Santa!: A Scanimation Picture Book
by Rufus Butler Seder (Author, Illustrator)
Booktalk: Santa Claus is going to town! With the magic of Scanimation, you can see Santa move as you turn the pages.
Santa loves to hula-hoop.
Copyright © 2013 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
This year, I published my most frockalicious book yet. Lady Persis Blake wears nearly twenty different amazing outfits over the course of Across a Star-Swept Sea, and she’s also a certified badass. Which is how I know she’d get on like a house on fire with Lilac LeRoux, who like Persis, is futuristic, rich, fashionable, and totally awesome.
And she manages all of this in a single gown. This one:
Altogether now: Oooooooooooooh. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
These Broken Stars is the first in an amazing new sci-fi series by authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Think Firefly meets shipwreck. You’re gonna love it.
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.
Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.
And here’s the coolest part. Lilac’s green gown is real, and it’s going on tour! The first stop, yesterday, was chilling with Marie Lu on the streets of LA. Today, the gown is hanging with me in our nation’s capital.
We took a little hike in Rock Creek Park. Ah, the fall color!
And by “we”, I mean me, the dress, and of course, Rio:
This one might be my favorite:
Nothing like a rock throne, amirite?
Thank you so much to Disney/Hyperion, Meagan, and Amie for letting me unleash my inner Lilac and go hiking through the wilderness in a fine green gown.
And that’s not all, folks!
And stay tuned for more adventures of the Traveling These Broken Stars Dress.
It's a nice way to end 2013.
To top it off, it was high summer and 95 degrees, which, for Minnesota, was so very, very wrong. You’re supposed to escape the heat when you travel north! But no.
So, I was walking alone across campus, late to class because I’d been late for lunch because I’d been so very very tired. I was feeling sorry for myself because also: pregnancy hormones!
But then I thought of my great-grandparents. I said to myself, “If this were 1916, you’d be living way out in the sticks, cooking over a wood stove – with an actual fire in it – with no air conditioning, no fans. You’d probably have four kids by now. And in those days, if you lived that far out in the country, there’s no way you would have gotten a high-school education, much less a master’s.”
That put things in perspective right away – even more so when I walked into the lecture hall and that delicious cold air washed over me.
Sometimes, when times are rough, the right perspective can give you an idea of how lucky we actually are.
- Current Music:"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" -- Diana Ross
Writers stop writing for all kinds of reasons ... I don’t think it’s at all helpful to try to “cheer up” a writer in the middle of a dry period. The specific reasons — creative paralysis, personal crisis, discouragement — vary so much, I think it’s safe to say that each of us has to find our own way through.
You can also read the Wordpress version here.
I've been following several online discussions lately, and more than ever I see a disconnect between the business that we (publishers) are in and the business that writers think we are in (or want us to be in).
This is an opportunity for endless cultural criticism, but I'm not going to go down that route. We can bewail the fact that Patterson and Evanovich sell millions of books while, essentially, writing the same book over and over again; and all the while, fine books by new writers come out, get ignored, and find their way onto the remainder tables and catalogs.
If you're employed at one of the big publishers - and even if you're employed by a smaller one - make no mistake: We need to fund our operations. There's only one way to do that: through book sales. On the nonfiction side of the business, there are plenty of ways to make money: through library and institutional sales, the education market, direct sales, and so on.
But in fiction, there are only two ways: Through book sales, and possibly, just possibly, by getting Hollywood interested.
So, at the end of the day, we're not in the book-publishing business. We are in the ENTERTAINMENT business. Evanovich and Patterson both know this. When asked why she doesn't vary her formula, Janet always replies, "Because my readers don't want that." Patterson has found a formula that sells; and it can be effective, with its bite-sized chapters for the harried, time-pressed reader. The readers of Patterson don't demand fine characterization, plot subtleties, and lovely writing. So why should he (and his minions) bother with any of that? Patterson knows he's in the entertainment biz; so does Evanovich.
Believe me, I struggle with this every day - and so do a lot of other editors. I have a solid ego, as do most other editors I've known (and level of ego is not necessarily in direct proportion to level of editorial talent or acumen), and we want our own tastes validated through public acceptance of the books we publish. "See," we are saying each time we publish a book, "I found this great manuscript. I devoted the company's resources to publishing it. I know what the people of America want to read. I know what they should be reading and what they should like." It's our egos that get most first-timers published: We've got relationships with agents whose lives revolve around psychoanalyzing and charming us.
I have been watching these listservs as writers who've not sold anything while in print proudly announce that their books are "now available for Kindle" and at the great price of only "99 cents for a limited time." As if these old, unsuccessful books can now enjoy a renaissance now that self-publishing has made their availability possible again. I'm sure they end up selling a few dozen copies among friends and coworkers, but what's at their core is this idea: "I am a writer. Here is my book. You should buy it, read it, like it, and say nice things about it." They don't see themselves as in the entertainment business; they see themselves as writers. That's the difference between an inner-directed, egocentric approach to selling books and a market-centric, business approach to selling books.
Do I like saying this? No. Do I like that this is the way it is? No. In my own acquisitions, I try to find the balance. As an editor I do want to make my mark on the reading world by nurturing talent and bringing fresh voices to the public's attention. But I have to keep the money coming in. This is why I'm so frustrated by all the self-publishing and self-promotion that surrounds it. I don't know any reader who has the time to read everything that he or she wants to. So, by definition, any time you're reading someone else's books, you're not reading mine. And if you ever want to see the truth of that last statement in action, just go to a convention and watch writers simmer with frustration as you purchase somebody else's books. For those mid-list authors desperate to hold onto their contracts, every day is a stressful adventure. These people want nothing more than to write for a living, to support themselves on the writing of fiction. They cling to the hope that a breakout book, or constant presence on the circuit (including FB, Twitter, DorothyL, etc.), will get them to that place.
Ultimately, I divide writers into two categories: the businesspeople and the Ponzi schemers. The businesspeople write to formula, jump through hoops to get the "right" agent, and then do as they're told until they bring in so much money that they can do whatever they want. Note that the businesspeople may not have money as their chief motivation. The key motivator, for example, might be getting published by Knopf, getting reviewed in the New York Times, or having a short story collection published even though the odds of it selling more than 100 copies are nil. There are ways to accomplish each of these goals - search the Web for tips and you'll find much better advice than you'll find here at Mysterious Matters. The Ponzi schemers think they'll achieve popular success through self-publishing and self-promotion; "you buy and compliment my book, and I'll do the same for you."
I think we know the category into which Evanovich and Patterson fall...
Cheryl Lee Nunn of notorious vanity publisher American Book Publishing (one of Writer Beware's Thumbs Down publishers, also featured in an alert at Writer Beware) attempts to expand her author-fleecing operation with a network of bogus organizations and publishers. Outed on this blog, she cuts her losses and folds the scheme--but, eager to make money on the back end, she holds authors' rights for ransom, threatening to give their contracts to a "transfer agent" unless they pony up a buyout fee of $695.
Authors with All Classic Books (the only one of the bogus publishers to issue contracts) have just received another email demanding even more money (all errors courtesy of the original).
From: Rebecca Reece WinslowTaking this in order:
Date: Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Subject: [Name redacted] Your Author Legal Notice Your Book Contract Transfer Agent Instructions
To: [Name redacted]
Cc: "legal @ allclassicbooks.com"
Per terms of our book contract with you we are in the process of exercising our option to assign your book contract to another book publisher effective December 4, 2013. The transfer agent that is working on our publishing company merge or sale and book contract assignments is The Names Company, a publishing industry business broker specialist.
The Names Company will oversee that all our book contract obligations are performed on. For example books remain in print and production and royalties are paid by required contract dates so that we are in full and complete legal compliance. This to make sure that our book contracts remain legally binding to all parties.
The Names Company will not however be providing a publisher staff to answer your book publishing and book selling questions and other book marketing assistance as we have provided you. They will only be responding about questions related to book contract company assignment or your book rights buyouts.
It is important to be aware that just listing a book title for sale today with ten million other book titles that book sales almost always occur because of an author interview, book review or other author promotional activity. If the author is not professionally promoting their title effectively, then it is highly unlikely the author will earn any royalties during the period either with The Names Company or a subsequent publisher assignment.
Instead we have been recommending and helping our authors doing buyouts upload their book files to Amazon's book publishing companies Creative Space (printed books) and Kindle Direct Publishing (e-books) for free.
[Redacted: several paragraphs extolling the virtues of "Creative Space" and KDP.]
We have instructed The Names Company to continue our full book rights buyout offer with our permission and and files for authors to use our edited content and book covers.
However, because of the added expense of the transfer agent, beginning on the first of each month the Full Book Rights Buyout will increase $100 per month. Therefore, buyout offers will be raised from $695.00 to December 3, 2013 with us and can use their credit cards until but after December 4, 2013 the buyout will increase to $795 and $895 on January 1, 2014 and so on. Their website is at http://thenamescompany.com/ and e-mail contact address is info @ thenamescompany.com
Only wired funds will be authorized for those authors doing buyouts after December 4, 2013 through The Names Company will be accepted from that point, instructions are below.
Once fund wires are confirmed, The Names Company will provide authors their book content and cover files, letters of full rights return and authorization to use our editing and design. Then they will remove any current sales listings.
Authors then can legally re publish their book titles with another publisher or self publish it.
[Redacted: wire routing information.]
Warning- Beware of anyone giving false legal advice. We are aware that there has been some false information about us rumored by a fantasy fiction volunteer writer giving our authors bad legal advice that would actually cause them expensive legal damages if they followed it. She does not disclose that she is not an attorney while providing legal advice, and that she is not a professional or unbiased journalist. She is simply a writer we rejected for employment and a book publishing contract about a decade ago, seeking to damage us and our authors with a smear campaign and false information.
Rebecca Reece Winslow
Acquisitions Editor, All Classic Books
info @ allclassicbooks.com
* I have several copies of All Classic Books' contract. Nowhere in any of them is there any language giving the publisher an "option to assign your book contract to another book publisher". Not that that's even relevant, because...
* The Names Company isn't a publisher. It also doesn't exist. Have a look at its website. Is it me, or does it seem a little odd that there's zero information on the company or its staff? Or that the only properties shown "for sale" are Nunn's bogus companies? Or that Googling "The Names Company" brings up nothing? Or that, just a few weeks ago, its website looked like this?
Not quite what you'd expect from a "a publishing industry business broker specialist" (if there were such a thing, which there isn't). The Names Company, in other words, is fake--a Nunn fiction in aid of her scheme to extract cash from her authors.
* As of November 5, when I wrote my last post about All Classic Books, it had published only a handful of public domain titles. But when I checked today, I found that it has begun pushing out original titles, all with pub dates of November 20 and later (five days beyond its announced November 15 closing date). It looks as if Nunn is punishing writers who don't fall for her buyout demand by exercising the rights she holds, even though the publisher that contracted them is supposedly defunct.
If your book is or becomes one of these, don't send money to Nunn. Instead, use that cash to seek legal advice on how to get the books taken down and your rights returned to you. (There's a Legal Resources page on the Writer Beware website that may help.) Draw your lawyer's attention to Paragraph 21 of your contract,which provides for automatic termination and return of rights "in the event of the Publisher’s insolvency, bankruptcy, or assignment of assets for the benefit of creditors." Cite the first email you received from "Rebecca Reese Winslow," which clearly states that All Classic is closing down because it's losing money--i.e., insolvent.
* If you haven't guessed, the "fantasy fiction volunteer writer" mentioned in the final paragraph is me. Nunn has been telling that lie about me being a disgruntled would-be employee for years, ever since she trumped it up for a lawsuit she threatened Ann and me with in 2003 (we called her bluff and the suit was never filed). If I needed any further proof that "Rebecca Reese Winslow" is Cheryl Lee Nunn, that would do it.
Cassie is recruited by the FBI because she is a natural at profiling people and she joins four other teens with similar abilities in order to help solve cold cases, but when a serial killer appears to be targeting Cassie through her murdered mothers' cold case, Cassie's not sure if she's the hunter or the hunted. This murder mystery has some gory details, cool characters, and a satisfying ending that must lead to a sequel. A solid YA. (Hyperion, 2013)
Mairead Case has written a really lovely essay for Bookslut on loss and reading Akilah Oliver. For more on this revolutionary poet/performer/activist whose legacy as both an artist and a queer woman of color continues to inspire, here are some links:
“Akilah Oliver: Good Grief” by Susie DeFord | BOMBLOG
In this 2009 interview for BOMBLOG, Akilah Oliver and Susan DeFord discuss grief, graffiti and poetry and Oliver’s collection A Toast in the House of Friends.
A poem by Akilah Oliver in Trickhouse #2, from her collection The Putterer’s Notebook.
PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania has a collection of audio recordings of Akilah Oliver reading.
“Hold the Space: The Poetics of Anne Waldman” by Akilah Oliver | Jacket
Akilah Oliver examines queerness and the disruption of binaries in the work of fellow poet Anne Waldman in this essay for Jacket.
“The teachings of Akilah Oliver remembered” | Poetry Foundation
Friends and colleagues share their memories of and appreciation for Akilah Oliver.
From YouTube, some videos of Akilah Oliver reading:
Akilah Oliver - In Aporia/The Stand Still World (audio set to slideshow) | youtube.com
Akilah Oliver reading at PARACHUTE: The Coney Island Performance Festival | youtube.com
(Thanks to Akilah Oliver’s author page on the Coffee House Press website for many of these links!)
In honor of Trade Secret, and the 25th Year of the Liaden Universe®, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are, with the connivance of Audible.com, hosting a contest. You -- yes, YOU, could win one of five free Trade Secret audiobooks!
The rules are here.
NOTE: Only entries that are appended to the post above, on korval.com will be counted. And? You only have through midnight Eastern US time, on Friday, December 6, 2013 to enter.
Gentlefolk, start your motors!