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2014-Jul-18, Friday 23:15
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Taken from someone else on another network, deemed too good not to use.

Ask me a question about one of my fics or series. It can be absolutely anything in any project and I will tell you the honest-to-goodness answer (even on the progress/plans for next chapters of current series).

Don't hold back. Whatever you ask, I’ll answer as truthfully and as completely as possible. You can also ask about my writing as a whole, if you like.

I'm modifying this meme a tad: I want you to click to my original fic works-in-planning list and pick a thing, any thing of any size, and ask me a thing about it.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Looks like IngramSpark's LightningSource might be a viable alternative to CreateSpace. It's through Ingram, which is one of the (if not the) major book distributors, so I get the distribution Lulu doesn't give me. Setting up a book looks more complicated and is definitely more expensive—$49/title setup (unless there's a print order of fifty or more copies in the first sixty days, in which case that $49 is refunded) and $12/title/year to distribute, I have to provide (which means buy) my own ISBN instead of relying on CreateSpace to get one for me, and I have to provide a JPEG of my completed ebook cover or a PDF of my completed print cover instead of being able to fiddle with CreateSpace's Cover Creator. But that may just be a price I'm willing to pay.

crossposted from conallpublications.com
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
So Amazon's being a bully. Again. This time it's the publisher Hachette that they're trying to strongarm. And frankly I am sick to death of Amazon's bull.

I think tomorrow I'm going down to the local indie bookstore with a list of the books I have on preorder at Amazon and going "hey do you do preorders". And assuming they can preorder them all for me, I am then cancelling my Amazon preorders saying "found cheaper somewhere else", comment to the tune of "I find that supporting bullying of publishers and the authors who depend on those publishers is a price I am unwilling to pay", on every single preorder. I have seven, counting only the hardcopy books, and I can maybe find the DVDs and the CD for preorder on BN.com. And then cancel my Amazon Prime membership into the bargain.

My problem is (as it has been since the Kindle Worlds nonsense started) that I'm a self-published author, and I like print books, and used books are a marvelous thing and they don't exist in electronic format. Neither do ebooks that can be read without an expensive piece of electronics, which provides a barrier to entry to reading for the sufficiently poor; used print books have a much lower price tag. Who the hell goes to lulu.com to browse for books? As far as I know, Lulu doesn't distribute to other booksellers, either. And as far as I know, my choices for self-publication in print are Lulu and Amazon CreateSpace. Also, if I don't have copies of my books available for sale on Amazon, I'm shooting myself in the foot sales-wise. (And I can't pull A Dinner of Herbs off Amazon without the consent of my co-conspirator, anyway.)

How do I resolve this? How do I as a self-pub author stop supporting Amazon without hurting myself a lot worse than I hurt them?

crossposted from conallpublications.com
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
I was tagged by [personal profile] annathepiper, whose Writing Process post is here. The idea is, a bunch of writers talk about their writing process and tag writers who haven't been tagged to talk yet, and the rest of y'all follow the links and discover new writers.

What Am I Working On?

Today is Bear In Chair Prompt Call day, so I am working on whatever people tell me to work on! Beyond that, I have a distressing number of works in progress. Black Velvet Band Medley wants to be the frontburner project at the moment, but it requires more research and outlining: this is the one in which War On Drugs prisoners slated for prison labor on the Luna colony end up on a transport to set up the Tau Ceti colony instead and our heroes pull a La Amistad, and it's the one (a one?) addressing colonialism and the prison-labor loophole in the Thirteenth Amendment.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?

Speculative fiction—media in general, but I'm particularly concerned with speculative fiction—is distressingly male, distressingly white, really distressingly straight, and it goes without saying that it's very nearly all cisgender. My work is, for the most part, none of the above.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

It distresses me that I and so many other people can't see ourselves reflected in the media. More to the point, it's wrong that we can't see our media reflections. I have a bumper sticker on my car: "Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture." —Allen Ginsberg. And as Junot Diaz says, "You know how vampires have no reflections in the mirror? If you want to make a human being a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves." I am taking back a little of that control and I am making some damn mirrors.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

Mostly I wing it. With Leah Far-Sighted and sequels I'm trying the snowflake method of outlining, but it isn't going so well. "Start at the beginning, write until you reach the end, and then stop" works much better for me, but it's not really a method designed to result in an intricately plotted novel. The one novel-length project that I've successfully completed using that method is a Harry Potter fanfic, which (since I spent much of it having my characters chase Horcruxes) essentially had the outline laid out for me. I'm trying to get better at outlining before writing.

If you wanna be tagged, holler.

ETA: First tag: [personal profile] perfectworry!

crossposted from conallpublications.com
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Available now for free in several ebook formats (pdf, mobi, epub, etc) and in paperback from Amazon: Lavender Blue and other poems, my 2013 poetry and flash fiction collection.

crossposted from conallpublications.com

about the Hugos

2014-Mar-01, Saturday 11:56
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
So apparently Jonathan Ross is presenting the Hugos.

[twitter.com profile] seananmcguire is very upset. [twitter.com profile] scalzi has no idea what's going on but nobody he reads is happy about this. So I looked up who the guy is.

He's openly misogynistic. He's openly heterosexist. He's openly ableist. He makes fat jokes. In a different category of what's wrong with this choice, he doesn't produce speculative fiction anything, which is distinctly odd for the person presenting the most prominent awards for speculative fiction. And while I'll grant that this last category of what's wrong with this choice isn't his fault, he's a white cis man, and there's a long history of the Hugo presenters being white cis men.

I've been following the SFWA debacles about representation and diversity and misogyny and so forth. Not closely following, but enough to get the gist. Picking Jonathan Ross to present the Hugos seems like one more car in speculative fiction's train to Irrelevantshitville.

I realize I am a minnow in a very large pond and nobody who could affect this decision is going to hear my voice, but: speaking as a speculative fiction writer, I want the fiction I love, both that I produce and that I consume, to reflect underrepresented populations, both those I'm part of and those I'm not. I want speculative fiction to produce delight and shock and I-never-thought-about-it-like-that in its consumers—all its consumers, who are not and should not be limited to a small demographic slice, if only because people outside that small demographic slice also have money. I want speculative fiction to be inclusive, not exclusive.

I don't want to be on a train to Irrelevantshitville. And the more the speculative fiction community tries to exclude people, the faster that train goes.

ETA: He's withdrawn. \o/

crossposted from conallpublications.com
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
In my defense, it is December. The paycheck job gets scary busy in December, and also finals week happened.

Rather than talk about the vilely antifeminist, binarist, looksist, ableist, and horridly insulting (and I'm dead certain they didn't consume any of the art they insulted) comment I have just deleted off the first post on the Conall Publications blog—why people feel the need to be vicious to random strangers who have done nothing but exist, I will never understand—let's talk about something more cheerful: It's almost Yuletide!

As my Dreamwidth profile says, my artistic ambition at the moment is to write something that gets nominated for Yuletide, the annual tiny-fandoms mega fanfic exchange. A Yuletide nomination won't mean I've hit it big. But it will mean I wrote something that resonated with someone, enough that they want more of the characters, more of the world. I am a product of fandom. Someone wanting fanfic of my work is one of the highest compliments I can imagine.

Guess I'd better get back to work on Leah Far-Sighted, huh?

crossposted from conallpublications.com


alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Alex Conall, social justice bard

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