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Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Been quite a while since I had something new, but my newest short story is FREE through Sunday. Grab it! Deprive both me and Amazon of income!





Single girl Casey moved to New York for love and adventure and even she knows what a cliché that is. At least she knows how to stand out: she's a magician, available for parties, events and, one fateful night, an impromptu card trick for a handsome stranger.

Now Casey's got a crush and Ryan seems to like her back—but turning attraction into a real relationship, that's the real trick. Can the plucky performer win him over? As Casey spins her tale with warmth and wit (and a couple of sleight-of-hand secrets), she learns where the real magic lies in connecting with someone.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this, his first short story for the new adult audience, he tackles the messy trappings of modern romance, the twentysomething hustle, and the gulf between expectations and reality.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00KTMO528/

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Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

moana posted:

Are you just writing for fun or do you want a critique?

Was this addressed to me or Grammaton?

Me, hey, critique if you like. My Kindle stories are for fun in the sense that I write what I want when I feel like it (you won't see me worrying about what genre to write in and what not, for instance), but I certainly hope readers enjoy them and that the prose is pretty and all that.



But I think it's a good question you raise, either way. I am all over the place with my genres because I simply enjoy writing what I feel like doing; my advice to Grammaton would be, if you want to write fantasy / sci-fi fusion, go for it, but make it clear to the reader what they're getting into, and be prepared for the fact that some folks are very clear about what they want and don't want, and are not necessarily shopping for surprises or unique twists. People want the genre they were promised on the cover.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Jun 11, 2014

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Mr. Belding posted:

You've been writing high school girl drama for awhile. Last time I asked it wasn't very productive. Which is why I have to ask again. Has something changed? A year ago you were pretty disillusioned with it, but it seems like you're still looking that direction. I can't help but ask, "Why?"

Because I enjoy it. Simple as that. I like to think I write a decent one, too, though Lord knows I could be doing better on the business end.

The fiction I read is primarily literary or YA, so the fiction I write is primarily, etc. (Although I just don't think I'm very good at literary, so I'm less likely to pursue much more with that. Not all of us can be Very Serious Artists, ha ha.)

But I appreciate that you remember me, I haven't been in this thread or its predecessor for a while and it moves so quick. Nice to know I make a distinctive product, or at least have a distinctive avatar!



Look — maybe you've heard my story before. I got into writing fiction because of one traditionally-published humor book I got lucky on. Clearly-defined audience, easy marketing campaign. It sold well and it still plugs along. Seven printings so far. Five-figure check, and more checks to come.

It's nice, I've had a lot of fun with it. But it just isn't close to my heart.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 02:52 on Jun 14, 2014

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

I'd also say lose the quote. My feeling on quotes is, either the quote needs to be wonderful or the source does — but a half-hearted-sounding quote from a non-famous source, eh, it makes it sound like you were desperate to find someone who said something nice and this is all you could dig up.

I kind of dig the inverted-Twilight colors. One thing - if you're gonna do a white cover where any side opens up to complete white (as your bottom bit does), put a very thin black border around it, or it may look a bit odd on Amazon and other online stores, sort of falling off into white.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Some of you will know these places, some won't, but here are some neat resources for good high-res FREE stock photos I've been compiling recently.

Unsplash - has a very 'literary fiction or upscale women's-fiction book cover' feel
http://www.unsplash.com

Flickr Commons - old photographs and art from historical archives and governments
https://www.flickr.com/commons

A further note on government pictures: science fiction folks, NASA and the Air Force and such maintain archives of high-quality photos here and there, I just don't happen to have links

Wikimedia Commons - very hit-and-miss but sometimes you find a good high-res thing
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Getty Open Content - lots of old art from the Getty Museum et al
https://www.getty.edu/about/opencontent.html

Splitshire
http://splitshire.com/

Gratisography
http://www.gratisography.com/

IM Free - Be careful and check the Creative Commons license for each individual pic - some of the pics are free to do anything with and some aren't.
http://www.imcreator.com/free

Morgue File - very hit-and-miss
http://www.morguefile.com/

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

ravenkult posted:

If your protagonist isn't an orangutang, I'd change that first and foremost.

This is good advice for all authors.



Sundae posted:

I can't help but think that television ads would completely fail for books. I could be wrong, but I just don't see it working.

Things like television ads and expensive billboards for books... the publishing industry does them, but only for big famous authors with established brands (ugh, that word). The ad isn't there to plug a new author or explain something that needs explaining. It's there to say, 'Hey, reader who already likes James Patterson / Dan Brown and would buy another book from them: another one exists, here's the title!' It's more effective as an announcement than as a way to convey new information.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 18:35 on Jul 19, 2014

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

How about: "If he gives in, he'll keep his job—and lose the war."



For some dang reason this was a sprightly month for me for borrows. Perhaps the Kindle Unlimited thing is helping me out. I never expect anyone to use their monthly free KOLL borrow on a short story that they could _buy_ for a buck or two. I used to be amazed if I have one borrow in a month, but this time I had three.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

We appear to have fallen into the ol' art vs. commerce discussion.

For the newbies around here: There seems to be a sense people have, coming in, that because self-publishing removes all the evil, stupid, Visigoth gatekeepers, it gives the readers what they really wanted and what the publishers are too dumb to give them, which is your offbeat story.

Don't expect this.

Short story collections are just as unpopular in self-publishing as they are in traditional publishing. Sci-fi romance is just as unpopular as, etc. The publishers were and are just giving people what they want.

One of my favorite books of this year was Lydia Davis' short story collection "Can't And Won't". Quirky, literary, oddball stuff. Another book I adored this year was Lydia Netzer's "How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky", a loopy romance with sci-fi elements. I'm glad these books by these various Lydias got published. But the fact remains that the public would rather have something in the John Grisham or Nicholas Sparks vein than either of those books.

The fun of self-publishing with today's technology is that neither the gatekeepers nor your coffers can stop you from putting stuff out. If you pick up a few bucks here and there, it's more than you'd have made posting it for free on your blog. Just don't expect the readers to be less risk-averse than publishers are. The publishers follow the lead of readers!

People in publishing (or movies, TV, etc.) have to write this e-mail all the time: "I loved it, but I just don't see the market for it." I've gotten that e-mail myself a few times, I can tell you that.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Oct 14, 2014

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

I'd point out for the newbies, of course, that just because you're not _writing_ to fit some sort of market doesn't mean you've no reason to learn marketing things. Whether you're writing the most mainstream space adventure or a collection of free-verse poetry about forbidden love in Siberia, you still have the job of making sure your cover art looks good, your blurb is as effective as it can be — maybe you're not targeting the same audience, but you still want to make sure that the audience you're looking for will (hopefully) find it, and will give you a chance if they do find it.



Talking about outliers — right now the most absurd 'outlier' publishing success story is, for my money, "My Struggle", a six-book series of incredibly long Norwegian stream-of-consciousness autobiographical novels totalling thousands of pages of what by design are largely banalities. Definitely a boundary-breaker and not the kind of thing that flies off the shelves on its own accord, I'm sure—yet something like one in ten Norwegians have bought at least one title in the series, I'm told.

But: just because it worked for him doesn't mean it can work for everyone.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

New freebie (through Sunday) out of me. I was initially working on this for a 'nerdy love stories'-type anthology that (perhaps predictably?) fell apart. I was happy enough to continue plugging away on my piece for my own amusement, although I confess it may have made more sense alongside other themed stories than on its own.



quote:

When game night at an Atlantic City bar brings loners Cecily and Sam together, it seems like a winning match from the first toss of the dice. They bond over nerdy jokes and the world's most beloved property trading game. It's perfect—at first. But shared personality quirks only get a relationship so far…

Cecily has her concerns: Are they good for each other or just good on paper? Friends or lovers? Sam has his insecurities: Does she like him for him, or does she just enjoy how they indulge each other's geeky sides? And how can they build a future together when neither can see a real future for themselves?

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this touching short story, he examines the difference between finding the person who 'gets' you and building a life you can share. (There are also, of course, a lot of nerdy jokes.)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OAC62I8

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

I have one title that always takes super-long to review.

It's a weird story. One day Amazon told me they objected to my cover. They wouldn't tell me WHY (the e-mail said it could have been any number of things setting them off, from obscenity to copyright — none of which I was violating, but they in their wisdom objected).

I changed the cover entirely and there have been no more complaints, but now, whenever I update that project, it spends an extra 12 or so hours (beyond the normal period) in review, while I sit going that they're going to yank it for some unknown reason without so much as asking any questions.

For all Amazon's advantages, there really is no talking to them sometimes. For all I know their automatic-content-flagging system decided my cover contained something that reminded it of a copyrighted photo and no human actually made the judgment call. Who knows.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 03:50 on Dec 12, 2014

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

As much as I will miss the cash from borrows of my stories, I can't blame Amazon for doing this. It makes sense.

Mostly, it entertained me that I made more money from people who were too cautious about my work to pay 99 whole cents for it than I ever did from people who thought they might enjoy it. Haaaaaa.



(Side note: If you wanna talk about cautious readers, I've had this one customer who has "bought" every one of my stories and then returned them. I believe it's only one customer because it's a different story every time, with no repeats of this buy-and-very-quickly return. I think he's just going through the whole collection.)

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 18:35 on Jun 15, 2015

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

I am back after a long (geez, over a year) absence with another one of my little stories. Free through Sunday: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B018RKHT2Q/

==========



Ravensbane (not her real name) and Kim were inseparable in junior high, and high school, and well into what passes for their adult lives. Nothing makes them happier after a tough week at their lame jobs than hanging out together, particularly if they get to dress up.

Sometime between costume parties and conventions, Kim finds a boyfriend and Rave feels cast aside. The fact that the boy in question is Rave's favorite cousin only complicates things. Now the two closest people in the world are confronting their very first serious rift. It'll take more than elaborate makeup to hide what's crept into their lives.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this intimate short story, he explores two people growing up and (maybe) growing apart.


==========

I have spent most of my writing time this year back with my first love, screenwriting. All little indie stuff, mind you, but I seem to have better luck there both creatively and financially. Nonetheless I am very glad for the rise of self-publishing, as I don't think that without it I would have been moved to try my hand at prose fiction. (That said, I feel like this piece in particular betrays that it came from a screenwriter at heart, it's very much a piece based in conversations.)

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Boy, I haven't posted in here in ages. Writing my little stories remains just a hobby for me, but I enjoy it, and I've become a better writer of prose over the past however-many years because of it. (I could hardly have gotten worse, ha.)

Anyway, here's my newest, FREE through Sunday. Enjoy!

-----
Sydney is a fairy-tale princess—at her stepmother's birthday party company, entertaining children on the cheap while her real life's stuck on hold. All she wants is to finish her master's, get out and join the grown-up world. Between her student loans and family debts, there's no chance for that happy ending.

But things might be looking up; she's just booked her first big corporate gig, playing princess at a fancy local ball. The money's great—and what's more, the client's son is awfully charming…

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this offbeat retelling of his favorite fairy tale, he spins the same old story in a brand-new way. Really.



https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B072JM979Y

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

Is that the right link?

Well, this is a new one.

It was working before. Now none of my links to it are, in other forms, from other sites, whatever.

In fact, when I search for my title on Amazon, it comes up, but when I try to click through, it gives you that same service error.

My KDP bookshelf doesn't report any problems with my title.

Well, that's just great.

EDIT I seem to be having that trouble with all KDP books I'm trying, not just my own. So at least it's not just my projects, although, boy, great timing.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 19:35 on Jun 7, 2017

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Put out another one of my little stories. YA romantic comedy, FREE through Sunday.

-----


Halloween is just around the corner and spunky sophomore Darian's ready to rock her pirate costume at a party. But when she gets stuck taking her little brother out trick-or-treating instead, she looks on the bright side: at least she won't have to spend the whole night avoiding Shane.

See, Darian's been ghosting her ex ever since their awkward breakup. But Halloween is a night for ghosts—and when fate brings the babysitting buccaneer face-to-face with the dude she dumped, both Darian and Shane find they've got a lot of growing up to do… although hopefully not too much.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this sweet, silly, sometimes-spooky romantic comedy, he traces a teenager caught between bewildering adolescence and the joys of being young on the greatest night of the year.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07643QWT5/
-----

I love Halloween

I've been working on a novel since forever and am finally hiring a freelance editor to help me out as I worry I have sort of disappeared up my own rear end with it. (It isn't one of my cute little comedies, it's more in that Donnie Darko sort of vein.) In a strange way I was proud of myself to hire a pro and write the deposit check, it didn't feel like admitting defeat, it felt like making an investment in something I care about, just like when I start putting money into making a film. I'm the kind of person who hates to ask for help on anything in life, so this feeling was a pleasant surprise for me.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Another one of my little stories is out today and free through Sunday. Hope y'all enjoy.

---

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B079KLKH6P/

It's Valentine's Day and Becca can't wait to spend it with her cat.

She isn't looking for love. But when duty summons her into a crowd of eager single men, she finds out… that she still isn't looking for love. As she fights her way back home through snow and sentiment, can the spirit of the day work its way into her soul?
---

In my last post I mentioned I was working with a freelance editor on a novel. It was a positive experience, she did a great job, grasped my characters and story and tone well, understood what I wanted to do and helped me get there more cleanly and efficiently. I would recommend Andrea Robinson if you're looking for an attentive, insightful edit and if your sort of book is in her wheelhouse. https://www.areditorial.com/

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

divabot posted:

reviewed on .co.uk and .com - this is lovely! Anyone spending 99p on this will feel they got value for money :-)

Wow! Thanks a lot, man — I appreciate it quite a bit. On paper Something Awful may not come off as the target audience for some of my stuff but I've always had a feeling we've got quite a few softies among us. Ha ha ha!

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

As the kids say, Lord help me, I'm back on my bullshit: here's another free story. This… this one's an odd one. FREE through Sunday August 26!

-----
David knows his new girlfriend is out of his league—but he didn’t bargain for out of her mind.

When the spirited and stunning Amy Paxton confesses that sometimes she turns into a raccoon, David assumes that she’s joking. She’s not. (She’s really, really not.) To keep their relationship afloat, he plays along, working overtime to figure out what makes Amy tick… or, failing that, how to accept this inexplicable quirk. But when a test of his loyalties arises, David has to choose between his understanding of the world and the woman he adores.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this sweet and strange story, he explores the mysterious gap between comprehension and love.



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07GNBYQM7
-----

I had an interesting experience with the blurb and such on this one. It might prove useful to anyone thinking about blurbs, certainly for people who like to play with genre and tone.

The piece plays out as a very normal relationship story for quite a while and only brings in the off-the-wall stuff (y'know, the turning into a raccoon) later on, and so in early passes of the blurb I was trying to preserve that surprise for the audience, or at least not spoil it so directly. You know how it is, you want them to be surprised. But that element is the core of the whole story… it's not some last-minute twist, it's what most of the story is about. As much as I would love to have the reader come in cold and be thrown for a loop, it's not right to sell unsuspecting folks a normal relationship story and then pull the rug out from under them, I suspect more people would resent that than be delighted. To attempt an analogy, you don't need to tell them who the murderer is, but you gotta tell them it's a murder mystery, no matter how hard you worked up front to make your writing pass as just an ordinary gathering at an English country house on a dark night.

Perhaps it would be one thing if this was a story printed in a magazine or an anthology where all the reader was promised up front was the genre. But selling your product to an individual, well, I guess I gotta be honest with them about what they're in for, so they can decide if they would like it or not. So I bit the bullet. Ah well.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

divabot posted:

There you go, a nice review on amazon.co.uk for you. Logrolling, it's what writers live on!

Wow! I appreciate that, boss! (Sorry I'm late to this, was away for our holiday weekend and still catching up on all the Internet I missed.)

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

feedmyleg posted:

Speaking of, I've still got another draft to go before I'll need it, but can anyone give me a sense of how much it'll be to hire a decent independent editor for a ~75,000 word book?

I worked with Andrea at areditorial.com on an 81,000-word novel. For $2K I got a developmental edit letter on the whole thing, little notes throughout the whole thing, a line edit on (I think) 25 pages and a lengthy phone call.

I submit that to you merely as one price point; she comes out of the Big Five publishers with a lot of experience and bestsellers and such under her belt. Someone who hasn't might be cheaper, who knows.

She was a total professional who truly understood my weird work and made it better on its own terms, and I remember working with her very fondly; in fact, I reached out to her to see about hiring her for something further just today. If your book is in her wheelhouse I would highly recommend her; tell her Adam Bertocci sent ya.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 03:19 on Sep 8, 2018

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

On the note of covers, the stock photo models from my more recent efforts are beginning to follow me around.

Since putting out one project in February 2018, I've seen the cover model turn up in two entirely different online ads, then a print poster I saw out in Coney Island, then two news articles. I collect these encounters in a Twitter thread here: twitter.com/AdamBertocci/status/1033896409907507201

But it's not just her. A shot from the yellow-background-red-dress shoot from my newest cover (scroll down for exciting freebie) got used in a clickbait online ad I got served… and last month I bought a picture for an upcoming project, and the very next day saw a picture from the same dang shoot in an article about creepy guys.


Anyhoo, yes, I've put out another one of my little stories. It's free through Sunday, June 16.



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07SWTG142/

It’s the night before the SAT and book-smart Maura is hitting the… well, books. But when her carefree Canadian cousin rolls into town unannounced, her plan goes out the window for one crazy night of unsupervised parties, teenage hijinks and occasional car theft.

All Maura wants is to get home to her flash cards; all Laura does is make a mess. But before the night is over, they’ll have to teach other a thing or two—and pass the kind of test you can’t cram for.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. He also did very well on standardized tests.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Another season, another one of my not-that-short short stories. (I resist the term 'novelette' for whatever reason.) Free through Sunday, December 8. I like to think of this one as "Glee" meets "Rocky" meets, depending on your age, your mom or grandma's favorite radio station.



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08287F8LS/

Meet the Gossamer Girls of James Garfield High. When they’re not singing upbeat songs from the past, they’re freaking out about their futures.

An unpopular and underfunded a cappella group from a tiny Rust Belt town, the Gossamer Girls have exactly two things going for them: their love of the golden oldies, and the all-consuming passion of their strong-willed captain, Jen. They used to have the power of friendship in their corner, too, but Jen and star singer Cody are months into a fractious falling-out.

But when the group lands a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a prestigious competition, Jen, Cody and the rest of the squad will have to pull together. It’ll take all they’ve got in their hearts to heal the wounds. It’ll take a Christmas miracle to win.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this spirited short story, he pits an unforgettable group against impossible odds, armed with nothing but the greatest hits of a world gone by.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Had me a little hard drive scare this past week… but not _too_ scary, because I am religious about making backups! Not one file or word lost. But use my misfortune to your advantage: if you aren't confident you have backups of all your stuff, why not take a little time this week to get that done?

Anyway, that problem solved, I'm giving away another one of my stories—free through Sunday February 23. This one's a dark one.



Parker Sabatini isn’t popular, or pretty, or quote-unquote cool. But at least she’s the star of her school’s little chess club. Not that anyone cares about the chess club—at least, not until Ali Wolfhart joins.

A passionless neophyte on a temporary leave from cheerleading, the beautiful, mysterious Ali turns out to be an undiscovered chess prodigy, mixing astonishing artistry with peerless tactics. Before long, she’s put the chess club on the map and relegated Parker to the sidelines. As Parker’s jealousy and resentment gives way to obsession, the drama of court intrigue and teen insecurity culminates in a shocking act of violence.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this deliciously dark short story, ingeniously told as a multi-perspective oral history, he examines the nature of envy, divinity, and art as a duel between queens in the game of kings.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B084QK3SG5

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Judge Schnoopy posted:

Willing to listen to all criticism on where I'm going wrong.



I think you did a fine job inasmuch as you could, I think the pitfall is that taking a photo and sort of putting it on a cover centered gives off I-made-this-cover-myself vibes no matter how good a job you do with the border.

If I were you, for an easy solution, I would save that nice textured background and border you made for promotional materials; I would blow the picture up to fill your cover space and have the text on top of that. My crummy two-minute example is on the left below.

Or if resolution allows, crop out some of the trees and green and make the water and reflection take up more of the image, it could be rather striking. An extreme example is on the right below.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Here's a freebie from me, and it comes with a lesson… if you're gonna write about the present, write faster than I do, because the present can change. When I started to write about life in quarantine, my concern would be that the quarantine would lift and we'd all be going back to normal before I finished. Things took a turn, but not toward normal, huh. But I frankly don't know what the overlap is between people who snap up self-published fiction and people who will go out against social distancing guidelines to protest. Who knows.

On the up side, I had no trouble with Amazon when it came to using words like 'coronavirus' and 'pandemic' in my keywords etc. (although it took some hours longer in review than normal). I have been reading rumors that they are cracking down on that, and perhaps so, but at the very least, my piece got through without an insta-reject. Good to know no one thinks I'm publishing medical misinformation.

Anyway, free through Sunday June 7:



Indoor Cat is about someone who stays inside all day with nothing to do but eat and sleep and stare out the window. It is also about her cat.

Maddie’s cat doesn’t really understand pandemics, or the coronavirus, or why his human being stopped going outside. All he knows is that something’s gone wrong in her life, and that he’s hungry. He hopes that both problems might be solved when a friendly food delivery boy starts turning up. But there are some things even wet food doesn’t fix.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this quirky, tender character study and unorthodox romance, he sets an un-fur-gettable (… sorry) narrator upon the themes of love, isolation, connection and unprecedented times.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089GP615P/

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Another one of my cute li'l stories ready to go and free through Sunday the 13th. Yes, a mere twenty-three years after the launch of the franchise, I came up with a Potter spoof.

My advice is to poke fun of things while the properties are still hot, and ideally don't pick something where midway through your draft the author pisses off a good chunk of her fan base so you need to figure out how to criticize her in-text without making it a whole thing because you're not looking to monetize other people's anger. (Useful advice for us all.) Anyway, hope you enjoy!



Magic and mystery galore are in store at Britain’s most prestigious school for wizards this year, thanks to one amazing new arrival… their very first English teacher.

Miss Tinker can’t believe she got the job at Merlinfirth Academy; she’s underqualified, overanxious and utterly out of her depth. A bibliophile since birth, she relies on her passion for the classics to guide her through the tricky spots, but it’s hard to hold teenagers’ attention when they’d rather learn sorcery than Shakespeare.

But it’s not all bad. There’s another new teacher her age with a friendly face and an encouraging demeanour. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll break through and change some young pupil’s life…

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. This enchanting short story brews up a mix of coming-of-age, romantic comedy and, above all, shameless parody.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PHWKDL3/

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

This particular cover's complexity is a bit of an anomaly, normally I don't need more than a coupla images, but for this project it was either put something together from spare parts or see if Mary GrandPré was taking commissions.

I do my covers myself. (Yes, of course, most writers shouldn't, but Photoshop is part of my day job, so if I'm not the greatest at least I'm not the worst… I'm actually more of a professional graphics guy than I am a professional fiction writer, maybe I should hire an outside writer!) I have a fondness for the weird world of stock photos, which makes the experience pleasant.

One side benefit of doing my own covers is it forces me to consider, what am I trying to get across here, how would I sum up my tone in an image—I work on the cover _as_ I am writing (or often even before!), and if I can't create a visual that says to my satisfaction, "yes, that'll tell people what I'm trying to do", it's a good sign that something's equally unclear in the writing and ought to be addressed.

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Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

quote:

but how much do you think you made on two gentlemen?

I've never said the exact number before, and I'll continue not to do so, but we're among goons so I'll say more here than I normally do.

Remember that TGOL was traditionally published. Low five-figure advance, which I have earned out, so every six months I get another three-figure check.

Low four-figure advance on the audiobook which will probably never earn out.

Plus about three thousand dollars in donations from nice Internet people and theatrical producers during its pre-publication phase. (I never charged for stage rights, but the New York production and one reading gave me money voluntarily. The rights holders won't allow it on stage any more, but if they ever allowed it again I would continue not to charge, or request a charity donation.)

(Mods, if I can't plug this here feel free to delete this line) Also, on the money front, every December I sell autographed books in SA-Mart for a limited-time low price. Get your orders in on or before December 17 for a unique personalized Christmas item.

Plus occasional speaking gigs, nothing fancy, a hundred there, two hundred there, a little help boosting my other projects… I imagine by the time I'm dead I'll have made more off the opportunities it brought me than I ever did in actual book sales. TGOL has never made me enough to bump me into a higher tax bracket, but who gives a poo poo about the loving marmot.

The truest value it brought to my life was opening my eyes to the possibility of writing in other media instead of continuing to bang my head against the Hollywood wall. I would never have tried writing my little stories, which I have a good deal of fun with, or a novel I continue to pitch traditionally, heaven help me. I would never have tried pitching the odd nonfiction piece to publications. I would never have written a (serious-rear end, non-mashup) stage play which was produced in NY last year and is incredibly close to my heart. I still consider myself a screenwriter first and foremost, but I am grateful to TGOL for giving me some encouragement to try other things too and see what sticks.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Dec 10, 2020

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