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Ann Crispen #2

Ann Crispen is a science fiction author and advocate.

2/20/06 6:57:48 PM Opening "Chat Log 2/20/06"

origjasstorm: Welcome Ann
W2PSushi: Greeting Ann!
W2PSushi: Welcome back after about 5 years :-)
Mallie1025: HI Ann nice to see you again
Anncrispin: Hi, Folks
Rose1533: Welcome, Ann. Thanks for coming.
ShayKay1951: Hi, Abe
Rose1533: Hi, Abe, Becca
Beccastrat: Evening everyone :-)
Mallie1025: HI Rose
ShayKay1951: Ann, David is ill tonight and asked me to fill in for him
Rose1533: Poor David.
PHeeren: hi shay
Anncrispin: Oh, sorry to hear that, Shay.
W2PSushi: Judy always used to join us during her lunch breaks -- on Tuesdays.
Anncrispin: well, I'll be happy to start whenever you want.
G1ft0fgabn0t: Hiya, gang!
ShayKay1951: Tonight, our special guest is Ann Crispin, noted Science fiction writer and all around great gal!
G1ft0fgabn0t: Awesome! Welcome!
LaTina11868: hello everyone
ShayKay1951: Tonight our special guest is
ShayKay1951: Ann Crispin, noted Science fiction author and all around great gal
G1ft0fgabn0t: <><><>clapping<><><>
Anncrispin: Chair of Writer Beware
ShayKay1951: Shall we go to protocol so I can keep track of who wants to ask questions?
Beccastrat: Welcome Ann!
ShayKay1951: Ann, you have the floor
origjasstorm: Protocol would be easier for all..
Anncrispin: Okay, protocol works for me.
Anncrispin: I'll be happy to answer questions about publishing in general, agents, how to avoid scams, writing science fiction and fantasy, and writing subjects like characterization, etc., in general.

ShayKay1951: Jas, first question
origjasstorm: What do you see as the current trends in the Sci Fi market? I write both scifi and romance, and I was wondering what seems to be more popular in the scifi market as of late...
Anncrispin: Jass, my last book was fantasy, and I haven't been reading too much in the field since I've been writing in it. When I'm actually writing I tend to read stuff in other genres...mystery, romance, etc.
Anncrispin: Last I knew, alternate history was still strong, and if you have the scientific chops to write it, hard science fiction was okay.
Anncrispin: Space opera/s.f. adventure, ala Lois McMaster Bujold, especially with a military slant, ala David Weber's Honor Harrington was strong.
origjasstorm: really? that's interesting
Anncrispin: And don't call it "sci fi" in query letter, as I trust you know.

ShayKay1951: Tom, your question and comment
PHeeren: does the publishing world have a watchdog to monitor the ethics of literary agents and publishers? 12 yrs ago I sent my Easter children's book to Dorrance Publishing Co. in Pittsburgh and I got a contract from it and it demands my m
PHeeren: oney and my mom told me that dorrance was a bad wolf, right?
Anncrispin: Dorrance is not a commercial publishing house. They are a vanity press. They make all their money, not off selling books to readers, but by charging authors to publish their books.
Anncrispin: Vanity published books are not carried on bookstore shelves because Dorrance and the other vanity publishers aren't considered "real" publication.
Anncrispin: You have a smart mom. I'm glad you saved your money.
PHeeren: thanks, ann

ShayKay1951: Carol
Rose1533: Do Epic Fantasies still sell and what can the first-time author of one expect to receive for it?
Anncrispin: Epic fantasy is still selling strongly, though it's hard for a first timer to land a contract to write a trilogy.
Rose1533: I think it's only going to be two books and the first is done.
Rose1533: The second is about 30k at the moment.
Anncrispin: It's best if your submission can stand on its own pretty well, but leaves room for more books. As for the money, an advance between 5000 and 10,000 for a first time author for one book would be considered pretty good.
Rose1533: Thanks.

ShayKay1951: Micki, your question
Mallie1025: Did you start out as a romance writer and if so, why did you switch to fantasy/sci-fi?
Anncrispin: No. I've never written romance.
Mallie1025: ok thanks
Anncrispin: I will say that my new book, Storms of Destiny, came out from HarperCollins last fall. It is fantasy, but has some romantic subplots. But it's much more magic, war and mayhem.

LaTina11868: Can you answer what we should've asked but didn't?
Anncrispin: Well, I'm wondering why nobody has asked me about any agents, or about PublishAmerica.
Rose1533: Go for it!
Anncrispin: Anyone in here querying agents?
Mallie1025: working up to it :)
ShayKay1951: I am, Ann
origjasstorm: YES :)
W2PSushi: yes! got 3 out now
Rose1533: the query is my hang-up.
Anncrispin: Anyone run into Robert Fletcher's The Literary Group?
Rose1533: But I'm going to start trying.
G1ft0fgabn0t: I hope to start soon
W2PSushi: no
ShayKay1951: no
Rose1533: no
Hebrews 11 8: i am going to start soon, too
Anncrispin: Stylus, Children's, Christian, New York, The Screenplay Agency, The Poet's Agency
Anncrispin: all bogus. Avoid.
Anncrispin: Desert Rose, avoid.
Anncrispin: The Robins Agency, avoid.

ShayKay1951: I just submitted my first query/synopsis/chapters to Scott C. Eagan of Greyhaus Lit. Agency
Anncrispin: Greyhaus seems legit, but they are apparently new.
ShayKay1951: yes
Rose1533: They do fantasy?
Anncrispin: Fantasy...don't know.
W2PSushi: I've got 3 chapters at Prospect in Brooklyn
ShayKay1951: No, mostly romance
Rose1533: Thanks.

ABSHRINK: any interest in short stories which publisher?
Anncrispin: Depends on what kind of short stories.
Anncrispin: The best way to find out what mags are buying is to get hold of a copy and read it
ABSHRINK: mystery suspence
Anncrispin: Obviously, you'll check out Writers Market, too
Mallie1025: Ellery Queen, Abe
Anncrispin: Mystery, well, Ellery queen's Mystery Magazine is still up and running.
ABSHRINK: via web?
Anncrispin: There are some web short story mags. You need to do research.
Anncrispin: I rarely write short stories, and when I do they're in my genre.

ShayKay1951: go ahead Paul
W2PSushi: What do you think of the new Baen's Universe ezine, and thier 'slush board' experiment?
Anncrispin: W2, now THAT is a very good question!
W2PSushi: been hearing some very strong opinions! (and did try it out)
Anncrispin: I haven't been there, W2, but my husband checked it out for SFWA, as a Past Prez, and here's his opinion.
W2PSushi: : : : perks up : : :
Anncrispin: Rather than letting your story be dissected on their bulletin board, he'd go ahead and submit the story to regular markets.
W2PSushi: hmmm
W2PSushi: I bounced one story off 6 SF monthlies, then took it to Baen
Anncrispin: Did you have a good experience?
W2PSushi: they liked it but I'd waited , in this case, too long
W2PSushi: Paula Goodlett wants me to run it by her again (via email), in a few months. two other short-shorts had a similar premise, if totally different specifics.
Anncrispin: Does she want a rewrite?
W2PSushi: they seemed to like it as is! tweak a word or two, maybe
Anncrispin: So was it workshopped? On the bulletin board?
W2PSushi: the quality of the posts is all over the place, some is quite good
Anncrispin: I can picture.
W2PSushi: I got several comments. thus some minor tweaking
W2PSushi: Jim Baen actually spoke up
Anncrispin: Kewl
W2PSushi: well 'nuff about me ;-)
Anncrispin: Okay, well, I think you should try it again, as suggested.

ShayKay1951: jas, did you have a question?
origjasstorm: yes I did
origjasstorm: 1st question: What made you start Writer's Beware? 2nd question: Is Preditors and Editors a good source for information on legitimate agents/publishers?
Anncrispin: Preditors and Editors and WB share info, so yes, generally, P&E is a good source.
origjasstorm: Okay, and why did you start WB?
Anncrispin: Writer Beware has a more extensive database, and we have more info about the individual agents.
Anncrispin: I started WB with Victoria Strauss because we saw people all over the internet getting scammed.
Anncrispin: I saw it here on AOL with scam agent Kelly O'Donnell. (She'll be going to Federal Prison in a couple months)
G1ft0fgabn0t: :::holding up string of garlic:::
ABSHRINK: Janet Kaye almost got me
origjasstorm: Also, is Writer's Beware an open web site, or does one need to subscribe to it to utilize it?
Anncrispin: WB is open, and free. writerbeware (Keyword to: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/index.html)
Anncrispin: We don't actually post our list of scumbags, but you can email us about a specific agent or agents and we'll reply usually within 48 hours.
origjasstorm: Okay... so agents found on the site are legit?
W2PSushi: like Agent Research does?
Anncrispin: No, the agents we mention on the site are people who have been indicted.
origjasstorm: That's what I'm seeing here... :)
origjasstorm: So mostly the site covers details about how to avoid scams and such?
Anncrispin: Yes, mostly
Anncrispin: Plus our email address is there and our snail mail address for those who want to write in hardcopy.

ABSHRINK: I used Xlibris and very satisfied
Anncrispin: Xlibris is a medium priced vanity POD.
ABSHRINK: have royalties already
Anncrispin: POD can be great for those who go into knowing what to expect, realistically.
W2PSushi: Kid I went to school with builds those POD machines. He's a milionaire now
ABSHRINK: 50 sold so far and on recommended lists as a result
origjasstorm: So what's the difference between a POD and a Vanity Press?
ShayKay1951: True, Ann, but some people go into both blind, expecting to make millions
Anncrispin: Generally, Writer Beware's recommendation on publishing is that writers who think their work is commercially publishable (not all books are) should at least TRY commercial publishing, then they can always fall back on POD.
Anncrispin: True, Shay.
ABSHRINK: Ann that's my story. legitimate people but next book will try for it not to be with them I ca now say I have a book bein read by others and on seveal lists.
Anncrispin: Jass, POD = Print on Demand, which is pretty much a technology for producing printed books.
Anncrispin: Most POD publishers charge writers to publish their books, so that makes them vanity presses.
origjasstorm: okay.
W2PSushi: (except Lulu?)
Anncrispin: which is, rather
Anncrispin: Yeah, Lulu doesn't charge upfront.

ShayKay1951: Micki
Mallie1025: For a first book, is it wise to by-pass an agent and just submit to publishers?
Beccastrat: Good question Micki!
Anncrispin: Especially for fiction, an agent is more and more essential to get a publisher to actually give your book real consideration
Anncrispin: A real agent, that is
Mallie1025: what about a memoir?
Anncrispin: Memoir is a tough sell. Everyone thinks that their life is the next Angela's Ashes, so publishers tend to be swamped with memoir submissions.
Mallie1025: yes but easier today than in years past :)

origjasstorm: You mentioned before not to say "sci fi" in a query.. Why?
W2PSushi: ack! skiffy :-p
Anncrispin: Because calling a book "skiffy" is a pejorative term, much like calling a romance a "bodice ripper"
origjasstorm: So calling a book a Sci fi novel is out, what is the proper term then?
Anncrispin: s.f. or Science fiction
ShayKay1951: science fiction

ABSHRINK: good talk tonite thanks
ShayKay1951: yw, Abe

Mallie1025: Without trying to sound stupid, what do you call a paranormal and is it linked with horror?
Anncrispin: Paranormal is usually used to denote a romance that has paranormal elements, like the woman falls in love with a ghost, a werewolf, or a vampire.
Anncrispin: Or time travel can be involved
Mallie1025: but romance is always a part?
Anncrispin: Yes, the full term is paranormal romance.
Mallie1025: what would ghostly stories be then?
Anncrispin: I'm not sure.
Mallie1025: lol well that makes two fo us
W2PSushi: Casper if he's friendly, horror of he's not
Anncrispin: Horror, if they're like "ghost story" by Peter Straub
Mallie1025: haunted house stories with poltergeist activites or like Ghost whisperer--I thought that was para normal

W2PSushi: next is Jsnangel
JnsnAngel: My story is adventure and a romance, which one should I stress, or should it be women's fiction.
Anncrispin: Adventure isn't actually a genre these days, it usually gets separated out into mystery, suspense, thriller, etc.
Anncrispin: Depends on whether the romance is the main plot or a subplot.
W2PSushi: romance for the big $$$
Anncrispin: If the romance is a subplot, then give the genre as "thriller" perhaps.
JnsnAngel: Ok, I want the big money. Romance it is. LOL
Anncrispin: "gothics" are also making a rebirth, in the Mary Stewart tradition

W2PSushi: Tom is up next
PHeeren: You haven't answered my ? about whether the publishing world has a watchdog to monitor the literary agents' behavior?
Anncrispin: PH, nope.
PHeeren: darn! :-(
Anncrispin: The closest to a watchdog is Writer Beware.
W2PSushi: you mean, publishers do not monitor, so you get to instead.
Anncrispin: We're sponsored by SFWA
Anncrispin: No, publishers don't monitor. They are mostly unaware of publishing scams.

W2PSushi: jasmiine?
origjasstorm: I've been hearing that Chick Lit is on it's way out right now... Are you hearing that as well?
Anncrispin: Haven't heard that, but I'm not a big reader of that genre.
W2PSushi: Hen Lit
origjasstorm: Don't start Paul.
W2PSushi: I read that in WD!
Anncrispin: I haven't read WD since I quit writing for 'em. To be honest.
ShayKay1951: I wouldn't think that Chick lit would be on its way out since there are always going to be women who read
Anncrispin: Shay, it's possible the "boom" is over.
Anncrispin: I don't know.
origjasstorm: Personally, I prefer a contemporary feel to my romance, so I hope it's not going out... I don't care for regency stuff
ShayKay1951: OK, Ann
origjasstorm: It's just what I've been reading out there in the internet
Mallie1025: I find most romance writers eventually switch to romantic mysteryor mystery/romance
origjasstorm: well, romance stories, like anything else, need a plot...

ShayKay1951: Any other questions or comments?
ShayKay1951: sorry, Jas. didn't mean to run over ya
origjasstorm: no problem ;)
W2PSushi: the secret to success in writing, is, ? ;-D
G1ft0fgabn0t: Paul, that one's easy. Plunk yourself down at the keyboard every single day. Without fail.
ShayKay1951: Amen - as the old saw said, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"
origjasstorm: PRACTICE!
ShayKay1951: Practice, practice, pratice
Mallie1025: I plunk down at the keyboard and someone lures me off to a chat. lol
ShayKay1951: practice even
W2PSushi: yep
ShayKay1951: LOL, Micki
G1ft0fgabn0t: Write, write write, edit edit edit, write write write, edit edit edit...
Sis Dctnry: Well - there are two parts to that answer - the keyboard AND the mailbox.
Mallie1025: yeah E-mail grabs me too
W2PSushi: Some agencies and mags are taking emailed subs now
W2PSushi: some, exclusively, even
W2PSushi: saves postage, for sure

origjasstorm: Okay, nighters all......... thanks for coming Ann, appreciate your information and taking the time to come to our group
ShayKay1951: Night, Jas
Anncrispin: YW, Gnight, Jas
W2PSushi: thanks much, Ann

Mallie1025: I hear no one takes disc subs anymore--what savings on paper and postage--a shame
G1ft0fgabn0t: Thanks so much for joining us. Lots of great info tonight <><><>clapping<><><>
Anncrispin: Well, I'm starting to feel like bed would feel mighty good, so I'm going to amble off. Gnight, all.
Sheiltg: good night ann, thank you.
ShayKay1951: (((((((((((Ann))))))))))))))) night, and thank you
Mallie1025: Nice having you ann --thanks for all the advice
Anncrispin: Any time you want info, come find me.
Mallie1025: I will :)
Anncrispin: That's why I'm here on AOL
G1ft0fgabn0t: G'nite everyone :::waves::: Thanks! ciao!
Anncrispin: Niters, all.
Sis Dctnry: Ann - thanx for coming
W2PSushi: g'nite, all, and thanks for a good and smooth session :-D

2/20/06 8:05:54 PM Closing "Chat Log 2/20/06"

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