Some of you may have noticed I’m on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Except for my Wednesday publishing posts, the blog will be dark until Monday January 5 – but then I’m rolling out a bunch of new content and features, so I hope you’ll join me then! I hope you and your family had a bright and happy holiday season, and wish you great success and prosperity in 2015. In the meantime, here’s a baby seahorse to keep you company this week:Read more
Month: December 2014
Twas the Night Before Christmas…and What’s in a Name?
Today’s Holiday publishing post takes a page from “Santa” and looks at the use of pseudonyms (aka “pen names”) in publishing. The arguments for and against pen names are numerous, and also next week’s topic. Authors should use a pseudonym only after full consideration of the business-side pros and cons. Today, let’s take a look at the legal issues pen names can raise for authors who choose to use them. The legality of using a pen name isn’t in question. Famous (and not-so-famous) authors have used them for years. The bigger question – and one fewer authors can answer – is what legal hurdles thatRead more
How To Plot A Murder – by R. Franklin James
Today, please welcome my friend and fellow mystery author R. Franklin James, who writes the Hollis Morgan Mystery series. She’s taking over the blog today to share some advice on murdering imaginary friends. And so, with no further ado: How to Plot a Murder (Part 1) by R. Franklin JamesRead more
Show Me … the Contract.
Many people use the holiday season as a chance to focus on the important things in life–the basics. Today’s post is taking a cue from that idea, and focusing on one of the critical aspects of protecting your rights as an author: the publishing contract. In life, we enter into many verbal contracts. Some are legally binding. Some are not. The law dictates which types of contracts can (and cannot) be verbal. Generally speaking, publishing contracts need to be in writing — and smart authors ALWAYS get the deal in writing. By law, most contracts which cannot be completed within one year must beRead more
O Christmas Tree….
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, my cat would like to eat thee…. She likes your piney leaves so well, They give her puke a Christmas smell …Read more
Mystery and Fantasy are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Please welcome fantasy author Jeff Seymour, whose newest novel, SOULWOVEN: EXILE releases this week! Mystery and Fantasy are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter by Jeff Seymour If you’re a fantasy reader and a mystery fan, you may have noticed that mysteries crop up frequently among your swords and spells. “What’s this ring?” (The Fellowship of the Ring), “Who’s this ‘Gray King’?” (The Lies of Locke Lamora), “What’s up with these White Walkers?” (A Game of Thrones). Most of the best fantasies I read open with a mystery. Mysteries are a great way to draw somebody into a story, and inRead more
Merchandising Rights in Publishing Deals
Generally, “merchandising rights” refers to the right to create, market, and sell merchandise (read: physical items). In a publishing deal, “merchandising rights” refers to the right to create and sell “merchandise” based on a book or created world. “Merchandising rights” is a broad term, which covers everything from greeting cards to T-shirts and action figures. Many authors don’t realize that publishing contracts often contain a license of merchandising rights (to the publisher). Contracts which license merchandising rights to the publisher should also contain a royalty split for the author. However, there’s no legal obligation (& often, no need) for an author toRead more
COOKIES! The Virtual Cookie Exchange
Kerry Shafer, author of the Books of the Between (and a fantastic upcoming paranormal mystery series) invited me to participate in a virtual cookie exchange blog hop. And of course I said yes, because … COOKIE! Last week, Kerry shared a delicious recipe for Melting Moments – which, in my house, would have to be re-titled “Disappearing Moments” because they’d be gone the second they emerged from the oven. The week before that, paranormal author Linda Poitevin shared a Snowball recipe that would also disappear quite quickly at my house–and not because of the California temperatures. So now it’s my turn,Read more
The Importance of Sneetches
Lately, I’m thinking a lot about Sneetches. As a child, I loved Dr. Seuss’s story about the silly birds who thought having stars on your belly made you somehow better than birds without stars upon “thars,” possibly because I spent much of my childhood feeling like the plain-bellied Sneetch in a world full of star-covered specimens. As an adult, I’ve realized just how much truth Dr. Seuss piled into that short, silly tale – especially the jaded departing comment from Sylvester McMonkey McBean, who writes the entire population off with the toss-away line: “Everyone knows you can’t teach a Sneetch.”Read more
Thanksgiving in New York
A couple of months ago, my mother told me her “Bucket List” included a Thanksgiving trip to New York to watch the Macy’s Parade “live and in person.” Last weekend, that dream became a reality. Mom (and I) had been to New York before, on several occasions, My stepfather lived there for several years, during his years with the Associated Press. But my brother, sister-in-law, and their children had not – so we went in a few days early and made a week of it. The highlight of the week, for me, was taking my niece and nephew to their first-ever Broadway performances: CinderellaRead more