beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
just so you know, spandex wasn't invented before the 20th century, so using that for a historical fantasy is just plain silly. also, the tight-laced corset? the one that leaves cleavage and arms totally uncovered? not the sensible choice for a woman going into battle. maybe you're aiming for the standard "let's objectify the female protagonist" look, in which case, you've done an excellent job. however, if you want her to actually survive the battle, stop with the male fantasy costuming.

in fact, for future reference, watch this video:

Female Armor Sucks
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
I understand your impatience to share your story with the world. Really, I do. You tried a few queries, without any positive results. You then did the smart thing and asked for critiques for that query. You were making splendid progress when you and your co-writer decided to make the plunge into self-publishing.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with self-publishing. But self-publishing is not the magic portal to fame and wealth. It's definitely not an excuse for ignoring basics such as proper grammar and punctuation.

I might sound a bit angry. I'm sorry. But I think that in your rush to avoid the gatekeepers of trade publishing, you've forgotten the reader. They are the ones who spent money to buy your book. Some are very forgiving. Some....some are not. They might squint at your POV hopping, or your said-bookisms, and decide they don't want to give you another chance.

And I don't blame them. You are asking them to pay in time and money to read your work. You should deliver the very best you can.

So take an extra week, or month, or however long you need to polish the prose, to fix the punctuation, to make the story and characters as vivid and compelling as possible. When you think you've made it perfect, think again, try again. Because in the end, it's the reader who matters.

Sincerely,
Me, A Reader
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (gargoyle)
Sometimes, the nicest, most liberal guys you know say things that 1) are ignorant of rape statistics in general, and 2) focus on rape prevention by focusing on how women can avoid it.

It's damned frustrating, because the Nice Guy's urge to protect women by giving them advice is often not helpful. Oh, they mean well, but it's just another facet of man-splaining. Worse, it hands off the problem of rape prevention to the woman.

So let's review the problems... )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (snobbish pig)
It's depressingly simple. Just post about The Russ Pledge, and wait for the flood of mansplaining, shouts about quotas, derailing, concern trolling, and outright anger to overwhelm the discussion.

You won't have to wait long.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
...Scott Adams demonstrates that he is a Mansplaining Dipshit. (And in case you were still uncertain, he makes an appearance in the comment section to emphasize the point.)

I used to like Dilbert, too. These days? Not so much.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
Avoid.

In short: ten new publications launched in the past two weeks. No content except a few public domain stories and four stories from the publisher's girlfriend (complete with typos and grammar faults!). Sure the pay rates are decent, but y'know, the publisher is only handing out rejections. And those many, many paypal buttons are just begging for your donation, kind sir.

My money is on a scam. All that's missing is the sob story of the long-dead father/uncle/cousin with the bank account tied up in silly legal knots, but if you send them money now...
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
I just came across this bizarre story....

So there's this publishing company, VDM Publishing, which already had a scummy reputation as an academic author mill, publishing printing dissertations and selling them for high prices. Author Beware describes the outfit here.

It gets worse.

Over the past year, VDM has created three imprints: AlphaScript, BetaScript, and FastBook. All together, those imprints account for over twenty thousand books listed on Amazon.com. How did they produce so many, so fast? Simple. They created a script to read in Wikipedia articles, collecting as many related subjects as they needed to fill a minimum page count. Here's one listing.

Like those prices?

Eventually enough people complained, and Amazon has started to mark the books as unavailable, but a fair number are still for sale. (It must be like playing Whack-a-Mole.)

All that is strange enough, but then I decided on a whim to check Goodreads to see if anyone had listed the books there. The answer is yes! Not only listed, but a lot of them have excellent ratings!

My reaction is hard to articulate. Mostly it's amazement.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (facepalm)
Several days ago, I posted a mini-rant about Marginal Boundaries' pay rates for authors. In the spirit of Being Thorough, here is my point-by-point reaction to their submission guidelines. New writers, take this as an bewares lesson when you research new markets:

Read more... )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (doggie)
Why are you charging $10/copy when you only pay $10/story? For a minimum of 5,000 words. And no contributor copies. And do you really think this little paragraph will convince me of your good intentions?

"The best way to get better rates for your stories is to help us get more subscribers. The more copies we sell, the more money the ‘zine has to spend on production costs, which means we can afford to pay our writers, artists, and editors better. We would love to move to a per-word payment plan, and you can help us do that by promoting our ‘zine and getting your friends and family members to support your career as a writer, and generate a fan-base in the process."

In short: You pay 1/5 cent/word, or less. You also want reprint rights for that. AND you want your writers to act as your unpaid marketing staff. But you're charging $10/copy.

No, thanks. I can do better than that.

(link)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (gargoyle)
  1. "Do not call" means do not call.

  2. "We'd like a salesperson to help us" does not mean "Have four salespeople sit around doing nothing except ignore us."

  3. If we say we're in a hurry, believe us.

  4. If we ask a question, please answer it, not its nearest cousin.

  5. When we say we don't like high-pressure sales pitches, we really do mean it.

  6. And finally, "Do not call" means DO NOT CALL, especially early on Monday morning when I'm the only person awake, and I've just figured out that elusive first line for chapter 10.

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