When I started my own publishing company, I had the chance to sit down with the owner of the largest science fiction publisher in Canada. We talked about a lot of the arcane details of publishing but most of our discussion was on how to drive sales. His strongest bit of advice was this: “You know what the best way is to sell your books? Have them on bookstore shelves.”
Many authors feel that the only “real” way to publish is to go through the well-established method of querying an agent, having your agent pitch to publishing houses, and then signing a deal where the author pays nothing and gets an advance from the publisher. This is called “traditional” publishing – or trade publishing for short. In this article I’d like to give some idea of what this industry really looks like from the inside.
One of the biggest challenges an author faces in today’s publishing landscape is just trying to understand what’s what. So what actually is what? This article is going to attempt to offer some clarity.
The centre of all publishing is the author. Without the author, there is no art form. There are no manuscripts for agents to pitch, no covers for publishers to design, no books for stores to sell. Without the author, the publishing ecosystem would not exist. So why is the author at the very bottom of the food chain?
No, that isn’t a typo. I’m aware of all the hype flying around about that other vintage sci fi series and its hot-shot new movie, but right now I couldn’t care less. Why? Because I just enjoyed one of the wonderful little moments that we fathers born in the early seventies can cherish: I just sat down and watched the original Star Wars (Episode IV) with my young son for the first time.
Welcome to Fiscal Fiasco Round Two – and this time it’s really important, because we’re talking about ships. Earlier this spring the Canadian government announced that it was paying Irving Shipyards $288 million just to design the new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) for the Royal Canadian Navy. Not build, just design.
There has been a glimpse of common sense in the debate over Canada’s next-generation fighter aircraft, but it’s hard to see over all the name-calling, mud-slinging and partisan entrenchment. That glimpse of common sense was when our government decided, just before Christmas, to re-think the sole-source, non-competed contract to buy the F-35 as our next fighter. My worry is that common sense will now be banished from the discussion once again.
It’s the end of January. Most New Year’s Resolutions are forgotten, abandoned or causing a great deal of angst. But they can succeed, and you will feel so awesome with the sense of accomplishment that comes. In this final article I’d like to share a few nuggets of wisdom I gained in 2012.
One section of my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions was to do with another kind of health from the physical. Some might call it emotional health, or mental health, or spiritual health – it’s all of these things, and I just referred to it casually as my Morale. In this article I’d like to offer some advice to anyone who wants to improve their quality of life in 2013.
My New Year’s Resolution in 2013 is to lose weight. Great – now what?