Cover to Cover #470: Amazon vs Hachette, or Authors Are Doing It For Themselves

Mike and Mike talk more about the fight between Amazon and Hachette, continuing from Show 468 and including comments from your feedback via Facebook.

They talk more about how different authors are taking sides, how the monies are being distributed differently now than before, the different options available to authors (with publishers and going self-published) and things authors should be doing to sell their books and sell themselves.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #469: Talking with Kevin J. Anderson

Saga of Shadows, Book 1

Kevin J. Anderson joins Mike and Mike to talk about his newest novel, The Dark Between the Stars. It's the first of his new series, "Saga of Shadows", which takes place 20 years after the events of his "Saga of the Seven Suns" series, with reviewers calling it "Game of Thrones, with planets".

He also talks about his writing process (dictation), and how he got started publishing ebooks through his own WordFire Press.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #468: Amazon vs Hachette, Or Who Moved My Marketing?

The contract dispute between Amazon and Hachette has Mike Stackpole a little fired up, and the conversation revolves around the details some of the blowback that midlist and new authors are feeling because their books can't be pre-ordered or ordered, and the alternatives the Big Five publishers are beginning to investigate.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #467: Talking About "Reading Rainbow"

LeVar Burton on "Reading Rainbow"

Sam Roberts joins Mike and Mike to talk about LeVar Burton's Kickstarter efforts to bring "Reading Rainbow" to new audiences using newer technologies and methods that weren't available when the show was still airing on PBS, and about the grumblings making the rounds that vilify the effort for not being about bringing the show back in its old format.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #466: Changes in Book Selling

Mike and Mike recap the technological and book-selling shift since they last talked shop in 2012, including the shift from big format bookstores to local stores & specialty stores that promote events more than book sales, the shift to authors marketing themselves at conventions and other events, and the growth of crowd-funded book projects.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #465: Catching Up and Moving Forward

Mike and Mike pop in for a quick visit, and have fun with not remembering anything they talked about or did for the show 2 years ago.

They chat about what's been going on since then, and the changes that happen with stories as the writers get older and gain more experiences.

And they ask you: what elements of Dragon Page "Cover to Cover" do you miss and would want to hear more of?   [Read more...]

Review: "Star Trek FAQ" by Mark Clark

Buy at Amazon.com

As a solid Trek fan I am always on the lookout for good books on the franchise, and Star Trek FAQ comes through in spades.   [Read more...]

Review: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

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It's a little intimidating to review a book that has been so widely (and positively) reviewed. For authors, I think it would be useful to study this campaign and see what has made it so successful.   [Read more...]

Review: "Discount Armageddon" by Seanan McGuire

buy at Amazon.com

The world is a fairly orderly place, talking mice, gorgons, Chupacabra... these are things of fairy tales, mythology and supermarket tabloids. Not so in Seanan McGuire's new novel Discount Armageddon, the first book in her new InCryptid series.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #464: Understanding Character Growth

Discussing the News: Mike S talks about Amazon's Kindle Select program that allows Kindle owners to borrow ebooks, and the payment method they're using to compensate authors for the loans, but it's an Amazon exclusive program. The discussion swirls about whether the program is financially beneficial to the authors.

Writing Discussion: Mike M got himself an iPhone at last, and he talks about how he's using Notepad to make notes on his story editing throughout the day, as well as using Siri to help him record notes faster.

The talk then turns towards character growth, and the small things that you can add to the story to show how your characters can grow and change over time, taking into account how emotional impact can touch both character and reader.   [Read more...]

Review: "Alien Contact" edited by Marty Halpern

Alien Contact

With twenty-six short stories telling tales of man meeting with other intelligences, Marty Halpern has pulled together an anthology filled with hours of enjoyable reading.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #463: Techniques for Managing the Details

Mike S also recommends that everyone go out and purchase digital picture frames, scan in the covers of all their books, sit it on your shelf and have it display your book covers as slideshows.

Writing Discussion: Mike M talks about the difficulties in trying not to expand the story he's currently working on and finding himself writing two different books at the same time, and Mike S delves into the usefulness of a toss ahead page, any series of story notes you can make to help you remember all of the details that need to be covered in future chapters or future novels, and modifying those items as needed.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #462: Deconstructing the Story

Mike S points out that the real kidney punch to B&N was done by Apple a few weeks ago with their ebook textbook deals, and the guys talk about how these deals could change how teachers teach and how people learn.

Rewrite Update: Mike M details his first plunge back into rewriting Mistress of the Dragon in 12 years, and the guys talk about the deconstruction process and the details to focus on that can improve story depth and detail.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #461: Building Your Audiences

Discussion: Mike S talks about the importance of developing a private audience, separate from the groups you're cultivating on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and other social networks.

What's your favorite site for book reviews? Send them in, or mention them here... we'll collect the info and compile them into a list that we will use later to help publicize the finished stories after the process here.

And yes, Summer is still taking applications for Dragon Page book reviewers. Wanna play?   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #460: Information Management and Story Questions

Mike S brings up some salient points about the legal tussle going on between HarperCollins and Open Road Media over the definition of "ebook" because of a new electronic version of Julie of the Wolves.

Rewrite Status update: Mike M has cracked open his old manuscript, and reread it to better evaluate where it currently stands so he can determine which direction he wants to go with it.

Mike S talks about asking more questions about your story in order to discover more about your world, your characters, and how those questions may lead you to tell a better story than the one you originally had in mind.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #459: How and Where to Get Started

Would you be interested in receiving PDFs of sample chapters from authors, writing prompts or assignments or items of that ilk? Let us know your thoughts on that!

Mike S lays out some steps to keep in mind when you start your 2012 writing projects, then the guys mark Mike M's starting point in tackling the re-edit of his book, itemizing what he should do for character and story breakdowns.   [Read more...]