Short stories and the author

So, I’m in receipt of several emails, and one crazily placed blog entry (read about it here, go over to a Whole ‘Nother Website, to a page that has nothing to do with the topic, and post the question.  Why would you do that?). . .asking when the short stories Steve and I have recently placed with anthologies (not magazines), will be “available,” by which they mean, as a chapbook from Pinbeam Books.  These folks don’t want to buy anthologies filled with stories by strange authors, just to get our new story, but they want the new stories Pretty Dern Quick.

Now, here’s the Thing.  Actually, a couple of Things.

Writers, including Steve and me, write to earn money.

Anthology gigs pay money up front.

One of the things that anthologies purchase with their up-front money is publication exclusivity, anything from 6 months to 2 years (to forever, but we turn those down; there isn’t enough up-front money in the world).

The purpose of anthologies, besides making money for the publishing house, the editor, and, maybe, some more money for their contributing authors, is to (1) draw in readers of Author A with the promise of a new story, and (2) introduce the readers of Author A to other cool writers those readers may have missed.  Anthologies are not inherently evil, honest.

Now, this is how the whole anthology publication works from the author side:

Invitation comes in –> Author rejects or accepts

If Author rejects, Author does not have to write a story to theme and deadline.  Author also does not get paid.

If Author accepts, Author receives contract from publisher.  Author writes story to theme and deadline, whereupon, sometime before publication of the anthology, a check will arrive in Author’s mailbox.

The contract issued by the publisher spells out things like rights purchased, desired word count, payment per word, how royalties will be computed, deadline for submission, deadline for publication, and!  exclusivity periods.

Once more, in short form, here is that process:
Invitation–>Author Acceptance–>Contract Arrives–>Author writes and submits story to Anthology Editor –>Revision letter arrives–>Author revises, resubmits–>Story accepted–>Payment received–>Anthology published

Some of these bits can be switched around, but these are the steps to publication.

When the anthology is published — that is when the exclusivity period starts.  Exclusivity is exactly what it sounds like — the anthology holds the exclusive right to publish Story A anywhere for:  6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 2 years (forever, but see above…)

After the exclusivity period is over, Author may sell the story to a reprint market, reprint the story Author’s self, or stick the story in a drawer and forget about it.

What we here at the Confusion Factory do is — After the exclusivity period is completed, we will cause Pinbeam Books to reprint Story A as an echapbook/paper chapbook.  Sometimes, there’s a little extra time built in before we get around to that, due to other pressing business, and whether we have at least two stories available for reprint (or have spontaneously generated another, free-range, story in the interim) so that we give value to our readers.

We also collect those stories into a big pile, and lately Baen Books has been kind enough to print those collections in the Liaden Universe® Constellation series.  So far, that is three volumes, with Constellation Four coming in Summer 2019*.

What all this means for the “availability” of the following stories: “Dark Secrets,” “Command Decision,” and “Vestals of Midnight,” is!

“Dark Secrets” will be published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, which is now scheduled to be published in September 2019.  The exclusivity period for that story is 18 months.  So, it will be “available,” sometime in mid-2021.

We have not yet been informed of the exclusivity period for “Decision,” and “Vestal,” but assume a year from publication (November 2018), since that’s an average period.

Advertent readers will see that “Revolutionists” and “Excerpts from Two Lives,” will be collected in Constellation Four.  Sometime after, Pinbeam Books will collect them into a chapbook. The reason for that timing is also exclusivity, the period for “Revolutionists” doesn’t go over until next July, scant weeks before we can expect to see the next Liaden collection.

I trust this answers everyone’s questions — and really!  Try an anthology, why not?  You might find some new favorite authors.

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*A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four, coming from Baen in Summer 2019.  This reprints eight shorter works: 2 novellas, 4 novelettes, 2 short stories from 2016-2018.  Titles included are:  “Street Cred,” “Due Diligence,” “Friend of a Friend,” “Cutting Corners,” “Block Party,” “Degrees of Separation,” “Excerpts from Two Lives,” “Revolutionists.”

 

Book signing! Post cards! Publication Schedule! Conventions! Snuff!

Today brings an infrequent professional post.

Ready?

Here we go.

BOOK SIGNING:  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be signing the anniversary edition of Agent of Change, and whatever else comes to hand, at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on!  Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Alert readers will note that this is also Fountain Pen Day.  Coincidence?  I think not!

POST CARDS:  If anyone is going to a convention, or is local to a bookstore that is amenable to taking promotional items (ask first, of course), or a reading group, or. . .and would like to distribute postcards and/or bookmarks for the new edition of Agent of Change, and for the Carousel books, please drop me a note at sharonleeATkorvalDOTcom, including your name and address, and how many postcards you would like.  I will be delighted to mail them to you.

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE: 
Agent of Change, 30th Anniversary Edition mass market paperback, cover art by Sam Kennedy, published by Baen Books, available October 30, 2018.

“Command Decision,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story, by Steve Miller and “The Vestals of Midnight,” a brand-new Archers Beach story, by Sharon Lee will be published in Release the Virgins, edited by Michael Ventrella, available in November.

“Dark Secrets,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story by Lee and Miller will be published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, available in January 2019.

A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four, coming from Baen in Summer 2019.  This reprints eight shorter works: 2 novellas, 4 novelettes, 2 short stories from 2016-2018.  Titles included are:  “Street Cred,” “Due Diligence,” “Friend of a Friend,” “Cutting Corners,” “Block Party,” “Degrees of Separation,” “Excerpts from Two Lives,” “Revolutionists.”

DEADLINES:
Accepting the Lance, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the last book in the Five Book Dash, the twenty-second Liaden Universe® novel, is scheduled to be turned in to Baen in January 2019.  Please note that this is a turn-in date.

CONVENTIONS:  As of this moment in time, Steve and I are planning to attend Boskone 56, February 17-19, 2019.

A NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER:  Do you know where your copy of the classic Halloween countdown novel by Roger Zelazny is?  Steve and I have ours, and we’re ready to start reading on September 30.

Here ends the blog post.

In which there are announcements

So, the next Liaden novel — Fifth of Five/Accepting the Lance.  After after close consultation with the characters, and of course the cats, Steve and I have spoken with Madame the Agent and  Madame the Publisher, and — we have agreed upon a January 2019 delivery date*.

Madame the Publisher allows us to know that the thirtieth anniversary edition of Agent of Change will be on sale on October 30, 2018.  We will be speaking with Mr. Blyly to find if he thinks the Uncle will find it possible to take pre-orders for signed copies of that edition.

Madame also lets us know that A Liaden Universe® Constellation: Volume Four has been penciled into the schedule for Summer 2019.

In not unrelated news, we have consulted with our bank account and our qe’andra and — we will not be attending WorldCon this year.

We will instead be badgering the contractors of Central Maine to paint and do small repairs at the Old Digs so that it can be shown and (we hope speedily) sold.

Steve and I apologize for being the authors of these inconveniences, but — necessity is.

In new house news, we have today put the rug down in the living room, signifying — something.  Probably, boredom with having to dodge around it’s rolled up bulk every time we wanted to open the side windows.

Scrabble celebrated The Event with a dance composed for the occasion:

Here’s a picture of the whole rug, with the Mencken table and the sofa:

Everybody have a good weekend.

__________________

*This is a delivery date, not a publication date.  “Delivery date” is when we turn the finished manuscript into Madame the Publisher.

Legacy Systems published in paper

Legacy Systems: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 19, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, including short stories “Intelligent Design” and “The Space at Tinsori Light” is now available in paper!

Here’s your link.

Once again, I am converting the older echapbooks into paper books as time permits, so progress will be slow and erratic. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Book Day!

Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27! is officially released today.

You may purchase it at all of the usual ebook outlets.  Those who fancy paper, may purchase a paperback copy at Amazon.

A special thank you to the 730-ish folks who preordered, thereby assisting with our experiment.  For Science!

I spent the weekend going through Fifth of Five, moving scenes, removing scenes, rewriting scenes — which is not as easy as it sounds.  Still got a bit of that to finish up, and then we can see where we are.

Everybody stay warm.

 

Degrees of Separation paperback now available!

As the title of the post strongly implies, you may now order the paper edition of Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27, from Amazon only.

Here’s the link.

The ebook edition of Degrees. . . continues to be available for pre-order from these vendors:  Amazon , BN, iBooks, Kobo, and Tolino.

On January 15 (that’s Monday!) the ebook will go “on sale” at the above stores, and also at Baen ebooks.

Here’s a picture of the paperback edition:

 

In Which Royalty Statements Have Landed

So, we got the January-June 2017 royalty statements yesterday.

Royalty statements always make for fascinating study — for values of “fascinating” that will make the eyes of any non-writer quickly glaze over.

The take-away from this batch of statements is that Dragon in Exile (June 2015) really did sell  (relatively) poorly.  No clue why, of course — bad title, unconvincing art, civil war, poor reviews, people were off dragons that year. . .could be anything.  For comparison, Alliance of Equals (July 2016) — the numbers for which we see for the first time in this batch of statements — sold more copies in its initial period than DiE has sold in its entire life.  Hmm.

We also see that DiE sold a total of 447 eArcs, while Alliance sold 1,678.  I do wonder if there’s a correlation between eArcs sold and first period sales, and how you’d go about measuring that. . .

The other really fascinating thing we learn from these royalty statements is that we’re selling the heck out of ebooks.  I think I first noticed in Mouse and Dragon’s initial period that the ebook sales had pushed it over the top — from break-even to royalty-earning — and that pattern seems to be holding for all subsequent titles.

For Sharon Lee titles — Carousel Tides, Carousel Sun, Carousel Seas — the pattern holds, but at a much more modest growth rate than the Liaden books.  Tides and Sun have earned out; Seas still owes the house money, though I expect it will earn out in another year or two.

So, anyway — now you know what I spent a chunk of my day on yesterday.

This morning, we took Steve to the dental surgeon for the last bit of that business.  We now move back to the reconstructive folks and hopefully this whole adventure will be behind him-and-us this year!  Maybe even before WorldCon.

Wow, wouldn’t that be something?

After the dentist, we stopped at the Barnes and Noble, since we were in Augusta, anyway, and signed stock, including eight! copies of Neogenesis, and after that?

We went for a ride — just a short ride, down to Lewiston and back up through Farmington.  Which reminds me that I have to look up where Wales, Maine, happens to lie.

This afternoon, I have a nap penciled in, then it’s back to Fifth of Five, until — Saturday, actually.  Some series of errors has conspired for an appointment-free day tomorrow.  Which is good, because next week is solid appointments.

And that?  Is all I’ve got.

Well, no.  I also have a picture of Belle, resting with her buddy, the rag tiger.

Back to work

So, three days of work essentially lost, which means I’ve gotta Write Like a Sonofagun.  Which I’ve been doing.  I’m just back from lunch, and thought I’d catch y’all back up before I got to work again.

Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27 ebook edition is available for preorder at the following online vendors:  Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Tolino.

Degrees will publish on January 15.  On that date (on the US timeline), you will be able to buy an ebook edition from all of the vendors listed above, and from Baen eBooks.  The paper edition ought to be available on January 15, as well, but if not then, very soon after.

Degrees is the prequel to “Block Party,” which you may read, for free, on Baen.com.  Here’s your link.

Neogenesis, the 21st novel set in the Liaden Universe® created by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, was officially released as hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on January 2.  If you read the book, please consider putting a reader review up on Amazon, BN, or another review venue.

No, I do not have a publication date for Fifth of Five, but a good guess would be: between six and 14 months after Steve and I turn it in to Madame the Publisher, which!  We haven’t done yet.

A couple months ago, I had to stop drinking coffee.  This is of course a tragedy, but with the help of kind friends, I have been able to locate several teas which will deliver the miracle of caffeine into my system.  My morning drug of choice is Irish Breakfast Tea.  In the afternoon, I sometimes have a cup of vanilla chai, which is pleasant, but I also like green tea in the afternoon.

Early in the week, Steve brought me news of Zhena’s Teas — a must-see, as I’m sure you’ll agree.  I went online to look at them, and found the! perfect! green tea for my needs, which arrived today — and here’s a picture:

For those who follow the Cat Farm’s Snow Removal Protocols:  We had a “snow hurricane” on Thursday, which deposited about 17 inches of snow that I could not shovel (see back spasms), and which Steve could not shovel (see cardiomyopathy), and which the plowguy could not shovel (see three dozen customers needing to be plowed out and the limited number of hours in the day).

The plowguy, however, had a solution.  “I know a guy,” he said.  “I’ll get him down here.”

And so it is that, in addition to a lawnguy, and a plowguy, we now have a shovelguy.  Which is actually something of a relief.

It’s also good to know that the I-Know-A-Guy Network is still operational, at least in our part of Central Maine.

And that?  Catches us up for the day.  Back to work I go.

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*Yes, I know I have not provided links for Apple and Tolino; that’s because I have heard news of availability from third parties, but have not been able to locate the books on those two services myself.  If someone will supply me with links, I’ll be happy to amend the post.

Thanks to Susan for providing the iBooks link!

Thanks, also, to Estara Swanberg for the Tolino link!

And to Marion, for the explanatory Tolino links.  Who knew?