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Mike Reeves-McMillan
Attended Massey University
Lives in Auckland
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Friday (my next writing day) is clearly going to be a short story day. Four of my stories have come back to me and need a going-over before I send them out again. And one or two of my story ideas are ripening towards the point where I can pick them. 
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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I beta-read this book. The draft version was more enjoyable (and had fewer errors) than the final, published version of the trad-pub book I read immediately before, which was by an author who was nominated for several awards.
 
A Sip of Fear is now live at Amazon and Smashwords. Unfortunately either Amazon or Google keeps screwing up and putting the wrong cover on the link, so I'll do it this way. The cover art is below, and here are the links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010WIB3LO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/556384

When Gordon the bio-mage and the other Illuminated – magicians blessed with familiar spirits that give them remarkable powers – hear rumors that Shadow is on his way, they soon learn that the adept of Death, supposedly mythical, really exists. He’s undead, invincible, and ruthless. He kills Illuminated. Nothing can stop him, and now it seems that Gordon is his chosen target.

Gordon’s familiar spirit knows how he can survive, but she’s left him alone to discover it for himself as a test. If Gordon can’t find the answer in a few days, he’s sure to die.

Price is $2.99 either place. It will be up at other outlets within a week or so. If you beta-read for me, I'll have a free final copy to you today by email.
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An interesting additional data point here: it seems that Kindle Edition Normalised Page Count equates to about 1000 characters (including spaces) per page.

Currently, the KENP payment is about 0.6c for each "page" (1000 characters) the reader reads.

The average word in most texts is 5 characters (including one space), so that's about 200 words, less than the 250 words per page that you typically get in print. So 200 words gets you 0.6c, meaning that you are being paid 0.003c/word/reader.

Looking at it another way, in order to get the rate of 6c/word that you'd get for selling your short story to any of a number of pro publications, you would need to get 2000 readers to read it all the way through. That's a lifetime number, though. (It assumes that the payment remains constant, which it won't, but since we don't know if it will go up or down I have to stick with the number we have currently.)

And let's not forget that the average trad-pub advance these days is $3000, which is not much more than 3c/word. Since most advances don't earn out, that $3000 is all you'll get, unless you're unusually lucky.

So the difference between the three is:
- Short story sale (pro rates): sell it once for 6c/word, regain rights within 1 month to about 2 years, potentially sell it again as a reprint for 1c/word, then put it on Amazon when the rights revert a second time.
- Amazon KDP: you need to get 2000 borrows to make 6c/word. You can pull out at any time (after 90 days).
- Novel sale to trad pub: sell it once for about 3c/word, never get another cent and never get your rights back (under most current contracts).


None of those three things are easy to achieve, I should emphasize. I haven't achieved any of them, for example. But the most realistic for me to achieve, the one I've come closest to achieving on multiple occasions, is the first one--and it's also the most profitable.
 
Let's Talk Numbers: Wild Speculation on the New KU
I know I'm supposed to be on vacation, but this was too exciting not to talk about!!! As I mentioned a week ago, Amazon has changed the way it calculates borrows for Kindle Unlimited, their book subscription service . In that post, I was pretty optimistic a...
I know I'm supposed to be on vacation, but this was too exciting not to talk about!!! As I mentioned a week ago, Amazon has changed the way it calculates borrows for Kindle Unlimited, their book subscription service. In that ...
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+Mike Reeves-McMillan I have no indication that this is the case. I looked at my character count including front and back matter and they were fairly close.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Thanks, +S. A. Hunt, for recommending +Matt Davis as a cover artist. I'm very happy with his work on my cover for The Well-Presented Manuscript. He was professional, responsive and, importantly, produced a cover I like that makes my book look professional.
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That's wonderful!
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A typically sensible and non-Chicken-Little-esque post from +Hugh Howey. I especially like his point about getting a lot of different things out in the market quickly so you can see which do well.
I assumed six months ago that the KU payout terms would eventually change. I wasn’t sure if Amazon would go with a pay-by-page scheme or something that put works in tiers by length, but many observers knew this was a question of “when” and not “if.” Despite the overblown and horribly researched coverage in the wider…
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Someday I will get an acceptance from Urban Fantasy magazine.

But this is not that day.
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Sorry. Good luck with your future submissions.
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In case anyone missed it: The Well-Presented Manuscript is available for preorder, and will publish on the 14th of July. The link below takes you to the blog where I drafted it, so you can get a taster if you need it. There are links from there to the preorder page.

Here's the blurb:

Do you want to be taken seriously by editors, readers or reviewers? 
Do you make errors in your fiction writing? 
This book is for you. 

Mike Reeves-McMillan is a fiction author, reviewer, and former copy editor and technical writer. He's analysed the errors he's found in almost 250 books, both indie and traditionally published, and written a simple, clear guide to avoiding the most common issues. 

Learn: 
- Why editors reject 90% of what's submitted to them—and how to increase your chances. 
- How to get punctuation right every time. 
- The special conventions of dialog. 
- The most common word confusions, typos, and research errors—and how to check for and eliminate them.
The Well-Presented Manuscript is a book, of which this blog is a draft. The final book contains extra material not on the blog, and you can pre-order it here. catselfie I'm Mike Reeves-McMillan, former copy editor and tech writer, and current active author and book reviewer.
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Pre-Ordered.
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The Well-Presented Manuscript: Just What You Need to Know to Make Your Fiction Look Professional is available for preorder on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010RJOAYA. Launch day is 14 July (US Pacific time).

I set out to write a gentle, accessible guide to avoiding or correcting the most common errors that fiction writers make. How do I know which ones those are? I read nearly 250 books--indie and trad-pub--and marked the errors in my Kindle, then analysed them. And who am I, anyway? I'm a fiction author, a former professional editor and technical writer, and a book reviewer.

I cover punctuation (including breaking down sentence structure and parts of speech, so you understand where the commas should go); the special rules of punctuating dialog; commonly confused words; spotting and removing typos; and even a few research problems. I also talk about submitting to short-fiction and trad-pub editors, who reject 90% or more of what they receive, and how you can increase your chances with them.

Even good writers make many of the mistakes I cover, and I mark the commonest ones for special attention.

If you'd like to improve your fiction manuscript, but find other guides confusing or too technical, give this one a try. With hundreds of examples, many drawn from real books, it's focused on practical use, not theory.

You can see an early draft in blog form here: http://csidemedia.com/wellpresentedms (but I've substantially revised and expanded it for the book, and added several new chapters). 
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Nice. Congrats.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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So it's the midpoint of 2015, and I'm reviewing my #shortstorychallenge  figures for the first half of the year.

Here they are (with the figures for the full year 2014 in parentheses for comparison):

Submitted: 23 (44)
Accepted: 4 (1)
Rejection, Form: 9 (20)
Rejection, Personal: 8 (14)
Amount Paid: $204 ($0)
Amount Outstanding: $100 ($35)

Last year's acceptance was to an anthology (semi-pro rates). 

This year, it's: one charity anthology (no payment), two magazine sales (same magazine; semi-pro), one podcast sale (semi-pro). 
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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I'm often impressed by +standoutbooks' blog posts; they're not just filler content, but have a real insight into the topics. This one's on YA.
Let's explore the 3 golden rules of writing young adult fiction, looking at the role it has in its readers’ lives and the implications this has for writers.
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The context: Scribd, which is a subscription-model book service, has been paying authors the same for a borrow as they'd get for a sale. 

The problem: Romance readers read a lot of books, so Scribd was losing money on the romance category.

The solution: Scribd have delisted a large number of romance books (not all, and Draft2Digital, who informed me about this because I have a book cross-listed as a romance, don't know the criteria yet - and imply that Scribd are kind of making them up as they go along).

Brace for a significant portion of the Internet to fall on Scribd's head in 3...2...1...
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Another find via Deb Chachra: a typeface which redacts as you type.
Seen is a novelty typeface with an agenda: as you type, it automatically redacts terms that the NSA might consider threats to security, e.g., privacy, communications, etc. It’s a commentary on the ...
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Mike's Collections
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Tagline
Novelist, blogger, book reviewer
Introduction
I write a steampunk-fantasy series about heroic civil servants called The Gryphon Clerks. I do a lot of book reviewing, too. I'm harsh but (I hope) constructive. Currently not accepting review requests.
 
I'll probably only circle you back if you engage me in conversation, and if you either mostly write about writing or something else I find interesting, or you're an unusually interesting and insightful person. Exception: I don't circle erotica writers, just because of what might show up in my stream. Nothing personal.
Bragging rights
While working for a certain notorious NZ publisher in my freelance editing days, I got out with all the money owed to me (if you knew NZ publishing up to the late 90s you'd know who I mean, and be impressed).
Education
  • Massey University
    Health Science, 2008 - 2010
  • University of Auckland
    English, 1986 - 1989
  • Waitakere College
    1981 - 1985
  • Swanson Primary School
    1973 - 1980
  • Auckland University of Technology
    Celebrant Studies, 2005 - 2006
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Michael McMillan