Monday, January 14, 2008

Some questions, some news, some stuff.

Some questions:

What would you do?

Something occurred to me yesterday, while I was thinking (as things often do.) I've done my publishing posts and I've expressed my opinions about newbie publishers and ineffective agents, but I've never really thought about what to do when someone you know sells to a bad publisher or signs with an agent with no sales (or no sales to publishers who don't require an agent). What do you do? What if it's someone you don't know well, is that different from when it's someone you do?

Do you say something? If so, what?

Also, I have a question for the ladies. Do you sleep in a bra? I always have but apparently that's wierd.

Some news:

Anna J. and I have a release on Wednesday, our X-rated menage novel Demon's Triad. So I'll be posting an excerpt on Tuesday or Wednesday, in an attempt to get people to buy it. Because seriously? We're really proud of this one. It's very dark. It's violent. It's very, very sexy. We want people to read it.

We're playing with our posting order this week at the League, shaking things up. Oooh, who'll be posting today? Tomorrow? What about? You'll have to go check and see!

Speaking of blogging, *I* will be guest blogging this Saturday at Plot Monkeys, a blog hosted by these fabulous ladies: Julie Leto, Carly Phillips, Leslie Kelly, and Janelle Denison. I'll be doing a slightly revamped version of my very first "Choose the right publisher" post, and sticking around all day to answer questions. (I'll do it again next month, too.) Maybe some of you can stop by over there? I'm terrified readers are going to say "Who the hell is she?" and click away from the page. :-)

Is that it? I thought I had some stuff too. I guess not. Oh, wait, yes I do! I created some Personal Demons web icons and put them on the website here. I've also enlarged the fonts and added an excerpt, basically the same one you saw but the new edited version. So there's some stuff.


Anonymous said...

If they are a friend, just be tell them what you think. I would just suggest to them next time, discuss their publishing plans with friends and others "in the busisness" before making a decision. -V95


If they've already signed, it doesn't do much good to say, "Dude, big mistake. If you'd asked me sooner, I would have warned you." I'd just hope the person in question doesn't learn too painful a lesson about carefully researching the people she's trusting with her career, and make sympathetic noises if she comes crying to you later.

And now to completely change the subject: Prolonged lack of bosom support results in pain from the weight of said bosom pulling on the chest wall. I keep mine locked and loaded at all times, including sleepy time, because I don't particularly enjoy that just-had-a-mammogram feeling. If that makes me weird... Pfft. I have plenty of weirder quirks, trust me.

Demon Hunter said...

Tell the person they signed with scammers!
As for a bra, you shouldn't sleep with them on. According to a few well-known doctors, they suggest that women give their boobs time to breathe, to increase arterial flow, if this does not occur, it's more likely to cause breast cancer, or other breast-related issues! :*)

December/Stacia said...

Thanks, V95. The person in question isn't really a friend, and it's possible I'm wrong about thinking they're making a mistake, but I did ask a hinty question. Not much else I can do at this point, when the contracts are signed.

I hope so too, Kerry.
And yay! Another bra sleeper. I hate going without a bra and have always found it uncomfortable, even though I'm barely a B cup. Especially sleeping, especially now they aren't as perky after two babies, one of whom breastfed for sixteen months. They get smushed under me if I sleep on my stomach without a bra. My nipples get pinched. I feel like they get saggier and I can feel them hanging there. (They're not really that saggy, just so everyone reading this enormously personal comment knows. They're not, like, little flabby tubes or anything like in some Playboy cartoon. But I'm aware of their weight without a bra and I don't like it.

I've read that's an old wives' tale, Tyhitia. Do you have a link? See, this all comes from me having a vharacter sleep with a bra, and my edtor thinks (in a funny, friendly way) that I'm really odd because of it. :-) So I thought it might be a fun blog topic. I've seen surveys that say about 30% of women sleep with bras.

Gabriele C. said...

I hate wearing bras. Of course, I do when I leave the house, and I wear a special one for sports, but inside I mostly get rid of the suckers or wear a very light one that doesn't supoort the boobs (not that they need much supporting) but merely prevents the nipples from showing. No way I'll ever wear a bra in bed.

Angie said...

Easy one first -- I always sleep in a bra, and have since I was... in my mid-twenties or so. I wear a sports bra most of the time, and sleep in sports bras. Regular bras look better but aren't as comfortable; I wear them when I go out. You're line about being "aware of their weight" is exactly it -- I'm constantly aware of their weight, and it's horribly uncomfortable to me to be without a bra.

Harder one -- I think it depends on just how big a mistake they've made. If it's a known scammer, then tell them. If it's just sort of iffy, though, then that's harder, especially if you're not a reasonably good friend. :/ If it's not a known scammer, then I agree with Kerry that it probably wouldn't help to say anything at this point; it could ruin whatever relationship you have with this person, without helping her any, which would suck. :( I'd keep an eye on the situation and be ready to give support and advice if things do end up going pear-shaped.


Robyn said...

I have to sleep without a bra to give my shoulder skin a break. My girls are heavy, and the straps tend to dig in. I have a soft sports-type bra I'll sometimes use, but my bras are too uncomfortable to sleep in. Please tell me you don't actually sleep in an underwire!

Vivien Dean said...

I have to say, I'm so excited about seeing your Juno book! I'm going to be right there to buy it, too. Thankfully, the B&N next to us seems to be stocking most of the Juno titles, so when I go in, I'll make sure to front face yours. :)

Bra or no bra? None. Hate sleeping in a bra. They make me too hot and uncomfortable.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the "Got demon." Hilarious. Congrats ont the release. I hope it sells well.

Demon Hunter said...

Actually, I heard a doctor discuss it on the Michael Baisden show. I don't have a link, but I'm sure you can find it on webmd, or anywhere on the web where doctors are.

Plus, I've spoken to my own gynecologist about it. Too much of anything is not good. It makes sense to say that if your boobs are always confined, then blood is not flowing properly. Ask your OB/GYN. Scientist are going to always disagree, so you have to decide for yourself. If it's just for a character then, let her wear it! :*)

kirsten saell said...

I tend to sleep in a sports bra, not all the time, but usually. Like Angie, my girls are big, and my straps used to dig like mad. Then I went and got a proper fitting and discovered I'm a cup size they don't even make in the states. Now that I have three bras ($475 total, holy crap) that fit the way they're supposed to the straps no longer dig at all. The support should come from the band, not the straps, like a hiker's backpack. I nursed three kids for a total of 51 months, so I need me some support, even when I sleep. If a bra fits well, you shouldn't even feel it after a while--even if it's an underwire. My sister keeps telling me it's "bad" to wear a bra at all--spoken like someone whose boobs weigh less than 15 lbs each. I'll ask her again when her Bs begin to suffer the ravages of gravity.

I must say I was disappointed that you directed this question only to the ladies--I for one would love to hear whether Charles or V95 sleep in a bra.

As for the stickier issue--I would just ask your acquaintance a pointed question. ie, "Did you research them thoroughly. I know there are scammers out there who take advantage of authors..."

(Unless it's me. I'd prefer to live in ignorant bliss.)

Camille Alexa said...

Sleep in a bra? I don't see anything wrong with it, but I whip those suckers off the moment I get the chance (not necessarily to an audience or burlesque music, or anything. Not that I haven't. . .)

bettie said...

The bra thing depends on the size of the ta-tas. Mine being of the somewhat-small-and-somewhat-perky variety, nope. Though I do wear one as often as I can at all other times in order to maintain the somewhat-perkiness. My motto: Wear it when you don't have to so you don't always have to wear it.

I'd never sleep in my day bras, tho. It stretches out the band and cuts down on the life of the bra.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You've got to be kidding. Only when absolutely required.

As for the other: I think I'd stay mum. Said person is probably very excited about the contract and may feel you are raining on his/her parade. It's well known that you have a ton of wicked info and are willing to share; they didn't ask, don't tell. Besides, some people are willing to take a risk with a less than perfect publisher just to see their name in print. For all you know, they could be well aware of potential issues and did it anyway.

Kind of like women who go braless.


Dayna_Hart said...

OK. First: I have to say I find it hilarious Angie posted about bra-wearing and then summed up 'shady business' as "pear-shaped". But I'm weird ;)

Second: I find it hard when acquaintances sign with a 'bad pub' or a 'questionable agent'. (both have happened recently. Usually I don't know the person well enough to say anything, and I have to wonder if they did their homework :(

However, if it's someone I know, I hope to get on the train BEFORE they sub, so I can say "dude..try over here instead."

Having said that, I find it hardest with the Agent conversation, b/c I'm worried of being accused of being jealous they have one, when I don't.

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot to sign...that was me.


December/Stacia said...

See, Gabriele, I find bras comfortable. I guess that's why I'm more comfortable wearing them in bed too? I don't even notice it's on most of the time, but I certainly notice when it's not. :-)

Right, Angie. When I'm not wearing one it feels like these things are hanging off me, lol. Plus, um, I have sort of oddly oversensitive nipples so when they rub against my shirt it's uncomfortable. *blush*

Um, Robyn...yes, I do. Like I said, I don't even notice I'm wearing them usually!

Thanks Vivien! My next royalty check is going to be all US Amazon so I can get your book too! :-)

Thanks, Charles. Me too. :-)

December/Stacia said...

Wow, Tyhitia, I'd never heard that. I'm still gonna sleep with my bra, though. :-) I'd have a hard time falling asleep if I didn't!

Wow, Kirsten, $475 for three bras! DAMN! You poor thing.
You know, I was sort of hoping Charles of V95 might say something. At least what their ladies do (if they wouldn't feel they were being ungentlemanly by doing so.)

But Camille, if you read it in a book, would you be thrown out of the story?

See, Bettie, mine are tiny too, but I'm still uncomfy without one. See my above, way-too-much-info comments for more on that one, I guess! :-)
I didn't know that about the straps!

Lol, Seeley, I knew who you were! I guess just the thought of them swinging around under my vlothes just makes me...urgh. Ouch!

Exactly, Dayna, and thanks for the comment! It's always really uncomfortable to say something, especially when youdon't know the person well, or when you don't have an agent, and most especially when everyone else is saying "Yaaaay!" and you feel like the dull one throwing cold water on everyone. Nobody wants to believe you just don't want to see someone hurt. Sigh.

BernardL said...

I look forward to reading your excerpts.

Dayna_Hart said...

I've been thinking about this most of today, actually...because the FIRST thing I tend to have to do when someone announces having acquired an agent is to talk down members of my crit group who do not have an agent, and who therefore feel as though they're somehow being put in their place.

And often I'm the one telling them..."but look: no sales listed on their site! No listing of their experience," or what have you.
Then, of course, I wonder about the person who signed with Agent X. Did they do their homework? Why did they choose that agent over the bazillion who've been in business longer or have an easily accessed track record or...

And then, yes, I feel like the cup of cold water itself, and not just the one throwing it, and I put myself in the corner for being unsupportive and cynical.

And I point out to myself that I don't even have work being considered by an agent (yet)...

well, I'm sure you recognise this spin-cycle :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Robyn on the bra thing. Mine seem to dig into me if I'm not sitting exactly upright or standing. Have you tried the camis with the "built in support"? I wear those all the time They have essentially a sports bra built in out of the cami-material underneath. I find them very comfortable without being too restricting (especially in the summer, when bras get on my nerves for rubbing and make me break out because I sweat along the underwires. The breaking out is why I can't wear bras to bed. I did when I was pregnant and breast feeding though, because I was scared I'd start sagging. I'm not small and I haven't noticed any excessive sagging. I'm starting to worry less and less.

As for the publisher. Tell them. I mean, don't go overboard. Only bring it up once, let them bring it up after that. I knew I was taking a risk when I went with Mardi Gras. But I was prepared to take the chance knowing about their fighting and history. I did not know about the lack of payment because no one ever reported that. Had they done so, had it even been a rumor I wouldn't have submitted. But IMO it's a chance that failed, but didn't spiral into something real bad (for me).

The thing is that lots of people get defensive, and you can't get through to them at all when they are.

Anna J. Evans said...

No bras for night night!

The girls must be free as often as possible, even during the day. I try to get by with the shelf bras that are built into tank tops in the summer and am in deep hate relationship with all my winter bras at the moment. (I think because I've gained weight and none of them fit right anymore.)

Anna J. Evans

Jaye Wells said...

My husband would put the kibosh on the bra wearing to bed if I tried it. Not that I would--too uncomfortable. Of course my girls aren't exactly pendulous.

As for the signing thing, yikes. Some lessons may have to be learned the hard way. Like researching pubs/agents before you even approach them to begin with.

Sam said...

I can't sleep in a bra - I feel strangled, lol.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks, Bernard! :-)

Oh, Dayna, I certainly do. And thanks for the comment!
Yes, I think it's too easy to look at those concerns and say "Oh they're just jealous." And like I said, in this case I certainly hope I'm wrong. But I hate feeling like I shouldn't say something when it really feels wrong to me not to (if that makes sense.)
Sadly, I think a lot of the time people choose these agents because they didn't do their homework. They see "agent", they see a nice website, maybe they know somebody who's repped by them who says "OMG So-and-so is GREAT, I LOVE him/her!!" and so they submit without thinking that their friend might LOVE the agent but the agent hasn't proven their EFFECTIVENESS yet. Sigh.
But you don't need to be agented or have work being considered by an agent to keep your eyes open and know what to look for.

No, Michele, you can't get through to people when they're defensive, and certainly trying to point out that maybe their dreams aren't actually coming true makes them defensive. We've seen this all over the internet dozens of times, haven't we? Depressing.

Anna, do you think I am repressed? I've heard that suggested a couple of times for a reason why someone might wear a bra all the time, and you know me pretty well...

See, that's what gets me, Jaye. Didn't you do any research first? There's information everywhere, and it's pretty easy to find. There's really no excuse anymore for signing with a bad agent or publisher, not with the hundreds of websites out there specifically to help writers and to tell them how to avoid being scammed or hurt or just plain have their time wasted with a well-meaning but ineffectual agent.

And I think that's part of the problem--people seem to think you're automatically calling someone a scam, when you're not. You're just saying perhaps this agent or publisher isn't going to be the best one to go with.

Thanks for the comment!

Hee, Sam, it seems I am totally in the minority (although not a miniscule one, luckily. Ha ha.)