Monday, January 21, 2013

Publishing Books Galore

Wyrd Goat Press, LLC has been busy busy busy.

First the books.

Right now I have quite a few ebooks out, but I'm most excited about the print versions.
*Tammy Owen's "House of Goats" is in print and available.  It was my first in-print book and I learned a huge amount, almost as much as I've learned from making covers over the past couple of years.
*Violence: A Writer's Guide by Rory Miller just has to be proof-read and approved.  I have a feeling that I'll be able to approve it minutes after I get that hard copy in my hands.  Lots of eyes on this one, so hopefully there will be no typos or other issues.  I love the cover on this one, even though it made me a little crazy to make it.
*Horrible Stories I Told My Children by R.A. Ellis has been proofed.  I found issues with the cover.  I'm all eager about this book, both the full color and b&w version, so it's a little frustrating to have to resubmit it, especially since it was just a tiny tweak and it'll still take up to 24 hours to get the okay.  Wah.  The color book turned out to be really expensive, as in I have to charge $19.99 on it.  The b&w is much less expensive, but the illustrations aren't as much fun with dark gray blood.  Oh well!
*I started work on Masks by E. M. Prazeman and hope to have that puppy ready to go before the end of the month.  It'll be tight, because:

I started working with InDesign.  It's super, extra frustrating because I'm so much faster at working in Word.  And I can almost do everything I want in Word.  That almost is what convinced me to learn InDesign.  And the most aggravating part is that I don't know how to do stuff in InDesign that I can do in Word.  Like headers.  Should be easy, right?  Well, I imagine that eventually it will be easy.  Right now it's like pulling teeth.  I may have to get a book on InDesign.

Last but not least, I have a new version of GIMP to play with.  I'm at the stage with the program where I feel limited only by my talent and rendering capabilities.  The program is powerful, easy, and fun.  I hope I get to this point with InDesign.  It can't seem to happen fast enough.

It's all amazing.  I wish I was doing and learning all this when I didn't have a day job.  But that was a different time, different circumstances, and it's a whole new world of publishing now.  I had the time, but not the options.  Now I have the options, but I don't have the time.

Will it ever come together?  Stay tuned for the next episode!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No Thanks

For the third time in my writing career, I've cut ties with a publisher.  New editor, new policies, and a new contract.  This contract granted all rights to the publisher and 'generously' returned to me a limited license to my own work.

No thanks.

"Writer transfers to XXRedactedXX right, title, and interest, to publish the Work, in all languages, throughout the world, in any form or medium now known or hereafter developed. The rights transferred and assigned include but are not limited to the rights to edit, publish, reproduce, distribute, license, prepare derivative works, sell and convey the work without further payment to Writer. Writer shall make no claim to have any right, title, or interest of any kind in the Work, ...  Writer shall have no right to sell, distribute, display, exhibit, or otherwise make available the Work to anyone other than XXRedactedXX, by any means, other than those set forth in Section 5, below.

I'm curious to see what happens to the magazine, since I don't see any professional writer signing this and the previous editor had groomed a crop of pretty good writers.  Time will tell.

So, what's wrong with it? Well, for one thing it allows them, should they wish, to remove the author's name and say simply, 'staff'...and protesting or even saying that I wrote it would violate the 'make no claim' clause.  Though the license granted (the 'section 5') would allow me to collect the stories I wrote and create a book... they could do so as well.  And put my name on it or someone else's.  And I wouldn't be able to upload it to, say, kindle or smashwords because both require, in their contracts, that I have the copyright.

It's not the worst contract I've seen.  The worst (and they are the other two markets I don't write for) were even more restrictive.  Had I signed the contract, not only would I have sold rights to the story, but the rights to teach my own classes. The contract was written so that the knowledge that qualified me to write the articles in the first place now belonged to the magazine.  Sigh.  Needless to say, like with this contract I refused to sign.  And unlike the publishers I've worked with who were professional (pros negotiate-- thanks David and Kathy) they refused to negotiate.  Sign or else.

I'll take the 'or else.'

And that has opened an interesting can of worms in that two of these magazines had already gone to print without a contract.  Interesting.

So, if any magazine publisher with integrity and a good contract wants some articles, let me know...