Monthly Archives: May 2010

Ebook formats and the unnecessary fuss

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2
May 28, 2010

There’s an awful lot of confusion and kerfuffle going on at the moment around ebooks. It’s not new, as the kerfuffle has been kerfuffling for a while now. And I’m sure it will continue. The primary concern seems to be people panicking about getting their books (be they author, indie author, publisher or whatever) out in as many selling venues as possible. There’s the iPhone and the iPad, the Kindle and the Kobo, the Sony Reader and a million other options. Then there are all the various ebook formats.

ebook readers Ebook formats and the unnecessary fussWell, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a fuss about nothing. Supply and demand is a great leveller. People that produce a product, the successful people at least, are keen to remove customer confusion. Often they let the customers do it for themselves. That’s happening with the retailers.

At its most basic, an ebook is not very different to a print book. When you produce a dead tree book you have to get all your content correctly laid out in your chosen program. The real pros use InDesign or something like that, but you honestly can produce professional looking books with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat these days. You make sure you set your styles right, you get your layout and font the way you want it, you add in your page numbers and headers by section and so on. I’m not here to explain all that stuff right now – it’s pretty easy to learn.

Once you’ve made yourself a text block for a print book, you’ve already got an ebook. You take your print edition text block and you remove all the page numbers, headers, sections and everything else. There are numerous other options open to you, like embedded images and videos, hyperlink references, a hyperlinked Table Of Contents and a variety of font styles, but essentially all you need is the print file with all the page-relevant data removed. Again, there are numerous “How To” files and sites out there to help you with that stuff. But that’s not really the primary cause of concern. It seems to me that a lot of people are stressed about getting their ebook available on all the popular devices and in all the popular formats.

Ladies and gents, don’t stress about it. All those product makers out there would have you believe you need to jump through hoops for them. Not true. Jump through a couple of well chosen hoops and all the rest will fall into place.

Let’s start with the big names and the current poster children: Amazon, Kindle, iPhone and iPad. Very easy. Go to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform or DTP. Here it is. Sign up and follow the instructions to upload your text block. Wait for approval. Now your book is available directly from Amazon wirelessly to anyone with a Kindle reader. And an iPhone or iPad, because those people can get the Kindle app for their device. Bloody gold, these app developers. (If you think of something and the thought, “There should be an app for that!” goes through your head, then there almost certainly is one already. If not, you might have just had a million dollar idea.)

iphone ipad Ebook formats and the unnecessary fussSo you don’t need to be a web developer to make an iPad app of your book. You don’t need to pay other people hundreds or thousands of dollars to do it for you. Sure, it would be great to have an iPad app built specifically for each of your books, but you don’t need them. People will still read your book if you make them aware of it, catch their interest and then direct them to a place to buy it from, be it a standalone app or a file for their Stanza or Kindle app.

You don’t want to use Amazon? No problem. I’ve extolled the virtues of Smashwords.com here before. They are a truly great ebook publisher and retailer. You can upload your book to them as a Word document (as long as you follow their Style Guide to the letter, which isn’t hard) and they’ll make your ebook for you in every format you’ll ever need. Including .mobi, which people with Kindles can read. And epub, for the iPhone and iPad. And they’ll distribute out to numerous well respected ebook retailers around the world. It’s bloody child’s play.

There are ways to make all kinds of versions for all kinds of readers and have a really swanky looking selection of ebooks. But people that are keen to read your book will read your book. If they have a certain reader and you direct them to the correct file type, that’s it. With Amazon and Smashwords, you’ve got all you need.

Of course, if you’re all protective and believe in DRM (Digital Rights Management) then you won’t want to use Smashwords, but you can enable DRM on the Amazon DTP and still have Kindle editions available to all Kindle owners and anyone else with a Kindle app. For nothing. In no time. And you can set your price and make a royalty.

See. It’s bloody easy. Chill out.

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Buy Dark Pages direct from Blade Red Press for AU$15.00

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0
May 28, 2010

Dark Pages, the anthology of dark speculative fiction, is now available directly from Blade Red Press. You can pay via PayPal and you can use a credit card if you don’t have a PayPal account. Just click on the Buy Now button on this page and follow the prompts.

The book is only AU$15.00, including postage, anywhere in the world. Spread the word!

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Dark Pages ebook now available

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1
May 26, 2010

For those of you in the e-revolution, you can now read the Dark Pages anthology on your Kindle, iPhone or any other e-reader you choose. Dark Pages is now available on Kindle from Amazon and in any other ebook format from Smashwords.

You can find the Amazon Kindle edition here.

You can find multiple format ebook editions at Smashwords here.

It’s a great book, with fourteen awesome stories by fourteen awesome authors. Get it now and tell your friends!

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Wear the lilac towel day

By
12
May 25, 2010

Today, May 25th, has become a day of considerable significance. Two fantastic authors, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, have made May 25th a day to remember. Back in 2001, two weeks after the death of Douglas Adams, fans began Towel Day. On Towel Day you carry a towel with you in remembrance of Adams and his excellent series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. As the great book says:

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the words of Ford Prefect: “If you want to survive out here, you’ve got to know where your towel is.”

Also on May 25th we’re now celebrating the work of Terry Pratchett and raising awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Disease. In Pratchett’s book Nightwatch, the men who fought and died in the Revolution are remembered by people who “wear the lilac” every May 25th. Bringing that tradition into the real world, Pratchett fans are now wearing lilac sprigs to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s. You can even buy a spring here. Or you could just pick some. But that wouldn’t get much money to Alzheimer’s research.

On Twitter a few of us were talking about this and suggesting that we wouldn’t want one or other day to get the upper hand, as it were, leaving the other day less noticed. The net result of that conversation was that perhaps we should all wear towelling robes on May 25th. The robes would be lilac in colour and have DON’T PANIC embroidered on the back, with all sales proceeds going to www.alz.org or www.alzheimers-research.org.uk.

You heard it here first. Get on board. And if anyone wants to manufacture those robes and donate the profits to Alzheimer’s research then I’m sure karma would reward you generously.

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Pushed Too Far on Dark Shorts

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7
May 21, 2010

My duel winning story from House Of Horror has been added to the Dark Shorts page. Use the button on the left or this is a direct link to the story.

It’s a little under 1,500 words and Friday Flash stuff is supposed to be 1,000 words or less, but I thought I’d mention this in Friday Flash circles anyway, for those of you interested to have a read. I hope you enjoy it.

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It’s a funny old world

By
7
May 20, 2010

I might be a bit quiet on the interwebz front over the next few days due to a bit of family drama. Nothing that won’t be sorted out before long, but it’s going to take my attention for a while.

However, in a “funny old world” sort of moment, I’ve also had a slew of good news on the writing front. Last week a short story of mine called Mirrorwalk was accepted for publication in Murky Depths, a great UK based spec fic magazine.

Then I won the horror writers duel over at House Of Horror (which I blogged about here). Thanks to all of you that voted for my story there. I’ll add that yarn to the Dark Shorts page here when I have a bit more time.

Following that, I’ve just found out that my short story, Stand Off, which stars Isiah, the protagonist from my novels RealmShift and MageSign, has been selected for inclusion in The Best of Wily Writers, Volume 1. Wily Writers published and podcast that story a while back – you can find it on the Dark Shorts page of this site. I’m very honoured that they’ve decided to include it in what’s sure to be a superb anthology.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, my short story Unexpected Launch has been accepted for the forthcoming Coeur De Lion anthology Anywhere But Earth, edited by Keith Stevenson. You may remember how much I was raving on about the X6 Novella Anthology last year. That was a book from Coeur De Lion, edited by Keith Stevenson, so you can imagine how stoked I am to be included in Anywhere But Earth. This anthology is an excellent concept and I think it’s going to be a truly stellar collection of tales. The submission window is still open for a long while yet, so have a think about submitting something if you’re a writer.

After a fairly dry start to this year it looks like I’ve just experienced a very welcome downpour.

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Dark Pages anthology now available

By
8
May 17, 2010

antho 1 cover small1 Dark Pages anthology now availableAs many of you know, while I’m first and foremost a writer, I also run a small publishing company called Blade Red Press. We’ve been working hard to put together our first short story anthology of dark speculative fiction, called Dark Pages. I’m very pleased to say that it’s available now.

The stories included are:

The Stain of the Psychopomp King by Lucien E G Spelman
Heart Of Ice by Martin Livings
Neptune’s Garden by Lisa A Koosis
Dust by Naomi Bell
To Die For by S D Matley
The Franchise by Joe L Murr
Clip Notes by Marty Young
Blood on Green by Victoria Anisman-Reiner
Cargo by Aaron Polson
Nepenthe by Felicity Dowker
Yellow Water Pike by Derek Rutherford
Surveying The Land by B D Wilson
Nightwork by Robert Neilson
Hand And Cradle by Trent Roman

Cover art is by the awesomely talented Australian artist Halinka Orszulok. (She’s also my wife. What’s the point in running your own press if you can’t indulge a bit of nepotism?)

You can find Dark Pages now at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Don’t forget you can also order the book directly from the press – details on the Contact Page there.

Treat yourself to a sumptuous feast of dark fiction today. While you’re at it, treat a few other people too. You won’t regret it. Would these people lie to you? (Well, they might actually, but in this case they’re being very honest):

Blade Red Press have honed their knife to an edge that sits uncomfortably next to the skin, teasing the veins and arteries beneath. The stories within can and will make you feel things you may prefer stay buried, allowing you to breathe that little bit easier in the waking day.

These stories will grab you by the balls, or cruelly twist your nipples, making you sweat and squirm, and then when you least expect it, touch your heart and make you want to cry. Why the hell haven’t I got something in here?”
- Paul Haines, award-winning author of Slice Of Life

“What can I say other than, ‘Wow!’ Every one of the fourteen stories nestled within these Dark Pages is intriguing, different, grabbing. And definitely dark. From dystopian future-worlds to quietly dark fantasy, the stories will have the reader hooked from beginning to end.”
- Gill Ainsworth, Co-Editor of the Stoker Award-nominated anthology Aegri Somnia

“An eclectic collection, ranging from the mysterious through to out-and-out horror, all the way to hardcore science fiction. Some fresh new voices side-by-side with well-seasoned genre hands. An entertaining read.”
- Cat Sparks, multi award-winning writer and editor

Dark Pages offers an admirable diversity of subject matter, theme and approach – quietly unnerving or brutal, naturalistic or speculative, these tales range from everyday horrors through to full-on supernatural terror. An entertaining exploration of dark possibilities.”
- Robert Hood, author of Backstreets & Immaterial: Ghost Stories

Please spread the word and let everyone you can know about this book. It has fourteen stories by fourteen awesome writers, excellently edited by Brenton Tomlinson. It deserves to be noticed.

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Super X-Treme Mega History Heroes – The Brontes

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2
May 14, 2010

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Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell blog book tour

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0
May 13, 2010

You may remember a little while ago that I hosted a day of Kate Forsyth’s blog book tour for The Puzzle Ring. Well, Kate is far from the only talented writer in the family. Her sister, Belinda Murrell, is also a talented and prolific writer in her own right. Seriously, these two are enough to give any writer insignificance syndrome – Kate is working on her 25th book and Belinda on her 10th!

Both Kate and Belinda have a new book to promote – The Wildkin’s Curse by Kate and The Ruby Talisman by Belinda – and they’re touring the interwebz together. I was lucky enough to get them both to answer a few questions about their writing and their lives.

Which of you was published first? Was there competition there?

Kate – I would normally say that I was published first as I had my first novel Dragonclaw published in 1997 which is nine years before Belinda published her first novel, The Quest for the Sun Gem – by the time that came out I had already published 14 or 15 books. But Belinda reminded me today that she actually wrote a book that was published while I was still at university! It just wasn’t a novel. And she’s catching me up fast – I’m now working on my 25th book & Belinda is writing her 10th.

Belinda: There wasn’t so much competition as trepidation. While I had worked as a professional writer for 20 years, both my sister and brother were bestselling authors and so I wrote my first book in deepest secrecy! Kate found out I was writing it by accident and she was so excited. However I was terrified that Kate would hate the manuscript. Luckily she didn’t!!

the ruby talisman Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell blog book tourIs writing something that runs in the family, or is it just you two that are the literary over-achievers?

Belinda: Writing definitely runs in the family! Not only are my brother and sister authors, but there have been writers in our family for about 180 years. Our great-great-great-great-great grandmother Charlotte Waring wrote the first children’s book published in Australia. My grandmother was an English teacher and with our mother, always fostered our love of books, poetry and writing. She used to tell us the most wonderful, romantic stories about history, our family and Scottish folklore full of adventure and brave, feisty heroines. She would talk to us about Shakespeare and Tennyson, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

Kate: Charlotte Waring’s book was called A Mother’s Offering to Her Children by a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales [Surely one of the best titles ever! – Alan] and it was published in 1841. It’s an amazing book – the first time Australian flora and fauna was described in a work of fiction, the first time Aborigines were described, the first recount of Eliza Fraser’s experiences after her shipwreck… it’s really appalling that she is not more celebrated. Then her daughter Louise Atkinson was the first Australian-born woman novelist and the first Australian female journalist… there’s a flower named after her!

What’s your ideal writing space/environment?

Kate: I love my study! It’s painted pale green and is lined along two walls with bookshelves laden with books on history and witchcraft and folklore and literature. The third wall is hung with framed covers of my books and a map of Middle-Earth and a map of Narnia. The fourth wall is a huge picture window that looks out across my garden, through the peach tree to the harbour and the ocean. It’s a lovely place to work. However, I am very used to working anywhere at any time – in bed at 4am, at the airport, on a plane, in the park while my children play, with my notebook on the bench while I cook dinner…

Belinda: I have a beautiful office now, full of books, with a fireplace and a view over the garden. But while I was away travelling with my family for two years, I wrote in many beautiful and wild places – in the Kimberley in far north Western Australia, in the Scottish highlands, on the verandah of a friend’s cattle farm, on outback stations, in Margaret River…

Where do you get your inspiration?

Belinda: Life! My children. Travel. Things that happen all around me, every day…
I was inspired to write The Ruby Talisman because my family and I spent two years travelling and having adventures together, including a wonderful sojourn in France. We explored the gorgeous French countryside on horseback, by foot and on board an old fishing boat. We even crawled down into the dank, dark tunnels under the streets of Paris where the aristocratic bones were tossed of those murdered during the revolution. The French Revolution seemed an ideal period in history for a book of deadly danger and exhilarating adventures!

Kate: I find that ideas come to me all the time – I can reading a magazine (or a jewellery catalogue like I was when I first got the idea for The Puzzle Ring) or staring out a car window or reading a book on Cornish folklore or walking past a creepy old house… and then I’ll begin to wonder… I think the main difference is I see these moments of wondering or imagining as the seed-bed for a story while most people would just be distracted for a moment and then keep on walking.

the wildkins curse Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell blog book tourI think that’s something true of all writers – we see the potential for a story in everything.

Do you help each other out with writer’s block or sticky plot twists?

Kate: We talk about what we’re doing a lot, and often find just by talking it out we come to the solution… or one of us will say something really quite obvious that sparks an idea. I remember with The Wildkin’s Curse I was bothered about my final scene and Belinda said, ‘Well, what can your hero do that no-one else can?’ and at once my brain was off and running, and my sticky problem was fixed!

Belinda: Kate and I tend not to read each other’s manuscripts until they are finished – we find it’s better that way. We do help each other in so many other ways, whether talking through a difficult plot problem that is bothering us, helping to look after each other’s children or giving each other a stern talking-to, when we are doing too much, or getting stressed from juggling the many demands of motherhood, career, family and writing.

Is there still competition between you both?

Belinda: In a sense, we can be quite a competitive family. But we usually celebrate each other’s successes and are very supportive of one another. The keenest competition can be when we discover (yet again) that there is some quirky similarity between the two books we are writing at the same time. For example, with our latest books we discovered we had both called our heroines Tilly, so we had to negotiate a compromise – I won!

Kate: Sometimes we ring each other and say, ‘How many words did you get done today? Ha-ha, I did more!’ But it’s only ever as a joke. And we’d only do it if we knew the other one was writing happily away and not stuck or busy on other things. This week we were teasing each other because our books were the No 1 & No 2 bestsellers at a bookshop – and the bookseller was too scared to tell us which was which in case whoever was No 2 would be upset. But of course were both thrilled – both for ourselves and for each other.

Belinda: Yes – it turned out Kate was the number one bestseller, but I was nipping at her heels! I was only one book sale behind!

Does it help that you’re both writers? Can your success help to influence the other’s success?

Kate: A writer can really only forge their own success. It didn’t matter how many books I’d written or how many millions I’d sold, no publisher would have taken on Belinda just because she was my sister. They took her on because her books were so good! And people buy them because they’ve read her earlier books and loved them. Customer satisfaction and word of mouth is what sells books, not who you’re related to!

Belinda: It can actually be a hindrance – Kate’s agent refused to take me on because she thought it was too incestuous! Actually, in many ways it does help. Kate has definitely been a wonderful mentor to me, and has taught me so much about how the industry works. In other ways it made it harder, because Kate was so successful that I was very naive about how difficult it actually is to get published. I thought all authors sold hundreds of thousands of copies of their books!! But that too was an inspiration because I thought if Kate can do it, so can I!

kate forsyth belinda murrell Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell blog book tourTell us a bit about your current release.

Belinda: The Ruby Talisman is an exciting time slip adventure where my modern day heroine, Tilly, falls asleep wearing an old ruby pendant and is magically transported back in time to the glittering and opulent court of Queen Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Tilly wakes up in Versailles on July 14th, 1789, the day the peasants storm the Bastille, sparking violent uprisings against the aristocrats all over the country. Tilly sets off on a series of terrifying adventures throughout France to help her aristocratic ancestor Amelie-Mathilde escape the dangers and chaos of the French Revolution.

Kate: The Wildkin’s Curse is a tale of true love & high adventure, set in a world of magic & monsters, valiant heroes and wicked villains. It tells the story of two boys and a girl who undertake the impossible task of rescuing a wildkin princess from a crystal tower.

Princess Rozalina has the power to enchant with words – she can conjure up a plague of rats or wish the dead out of their graves, she can woo a cruel king with her stories and, when she casts a curse, it has such power it will change her world forever.

The Wildkin’s Curse is a book about the power of stories to set us free.

Thanks so much to you both for sharing this stuff with us. If any of you out there are interested in learning more about Kate and Belinda you can check out their websites. Belinda’s site is here and Kate’s site is here. You can also watch the book trailer for The Wildkin’s Curse here – one of the best book trailers I’ve seen.

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Neil Gaiman and the $45,000 appearance fee

By
7
May 12, 2010

My friend Michael made me aware of this news over at Boing Boing. It’s since caused a fair stir, with opinions all over the interwebz. So I thought, what kind of writer or blogger am I if I don’t weigh in too? Basically there’s been outrage that Neil Gaiman would charge $45,000 for an appearance fee. In the Boing Boing article they cite Gaiman’s FAQ which offers this explanation:

Q. How can I get Neil Gaiman to make an appearance at my school/convention/event?

A. Contact Lisa Bransdorf at the Greater Talent Network. Tell her you want Neil to appear somewhere. Have her tell you how much it costs. Have her say it again in case you misheard it the first time. Tell her you could get Bill Clinton for that money. Have her tell you that you couldn’t even get ten minutes of Bill Clinton for that money but it’s true, he’s not cheap.

On the other hand, I’m really busy, and I ought to be writing, so pricing appearances somewhere between ridiculously high and obscenely high helps to discourage most of the people who want me to come and talk to them. Which I could make a full time profession, if I didn’t say ‘no’ a lot.

I think it’s important to remember that Gaiman is an author. He writes awesome fiction that has millions of fans around the world. That’s what he’s famous for, that’s what he’s clearly very, very good at and that’s what his fans expect of him. Gaiman is also an incredibly hard working writer when it comes to tours and promotions. I don’t think there’s a harder working writer in the business and his success is at least in part due to this commitment to promote his work. And Gaiman doesn’t always charge his fee – there are things he’ll do for free as part of that commitment.

Any writer will tell you that marketing and promotion are harder work and take more time than the actual writing process. That’s as true for a relative nobody like me as it is for a giant like Gaiman. On his website, Neil has further commented on the issue. The key point of that post for me was this:

The main reason I got a speaking agency, ten years ago, was because too many requests for me to come and speak were coming in. And the speaking requests were, and are, a distraction from what I ought to be doing, which is writing. So rather than say no, we’ve always priced me high. Not Tony Blair high, or Sarah Palin high (last time I read about them, they’re about $400,000 and $150,000 respectively). But I’m at the top end of what it costs to bring an author who should be home writing and does not really want a second career as a public speaker to your event.

So if you want to pay me to come in and talk, it’s expensive.

Cory Doctorow weighed in on the Boing Boing post with an long, interesting comment that ended with this:

Anyone who asks me to leave the continent for a talk gets a friendly, hand-written, personal note explaining that I can only do this for a ridiculous amount of money; that I’ll consider lowering my fee a little if they can’t make it, and that I’ll cheerfully add their institution or group to the list of people to come speak at for free the next time paid work brings me to their neck of the world (I pay someone to keep track of this).

And then, like Neil, I do a ton of free talking: I’ll do sf conventions where I’m guest of honor for free (of course); I don’t charge any of my publishers to tour with my books (of course — but this takes me to 4 or 5 countries a year for a month or two’s worth of travel); I do EFF, ORG, and other civil liberties groups’ events for free (of course). I also attend one or two professional events at my own expense every year and speak for free (of course), such as the WorldCon.

All told, I probably spend a little more time on on the road than I would truly like to, maybe 20-30%. But most of the time I really enjoy seeing people, talking about stuff I care about, raising money for causes I support, etc. It’s a fun deal. That said, I also dearly want to spend more time at my desk and more time with my family. Like everything in life, there’s a trade-off, and I’m thankful every day that I’m lucky enough to have a trade-off between two such pleasurable alternatives.

So before people start railing at Gaiman for being a prima donna or for acting like a superstar, it’s best to get all the facts. The truth is that Gaiman is a superstar and he’s in high demand. He’s also really busy, always touring and appearing and, fundamentally, should be writing. I’d rather get more writing from Gaiman and less touring around, but I’m selfish like that.

It would certainly be amazing to be in a position to not only have Gaiman’s literary success, but also his profile which gives him such clout and allows him to earn enormous sums of money. It’s encouraging to all us starving artists out here. But let’s give Neil the last word on all this and it’ll show what a bollocks storm in a teacup it all really is:

I was asked if I’d come and talk at Stillwater, and be paid $40,000. I said, “That’s an awful lot of money for a little library.”

“It’s not from the library. It’s from the Legacy Fund, a Minnesota tax allocation that allows the library to pay market rates to bring authors to suburban libraries who otherwise wouldn’t be able to bring them in. They have to use the money now as it won’t roll over to next year and expires next month.”

“Ah.”

Well, that seemed fairly simple. They’d already booked a number of other authors. They had the money sitting there and were happy to pay me my rack rate. Either they gave the money to me or it went away – it couldn’t be used for anything else. And, most importantly, the dates worked. Another week and I would have had to say no, as I would have been away writing. But I got in from Chicago that morning. I said yes.

I figure money like that, sort of out-of-the-blue windfall money, is best used for Good Deeds, so I let a couple of small and needy charities (one doing social work, the other library/book based) know that I would be passing the money on to them, after agents had taken their commission, and did not think twice about it.

More power to your elbow, Mr Gaiman. Keep doing what you’re doing.

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Welcome

The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Zetetic.

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