Monthly Archives: July 2009

Why Research is so Important

When we first decide to seek out a publisher for our works, it’s very easy to go too fast, and tie ourselves to the first publisher who gives us The Nod.

Another blogger I know on writing.com published her books through Mystic Moon Press. Apparently neither she, all the other authors, and even the employees haven’t received royalty payments in months. The authors banded together and Mystic Moon’s website is now down, Fictionwise has pulled all their books, and they are now working on getting Amazon to do the same. As for whether or not the authors will get their money back, only time will tell.

Scary stuff.

I know several others who published through Mystic Moon Press, so I admit to a little surprise, and sympathy for all those authors who were swindled.

Two minutes of research yielded some interesting facts, namely in April, 2008. Karen Scott wrote a blog about how the owner of Mystic Moon Press had swindled before under a different publishing company:

http://karenknowsbest.com/2008/04/10/kristi-studts-disgraced-ex-owner-of-triskel…

That popped up after searching "Mystic Moon Press scandal". I’m sure if I searched more and included writer beware sites such as http://www.sfwa.org/beware I would find out even more about not only Mystic Moon, but the owner. I could then be better informed about whether the publisher is legitimate, or not.

I want my books published, and there was a time not too long ago I would have jumped at The Nod, to hell with any research into said publisher.

After reading horror stories like the one above, I’m a bit more cautious.

As we all should be. Some steps to take:

1. Check out any complaints against the publisher by its authors.

2. Ask said publisher for references and a means to contact its authors. If they refuse to even provide a list, wave a hearty goodbye.

Anyone else have a burned by a publisher experience and would like to share?

My list of what do to do is a bit paltry (I’m tired and can’t think straightly). What more advice can you impart to authors seeking publication (traditional or indie, don’t matter here)?
 

Passionate Driving & A Reason for Pride

When "So You Think You Can Dance?" first came out I avoided it. One more reality show where people sign up to get their fifteen minutes of fame, do we really need it?

I try not to miss an episode now, especially after the top 20 were picked. What drives these dancers, how did they make it to the top?

Technique is part of it, as is the ability and willingness to learn multiple dancing genres. The judges, however, place passion at the top of the list.

Passion is what made the dancers the top in the nation, it’s what drives their willingness to learn from multiple choreographers, and listen intently to the advice of the judges.

I’ve allowed my passion to flounder of late. Many a subject scream to be written here, but I reign them in and they lose their voice, never to be heard.

How sad is that?

If that continues, then my passion will leave me. Like a loyal pet, if it’s not fed, it will find another owner who will feed it.

Time to feed my passions.

This morning Dave, Thomas and I went to the city’s Independence Day parade. Thomas spent most of the time flirting with the women, young and old, and running after people who brought along their dogs.

My favorite part of the parade was the National Guard. It wasn’t the big truck with the boat on the trailer, or even the articulated guns swiveling about on its base in every direction imaginable (I want one of those). What struck me is how every single person stood, clapped and screamed out "Thank you" and "We love you!"

Thomas Jefferson once said: "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

My thanks go to every member of our 100% volunteer armed forces who are willing to feed the tree of liberty with their blood and bones. My thanks to those who take every opportunity to show their gratitude.

As for the rest of Jefferson’s warning, I need not say more.

Let us never forget the importance of our liberties and freedoms, on this day and all others.