My Latest Published Short!

Hi everyone.

It’s my pleasure today to announce that the anthology For the Night is Dark, featuring my short story ‘His Own Personal Golgotha’, has been released in both print and Kindle format via Amazon.

Amazon Print
Amazon Kindle

Other ebook formats coming soon.
It’s one of my favourite stories so far, and the collection seems pretty good, from what I have so far.
Edited by Ross Warren.


Warning of piracy in France

Warning to any and all writers who’ve had a story published in France.
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) has launched a doubtful venture reminiscent of the one Google tried to launch a few years ago. They’ve decided that if a book published in the 20th century is out of print, they have a right to publish it as an ebook and reap the profits (a pittance is due to the original publisher, and, oh, yeah, to the author, too). Despite the protests of French writers, the thing has been launched this week, with the creation of a website featuring a database of approx. 60,000 books liable to get the pirate ebook treatment (State approved, that is) unless the author or legal representative files a formal complaint.
Yeah, you say, but this is only for French writers, right?
They’ve done such a botched job listing the books they feel they can steal that they’ve included anthologies edited by French editors but featuring British and American writers.
A case in point: “De sang et d’encre“, edited by Léa Silhol and published by Naturellement in 1999 (the publisher has gone bankrupt since). With stories by Neil Gaiman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Lawrence Schimel, Brian Stableford, Brian Lumley, Charles de Lint, S. P. Somtow, Brian Hodge, Nancy Kilpatrick, Nancy Holder, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Freda Warrington, Bob Weinberg.
Writers, check out the site and contact your agent to put a stop to this act of piracy.
You have six months to act.

More info here (French):

~Courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak

Anne R. Allen’s Blog: Beware the Seven Deadly Writing Scams

Courtesy of Anne R. Allen’s blog:

“Seven Deadly Scams by Lila Moore

These days, writers face a range of scams from mildly annoying to lethal. Deadly scams are ones which can destroy your bank account, your credibility, or your ability to profit from your work. Not all of these scams are perpetrated solely by malicious outsiders: some of these scams only work because the authors themselves are complicit and some of these scams are perpetrated by the authors themselves.Here are the Seven Deadly Scams– and how to avoid them.”

Read more via Anne R. Allens Blog: Beware the Seven Deadly Writing Scams.

Used Ebooks, the Ridiculous Idea that Could Also Destroy the Publishing Industry | Motherboard

“Amazon has a patent to sell used ebooks. When I first scanned that headline, I thought it must be some Onion-esque gag, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Used e-books? As in, rumpled up, dog-eared pdfs? Faded black-and-white Kindle cover art, Calibri notes typed in the margins that you cant erase? Barely-amusing image aside, used ebooks are for real. Or at least have a very real potential to become real. See, Amazon just cleared a patent for technology that would allow it to create an online marketplace for used ebooks–essentially, if you own an ebook, you would theoretically be able to put it up for sale on a secondary market.The approved patent describes the process:”

via Used Ebooks, the Ridiculous Idea that Could Also Destroy the Publishing Industry | Motherboard.

Amazon Author Rankings and Who They Actually Benefit – Whatever

“Amazon has started ranking authors by total sales via Amazon, updated hourly. This is certain to make a whole bunch of authors begin to freak out as they constantly refresh their Amazon author pages to see where they stand in the rankings, and, independently, give a whole bunch of people who have their own hobby horses about the state of the industry a bunch of ammunition to make proclamations about how the industry is changing in exactly the way they want it to change, so there, ha ha!So, on this subject, some thoughts for people to consider when they look at these rankings.”
~ John Scalzi

via Amazon Author Rankings and Who They Actually Benefit – Whatever.

Simon & Schuster and Author Solutions: Not a Winning Combination?

I wasn’t surprised to see yet another big publisher trying to get involved in the self-publishing paradigm. After all, the whole publishing industry is undergoing massive changes at the moment, and there are profits to be made in quarters that didn’t really exist until a few years ago, at least not in the mainstream sector.

Not too long ago, we here in Australia saw a bookseller, Dymocks, testing the self-pub waters with D-Publishing, a division of the company that contracted writers into what claimed to be self-publishing but turned out to be nothing more than vanity-publishing, and seemed to be very publisher-driven rather than author-driven.

Now, Simon & Schuster have jumped in at the deep end. In partnership with Author Solutions, a company that holds one of the worst reputations in the self-publishing world, they have formed Archway Publishing. The new company offers packages for authors that begin at US$1,999 and top out at US$14,999. The lowest price would be okay if it included a professional edit (it doesn’t include editing, which is charged extra at $3.50/100 words) and a good bit of cover art, but the $15,000 seems very exorbitant. And it’s even higher if you write a business book. Lowest cost for that is $2,999 and the highest is $24,999. You would need to sell a load of books to recoup those costs.

As I said, the lowest price would be fine if it included editing and quality cover art, but the editing is an extra price (quite steep, too) and the cover art for ALL the packages consists of stock photos/images.

If you add the cost of editing to an 80,000 word novel, you would be looking at just under $5000 for a package and a ‘professional’ edit on the work.

Then you get the final kick in the nuts. After the author pays all this money, the company also wants a big share of your sales. They talk royalties as though they are a traditional publisher, when in fact they are closer to vanity publishing. For the privilege of charging you a ridiculous amount of money, they also want to keep half of your profits for e-book and print sales.

Looking at all the options incorporating each of the packages, you could likely do it yourself for approximately one-tenth of the prices charges here. If it was Simon & Schuster professionals that worked with you, then some would say that the industry-knowledge was worth the extra cost, but it’s not. According to the site, the people you get as guidance professionals are from Author Solutions, and from research, they are not the most professional people in the industry.

I’ll leave it to the loyal readers to do their own research on Author Solutions, which incorporates companies such as Author House, Trafford Publishing and iUniverse, all of which are cast under suspicion by many thousands of complaints by authors who feel ripped-off and bullied by them. The four links I just provided are but the tip of the iceberg.

In the end, you usually get what you pay for, unless you get a lot less than you pay for.
Do your research and make an informed decision whether to utilise the services offered by Archway Publishing, or whether to source your own professionals and maintain complete control over your work from start to finish.

GN Braun

Publisher takes on Amazon with Australian-based site

Global publisher Pearson has internet giant Amazon in its sights with the launch of an Australian-based online bookseller.

The publisher has rebranded the site which Pearson bought for less than $5 million after owner REDGroup’s collapse last year. The company says its new site is aiming to compete with Amazon on price and delivery, offering free shipping with two-to-three day delivery to any capital city on Australian books. Bookworld has about 100,000 e-book customers and a total of 750,000 customers on its database.

“You’ve got to have a price that will get you to market and clearly Amazon are the benchmark,” said Bookworld chief James Webber.

“We compete with Amazon very effectively that includes no shipping costs.”

Mr Webber said that 50 per cent of Bookworld’s stock was sourced in Australia.

REDgroup was unable to compete with global retailers like Amazon and Book Depository because of higher book prices in Australia.

Under current pricing offers, the cost of Christopher Hitchens’ book Mortality is $23.95 from Amazon with delivery taking up to a month. Bookworld offers the same book at $19.99 to its club card holders with three-day delivery.

Bookworld said it has sold more e-books than physical books in the past month in another sign of how quickly the book industry was changing.

via Publisher takes on Amazon with Australian-based site.

Book Reviewers for Hire Meet a Demand for Online Raves –

This is so wrong, and will likely make a lot of people much more reluctant to trust online reviews. In the end, authors will suffer. As an author, I would NEVER pay for a favourable review. EVER.

‘Suddenly it hit him. Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.’

via Book Reviewers for Hire Meet a Demand for Online Raves –

Copyright stuck in horse and buggy era

“This hostile regulatory regime is one of the reasons why so many Australian start-ups head straight for Silicon Valley.”

Copyright law experts say in some areas the law is too strict and stifles innovation while preventing the public from enjoying creative works. Recent court battles have sparked debate on some of these issues including Larrikin Records’ victory over Men at Work and the Optus stoush with the AFL and NRL.

Google’s search engine uses automated web crawlers to find and copy sites on the internet. The copies are indexed and stored in its cache so users can more quickly access search results.

However, the ALRC’s paper said that because there are no exceptions in the Copyright Act allowing caching, indexing and other internet-related technical functions, Google’s search engine “may infringe copyright”. Further when it displays results to users this could be considered “communicating copyright material to the public”, another breach of the Act.

“If Google had been started in Australia, it could well have been sued out of existence,” said Dr Rebecca Giblin, copyright law expert at Monash University.

via Copyright stuck in horse and buggy era.

Sci-Fi Worlds: The State of the Publishing Industry

The State of the Publishing Industry

Does anyone know what the publishing industry will look like twenty years from now? The business is still going through so many changes that it’s too early to tell.

There are a few things we do know though and are fairly evident:

– Ebooks are here to stay and will gain an increasingly larger part of the market

– Amazon used to have a dominating position in the market (90%) but that has changed and they are in danger (60%)

Click here to read more: Sci-Fi Worlds: The State of the Publishing Industry.