Sunday, May 24, 2009

My fingertips bleed!

Check out my page on!!

This is why I haven't been blogging right now.  I have four queries for the novel still out, and I've been networking and trying to talk to industry people and make connections as well.  It's been difficult, as my full-time employment has been especially busy, and I am doing my hardest to build an audience, or at least get a platform together.

I also have to revamp my website to include the space, vacuum the apartment (oh, I'm moving in the middle of all this too) and get ready for a dinner with the family, as well as wrangle the Siamese cyclone that's currently running through the apartment.  Oy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm an Examiner!

I just got a great new job! I know, I already have two jobs, and this is more of a hobby, but I'm now working for!

I am now the Chicago Japanese Animation Examiner, which is a huuuge hobby of mine. I think anime is just about the prettiest form of animation out there, and I love the storylines, the fantastical elements, and the dynamics between the characters.

Chicago is also a great town for anime. The Music Box Theater features some feature-length anime films, and we have the annual Anime Central convention every spring. Which I shall be reporting for from here on in! Not to mention that it's also a great way to get some additional writing credits on the resume.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I Had A Million (plus) Dollars...

I've given a lot of thought to this topic... if I became an overnight millionairess, would I still want to write and still have a drive to be published?

Of course! It has been said so many times that one shouldn't write unless they absolutely have to. I really honestly HAVE TO. It's a compulsion, to climb into someone else's mind and watch them react, make choices, fall down, and pick themselves back up. It's likely why I was a huge RPG player (stop laughing) in high school and college. I'm always wondering what's in other people's minds, and how they might react to different situations.

So, if I had over a million dollars, what would I do?

I'd probably start by the usual... straightening out a little credit card debt, buying a house, paying off the car, and setting up some kind of investment plan, as well as quit both jobs. I might take a few weeks off to recover from being almost completely overworked as well.

Then? I'd hire myself a publicist, and mount an attack on the publishing world. There is nothing within the bounds of law that I wouldn't do in order to achieve my dreams, and if I had more resources with which to accomplish them, very few things would stand in my way.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Many people get frustrated and upset on the long road to getting a book in stores, and decide they can do better themselves. They bypass the agenting and publishing process, and find themselves a self-publishing operation. They figure if they can move a decent amount of books, somewhere in the thousands, in the first few months of selling, they can likely get the attention of an agent or a publisher, and then can have their book brought into the mainstream.

For the most part, they also think that winning the lottery is easy.

There are always exceptions to the rule, like Eragon by Christopher Paolini, for example. But, there are a number of drawbacks to self-publishing to consider.

First of all, you will likely never see your book in a bookstore. A lot of booksellers are used to things like discounts, 60 to 90-day billing cycles, and full returnability, which are not available with a self-published book. You might have to sell your books yourself, on consignment, and skip over Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Borders entirely. It might even be difficult to get through to as well.

Second, a lot of authors are unhappy with the promotional services and editorial assistance available through their traditional publisher. Some feel that their novel does not get the attention they expected when they signed on with their publisher. Even if all you get is a copy edit of your manuscript and a listing in a publisher's catalogue, imagine what might happen if you didn't even get that. Most self-publishing operations offer only paper, a printing press, and binding, and that's it. Anything else is an extra fee, and the quality of any marketing or editorial services is spotty at best.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is very difficult to make the leap from a self-published book to a traditionally published book. It has to be an absolute gem, and the agent is going to need to see some amazing sales figures (in the several thousands) to even raise an eyebrow at the book. There is a stigma attached to self-publishing, and many agents believe that if the book was any good in the first place, the author would have signed on with an agent and a traditional publisher in the first place, and not bothered with going the backwards route.

That's not to say that self-publishers don't have their niche. For a professional, academic, or genealogical publication where a print run would be limited in the first place, it can be absolutely perfect. But if you eventually want to be a best-selling author, you're going to need all the support that a traditional publisher has at their disposal.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On A Personal Note...

I just adopted a kitten from Purebred Cat Rescue!  They work in northeastern Illinois and Wisconsin, mostly with purebred cats. 

I have two Siamese, one from a breeder and the new baby from the rescue... I absolutely love the breed and I'm glad to give another kitty a loving home.  If you're considering a purebred cat and you live in the Midwest, I would strongly consider checking into it.  Alternatively, I would check out the information that they have on the site... great for anyone looking for a breeder or considering a Persian or Himalayan cat.  I'll post pictures of Yelling Cat and her new sidekick, Screaming Cat (Siamese are loud) ASAP... they're beautiful babies!