Quiz: What kind of “holidate” are you?

Let’s celebrate the season with a cynical quiz!

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Hol•i•date /ˈhäləˌdāt/ n.
1. A romantic meetup that happens in the weeks
between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
2. An unprecedented opportunity for FAIL in front of family,
friends, and romantic partner.

It’s that December Twilight Zone time during which the men are separated from the boys (and women from girls) when it comes to holiday commitment. Do you wear ugly sweaters, whether ironically or not? Do you string colored lights in your cubicle? And, most importantly, do you bring a little Christmas—right this very minute—into your “holidates,” those meetups that happen in the month before New Year’s?

We here at WhatsYourPrice look to make your season bright with dating data. Use the handy quiz below to see where you fall on the holiday dating spectrum from “Fa La La” to “Bah! Humbug.”

1. You’re in the car driving to dinner with your date. “Carol of the Bells” [“Merrymerrymerry Christmas”] comes on the radio. Do you:

a. Hum along with it
b. Sing along with it
c. Surreptitiously check your date for “tells” and copy what s/he seems to be about to do
d. Chuck the radio out the window at a soot-covered orphan (if available)

Read the rest at WhatsYourPrice.com!

5 Scary TV Shows To Watch With Your Date On Halloween

(This was written for my “Sugar dating” job’s website. Fun stuff!)

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There as many perfect activities for couples as there are couples in the first place. And of course a couple may want something different any time they get together. So don’t think that skiing is the only thing to do in winter, spending a day at the beach is the only thing to do in the summer, or that dressing up to hit a crazy costume party is the only thing to do for Halloween.

It is fun to dress up with your date as Dracula and Bride of Dracula, have a couple of Bloody Marys, take in the other costumes, and get weird. But there is another activity that couples on SeekingArrangement.com and other dating sites really enjoy because it takes the stress out of All Hallow’s Eve: watching scary stuff on TV.

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Television news, for example, is usually very low-stress.

Read the rest at SeekingArrangement.com!

About Sean Hoade!

Ehrmagerd, check this out, guys.

My diatribe about that Willy Wonka-esque factory of abused authors, Permuted Press, has brought my blog thousands of new views and dozens of new followers, all of whom woke up this morning taller and—although I know it scarcely seems possible—even more attractive than when they went to bed.

Brad-Pitt-smiling copy

Results totally typical.

Because of the burden I must take on now to keep my new followers entertained and also enlightened, I have been converting my award-winning (Note: not really) website, SeanHoade.com, over to the magic that is WordPress. I have completed by “About Me!” page, which honestly will change your life and win you lots of money if ever you are on Jeopardy! and your category is “Writers Who Flailed Futilely For Attention” or “Shit Heads,” in which the correct response will have words starting with S and H.

Please have a look and have your friends over to have a look and then sign everybody up like it’s a Tupperware party from Hell. At least the content will always stay fresh! (Note: not really.)

Check out About Sean Hoade!

How I got rectally rogered by the barbed behemoth belonging to Permuted Press, Part 2

The reviews for Part 1 are in!

  • “This is possibly the best thing I’ve ever read.” — Jenn Loring, author at Red Adept Publishing
  • “Oh, like you won’t use your fortune to plot revenge! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.”  —  Ann Hoade, wife at Chez Hoade
  • “A great piece of fiction from a great fiction writer.” — Paul Mannering, author at, um … well, Permuted Press

My blog had a good day yesterday. It had commenting, sharing, emails from Nigerian princes desperate for help. There are a lot of people out there who offered sympathy and commiseration about my experiences, which was greatly appreciated. There were also corrections offered from best-selling Permuted Press authors, which I duly incorporated where relevant into Part 1 and which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post. (Paul’s comment above kinda speaks for itself.)

And this is what it’s saying.

First, however, I must tell you some theories/conclusions reached either by my correspondents or by my own addled brain:

Permuted Press needed the resources for Permuted Pictures, its new film production company.

Your first reaction to this may be to spit-take your coffee or energy drink mixed with vodka all over your computer, tablet, or tragically curved iPhone 6 Plus: “A film production company?!?” you yelp in outrage, “I thought Permuted was saying they didn’t have enough time/money to keep producing, y’know, books.”

Before Permuted Press said no to print books and let authors out of their contracts before lawsuits could be filed, I was psyched about Permuted Pictures. They said they would be making low-budget films from some of their authors’ works. Great! I thought, What could be more better than movies from my wonderful apocalypse-obsessed publisher? Of course, “Not fucking their authors” would be the answer to that question, but I had no idea that PP was scuttling the whole ship with enough lifeboats only for management and Permuted Platinum authors.

Der Untergang der Titanic

In this metaphor, the ship is its own iceberg. MIND: BLOWN.

No, at the time I was a happy little camper, because Permuted assured everyone that the film was being financed through Kickstarter. Awesomesauce! I thought, Crowdfunding is the future! But, Dear Reader, remember your question from the first paragraph of this section. You said, and I quote:

I thought Permuted was saying they didn’t have enough time/money to keep producing, y’know, books.

Good point, hypothetical reader. While Kickstarter is the funding source for One-Stop Apocalypse Shop, doesn’t putting together and managing a Kickstarter campaign—not to mention producing and distributing a fucking movie—take up a whole lot of wo/manpower? Like, maybe 41.65 percent of a publishing company’s human resource time, as in:

41.65% of our production team’s time [is spent] …  making print on demand versions of our books, but those products account for only 7.41% of our income. This disproportionate figure revealed the need to make prompt changes to our previous policy.

Yes, that is a direct quote from Permuted’s “turn around, you’re going to feel a slight prick” email to its authors that I talked about yesterday.

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“Dr. Compensation, your three o’clock is here.”

So putting together print versions of ebooks, which I and many other self-published authors have done multiple times (and we’re not even graphic artists!), is too time-consuming—but writing, producing, directing, releasing, distributing and publicizing a movie isn’t? What the actual fuck?

I don’t doubt that Permuted apologists and authors still signed with them will say things like:

  • “The movies are made through a totally different process, much like Right Twix.”
  • “The Kickstarter is paying for all staffing for this Permuted Picture. No one at the Press has anything to do with it. Not one dime or second of person-power has been taken from our book business in order to make this completely free-to-us motion picture.”
  • “A great piece of fiction from a great fiction writer.”

The replies I would have to these authors and others, all of whom are entitled to their opinions and also to be as happy as they like with Permuted Press, would be something like this:

  • I know movies are different from books. That’s why I don’t pay $10 to go sit in a bookstore for two hours staring at a wall. Also, Right Twix killed my parents.
  • If it’s totally separate and not even the effort required to set up a Kickstarter project was expended by Permuted Press to create Permuted Pictures, if it has nothing to do with PP other than using its authors’ works as source material, then what’s the point? Is the book side going so well it doesn’t need the TLC provided for the new and shiny film arm? Why not do a Kickstarter to help get POD books designed, produced, and distributed?
  • Stop it, Paul.

“What? I’ve got something in my eye! Yes, again!

Anyway, moving on to the next theory, and oh, Lord, it is a doozy:

Permuted signed as many authors as possible, with full knowledge that it was too much too fast and that they would not be producing POD books for these dozens of recently signed writers. They did this so that they would have lots of almost-free material for Permuted Pictures to choose from.

I hope that this one is not true, because, in the words of Dawn of the Dead’s Ken Foree quoting his (apparently way spooky) grandfather, “When Hell is full, the dead will walk the Earth.” And I do not want to see anyone with Permuted Press wandering around one minute longer than absolutely necessary, and this theory being true would mean that they are Hell-bound for sure.

You may remember from my award-winning and close personal friend Part 1 that PP stipulated in its contracts—which were mainly to contract newbies like myself who wouldn’t notice it—that ALL rights were Permuted’s, including movie rights. This meant that PP could sell Deadtown Abbey to Paramount for $2 million … and I would get my usual 7 percent royalty. I’m no one to sneeze at $140,000, but I would be even less allergic to $1.7 million, which would be my take after a very fair 15 percent paid to my publisher.

However, this theory isn’t about Permuted selling rights to big studios. This is about Permuted being completely legally allowed to make movies out of the work of any of these brand-new authors through Permuted Pictures, its completely coincidentally timed new project. Since they don’t get paid for the rights by an outside studio, they don’t have any purchase price to pay the authors even that 7 percent. No, authors would get 7 percent on the net profit of money made on the movie by Permuted Pictures. Net profit.

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Pictured: Net profits.

Permuted Press is deeply fucking evil.

This theory, I can tell you right off the bat, is not true.

Despite my “Hell-bound” comment above, I actually don’t think Permuted, its owners, it management, its workers, and certainly not its authors, are doing anything other than what they think is best. They are not evil, they are not demons, they’re not trying to ruin anyone’s life or even their livelihood.

They’re just a bunch of jerks.

Inconsiderate? Yes. Short-sighted? Certainly. Opportunistic? You bet your sweet ass.

But they’re not evil. There’s still a chance that they’ll see the heartache and disillusionment they’re causing and rethink their latest business strategies, and that chance existing means that they aren’t deadites moving people-puppets around to satisfy their blood lust.

They’re not evil. But that makes this whole situation all the more disheartening. We don’t even have the comfort of truly demonizing those who have done us wrong.

incubus_lucy

Okay, maybe a little.


Read Part 1: How I got anally violated by the thorny cock of Permuted Press

Read Part 3: My story of triumph and plan to rebuild the kicked-over blocks of my literary ambitions!

We came, we shambled, we talked George Romero.

This is a video of the very fun panel discussion on George Romero’s zombie legacy. The guy with the Band-Aid® on his nose is the bass player for Anthrax and also quite the horror movie fanatic (who woulda thunk it?). I recommend skipping to the parts where I am talking, which increase the more time has gone by BECAUSE I MUST RESCUE THE AWESOME. I hope you enjoy!

I hope to go back for the Fan Xperience in Spring 2015 and then the Comic Con again in September 2015! w00t!

God, father, why must rewriting be so cruel?

As both readers of this blog know, I have been working like a man possessed in order to deliver what I call a “presentation draft” to my publisher, that titan of apocalyptic fiction, Permuted Press. They are the most wonderful people one could hope to work with, but contracts are built on trust that each party will deliver on time. I will deliver on time, but I’m just having to work like a maniac (and make my poor editing slave, the Spousal Unit, work even harder). It’s writing, not digging ditches, so I really have no complaint. Besides, I’m sure Permuted will be understanding if I don’t meet my deadline.

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Just like they were with noted author Luca Brasi.

Anyway, the highs of getting a lot of words down and then even going back over them (with the help of a professional book editrix who you married 15 years earlier just for this exact moment) are wonderful. But, friends, now I have come to a part of the novel that I had written when I was first fleshing it out … and I love it, it’s very exciting … but it’s going to have to go.

abe2

“Tell that chapter it was only business. I always liked it.”

See, Dead Man’s Hand is a huge expansion of a short story I wrote back in the day for a zombie fiction anthology. It always begged for a sequel or expansion, because I never really resolved the main conflict. Now, oh yes, it is solved, but only after I created — as every writer knows — an entire world around it, the world of what is now 65,000 words of a novel. Part of that world — where the main character is beaten and abused and then witnesses a lottery that makes no goddamn sense now. It made sense then, but now? It’s not only cliché, but downright stupid. So, even though it will cost me some 2,000 words of my total that will not be replaced — THIS IS WRITING I’VE ALREADY DONE, DAMMIT!!! — I must be strong and be a professional. I have to make it nothing personal, just business.

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“Leave the formerly relevant but now extraneous action and exposition. Take the throughline.”
Huh?

So what I’m going to do is keep the 5,000-or-so words as a “deleted scene” on the eventual eBook or just have it as an extra on SeanHoade.com. This seems like the best of both worlds for me. It gives a little peek under the hood of my incredibly well-oiled writing machine of a brain, but doesn’t put it in the novel itself, where it is undeniably distracting and worse than unnecessary.

For my word count, which I have been keeping assiduous track of for my friends, I’m going to note how many words I wrote today rather than the net gain as I did with excising some stuff the other day and writing new stuff elsewhere. I will amend my word count to reflect the net words for the day, however, because that will be the new, accurate word count as I close in on the finish line of Reviva Las Vegas! Book 1: Dead Man’s Hand.

fredoIn the upcoming Godfather digital remasters, Coppola has Fredo shoot first.


Want to get that novel written instead of just talking about it like a mealy-mouthed so-and-so? Then read this post.

That awkward moment when you realize you’re dismantling the whole thing

Peeps of Awesome: Wow, what a week! I got a nicely remunerative writing assignment that will allow me to just work on the novel and very little else (other than tending to the needs of the Spousal Unit and Cat Assemblies, of course) for the next two weeks or so. So I put Dead Man’s Hand aside for the week and jumped on this shiznatch with both feet.

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Just like at Vladimir Putin’s Chechen Orphanage & Academy of Land Mine Testing.

But what I want to talk about is a necessity that I hadn’t considered when I signed the ginormous contract with Permuted Press. That need was to “unpublish” my other novels and the short story collection I had done through CreateSpace and which were for sale at Amazon, B&N.com, Powells, and all over the digital electronic e-tailing virtual cybernetic world. (Also at your finer chai-and-book stalls all over India.) As of signing the contract, I had four books for sale on Amazon and had a few more in various stages of coming down the pike for publication by Yours Truly, distribution by CreateSpace, and sale by the aforementioned websites and chai stands:

  1. Deadtown Abbey, the book which was picked up by Permuted first;
  2. Ain’t That America (2d. Edition), which corrected many flaws in the first self-pub I ever did, way back in 2000;
  3. Inappropriate Behavior, my collection of short stories both reviled and admired (sometimes for the same story);
  4. Darwin’s Dreams, my loverly literary novel.

I’m not saying that having these up for sale was bringing me untold riches. No, the riches were extremely … um … told? (Never mind. Moving on.) I made about $25 per month on royalties for these books, money that was welcome, of course, but unlikely to keep me in the indoors-living lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.

Technically, anyway.

But since Permuted is contracting with me not just for Deadtown but for nine more books, I have to think about the economics of publishing in a different way from when I was just selling my books myself for direct royalties or even just the cover price of the book if I had it “in stock” at chez Hoade. I have to consider more than the immediate royalties I get from selling a few books per month. For the first time in my long and storied (narf) writing career, I have to think about things as an author being published by a publisher, someone outside of my solipsistic bubble who is paying for the right to sell my work.

Because Permuted has brought me on board for these books, I must think of the reception—meaning sales—that each released book might have on how my publisher puts out and promotes the next book in the pipeline. Right now I’m working on three different three-book series (I hesitate to call them “trilogies” because maybe more books will come and I don’t want to do a Surf II on the marketing materials.)

Nothing like putting the punchline before the setup, Surf II poster-maker.

I’m writing these like Book 1 of Series 1, Book 1 of Series 2, Book 1 of Series 3, Book 2 of Series 1, Book 2 of Series 2, and so on. (The final book on the contract is a standalone novel.) But for this discussion, let’s put aside that they are different series and just treat them like all independently standing books—if you must think of them by the serieseses, then this argument works for within each series, okay, smarty-butt? All right, moving on.

I am contracted to receive X dollars upon the publication of each book as an advance. Even if Book 1 sells a million copies, I am still bound to receive X and only X as an advance for the rest of the books on the contract as well. (This causes me no tsuris since an advance has to be earned out before more royalties come anyway, so it just means that my huge wad of cash would be a few months delayed.) However, the reality—and believe me, I am no fan of reality—is that Deadtown Abbey is probably unlikely to sell a million copies.

That said, however many copies it sells will have an effect on how Permuted Press treats the next book of mine when it comes to getting it into bookstores and promoting it. Let’s say that Deadtown (Book 1) sells very well, however Permuted might define that. Then they are likely to put more into the printing size and promotion of Book 2 than they would have if Book 1 sold poorly. Then, if Book 2 sells well because of this greater distribution and promotion (which itself was because of the sales for Book 1), then they are likely to put even more into Book 3, and so on. It’s the law of increasing returns—positive feedback, if you will.

I believe the appropriate German term here is Shittenzepantz.

So what does this have to do with taking my self-published books off of Amazon et al? Well, other than the fact that I have to take Deadtown out of the sales channel because I have sold the rights to it, I also want to take my other work off of there because I don’t want to those books to cannibalize sales from the Permuted-published version. I want every book sale to go toward making the first book from Permuted Press a big seller for them so that I can get onto that wonderful positive feedback loop and create bigger distribution and marketing for Book 2, then Book 3, and on until Book 10, at which time I will negotiate a new contract for the next book(s), the amount of which based on the ever-increasing numbers for each book of mine that Permuted puts out.

That may explain why I would take down Deadtown Abbey, but why the other books, you might ask? (At least, I hope you’re asking that or else this is more a waste of time for you than usual.) It’s about branding, which, yes, is a kind of douchey MBA word like synergy or incentivize but is also very important when what you’re marketing is, in essence, yourself.

This cat knows what I’m talkin ’bout.

In other words, I want to support this publishing venture in every way possible. I want people to think of the books they see coming out from Permuted as the books they should buy and/or read if they want the Sean Hoade experience. (That or poke themselves in the eye with a fork dipped in hot sauce. Either one works.) I don’t want buyers to look me up and see a comic thriller (Ain’t That America) or a literary-historical novel (Darwin’s Dreams) when they finish with whatever Hoade/Permuted book they just read and loved. It’s confusing to the market and makes the writer seem less committed to the genre in which s/he is formally published than s/he would with just the contracted books out there.

This is why famous-type authors from Anne Rice to Stephen King to Eloisa James sometimes use pseudonyms—they want their real-name work to be within a certain set of parameters, but they also want to write this other kind of book that might not seem like an Anne Rice or Eloisa James book. (King is so versatile and famous that he just publishes whatever he feels like under his real name. But I am not Stephen King. OR AM I?!?)

Yeah, he freakin’ wishes.

So maybe sometime I will place those other novels with a different publisher, but for now I am removing them from Amazon and its friends. This is how committed I am to making this full-time noveling thing a go. Also, time to start writing again!