“No plan survives first contact with the enemy…”

By Holly Lisle

Or second contact… 

Or third…

The quote may  come from Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, or Carl von Clausewitz, or Dwight D. Eisenhower… or just some dude who knew shit.

But it’s true — and it isn’t just true about war.

It’s true about any sort of creation that requires spontaneous adaptation to unknowable but expected change. Like writing fiction.

I outline while knowing the nature of outlining, which is this —

The thing fictional characters do when presented with a story plan is to act around the plan — to do something that will beat the plan. Fictional heroes and villains alike invariably act like real human beings. That is, they work to improve their own odds of success inside the story, and by doing so, they invariably shift the odds in their favor, and invariably surprise me.

These surprises are good for the story — if they surprise me, they will surprise the reader.

They’re just such a pain in the ass… because my heroes AND my villains keep blowing up my nice, neat, carefully plotted outline.

But anyway, that’s where I am today — several hours into my workday, having to stop to re-plot the next few scenes of my outline to maintain the structure of the story I’m building so that I can keep the cool shit one of the little jerks just did.


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Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


The Ohio Series: Taking the measure of a novel

By Holly Lisle

Yesterday was Marketing Day, and I got the first half of the 4th edition of Create a Plot Clinic finished. Next week if all goes well I’ll finish and do a new cover, and take that class live and wide.

Today, I worked for several hours, and got 1010 words of the 2000 I’d planned. I’m working on Chapter Two, finding my way through the story, and building Smits Corner, a town based on one of my two favorite towns in Ohio. While I was writing, I was crawling through images from Google, and remembering places I knew as a kid (places that look even better today — go figure).

And having my MC, a cop currently named Tori Gage, looking around her long-abandoned hometown and having a sudden bad feeling — what she describe as…

All of a sudden I was pulling off into a parking space, trying to catch my breath. This wasn’t nostalgia.

This was pure unadulterated fear, cold and dark and running into my gut like ice water, the five-second warning a good cop feels responding to a domestic when all of a sudden you know it’s going to go bad. And it’s going to do it in your direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, the magic just showed up.

I have no clue yet what it is, and she knows even less than I do… but she can feel it.

And it just identified her.

This is where, when you’re writing, you take the measure of your novel. Where you start understanding what you’re writing isn’t what you thought you were writing. Might be less cozy, meaner, bigger.

Don’t get me wrong. This is small-town urban fantasy where the protagonist is a displaced big-city cop finding her way back home after too long away.

But this bugger just growled at me and showed its teeth. And when I look under the desk, the eyes blinking up at me are red, and they glow in the dark.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Why I shut down my Patreon fundraiser

By Holly Lisle

I’d intended to send a Questions & Answers email to my How to Write a Novel launch list, but that’s going to have to wait.Instead, I did THIS.

Closed my “Move out of Florida while writing fiction” fundraiser.

Here’s why — it’s this clause in the Patreon Legal Agreement

https://www.patreon.com/legal

By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content.

Understand that I read that clause and all the rest of them before signing up.

BUT… I’m not a lawyer, and I understood that clause to mean that Patreon was claiming the right to use my Patreon-created content (in other words, my POSTS) to promote the site.

I DID NOT think that they were claiming the right to use and abuse the content I was giving my patrons. In this case, three monthly chapters of the raw first draft of one of my current novels in progress, Dead Man’s Party.

A friend emailed me with a link to this post, however:

https://www.thepassivevoice.com/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-patreon/

Turns out, I was wrong. Patreon is claiming rights to my novel.

So I’m out. I sent the first copy of this email to my patrons using a private Patreon post, and then I shut down my Patreon fundraiser, and am now trying to figure out how to actually close my account.

I’m not letting this kill my dream of moving us out of Florida…
…(hopefully before the next hurricane, if not the start of the hurricane season).

How you can help, if you want to —

IF YOU’RE HERE AS A WRITER:
I have created original classes ranging from under ten dollars to way over a hundred. If one of the classes I offer could help you, then you buying it would help me.

MY COMPREHENSIVE CAREER-LEVEL CLASSES (in recommended order)

*** How to Write a Novel *** 

http://hollyswritingclasses.com/class/how-to-write-a-novel.html

(IN LAUNCH: On sale ONLY through Tuesday APRIL 8 — Final Discount Launch)

How to Revise Your Novel: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-revise-your-novel.html

How to Write a Series: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-a-series.html

How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-think-sideways.html

WRITING CRAFT SERIES (Each class is under $10)

Create a Character Clinic: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/characterclinic.html

Create A Plot Clinic: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/plotclinic.html

How to Write Page-Turning Scenes: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/pageturningscenes.html

WORLDBUILDING SERIES (Each class is under $10)

Create A Language Clinic: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/languageclinic.html

Create a Culture Clinic: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/cultureclinic.html

Create a World Clinic: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/worldclinic.html

WORKSHOPS & MID-SIZED CLASSES (PRICES VARY)

How to Write Short Stories: 

http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-short-stories-class.html

How to Write Villains: 

http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-villains.html

How to Write Dialogue with Subtext: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/dialogue-subtext.html

Title Cover Copy Marketing Basics: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/titlecovercopy.html

How to Find Your Writing Discipline: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/writingdiscipline.html

How to Find Your Writing Voice: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/writing-voice.html

How to Motivate Yourself: 

http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/motivate-yourself.html

Beat Writer’s Block: 

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/beatwritersblock.html

FREE, INCLUDED WITH (also Free) SITE MEMBERSHIP

How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck

https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/free-flash-fiction-class.html

===================

IF YOU’RE HERE AS A READER:

You can help out by buying some of my indie-published fiction.

SHORT STUFF, CURRENTLY AMAZON ONLY:

Light Through Fog: 

https://www.amazon.com/Light-Through-Holly-Lisle-Singles-ebook/dp/B0096F4HY0/

Rewind: 

https://www.amazon.com/Rewind-Holly-Lisle-Singles-Book-ebook/dp/B00AY1OHAE/

Strange Arrivals: 

https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Arrivals-Twisty-Fantasy-Tales-ebook/dp/B00EOWMYRW/

FANTASY – ARHEL TRILOGY

Fire in the Mist: 

https://books2read.com/FireInTheMist

Bones of the Past:

https://books2read.com/BonesOfThePast

Mind of the Magic:

https://books2read.com/MindOfTheMagic

DARK SCIENCE FICTION-ISH

SETTLED SPACE

Both of the Cadence Drake novels Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint, are off sale while I come up with new titles and new cover art for them, and new key words, descriptions, and other marketing that allows me to correctly put them in front of the audience that likes a few vampires and a bit of horror with its spaceships.

The Longview Chronicles (complete Series) is in the same universe — still dark, but without the vampires:

https://books2read.com/longview-chronicles

Or you can get the individual stories:

Born from Fire: 

https://books2read.com/born-from-fire

Suzee Delight: 

https://books2read.com/the-selling-of-suzee-delight

Philosopher Gambit: 

https://books2read.com/the-philosopher-gambit

Gunslinger Moon: 

https://books2read.com/gunslinger-moon

Vipers’ Nest: 

https://books2read.com/vipers-nest

The Owner’s Tale: 

https://books2read.com/the-owners-tale

STANDALONE URBAN FANTASY

Minerva Wakes: 

https://books2read.com/minerva-wakes

PARANORMAL SUSPENSE

Author Page: 

https://books2read.com/ap/xbzgyx/Kate-Aeon

Midnight Rain: 

https://books2read.com/midnight-rain

Last Girl Dancing:

https://books2read.com/last-girl-dancing

I See You: 

https://books2read.com/i-see-you

I have much more fiction that’s commercially published, or which is out of print and has reverted to me, but which I have not yet republished.

I’m not linking to ANY of that fiction, because your purchase of used books or books where publishers haven’t paid royalties in years will not help me.

So there we are.

I want to thank all my patrons again, and I am so sorry that I had to do this, but there is no way I can permit this:

Excerpted from Patreon Legal Terms

You keep full ownership of all content that you post on Patreon, but to operate we need licenses from you.

By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content. 

No. Just NO.
Holly

P.S. I have had one of my Patreon patrons already ask me how she could continue to support me on a monthly basis.

Here’s the answer I gave her:

“I’ll look into what’s available. Right now, I’m crushed to discover the rights Patreon actually claimed, and worried about getting involved with any other site. So I’m in limbo. You’ll find my blog at HollyLisle.com. I’ll be keeping my folks there up to date on how I deal with this. It sucks.

Hugs, and thank you for asking.”

Why is EVERYBODY on my blog, my mailing list, and in my forums getting this?

Because if you know me, you’re probably either a reader or a writer. If you’re a writer, you may be considering using Patreon, and you need to know. If you’re a reader considering funding someone on Patreon, THEY need to know.

And this is the ugliest, broadest rights-grab I have personally ever seen. Or sadly, been caught up in.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


The writing shop on HollysWritingClasses.com is now live

By Holly Lisle

Even though my new Holly’s Writing Classes site is still in high beta, I’m delighted to finally have the writing shop open.

Holly's Writing Classes

Holly’s Writing Classes
Write Your Own Sky

We haven’t made the site pretty yet, and for the moment the shop is very plain and simple (no frills), but things work now.

So I’ve brought back many of my previous classes, and am still working on getting the rest of them live.

I’m also building new workshops and classes.

The one I’m working on currently is Title. Cover. Copy. Book Marketing for Fiction Writers.

That’s going to go live in the next couple of weeks. Following that will be a workshop on developing your writing voice.

I’m excited. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but I’m glad to finally be here.


And a quick note. Both How To Think Sideways and How to Write A Series are coming back, but are not back yet. Both classes are so big that we’re having to develop better ways for students to navigate through them easily.

Just getting from page to page was a problem in previous versions. That will not be a problem when they go live on this site.

 

 

 

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


HowToThinkSideways.com Site Move: LAST Chance to Correct Your Account

By Holly Lisle

How To Think Sideways Logo

The move over at HowToThinkSideways.com is starting

We’re starting to move member accounts onto the live new software, new domain, and new classrooms this week.

In order to receive your new temporary password, you MUST have a working email address in your current account.

Here are the steps to make sure you’ll be able to get to your stuff (INCLUDING free class, worksheets, and forums).

Step One: Check your current account

Log into your current account here:

https://howtothinksideways.com/login/ (opens in new window)

If you cannot get into your account, create a Help Desk ticket for me here:

http://novelwritingschool.com/support/

Tell me everything you remember about your account:

  • Full name
  • User name
  • current email address, plus any possible older email address that might have been attached to the account

NOT your password. Never give anyone your password.

Step Two: Once you’re logged in, check your email address

Your email address is the first and most important piece of information where your NEW account is concerned.

It will be your sign-in name. It will be your contact address in case anything on your account breaks.

And it will be where your “This is your new account” email goes, which contains the validation link you MUST click in order to receive your new temporary password.

If that email address is wrong, you will not be able to get into your classroom, and following the move while the dust settles, I am expecting LONG lines in the Help Desk.

So check your email address in your account:

http://howtothinksideways.com/myaccount/

You cannot fix anything you see here. This is part of the software that is broken.

So if you have an email address linked to your account that no longer works,
create a Help Desk ticket for me here:

http://novelwritingschool.com/support/

* Tell me the email address that’s in your account
* Tell me what it I need to change it to

At this point, fixing missing classes will just slow us down

We’ll still have all the data and receipts we have right now, and will still have backups of your existing account and all previous purchases from my sites.

If you’re missing anything, gather your receipts, and once you can get into your classrooms on the new site, let me know which ones aren’t working for you there. (They’ll be the same ones.)

Right now, we have to deal with the part that will keep people out of their accounts completely.

We’ll be moving people in groups

I’m the only one doing the help desk stuff (because I’m the only one with nearly years of receipts stored on my hard drive) and having 300 people in line in the help desk is incredibly stressful. (I know this, because I’ve had this happen before.)

Massive stress is not healthy for me right now.

So Dan and I will move a group, those folks will receive their confirmation and sign-in emails, if you’re in that group, you’ll sign in and promptly check for problems with your classes, I’ll fix your account, and we’ll move another group.

We have well over 10,000 people to move. This will take some time.

But you might be in the very first group, so today you need to make sure your email address will work.

Thank you for your help on this.

And I’ll see you inside.

Write with joy,

Holly Lisle

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


Things Don’t Look Good for My Future With Apple

By Holly Lisle

This is the follow-up post to Uncrippling the Lesson.

As I said I would, I paid my book packager to create a separate version of How To Think Sideways, Lesson 6 that did not include links to Apple.

I uploaded the corrected version.

A couple days later, I got this message:

Dear Holly Lisle,

One or more assets from your submission, How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers, need to be replaced:

Ticket #: 1438977
Ticket Type: Book Asset
Apple ID: 541126811
ISBN: 9781937533304
Vendor ID: 9781937533304
Please note that the changes in this ticket were not executed. The ticket has been returned to you for additional corrections. Please make all of the changes requested below.

Full book asset:

Competing Website(s)
Rejected Reason(s):
Competing Website(s)

Notes:
Jun, 29 2012, 12:13PM – Apple:
Book file contains links from competitors: Amazon, in the chapter Q&A 6, under “Question 9”
Jul, 18 2012, 4:54AM – Apple:
The following ticket task(s) have been updated by the feed: Full epub
Jul, 18 2012, 4:54AM – Apple:
Epub internals validation passed
Jul, 18 2012, 1:21PM – Apple:
Please Note: The original change request was not fulfilled. Your changes were not saved. Previous issue was not addressed. Please review your file before resubmitting it. Thank you.

Problem is, the changes WERE executed.

And I tested and uploaded the corrected file again, just to be sure. It’s still blocked with the “Fix this first” ticket attached.

I’ve contacted Apple through their producer customer service. Best case, I’ll hear back from them Monday, and this file and Lesson 13 will be cleared, and I’ll be able to continue adding the rest of the course. In the best-case scenario, it may take longer than Monday.

Worst case…

…between Lesson 6, which Apple has rejected three times now (in spite of the changes it requested having been made), and Lesson 13, which is still unavailable, though with no error message to let me know why, I’m going to end up having to pull the course off of Apple permanently. I cannot offer just SOME of the lessons.

So for those of you who are die-hard iBookstore fans, I’m preemptively stating here: “I have done everything I am willing to do to fix this.” If Apple does not want my course content, or the content of some of the lessons, on the iBookstore, I CANNOT fix that.

And if I have to pull the How to Think Sideways course from the iBookstore because some lessons do not meet whatever criteria Apple has set that are beyond what I can fix (MEANING I will NOT rewrite ANY portion of the lesson content itself), I will not waste my time trying to get How to Revise Your Novel accepted. Nor will I offer my novels there. Nor will I continue to make available those courses that have been deemed acceptable. Such of my presence as I am capable of removing, I’ll remove.

(I have no control over my work offered by other publishers.)

If that means you’ll no longer buy my work, I’m sorry. I’ll note that DRM-free epubs of the course are available from my own shop, and they will work on your iPhone and iPad. If your issue is buying things from Amazon, you don’t have to. If your issue is punishing me because I am not willing to jump through hoops beyond those through which I’ve already jumped…

…well, you wouldn’t have gotten anything useful out of the course anyway.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


This is the price for a Short Courses Community membership.

By Holly Lisle

Thinking of Joining?

Thinking of Joining?

I’ll offer two ways to pay:

PAYMENT PLAN PRICE: The price for a SHORT COURSES Membership is going to be $5 a month for six months. After the final payment, the student becomes a lifetime member at the SHORT COURSES level.

At any point during the six months in which payments are being made, the student can quit and receive a refund for the current month, and will no longer be a member.

SINGLE PAYMENT PRICE: One payment, $30. Student becomes a provisional lifetime member at the SHORT COURSES level. At any time during the first 60 days, the student can request, and receive, a full refund, and no longer be a member. After the first 60 days, the student becomes a lifetime member.

100% of either membership will be applicable to upgraded memberships. Meaning that at ANY TIME you choose to upgrade, you can apply the $30 you paid for SHORT COURSES membership to your Think Sideways or Revise Your Novel memberships; in other words, you can give yourself a $30 discount on either of those memberships. (Likewise, you’ll be able to apply the cost of upper-level memberships to OTHER upper-level memberships.)

This was the price I’d originally intended to charge for SHORT COURSES, and no one gave me a good reason to raise it.

But SHOULD you join?

The price discussion brought up some interesting questions about the community and its value to writers, along with the question, “Why should I join?”

The short answer to this question is, in most cases, you shouldn’t. Most writers are looking for a social venue, and won’t benefit from the community.

The point, the purpose, and the value of the Writers’ Boot Camps Community

I’m going to quote myself from one of my replies in in the price discussion:

I’m already publishing HTTS and HTRYN as individual lessons on the big platforms (the HTTS lessons will go out to Hitch for compiling in about another week, once I have all the links updated in the lessons to reflect the new workgroups and the worksheet landing pages. This is old news. But I don’t intend to charge Kindle’s top 70% royalty price (9.99) for each lesson. I’m coming in significantly under that. (That MAY be new news. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before.)

But my personal statistic (90% of people who get the community for free don’t use it) is WHY I don’t want to charge the maximum amount possible for the lessons, and to use that money to offset the price of community membership: I don’t want people to pay for something they don’t use. In other words, I don’t want ten people to buy the course on Kindle, and have nine of them subsidize the one member who joins the community and gets as much out of it as my active current students do.

So the question becomes…what does my community offer to students that makes it worth paying for, and why will some writers want to join?

And the answer to that is:

The community supports the courses. Period. It isn’t a “social” community. (It has social elements–there are open discussion boards and the writers who use them have a LOT of fun discussing various topics.) This is a hard concept for most people to get, because almost all forums are essentially social gatherings, where people talk about work, but don’t work.

The Writers’ Boot Camps are built around work.

I’ve written something like a dozen courses now (HTTS, HTRYN, HTWAS, Plot, Plot Outline, Character, Language, Culture, Scenes, Dialogue and Subtext, Beat Writer’s Block, Motivate Yourself, Writing Discipline, 21 Ways to Get Yourself Writing, the upcoming Mugging the Muse Second Edition Course…, and the upcoming Create A World Clinic) okay, so FOURTEEN now available with two more on the way—MTM: 2nd Edition is due for release next week and Create A World Clinic is due for release when I wrap up this overhaul and get WARPAINT finished…

…And the community is the place where the people who bought the “textbooks” have a live class where they can work through their lessons with other folks who are taking the same courses.

The workgroups are now open, not assigned, and set up lesson by lesson. I’m currently building out the Short Courses boards with the individual lesson posts. (These have been empty until now, because until I had the software with which I could invite Short Courses students to join, there was no point in doing the work of building out the boards.) If you’re already a community member and you log in and go to the new Mugging the Muse: 2nd Ed Workgroup, you’ll see how the Short Course Workgroups will work.

The community is my duplication of the process I used to get published.

This is why I’ve gone to such trouble and expense to build the community and to build a way for new people to join it by choice.

I learned much of how to make my work publishable by belonging to a writers’ group when I was just getting started. I didn’t learn much from what the other members told me about what I was doing wrong. Or right. I learned from figuring out what THEY were doing wrong. And right.

So I’ve set up the community based around workgroups, where writers can present snippets of work that are giving them problems, and receive comments from other students on these. Where, lesson by lesson, they can work through my processes and techniques, and get and GIVE feedback from other students doing the same lessons. And where they can read through solutions discovered by students ahead of them.

This is why the boards are private, why moderators monitor them, why I don’t make the thing public and invite everyone to join. It’s a place for my students who want to accelerate what they’re learning in the lessons by taking what they’ve learned and applying the concepts and principles to work other than their own.

My objectives with the community are:

  • High signal to noise ratio—conversation stays focused on writing
  • High content to filler ratio—the majority of the posts should give students something valuable for the time they’ve invested in reading them
  • High work to play ratio-–the boards are primarily dedicated to classwork, publishing, marketing, and self-promotion, not to general conversation

I’ve managed to maintain that so far…and while eventually I’d like to have enough active students in there to have regular posts on all boards all the time, I want to continue to do that by focusing on quality, not quantity.

And because my purpose with the community is to create a resource that will help writers publish their work, if they spend all their time hanging out on the boards rather than writing, I’M DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

I hope that answers your questions.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


How much should I charge for Writers’ Community Membership?

By Holly Lisle

I’m FINALLY almost ready to open the Boot Camps

Students of my smaller courses have been asking me for a long time if there was any way they could join my writers’ community.

It’s taken me something like two years to figure out a way to do it, and Margaret and I have tested and shot down a multitude of different softwares and processes to get here.

But I’m about ready to open the doors of my private writers community to students other than my Big Course Students.

Here are my questions:

Lifetime membership, or a monthly (or other subscription time) fee?
If lifetime membership, then one payment, or multiple payments, or the option of both?
What price?

So I’m going to show you what I’m offering, and then I’m going to ask you to tell me what a lifetime membership to this level of the community would be worth.

Remember that this is a private writers’ community with a focus on writing for publication. We have (and tolerate) no spam, no trolls, no flames.

It’s moderated, my moderators are spectacular (they’ve all taken or are taking all of my courses, they’re all writers.) The community members are amazing. I attend personally, and once I get my life overhaul finished, will attend regularly as I’m writing my way through my novels.

You can take a peek at the public areas of the community here:

http://howtothinksideways.com/forum

You can take a look at the boards I’m opening up for the new level of membership here:

http://howtothinksideways.com/short-courses-intro

(Most of them are new, because I’m starting to offer workshops for courses that have never had them before.)

So, please take a moment, reply to this post, and tell me how much I should charge for access.

Thanks for your help.

I really appreciate it.

P.S. Here’s what current students say about the community.

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


What Would You Recommend About Joining the Writers’ Boot Camp Community?

By Holly Lisle

Holly Lisle's Writers' Boot Camps

Holly Lisle's Writers’ Boot Camps

Since my last birthday, when I decided I was going back to writing full time, Margaret and I have been working on a way for folks who haven’t taken How to Think Sideways, How to Revise Your Novel, or How to Write A Series to join my private writers’ community.

Professional Plot Outline is coming out first, NOT How To Think Sideways, because I’m still not done writing the Self-Pub lessons, but I’m finally getting ready to take the first little section of the roll-out live.

So anyone who has taken Professional Plot Outline will receive an invitation to join the writing community in the next few days to a week. (As soon as the course becomes available no Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, and shortly before it will be available in print.

Following them, I’ll open the doors for students who’ve taken the Clinics (Character, Plot, Language, Culture, and Scenes) and the motivational courses.

And then I’ll switch HTTS over to Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and print, followed by HTTS and HTWAS. As each course rolls out, people will be able to join the boards for that course.

There are a lot of writers who are eligible to join the writing community who don’t yet know why they’ll benefit from it.

I know what I love about the community. I love watching writers “get” the process and start succeeding.

But what do YOU love?

If you’re current member of ANY of the Writer’s Boot Camp sections (HTTS, HTRYN, or HTWAS), would you please take a moment and use the comments below to tell other writers why you’d recommend joining?

Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


The Apple iBooks Author Issue: Small things, and large principles

By Holly Lisle

The short version: I have removed my books from sale on iBookstore because Apple has included a clause in software I don’t use and wouldn’t have used anyway a clause claiming the right to refuse publication on its platform of works created with this software (which is fine and I applaud their right) and further stating that if they reject your work you cannot sell it in the format the software created anywhere else.

THE LONG VERSION:

Here’s the clause:

B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows:

(i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means;
(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.

And then the next paragraph is bold-faced, just so you don’t miss it:

Apple will not be responsible for any costs, expenses, damages, losses (including
without limitation lost business opportunities or lost profits) or other liabilities you may incur as a result of your use of this Apple Software, including without limitation the fact that your Work may not be selected for distribution by Apple.

Here’s the guy who found, dissected, and posted about it, along with his dissection, and it will save us a BUNCH of time if you read his article.

So what’s the problem? You’re not going to use the damn software anyway!

Nope. I’m not. But I had ten books up on the iBookstore, which I put there using iTunes Producer, which is software. I do my epub versions of most of my books in iWorks Pages, which is software. And I work on Apple computers, an iPad, and an iPhone, all of which use Apple software. OS X and iOS 5 at the moment.

And the rule of software is this: Software does not get to dictate the use of output. Period. Software does not get to tell you WHERE you can sell what you’ve created, only that you have the right to sell it (in the cases where software requires a commercial license if you are producing for profit).

Software does not get to tell you, “If you create this work on our software and we don’t want to distribute it, we own the rights to the version our software created, and if you want another version, you will have to disassemble this one, and rebuild it from scratch on other software.”

The purpose of purchasing and/or using software is to make your work easier.

It is not to have the software claim ownership of any part of what you have created with it.

There is no difference—except in number of people affected—between a company claiming ownership of the rights to something you created with its ebook publisher, and something you created with its OS.

    The principle is identical.

(Apple is not claiming to own rights to your work if you work on OS X. My removal of my own work from their site is on principle, not because my own work is affected.)

And there is no number of people affected that is insignificant. The smallest minority is the individual, and minority rights protect the rights of the individual because those are the only rights there are.

So THAT is why I pulled all my books from distribution on the iBookstore, why none of my further books or any of my writing courses will be going to the iBookstore, and why I can no longer recommend the iBookstore to my students.

And this in spite of the fact that Apple makes my favorite products in the world, and I hate like hell having to do this.

And if they remove their damn clause and respect the purpose of creative software and the rights of the individual, I’ll go back.

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