B.R.Stateham's Blog – February 2009 Archive (19)

Why the animosity toward POD authors?

Recently I thought about sending a novel to a well-known but small publisher. But I forgot to read the entire submissions demands. Much to my surprise I was informed in no uncertain times I could not submit if I had ever been published by a POD publisher.

So the question is this: Why this vehement animosity toward POD authors?

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 27, 2009 at 3:45am — 21 Comments

Finding the numbers in book sales.

I have two books out. Out since September. So, being the typical impatient Alpha-male that I am, I want to know how well they are selling. I found two sites, TitleZ.com and Rankforest.com, which track book sales. Neither have numbers for me.

So I was wondering, anyone else know of a site that might be tracking books? A site that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to be in?

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 26, 2009 at 3:25am — 3 Comments

Lit agent, Binky Urban

If anyone reads Publishers MarketPlace, in the automat section, there is an interesting reprint of an interview with Binky Urban, a high-octane (and some say the best lit. agent out there) with ICM.



She has some interesting points to consider, like;



1. She thinks authors are going to get smaller advances for their books. Advances more closely

in line with what the books will sell.



2. She think's Amazon's undercutting of book prices, especially in the ebook… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 25, 2009 at 4:46am — 16 Comments

So how do you write?

An idea for a novel plops into your brain matter suddenly and unexpectedly. How do you begin? Is the idea a complete novel--or just an intriguing 'scene' that needs to be fleshed out? Is it an opening scene? A comment said?



So you begin writing--do you outline the entire book first? Or do you just plow into the first chapter and build from that? Do you edit each page as you finish or do you keep on writing? Someone once said Hemingway did one page a day. When someone asked him why it… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 23, 2009 at 10:59pm — 17 Comments

How major newspaper reviews help/hurt book sales

I'm reading this novel which is more spy than mystery novel--and I chose to read it because of what the back cover filled with reviews from major newspapers and mags said. The praised it to high heavens, claiming the book was every accolade one can imagine.



It sucks. Hard to read. Hard to follow--frankly you need to have PhD. in psychology trying to figure out all the illusionary traps the writer is filling the pages with. But this was supposed to be a Great Book! A Modern Day Kafka!… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 22, 2009 at 11:41am — 12 Comments

Let's make a few assumptions...and guess the rest.

Let's make a few assumptions:



1. The publishing industry is radically shedding old habits and structuring itself in a different

set of new clothes.



2. Fiction as we know it, will not be produced by big-name publishing houses. Smaller 'specialty'

publishers are going to pick up the pieces and carry on.



3. Ebooks and other electronic media is going to eventually become equal to, or superior than,

the current print medium in relation to making a… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 20, 2009 at 7:55am — 34 Comments

To what degree of culpability do lit agents have in today's publishing quagmire?

How much involvement do lit agents have in the publishing crisis we face today? Are there any ways to curb a agent's desire to carve out the most lucrative contract he can get for his client? Should he (or she) be limited in this hunt? Why do publishing houses acquiesce in these apparent exorbitant demands agents demand?

Comments?

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 19, 2009 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

In your opinion . . .

In your opinion, list the authors who have lifted the genre called mystery/detective up into the rarified air called 'Art.'

Most of us, I think, would put Raymond Chandler up there. But who else? And why? And while you're at it, explain why Chandler is so deified and somone like Ed McBain isn't.

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 18, 2009 at 12:53am — 20 Comments

Simple question; who was tougher?

Okay, boys and girls. Here's a simple question: Who was tougher back in the old days , Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe?

Who's the toughest P.I. in today's genre? And would you include Mike Hammer to be in today's choices?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 16, 2009 at 12:00pm — 7 Comments

Terrible tv theme music

Remember the theme music (for all of you old enough to remember the series ) of Peter Gunn? How about Magnum, P.I.? Anyone remember T.H.E. Cat series?



Now take the theme song for the current NCIS series. Without a doubt the worst theme music ever! If the idea that the theme music help's make a series a success. . . then you have to say NCIS is an outstanding success to overcome the theme music it claims as its own!



But what to replace it with? Any suggestions? (Remember,… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 14, 2009 at 1:36pm — 2 Comments

Can a geunine mystery be in a fantasy novel

Hmmm, a comment was made the other day by someone I know in another web-site I frequent that got me to thinking. Can a detective novel be written colored as a fantasy novel? Can a hard-boil style detective reside in sci-fi?



My first reaction was to say, why not? And then I got to thinking. Exactly what are the defined parameters for 'fantasy,' for 'detectives.' For any genre. If we have 'historical-detectives,' why not ones in fantasy? Is there a One True Rule (the OTR) which defines… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 14, 2009 at 12:51am — 8 Comments

Aging reader population in mystery genre

I've heard this comment often in here. The mystery/detective genre's fans are getting long in the tooth--becoming antique oddities--and apparently there is no fresh blood coming into the fold.



Is that true? Really? I dunno--I am, like most of you, involved in other forums and interest sites, and I've have to say, I'm impressed with the number of readers under the age of 40 who frequent these places and love to read mystery/detectives. I don't see what the factors are which would… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 13, 2009 at 3:00am — 3 Comments

Has anyone heard of a new agent looking. . .

Has anyone heard of a new lit agency opening up? Or an expeienced agent working at one agency deciding to go out on his own? And oh . . . it'd be nice if this agent acutally likes both mysteries and fantasy sci-fi genres.

God, wouldn't be nice if we could just schmooze with publishers . . . and publishers would take the chance on allowing writers to directly contact them.

I know, I know. . . wishful thinking.

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 12, 2009 at 6:04am — No Comments

Authors and Book Covers

How important are the efforts of an author in regards to what they want on their bookcovers? How much 'imput' does an author have who is published by a major publisher?



In '81 when DAW published my Banners of the Sa'yen, I had no imput whatsoever. Fortunately they chose a 'legend' in the Fantasy sci-fi artworld to do the cover. And it was fabulous!



I am not being published these days by a major house. So i am deeply involved in the artwork. But whether big, or small, or… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 12, 2009 at 3:15am — 8 Comments

A 'Curious Thoughts' explanation

Apparently I have sowed a sea of confusion in my last blog about photos. Let me explain. It occured to me as I was going down the membership pages and looking at people, a set of patterns were emerging. (Either that, or I had taken too much of my diabetic medicine that morning)



The photos broke down into these categories:



1. Authors--Head shots. Many from the upper shoulders and head. No backgrounds.

A goodly number have the author posing in a slight… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 12, 2009 at 1:40am — 3 Comments

Here's a curious thought

Here's something curious; go through all the member photos. Pick those whom you think are authors, and then writers, and then readers only, and then agents.

See a pattern? I think there is. Author photos are different from everyone else's.

What do you think?

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 11, 2009 at 5:46am — 5 Comments

The Personality of a modern tough guy

Since my last blog, a comment was made which has had me swimming through the pages of the past, examining all the detective characters I've enjoyed reading over the last forty some-odd years. That expanded into the characters seen in the movies and on tv.



The comment made was something to the effect that our modern day genre has morphed to the point that a character like a Mike Hammer or Bulldog Drummond couldn't exist these days. Or, at least, doesn't exist these… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 11, 2009 at 12:51am — 10 Comments

What does a lit agent want, for chrissakes!

Let's make the assumption that I have some talent in writing. Total strangers have read my books and have gone out of their way to contact me and tell me I'm not bad. . .so there is some truth in the statement.



And let's assume I write detective novels---which, by the way, I do. So here's the qustion; Why can't I convince a good--reputable--agency that I'm qualified enough to be represented?



We all have read good writers. And we've had the unfortunate luck in our lives to… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 9, 2009 at 10:30pm — 7 Comments

What this country needs . . .

Okay, so I've been writing for forty years. That's necessarily saying I've been published for forty years. Three times so far. Two heroic sci/fantasy novels (1981, 2008) and one police-procedural (2008). And I have to say I have had rotten luck (and I think 'rotten' is just the adjective needed to describe my luck) with trying to find a lit agent who actually likes my writing.



But I keep trying. I keep plugging away. Because I have a theory. I think what this country needs . . . is… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on February 9, 2009 at 12:23pm — 11 Comments

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