July 24th, 2008


On Prime Books

Michael Cisco, the author of the Traitor, has just written about his experience with Prime Books:

d) What was it you published again?

Prime's idea of publicity is sticking your book under a rock and informing the wind. You will have to do absolutely everything yourself. Blurbs, getting your text to reviewers, everything. Prime takes authors they believe are already being talked about precisely to as to avoid having to do publicity. I firmly believe Prime's neglect helped to scuttle my last TWO novels.

How many novels do you have to burn?

Prime is an attractive publisher for a variety of reasons, and I would advise any new writer to consider submitting material thereto, but do so forewarned and forearmed. You will not be told what is going on, your requests for information will be met with stalling, ignorance real or feigned, or - most often - silence. All the real legwork will be left to you. Payment will involve unnecessary headaches and a whole lot of waiting - if not outright defrauding (which has yet to be seen).

Sounds familiar, huh?

In fairness, I should point out that my payments from Prime came pretty quickly and easily, be it with short fiction or the novel. I whole McDonalds Meal could I buy with the cash, but cash it was, and I had no hassle.

However, based off my experience of a print run, then no print run, of the book being tossed out suddenly, of it having errors, of the drama, of the headache, and so on and so forth, which you can check by following the tag at the bottom of this post... however, based off all that, there's not a whole lot to disagree with in Cisco's post.

No doubt someone will be along shortly to set him 'straight', of course.

(In other news, I appear to have discovered a cold in the last thirty minutes.)

Help My Friend Out

Last year, my friend Paul Haines (paulhaines) was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

As uncool news goes, this was pretty high, but Haines and his wife and young daughter, however, worked through the months of treatment to pull out of it. Take a tour through Haines' blog to see how he dealt with it--it's the sight of a much stronger man than me, I assure you. At any rate, after this time, all things seemed good, until spots appeared on his liver, and further treatment is required. Now, here comes the important bit: though most of his treatment is covered, a large portion of it is not. To quote Haines himself:

He [his oncologist] still wants to wait a couple of months (ideally he wants even more than that) to see how the cancer in my liver is behaving. He also understands our fear, our need, to not be sitting around waiting to do nothing. So in those couple of months we will try the other two forms of chemotherapy for cancers like I have and to combine that with a monoclonal antibody called Avastin. Chemo fights the tumour, the antibody fights the blood vessels feeding the tumour. Unfortunately, Avastin is not part of Medicare or the private health system's funding at this stage, so we're having to come up with $20,000 to do it. Our parents have said they will help us here, which is a great relief.

Twenty thousand is a lot of cash, and there's a paypal fund put up so people who want to kick in a few bucks can do so.

I can't force you, obviously, but I'm going to kick in some, and I like Haines personally, so while no doubt he'd appreciate it, so would I if all you know from the pair of us is me.

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