Tag Archives: John-Scalzi

John Scalzi sounds the alarm about Alibi

John Scalzi is a popular and successful author. He also happens to be the President of SFWA [Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America]. In the post below he slams the contract offered by Alibi, [a Random House imprint] to desperate authors.

The post is too in-depth to paraphrase so I’ll just quote this from John Scalzi :

“THIS IS A HORRIBLE AWFUL TERRIBLE APPALLING DISGUSTING CONTRACT WHICH IS BAD AND NO WRITER SHOULD SIGN IT EVER.” [The caps are his not mine].

After reading the whole article I can say the Alibi contract gives authors just one thing – the ego-stroking of being able to say they were published by a Big 5 traditional publisher. Even that is not quite the truth as these imprints are basically just for e-books. Anyone who signs such a contract is signing their life and future away with very little in return.

I believe this contract, and others like it [e.g. Random House Hydra imprint] are aimed at Indie authors desperate for validation. If you are an indie author, or know someone who is, please follow the link below and check out the article for yourself. And then warn every Indie you know!

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/03/06/a-contract-from-alibi/#comment-447453

Thank you to Yvonne Hertzberger for posting about the John Scalzi article. Indies helping Indies is the only safety net any of us have.

cheers

Meeks


Doors of Pine – Reader beware!

As most of you know I’m an avid reader of ebooks thanks to the low cost. I’m still picky though, so this post is not so much a review as a warning – ‘Doors of Pine’, by Mark Williams, is not a novel, it’s just the introduction to something that may, eventually, become a novel.

At the end of this snippet of a story, the author wrote this :

“Visit:

http://doorsofpinenovel.blogspot.com/ for updates.”

Excuse me?

Despite being a Kindle user for a year now, it still took me a while to realise Mark Williams must be serializing his novel. [Believe me, that was the kindest interpretation I could come up with].

Now I know that Dickens serialized most of his novels, so there is nothing new about the concept. John Scalzi is doing the same with one of his stories, perhaps to counterbalance the outrageous prices his publisher charges for his ebooks. So I can’t really argue about serialization being a scam. It’s not. However a serialization should be advertised as such.

I couldn’t remember seeing anything to that effect when I bought Doors of Pine [$0.99], so I went back to double check. This is what the blurb says :

“Doorways separate one space from another. Open a door and enter another dimension. We’re not alone in the Universe, just in our dimension. This is a preview to the beginning of Earth’s awakening to inter-dimensional travel.”

The bold on the word ‘preview’ is mine.

I guess I’m a bit of a purist, but to me, preview does not mean serialization. I certainly interpreted it to mean something like ‘first book of a series’ rather than ‘first chapter[s] of a book’.

With the wisdom of hindsight I’d have to concede that the author ‘sort of’ told the truth, but I’m still very annoyed. $0.99 is not much to waste on an ebook, but my time is a great deal more valuable than that, so I resent having my expectations dashed. This is not a good way to market a book, especially when the author is an unknown.

Publishing-as-you-go is also not a great way to write a book. Some of the concepts underlying Doors of Pine [what there is of it] were interesting, however the writing itself could have done with a good edit by a professional editor. But of course no indie can afford to hire an editor for one chapter at a time.

Essentially then, Mark Williams is asking readers to pay for the serialization of a first draft. It’s not illegal by any stretch of the imagination, but it left me with a sour taste in my mouth, and enough anger to write a very negative post.

Not a great way to market a book. Sorry.

 

 

 


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