Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-03-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
leebase
Karma Kameleon
leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
leebase's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,522
Karma: 18324140
Join Date: Aug 2009
Device: iPad Mini, iPhone X, Kindle Fire Tab HD 8, Walmart Onn
Author as General Contractor

For at least the last decade or so, popular authors have been extending their brand via collaborations with other authors. Not as equals...but under the brand of the main author.

In general I've been fine with this. Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney comes to mind. I figure the "name brand" author takes responsibility for the final quality so it's a good risk.

And then there is the book I just read that I thought was by Orson Scott Card, "Lovelock". It's a book about an enhanced Capuchin monkey who serves as a "witness" to a gailogist on earth's first foray to another planet. The entire book is told from the perspective of the monkey.

What I love about OSC is his ability to make me care about his characters. All manner of characters...human, alien, animal...I'm like a tuning fork resonating with Card's characters.

But not with Lovelock. I was surprised as I'd never had an OSC book that I just didn't resonate with. After I finished, THEN I noticed "with Kathryn H. Kidd" and it made sense. OSC did not write this book.

Right after, I am reading "Lost and Found" by OSC and right from the get go, he has captured my attention and I'm totally vibing with the characters in the book.

But for me...this is the first time I've felt such a large difference between "Author as general contractor" and a book solely by the author.
leebase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 11,259
Karma: 116395430
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
You've never run into a James Patterson book?
Or, much older, a Byron Preiss production?
Ghost written books are by now an old tradition goihg back at least 50 years.

The oldest I have is the STAR WARS novelization by "George Lucas" and it wasn't the first by far.

What is relatively new, 21st century new, anyway, is listing the ghost writter as a collaborator instead of pretending the big name is the actual author.

These kinds of "work for hire" books tend to break down into three categories:

- Complete work for hire projects where the producer, be it author (often prodded by an agent), publisher, or movie studio, owns the story and pays the actual writer. Most typically a flat fee. It gets published under the producer's name. The Lucas book was almost certainly a full ghost job. It's followup, SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE by Alan Dean Foster was a creditted work for hire. (Foster has a lot of those, typically movie novelizations.) There's a lot of variation but in all cases the writer is just an employee with zero ownership rights.

- Reworked/relabeled projects where (most often) a new writer's book gets the established author's name attached more or less after the fact. Some times the name author edits or reworks the story to varying degrees. Some become actual collaborations.

- Accidental collaborations, where a writer steps in to finish a work by an established author. Often posthumously. Occasionally it is to write the entire book off notes or a first draft. Stephen Goldin doing the Family d'Alembert series off E.E. Smith's notes and Sanderson finishing off Wheel of Time are examples where the writer got full cover credit.

Beyond that, but less common, are true collaborations (for a book or two) and long term partnerships. Each one of those is its own creature but what distinguishes them from the "contracting jobs" is the independent success of both authors. Niven&Pournelle being one of the best examples. Individually successful, they were big time best sellers as a team.

Tom Clancy is a special case because he sold his name to be used as a corporate brand and had nothing to do with the works bearing his name afterwards. Not that he had much in many before the deal. Even his first books are reported to be at best secret collaborations.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 01:50 PM   #3
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 11,259
Karma: 116395430
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
As to the OP heading, the author as general contractor is how most Indie authors work.
They write the story but most everything else, from editing and proofing to formatting and covers is contracted out for a flat fee.
Most will credit the cover artist, some will credit the editor. Not required but many consider it good form.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 02:04 PM   #4
jhowell
Wizard
jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jhowell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jhowell's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,158
Karma: 31800001
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Florida
Device: Oasis 2, Fire, iPad Air 2, Nexus 7
It seems that even long dead authors can keep putting out books...as long as someone else writes them.

(I consider this cover to be a bit of false advertising.)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	417KeuwIR8L.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	27.6 KB
ID:	175308  
jhowell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 02:05 PM   #5
Sirtel
Wizard
Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sirtel ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Sirtel's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,094
Karma: 20985590
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Estonia
Device: Kindle Voyage/Oasis 2/Oasis 3/Nook Glowlight Plus 7.8''/Kobo Libra H2O
I tend to avoid such books. Either the original author or an honest collaboration (with both authors equally credited) are fine, but such "contracts" as you describe (where the original author is credited, but the book is actually not written by him/her) are really not my cup of tea.
Sirtel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 02:15 PM   #6
j.p.s
Wizard
j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.j.p.s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,491
Karma: 40352369
Join Date: Apr 2011
Device: pb360
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Ghost written books are by now an old tradition goihg back at least 50 years.
I know you wrote "at least 50 years", but still...
Henry Gauthier-Villars (8 August 1859 – 12 January 1931) ran a book authoring sweatshop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Gauthier-Villars
j.p.s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:23 PM   #7
hildea
Evangelist
hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.hildea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
hildea's Avatar
 
Posts: 495
Karma: 16802890
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Norway
Device: PocketBook Touch Lux (had a BeBook Neo earlier)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
As to the OP heading, the author as general contractor is how most Indie authors work.
They write the story but most everything else, from editing and proofing to formatting and covers is contracted out for a flat fee.
Most will credit the cover artist, some will credit the editor. Not required but many consider it good form.
I don't think that's the same thing as leebase describes at all. Editing, formatting, cover etc is usually handled by someone else than the author, both for (good) indie publishing and publishing house publishing. The author / publishing company should, of course, credit at least editors and cover artists.
hildea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:36 PM   #8
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 11,259
Karma: 116395430
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
I know you wrote "at least 50 years", but still...
Henry Gauthier-Villars (8 August 1859 – 12 January 1931) ran a book authoring sweatshop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Gauthier-Villars
There's also the publishing consortia of the pulp era.
(Stratemeyer, etc)
And Alexandre Dumas is suspected of labeling as his the work of his assistant(s).
But it became a more common and regular thing in recent times.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:41 PM   #9
leebase
Karma Kameleon
leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
leebase's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,522
Karma: 18324140
Join Date: Aug 2009
Device: iPad Mini, iPhone X, Kindle Fire Tab HD 8, Walmart Onn
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.
leebase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:42 PM   #10
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 11,259
Karma: 116395430
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildea View Post
I don't think that's the same thing as leebase describes at all.

.
I was just pointing out that the OP title phrase describes the Indie process *better* than it does ghost publishing because the author isn't typically in control in ghost writing, where the contractor is the publisher, not the author.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 11,259
Karma: 116395430
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: T100TA,PW2,PRS-T1,KT,FireHD 8.9,K2, PB360,BeBook One,Axim51v,TC1000
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebase View Post

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.


.
Narrative voice is the most distinctive element of a good writer's work and the hardest to ghost. Anybody familiar with a prolific writer can quickly tell when they're mailing it in or being ghosted.

Now Patterson, because of his narrative formula, is just about the easiest author to ghost. Odds are we'll be treated to "new" Patterson stories long after he dies.

Clancy is also easy because of the style of his books, most of which he didn't write, anyway.

Card, as noted, is hard.
He has a fairly idiosyncratic voice and his typical story structure is also distinctive.

It takes a skillful writer in their own right to emulate many of the writers out there. Especially those who don't write the standard "serious writer" voice taught in most modern writing classes.

KKR has a really good piece on voice:

https://kriswrites.com/2016/02/03/bu...-writer-voice/

Quote:

I noted something as I read. Most of the stories had the same voice and tone. What do I mean by that? I mean they read like they’d been written by the exact same person.

It was always a joy—it is always a joy—to “hear” a new voice, a voice that doesn’t sound like anyone else. I could tell without looking at the byline when I hit a Joyce Carol Oates or Megan Abbot or Michael Connelly story. The Strand found an original F. Scott Fitzgerald story and published it last year, and Fitzgerald’s voice—unlike any other—came through loud and clear.

A lot of the stories I read this past year had wonderful plots. They had great characters and lovely twists. The stories were published, remember, and so they all had something unusual, something strong.

But that something generally wasn’t voice.

And now I’m reading manuscripts for an anthology that should be all voice. Every story should sound so different from every other story as to be unrecognizable. Think of it like accents or word usage: As I read, I should be seeing Texas accents and idioms in one story, Australian accents and idioms in the next, and Scottish accents and idioms in the next.

Instead, I get mostly what I call “serious writer voice.”

Serious writer voice is carefully bland. It will include a few setting details, some nice descriptions, maybe a few unique words. But mostly, it is indistinguishable from any other voice. Rather like the way we used to train broadcasters in this country.
fjtorres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
leebase
Karma Kameleon
leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
leebase's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,522
Karma: 18324140
Join Date: Aug 2009
Device: iPad Mini, iPhone X, Kindle Fire Tab HD 8, Walmart Onn
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
It seems that even long dead authors can keep putting out books...as long as someone else writes them.

(I consider this cover to be a bit of false advertising.)
Great example. One could easily think this was a Crichton book. But...clearly this is after death so it’s not really “Author as General Contractor”. If the two of them started their collaboration while Crichton was alive, I’d have higher expectations.

But I’d likely to have been fooled by the title had I not already known the Title author was dead. And in the case of Lovelock, I automatically bought it because I buy all of OSC's books. It was the first time one of his was sold with his name Large and collaborator small. Or first time I noticed. With Patterson, I know he deal.
leebase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 07:09 PM   #13
DNSB
Bibliophagist
DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DNSB's Avatar
 
Posts: 6,505
Karma: 29828061
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Device: Kobo Aura One, Aura H2O, Aura HD, Nexus 7 HD, iPad Air, Tolino epos
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
As to the OP heading, the author as general contractor is how most Indie authors work.
They write the story but most everything else, from editing and proofing to formatting and covers is contracted out for a flat fee.
Most will credit the cover artist, some will credit the editor. Not required but many consider it good form.
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.
DNSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 07:14 PM   #14
DNSB
Bibliophagist
DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DNSB ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DNSB's Avatar
 
Posts: 6,505
Karma: 29828061
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Device: Kobo Aura One, Aura H2O, Aura HD, Nexus 7 HD, iPad Air, Tolino epos
As for dead authors? It's surprising how many authors continue writing new books long after their death. V. C. Andrews is a particularly horrible example that comes to mind. 7 books completed prior to death, a couple completed by another author after her death and over 70 written under her name after her death.
DNSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2019, 07:34 PM   #15
binaryhermit
Wizard
binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.binaryhermit ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
binaryhermit's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,092
Karma: 3514504
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Lockport, IL
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 3rd gen, so-called "All-New Kindle" (AKA 10th gen)
That's not just a book thing, it happens in music too.
binaryhermit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
General bobmiles Introduce Yourself 3 12-12-2011 10:38 PM
Looking for Word/PDF to ePUB Format Contractor ygrinch ePub 9 05-14-2010 12:04 PM
General hi! to everyone frielir Introduce Yourself 3 06-13-2009 03:10 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:37 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.