Oyster Books App

largeSo Slashdot linked to this article on a new iOS app that basically aims to be “The Netflix For Books.”  It sounded cool.  Personally, I read tons of books and my local library doesn’t do the loaner ebook thing.  If they had a wide selection of books, I could see using this app.

However, my understanding is that Netflix is a horrible deal for the filmmakers.  They are paying well for the series they commission, but everyone else gets peanuts for making movies and TV shows people watch on Netflix.  Like ONE peanut each.  As a publisher and an author, I would really hate for someone to invent yet another way to not get paid for producing entertainment content.  Thusly, I emailed them and asked for information on how they planned to work with authors and publishers.  This is the response I got: (more…)



Westerns

So, I’m doing a bit of research for a post apocalyptic Texas writing project, and let me be frank, the best thing about the two westerns I’ve read so far is the smell of books printed in the 40’s and thereafter stored more or less untouched in the library at The University of Texas at Austin.  Okay, I kid, someone else with lavender scented hands picked these texts up in ’87 and ’01. (more…)



Another WorldCon Here and Gone

Well… it is for us as the babysitting well has run dry.  I’m sure there will still be a few folks getting up to wacky hijinks tonight and tomorrow.

LoneStarCon 3 was a blast.  It was great catching up with old friends and making some new ones in the process.

I’d like to give a special shout out to the many industry professionals, editors and authors that offered advice and encouragement towards our new project over the weekend, especially the crew from Angry Robot.  Y’all are the best!



The Costs of Independent Publishing

In the interests of transparency, here is a breakdown of some of the costs of self or independent publishing.  Not all of the costs are necessary, but they are representative.

  • ISBN numbers – $100 each if purchased individually or else you can buy 10 for $250.  You need one for a print book and a separate ISBN for an ebook.
  • Barcode – $25 each.  You need one for a print book, but not for an ebook.
  • Website admin – About $150/year per site.  We use Bluehost which is fairly inexpensive and user-friendly and our websites are pretty barebones, but the costs do add up.
  • Business cards – $30.  You need them to pass out when you go to conventions or readings or anywhere and, please, don’t print off your own.  It looks really sad.  Don’t believe the ads, they are going to jack up the price on shipping.
  • Library of Congress Control Number – Free.  Woohoo!  Finally something free.
  • Cover art, layout and design – Between $150 and $500.  Really, you can spend as much as you have here.  This is where you should spend though.  Despite the proverbs, people do judge a book by its cover.  A crappy homemade cover says you don’t care much about this book so you probably didn’t get decent editing or really take the time to make sure the ending made sense. Did you ferret out the plot holes or spend the time to make sure your characters are consistent?
  • Bookmarks or stickers – $100 for 250.  These you tuck into books that you sign at conventions or give to reviewers or whatever.  You don’t need 250, but it is hard to find a place that will do a small run and not charge $3 per piece.  If you know of such a place, please speak up down in the comments.  PLEASE.
  • 50 advance print copies to give to reviewers or for giveaways on Goodreads – $350.  This is variable.  This was about the cost for us to print 50 copies of DCT going through CreateSpace for a 388-page paperback book.
  • Shipping of print books to reviewers – $100 to $200.  Again, this is a variable cost and since we are still in the review investigation process, we don’t have hard numbers.  Plenty of review sites, particularly ones that cater to self or independently published books, have a way to upload an epub copy so the cost is minimal. On the one hand, the more books you send out, the more potential reviews are out on the Internet creating buzz about your book.  On the other hand, there are tons of review sites that consist of one person reviewing 20 books a year to an audience of 50 readers and getting hundreds of free books sent to them by publishers and writers.  It’s a sweet gig for them, but not for you. Choose wisely.
  • Paid reviews – $149 to $425 each.  Publishers Weekly charges $149.  Clarion Reviews charges $335.  Kirkus charges $425.  BlueInk Reviews charges $395.  They take two to four months to get back to you with these and they don’t promise to be enthusiastic about the book, but they are established names and supposedly their reviews are worth more and will generate  book sales.  The Return On Investment of these reviews is debatable.  We are doing some test scenarios on these paid reviews and will report back on the results in a few months.
  • Advertising – $200 to A Million Gazillion Buckaroos.  Again, we are investigating various advertising streams and computing their ROI and we’ll get back to you all on that, but an easy and common route is to set up a $200 ad campaign on Goodreads. (more…)


The Department Of Cautionary Tales

We are pleased to announce the release of our first novel!

Praise for Katy Stauber’s Revolution World:

“Seriously, buy this book right now.  It’s goddamn amazing and it has fire-breathing cows.”  ~ Chris Roberson, writer of iZombie
 “Quirky, offbeat and wildly originial.” ~ Paul Goat Allen, BN Scifi and Fantasy Blog

 Praise for Katy Stauber’s Spin The Sky: 

 “Stunningly smart and deceptively unique, Spin The Sky is a new classic for modern times.” ~The Founding Fields
“…it made me think, it made me smile, it made me stop reading and admire how deceptively simple its prose is. ” ~ Sense of Wonder

 

DCT front

My ideas never seem evil until everybody is screaming and the SWAT team shows up. 

 

It’s rough being a mad scientist.  You make one tiny little mistake, like covering all of Houston in fungus, and they cart you off to a top-secret military prison laboratory.  I’m Juniper Strauss and I’m stuck on the juvenile level at DCT.    It’s not so bad.  They gave me a shiny lab filled with all the latest equipment and let me do whatever I want so long as I complete the projects they give me.  Sometimes it’s splicing vaccines into peanuts; sometimes it’s creating hallucinogenic vodka.

The other rogue experimentalists are pretty cool.  There is my new best friend, Boom.  She’s a grouchy chemist from New York.  You know that ecodisaster that killed all the fish in the Great Lakes last year?  That was her having PMS.  Rex has a time traveling watch that he uses to prank historical figures and Kamal hacks into nuclear silos just for fun.  Don’t get me started on Shelley.  I try to stay on her good side because her bad side has lizard claws.  She turned her boyfriend into a giant mutant bearman.  He’s in DCT too.  They have the most messed up relationship.

I’m starting to think I don’t want to be an evil genius.  Maybe I want to invent socially acceptable things like giant carrots or a cure for herpes or whatever.  I’m not sure how to be a good guy, though.  I don’t exactly have tons of positive role models.

 

Look for it electronically at:

Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, Smashwords, Baker & Taylor’s Blio and Axis360.

Trade paperbacks are available through:

Amazon, Amazon Europe, CreateSpace Direct, Barnes & Noble and many independent booksellers.



WE’RE NEW

We are happy to be beginning our publishing journey.  We want to make quality futuristica available for all to read and enjoy at the most affordable price we can manage.  We aspire to a streamlined and extremely transparent publishing process that is fair and equitable to the authors and artists whose creativity we would like to showcase.   Please be patient as we explore the process!