Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

Money flows towards the writer

I found this at Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr, and it’s really good advice.

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 ...

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 Scream Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yog’s Law:

Money flows towards the writer. 

That’s all. All writers should remember it.

When a commercial publisher contracts a book, it will pay an advance against royalties to the writer. Money flows towards the writer.

Literary agents make their living by charging a commission of between 10 and 20% on the sales that they make on behalf of their clients, the writers. When advances and royalties are paid by a publisher the agent’s percentage is filtered off in the direction of the writer’s agent but the bulk of the money still flows towards the writer.

If a publisher ever asks for any sort of financial contribution from a writer, they’re trying to divert money away from the writer, in direct contravention of Yog’s Law.

If an agent ever asks for up-front fees, regardless of what they call them (reading fees, administration costs, processing fees, or retainers), then they are trying to divert money away from the writer, in direct contravention of Yog’s Law.

It’s a brilliantly simple rule. We should thank James D Macdonald for it in the best way there is. Buy his books

Money flows toward the writer.

No, that doesn’t mean that the author should get paper and ink for free, or that he won’t pay for postage. It does mean that when someone comes along and says, “Sure, kid, you can be a Published Author! It’ll only cost you $300!” the writer will know that something’s wrong. A fee is a fee is a fee, whether they call it a reading fee, a marketing fee, a promotion fee, or a cheese-and-crackers fee.

Is this perfect? No. Scammers have come up with some elaborate ways to avoid activating it. But it’s still a good and useful tool, and will save a lot of grief. Any time an agent or publisher asks for money, the answer should be “No!”


Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Life, randomness, Writing


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Provocative quotes for a Tuesday

Here’s a few quotes that are rather pointed regarding media.  They deal with how media presents certain events and how the public portrays them.

It’s a uniquely American prudishness. You can write the most detailed, vivid description of an ax entering a skull, and nobody will say a word in protest. But if you write a similarly detailed description of a penis entering a vagina, you get letters from people saying they’ll never read you again. What the hell? Penises entering vaginas bring a lot more joy into the world than axes entering skulls. ~Author George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire.) Interview published in May 2012 Rolling Stones Magazine.

The press still thinks [global warming] is controversial. So they find the 1% of the scientists and put them up as if they’re 50% of the research results. You in the public would have no idea that this is basically a done deal and that we’re on to other problems, because the journalists are trying to give it a 50/50 story. It’s not a 50/50 story. It’s not. Period. ~Neil deGrasse Tysonpodcast interview.

It’s true, we do live in these times where it’s more acceptable to see someone hacked apart in the most violent of manners, but if it’s sex, consenting and loving between two people, then it’s classed as porn and not to be seen at all.  Even still, when it comes to science Media has this need to classify themselves as non-biased, so when they write a story about something like climate change they feel there has to be another side to the story.  There is only one side to the story; we’re burning up our environment and it needs to stop.  I remember stories that came out about the Hadron Collider.  How it described all the really cool things it would be able to do and all the things scientists could study with it, but people kept leading back to “if you turn it on, will it destroy the world”.  That may be part and parcel due to the fact that every science fiction movie has always been faced with why science is evil for creating such and such a thing that can destroy the world/mankind.  Case in point, Jurassic Park.  While there were good intentions to cloning dinosaurs, maybe they should have stopped at plant eaters and skipped the T-Rex and Velociraptors.

I’m not saying we should be warm and cuddly to science, because scientists themselves have got to be some of the biggest skeptics.  They even doubt some of their own findings until it’s completely conclusive.

Back to the previous comment about sex and violence, while Martin’s depiction of women in the Game of Thrones series has been somewhat on the negative side, he has a point.  We are much more accepting when someone is killed or violently attacked than we are of someone who cares for and loves someone deeply.

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Fun, randomness


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Late night visitor

I consider myself a cat person, really I do.  That is, unless that cat happens to be in a tree, outside my bedroom window, and making the god-awful sounds it makes when it’s mad and I’m trying to sleep at quarter to two in the morning.  Then not so much.  That sound is incredibly eerie and I’m only glad I woke up before the cat began making its maddening cries.  I got up to shout at it and scare it away, but stopped because there wasn’t just a cat outside.

There was a deer.

The cat was hissing and spitting at a deer.  Just one, then two more appear once the cat jumped down from the tree and sped off into the night.  Good.  At least it won’t be making noises outside my window.

I managed to get a few snaps of the deer.  Now mind you, this is late at night, I don’t have proper equipment to take nature photos, but I still wanted to take a few pictures.

Crossing the road to nibble on some grass. And most likely because I startled them in order to get a photo or two.

Standing cautiously on the other side of the street.

Continuing on their way.

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in photos


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