Writer Wednesday: Androidism by Paul Trembling

I like to pat myself on the back occasionally. I don’t know if you remember the webzine that I used to publish – “Welcome to Wherever” was the name of it – but I like to think that in the two years that I managed to keep it up and running (hard to do when it’s just you doing everything!) I may have inspired a writer or two, or set one of them off on the road to success…

Anyhoo… one of those writers is Paul Trembling. He’s been pretty prolific for a while now and I thought I’d highlight one of the stories on his website.

It’s a short, but sweet tale and I think you’ll like it!

So click through this link and once you’ve read Androidism , explore the rest of his site, there’s some pretty interesting stuff there!

Being paid with Exposure…

There’s a skirmish raging in the publishing industry at the moment… no, I’m not talking about two of the Big Six going head to head over something, or Traditional Publishing attacking Self Publishing.

I’m talking about writers waking up to a strange concept.

Payment.

When I started writing in the hope of making it a career, I was naive and hopeful. I’d followed an article I read in a Writing Magazine and started out by trying my luck with the Short Story market.

With every acceptance for an anthology I gained, my ego was given a boost. I was going to make it and in just a few months, I’d have accumulated a writer’s CV with enough stories published to wow an agent when I sent out my first book manuscript…

… or at least that is what I thought.

I was careful. After a few submissions paid for in “exposure”,  I went for anthologies and magazines that paid a minimal amount rather than the “for the love of it” publications. My plan was to get a few of those under my belt and then try for the markets that paid multiple pennies per word.
That went awry when I opened my own webzine and realised that unless I paid for writers, I wouldn’t get more than my friends submitting… and I had a sneaking suspicion that my friends were submitting to either shut me up or to make me feel better as my webzine tanked on the views.
*sighs*

I came out of that period a lot wiser. I learned that being a webzine owner / editor wasn’t as easy as it looked and that the stress of getting an issue out each month wasn’t worth the small moment of pride I got each month.
It also taught me that unless I wanted to starve my family, I was going to have to work harder at bringing money in.

(Yes, I know. I live in the UK – our benefits system is supposed to mean no one starves… *snorts*…)

Anyway. That was where I started my inroad into novel publishing.
I’d sent out a large number of novel queries at the same time as the short story foray. It hadn’t gone well.
Exposure wasn’t worth the paper it wasn’t written on after all, I had discovered. Agents weren’t interested in my publishing credits with magazines, even ones that were popular in the genre crowd. They wanted something that they knew would sell to a big publisher, so that they could collect their 15% commission on a large sum.

So now I’m here.

Self publishing is almost as bad as working for “exposure” but at least I get to set the prices when I publish a book. And at least I do get paid… sometimes it might be pennies per book, but at least all those pennies are mine and mine alone.

Chuck Wendig writes a superb blog. He has an entertaining writing style that brings people to his yard for more than just refreshment…  He’s one of my Writing Heroes because he seems to find time to write Books as well as blog pieces. He’s a genius in the art of grabbing his audience by the throat and getting his point across in a few, well chosen words.

He’s also a tad sweary… which I appreciate because I can’t do it properly. There’s an art to swearing that I have never mastered. But I digress.

I’d seen the blog that Wil Wheaton had posted on the subject of Huffington Post’s refusal to pay for his work back in October.  And at the time, I agreed with it wholeheartedly. I’d chuckled and agreed with The Oatmeal’s take on Exposure Payment and then in the rush of creativity for NaNoWriMo, I forgot about it again. Until this…

SCREAM IT UNTIL THEIR EARS BLEED: PAY THE FUCKING WRITERS

Chuck’s post on the 18th whacked me full force in the face with a wet Kipper and forced me to pay attention to something that I thought wasn’t happening any more.

I don’t know why I thought it wasn’t happening anymore. I haven’t been in that world very much, having been spending more time trying to work on my own novels, worrying about my partner’s back and my children’s  schooling.

But now I realise that the “exposure” payment never actually went away… and that I will never again write anything for just exposure. I will expect some kind of payment – whether that is in kind (so a guest blog post on another blog will always mention my own work somehow; aka free advertising)  or an actual monetary payment.

The only place that you will find my words for free is here – on my own blog. And even here, should you wish to support my writing career, you can. I have several e-books available for purchase on amazon and other places; just type “Kira Morgana” or “A. E. Churchyard” into your favourite e-book site’s search facility.

Just buy yourself something to read and thereby keep my cats in Kittynibbles and my kids in socks… it’s as simple as that.

PS: The only work that will ever be entirely for free will be either my Fanfiction (I don’t believe in profiting from someone else’s work and if the copyright holder objects to it, I’ll remove them from my site) or the stories that get published through Cake & Quill – Charity Anthologies are worth the work for an entirely different reason.

A New Blog?

… or just an archive for the serial stories that I write?

I’m not actually all that sure…

What on earth are you talking about, woman? Please make sense or I shall have to slap you up upside of the face with a haddock.

All right, no need to get violent.

A while back I attempted to start a serial story blog. It was called Confessions of an Unintentional Bar Tender and was sort of autobiographical in that I was writing about things that had happened to me, but basing them in a third person story way.

It petered out after four posts, never got any views and was a bit of a disappointment.

However, I didn’t want to get rid of it and I still like the concept.  Of a serial story blog I mean.

So I did a bit of tweaking and turned the blog into “The Serial Story Teller”

The original story for Confessions of an Unintentional Bar Tender is still there.  It has its own page and you can read the posts that tell it; but it’s no longer the focus of the blog. I will at some point, add more to it, but at the moment I have so much to do that the back burner I put it on has gone out.

Tales of Cassius  has gone the same way. The short story had sold no copies on any of the sites I’d published it on and I was getting fed up with it being there, jeering at me. So I’ve unpublished it and added it to “The Serial Story Teller”. When I have enough words written, I will take it down and publish it as a book, but until then, it will only be available to read through the blog.

I had a story concept idea that was too strong to ignore, but I am too busy to write at the moment. The concept is called The Chronicles of Pentagon City.

Inspired by my friend and one of my favourite authors, Paul Trembling,  as well as the fantasy comedy that is the Discworld, by Sir Terry Pratchett, Pentagon City is a place that I want to explore… once Quargard has released it’s death grip on my fantasy mind…

So if you want to read some of my work and decide if you want to buy my books, feel free to take a look at the stories I’m writing over there. All comments are welcome (believe it or not, I even welcome the negative ones… I’m that odd!) as they will help me to refine my works.

If you get hooked into a particular character or story over there, feel free to tell me and prod me to write more about them, I work much better when I know I’m actually entertaining someone… and should anything disappear over there then it’s probably being prepped for release as a book, so keep an eye on the blog page there for the latest news on the stories.

Well that’s enough of that – I have some work to do, and a webzine to get out.

See you later!