Self-Publisher Sells Out! How and Why I sold the Rights to my Self-published Novel “Acts of the Apostles” to Underland Press

I recently signed deal with Underland Press, a new, indie publisher founded and led by  Victoria Blake, to give Underland the worldwide rights, electronic and print, to publish my novel Acts of the Apostles in any and all languages in basically any format (printed book, ebook, audiobook, etc).

I’ve been the publisher of this book for eleven years. It has sold pretty well as far as first novels (self- or traditionally published) go, and I have gotten a fair amount of attention for being an innovative self-publishing novelist.

I’ve written that as a self-publisher I get to keep the publisher’s cut as well as the writer’s cut, which means that any publisher would have to offer me a pretty sweet deal before I would consider giving my publisher’s cut to them. And I’ve noted (as have many other people) that in an age when more and more book sales are digital (that is, internet downloads of ebooks), the role of the publisher is less and less relevant.

In fact, over the last six weeks, sales of digital versions of my books have outnumbered sales of printed copies by about 60-1.

So why have I sold my rights to Underland?

Because I want Acts of the Apostles to become a worldwide bestseller. I want sales numbers in the millions. Failing that, it would be at least nice to make some money. I’m gambling that Underland offers the best opportunity for that to happen. Continue reading

Without Television

It is categorically impossible to discuss the subject of television consumption without sounding like a dick.

Let’s have that understood from the start.

Even the gentlest of opinions can come off sounding like arrogant pronouncements.  Even the most sensitive framing can strike some people as if it were the foaming screed from a self-righteous vegetarian or fitness enthusiast or Biblical literalist: holier than thou.

So let’s you and I be understood on this and related points now, at the outset, and spare ourselves confusion or accusations later on.  1) I’m really not as much of a dick as talking about television might make me seem; and 2) it is not my contention that I am particularly holier than anyone.  Not even you.  Thou.  Whatever.

With that said, our subject today is the ongoing consumption of television as a lifestyle choice.  That is, weighing the value of frequent and regular television watching rather than the value of any particular piece of specific programming.  This is about flow, not show.

Our exploration of such will be somewhat meandering but roughly sectioned as follows: history and definitions of the medium, my rationale for rejecting the medium, and finally the personal and social consequences of that rejection.

If that sounds too dry and academic for your reading tastes, please consider that I promise to throw in a few fart jokes here and there to keep things lively.

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Broadcasters Try To Embed Denial of Service Trojan Horse In White Spaces Rules

The official agenda for the FCC’s September Open Meeting on Thursday lists the broadcast white spaces as one of the items. This Order will resolve the details left hanging from the 2008 Order (although it now appears that it will not select the database operator), finally allowing development of this technology and forming the foundation for the next generation of unlicensed wireless technology.

Or maybe not. Even more than usual, this Order relies on getting all the details right. The limitations and interference mitigation mechanisms have left very little in the way of usable spectrum in the largest urban markets most attractive to manufacturers. Lose what’s left and you lose national markets necessary to interest developers and achieve economies of scale. Do anything further to drive up cost of manufacture or add a new layer of uncertainty and would-be developers – who have already been at this for [8 years] and poured millions of dollars into prototypes and pilot projects -– will likely pull the plug and walk away. Anyone who remembers such promising technologies as ultrawideband should recognize the death by a thousand cuts approach favored by incumbents.

[We’re having some technical issues here at Wetmachine, so I can’t link back to my previous posts on White Spaces. Sorry about that. Hopefully it will get resolved soon.]

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Hi Folks. Well, the site’s a mess, due to a recent WordPress update breaking a plugin. At the moment, all of the sub-sites will show you all of the Wetmachine posts, not just ones from a single author. I’m working on a permanent fix that will mean we won’t be relying on a plugin for something so basic in the sit, but that will require a lot of work behind the scenes, and there will likely be a lot of problems to fix with that approach. Please stay tuned…

The FCC’s September Agenda: A Smarter, Tougher Genachowski? I Hope So.

It’s no secret I and others have started to question whether Genachowski has what it takes to get things done in Washington. But at the same time, I’ve continued to hold out hope that Genachowski will reassess and reposition himself in time to leave behind a serious legacy of accomplishments.

The proposed September Open Meeting agenda shows that Genachowski may be preparing to do just that. In addition to an important but relatively uncontroversial E911 item, the agenda includes two items that promise to have significant impact, but will also likely generate at least some resistance from significant industry groups. The order selecting a database manager and finalizing rules for the use of the broadcast white spaces will make significant new spectrum available for broadband, will likely face a last minute push from broadcasters and the wireless microphone interests that have opposed it. The E-Rate order will make it easier for schools and libraries to purchase dark fiber rather than retail broadband service, and to purchase dark fiber through a competitive bidding process that would also allow government entities to offer dark fiber. This faces stiff opposition from AT&T and other telecom providers, who prefer that USF subsidize retail broadband access services provided by themselves.

These Orders, combined with the FCC quietly telling M2Z to give up hope of getting any spectrum for its proposed free-with-a-pay-tier broadband service, show a new willingness for Genachowski to do something he hasn’t done yet but desperately needed to do: say “no” to people who will squawk – loudly. As I noted in my previous moral exhortation piece, willingness to say “no” and take heat for it is the sine qua non of getting anything worthwhile done in Washington DC.
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