Author: shawnee

To Query or Not to Query

I’m not sure why I’m having this conversation with myself again. Maybe because I just updated my bookbag list for the Virginia Festival of the Book. Or maybe it’s because I’m sitting here with the animals watching the snow swirl around my bedroom window.

Whatever reason, I’m at that crossroads again. And it sucks.

You see, I thought I was already past this point. I took a long hard look at the whole traditional publishing route. I crunched the numbers, did the maths, calculated the risks – it just didn’t add up. I would be lucky to get a 15K advance per book, would have to wait at least 18 months maybe more before it showed up on a shelf, and I’d have to sell tens of thousands of units before I even made that tiny 15% of retail. The only wild card was the promo/PR aspect (and having my name in print for real in a Barnes and Noble store, of course).

But today I feel a tiny bit sad. And I wonder that age old question . . .”What if?”

I especially wonder about Laura Rennert. I met her several years ago at the V.F.O.B. At the time, she had just signed Maggie Stiefvater and was toting around copies of Shiver. I liked Laura. She had real chutzpah (I mean that in a very nice way, Laura). She wasn’t going to take any prisoners and I liked her up front and ballsy attitude. She said it like she meant it unlike some other agents around her. I appreciated that in her. It also didn’t hurt that she used to be in the English Lit department at UVa and that I live less than an hour from Maggie.

I kept thinking to myself, “You know, this could really work. Maybe you and Maggie can even do a simultaneous book tour or something?”

And then I remember the numbers. And I think about the money. And then I take a hold of my IP and hug it gently to my chest knowing it belongs to me.

Indie can be lonely, but at least I’m doing it my way.

 

Why Apple is Useless

 

First off, I must apologize to those of you patiently waiting for the iPad version of Watcher. I know. You’ve been so good, hardly complaining, you’ve made my life much easier for being so nice. And you know me. If it was my fault I’d be the first one to raise my hand and say “Yeah, blame the old lady. She’s slow.” But, and I really mean this, it’s not my fault.

You see, Apple aka iTunes aka iBooks = useless.

I know there are Apple nerds the world over groaning at me right now, but to them, I say “Suck it up.”

Uh Uh. No you didn’t.

I’m afraid I just did because since Apple’s glorious leader has departed our dear Earth, Apple has been going down the pan. It’s bad enough that they make some ridiculous margin like 40% on all their hardware (Why buy a laptop when you can spend $1300+ buckeroos on a MacBook Air right?), but now they can’t even support their developer programs properly.

Case in point:

I am a pretty anal retentive person. Shocker, I know. So when it came time to launch Watcher for ebook I was on it. Like fire. Not only did my lovely assistant (okay husband) have a Kindle version ready to go, he also had one for Nook, iPad, and other (an epub file for all other platforms). My husband is awesome like that. I was feeling pretty good for a simultaneous launch scenario. It went like this –

  • watcher.ipad.epub
  • watcher.kindle.mobi
  • watcher.other.epub

You see, he was on the ball. Even got the table of content right, which for any of you dealing with Kindle know, it ain’t easy.

I did Kindle first. Bam! Easy to fill out forms, easy uploads, no harrassment. Straight and simple minus a 12 hour turnaround time. 48 hours for world wide territories, but for the U.S., practically a blink of an eye. Barnes and Noble next. Okay, not so easy, a bit of a pain, had to call a telephone number if you can believe it. Barnes and Noble is very neurotic about the IRS, but hey, a couple of days later, Watcher was live.

Apple. Not so much.

Two weeks later and several angry phone calls and irate emails and still nada. I finally got a slightly passive aggressive email from “Dana” who told me to contact them in another 10 business days if Watcher wasn’t live.

Are you freakin’ kidding me? Amazon can turn it around in less than 12 hours, but I’ve got to wait a whole month (hell, maybe even longer) before the same exact book can go live on the no. 3 platform for ebooks?

Wow. No wonder Apple is getting it’s ass kicked by Amazon.

And while we’re at it, whoever decided to get an Apple tramp stamp like this one, well, all I have to say is may the Borg welcome you with open arms . . .