Category Archives: Legal Issues

How Bad Can It Get?

If you have a writing career that ultimately spans decades, it will inevitably fluctuate with highs and lows—and so will the exultation and despair that follows such fluctuations. Contracts and literary agents may come and go. Publishing companies can dissolve and your rights lost in a morass of legalese and bankruptcy. The “Mid-List Author Death Spiral,” as it’s called, is a phenomenon well-known to several of my author acquaintances. And this is beyond the usual barrage of rejections we all have to cope with. Unless you’re prepared to go quietly into that good night, you will have to find ways to bounce back from setbacks like these—or else you won’t.

In the mid-1990s, I was one of those young writers desperate for industry validation, ripening me into the perfect fruit for the illegitimate predators out there. These were the days when the Web was in its infancy. There were no valuable websites like Writer Beware, Preditors and Editors, and the Association of Author Representatives out there waving red flags about snake-oil peddlers and con artists. Of course I was delighted when the Deering Literary Agency agreed to represent me. All they wanted was $800 to do it. I studied the contract closely, consulted a lawyer, but everything seemed legit—except for the fee. Young (erm, naïve is the more proper word) and desperate as I was, despite being broke, despite the warning bells, I went through with it.

A year passed with no word. Eventually the Deerings (an entire family of con artists) came back to me asking for another $500 for another year’s representation. More warning bells, more phone calls, but like I said, they were con artists and knew exactly what to say to get me to fork it over. So I did.

Six months later, they called me with contract offer. Joy! Exultation!

The contract offer was from Commonwealth Publications, of Edmonton, Alberta. Hmm, never heard of them before. The sample covers they sent sucked, comparable to a middle-school art class. I mean, terrible, not even by the talented art students. Warning bells, warning bells. Calls to agent—who are these people?—much reassurance. And what’s this clause they’re calling “joint venture,” wherein they require the author to contribute $3,850 to “share the publishing costs”? Oh, well, that’s a pioneering new publishing model. Authors share the costs but get a much higher royalty percentage.

So, despite the warning bells, I borrowed the money (remember, I was broke) and handed it over. This was about 1995. I was 25 years old.

I’m going to abbreviate this long, wrenching tale and say that my book, an epic fantasy titled The Ivory Star, was published in the spring of 1997, a year behind schedule. Dozens of other Commonwealth authors never even saw their book published.

Three months after publication, Commonwealth Publications evaporated. Their owner/CEO, Donald Phelan, looted the company of millions of dollars and fled to the Bahamas, leaving his company to implode and all the authors to drown in a pile of steaming excrement.

I never saw a dime of royalties.

One silver lining: the authors formed a class-action lawsuit, sued in Canadian court, and received our rights back, plus a judgment of $10 million. None of this judgment was ever paid because Commonwealth possessed no real assets, and Donald Phelan agreed to the settlement only on the condition that he not be named personally as a defendant. He was able to take the money and run, leaving authors holding the empty sack.

And about the time Commonwealth was imploding, the Deerings had decided to launch their own version of the same scam. Dorothy, Charles, and Daniel Deering formed a company called Sovereign Publishing and started bilking more naïve, desperate authors out of “representation fees” and then “selling” those books to Sovereign Publishing, which then garnered another round of “joint venture fees.” Unlike Commonwealth, however, Sovereign never published a single book, because the FBI came sniffing around.

The good news? The Deerings were all convicted of various types of fraud, and spent several years each in federal prison.

The bad news? They’re out of the pen now, and I suspect working on similar schemes, heedless of the dreams they crush.

FBI agent Jim Fischer has written a book about the case called Ten Percent of Nothing. There’s also plenty of information on Commonwealth and the Deerings on the website Writer Beware.

But there’s one more kick to the solar plexus in this Insult to Injury Extravaganza.

An unscrupulous few of Commonwealth’s former employees banded together, cooked up a scheme, and bought up the company’s stock of books for pennies on the dollar when all of the company’s assets were sold at auction to cover some of its debts. With this warehouse full of almost-free books, these people formed another “publishing company” called Picasso Publications, and attempted to present themselves as the publisher of these titles and sell the books on Amazon. Authors were never contacted nor informed of this move. As soon as wind of this spread and Amazon shut them down, Picasso evaporated just like Commonwealth did, and an unknown number of books along with them.

Whew. Long story, wasn’t it?

Try living through it.

But this is just the prelude. I still haven’t reached the point of my essay.

After three years in total of this sort of emotional pummeling, when it finally all unraveled, I had stopped writing. I just couldn’t do it anymore. As far as I was concerned, my career was a smoking wreck with a flaming oil slick trailing behind. The self-flagellation never quite reached the clinical level, but only because I found other outlets for my grief and shame.

I plunged myself into other creative avenues, such as minitature wargames, roleplaying games, video games. The storytelling urge that had turned me into a writer made me a pretty good GM. I painted hundreds of miniatures. Orc armies, dark elf armies, Norman armies, troll armies, samurai armies, Viking armies, space marine armies. I got pretty damn good at it over a couple of years.

For about two years, I didn’t write a word.

But then something happened. Not all at once, but more like someone slowly turning up the volume knob on that voice in my head that had started saying, “You should be writing,” the urge to write again slunk back like a coyote hovering around the campfire of my consciousness. Eventually I decided to feed the damn thing.

So I started on a new project. A samurai novel. I threw myself into research, into nights at the library, into reading history books and encyclopedias, and into watching more samurai films. The story I was writing became Heart of the Ronin, the first book of my Ronin Trilogy.

And over the course of the next decade, this decision—to write again—turned my life around.

With my shiny new chapters in hand, I attended my very first writing conference in 1999. At that conference, I met real agents, real editors. Lo and behold, they were just people! Kind people! Friendly people! People interested in what I was working on! One of the agents took the time to offer me some feedback on my samurai novel project, and even though she ultimately declined to represent me, I still feel very much indebted to her for that guiding hand. For the first time, I had the professional validation I had been lacking.

Writing the story that became the Ronin Trilogy led me to throw my life out the window and start over. I moved to Japan and lived there for three years. During this time, I found representation with a real literary agent, one of the big NYC ones, who sold Heart of the Ronin to Gale-Cengage’s Five Star imprint. After a decade since the Commonwealth/Deering cesspit, my career train was back on the tracks.

I returned to the U.S. then and went to grad school, like I had always wanted to. I started going to conventions and networking with agents, editors, and other writers. I wrote more books and sold them to small presses. I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2009. My train was starting to roll out of the station. Nowadays I feel like it’s moving at a slow but steady pace, with opportunities to pick up some speed popping up occasionally.

I have more books to write, and I’ll be damned if I ever suffer another setback like what Commonwealth and the Deerings did to me.

What I would like the Conscientious Reader to take away from all this is a number of points.

Lesson 1: Money always flows to the writer, never, ever, ever the other way around. Not to agents, not to publishers, not to anthologies or magazines.

Lesson 2: Trust your instincts. If something stinks, best pay attention and start digging. These days, the internet is a powerful research tool that I didn’t have twenty years ago.

Lesson 3: If you’re a writer whose Muse has scarpered off to grace someone else’s lap, whose desire to write is just gone, the urge to do so will return. Doesn’t matter if you’ve experienced your own train wrecks of whatever scale. The Writer Instinct may be retreat into a dark, little hole, but it’s still there, waiting for the coast-is-clear. And if it doesn’t?

Your heart would certainly be safer if it stayed away.

But writers don’t believe in playing it safe. We’re already insane, and we embrace it.

If it’s gone for now, trust that it will come back, and it just might change your life.

About the Author: Travis Heermann

Heermann-6death-wind-front-coverTravis Heermann’s latest novel Death Wind, co-authored with jim pinto, was published in September 2016, by WordFire Press.

Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, he is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of The Ronin Trilogy, The Wild Boys, and Rogues of the Black Fury, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Apex Magazine, Perihelion SF, Fiction River, Historical Lovecraft, and Cemetery Dance’s Shivers VII. As a freelance writer, he has produced a metric ton of role-playing game work both in print and online, including content for the Firefly Roleplaying Game, Legend of Five Rings, d20 System, and EVE Online.

He recently returned to the U.S. from New Zealand with a couple of lovely ladies and toting more Middle Earth souvenirs than is reasonable.

You can find him on…

Twitter
Facebook
Wattpad
Goodreads
Blog
Website


Preemptive Guide to Avoid Evil-Doers

Every day, a batch of people decide to write a short story or a novel. For the vast majority, the realization that writing is a difficult task to accomplish will push them back to Netflix or trying to catch Squirtle on their “Pokemon Go!” game.

For those who do manage to finish a piece of work, they may look at it and realize they’re not quite ready for publication. The hours of work are shoved into a trunk and they begin their next project, understanding that every iteration they go through develops their skills. Soon enough, they finish a project that they feel is ready for submission.

It is at this point where they begin to look around for places to send in their work. Unfortunately, there are sharks in the uncharted waters, all looking for a quick feast. How does a newbie author avoid the hazards that almost every established author already knows?

Ask Questions.

Asking questions on Facebook, of friends, or even at convention panels is an excellent way to avoid some of the more common scams. Mention Author Solutions or Publish America and every knowledgeable author shudders. They’re familiar with some of the most famous scams and methods of fleecing newbie writers. Those of you who know should be helping the newbies by answering their questions. It’s a way to give back to the writing community that was there for you when you were just starting out.

When you see someone asking questions, take the time to be helpful. Even pointing them to articles or websites can prevent someone from becoming another empty wallet. If you look out for others, they will certainly remember your name. With any luck, they’ll buy your next book and perhaps even leave you a nice review. Whether they do or not, others will remember you as someone who was helpful, and that’s a good reputation to have.

Check Writer Beware.

Writer Beware is a website attached to SFWA and endorsed by the Mystery Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association. Started by A. C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss in 1998, the project lists many agents, editors, and publishers with questionable reputations. They include plenty of details, plus give a “recommended” or “not recommended” rating when appropriate.

The website has an extensive series of articles, reviews, recommendations, and red flags for both the newbie writer and the experienced author. It’s always a good idea to check the latest when sending in projects that took a lot of time to develop. Sometimes good publishers go bad, and sometimes others redeem themselves. The website is updated often by a dedicated team.

A good example of what they offer can be found in their Small Press section.

Check Preditors and Editors.

Hosted by the Critters Writing Workshop and Dr. Andrew Burt, this website may make your eyes water with its 1990’s-era design, but it is chock-full of excellent advice on publishers, editors, services, and agents. Each section lists hundreds of entries and if they are recommended or not.

A good example is their Agents section. Each known listing includes as much details as is known, plus some are shown to be members of the AAR or are recognized as professionals by groups such as the Romance Writers of America. If there are any issues, those are spelled out, sometimes with a red Not Recommended rating to warn users against submitting any work to them.

Check the Absolute Write forums.

The Absolute Write “water cooler” is a forum open to anyone who registers. Should anyone have an issue with a publisher, agent, or service, this is one of the first places they go to in order to lodge a public complaint. In fact, if you cannot get a reply back after repeated attempts over a long period of time, posting a query here asking if anyone else has had problems can suddenly wake up the sleeping editors and publishers. Nobody wants to get discussed in a negative way on this website. It is important to note that this should be more of a “last resort”, not a first to-do when they don’t answer your email as quick as you would like.

There are many different forum sections, but the most apropos one for our discussion is at the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Checks forum. You have to register to post, but you can read without doing so. This is a great place to do a cursory search for the name of the business you’re interested in. Remember, just because one person had an issue doesn’t mean that fifty others have nothing but praise. Read through the posts, especially the most recent ones, to get a feel for how they are operating currently.

Professional Organizations.

The pro organizations have some excellent benefits for members. Some, like the Horror Writers Association, have a lower-tier membership for folks who haven’t sold any professional-rate work yet but have been published in semi-pro or “exposure” markets. Others require at least one sale at a professional rate, which SFWA determined is six cents per word in an approved market. Others genres may vary.

Most of the pro organizations have a grievance committee. These assist writers when there is a problem, which can range from contract issues to non-payment for accepted stories. Getting listed as a banned market in a professional organization can be a death-knell for a publisher. Note that the grievance committee works as a go-between when there is a legitimate disagreement. Only if a publisher or agent is found to be dishonest with more than one author will they be considered for a public notification that works published there are not acceptable for professional organization membership.

For those writers who are considering joining a pro org, this is one of the best benefits. Another one is a contract committee, which SFWA does have. This committee has articles on contract ‘gotchas’ to avoid and they can also answer questions on your contract.


And with that, you are now at least starting out your Dungeons and Dragons adventure with leather armor and a sword instead of a raggedy old cloak and a stick. Enjoy your trek, and remember to make new friends along the way.

 


About the Author:DeMarco_Web-5963

Guy Anthony De Marco is a disabled US Navy veteran speculative fiction author; a Graphic Novel Bram Stoker Award® nominee; winner of the HWA Silver Hammer Award; a prolific short story and flash fiction crafter; a novelist; an invisible man with superhero powers; a game writer (Sojourner Tales modules, Interface Zero 2.0 core team, third-party D&D modules); and a coffee addict. One of these is false.
A writer since 1977, Guy is a member of the following organizations: SFWA, WWA, SFPA, IAMTW, ASCAP, RMFW, NCW, HWA. He hopes to collect the rest of the letters of the alphabet one day. Additional information can be found at Wikipedia and GuyAnthonyDeMarco.com.

Sean Golden: My Year as a Writer

A Guest Post by Sean Golden

DollarKeyboardDec 15, 2014. That was the day I started my journey to live as a writer for a year, to see how I could do. After being laid off from my corporate job with a reasonably generous separation package, I calculated that I could spend a full year “writing.” So I did.

My very first monetary decision was to attend the SuperStars Writing Seminars, in February. That put me roughly $1,000 in the hole before I even published my first book. But I figured if I wanted to be a writer, I needed to learn from experts.

From Dec 15 to Jan 18 I focused on whipping my first book, “Warrior,” into shape. That included doing my own editing, artwork, and cover. On Jan 19, 2015, I hit the “publish” button on Amazon.com’s Kindle Select program and became a “self-published” author.

My first month, I sold roughly sixty books. At $2.99 a copy, that meant I had pocketed the princely sum of approximately $104.31. But then I was buying gas, meals and a hotel room for the conference. By the time the conference was over, I was about $1,500 in the negative column in my writing account.

In February and March, I did some free-lance work, which helped. By the end of March, when my first Amazon paycheck from January came in, I was back down to a negative $1,000.00 in the balance sheet. Yay!

Warlock, my second book in the series, was coming along. Of course, during all this, Warrior was still on Amazon, and sales were trickling in. In February I made another $140, so that put me at roughly -$840. I must admit that, by the end of February, my enthusiasm was drastically declining, after making less than $300 in six weeks of sales.

Then, in March, something happened. Warrior started to sell. From my perspective, it was suddenly selling a lot. My total sales in March hit $1,010. I was actually in the black now. That was huge. Then April came in at $1,040. I kept plugging away at Warlock. I figured I’d publish in June, and then I’d be making REAL money.

May brought in $1,230. Woohoo! I’m +$2,000 now! Maybe I should get a real cover for Warrior and Warlock, and hire an editor for Warlock! So I did. My covers for Warrior and Warlock cost me $1,100. Editing cost me $2,300. So that was $3,400 committed (but not paid yet). I figured “What the heck? I’m selling books!”

Then I hit the downside of the Warrior sales curve. And when it went down, it went fast. June brought in $785. Not even enough to cover my editing and book cover costs. I had to dip into my personal income to pay them. And so, after six and a half months, my great writing adventure had netted me a net negative $515.

I hit the free-lance route hard in July and August. I pulled in about $1,500 in free-lance work those months. Warrior sales in July were only $680. But I was $1,700 in the black again.

In August, the bottom fell out. $440 in sales. But I also spent $350 on cover design, so ended up netting only $90 in August. September was $209, and I did no free-lance work. But I did manage to get Warlock finished. On October 8, I published Warlock. Just a few weeks after my brother passed away from cancer.

I had been a “writer” for almost ten months. Had written two books, published one and had “done well” with that first book by most people’s estimation. I had made a grand total of $2,000 in profits. Not even enough to pay for the covers and edits I would need on “Warlord” the third book in the series. And I had to pay $500 to reserve a slot for that editing, bringing me down to $1,500.

As I hit the publish button on Warlock, my spirits were low. My finances looked horrible. My year of writing was coming to a close, and my grand dreams of proving I had what it takes, were clearly demonstrating exactly the opposite. Those were dark times, I’m afraid.

And then Warlock started to sell. Which also triggered renewed interest in Warrior. I raised my prices and sold both Warrior and Warlock at $3.99 instead of $2.99. I thought that would potentially kill sales, but it didn’t.

October sales from Warlock and Warrior combined came in at $1,800. My biggest month by far. My enthusiasm soared, and I started hitting Warlord pretty hard. My balance book put me at $3,300. But one thing I haven’t mentioned, is that Amazon pays out sixty days after sales, so that big October payday wouldn’t come in until December 31, just in time to pay my editor. In an attempt to rev the sales engine even higher, I poured about $400 into advertising. Maybe it paid for itself. I don’t know.

November was, again, my biggest month, at $2,010. $4,900 in the black, and, hopefully still rising. But reality was also setting in. $2,000 a month might sound like a decent performance for a couple books, but it didn’t come close to covering my bills. It was time to admit that this grand adventure was a failure, and to start looking for a real job.

You can probably guess the rest. December sales were down to $1,400 and falling fast by the end of the month, promising a very disappointing January. My first free-lance jobs were coming in but those also tend to pay out 60 days or so from submission, so that wasn’t going to help much. After getting my December payout from Amazon, on Jan 1, 2016, more than a year after my adventure began, I had $6,300 on paper, but only $1,500 or so in the bank. And a big editing bill coming due, plus a book cover to purchase for Warlord.

So, I started looking for a job, and am now back in the ranks of the gainfully employed.

To summarize:

Thirteen months after being laid off, and a full year from hitting “publish” on my first book, my total “profit” from writing existed mainly in deferred payments from Amazon.com in the amount of roughly $3,400, and a bank balance in my writing account of $185. I’m sure I could have worked harder and been more productive, but I did get two books out and was very close to my third, which is a decent output for an epic fantasy author, I think.

I’ve learned a few things, about writing, and about myself:

  1. I don’t write well when I am in terror of ending up homeless.
  2. I don’t write well when I focus on the economics.
  3. I write well when I’m able to think about my stories without feeling like every single word has to make a profit.
  4. My success so far, in having made any profit at all on my first books, seems to be unusual for self-published, unknown authors. I’ve had a lot of other writers tell me they wish they had sales similar to mine. To which I can only say, “wow.”

The thing is, for pretty much my entire adult life, I had told myself that I could make it as a writer. And despite the fact that I’m back at a regular job, and made a pittance of “real money” in my year of being a “pure writer,” I think I learned a lot, and what I learned will help me to keep on writing even as I’m working a day job. And now I will never have to go to my deathbed wondering what my life would have been like if I had only had the courage to follow my dream.

I followed it. And because of what I learned by doing so, I’ll be following that dream for the rest of my life. And there’s another thing. Based on the success I had with “Warrior,” I applied for and received a membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) organization. I am now, literally, a card-carrying writer.

I had wanted to become a writer. And I succeeded at that. And that’s more important, really, than the balance book in the end.

End Note: Someone asked me a while ago how much money they could expect to make as a self-published writer. I wrote a blog post to answer that, based on my own experience. The post was, by far, my most popular post. “My Year as a Writer” is a very condensed version of that blog post. To read the full post, please click here.

 

Sean Golden:

Sean Golden is many different things. Father, husband, writer, programmer, project manager, gamer, crafter, fisherman, amateur astronomer and too many other things to bore you with. He took a year off from the grind of corporate cubicle farms to write “Warrior” and “Warlock,” both available on Amazon.com. The third book in the series, “Warlord” is in the final stages of writing now. Sean has a BS in physics from Louisiana State University and had the second highest rated rogue on his World of Warcraft server after taking down the Lich King, and then retiring from raiding.

All The Good Things That You Do Not Want

As authors, it isn’t enough to have goals and know what you want – you also have to know what you don’t want.

We spend so much time working towards our goals that it seems contrarian to not embrace every opportunity that comes along, but in fact, to truly create and build up the kind of career you want most, that’s exactly what you have to do. The problem isn’t that we aren’t offered opportunities; the problem is that we are so hungry for acceptance, so desperate for validation of what we work so hard to create, that we overlook the potential drawbacks of saying yes to the opportunities we’re presented with.

This, exactly this, is what allows vanity presses to thrive, and scam artists pseudo-publishers, who promise everything from editorial guidance to production to promotion to distribution, to prosper. Education is key in avoiding being stuck in those kinds of mires, which is one reason I am a teacher for and advocate of the annual Superstars Writing Seminars – because learning the business of being an author is just as vitally important as being an author itself, and the need for that knowledge is ongoing.

New authors are extremely vulnerable when it comes to publishing scams – but those can, with a little knowledge, be easily avoided. No one wants to be scammed, so those aren’t exactly missed opportunities. The ones that are more difficult to avoid, even for experienced authors, are the ones that look exactly like what we wanted, and may in fact be very close – but which turn out to be Potential Disasters In The Making.

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to sell a comic book project to a flashy, upstart publisher that had been having a lot of success in the comic book Direct Market. A lot of my peers were doing books with them, and we were in active talks to develop my project – until I read the contract. They asked not just for a stake in ownership of the properties they developed (which was balanced by a hefty page rate up front, something not guaranteed by publishers like Image where they don’t have an ownership stake, but you pay all the development costs yourself), they asked for 51%. Just enough to be the majority owner of the Intellectual Property. And over that 1%, I declined.

I took a lot of grief from friends over what they saw as a stupid decision – right up until that company decided to shut down, and sell all of its properties to a Big Corporation Publisher. All my friends lost their books, because that 1% meant they never owned them from the moment they said yes and cashed the check. In some cases, they had to watch as other writers and artists were brought in by the Big Corporate Publisher to work on books they had created, while they weren’t even considered.

Saying yes to that 1% might have given me a short-term boost, as it did with my friends – but I’d have lost control and ownership of something I had created, and that option was never, ever going to be appealing to me.

In traditional book publishing (as opposed to comics), ownership is not a question, unless you are being asked to do work-for-hire, or ghostwrite a project, but the same problems can arise depending on the terms of the contracts being signed. Even dealing with that issue that is mostly a matter of knowledge though, and willingness to stick to what you want, so it’s something that can be worked through (or not) and signed (or not). The opportunities that are the hardest to turn down are the ones that almost give you everything you think you want – except for that one little thing. But trust me: like the 1% difference in that comics contract, that one little thing is what will define our work and our careers, and sometimes irrevocably change the direction they take.

I spent a good part of this year negotiating a publishing deal for my inspirational nonfiction trilogy The Meditations, with a publisher that is well known and respected for publishing such books. The publisher liked me. The editorial staff liked me. They liked the books a lot, and really liked the fact that I was already being paid as a speaker, doing my presentation Drawing out the Dragons. It all seemed like an ideal match and a perfect opportunity: they would publish the books, and I would join other speakers on their established lecture circuit. It was giftwrapped and ready to go…except for that one little thing.

They wanted exclusivity, not of those books, but of my efforts as an author and speaker. In doing their due diligence, it seemed to them that I had plans to continue working as a YA Fantasy author, and comics creator, and an illustrator, and they felt that was not the best use of my abilities – not if I wanted the deal to move forward. They saw me as a potential full-time Life Coach, and someone who could ask – and get – ten or twenty times the amounts I was being paid in speaking fees if I was only just willing to edit the books to point in that direction, and more fully dedicate my efforts to that end as a part of their stable of author/speaker/Life Coaches.

I had to decide what I wanted, because that proposal seemed to me to be 99% of what I had asked for – a nice book deal, an international platform, and the potential for a lot of money – but the 1% difference, which wasn’t going to be contractual, just, ah, strongly encouraged, made my heart sink.

I knew what I wanted my career and life and work to be, and it was all of the things I do: writing fantasy, drawing comics, and yes, writing inspirational books and giving lectures. But the combination, the whole, is what makes me happy, and hopefully, inspires those around me. To exclude any of those parts would lessen who I am, lessen my happiness, and lessen the quality of the work that I do. And so I said no, and let that opportunity pass.

Those books have their own purpose, and will find their audience. I’m not worried about missing that deal, or about my career, because it’s the choices we make and the actions we take that define us, and there are always going to be more opportunities to choose, as long as we haven’t given away too much of our power by saying yes to too many of the wrong things, simply because we were afraid to say no.

So, if you didn’t get that publishing deal, or agent, or contract, have a drink and celebrate – it might be the best thing that could have happened to you. Then keep going, keep writing, keep choosing. That’s how it works.

James A OwenJames A. Owen is the author of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, the creator of the critically acclaimed Starchild graphic novel series, and the author of the Mythworld series of novels. He is also founder and executive director of Coppervale International, a comic book company that also publishes magazines and develops and produces television and film projects. He lives in Arizona. Visit him at HereThereBeDragons.net