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Monday, November 28, 2005

Dear Sir or Madam, did you read my book / It took me years to write, will you take a look?



Hopefully, gentle reader, you'll have picked up on the reference to the Beatles' tune.

Yep...heard back from the publisher. The news is good, and yet I find that although I'm happy about it, it's nowhere near the emotional orgasm I'd expected. Don't get me wrong, I'm greatful as hell! But now I find that I have to start thinking about how to make this into the success I envisage, and although extremely highly motivated now, I find that my mindset is more calculating than extatic. Please don't hate me for overdosing on grim reality.

I've read their contract and I get the feeling it's the best offer I can expect--and it's pretty fair one at that. A couple of things I don't like, but that I can live with. I'm having it looked over by some people who are a little more savy in such matters than I, but once I have their approbation I will be signing the release and being, well, published.

They're looking at a "complete date" of January 2006, which I presume means that the 'script will go into production at that point. I imagine the finished product would be rolling off the presses four to six months later, from what I've heard from the person who turned me on to this publisher, the lovely and talented TerishD (whom I quoted in my post "Words of Wisdom".)

I'm still not naming names, because I have a few questions that I want to ask the publisher before I agree to sign on the proverbial dotted line; concerns like, how much the list price of the book will be, marketing strategies, etc.

This is the beginning of something.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The K Space Universe Expands!



Well, you probably noticed that the Blog name's changed from K Space: The Steve Karmazenuk Writing Universe to The K Space Universe

Well, that's not the only change; as promised, I've added the book review section, aptly titled K Space Book Reviews.

You'll find a whole heap of new links, links to books I've read and reccommend among them.

But, there's more! I'll not be the only person reviewing books; I've invited a select group of people to help review books they've enjoyed.

So be sure to check out K Space Book Reviews and keep coming back to the new and improved K Space Universe as things continue to grow.

Steve Karmazenuk,

The Keeper of ){ Space

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Experiment: Update To The Leap Of Faith



So after reviewing the website for the publisher I'd mentioned in my last entry, I decided to submit The Artifact to them, for review.

According to an email I recieved earlier this week (Okay, technically on Monday) they are going to review the material I sent, and get back to me within 2 weeks.

So, I am now waiting to hear what they say. If they accept my book, I'll ask to see their publishing agreement. After I go over it with a magnifying glass and with the help of my friends and loved ones (Many of whom, thankfully, have suspicious minds at worst, skeptical natures at best) I will decide whether the deal is good, bad, or too good to be true.

So now comes the waiting game.

And even if they agree to publish me and I agree to let them publish me, this is far from the end of my adventures.

As I said: this is a small publisher who will leave many if not most of the decisions up to me. That means that I will still ultimately have to take care of marketing and distribution of the book. I'll probably order an initial run of the book and start some small-scale marketing of my own (Including submitting the book for review to the local papers and a couple of SF websites/literary websites) while working on the "real" marketing campaign.

The process of formatting the book for print, cover design and the initial print run is going to take several months. In that time I'll have to review one or more "proof" copies of the material, while planning my marketing strategy--a large part of which will consist of figuring out how to PAY for all this. I assume that my annual bonus from the phone company, paid in February and usually in excess of $1500 CDN (before taxes of course) will go towards that end. Likewise, it helps that a friend of mine used to work for a media consultant firm.

And if I am declined by the publisher, or if I decline them, well, then it's back to square one, isn't it? Either way, this experiment is a long way from concluded.

And whatever happens, you, dear readers, will be the first to know. Well, you'll be the first to know after my wife, my friends in Ottawa, my friends in Toronto, my Mom, my coworkers, my downstairs neighbours, my psychologist...so, I guess technically you'll be the ninth or tenth to know. Twelfth or further, depending on the order in which you visit this blog.

I'll also be very soon adding a new feature to this blog: As a writer, I feel that it would be appropriate to create a book review section. Not to review MY writing, but to review books that I've liked. But, I don't want to be the only person reviewing books, so I'm going to be inviting some people to review books, as well. Right now this is all in the nebulous "inside my head" stage, but I'll keep you posted on THAT, as well.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Experiment: The Leap of Faith


I have applied to an independant publisher to print The Artifact.

This does not mean I've given up on self-publishing. In fact, the publisher I have applied to is more like full-service printer than a publisher; although they pay a royalty on sales, they do not charge for their services.

Most of the decision-making regarding the Artifact, if it is accepted for publishing, will be left up to me. And I will still be pretty much solely responsible for the distribution & marketing of the book.

So why have I chosen to go with an indie instead of doing it myself?

Well, the painful cost of the self-publishing, for one.

For another, the publisher in question comes highly recommended by someone whose opinion I trust.

Thirdly, the more money I have to put into the marketing campaign, the better I can make that campaign.

I'm still not 100% sure that I'm going to go with the publisher if I'm accepted. Why? Because I want to keep my options open as long as I can. So far, the next leading candidate in my quest to self publish is one that would still cost me upwards of $1500 USD. However, they would guarantee a 40% royalty, providing I sell my book at their suggested retail price (Unfortunately, their SRP for a book the size of The Artifact is quite high--perhaps even inaccessibly so).

The problem is one of self-doubt and second-guessing. I realize that whatever I decide will either make or break The Artifact. If I go with this publisher and it's a mistake, my book will tank. However, the same is true if I pick the wrong POD or full-service printer. And as marketing and distribution are going to be key to this project's success, if for whatever reason my printed / published book is not acceptible to the distributor, I'm fucked.

I've heard people talk about having a "What the fuck am I doing?" moment; skydivers when they're leaning halfway out the airplane door; bungee jumpers after leaping from the platform. Me, back when I did drugs, the first time I dosed on LSD.

It is a moment when a person is making a leap of faith: one that they cannot come back from. Whatever happens from that point on will happen solely because of that one act, that one decision. The parachute will open, or it will fail. The bungee cord will stretch, or it will snap. The drugs will stew your brain, or they won't. The Artifact will succeed, or it will fail.

Perhaps I should clarify my criteria for success: I want to sell enough books to establish myself as an author; to garner enough readers to create a demand for my works and to make back whatever money I invest in the project.

Anything above those three criteria will quite literally be more than I dare hope for.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Words of Wisdom


I started a thread on the Free Writers' Forum message boards about my ongoing hunt for a POD / DIY printer.

I feel that the following words of wisdom by TerishD, a FWF forum regular, should be shared with all my readers:

BEING PUBLISHED IS BEING PUBLISHED.

Ignore labels (self-published, vanity press, etc.), since most people (I mean 95%+) don't know the difference in any publisher. The only difference is whether or not you are on the store shelves (or listed in book clubs).

What you should care about:

1) Quality of printing. Buy some books from the company. Note that this will also tell you the quality of your fellow authors.

2) RETURN POLICY. If your publisher does not, they are behind the times.

3) Who does the cover. The cover of your book is important.

Factors to consider:

A) Discount to retailers (and yourself). A low discount does mean a low book price, but many retailers won't touch without AT LEAST 40%. That discount is how everyone else (besides the publisher) makes money (yes, you make a royalty, but you are really an expense to the publisher).

B) Quality of website. I am not talking about yours, but the publisher. Is this a site that will promote sales (yours and other authors)?

Yes, I know that it comes down to a coin toss (or die roll), but that is life.