Are Writers Jerks?

The title, incidentally, is from what is far and away my favorite segment of the Daily Show. Enjoy. On to your regularly scheduled rant.

I hadn’t intended to comment on this; that is, the Stacey Jay Kickstarter campaign which caused some to-do recently, since it doesn’t bear commenting on. I talked about it some with friends on teh Twitters, but as it wasn’t egregiously stupid or in violation of Kickstarter’s ToS, I moved on. I have no problem taking a stupid campaign to task, but for this, well, not really a big deal. Raising an excess of $10,000 for a work of fiction is a pretty high task, and if it produced the promised product, well, then, function achieved. Not how I would go about it, probably, but hey, not my project.

This is probably what Matt would term one of my more curmudgeonly gripes, but for as much as I love a lot about social media, the reaction to everything is the same: Complete outrage. This applies equally to lightsaber crossguards in a minute-and-a-half long trailer as equally as it does to actual, literal crimes against humanity. So, in true writerly fashion, the internet blew up at Stacey Jay. This brings us to the titular game: Are Writers Jerks? Let’s play. It’s a simple game: we examine the timeline, and you get to decide. There are Stitch .gifs.

January 3: Stacey Jay launches her Kickstarter.

January 6: Under an avalanche of criticism for using the funds to pay her bills, the Kickstarter comes down.

stich cry

Her general reaction is to, basically, pout. She writes a blog post about it, essentially apologizing for doing, basically, what Kickstarter is meant to do. But she decides to disappear for a while, pull the plug on her social media, etc. Not that I blame her, but still.

stitch cranky

So, of course, she receives more criticism and some crosses the line into abuse- someone sends her an aerial view of her house, among other things.

stitch crazy

Writers & book people rush to her aid- by buying the books she already has out.

stitch eyes

UPDATE: Apparently she is done pouting! All her social media has been restored and she has a blog post about ‘transparency’ (which is good) and how she’ll fight on, or whatever. I’m sure having the support of tons of notable authors didn’t hurt.

shut up

Literally everything in the process makes me react like Stitch in that last gif. She took an absolute bludgeoning over the Kickstarter, then people can’t respect her privacy, then those same people from category A all rush out to buy her books.

Are writers jerks?


PS to Stacey, if you read this: Please do something about your header image on your website. It makes my eyes bleed.


Kickstarter: Wrap

Well, that went considerably better than last time. To all of you who backed it, helped spread the word, or put up with my spamminess over the last month: Thank you!



I have wanted to write, professionally, for a living, since I knew it was an option. It’s a long road to get there, and I am certainly not there yet, but this is a huge step towards it. My hope, nay, plan, is to do something different and better than what has been done before. I want to have a way to distribute my books in brick and mortar stores without them carrying it begrudgingly. I want to sell ebooks in a way that doesn’t leave me at Amazon’s mercy when they axe the 70% royalty option (and they will).

You all are helping make that happen. And, despite being someone who intents to make a living off words, they honestly fail me here. The support that’s been shown- and I don’t mean just monetarily- means the world to me. I’ve always wanted to write, to have people enjoy my silly stories of spaceships and tragic romance, and that you do, well… Like I said, words fail me.

So- what’s next? More details as events warrant, but the short version looks like this: As soon as the money clears, I will order the rewards and send out surveys. The new cover will be finalized and I will decide on a publisher. Once I have a good idea of when I will have the books in hand (squeeeeee) I will schedule the launch event at Village Books- probably a few months in advance, so all the reward copies will ship and be in people’s hands well before it hits the shelves. After that, I shift gears to marketing the heck out of it, and wrapping up Series Two (with the named character rewards!).

So, there you have it. I’ll keep you updated with progress as it happens. Again, thank you all so much.


Why Fireside’s Success is (still) a Big Deal

In case you missed it (and if you follow me, you probably didn’t), the Kickstarter campaign for Fireside Magazine- Year 3 just ended, successfully funded, with a few hours to spare.  I’ve known Brian White, who started the whole thing, for a while, and he is one of my favorite online friends. But I don’t have any personal stake in it- none of my work has ever appeared there, though I hope it does, one day. My love and respect for what Brian is doing is, basically, because I’m a writer of fiction.

Allow me to explain. I have a friend who is a blogger, writes press releases, that sort of thing. I was talking to her and she talked about press releases paying a dollar a word.

A dollar. Per word.

I would kick a puppy to get paid a dollar per word.

Obviously, it’s far from realistic for fiction, for a whole lot of perfectly good reasons. Pro rate, according to SFWA, is $0.06 per word, and while a lot of markets pay that, they are highly competitive and many, many more pay less. Now, I’m not complaining, at all- these are just the facts that set up why what Fireside does is awesome.

Fireside pays $0.12.5 per word. Over double the new pro rate. It is great enough that someone is doing it, but even more so that people are rallying behind it, for years now. A friend of mine tweeted, as Fireside was facing another monster climb, that they had gone back to the well too many times. But then, the rally came again and Fireside cleared its goal by $1,000.

Maybe I never make twelve cents a word. Honestly, that’s OK with me. I’d take it over not, ya know, but the reality of it is that someone will, and that is good for the industry, for writers, and- most importantly – for readers. That people care enough to put their money forward to support writers getting paid well, well, that matters.

As with what I am doing with my own campaign, I hope that a few years from now, Fireside will have provided the template for how things are done.

Coming Soon…

I’ve alluded to it a couple times, but I wanted address it directly: There will be a second edition of 3024AD: Short Stories Series One. This is spurred mostly by the need for some additional editing (which you may have noticed if you’ve read it). It’s also getting a brand new cover (pictured), which is along much of the same lines, but the formatting works a lot better. As with the first cover, all praise goes to Johnny Atomic for it.

2nd edition cover

2nd edition cover

But, as you know if you’ve paid attention to me for any amount of time, I want to be more than a ‘self-published’ or ‘independent’ author. So I’m using this as an opportunity to expand my reach. I am going to run a new Kickstarter campaign to fund this effort, both the editing and expanded reach. The goal will be $1,000, which will cover all the basic expenses and rewards, but anything in excess of that will go toward printing and distributing physical copies of the book. I want to establish a solid presence in local independent bookstores, and hopefully in some libraries (if nothing else, some of the small neighborhood library boxes which are popping up all over).

This site will also be getting a facelift soon, and you’ll also be able to buy book(s) right off the site. You’ll be able to pay as much (or as little) as you like for the ebook, and a base price for the physical copy. I think one of the things that is broken with a lot of ebook stores (ebookstores?) is that for, say, my book, you have to pay five bucks. It’s a fair price for a good book, I think, but how the hell do you know it’s a good book? Maybe you’d take a chance at two or three dollars, but at five you’re priced out without a solid reason to buy. This will allow people to read it, and pay what they think it’s worth.

So that’s a preview of what is to come. The Kickstarter will launch next week- I have to put the finishing touches on it (READ: Make a damn video), and set up some promo stuff and then wait for the approval. So feel free to start spreading the word! There will be fun rewards, cool stuff and cookies.



Writing Prompt: Cave Settlement

Cave Settlement, by Whatzitoya/jose Borges



Today’s prompt comes from Jose Borges, who actually has a Kickstarter going right now.

So, what’s your story for the cave settlement? Is it even on earth? Why are they in the cave- or do we even care or remember? Have fun!