Author Beware—What to Look for in an Indie Publisher

My publisher PDMI Publishing LLC is featured today on Kristen Lamb’s blog 🙂

Kristen Lamb's Blog

On Wednesday, we talked about all the types of publishing paths and how the new paradigm is becoming increasingly flexible and author-friendly. There is no “right path” only a path that is right for you, which we will talk about in a moment.

To keep up with all the changes in The Digital Age, we created WANACon, which is a virtual conference and as close to the real thing one can get without a holo-deck. No travel, no hotel, from home, and all recordings are included so you can fit a writing conference to your schedule no matter where in the world you happen to live. Also you can listen to anything you miss or might need to revisit. Talk to agents, editors and professionals without ever stepping outside.

Over 20 presentations on craft, social media, platform-building, web design, cover design, and agents…delivered straight to YOU. No matter which publishing…

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My New Book Signing Banner

Special thanks to Tc McKinney at PDMI Publishing LLC 😀

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Books-A-Million

Books-A-Million, the second largest book retailer in the nation (with over 250 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia) will be attending the 2014 Birmingham Local Authors Expo with myself and over one hundred authors. Come see us! 🙂
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There’s No Such Thing As A Famous Author Anymore

Sorry, Virginia, even Santa Claus agrees there’s no such thing as a “famous author” anymore.

And this may be a good thing.

We live in a culture which doles out celebrity to “tin dynasties” of families who are famous just for being famous. You know who they are, whether you want to or not.

No surprise that in such a culture, the authors, the dreamers, the creators are receding into the shadows of marginalization. Even if their creation enchants an entire nation.

Look no further than this magazine.

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“Photos”
“Interviews”
“Diaries”
“Stories”

With all of that content, what could possibly be missing?

The author.

The person who created this saga in the first place. The person without whom the movie (and the tie-in magazines) would not even exist.

There was only one mention of “Suzanne Collins” or “novel” in the entire magazine.

In a small piece on the bottom of the back page. And not a single picture of Suzanne.

A stunning decline from the Twilight saga tie-in magazines of only a few years ago, which peppered their pages with pictures of Stephenie Meyer signing books and attending the movie premieres. Of course, she was never the subject of the intense media scrutiny focused on Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, but Meyer was at least “in the picture” (literally “in the pictures” of the saga tie-in magazines) as something of a household name that Twilight saga fans might actually recognize if they encountered her in person.

Now, in this issue of Us Weekly, Suzanne Collins is nothing but a name in the “closing credits.”

Imagine an adolescent Hunger Games Saga fan flipping through a copy of the Us Weekly special issue in the supermarket. If this magazine was all they had to go by, Suzanne Collins could walk right past that fan and they would never notice.

Suzanne_Collins_David_Shankbone_2010

This is what Suzanne Collins looks like. You’re welcome 😈

To think I was lamenting that a “J.D. Salinger”-type author could not exist today in this social-media-driven world. This magazine proves me wrong, at least in the “big picture” sense. Sure, Suzanne attends to all her social media, like any good author nowadays. Those fans who seek to know everything about Suzanne Collins can find it all on the Internet. But in the pages of the tie-in magazine, Suzanne is just a name hiding in the margins, as is the existence of her novel. Hidden from the mass media and the “non-readers’ view”, to the same degree Salinger hid himself from the world.

Sure, I dream of the Vampire Syndrome Saga being optioned by Hollywood. But where will I be, if this happens?

I’ll be celebrated by my fellow authors, to be sure. My life will become interesting enough without the fishbowl of fame. Those who seek to know the mind behind the movies will not be disappointed. But in the mass media, “Vampire Syndrome” will be the movies. The actors. The “photos, interviews, diaries and stories.” And I will be a Salinger in the shadows, left to the company of those who still care about those who can bring their dreams to life.

Update Jan 4 2015:
US Magazine’s subsequent Mockingjay Part 1 special didn’t mention Suzanne Collins at all. The book was only mentioned when Julianne Moore (God bless her!) mentioned that President Coin’s hair is gray because “that’s how it is in the book.”

I am now looking forward to an US Magazine Mockingjay Part 2 special without any mention of its source novel…
😈

Why I Started Writing

In 1983, a young auto-shop student named Daven Anderson was reading Stephen King’s new novel “Christine.” Daven loved the story, but he found the factual errors King made describing its 1958 Plymouth “protagonist” to be as distracting as they were amusing. Daven swore then that if he ever wrote a novel, it would have no errors in its car descriptions.

Twenty-six years later, Daven borrowed the four Twilight saga novels. Upon reading the ending of “Breaking Dawn,” he thought “I could write something better.” That same day, he laid the foundations for the Vampire Syndrome saga.

Daven started with a brainstorming exercise: “Imagine all your co-workers as vampires.” Daven’s twenty years of working retail offered him a cornucopia of choices, but the most intriguing possibilities for characters were his co-workers with special needs.

Thus was born Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion sprinter who becomes a vampire. Since Daven would not settle for writing just a vampire version of Forrest Gump, he needed an antagonistic vampire world that would challenge Jack’s life right from the moment of his transformation.

Enter Lilith, the President of the Vampires; and her husband Damien, the Chief Venator (law enforcer). A couple that challenge each other’s existence, not just Jack’s. Trapped in a 253-year train-wreck of a marriage, which was inspired by the gleeful nihilism of “The War Of The Roses” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.”

Jack also needed a friend to guide him through the first steps of his new life. Enter Zetania Vinescu, Chief Venator of Romania. Damien orders Zetania to kill Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack. Zetania forced to play a cat-and-mouse game to save Jack from her fellow Venators.

By the time Daven went to bed that fateful night, he had created the four main characters and several key story elements, all of which are present in the published novels.

The next day, Daven accepted the challenge of reconciling science with the world’s vampire folklore. This ultimately led him to add a race of alien vampires, the Pures, and ascribe certain folkloric attributes (ie: harmed by sunlight and garlic) exclusively to this species.

The Vampire Syndrome saga is the culmination of years of Daven’s meticulous research and story crafting, expertly weaving truth and fiction into a seamless whole as never before. At last, a vampire saga where everything makes sense. And yes, even the cars are accurate, fulfilling the decades-old promise Daven made to himself.

A million people said they could write something “better.” Daven Anderson bought his version of “better” to life, and thanks to PDMI Publishing LLC, you too can read the “better” vampire saga.