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Five Things Make a Post|
1. You have until midnight, Central Time, on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, to order your signed and personalized copy of Carousel Sun from Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis. The devilish details are here. If you want to cut to the chase, here's the link to Uncle Hugo's Lee and Miller catalog page.
For the purposes of this discussion “personalized” means that you have asked the author to write something special on the title page of your book, in addition to their name.
1a. If you wish to pre-order an autographed (i.e. not personalized), you may do so at this link. The deadline for pre-ordering a signed copy is January 10, to give Uncle Hugo time to place the order, the printer to ship the books to Maine, to be autographed, and then sent on their way to Minneapolis. This is not a trivial thing we're undertaking here, so everybody keep a grip on your good humor and I'll endeavor to do the same.
2. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. is looking for an editor for the Bulletin. Job requirements are here. You do not have to be a SFWA member to apply. Application deadline is January 8, 2014.
3. For those who have been following the on-going saga -- I have, as of this afternoon, completed signing Steve and me up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. We have achieved a Silver Plan, which provides much more coverage than we had with Anthem, while costing about $250 less per month, in premiums. There will also be a minor break in the cost of meds and doctor visits. Now, all I have to do is gather together my "proofs" for this year's earnings and write a letter explaining (with twenty-seven eight by ten color glossy photographs, with circles and arrows...) why exactly it is that I believe we will make less money in 2014 than in 2013. Piece o'cake.
4. As many of us enter a season of gift-giving, I will take this opportunity to remind you that Books Make Wonderful Gifts! Every single novel that Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and Sharon Lee, too, have ever written are in print at! this! moment! so you may be as expansive in your giving as you like. And remember! Those novels are also available electronically, either directly from Baen, or from your favorite electronic bookstore. Also! All of the Lee-and-Miller, and Lee, and Miller chapbooks ever written are likewise available in electronic format -- from BN, from Amazon, and from Smashwords. Go to Pinbeam Books for handy buy links.
5. It has been borne in upon me that it wasn't particularly clever to migrate all of my heavy lifting, so to speak, to my right hand. Not too many years ago, I could write, legibly, if not elegantly, with my left hand. My new hobby for 2014 will be to see if I can recapture that skill.
Tags: five things make a post
Books read in 2013|
48. Doc, Mary Doria Russel (e)
47. Mr. Wuffles!, David Wiesner
46. Newt's Emerald, Garth Nix (e)
45. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
44. Slave to Sensation, Nalini Singh (e)
43. The Rook: A Novel, Daniel O'Malley (e)
42. And All the Stars, Andrea Host (e)
41. Above, Leah Bobet (e)
40. Night Calls, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel (e)
39. Wild Ride, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer (e)
38. 2012: Midnight at the Spanish Garden, Alma Alexander (e)
37. The Hummingbird Wizard, Meredith Blevins (e)
36. Famous Gunfighters of the Western Frontier, W.B. (Bat) Masterson
35. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny (re-read)
34. Creatures of Light and Darkness, Roger Zelazny (re-read)
33. Ghost Bride, Yangsze Choo (e)
32. Ice Crown, Andre Norton (e)
31. Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (e)
30. Frost Burned, Patricia Briggs (e)
29. Through a Brazen Mirror, Delia Sherman
28. Protector, C.J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (e)
26. Promises to Keep, Laura Anne Gilman (e)
25. Miles to Go, Laura Anne Gilman (e)
24. Even Money, Dick Francis & Felix Francis
23. Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews
22. Sandman Slim, Richard Kadrey
21. The Diviners, Libba Bray (e)
20. The Eighth Succession, Don Sakers
19. You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, Tom Gauld
18. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (e)
17. Hellspark, Janet Kagan (re-re-re-re-re-re-&c-read)
16. The Year of the Dog, Grace Lin
15. The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (e)
14. Let's Pretend This Never Happened (a mostly true memoir), Jenny Lawson
13. How Dark the World Becomes, Frank Chadwick (e)
12. Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
11. French Fried, Chris Dolley (e)
10. My Father's Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett (read aloud w/Steve)
9. Fair Game, Patricia Briggs (e)
8. Nymph, Francesca Lia Block (read aloud w/Steve)
7. Oh, Myyy, George Takei (e)
6. Hunting Ground, Patricia Briggs (e)
5. Cry Wolf, Patricia Briggs (e)
4. Alpha and Omega, Patricia Briggs (e)
3. Miss Buncle, Married, D.E. Stevenson (read aloud w/Steve)
2. Agatha Heterodyne and the Hammerless Bell, Phil & Kaja Foglio
1. Moonrise Kingdom screenplay, Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola (e)
Tags: books read 2013
Momentous Occasions, with Precipitation|
Today at the Cat Farm, we celebrate two momentous occasions.
The first is Trooper's fourth birthday.
Trooper on his favorite spot.
Photo by Sharon Lee
The second momentous event is Princess Jasmine Sprite's Monthiversary at the Cat Farm. As you can see, she's settling in nicely.
Sprite enjoying the rug she stole from Trooper.
Photo by Sharon Lee
Also, it's snowing. The Weatherbeans have backed off from the Full Fourteen for this area to a mere six. If it only snows six inches, I'll be able to make my non-cancelled eye doctor appointment in Skowhegan tomorrow.
But for now, I'm going to go make a cup of chocolated coffee in celebration of the weather.
What are you celebrating today?
EDITED TO ADD: Later in the day, Trooper and I had an Epic Session of Twizler. Here he is, resting on his
laurels rug, which he has, at least momentarily, re-captured from the Warrior Princess.
Trooper at rest.
Photo by Sharon Lee
Current Mood: celebratory
Tags: coon cat logic
Notes on Friday the 13th|
Man, I really earned my pay today.
The day's to-do list included finishing with the damn' ACA application and enrollment, with a side order of calling Anthem Maine to ask how one cancels one's insurance (for the first time in many, many years, we have another choice of health insurers in Maine, and yeah, we're going with the new guys).
First thing after breakfast, I called Anthem, which was. . .amusing if you like black humor. Bottom line was that I had to pay a $324 buy-out to Anthem if the new insurance coverage didn't start 'til January 15. If I just didn't pay the January bill, which is on its way to me, even now, then our health insurance would be cancelled on January 1.
That chore done, I ventured out into the very, very, VERY cold morning to hit the post office, and the gym, and to accomplish a few minor errands in town. The plan was then to return home, call the ACA about their requirements for proving my 2013 income, enroll for an insurance plan, and, well, write.
In fact, I was on my way home when my car started to backfire, shudder, and in general act like it was going to blow up. Got home, found Steve still there, unloaded the stuff from my car, called the garage, slipped and fell on the ice in the driveway, had a minor freak-out, and went back into town to drop off my car.
We returned home, ate lunch; I went back to my office to start with the ACA, when -- the phone rang! My car was repaired -- a sensor and a filter had needed replacing.
Back down to town we went, gave the garage two bills, and drove home, the car behaving beautifully. . .
. . .until I crossed the river and had to stop for a red light, whereupon the car commenced again with the shuddering and shaking, turning itself off and back-firing.
Despite which, I got it home, called in the unhappy news and have a date back at the garage on Monday.
MEANWHILE, there's a blizzard bearing down on Maine, due to land Saturday-night-into-Sunday, delivering anywhere from 3 to 5 to 8 to 14 inches of snow, depending on geography. For fun, our house on the intersection of three boundaries: 3, 8, and 14.
Also? I have an eye doctor's appointment very early on Monday morning, in Skowhegan -- about 27 miles up the road from the Confusion Factory, well into the 14-inch zone.
Given the car, the weather, and all, I decided to be proactive, and cancel my appointment.
Sadly, I took my decision too late, calling at one minute after four, when the office closes (promptly) at 4 p.m. on Friday. And. . .the answering machine doesn't record messages.
All that taken care of -- or not taken care of, as may be -- I was finally free to call up the Healthcare Marketplace site, where our application for health insurance has been languishing this while, because of a requirement that I "prove" my 2013 income no later than March 5, 2014, or risk losing my new health insurance. Appended to this note was a list of documents that would be accepted as "proof."
. . .none of which even come close to being something that a freelance writer has on their person. Or in their files.
So, I called, and had a lovely chat with a young lady, who was, indeed, very helpful. She brainstormed ideas, like -- would my publisher write me a note stating that I did indeed work for them ("But I don't work for them." "Oh. Right.") Well, then, W2s. . . ("Freelance. No W2s." "Oh. Right.")
We finally arrived at an Approach, because The Problem is that I expect to make much less money in 2014 than I did in 2013, for the very simple reason that I will not be receiving the upfront money on seven novels and the d&a money for three of them.
So, I need to provide copies of royalty checks, and this letter, with relevant Arithmetic, notarized, explaining why my income for 2014 is (best guess) going to be Significantly Less than it was in 2013.
And I have to do this, of course, As Soon as Possible, so that the poor child who is stuck with reviewing all this stuff has time to Lose It Completely, call me on the phone and ask if I'm crazy. At that point, if I am True and Wise, I will be able to repeat what I wrote in the letter in a sincere enough voice that they will believe me and not cancel my health insurance.
This, she suggests, will be fun.
While I had the helpful young lady on the phone, I asked if she could make recommendations to those who are responsible for the website, and the verification process. She said she could, and we noted that I cannot be the only freelance novelist in America. That, in fact, lots and lots of people are artists, musicians, writers, or otherwise self-employed in ways that mean their pay is extremely irregular, and that predicting any possible income a whole year ahead is an exercise in Wishful Precognition.
But, for the moment, we have health insurance; rational insurance at a rate that's more than $250 less per month than what we've been paying for insurance that covered nothing (which was due to go UP by $125/month, starting January 1), and a deductible that would have made us bankrupt before any co-payments kicked in.
And? I guess we'll see What Happens Next.
And now, having earned my pay, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine and recline with my book, and perhaps a cat or two, on the couch, because I'm exhausted, and now my knee hurts, and my ankle that I sprained two years ago hurts, and the wrist and hand that I caught myself with hurt. Sigh. Getting old sucks. And ice is not your friend.
Hope everybody has a good weekend!
Current Mood: ow
Tags: the glamor!
Trade Secret audiobook giveaway a true international affair|
Reposted from Welcome to Liad
We've just sent out the redemption code to our five lucky Trade Secret Audible audiobook giveaway winners -- congratulations!
If I've previously contacted you as a winner, do let me know if you don't get the email in a reasonable time.
And for the record, those winners identify themselves as coming from Boston (Mass, USA), Flensburg (Germany), Innisfail, (Alberta, Canada), USA (city unreported), and Omaha (NE, USA). We'd like to thank everyone for playing, sharing, and reading our work!If you've been holding off while hoping to win and want to grab yours now that you haven't, here's your spot!
Current Mood: celebratory
Tags: liaden universe world tour
Casey's 2013 Mix CD|
I participated in the annual Holiday CD Exchange Party again this year, just like in 2012 and 2011. Unlike before, I had been adding songs to my in-progress playlist all year long instead of throwing them together at the last minute. Oddly, having to whittle down and order a year's worth of songs into 80 minutes was harder. Without further ado, here is my 2013 mix CD:
If you recognize a song you introduced me to, or that we shared together, it was put there for you.
- Fatima's Waltz - Justin Roth
- It's Another Sunny Day in Minnesota - Marty Winkler
- Runaround - Coyote Grace
- Cups - Anna Kendrick
- xote das meninas - trio la strada
- Thinking About Tomorrow - Beth Orton
- One of Those Days - Joshua Radin
- At Last - Etta James
- Cowboy - Cross-Eyed Rosie
- I Want to Hold Your Hand - Glee Cast
- Coolin' in the Streets - Andra Day
- Love Song - Sara Bareilles
- Riviera Life - Caro Emerald
- Back It Up - Caro Emerald
- Red Hands - Walk Off the Earth
- Emily - Mika
- Falling - Keri Noble
- Leona Tuttle - Larry Unger
- La Valse D'Amelie - Yann Tiersen
Life with cats: Nothing is sacred category|
Trooper has adopted my printer for Purposes of His Own.
A motion to take a bath is always in order.
Photo by Sharon Lee
Lots of errands and stuff today. Everybody stay warm or cool, according to preference.
Tags: coon cat logic, the glamor!
Authors' copies arrive!|
Coming soon, very soon, to a bookstore near you!
A Liaden Universe® Constellation,
On sale January 4, 2014
Art by Stephen Hickman
Tags: eye candy
Back in, oh...October, I guess, 2012, a couple folks who are interested in the nittier-grittier part of our careers asked me to let them know if Dragon Ship earned out. I agreed to do that, though they may have thought I'd forgotten about them by now.
In point of fact, Dragon Ship, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, published in two hardcover editions in September 2012, has earned out. I know this because we have received the royalty reports for January-June 2013, covering sales made during the six months prior to that period, aka July-December 2012.
Y'all didn't believe me when I told you that the Wheels of Publishing Grind Slow, did you?
While I'm here, let me address a couple of other frequent questions.
A question that we're asked frequently, with regard to all of our books, is "Where do you make the most money, from paper sales or from esales?"
Based on this batch of royalty statements, it looks like print still has a slim sales edge, for new books. Books that have been out for awhile (I give you Mouse and Dragon, the gift that keeps on giving) seem to have stronger esales.
The third frequent question has to do with how well our indie ebooks, offered through Pinbeam Books, sell. This is often part of a conversation about how it's no longer in the best interest of authors to be yoked to a trad publisher.
So, the indie sales more than pay the mortgage every month, which is pretty good for something that's a sideline, which we don't promote, and only update the inventory sporadically. We have seen sales fall off since early 2011, when we first started making the chapbooks available electronically.
I think there are two reasons for that. One is that when the Kindles and the Nooks were Hot Items that everybody had to have, all those people with their new toys tried to make sure that all their favorite books were on the toys. There was, in a word, a Great eBook Rush.
The second reason is that Steve and I are simply not bearing down and making new eChapbooks available every month or two. See "sideline," above.
Regarding the larger discussion of Trad Publishing vs. Total Author Control. . .our experience has shown -- since 1995, when SRM Publisher published it's first paper chapbook, Two Tales of Korval by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller -- that a hybrid approach to publishing -- some trad, some self-publishing -- is the path that produces the greater rewards.
Anybody have any other nitty-gritty publish-y type questions? Now's the time to ask.
EDITED TO ADD: This just in, from Forbes: How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Make?
Tags: ask a simple question, wheels
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night|
I know I've been scarce -- my excuse is a combination of Life, both Good Bits and Not-So-Good Bits, and negotiating with a still-faintly-recalcitrant book. Apparently, there's something still Not Quite Right, and the back-brain isn't willing to just let me discover the problem as I go along. Which means it's a foundation issue. So, I've been down in the cellar, head-lamp on, poking at the walls, looking for leaks, loose bricks, sinkholes, dead bodies -- any or all of the above.
None of this makes for especially interesting reading or reportage ("Glared at screen and hated book for two hours. Threw in towel and vacuumed house." Yawn.)
I also realize that I've been doing rather a lot of self-promotion; and I'll be doing a little more promotion at the bottom of this note, too. Bear with me, 'tis the season, and even if the information isn't of use or interest to you; it will be of interest to someone who reads here, promise.
Apropos of nothing much, today's mail brought me a Levinger's catalog. Now, I do love me the Levinger's catalog, but as I flipped through it, I began to feel a little sad. Who buys these lovely pens and the all-leather desk furnishings any more? Most of my work is done on the keyboard; my "desk" is a remaindered dining room table from Marden's, out of legend, and while I do, sometimes, write out scenes and notes by hand, my Instruments of Choice are Pilot G-2 .07 gel pens and Staples 8.5x11 yellow pads. The surface of my dining room table is covered with piles of paper, and not only is there no room for a beautiful Moroccan leather blotter; there's no reason for me to have such a thing. A couple of the ereader/tablet pillows are tempting, but otherwise, Levinger's is dead to me, except as a sort of archival document of a time when elegance had a place.
What are your favorite catalogs?
* * *
Trooper is standing here by my keyboard with his nose practically in my ear, purring, which I'll take as a hint that it's time to come around to that promotion I was talking about.
Promotion the First: Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore in Minneapolis has kindly agreed to handle a special order of autographed Carousel Sun. They have also agreed to take on the non-trivial task of accepting personalization requests, through December 31, 2013 ONLY. All the niggling little details, including a link to the proper page on Uncle Hugo's website, are here.
Promotion the Second: Liaden Universe® novelette "Eleutherios" is eligible for Nebula nomination. It was published on Baen.com in January 2013. If you are a SFWA member and you would like to read this story, you may read it here. If you are not a SFWA member, and you'd like to read the story, you may, of course, use the same link to do so.
Other Nebula-eligible Lee-and-Miller works are: Novels Necessity's Child and Trade Secret; short story "Out of True," and novelette "Moon's Honor." If you are a SFWA member and you would like to read the unlinked works with an eye toward the Nebulas, please write to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom with your preferred format.
And, yes, if you read for the Hugos, all of the above are eligible for the awards that will be presented at LonCon 3 next August.
There! That wasn't so bad, was it?
It was? Well, then, here -- have a cat picture.
Grandpa Mozart and the Princess share a moment.Photo by Sharon Lee
Current Mood: cold, akshually
Current Music: "Thunder Road," Bruce Springsteen
Tags: coon cat logic, shameless self-promotion, the writer at work
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