February 24th 2010
Writing Terms Defined
Agent - Reviews the contracts to eliminate unfavorable clauses and protect the author’s interests, allowing the author to relax and enjoy the experience of being published. In the relationship model of publishing, the agent is the condom.*
Censorship – The suppression of speech, generally by the government or others with authority. China’s ongoing efforts to arrest and silence those who speak out against the government is an example of censorship. Getting banned from someone’s blog for being an unrepentant asshole? Not censorship. Any questions?
DRM – Digital Rights Management. The most awful thing in the world. DRM is the biggest obstacle to the success of e-books.
Freedom of Speech – Your right to express your thoughts and opinions. This right is not unlimited. For example, calling Publish America a scam could potentially lead to a libel suit. (See here for more discussion.) Therefore, when talking about Publish America, use the alternate term “doodyheads.”
George R. R. Martin – Not your bitch.
House Style- I like the word “leapt.” My publisher prefers “leaped.” Guess who wins.
Movie Deal – The very first thing your friends and coworkers will ask about when you sell your novel.
Page Proofs - 1. Your chance as an author to review the typeset pages of your book and correct any typos. 2. Your chance as an author to discover all of those larger changes you’ll wish you’d made before, but now it’s too damn late.
Piracy – Illegal posting of copyrighted books. The most awful thing in the world. Piracy is the biggest obstacle to the success of e-books.
Research- 1. See Google. 2. See Wikipedia. 3. Go to the library and do it right, you lazy bastard!
Self-Promotion- Blogging, attending conventions, arranging booksignings, handing out bookmarks, and any other activity intended to give the writers the illusion that they have the slightest control over their sales.
Self-Publishing – The writer is responsible for all aspects of the publishing process. Writer controls and pays for production, retains all rights, and keeps all profits.
Self-Publishing Myths – Exaggerations, distortions, and outright lies used by companies hoping to separate eager young writers from their money. (See here for examples.)
Writer Guidelines – An I.Q. test. You’d be amazed how often people flunk.
*It’s just a joke. My agent is awesome, and I love him. Please don’t dump me, Joshua!
Jim C. Hines
Jim C. Hines' latest book is THE SNOW QUEEN'S SHADOW, the fourth of his fantasy adventures that retell the old fairy tales with a Charlie's Angels twist. He's also the author of the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. Jim's short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and anthologies, including Realms of Fantasy, Turn the Other Chick, and Sword & Sorceress XXI. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He's currently hard at work on LIBRIOMANCER, the first book in a new fantasy series. Visit site.
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