Dragons All the Way Down

The official tumblr for author Danika Stone

riptidepublishing:

moonblossom:

tristinawright:

Okay this? Is not okay. Ever.

I’m getting really sick of seeing this reader entitlement thing where readers email the authors to demand the next book or skewer them for the release schedule not being conducive to their personal desires.

  1. There was a year between Touch & Geaux and Ball & Chain.
  2. A year (or more) between book releases is pretty much standard in the publishing industry. Anything less than a year is luck and probably some pretty creative finagling by the publisher because of marketing reasons or to coincide with a convention or other major event. Or that is a specific agreement set up by that author and their editor/publisher and is not to be used by you as a yardstick for all other book releases.
  3. All that to say, it is never up to the author when their books are released. That is set by the publisher according to their production calendar. The publisher has to look at how many editors they have, how many copy editors they have, what the schedule at the book printers looks like to get the book printed on time, and a host of other details for every single one of their authors. It takes a lot of work. More work than you can imagine.
  4. Books don’t just happen. Say your book is 100,000 words long and on a good day, you can write 3,000 of those words. ON A GOOD DAY. That doesn’t take into account life: family, job (if you have one), school, sickness, injury, grocery shopping, paying the bills, watching tv (because authors aren’t robots and deserve down time for entertainment purposes to recharge), reading books, sleeping, writer’s block, messing up and having to remove scenes and redo what you’ve already written, scrapping the project and starting over because it’s not coming together, etc. It’s still going to take you anywhere from 3-6 months to get that book done (maybe more). Then the book goes to the editor, who takes anywhere from 1-2 months to read it (sometimes shorter depending on work load and, again, production schedule). We’re at roughly 6-8 months now. Then the book goes back to the author for major revisions. Those usually take 1 month to finish. Then the editor reads it again. Other people read it for mistakes. Another few weeks (let’s say a month to keep it easy and rounded). It goes back to the author again to make corrections on the nitpicky level. Then comes all the formatting and page proofing and making sure it’s been converted in to ebook format properly and that the bound book looks good and nothing got janky in the process. This is why it takes a year.
  5. Stop being an asshole to authors who actually care about the books they’re writing. When you send messages like this, it does not have your intended effect of “oh sorry, my bad, I’ll get that book done faster for you.” It has the effect of “Fuck you, I really lost the motivation to write it now because it’s not going to make you happy anyway so why bother.”

And that’s just fucking shitty.

Stop being assholes to authors. If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t send the email. Bitching to them about anything, especially something they have zero control over, is malicious and, frankly, immature.

We’re better than this.

This sense of entitlement is fucking revolting.

I’d rather wait a year (or even two) for a book that doesn’t feel rushed, and the author is truly pleased with and proud of, than something that feels like it was just kicked out to placate a tiny portion of the audience.

@tristinawright covered this pretty well, but some other considerations:

1. Once the book is a) written, and b) edited (which, between writing time, multiple rounds of developmental edits, and multiple rounds of line edits, you’re looking at a 6 to 12 month process right there for most authors at most publishing houses), you then need to tack on about one whole month for technical editing alone, if the technical editing process is done with love and care.

First there’s copyediting (a full-time copyeditor will spend three-quarters of an entire full-time work week doing their first pass alone on a manuscript as long as the Cut & Run books are, and that’s assuming they have literally zero other duties, which is a grossly unrealistic assumption), which involves usually one very detailed pass between editor and author and then two or three smaller passes to clean up bits.

And then there’s proofreading, which will take a full-time proofer about half a week on an ms as long as Cut & Run’s are, and then, again, it’s got to go back to the author, and then back to the proofer and back to the author again for the little bits of cleanup. Sometimes a book will go through this stage twice, with two separate proofers, depending on how many errors the first proofer caught and how likely it is that some still remain (you can basically never eliminate 100% of proofing errors, but you aim for 99.9%, and some genres, like SF/F, tend to lend themselves to needing two sets of eyes because of all the unique usage/vocabulary they tend to introduce.)

And while all this is going on, if needs be, there is also a fact checker (typically for historical novels and non-fiction).

2. After technical editing, there’s production. Again assuming love and care, the book designer will spend about two full days creating unique interior elements such as chapter heads, drop caps, scene breaks, title page designs, and sometimes other graphics like maps. Typesetting involves not only selecting the perfect font to match the mood of the book and getting all the text elements into the right places in relation to the graphic elements listed above, but also involves going through the entire book literally word by word to hand-flow and hand-kern the text for the best possible reading experience. (This means manually adjusting the spaces between individual words, individual letters, and individual lines to make everything fit just right even when the text wants to break in awkward places.) If there’s a print and an ebook version, each version needs doing separately because one is fixed flow and one isn’t.

Once the designer’s done her job, it goes to a production proofer, who goes over the designer’s work and make sure nothing wonky happened in typesetting or that she didn’t miss any places where the kerning or flow or line breaks weren’t quite up to par. The production proofer also checks the cover design for issues (and we are assuming here that the cover design was done simultaneously with the primary editing process, since that’s how it works at our house, at least).

Then, if there’s an ebook, the book goes to conversion. That’s about a full day’s work per book. Once the book comes back from conversion, it needs to be proofed yet again, because conversion can introduce weird errors. Meanwhile, the print book goes off to the printer. And of course, once the galley comes back from the printer, that also needs to be proofed again, because sometimes printers do weird things like selectively fail to print every drop cap in chapters 8 through 12, or repeat chapter 4 twice, or who knows what else. We use two and sometimes three printers (for POD, Amazon has their own printer and then we use Ingram’s printer for everything else, and for offset we use an absolutely wonderful printer in Maine), and each printer’s proof needs to be checked by a production proofer. It takes about two hours to check each proof.

So at this point, assuming 3 to 6 months to write the book, 2 to 3 months for dev and line edits, and 1 to 2 months for technical editing and production, you’re at a bare minimum of 6 months and, more likely, somewhere closer to 11 months. Of course in the cases where the book is already written (which is NOT the case with a series author writing on contract rather than someone who just happened to sub a book written on spec), times are shorter because you can subtract the 3 to 6 months for writing, but you’re still at a minimum of 3 months and, more realistically, more like 5 months. And we’ve yet to consider a critical part of the production schedule:

3. MARKETING! Most print-first presses and (sadly only) a very small handful of e-first presses submit their books for review to the national trades: magazines like Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist and RT Book Reviews and other places that get your book in front of both readers and the very crucial book buyers at stores and libraries. Most places ask for a bare minimum 3-month lead, and from experience we can tell you that if you don’t have at least a 4-month lead, your book isn’t going to get reviewed. For some types of titles and editorial coverage, you need a 6 to 9 month lead. For all of our lead-title releases, we aim for a 7 month lead. What that means is that the book is, at the very least, edited, laid out, and printed a full seven months before the release date. For most of our titles, we aim for a 4.5 month lead because it takes a couple weeks to get ARCs printed and mailed.

If you assume the standard 4.5 month lead, on a book that isn’t yet written, you now need a bare minimum of 10.5 months and a rough maximum of 15.5 months from conception to release date. Most books are about 15 months. Books for which you’re aiming for a 6 to 9 month marketing lead can need as much as two years. When we sign a book that is already written (such as something we pick up off the slush pile, or a finished book an existing author sends their editor), it’s very uncommon for us to schedule a release any quicker than 7 months post-contract. Our average lead time for a completed book between contract signing and release date is 9 to 10 months. It’s not at all uncommon for us to sign a year or more ahead, especially with a book we know is going to need/deserve a huge marketing push that requires us to have the manuscript completed 7 or 8 months in advance.

And that’s why Abi’s books take so long to come out.

Obviously there are plenty of presses who operate much quicker than this. Especially in the e-first space, it’s very uncommon to see presses account for marketing lead times (which is a big reason why it’s so uncommon for queer romance to be reviewed in the national trades), and it’s sadly equally uncommon for e-first presses to edit or produce with love and care. (Which is not to say that there aren’t any out there who do great work; there are, but readers really need to go looking for them most of the time.) When an author signs a contract in February and their book comes out in March or April, there is absolutely zero way possible for that book to have been edited and produced the way it should have been.

So as a reader, demanding faster release times is basically saying, “I don’t care about quality.” Which is, honestly, absolutely fine, but kindly do not say it to an author’s face because that’s incredibly disrespectful of their work. That being said, there is of course no one arbiter of taste and no right way to enjoy your fiction, and nobody should ever judge anyone for their choices. And let’s face it, quality is slow and expensive, and if you’re reading three books a week, both slow and expensive can be real issues for you. There are in fact many, many presses who share the quantity-over-quality sentiment—or, if you prefer, the “good enough” mindset (which is actually a very common and well-studied consumer behavior wherein you say, for instance, “Okay, I need a blender. I don’t need 16 speeds and the ability to make snow-cones; I just want some smoothies,” so you buy the good-enough, inexpensive blender rather than the fancy $300 blender). That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a press copping to the “good enough” business model because admitting it means alienating a large chunk of readership who do care quite a bit about quality, but a press releasing eight books a week and paying their editors $300 a manuscript and using amateur volunteer proofers to avoid the expense of a professional is clearly more vested in quantity than quality. Still, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with shopping with those presses if your primary concern is fast, cheap reads. And honestly sometimes, even at such presses, you’re going to get lovingly written books that needed very little editing to start with (or that the author had edited on their own), and so you’ll end up with a gorgeous quality read even if that’s not the press’s primary concern. But if you want a gorgeous, quality read all the time, then it’s important to take into consideration how much time careful writing, careful editing, more careful editing, yet more careful editing, careful producing, careful editing some more, and careful marketing actually takes.

And whether that matters to you or not, for goodness’s sake, please be kind, and think about what you’re really saying before you hit send. Remember that real people are writing the books you read (just as authors and publishers, conversely, must always stay keenly aware that real people are reading the books we release). There’s enough ugliness in the world; let’s not make more of it, especially in the spaces where we come to relax and unwind.

(via kaylapocalypse)

“I’ve always felt like the message that ‘you don’t need to be afraid’ is not the correct message. It’s OK to be afraid — there are a lot of things that I’m afraid of and it’s about walking through those fears…I think your nightmares are the gatekeepers to your dreams, really. You know, I do a lot of stuff in my business — I write and I act and I sing songs and I jump between all sorts of different material clearly. And it’s not because I’m born gifted and all of these things. I really believe that it’s because I’m not afraid. And I’m not afraid to be bad at something until I’m good at it. And I’m OK with things not doing well and other things being real successes so, I think it’s OK to be afraid and to work through it.”

—   Jason Segel (via dreamsandsunflowers)
moffatsapprentice:

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

moffatsapprentice:

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

(via bookmad)

aseaofquotes:

Frank McCourt, 'Tis

aseaofquotes:

Frank McCourt, 'Tis

(via bookmad)

tallenge:

#MotivationalQuotes #TallengeMake mistakes, learn from them and do things in your life that shows the value you add to this world.

tallenge:

#MotivationalQuotes #Tallenge
Make mistakes, learn from them and do things in your life that shows the value you add to this world.

harmonyinkpress:

englishpracticenow:

commonly misused words - learn the proper usage of these words to get your way up to any English proficiency exams - IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, etc.

This is beautiful.

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

bigbraingene:

60 Awesome Search Engines for Serious Writers


Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient.
Professional
Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines.
Litscene: Use this search engine to search through thousands of writers and literary projects, and add your own as well.
Thinkers.net: Get a boost in your creativity with some assistance from this site.
PoeWar: Whether you need help with your career or your writing, this site is full of great searchable articles.
Publisher’s Catalogues: Try out this site to search through the catalogs and names of thousands of publishers.
Edit Red: Through this site you can showcase your own work and search through work by others, as well as find helpful FAQ’s on writing.
Writersdock: Search through this site for help with your writing, find jobs and join other writers in discussions.
PoetrySoup: If you want to find some inspirational poetry, this site is a great resource.
Booksie.com: Here, you can search through a wide range of self-published books.
One Stop Write Shop: Use this tool to search through the writings of hundreds of other amateur writers.
Writer’s Cafe: Check out this online writer’s forum to find and share creative works.
Literary Marketplace: Need to know something about the publishing industry? Use this search tool to find the information you need now.
Writing
These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process.
WriteSearch: This search engine focuses exclusively on sites devoted to reading and writing to deliver its results.
The Burry Man Writers Center: Find a wealth of writing resources on this searchable site.
Writing.com: This fully-featured site makes it possible to find information both fun and serious about the craft of writing.
Purdue OWL: Need a little instruction on your writing? This tool from Purdue University in Lafayette, IN can help.
Writing Forums: Search through these writing forums to find answers to your writing issues.
Research 
Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap.
Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.
WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. It’ll search and find the closest location.
Scirus: Find great scientific articles and publications through this search engine.
OpenLibrary: If you don’t have time to run to a brick-and-mortar library, this online tool can still help you find books you can use.
Online Journals Search Engine: Try out this search engine to find free online journal articles.
All Academic: This search engine focuses on returning highly academic, reliable resources.
LOC Ask a Librarian: Search through the questions on this site to find helpful answers about the holdings at the Library of Congress.
Encylcopedia.com: This search engine can help you find basic encyclopedia articles.
Clusty: If you’re searching for a topic to write on, this search engine with clustered results can help get your creative juices flowing.
Intute: Here you’ll find a British search engine that delivers carefully chosen results from academia.
AllExperts: Have a question? Ask the experts on this site or search through the existing answers.
Reference
Need to look up a quote or a fact? These search tools make it simple.
Writer’s Web Search Engine: This search engine is a great place to find reference information on how to write well.
Bloomsbury Magazine Research Centre: You’ll find numerous resources on publications, authors and more through this search engine.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Make sure you’re using words correctly and can come up with alternatives with the help of this tool.
References.net: Find all the reference material you could ever need through this search engine.
Quotes.net: If you need a quote, try searching for one by topic or by author on this site.
Literary Encyclopedia: Look up any famous book or author in this search tool.
Acronym Finder: Not sure what a particular acronym means? Look it up here.
Bartleby: Through Bartleby, you can find a wide range of quotes from famous thinkers, writers and celebrities.
Wikipedia.com: Just about anything and everything you could want to look up is found on this site.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Find all the great philosophers you could want to reference in this online tool.
Niche Writers
If you’re focusing on writing in a particular niche, these tools can be a big help.
PubGene: Those working in sci-fi or medical writing will appreciate this database of genes, biological terms and organisms.
GoPubMd: You’ll find all kinds of science and medical search results here.
Jayde: Looking for a business? Try out this search tool.
Zibb: No matter what kind of business you need to find out more about, this tool will find the information.
TechWeb: Do a little tech research using this news site and search engine.
Google Trends: Try out this tool to find out what people are talking about.
Godchecker: Doing a little work on ancient gods and goddesses? This tool can help you make sure you have your information straight.
Healia: Find a wide range of health topics and information by using this site.
Sci-Fi Search: Those working on sci-fi can search through relevant sites to make sure their ideas are original.
Books
Find your own work and inspirational tomes from others by using these search engines.
Literature Classics: This search tool makes it easy to find the free and famous books you want to look through.
InLibris: This search engine provides one of the largest directories of literary resources on the web.
SHARP Web: Using this tool, you can search through the information on the history of reading and publishing.
AllReaders: See what kind of reviews books you admire got with this search engine.
BookFinder: No matter what book you’re looking for you’re bound to find it here.
ReadPrint: Search through this site for access to thousands of free books.
Google Book Search: Search through the content of thousands upon thousands of books here, some of which is free to use.
Indie Store Finder: If you want to support the little guy, this tool makes it simple to find an independent bookseller in your neck of the woods.
Blogging
For web writing, these tools can be a big help.
Technorati: This site makes it possible to search through millions of blogs for both larger topics and individual posts.
Google Blog Search: Using this specialized Google search engine, you can search through the content of blogs all over the web.
Domain Search: Looking for a place to start your own blog? This search tool will let you know what’s out there.
OpinMind: Try out this blog search tool to find opinion focused blogs.
IceRocket: Here you’ll find a real-time blog search engine so you’ll get the latest news and posts out there.
PubSub:  This search tool scours sites like Twitter and Friendfeed to find the topics people are talking about most every day.

bigbraingene:

60 Awesome Search Engines for Serious Writers

Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient.

Professional

Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines.

  1. Litscene: Use this search engine to search through thousands of writers and literary projects, and add your own as well.
  2. Thinkers.net: Get a boost in your creativity with some assistance from this site.
  3. PoeWar: Whether you need help with your career or your writing, this site is full of great searchable articles.
  4. Publisher’s Catalogues: Try out this site to search through the catalogs and names of thousands of publishers.
  5. Edit Red: Through this site you can showcase your own work and search through work by others, as well as find helpful FAQ’s on writing.
  6. Writersdock: Search through this site for help with your writing, find jobs and join other writers in discussions.
  7. PoetrySoup: If you want to find some inspirational poetry, this site is a great resource.
  8. Booksie.com: Here, you can search through a wide range of self-published books.
  9. One Stop Write Shop: Use this tool to search through the writings of hundreds of other amateur writers.
  10. Writer’s Cafe: Check out this online writer’s forum to find and share creative works.
  11. Literary Marketplace: Need to know something about the publishing industry? Use this search tool to find the information you need now.

Writing

These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process.

  1. WriteSearch: This search engine focuses exclusively on sites devoted to reading and writing to deliver its results.
  2. The Burry Man Writers Center: Find a wealth of writing resources on this searchable site.
  3. Writing.com: This fully-featured site makes it possible to find information both fun and serious about the craft of writing.
  4. Purdue OWL: Need a little instruction on your writing? This tool from Purdue University in Lafayette, IN can help.
  5. Writing Forums: Search through these writing forums to find answers to your writing issues.

Research

Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap.

  1. Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.
  2. WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. It’ll search and find the closest location.
  3. Scirus: Find great scientific articles and publications through this search engine.
  4. OpenLibrary: If you don’t have time to run to a brick-and-mortar library, this online tool can still help you find books you can use.
  5. Online Journals Search Engine: Try out this search engine to find free online journal articles.
  6. All Academic: This search engine focuses on returning highly academic, reliable resources.
  7. LOC Ask a Librarian: Search through the questions on this site to find helpful answers about the holdings at the Library of Congress.
  8. Encylcopedia.com: This search engine can help you find basic encyclopedia articles.
  9. Clusty: If you’re searching for a topic to write on, this search engine with clustered results can help get your creative juices flowing.
  10. Intute: Here you’ll find a British search engine that delivers carefully chosen results from academia.
  11. AllExperts: Have a question? Ask the experts on this site or search through the existing answers.

Reference

Need to look up a quote or a fact? These search tools make it simple.

  1. Writer’s Web Search Engine: This search engine is a great place to find reference information on how to write well.
  2. Bloomsbury Magazine Research Centre: You’ll find numerous resources on publications, authors and more through this search engine.
  3. Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Make sure you’re using words correctly and can come up with alternatives with the help of this tool.
  4. References.net: Find all the reference material you could ever need through this search engine.
  5. Quotes.net: If you need a quote, try searching for one by topic or by author on this site.
  6. Literary Encyclopedia: Look up any famous book or author in this search tool.
  7. Acronym Finder: Not sure what a particular acronym means? Look it up here.
  8. Bartleby: Through Bartleby, you can find a wide range of quotes from famous thinkers, writers and celebrities.
  9. Wikipedia.com: Just about anything and everything you could want to look up is found on this site.
  10. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Find all the great philosophers you could want to reference in this online tool.

Niche Writers

If you’re focusing on writing in a particular niche, these tools can be a big help.

  1. PubGene: Those working in sci-fi or medical writing will appreciate this database of genes, biological terms and organisms.
  2. GoPubMd: You’ll find all kinds of science and medical search results here.
  3. Jayde: Looking for a business? Try out this search tool.
  4. Zibb: No matter what kind of business you need to find out more about, this tool will find the information.
  5. TechWeb: Do a little tech research using this news site and search engine.
  6. Google Trends: Try out this tool to find out what people are talking about.
  7. Godchecker: Doing a little work on ancient gods and goddesses? This tool can help you make sure you have your information straight.
  8. Healia: Find a wide range of health topics and information by using this site.
  9. Sci-Fi Search: Those working on sci-fi can search through relevant sites to make sure their ideas are original.

Books

Find your own work and inspirational tomes from others by using these search engines.

  1. Literature Classics: This search tool makes it easy to find the free and famous books you want to look through.
  2. InLibris: This search engine provides one of the largest directories of literary resources on the web.
  3. SHARP Web: Using this tool, you can search through the information on the history of reading and publishing.
  4. AllReaders: See what kind of reviews books you admire got with this search engine.
  5. BookFinder: No matter what book you’re looking for you’re bound to find it here.
  6. ReadPrint: Search through this site for access to thousands of free books.
  7. Google Book Search: Search through the content of thousands upon thousands of books here, some of which is free to use.
  8. Indie Store Finder: If you want to support the little guy, this tool makes it simple to find an independent bookseller in your neck of the woods.

Blogging

For web writing, these tools can be a big help.

  1. Technorati: This site makes it possible to search through millions of blogs for both larger topics and individual posts.
  2. Google Blog Search: Using this specialized Google search engine, you can search through the content of blogs all over the web.
  3. Domain Search: Looking for a place to start your own blog? This search tool will let you know what’s out there.
  4. OpinMind: Try out this blog search tool to find opinion focused blogs.
  5. IceRocket: Here you’ll find a real-time blog search engine so you’ll get the latest news and posts out there.
  6. PubSub: This search tool scours sites like Twitter and Friendfeed to find the topics people are talking about most every day.

(via wellthoughtout)

Reading your unedited writing:

writingmemes:

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(via thatawkwardwritingmoment)

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

—   Mark Twain (via wordsnquotes)

(via yeahwriters)

“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.”

—   Kurt Vonnegut (via maxkirin)

(via kadrey)

“None but a poet can write a tragedy. For tragedy is nothing less than pain transmuted into exaltation by the alchemy of poetry.”

—   Edith Hamilton (via writingquotes)

“The good ideas will survive.”

Everything We Know About...Editing!

lettersandlight:

image

Are you tackling a writing project that isn’t a brand-spanking new novel during Camp NaNoWriMo? Good news! We’re compiling lists of everything we know about nonfiction, editing, and scripts. We revisit editing while it’s fresh in our minds from the “Now What?” Months…

“A book is always worth losing sleep for.”

—   words of a sleep-deprived bibliophile (via scripturientintrovert)

(Source: scripturienintrovert, via pleaseedontgowhereicantfollow)