Thursday, August 8, 2019

Regarding the 2019 Royal Palm Literary Awards Status

You might recall earlier that my story "The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow" was up for Semi-Finalist status under the Published Story category, which meant a likely shot at the Finalist status and with luck a Top Three win this October at the RPLA.

Welp... It didn't get to Finalist.

Ahh, well. It probably wasn't to everyone's tastes.

The other fiction submission "Road Trip to Vegas" never even cleared the Semi hurdle. Meanwhile, I never really heard back on the submission for the Blogging category. The judge reviewing the article I sent noted some of the links were broken and asked for fixes, but what I sent them probably did not help.

It's gonna be a quiet year for me after all. Unless I can get my muse to answer my calls...

Changes to My List of Works

I don't know if anyone else has paid attention, but I've been having some issues with the Print-On-Demand service I've used to get two works published.

One thing I tried recently was to email XLibris and request a change on pricing to the ebook release of Last of the Grapefruit Wars, which was supposed to be covered by the agreement I had with them back in 2003. Unfortunately, the only thing they DID do was remove the ebook offering altogether from Amazon and Barnes&Noble (and likely all other retail providers). I think they changed the parameters of the deal on me (or I didn't understand it to begin with), or else didn't care. Either way, they never emailed me back about what they did. I had to see it for myself. Not a good way to handle a client.

Back when PoDs first appeared, I gave XLibris a try to see how the service would work, which ended up being a lot of work at my end and not much else. They did provide decent copies of books, the bindery has held up relatively well for more than a decade. And they did have some decent marketing materials... which have now gotten too expensive for my budget.

And the only thing I do get from them are calls from a new "agent" every six months asking me to sign up for a new marketing plan... which is essentially the same marketing plan they offered me since 2003 of spam-emailing everybody.

I'm a little bit discouraged about this.

I read up the current rules for XLibris to see if I can cancel both of my book deals with them... and it looks like I can.

So my plan is to cancel both my books with XLibris - the political book has sold... well, maybe once - and re-edit the Grapefruit Wars anthology with a few new stories. Update the collection as it were, make it bigger - at 124 pages it was pretty thin - and repackage it to a self-publishing service - Ingramspark - that might provide a better deal with both print and ebook.

(This won't include my Talents superhero stories as I want to package them differently, preferably anchored by an honest-to-God book)

Thing is, I also want to change the anthology title. I've found out Last of the Grapefruit Wars confused too many people.

So I'm brainstorming now about what a good new title for the book could be.

It's a mash-up of different genres - there's one true sci-fi, a couple of fantasy, a lot of coming-of-age - mostly from my college years and the 1990s when I tried getting into the short story market. If there's any consistent element to the stories, it's been a lot of humor (I hope). Most of the newer stories to add are humor-oriented as well. So I'm thinking that would be the way to re-brand the set of stories.

Right now, the best title I can think of is Slices of Crazy: Collected Stories.

Titles like Welcome to Florida won't cut it, that's too common. So's Out of My Mind and variants thereof.

One story I might add is "Jar of the Atlantic" but as a book title might be as confusing as Grapefruit Wars. I'm intrigued with the idea of making the subtitle to any decided title be ...And Other Personal Disasters but that's too self-deprecating.

If any of my seven blog followers got any suggestions, let me know.