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Old 12-04-2019, 10:03 AM   #16
fjtorres
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As far as I am aware, most authors do not edit and proof their own books and covers are mostly handled by cover artists though I have noticed more stock photos creeping into the mix. As for formatting? Quite a few indies are now having their books formatted into readable ebooks by outside services. As one local author put it on one occasion, every cobbler to her last.
All true but the "general contractor" label is about control.

In tradpub, the publisher is in control. They choose what to publish, when, and how; they choose the editor and decide what amount of editing if any they'll demand; they choose the artist or stock art.
The publisher is the boss.

In the Indie workflow, control stays with the author.
They hire the editor and decide what changes to accept, they hire the artist or buy the stock image. They decide if they're hiring a formatter or not.
They're the boss: the book sinks or swim on their judgment.

It is increasingly popular, especially with newcomers without a reputation, .who instead of spending years to get an agent and more time waiting for the agent to place the book and yet more time before the publisher assigns the book a release date, typically two years away. For many newcomers it can add to five years. Sometimes more, occasionally less.
Versus clicking "upload".
And if they really are good writers--a big if in any case--those are five years of building up a catalog and a brand instead of just waiting.i

In either case, it all comes down to how good readers think the writer is.
Workflow has little to do with that.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:29 AM   #17
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Yeah...not talking about the collaboration that most any book represents.

I like James Patterson...and --so far-- have liked any book with his name on it. That's what I expect from "Author as Contractor". I'm not really stuck on "did James write it" but "will this be the kind of writing quality that I expect from this author".

I've continued reading the Tom Clancy books long after his death. He's not writing them, nor obviously editing them. But he did a good job of picking his successor (IMHO).

Same with Eric Van Lustbader carrying on the Jason Bourne books.

I even like the Dune books written by his son and Brian Anderson.

It's just that Lovelock failed so hard in being the "soul joining" experience I normally feel when reading an OSC book. The type of story, the arc of the story...yep...typical OSC. But the TELLING of the story? Not so much.

Maybe it was the audible actor as I listened to each book. Stephan Rudnicki is one of my favorite audible readers and he's done many of the OSC books including the one I'm reading now and liking so much.
I know what you mean. Monster Hunter Guardian was a similar experience for me. Larry Corriea has a fairly distinctive writing style and it was fairly obvious that Corriea had little to do with that book. There is a side series of Monster Hunter books written by John Ringo that has Corriea name on it, but in the forward Corriea said that Ringo had asked to play in the MHI universe and Corriea just provided some continuity editing. Guardian had no such disclaimer, though it did list the other writer as the co-writer. My guess is that Corriea hadn't really planned the book, but Baen was looking to give one of their mid tier authors a boost. I was frankly disappointed by the book and felt a bit cheated.

My guess is that you see it mostly with older writers (Card is 68) who are slowing down a lot and whose name still has a lot of pull in the market.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:45 AM   #18
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My guess is that you see it mostly with older writers (Card is 68) who are slowing down a lot and whose name still has a lot of pull in the market.
BTW - I like Ringo as an author

I know about Card....plus he had a stroke a couple years ago. I hope he finds a better "more like OSC" writer to keep some of his series alive.

I generally don't mind "large Author's Name on book, but written by someone else who's name is small at the bottom". To me I think "well, if the author is letting his name be large and in charge, then he's taking responsibility for the quality of the book, even if he doesn't write it".

I've been immune for the most part...of feeling majorly let down. I read every new Clancy book, every new Bourne book. I can't possibly ready every James Patterson labeled book, but the series of his that I follow, I'm pleased with.

I've like the Honor Harrington spin off's and collaborations - but at least those haven't been marketed "big author name"-style.

But this time I was truly fooled. First....by falling for "Author's Name as Brand" at the top of the book cover without noticing the small "written by...." at the bottom. I just hadn't come to expect that from OSC. Then the story simply wasn't up to OSC writing ability. All the while I was reading, I thought "has the stroke ruined OSC's writing ability"?
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post

I've like the Honor Harrington spin off's and collaborations - but at least those haven't been marketed "big author name"-style.

But this time I was truly fooled. First....by falling for "Author's Name as Brand" at the top of the book cover without noticing the small "written by...." at the bottom. I just hadn't come to expect that from OSC. Then the story simply wasn't up to OSC writing ability. All the while I was reading, I thought "has the stroke ruined OSC's writing ability"?
Hmm, hadn't thought of the stroke.
Maybe it was a contracted work in progress that needed finishing.
Has he released anything newer?

As for the Weber spinoffs and collaborations most read pretty much as the credits suggest. Which is to be expected considering the co-writers are well established authors in their own right with recognizable narrative voices. No disguising expected or likely. Plus Weber has been known to hold up a volume because of the cowriter's health issues. The evidence, until now, is that his collaborations are collaborations of equals. He even altered his long term Honorverse timeline because of the CROWN OF SLAVES books.

The only exception is the latest, THE GORDIAN PROTOCOL, which reads like Weber editing/rewriting Holo, not like his other collaborations. It feels...off. It even lacks his signature infodumps.

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Old 12-04-2019, 04:58 PM   #20
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BTW - I like Ringo as an author

I know about Card....plus he had a stroke a couple years ago. I hope he finds a better "more like OSC" writer to keep some of his series alive.

I generally don't mind "large Author's Name on book, but written by someone else who's name is small at the bottom". To me I think "well, if the author is letting his name be large and in charge, then he's taking responsibility for the quality of the book, even if he doesn't write it".

I've been immune for the most part...of feeling majorly let down. I read every new Clancy book, every new Bourne book. I can't possibly ready every James Patterson labeled book, but the series of his that I follow, I'm pleased with.

I've like the Honor Harrington spin off's and collaborations - but at least those haven't been marketed "big author name"-style.

But this time I was truly fooled. First....by falling for "Author's Name as Brand" at the top of the book cover without noticing the small "written by...." at the bottom. I just hadn't come to expect that from OSC. Then the story simply wasn't up to OSC writing ability. All the while I was reading, I thought "has the stroke ruined OSC's writing ability"?
I really liked the three Monster Hunter books that Ringo wrote, but it was very obvious that they were Ringo books in the MHI universe, not books co-written by Ringo and Corriea.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:35 AM   #21
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I haven't read the Gordian Protocol yet (didn't know it existed). I've got a bone to pick with Weber over his last book "Out of Darkness". It was a typical Weber book (not his best, perhaps, but in the pocket)....and then he ended it Deus Ex Machina style. I couldn't believe it. I felt betrayed.

But I have enjoyed all the Honor Harrington Spinoff Series. Eric Flint is another author that does great collaborations....particularly in the 1632 Series. But still....he doesn't market them with his own name the way we are speaking about with these "Author as Contractor" books.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The only exception is the latest, THE GORDIAN PROTOCOL, which reads like Weber editing/rewriting Holo, not like his other collaborations. It feels...off. It even lacks his signature infodumps.
Aha! Just looked this book up. Haven't read it but yes, this is an example of "Author as Contractor". Weber's name is at the top of the book cover, larger than the title of the book. It screams "hey, Weber fans, read this book!"

At least Jacob Holo's name is the same size....even though located at the bottom of the cover.

Seeing a book cover like this....I generally would think "Ok, Weber is telling me that if I like his books, I should like this one"....I wouldn't expect it to be a "Weber book"....but a "Weber quality controlled" book.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:22 AM   #23
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I haven't read the Gordian Protocol yet (didn't know it existed). I've got a bone to pick with Weber over his last book "Out of Darkness". It was a typical Weber book (not his best, perhaps, but in the pocket)....and then he ended it Deus Ex Machina style. I couldn't believe it. I felt betrayed.

But I have enjoyed all the Honor Harrington Spinoff Series. Eric Flint is another author that does great collaborations....particularly in the 1632 Series. But still....he doesn't market them with his own name the way we are speaking about with these "Author as Contractor" books.
Out of Darkness isn't his last book, it came out in 2010 and he's come out with several books (which I mostly liked) since then. I agree with your opinion of the book though. I don't think that Weber has been in the best of health over the last several years. I read that he had a pacemaker put in 4 or 5 years ago.

The good news is that he seems to have mostly come to have tied up most of the threads in his last Honor Harrington book. There are still some things unresolved, so the opening is there, but I would say that the main story has mostly concluded.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:06 PM   #24
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Out of Darkness isn't his last book, it came out in 2010 and he's come out with several books (which I mostly liked) since then. I agree with your opinion of the book though. I don't think that Weber has been in the best of health over the last several years. I read that he had a pacemaker put in 4 or 5 years ago.

The good news is that he seems to have mostly come to have tied up most of the threads in his last Honor Harrington book. There are still some things unresolved, so the opening is there, but I would say that the main story has mostly concluded.
Weird...it's hard to always find out the new books from your favorite authors.

But...I did read the latest Honor Harrington, I do believe it's meant to be the end of the series. At least of the main Honor Harrington character.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:43 PM   #25
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I haven't read the Gordian Protocol yet (didn't know it existed). I've got a bone to pick with Weber over his last book "Out of Darkness". It was a typical Weber book (not his best, perhaps, but in the pocket)....and then he ended it Deus Ex Machina style. I couldn't believe it. I felt betrayed.

But I have enjoyed all the Honor Harrington Spinoff Series. Eric Flint is another author that does great collaborations....particularly in the 1632 Series. But still....he doesn't market them with his own name the way we are speaking about with these "Author as Contractor" books.
OUT OF DARKNESS was an expansion on a short story he wrote for an anthology. But the expansion was all upfront and it didn't match up well with the preexisting story. Some of the best short story expansion *start* with the original short, rather than end with it.

Definitely not his best.
I'm not terribly fond of his Safehold series, either. The setup screamed "generational saga" not an endless step by step slog.
Gave up after the fourth...

Flint's 163x /Grantville saga has evolved into a shared world series, ala Wild Cards or Thieves World. Flint has been honest that 1632 was meant as a one-and-done until Weber pointed out the sequel potential. Anthologies followed and then the Gazzette e-magazine. The thing has gotten so big he's indie publishing several volumes because BAEN can't keep up with the output. Even "just" editing he can't keep up himself.

Good reads, though.
Somebody ought to license the series for video.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:50 PM   #26
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Weird...it's hard to always find out the new books from your favorite authors.

But...I did read the latest Honor Harrington, I do believe it's meant to be the end of the series. At least of the main Honor Harrington character.
The latter.
There's at least one volume hanging featuring Mike Henke and probably an entire arc about the Mesan conspiracy featuring Honor's adult kids. And he clearly has plans for Abigail Hearns and the Hexapuma kids.

He actually meant to kill Honor several volumes back but CROWN OF SLAVES made him change the timeline. Either way, it's past time he focused on the other characters and settings.
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