Author's self-portrait I woke this morning to a half-inch of snow on the ground, not so much on the road, and freezing temperatures. It was fine for my walk and commute into the library, just cold! I stayed cold most of the day because our building didn’t have heat (it has been an ongoing issue, maybe fixed this week). Most of that snow from this morning is gone already. Even the other day when we had several inches, melted fast with the rain.

Rusch’s Business

If you have a connection with publishing in any form (writer, publishing, editing, etc.), I recommend you make a habit of reading Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s weekly business blog. She also posts a weekly free short story and the occasional news post. She is an award-winning author and editor with decades of experience, and a leader in this new world of publishing. I always find it worthwhile to read her posts and look forward to it each week. I’ve learned a great deal from following her work.

Plus, she writes terrific fiction!

Speaking of her business posts, though, if you check out her blog, click the Business Resources menu at the top of her page. Several of those past series of posts cover so much valuable information. She’s also released several nonfiction books based on (and expanding on) her work on the blog.

This week she posted about the Hybrid Learning Curve—not a science fiction title referring to members of the Moreau Society! Instead, it refers to so-called ‘hybrid’ writers with a foot (or more) in traditional publishing and another (or a toe) in the indie/self-publishing gradient.

It takes hybrid writers several books to grasp—on a deep level—the idea of slow growth, growth that builds rather than growth that declines.

This notion of slow growth building impacts more than just writers. It also impacts readers. And librarians. It creates interesting challenges. Rusch talks about the difficulties faced by hybrid writers with the first books in a series controlled by a traditional publisher. Librarians are familiar with the difficulty when books are unavailable because a publisher holds the rights, but isn’t making the book available. We might want to buy the book and can’t get it. Readers ask us why we don’t have all the books in the series (setting aside issues finite space and funds that make it impossible to keep every series intact and available), sometimes we can’t get the books, even if we want to have it in the collection!

Cover art for Closing the DealCopyright is a terrific thing for writers. Less so, however, when they have signed terrible contracts. Some writers are stuck with waiting to take advantage of the 35-year clause in copyright law that allows writers to cancel old contracts. Can you imagine having your property tied up for 35 years? Rusch’s book on contracts should be on every writer’s shelf, wish list, gift-giving list, or all of the above!

Seriously, if you’re thinking of publishing (indie, self, or traditional), you should have this book along with the Copyright Handbook from Nolo Press.

I can’t stress it enough. Absolutely critical books to read.