The Mouse That Roared—Invasion of the Micro-Trend & Why Indies Hold Increasing Power

Her post explains why I’m glad to be on PDMI instead of the Big Five…

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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The Digital Age has arrived, and the ramifications of a connected world are still being revealed daily. But, there’s one trend I’d be hard-pressed to argue with. The 20th Century was all about homogeneity. Madison Avenue flourished by telling us which clothing brands made us cool, which car made us special, what foods were “healthy.” Tower Records controlled what music we heard and The Big Six selected which books we read.

Gatekeepers controlled information and retailers restricted commodities because homogeneity dictated many business decisions. Homogeneity was simpler and required less paperwork and thinking.

Generations bought Wonderbread because it was “fortified with vitamins” and “good for your kids.” In 1986? Hope you liked stirrup pants. There was a cultural need to “fit in” and be like everyone else, especially those who were the “cool kids.”

“Pillars of Same” Go Crashing Down

With the advent of the Internet and widespread use of social…

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Vampire Syndrome Sells Out?

Well, folks, I’ve made the big commitment.
The entire Vampire Syndrome saga (the three main books, short stories, etc.) is now contracted to PDMI Publishing LLC.

Next year is the time for PDMI and “Vampire Syndrome” to Rock And Roll.
The risks are big, but so are the rewards.

I couldn’t be happier to be signed with a publisher on the right path of expansion, ready to reap the rewards of the Big Five’s ever-increasing weaknesses regarding new/midlist authors, as the Big Five tighten the reins on any acquisitions that do not fit into their ever-more-rigid, bottom-dollar-driven marketing formulas.

This gap is becoming so wide, the Big Five are letting potential number-one best-sellers slip through their fingers, leaving these authors to the wilds of e-book self-publishing.
Or right into the arms of an ‘indie’ publisher who is preparing to make the big leap to a larger scale of operations.
The time is right for a company to be what the Big Five used to be decades ago.
A company devoted to quality, with a belief that quality work can succeed.

I would now rather be on PDMI Publishing LLC than any of the Big Five.
Yes, I mean it!
PDMI will support my artistic vision far more than the Big Five ever would, and PDMI is now poised to reap the rewards of success in a way they never were before.

And I can honestly say this for one reason: I know enough now to where I could re-write Vampire Syndrome to be a sure-fire Big Five contract-getter.
But I don’t want to.
With PDMI behind me, you get Vampire Syndrome the way it was meant to be.
Not a version crippled to fit the Big Five’s narrow templates. And what scares even me is that 90+% of Vampire Syndrome’s basic plot is retained in the “Alt” storyline… 😈
And, without further ado, here is that version:

***

Seventeen year old JACQUELINE KENNEDY (“Jackie”) WENDELL, high school state champion track star, prom queen and class valedictorian (and NOT differently abled); dances at the prom with a Prom King who has Down Syndrome. (the “token nod” to the original project, as often seen in bad Hollywood movie butcherings of novels)

Later that night, Jackie succumbs to the charms of outlaw Vampire gang member JAMES PERRINO. Jackie’s one-night stand with James transforms her into a Vampire (note that the sexual transmission method of vampirism stays!).

Chief Venator DAMIEN TEPESH sights Jackie with James and targets the pair for death. Damien kills James and the rest of his outlaw comrades, but Jackie escapes, because she is now the world’s fastest-running Vampire.

Vampire President LILITH MORRIGAN secretly sympathizes with Jackie’s plight, due to her own marital troubles. Lilith sequesters Jackie in the Secret Room, and begins to realize Jackie’s incredible potential as the world’s fastest-running Vampire.

Damien contacts Romanian Venator ZETANIA VINESCU to hunt down Jackie. Lilith assigns Zetania to protect Jackie. Once they meet, lesbian Zetania immediately falls in love with Jackie. Bisexual Jackie consummates this mutual attraction with Zetania.

(Note here that Jackie’s bisexuality serves as the “controversial, daring and ground-breaking issue” to ‘replace’ Jack’s special-needs status. The YA target audience is very accepting of bisexuality, and the inevitable pockets of parental controversy add a ‘cool’ cachet. Zetania is also reduced in age to physical-equivalent eighteen years old, since this worked for Edward Cullen in Twilight.)

Zetania and Jackie, now a couple, encounter Jackie’s former track coach RON PEPPER and his wife DIANE during a cattle mutilation investigation. Jackie discloses her Vampire status to the Peppers. Damien and Lilith visit the Peppers shortly thereafter, and transform the pair into Vampires via a “vampire wife swap”.

Jackie receives a telepathic message from Pure Vampire MEL’AG, who is hiding in the distance. Mel’Ag runs to her boyfriend TIVOR’S truck and escapes the human Vampires’ pursuit. (Note that the reason for Jackie’s telepathic ability is never explained in this version!)

Jackie and Zetania go to the Vampires’ headquarters, and are presented with bravery medals by Damien and Lilith.

Jackie’s plans to move to Romania with Zetania are rudely interrupted when Mel’Ag and Tivor break into the compound and kidnap Jackie. Damien, Lilith, Zetania and others leap into their cars to pursue Mel’Ag and Tivor in a wild car chase through US 285. Jackie escapes her captors and runs to the Peppers’ car.

Jackie and Zetania fly in Lilith’s jet to Romania to live happily ever after, which of course they won’t. As they walk hand-in-hand inside the gates of the Romanian compound, Jackie gets another telepathic message. This time. it’s from the Pures’ leader GL’AG.

(the end of “Alt-Version” Volume One)

***

Thanks to PDMI, you won’t have to suffer through reading this kind of butcher job. 🙂

Writer’s Toolbox – yWriter5

The scenes and chapters that authors write are pieces of a puzzle. Standard word processors such as Microsoft Word and Open Office Writer are ideal for composing your pieces. When you have gathered all the pieces and are ready to start assembling your puzzle, it’s time for a specialized editing tool. yWriter5, created by author Simon Haynes.

You can download and use it for free, with no time restrictions or ads. If you find this program to be beneficial, you can make a donation or click the links on the donation page to spread the word about his software on Google, Twitter, or Facebook.

The basics of yWriter5 were covered in Ron Heimbecher’s “Mapping, Trapping and Zapping” class at the 2011 Colorado Gold conference. After editing the first thirteen chapters of my novel in yWriter5, I have some useful tips.

In yWriter5, the building blocks of your novel are scenes. Chapters in yWriter5 are simply the upper level folders in which scenes reside. Your written text is pasted into scenes. This means when you create a chapter, you have to create scenes within the chapter before you paste in your text. In our critique group documents, we tend to mark scene changes with asterisks or the like. When pasting your documents into yWriter, you’ll copy and paste one scene at a time. yWriter5 can automatically split your scenes with asterisks, pound signs or your own custom characters when you export the project.

Sample story content tab
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The logic behind organizing a project by scenes is readily apparent from Simon Haynes’ own example. He had saved the chapters of his first novel as individual files (as I did). The organizational difficulties he experienced after moving a scene from one chapter to another (and back) are what prompted him to create yWriter5. Relocating a scene from one chapter to another is, of course, a quick and easy operation in yWriter5.

You can even define scenes as “used” or “unused.” If you wish to leave a scene out of an exported project, all you have to do is change it to “unused.” This ability comes in particularly handy if you have scenes you wish to leave out of agent and publisher submissions, but you want to keep those same scenes in your eBook version. When the scene editor is closed, a quick way to determine if your scene is “used” or “unused” (besides the small “Sc” or “U” boxes) is to check the chapter’s word count in the left pane. The chapter’s word count will drop when the scene is marked “unused”, and increase when the scene is again marked “used”.

yWriter5 features a Character index for scenes. Characters are assigned short names (ie: Holden) and full names (ie: Holden Morrisey Caulfield). I created some middle names for minor characters to make the index complete. A naming convention I had to consider is that European-descent working-class persons born before the 19th century generally did not have given middle names. Thus, my vampires born before 1800 lack middle names. One glance at my yWriter5 name listing quickly tells you which of my vampires are older. (One exception, L. She now uses her maiden name as her middle name)

In addition to the Character index, scenes also have Location and Item indexes. For example, you can quickly summon each scene occurring at Denver International Airport, or the scenes in which a Nissan GT-R appears. The indexes are very useful for editing out duplicated information about your locations and items.


click on image to view in full size

One issue I haven’t found an easy solution for yet is: If you paste double-spaced text into a scene, there’s no easy way to change it to single-spaced from within yWriter. My workaround has been to paste my text into plain text files (which removes all the formatting), then paste from there into yWriter and re-format. I prefer having the plain text files as an extra form of backup. You can also reformat your document as single-spaced, save it, then paste into yWriter. YWriter does have a global “remove all formatting” option, but this will strip out all your bolds, italics, underlines, etc.

yWriter5 does have a few idiosyncrasies you will have to learn before you master it, but it’s a well-designed program that will be of great help to you. And it’s free! 😀