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ConFusion Schedule

ConFusion is one of my favorite cons, and I try to make it every year. They’ve got a lot of great people running the con, and they bring in so many wonderful writers and fans. I’ll be attending again this coming weekend, and looking forward to seeing everyone.

I was hoping to have some print copies of “Imprinted” available, but despite having ordered them a week ago, CreateSpace is saying they probably won’t arrive until February. Grumble…

Anyway, here’s where you can catch me on official panel-type things. (They’ve got the full schedule on their website.)

Friday

  • 6 pm, Saugatuck:Visions of Positive Masculinity. With David Anthony Durham, Jason Sanford,
    John Chu, and Pablo Defendini.

Saturday

  • Noon, Big Top: Interviewing Guest of Honor Nisi Shawl. (That’s right, I get to interview Nisi Shawl! I love my life.)
  • 1 pm, Charlevoix: Reading with Jim C. Hines, John Chu, Annalee Flower Horne
  • 4 pm, St. Clair: Autograph Session
  • 6 pm, Charlevoix: Robots vs. Fairies Reading. With Dominik Parisien, John Scalzi, Max Gladstone, Navah Wolfe, Sarah Gailey, Delilah Dawson, and Annalee Newitz.

Sunday

  • 11 am, Charlevoix: Heroes and Mental Health. With Dominik Parisien, Mishell Baker, Mur Lafferty, Sarah Gailey, and Shweta Adhyam.

Some of these panels should be amazing!

I hope to spend most of my free time hanging out and doing the social thing. Please don’t hesitate to say hi!

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Author Jon Del Arroz recently had his attending membership to WorldCon revoked. This has generated a lot of discussion.

Del Arroz’s defenders claim he’s a nice guy, and accusations that he harasses or trolls people are absurd. Del Arroz told me on Facebook that he doesn’t “escalate feuds.” He claims he’s just the victim of blackballing, harassment, threats, and so on.

But if you look through Jon Del Arroz’s interactions with others… Well, there’s a pattern of him harassing, insulting, and trolling others, and distorting things for publicity and what someone once described as martyrbatiuon.

My goal isn’t to trash Del Arroz, but to document that pattern of behavior.

Because I expect this to blow up on me, I'm not mirroring the full post to LJ and DW and elsewhere. The post and discussion are on my main blog at http://www.jimchines.com/2018/01/jon-del-arroz/. Comments here are closed.

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday needs to stop obsessing over Amazon rankings and reviews…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Imprinted is Out Today!

Imprinted Cover ArtAs many of you already know, the next chapter in the Magic ex Libris saga is out today. “Imprinted” is a 15,000-word novelette set after the events of Revisionary. It’s told from the perspective of Jeneta Aboderin, the first person in history to perform libriomancy using e-books.

If you remember Jeneta’s project proposal from Revisionary, you’ll have a good idea where this story starts 🙂

I’d love to do more of this kind of thing. There are plenty more stories to tell in this universe, and other characters I’d like to explore. In part, it will depend on how well this one does. (Yes, that was a hint. No, it was not subtle. “Subtle” has never been one of my strong suits.)

Huge thanks to everyone who signal-boosted this one. It’s available electronically at the following links for $2.99:

A print edition is available via Amazon. I feel bad about charging $5.99 for the print edition, but I can’t really price it cheaper, given the self-publishing options there. And I wanted to at least make the option available.

You might notice there’s no link to Barnes & Noble yet. I’ve noticed this too. I’m not happy about it. All of the files and information are there, but have been stuck in processing limbo. I’ll update as soon as the book escapes.

If you feel $2.99 is a bit much for a 15,000-word story (which is totally reasonable), I’m planning to reduce the price to $1.99 in a month or so. But a lot of people had told me $2.99 was a fair price and they’d be happy to pay it. Since it’s the difference between about $2 in royalties vs. about $0.50 per copy, I figured I’d start at the $2.99 price point.

I like Jeneta’s character a lot, and I love the reveal in this story. I can’t wait to see what you all think of it.

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PS, As long as you’re out shopping for books, here are some other cool releases today!

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Imprinted Preview

Imprinted Cover Art

For anyone who wants a preview of the first 500 words or so of “Imprinted” before it comes out tomorrow…

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Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Cool Stuff Friday

The first Friday of 2018 would love to see temps in the positive digits, please?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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2017 Writing Income

I’ve been blogging about my income as a writer for a decade now (taking last year off to explore writing income data from a different angle). We don’t talk much about money, and writing tends to be romanticized more than a lot of other jobs. My goal is to provide a reality-check about writing as a career. You can’t draw broad conclusions from a single data point, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Previous Years: Here are the annual write-ups going back to 2007: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. In 2016, I did a survey of almost 400 novelists about their income.

My Background: I’m a primarily “traditionally published” U.S.-based SF/F author with 13 books in print from major New York publishers. The first of those 13 books came out from DAW in 2006. I’ve also sold about 50 short stories. I’ve never hit the NYT or USA Today bestseller lists, but my last five books have been lead titles for my publisher. In late 2015, I mostly-quit my full-time day job. Since November of 2015, I’ve worked 10 hours a week for the State of Michigan, and spent the rest of my time as a writer and stay-at-home Dad.

2017 Summary: Writing doesn’t always provide the most stable income from month to month or from year to year. 2016 was my best year as a writer, thanks in large part to a three-book deal I signed with DAW. I spent 2017 working on those books, and didn’t sign any new deals. As a result, my gross income (after my agent’s commission but before any of my expenses) for 2017 dropped to $42,652.70, down from $76,777.32 the year before.

Here’s the graph of my writing income since 2002, which is as far back as I have records for.

Annual Income Graph

The three largest checks for 2017 came from the mass market publication of Revisionary, the delivery payment for Terminal Alliance, and the hardcover publication of Terminal Alliance.

I do have another novel on submission, which I’d been hoping to sell last year, but publishing can be a slow creature. Hopefully that will turn into a nice boost for 2018.

2017 Breakdown:

  • Novels (U.S. editions) – $32,512.01
  • Novels (non-U.S. editions) – $6430.08
  • Self-published Work – $1819.48
  • Short Fiction & Nonfiction – $1641.13
  • Other – $250

Breakdown of 2017 income

I didn’t actually sell any nonfiction last year; that $1641 is all from short fiction. I only sold a few stories, but they were to good markets. One anthology (Shadowed Souls) even earned out and paid royalties, which I believe is a first for me with anthologies that pay professional per-word rates.

Expenses: A lot of that income went right back out the door for quarterly estimated tax payments. The joys of self-employment, eh? As always, there will also be at least a few thousand dollars in other expenses, from convention travel costs to postage to other business expenses like website hosting, cellphone business use, and so on.

2018 Goals: I’m going to finish Terminal Uprising, though it’s likely that book won’t see publication until early 2019. I also have that novel manuscript my agent has been shopping around, and I just sent them a pitch for another project that could be a lot of fun.

Next week’s release of “Imprinted” will tell me how much of a market there is for novellette/novella-length stories in my existing worlds. I’m hoping to do more of that in the future.

Ultimately, I don’t have anywhere near as much control over the financial side as I’d like. But I want to refocus a bit, and push myself to try new things as a writer. I also want to remember to have fun with it all.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

New and/or Cheap Books, by Me

This is a shameless self-promotional post, aimed at anyone who may have come into possession of book-related gift cards and is looking for suggestions of what to buy.

Prices are in the U.S. I’m not sure if those prices are matched elsewhere.

Thank you, and we’ll return to your regularly scheduled content soon…

$2.99 for Goblin Quest or The Stepsister Scheme

The first books in my Goblin and Princess series are both available for just $2.99 in ebook form. This is a great way to try out my stuff, if you haven’t already. The goblin books are humorous fantasy/sword & sorcery, and the princess books are fantasy action and adventure about a trio of kick-ass fairy tale princesses.

$2.99 to preorder Imprinted

“Imprinted” is the next chapter in the Magic ex Libris series, and comes out on January 9. It’s a novelette, not a full-length novel, and is set about eight months after the events of Revisionary. Little Red Reviewer just posted the first public review of this one, and called it:

“…a fast paced, fun, and satisfying read. As always, Hines writes characters who leap off the page. I love how he writes character development and their relationships with each other.”

There will be a print edition as well, but for the moment, only the ebook is available for pre-order.

$.99 for “Chupacabra’s Song”

“Chupacabra’s Song” is a short story set in the Magic ex Libris universe. It’s a quick read about Nicola Pallas, set before the books when Pallas was just a teenager. The story shows how Pallas discovered her bardic magic…along with her love of Chupacabras.

Terminal Alliance

Finally, while it’s not on sale, I’d be remiss in not mentioning my latest book. Terminal Alliance is the first in the humorous “Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse” trilogy, and is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats.

Imprinted Cover Art Chupacabra's Song - Cover Terminal Alliance Cover Art by Dan Dos Santos

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

I did it! I dodged almost all spoilers for The Last Jedi for more than a week until we were finally able to go see it.

I was a little nervous — reactions seemed really polarized for this one. Some people loved it, others hated it. Some of the hate was from trolls who couldn’t stand the idea of a franchise where white dudes weren’t front and center, but not all.

Personally? I loved it. And after a little spoiler space, I’ll talk about why…

SPOILERS AHEAD

The Last Jedi Cast Poster

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Dragon with a Chocolate Heart - Cover ArtEarlier this year, I snagged a copy of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], a middle-grade fantasy by the delightful Stephanie Burgis. I wasn’t able to read it right away, because I wanted to read it with my twelve-year-old son Jackson, who’s a big fan of all things draconic. So once we finished the series we’d been reading together, we started in on this one.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family’s mountain cave … if only they’d let her leave it. Her family thinks she’s too young to fly on her own, but she’s determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she’s transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she’s the fiercest creature in these mountains — and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time … won’t she?

I asked Jackson a few questions, starting with, What did you think of the book?

“I give it five thumbs up — no, wait — four talons up, because it’s a dragon!”

What was your favorite part?

“I liked the ending, when the dragons were [spoiler] and [spoiler] and everything.”

What did you think of Aventurine?

“I liked her. She was cool. I liked that she tried to go out of her cage even though her parents said she wasn’t ready, and I liked that she tried to [spoiler] at the end even though everyone told her not to.”

Sounds like you like that she made her own choices, and didn’t let anyone else tell her what to do.What did you think of the other characters, like Silke and Marina and the rest?

“I thought Marina was kind of like what Aventurine might be like if she was older, and Silke was pretty cool and pretty nice.”

Did this book ever make you hungry, too?

“Yes! I wanted to eat a chocolate dragon. (Like a chocolate bunny, only a dragon.) I don’t think I’d like the chili chocolate, though.”

There was one part of the book you were upset about. Could you talk about that a little?

“I didn’t like the part when Aventurine had given up, because it made me feel depressed and angry and scared, and all the negative emotions.”

How did you feel when we read the chapter after that?

[Jackson bounced and waved his arms in excitement to answer this one.]

Who would you recommend this book to?

“Everyone! Especially people who like dragons, chocolate, or very exciting and good stories!”

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I tend to agree with Jackson. This was a lot of fun, though perhaps a bit dangerous to my blood sugar. I loved Aventurine’s struggles as a dragon-in-a-human-body, trying to understand and adapt to all of the weirdness that is humanity. I loved her relationships with Silke and Marina.

I saw a twist coming pretty early on, but that didn’t make it any less satisfying. And I suspect it wouldn’t jump out as much to younger readers (or readers who aren’t also authors).

If I had to pick just one word to summarize the book, I’d go with “charming.”

You can read the first chapter on Burgis’ website.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday is pro-Porg.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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TBT: December 2007

A throwback to my blog from December 2007. I believe I was referring to the synopses for The Mermaid’s Madness and Red Hood’s Revenge. As for the emotional roller coaster about writing and synopses? Let’s just say little has changed in the past decade.

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You know, I go through a lot of emotional ups and downs when I write a novel. Some days I’m convinced I’m the most brilliant author who ever set pen to paper. Other days, I’m a washed-up hack who should have his fingers broken to prevent me from inflicting this garbage on the world.

It’s all part of the process of creating a novel, and I’ve gotten used to it.

However, over the past two weeks, I’ve written two synopses. Remember, a synopsis is a highly condensed version of a novel.

Suffice it to say, I’m feeling a bit of emotional burnout, and I want a cookie.

Happily, I think I’m done, and if all goes well, tomorrow I’ll be mailing all of this junk to my agent (who has glanced at both synopses by e-mail, and approves).

From December 13, 2007

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

TBT: December 2007

A throwback to my blog from December 2007. I believe I was referring to the synopses for The Mermaid’s Madness and Red Hood’s Revenge. As for the emotional roller coaster about writing and synopses? Let’s just say little has changed in the past decade.

You know, I go through a lot of emotional ups and downs when I write a novel. Some days I’m convinced I’m the most brilliant author who ever set pen to paper. Other days, I’m a washed-up hack who should have his fingers broken to prevent me from inflicting this garbage on the world.

It’s all part of the process of creating a novel, and I’ve gotten used to it.

However, over the past two weeks, I’ve written two synopses. Remember, a synopsis is a highly condensed version of a novel.

Suffice it to say, I’m feeling a bit of emotional burnout, and I want a cookie.

Happily, I think I’m done, and if all goes well, tomorrow I’ll be mailing all of this junk to my agent (who has glanced at both synopses by e-mail, and approves).

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

2017 Publications and Award Eligibility

Twas another year ending, and all cross the net,
all the authors were blogging and starting to fret.

The Nebula ballots were open for noms,
and authors were sweating and wiping their palms.

They posted their eligible works from for the year
while dreaming of Hugos and Campbells and beer.

And I at my desktop with cat in my lap,
had just started posting my own year’s recap…

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I’ve got two things I want to highlight this year, for anyone who might be doing the award nominating thing. I’m happy to send a copy of either or both if you’re reading for nominations — just shoot me a note.

Short Story: “The Fallow Grave of Dream,” from The Death of All Things, edited by Laura Anne Gilman and Kat Richardson. This is a relatively short work about a disabled child who discovers their power as the Death of Dream.

Related Work: Invisible 3, which I co-edited with Mary Anne Mohanraj, is eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. This is a collection of 18 essays and poems about representation in SF/F. You can read several of the essays online.

For the completionists, here’s everything that came out from me in 2017:

2017 also saw the release of the mass market paperback of Revisionary, but that wasn’t a new work. Just a new format.

So there you have it. One year of Jim-writing.

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I sprang to my feet, thinking “I need some scotch.”
When the cat gave a yowl and dug claws in my crotch.

I exclaimed many words best not written down here.
Thank you readers and friends for another good year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Allies and Cookie Badges

ETA: Before anyone responds, I want to be clear that this is not a request for reassurance or cookies or any of that. I’m an adult, fully capable of buying or making my own damn cookies. Thanks.

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A week or so back, a group working to end violence against women named me as one of sixteen male role models helping to fight violence against women. In an unrelated situation a few days later, someone on Facebook told me she would no longer support my work, and that I might claim to be an ally, but I’m not.

I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be an Ally. I don’t think it’s my place to proclaim myself an ally to women, or to victims of sexual violence, or to the LGBTQ community, and so on.

It was a little odd having these two things occur so close together, and there was a bit of cognitive dissonance for a little while, like I was Schrödinger‘s Ally or something.

I’ll be honest, this whole Ally thing confuses me a little. As shorthand for “this is a person who seems to be trying to understand and support me,” it makes sense. But it feels like we’ve turned it into the ultimate cookie, or a badge to flash around to prove you’re one of the Good Guys. Or maybe a badge-shaped cookie, I don’t know.

So you end up with people trying to deflect criticism by flashing their cookie badge. “Don’t you realize I’m your Ally? It says so right here in white frosting!” Or they turn it into a flounce, throwing their cookie on the ground and declaring, “You have lost a Valuable Ally this day!”

What a waste of a cookie…

Sinfest Comic

(As I’m writing this, I’m starting to like the idea of Schrödinger‘s Ally as shorthand for that person who seems to say the right things, but you’re not sure whether they genuinely support you or if they’re only in it for the cookies. That’s a bit of a tangent though, so I’ll save it for later.)

I can understand that when you’re in a marginalized group fighting for dignity and equality and survival, it’s vital to know who your allies are and who you can trust to have your back. And the term is useful shorthand for articles like “How to be a good male ally” and such.

The whole concept still feels weird to me. Maybe it’s the idea that “ally” is a noun. A concrete, black-and-white thing you either are or aren’t, which gets back to my point about people simultaneously calling me an ally and not an ally…

Dissonance resolved: they’re both right, of course.

Because, linguistics aside, ally isn’t a noun; it’s a verb. It’s action. A process. It’s listening and learning to do better. It’s learning to offer support in ways that are helpful. It’s learning that it’s not all about you.

That gets to the heart of a lot of my discomfort. The moment you stand up and wave your cookie-badge and declare yourself An Ally, it becomes about you. Which not only misses the point, it turns 180 degrees and jumps to hyperspeed to get as far from the point as possible.

And on that note, I’m gonna go see if we have any cookies…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday apologizes for missing last week’s post, and promises it won’t happen again until the next time it does.

Bonus cool link: Penguin Random House is giving you 5 books to donate to kids in need in local communities across the country through their partner First Book.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Disbelief

“I can’t believe it.”

“Yes, we know.”
“That’s why they believed they could get away with it.”
“That’s why victims hesitated to come forward.”
“That’s why men are more worried about the rare false accusation than the epidemic of harassment.”
“That’s why women didn’t talk to you about what they experienced.”
“That’s why we’re seeing such a logjam of long-term, entrenched harassers.”

“Why are you getting so angry?”

“Why aren’t you?”

“I just hate seeing so many careers ruined.”

“Whose careers? The perpetrators or the victims?”

“I didn’t know.”

“That’s because you didn’t listen.”
“That’s because you looked away.”
“That’s because you treated it as a joke.”
“Now that you know, what will you do differently?”

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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