Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kindle Bites Sad Puppies Back

Yes, that was the most awkward title I've ever constructed. I think I went a bridge too far, then blew it up.

Anyway, Sad Puppies Bite Back released this week. The sales are a pleasant surprise.

However, something happened this time that is new in my experience: Kindle didn't like me.

If you've already purchased it, then you might have seen some bits and pieces and problems crop up. There are duplicated words, even duplicated paragraphs, artifacts within the text, including random formatting issues. Most of these problems came from nowhere. I hadn't seen them in the publisher preview, nor were they in the document I used.

It's bizarre.

Now, I've heard multiple suggestions on what might have happened, from hackers to puppy kickers, to "Kindle does that." I suppose that after a dozen Kindle books released, having ONE that goes screwy isn't that bad.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I scrubbed the document, cleared the formatting and reset it, replaced all of the spaces (yes, the spaces, don't ask), and I did everything but change the punctuation. I have one person who will not like how the apostrophes look. But I'm not changing them this week.

By the way, if you're worried about the Kindle edition, I'm double checking the print copy, making certain that's clear, and move along.

Now, I've gotten one or two complaints about SPBB.  Why? Well, I had someone tell me that it made Vox look like a Sad Puppy, not a Rabid Puppy.  Which is odd, considering he's unleashing an elder god on WorldCon, and the Sad crowd drive it off, to the cry of "Next time, Sad Puppies! Next tttttiiiiiiiiimmmmeeee!!!!!!" Honestly, I gave him lines from Doctor Klaw. Do I have to make him Satan?

No matter. I suspect there are people on the Puppy Kicker side who would think that Vox as Satan is actually too NICE.

Also this week was a pleasant surprise. Peter Grant, who I SWATted, advertised SPBB on his blog.

I did not see that coming. At all.

Keep in mind, I've never met Mister Grant. I saw him once at a panel at LibertyCon ... a panel that had really comfy chairs, and I fell asleep.

So, this has been a strange week.

But, SPBB is up, it's live, and the Kindle should be cleared up and ready to read. The paperback edition is being processed to make certain that it is as perfect as I can make it. And all is right in the world. For now.

And in other news? Surprisingly enough, no one has complained about SPBB. So, win.

So, apologies to those people who got SPBB and had problems with it. They should be fixed. And if you haven't bought it yet, it should be good to go already. Enjoy.

Epic Rap Battle: Tolkien vs Martin

There is a viewer warning here for R-rated language.

Then again, giving movie ratings lately, it's probably "PG-13."

And, for the record, I think we all know who wins this one. I usually don't declare victors in these sorts of things, but in this case, I think even the guys coming into this had a favorite....

Just a guess....

And, if you like that strange example of my sense of humor, you might want to try my NEW RELEASE: Sad Puppies Bite Back

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

#SadPuppies Bite Back and Pricing

Yes, I know I announced this in the past blog, but I spent half that blog justifying that I was going to publish it at all. So, I figure my duty now is to,

1) explain what the Hell Sad Puppies Bite Back is, for those of you who don't know, and

2) probably explain the pricing.

Sad Puppies Bite Back was one of my fever dream moments, only this one was successful. It was one of those ideas where I didn't know exactly where the ideas came from, or what the hell I was thinking, or even why it happened in in the first place? It's sort of like how I wrote It Was Only on Stun! (if that doesn't explain the book, nothing does).

Anyway, I had been looking at the Sad Puppies, and how they all decided to make fun of how evil they had been portrayed. You know, they're all evil racists and sexists, even though two are Portuguese, three are women, one's married to an Afro-American woman ... you know, what evil racist sexists do. That's why, if you look down the Sad Puppy backers, you have "Sarah Hoyt, Evil Yet Beautiful Space Princess" (Yes, as a proper name), Larry Correia has adopted the moniker as the International Lord of Hate. Etc.

So, adopting names for themselves made fun of themselves, as well as the ones who have deemed them evil.

To be honest, I have no idea how many were self-named, and how many just sort of ... happened (or how many originated with John C. Wright having fun with it all). For some reason, ever since I heard about the death threats on the Puppies, I wondered when Larry Correia or Brad would be SWATted.

All I could think of was, well, what would happen?

For those people who are not familiar with the concept of SWATting, it's the practice where someone calls 911, insisting that the target has a gun, is violent and actively threatening to shoot people, in the hopes that the SWAT team knocks down someone's door and possibly gets them killed. Fun, huh? This has been a tactic that's come up in the last year. I was going to call this SWATing Sad Puppies originally, but I can't see that title going over well.

This thing became so popular, I needed to put together its own tab on the blog. Seriously, look at the top of the page. Literally, this was something that started out as a throwaway blog, and became OVER FIFTEEN PARTS LONG.

Yes. Insane.

[For those people who have no idea what Sad Puppies is, there are two versions.  One is on the blog here, filled with snark and sarcasm, etc.  If you want something more balanced and sane, click here.]

It started out as a bit of insanity that just spiraled. Sort of like how the rest of my writing career started.

If you want samples, links to the samples are in the Sad Puppies tab above. Yes, for those of you who wanted this published, you have your wish, but I'm also not going to leave free samples.

For those of you who are wondering, YES, THERE IS NEW CONTENT. THERE IS AT LEAST ONE NEW SWATTING. I say at least because I honestly don't remember right now... it's late and I'm tired. There's also a reorder for chronology, edits for continuity and new events, introductions to establish context. There is also a SWATting of Brian Niemeier, as well as an epilogue for the David Truesdale incident.

Anyway, Sad Puppies Bite Back is available on Amazon as a paperback and as a Kindle copy. Enjoy.

Now, it's also short-ish, and costs $4.99 as a Kindle, and $9.99 as a paperback. It's expensive for a Kindle, and Cheap for a paperback.

The Kindle price is ... not my idea. It was suggested by Kindle Direct Publishing. I have no idea why. They suggested my thrillers be $2.99, but a parody satire should be $4.99. I have no flipping idea why. I will not complain -- for the moment -- because it gets me $3.46 a copy. I usually get $2 for Kindle. At best.

On the other hand, the $9.99 price on the trade paperback is cheap because: 1) it has fewer pages, 2) this price point gets me ... $3.34 from Which is less than what I usually make per paperback novel, but I wouldn't make it $15, and making it $11 and change just so I make an extra buck would be awkward. Not to mention stupid.

So, if you wonder what the heck I'm doing? I'm following advice from Amazon about how to price Amazon books. Otherwise, I'm just winging it. Which is standard operating procedure around her.

Anyway, enjoy the book. 

In Vox Day we Trust -- Sorta

On Facebook, I said I was going to go more into politics on the blog. My politics have consisted of ... talking about Brian Niemeier's shadowban on Twitter. That's it. This is me being highly political.

If you look at the title, you might expect that I'm going to go into full-bore politics this time. Maybe I'll go full Rabid.

Well...Yes, no, and sorta.

You see, I can't really speak to any of Vox Day's political points. I've only read one work by him, called The Irrational Atheist. It's basically treating anti-theist schmucks like Richard Dawkins in a manner to which they treat believers.

In short: "We're going to beat the crap out of the sophists, and we'll do it on their own terms."

And, frankly, I think Vox did a great job of it.

In my brief interaction with Vox on the radio show (yes, he was on The Catholic Geek), he struck me as eloquent, well educated, and probably smarter than I am on the whole -- the one thing EVERYONE agrees on is that Vox isn't stupid. Nowhere near.

But, frankly, if you want me to speak to any of his thoughts on race, or sociology, or culture .... I can't. Because I don't have the brain power or the time to dig through everything he's ever written on the subject. Feel free to do your own research, but be sure to start from the top and work your way down. I think you're going to need it. I have a problem believing accusations of him being "racist," mainly because that does not sound like the guy who wrote The Irrational Atheist. Though I'm told by others that he's the devil incarnate.

My opinion is: I neither know, nor do I care. Not only can't I see into a man's heart, I cannot read his mind. 100% of my personal interaction with Vox is in public, on my radio show.

There, is, however, something I have picked up from Vox: Puppy Kickers, and people like them, are cowards.

I mentioned a while back that, in the event that I get rejected by Castalia House, I'm going to publish Sad Puppies Bite Back for release.

This is just a really long way of me announcing that I'm going to publish it for release now.

Yes, you've read that right, by the end of today, September 27th, Sad Puppies Bite Back will be released in Kindle and in Paperback.

Now, Sad Puppies Bite Back will be on Kindle for $4.99, and paperback for $9.99.  Why so expensive?  Or why so cheap?

The Kindle edition price isn't my idea. Amazon has something called KDP Pricing Support. It's in Beta right now, but it tells me that satire and parody is apparently more expensive than other genre.

Yeah, I don't get it either..

Anyway, I've had more requests for SPBB than for almost anything I've ever written. So, again, odd, but I'll take it.

I'm just going to emphasize something, that this has all new material, including a SWATting of Brian Niemeier, and a special epilogue, given the David Truesdale incident. In retrospect, I think it has a strangely bittersweet ending, since one of the Puppy Kickers who I thought was vile may just be sort of sad, at the end of the day. That could just be me.

Of course, there are new introductions, some new SWATting, fully edited, especially for accuracy.

I know what you're thinking. The legal people out there are thinking, "It's a parody. It's covered under the first amendment, as in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell as satire of public figures and their public statements."

The really legal minded of you are thinking, "Yeah, so what? That doesn't stop anyone from suing in the first place. That just acts as a legal defense after you've been sued. Anyone can sue anybody for anything for any reason at almost any time."

A legal defense would probably not help my finances.

So ... why go through with it?

On the one hand, I don't think any of them really would come for me. Let's face it, if John Scalzi wasn't going to come after Vox Day when Vox used the title John Scalzi is a Rapist, you think some of these people are going to bother coming after a little nobody for writing a parody where Scalzi merely comes off as either a snooty academic or the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

On the other hand, because I know that if the Puppy Kickers dare come for me, I'm just going to start forwarding all communications to Breitbart. And I'm going to send Tom Doherty and the Macmillan board of directors a copy of SPBB, along with a statement that says "Hi, X people who work for you are trying to sue me over this. Do you really want to be connected to them?"  At which point, most of the Puppy Kickers will probably have to slink back under the rock from which they came unless they want some professional backlash. Let's face it, if you're Macmillan, you own Tor books, do you really want to be associated with people who are trying to bully a small, indie author over a stupid parody?

Not to mention, there are screen captures all over the place. The internet really is forever.

We'll see.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Future of Declan Finn The Publishing Industry, and DragonCon

I went to DragonCon with a bit of a mission: to enter something close to traditional publishing.

I was actually feeling kind of good about it, especially by the time I left. I had the business card of an agent with connections to Baen and Tor. I had Jodi Lin Nye's business card. After the Dragon AWard ceremony, Baen editor Toni Weiskopf came up to me, shook my hand, and said it was nice to meet me, she had read my blog.

For that last part, I grinned like an idiot until I had to sit down. Also, it may have been because I am generally terrified of public speaking, and it only kicked in after the ceremony was over.

Ever since I got back, I've been having backroom conversations with people who have varying opinions on the publishing industry.

The short version of the conversations seem to boil down to, "Baen is okay, screw everyone else, and just self publish. You don't need no stinking agent. You just need to publish four books a year."

Uh huh. Gee. Thanks for the help.

I try not to talk money, or sales numbers on this blog. I do everything I possibly can to avoid any such thing. I'm told that, proportionately, I'm not doing that bad.

"Not bad" is enough for me to live with several other people in New York City, but not enough for me to move out of this town, into somewhere else. I love New York, but the cost of living is murder.

But I've been inundated with stories of bad agents -- agents who have great ratings in predators and editors, and are not scam artists, but who have rewritten and destroyed books by inserting themselves into the writing process.

Or stories of publishers who will destroy books by lousy covers. I've gotten a few of those stories from multiple sources. Not to mention, hell, have you seen some of the covers put on good books lately? Count to A Trillion is a great book, but the cover art is very .... bland.

So, what the hell am I doing?

First of all, I'm going to do everything. Yes, everything.

I'm going to submit something to Baen that no one has ever seen before.

I'm going to talk with Jodi Lynn Nye about her agent experiences.

I'm going to submit to the agent.

I'm going to self publish the Complete Pius Trilogy as one Kindle volume. Just as soon as the artist is done with it.

I'm going to self publish the sequel to Codename: Winterborn. Just as soon as the artist is done with it.

Yes, I'm going to blame Dawn Witzke, the artist, for a lot of it. Even though I really should be spacing out releases on principle.

I've also got another project on the block. Which I will discuss tomorrow.

What will I be doing with Set To Kill and the vampire novels? No idea yet. I'm waiting on rejections.

So far, this year, I'm going to at least publish three more works of fiction.

So ... yeah, we're not done yet. The year isn't over, and neither am I.

The fun is about to start.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Music of Moira Greyland, and the Dragon with Brian Niemeier 09/25

The Catholic Geek: Music of Moira Greyland, and the Dragon with Brian Niemeier 09/25 by We Built That Network | Culture Podcasts:

For the first hour, Moira Greyland Peat joins us for an hour discussing music and a history of fandom.

In our second hour, Hugo award nominee and Dragon Award Winner for Best Horror, Brian Niemeier, will join us, discussing his recent Dragon Award win, and his time at Salt Lake Comic Con.

Moira Greyland plays stunning harp solos and sings beautiful songs including selections from the repertoire of Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. She also presents a Celtic program featuring the music of Celtic Woman. A master teacher, and founder of two opera companies, Moira can teach you to sing, or to play the harp. Lessons are available via Skype or in person in North Texas. Email Moira at for details. If you love Celtic music, Moira's harp and traditional Irish stylings have earned her praise from some of the best known Irish singers in the world. Mary O'Hara said 'Well done' of Moira's album 'Avalon's Daughter, and Margie Butler of Golden Bough said 'I wish I could use my high voice like she does.' Kristoph Klover of Avalon Rising said of Moira's original composition 'Guinevere's Song' 'Man! I wish I had written that!' James Meredith, director of Sonos Handbell Ensemble, called 'Avalon's Daughter' 'Rollicking fun!'

Brian Niemeier was the nominee for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He chose to pursue a writing career despite formal training in history and theology. His journey toward publication began at the behest of his long-suffering gaming group, who tactfully pointed out that he seemed to enjoy telling stories more than planning and adjudicating games.

DragonCon Photo Layout 2016

I'm going to be a little lazy today.

Pictures from DragonCon.

To start with, the Cosplay Deviants.


Poison Ivy from Previous years
Lara Croft

Starfire, I think.
And no, the professionals aren't the only ones who came dressed sexy.

With Peter David
Miss Marvel
The real one

 Jessica Rabbit, Harley Quinn, and ... I think Kitana

Black Cat

Mord-Sith, from Terry Goodkind

 Yes, I think this is the same Poison Ivy from two different days. Huh.

Taste the Rainbow.

The artist bandolero, the Dragon Award, and a piece of art.

The Hyatt.

Looking up at the Marriott
Looking down from the Marriott

Agents of SHIELD

And now the Flight of Dragon Awards.