Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SFWA Weighs In On Amazon-Macmillan Battle

FFO covered the Amazon-Macmillan distribution battle. At issue is the price that Amazon wants to charge for eBook versions of new publications. Amazon wanted to charge $9.99. Macmillan thought that was too low. This precipitated a battle in which a new sales model was invoked by Macmillan and "Buy" buttons for Macmillan volumes on Amazon were yanked.

Here are the issues:

  • Macmillan thought the eBook price was predatory and would hurt their print book business.
  • Amazon sees eBooks as a loss leader to drive traffic.
  • Authors want to sell their books and make a living.
  • Buyers want cheap books.

That's not a simple set of issues to solve to everyone's satisfaction. Now, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA.org) has considered the issues (with their members' best interests in mind, presumably) and weighed in on the Amazon-Macmillan battle, supporting Macmillan's case through appeal and through the replacement of Amazon.com links on SFWA's website for their members' books with links to other vendors.

The issues listed above are represented in the many public comments attending SWFA's article.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, December 14, 2009

K.C. Ball Approved as an SFWA Member

I usually think good thoughts toward anyone who receives professional recognition from the SFWA, but K.C. Ball's was special because her third qualifying sale is At Both Ends, which we published here in June. Congratulations, K.C.!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Harlequin, RMA, SFWA and MWA Have Love Spat

A few days ago, I ran a tongue-in-cheek post about Harlequin's deal with Author Solutions to produce a self-publishing romance imprint called Harlequin Horizons. Publishers Weekly now reports that Romance Writers of America rebuked Harlequin for this move and threatened a sanction affecting Harlequin's ability to enter their publications in RWA's award competitions. What RWA finds agregious, apparently, is that the similarity of the imprint's name to their pro imprints would likely confuse consumers about professionally written and self-published stories.

In Publishers Weekly's follow-up article, Mystery Writers of America and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America also weighed in, with the MWA threatening to bar Harlequin writers from membership and awards and the SFWA warning that the self-publishing authors should be made aware that:

"...books in the program will not be distributed into brick-and-mortar bookstores ensuring 'that the titles will not be breaking into the real fiction market.'”

The SFWA also threatened to bar Harlequin writers from membership.

Harlequin could not ignore these huge threats to their own prestige and to their stable of authors and renamed the imprint, DellArte Press. SFWA argued that a name change was insufficient and that Harlequin should completely disassociate itself from the self-publishing program.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SFWA Web Site Updated

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has vastly improved the appearance and usability of their website. The style and design is improved and more logically organized. They appear to be adding more industry news as well.

If you'd like to see the previous site for comparison, here is a link from archive.org's WayBack Machine, from March 2008.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Download: Shimmer #10

You've gotta love Shimmer. No, really, you do. It's a law.

To help you avoid violating the social contracts you signed as an embryo, Beth and the Shimmery People are giving away issue #10 as a free PDF download.

The magazine is run by a great team. We published Editor-in-Chief Beth Wodzinski's The Human Clockwork in our second issue, and Shimmer's Art Director Emeritus, Mary Robinette Kowal, was nominated for a Hugo and is the secretary of the SFWA. Other members of the crew have sold to Analog and IGMS or won the Writers of the Future contest. These are seriously good people dedicated to a great small press magazine of dark-ish speculative fiction.

Here's the line-up for issue 10:

Blue Joe, by Stephanie Burgis
The Carnivale of Abandoned Tales, by Caitlyn Paxson
A Painter, A Sheep, and a Boa Constrictor, by Nir Yaniv (Translated from the Hebrew by Lavie Tidhar)
One for Sorrow, by Shweta Narayan
The Bride Price, by Richard S. Crawford
Jaguar Woman, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Firefly Igloo, by Caroline M. Yoachim
The Fox and the King’s Beard, by Jessica Paige Wick
Interview with Cory Doctorow, by Jen West
River Water, by Becca De La Rosa
What to Do with the Dead, by Claude Lalumière
The Spoils of Springfield, by Alex Wilson
Counting Down to the End of the Universe, by Sara Genge

Good stuff. Go get it!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nebula Awards® 2008 Final Ballot

The SFWA's final ballot for the 2008 Nebula Awards® is in. The nominees for best novel are:

Note: this post updated 4 Mar 09 to reflect the SFWA's balloting error.

  • Little Brother - Doctorow, Cory (Tor, Apr08)
  • Powers - Le Guin, Ursula K. (Harcourt, Sep07)
  • Cauldron - McDevitt, Jack (Ace, Nov07)
  • Brasyl - McDonald, Ian (Pyr, May07)
  • Making Money - Pratchett, Terry (Harper, Sep07)
  • Superpowers - Schwartz, David J. (Three Rivers Press, Jun08)
See the article for the nominees for the shorter works.

I was curious about what short fiction publications ruled. The combined totals for short stories, novellas and novelettes, the publishers having the most nominees are:

  • Fantasy & Science Fiction: 6
  • Asimov's: 4
  • Norilana: 2
  • Analog: 1

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, February 20, 2009

Buffy the Bradbury Slayer

Says the SFWA: "Joss Whedon, creator of such science fiction and fantasy-themes television series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse, has been named recipient of the Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting, as presented by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America."

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SFWA News

Several SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)News Items

The Nebula Award rules have changed for 2009. There is a good summary of the changes here.

The Nebula Award rule changes include rules for the new Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

Victoria Strauss of SFWA's Writer Beware will be honored with the 2009 SFWA Service Award. More here. If you're not familiar with Writer Beware, check it out; it is an excellent resource for writers to find out about the scams and frauds perpetrated on (always) innocent writers.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Putting a Face on Who's Rejecting You

It is nice to see the faces of the people who are rejecting your science fiction and fantasy works. At this story about the SFWA's annual Authors & Editors Reception, you'll find photos of some notables who carry red pens and back-up red pens at all times. You'll see Stanley Schmidt, Gordon Van Gelder...and maybe an agent or two who have ruined your day.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Google Book Search

Google Book Search is a service by which Internet searchers can view snippets of digital copies of millions of books scanned by Google, both in-print and out-of-print. Of course, there was a class action lawsuit, led by the (American) Authors Guild. There is now a settlement that must be approved by the court. Here is a concise summary of the settlement and a joint FAQ. In suspicious brevity, though: the settlement allows Google to continue providing snippets of scanned out-of-print books, and with an opt-in/opt-out arrangement, allows authors to decide about in-print books. This lawsuit was an American action. Google must tread on slippery ground elsewhere, where precise legal definitions differ country-to-country on copyright matters.




Significantly, Google created a new model for compensation to authors and publishers for copyrighted books. Google customers will be able to buy digital copies of the books while authors and publishers share in the sales and advertising revenue for ads displayed while the customer views the books.




Opinion about this varies, of course. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a non-official but interested party in the settlement. Here is their statement.

Labels: , ,

Copyright (c) 2007 Flash Fiction Online
and the authors of the individual stories and articles.
All Rights Reserved.
Email the Webmaster with questions or comments about this site.
For other contact information visit our contact page.