Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Morning Fried Green Tomatoes & Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy

Good morning, faithful patrons. The grill is back in action and the rat infestation is under control. So let's get started!

Here's your P5 for Friday, August 19th, 2005--generated long before the light crested the horizon:

(1) COOKIN' FOR LOVE: 29,322 5
(2) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 56,265 6
(3) TECHNO-NOIR: 97,938 5


First and foremost: I got spammed. And not just for pills to make my "girlfriend go wild" or my "boyfriend grow three inches" either! This one was from *deep breath* . . . Xlibris.

Interesting. Because I had sent a few emails to these folks to see if they wanted to answer some of my questions. I never got an answer. Ever.

But how wonderful it is that they managed to track down my email address in order to offer me some sweet services (services, by the way, that were offered to me for free [fees waived] by three other POD companies, should I ever get dumped by Penguin and find myself publisherless.)

This wonderful letter came from Tracey Rosengrave, Marketing Manager for Xlibris. Tracey says . . .

"We obtained your name and email address from Blogger in an effort on our part to find people who might be interested in self-publishing."

Translation: "We found the letters POD on your blog and we want some of your money."

My response: "Context is everything."

"I completely understand how annoying unwanted email messages can be."

Translation: "We'll spam you into oblivion."

My response: "Annoying is not the word I am thinking of right now."

"Xlibris is partially owned by Random House Ventures, the world’s largest trade book publisher."

Translation: "If you aren't bright or have friends and family with low IQs, you can pretend Random House published your book!"

My response: "The key word here is Venture, and I am guessing it is a failed one."

"We have published over 14,000 titles and paid out over twelve million dollars in royalties."

Translation: "The average title earns total royalties of $858, which is under the average cost to publish with us."

My response: "I think the horny pills might be a better deal."

"Everyday [sic] we help authors by offering flexible, inexpensive methods of publishing, editing, marketing, distributing and selling books both in trade and full color. I understand that each author has different requirements."

Translation: "Every author has a different amount of available cash, so we'll play it by ear."

My response: "My requirement is an $80,000 advance over a two book deal. Can you swing that, sweetheart?"

"At Xlibris we believe in author control."

Translation: "We don't care one iota about what you do with your book as long as you pay us, a la carte, for every little thing."

My response: "As a writer, I want you to control the price--and make it zero, like over at Lulu. Or like you did when you first started."

"I thank you very much for your time and look forward to hearing from you."

Translation: "I have sales goals and I need your money. So expect the spam to continue for the rest of your life."

My response: "Never. But if I send you $25, will you put it toward updating your website that has been exactly the same for five years?"

Now . . . what did I do with that email that said I won the Canadian lottery?

In response to my rant about RWA and SFWA and their arbitrary requirements for a publisher to qualify as "recognized" by these orgs, a faithful reader came up with (what I consider) the perfect fix:

"My preferred solution would be a 'point scale' that awards points for authorship (fewer points for collaborations), nature (fewer points for tie-ins), circulation, compensation, and recognized literary quality (for example, if a work makes the longlist of a recognized award, it bloody well should be qualifying, regardless of how it was published). "

Now doesn't that make sense? Let's keep the art in art (. . . or something like that) and stop looking at books as units.


Considering an "author photo for your book? Read this first. It's a good giggle (no spraying of sawmill gravy, please.) Makes me rethink how I look in mine (quite sultry *sizzle*).


Well, fellow chow-downers, that's it. I am heading off to the beach for a few to grab some rays before the crazy holiday-goers take over.

See you on Monday when new treasure hits!