books, art and the literary community. I go to libraries to be in the space, not to get books. Just like I go to a bookstore for the community, not for books I could buy cheaper online. Just like I go to a pub to be in a social space, not to buy overpriced beer.

Nonetheless, this article is worthy of a read, as an insight into how the idea of a library is transforming in the modern age. Maybe it will spark a story idea?

Read it all here: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/library-book-dumping-signals-a-new-dark-age-20140903-10bspm.html

Monday Market – Apex Magazine Steal the Spotlight Micro fiction Contest – 15 Oct 2014 (via @jodicleghorn)

Apex Magazine is running another micro fiction contest. It’s pretty cool and good exercise for your micro-fiction writing skills. From the site:

  1. There will be five categories: sea monsters, black dog/Hellhounds, banshees, science experiments gone wrong, and demons (this can include wendigos, succubus, be creative). Write a story to fit one of these five categories, then submit it to apexwritingcontest@gmail.com with the subject line formatted as Title, Author, Category.

  2. This is a micro fiction contest. Stories must be 250 words or less. If a story is more than 250 words, it will be deleted unread.

  3. You can submit one story per category, five stories total. If you submit two banshee stories, we will consider the first story your submission.

Prizes are great, folks:

6 cents per word, receive a free 12-month subscription to Apex Magazine and a short story critique from an Apex editor. Stories for critique can be up to 5,000 words long

You can find the submission guidelines here: http://www.apexbookcompany.com/blogs/frontpage/15271873-steal-the-spotlight-micro-fiction-contest