But, but, but...you bought my last story: What your 1st sale really means

Part 22 of my continuing series on selling short fiction is up now at Amazing Stories. This week I talk about what to expect after you've finally made your first sale. Much to the surprise of many new writers, your first sale doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to sell the next story to the next market where you submit. It doesn’t even guarantee that the market that just published your first sale will buy the next story that you send them. Or any story you ever send them again. Read more about what your first sale really means here.

I Love Your Story. Now Change It: Working with an Editor

Part 21 in my ongoing series on marketing and selling short fiction just went up on the Amazing Stories site. This week's post completes the two-part discussion I began in Part 20 of working with an editor on getting your story ready for publication. In Part 20, I talk about why having an editor to work with is a good thing and discuss the different types of edits a story can receive. This week, in part 21, I finish off the editing topic with some tips on handling the editing process, and on deciding when to agree to suggested changes and when to politely say no. I also deal with the special situation of editing suggestions for a previously published story that’s about to be reprinted. Feel free to leave questions and comments at the Amazing Stories site. A complete list of my posts in this series is available here. Next week, I’ll talk about what to expect the next time you submit a story to a market that has just published you.

Chimerascope and Impossibilia on sale this weekend at Kobo!

Chimerascope coverIn Canada and the US, for today and tomorrow only, you can get both of my collections as ebooks for 30% off from Kobo. Just go to the Kobo pages that I list below and use the promotion code "SPRINGSAVE".

Kobo links:



Offer ends May 27. Enjoy!

Playing the Short Game: Part 19 is now up (contracts continued)

Part 19 of my continuing series on the business side of short fiction is now up at the new Amazing Stories site. This week, I finish off a mini-series on short fiction contracts. Parts 17 and 18 covered the following:

1. What rights are being requested?
2. When do those rights revert to me?
3. What legal liability am I being asked to accept?
4. What happens if the story is never published?

This week, I wwap up with the last four topics: 

5. What happens if this market folds or is sold?
6. Will there be a published declaration of my copyright?
7. What control will I have over changes to my story?
8. What am I being paid for these rights?

You can check out the entire series at this page.

Playing the Short Game: Parts 18 is now up

The next part in my continuing series on marketing and selling your short fiction is up now at the new Amazing Stories site. Part 18 continues a 3-part discussion of short fiction contracts, a topic that I'll wrap up next week with part 19. This week, I deal with:

I'm on the 2013 Aurora Ballot!

I'm happy to announce that my short story "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" made the final ballot for the 2013 Aurora Awards. Woo hoo! Thanks to any and all of you who read the story and nominated it. "The Walker..." is one of five stories on the ballot under the "Short Fiction" category.

Voting is now open and closes on September 13. The winners will be announced at the CanCon convention in Ottawa, Oct 4-6.

Your support by way of a vote for "The Walker..." would be truly appreciated, and if you nominated anything this year, then voting is free for you.

You can download a copy from my online bookstore in any of .mobi (Kindle), .epub (every other ebook reader), or PDF formats.

"A very different sort of tale. ... A cosmic story of gods which seems to be inspired by the works of Michael Moorcock, and I think he would not be ashamed of it."  —SF Crowsnest Reviews


"A tale of epic love when a mortal gets caught between a battle of the gods. Smith reminds us that we have the potential to change the world around us and that self-sacrifice can be a means of making the world around us better." —Speculating Canada

How to Vote

To vote, go to the Aurora site at http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/Membership/index.php.

If you've registered in the past to nominate or vote for the Auroras, you can simply sign in with your email address and your 4-digit society number. If you've forgotten your society number, just click on "Forgot your Society Number?" link and follow the instructions. 

The Auroras now require a registration fee of $10 each year, which allows you to both nominate and to vote for the stories that make the final ballot.

If you nominated something this year, then you've already paid the 2013 $10 fee, so voting is free. 

If you've never registered before, click on "Register" under "Become a Society Member," and complete the registration form. Once you've registered or logged in, click on the "Pay Now" button and you'll be taken to a PayPal screen. You don't have to have a PayPal account to pay this way! Just click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" and you'll have the option of paying by any form of debit or credit card. Still with me? Once you've paid, you'll be taken back to the Aurora Award site.

Once you're registered and paid, you can click on the "Vote Now" button to access the online ballot, or click on "Mail-in ballot form" if for some reason you want to go snail mail. "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland" is listed under "Best Short Form -- English." The ballot pages contain instructions for how to vote, but basically you put "1" for your top choice in a category, "2" for your second, etc.. You don't need to vote in all categories, and you don't need to vote for multiple entries in a category.

Note that this year, the Aurora committee is providing a "voter's package" containing the majority of the nominated fiction works in a variety of downloadable formats. You'll be able to access the voter's package once you reach the ballot page.

Any Canadian citizen (not necessarily living in Canada) or permanent resident may vote for the Auroras. The voting period closes Friday, September 13, 2013.

Thanks again for any consideration!

Playing the Short Game: Parts 16 and 17 are now up

The next two parts in my continuing series on marketing and selling your short fiction are up now at the new Amazing Stories. Part 16, "Drawing the Line," discusses if and when you should ever stop submitting a story. Is there a magic number of rejections that signal you should draw the line and shelve this story? Or should you keep it out there? What happens when you run out of your target markets for a story?

Part 17 starts a series of posts on the happier topic of what happens after you sell a story. I begin with the subject of short fiction contracts, a topic that I'll continue for parts 18 and 19 as well.

As always, please feel free to leave comments or questions on these posts. I'd love to hear from anyone.

Playing the Short Game: Parts 14 and 15 are now up

Well, part 14 has been up for a week, actually, and part 15 went up today.  Part 14 discusses what happens when your story arrives at your chosen market and how editors make decisions on what stories they're going to accept or reject. If you're a new writer, a lot of this may surprise you. Yes, even good stories get rejected.

Part 15 deals with dealing--with rejections. You've been rejected, dude. Deal with it. I try to explain why rejections are a common and even necessary part of a writing career. And no, they never stop coming. 

Check out these latest posts and please feel free to leave a comment or a question. You can find the list of all of the posts in this series here.

April 15 is the last day to nominate for the Aurora Awards

"On Spec" apocalypse issue coverIf you're a Canadian fan of science fictiopn and fantasy literature, you have until tomorrow at midnight to nominate your favourite works from 2012 for an Aurora Award. I have full details on how to nominate in my earlier blog post. And you are welcome to download a free copy of my eligible story, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," from my bookstore or read it online. Enjoy! 

Playing the Short Game (Part 13): The Numbers Game

In the last few weeks, in Parts 10-12, I reviewed the process for submitting your short fiction to one of your targeted markets and included some advice on mistakes to avoid.

To start off this week, let’s assume that you’ve been following along with that process and that you now have actually submitted one of your stories to the top market on your list.

I’ve Sent My Story–Now What?

First of all, congratulations. Good for you. You’re on your way. So now you can just sit back and wait for the editor to reply to your submission, right?

Wrong (c’mon, you knew that was coming). What is right is to write. Write another story. Send that story out to your next top market. Then write another story and send that out. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a Numbers Game

Because, here’s the thing–here’s the secret to success as a writer, whether that be as a short fiction writer or as a novelist: it’s a numbers game. The more fiction that you’ve written and that you have out in front of an editor at a professional market, the better chance you have to be a success. ...

Read the entire article here.


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