I shared cake with Leza Cantoral when Christoph Paul took us to one of his favorite restaurants during the Associated Writing Programs conference. Oh, and we had a deep discussion about publishing. Don’t believe me? Listen to the podcast!
It was super fun catching up with John Edward Lawson, author and publisher of Raw Dog Screaming Press. It was fun finding out about the erotica he is writing on the side and how a publisher is always learning new tricks and skills to get noticed.
“To me, Bizarro is the Chaos Magick of literature.”
John Edward Lawson is an author, editor and poet living in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He is the author of 16 books of fiction and poetry, and numerous chapbooks. Over 500 of his poems, stories, and articles have been published in magazines, anthologies, literary journals, and newspapers worldwide. He has been called “The forgotten black man of horror,” but he also regularly publishes science…
My 2016 holiday/birthday TARDIS acquisitions, with bonus Alex-cat photobomb. (Not shown: Hand-painted miniature TARDIS I’ve already moved to my desk at the day job and the gorgeous laptop slipcase that a sleeping cat had claimed when I was ready to take this picture.)
Happy 2017 to all! This year I’m looking forward to continuing work on the Steel Empires series, contributing to Speculative Chic, reading lots of amazing books, and attending fun conventions, and watching lots of great movies and television shows. This year’s motto is probably “Work hard, play hard.”
Maryland has a pirate band, and their fourth CD is in the works. What’s more: they are, for the first time, crowdfunding it. There are plenty of perks. Even though it just went live yesterday they’ve already got over a quarter of their goal amount pledged!
Pirates for Sail is Maryland’s #1 pirate band! Founded in 2005, we sail under the questionable leadership of Captain Nathaniel “Gute” Morgan, bringing our repertoire of sea shanties, traditional tunes and other piratical music to festivals and parties all along the East Coast. Learn more at PiratesforSail.com or our Facebook page!
Crabby Road will be our fourth full-length studio album, following A Shot Across the Bow (2008), Band on the Rum (2009), Dark Side of the Lagoon (2012), and our 2016 EP Faire Warning.
This is our first crowdfunding campaign, but we have faith that our fans, and pirates around the world, will show their support. The money will be used towards paying for recording and engineering expertise, for the printing and packaging of the CDs, and for royalty payments for song covers. We’ve budgeted for a 15-track album. If we can surpass our goals, we can pay for more studio time, which means more songs! More money = more music!
So join our campaign and follow along with exclusive behind-the-scenes updates! We promise scurvy isn’t contagious.
In addition to Crabby Road itself in either CD or digital formats, we have lots of great stuff to give our backers, including pins, T-shirts, shot glasses, handmade items and more! Check out the different pledge levels to see all the cool stuff you could snag.
(And in case you’re wondering what a Black Spot is, go forth and be educated! Robert Louis Stevenson described it in Treasure Island. Our interpretation will be inscribed with the name of your choice and a personalized message of up to ten words, and will be an ominous and confusing keepsake for generations to come.)
* * *
My Favorite Level
My personal favorite reward level is Lord High Admiral:
You, you amazing person, are a friend of pirates for life! You’ll get everything at the $1000 level, including the private concert, but you’ll also have a pirate to do your bidding! We’re a diverse crew with many skills, so select one personal service from the list below and we’ll do it for you, while the rest of the crew tags along for the fun!
– Black Dog Nate will officiate your wedding (where permitted by law) or MC your special event
– Jackal will give a you a guided tour of the Gettysburg battlefield
– Alice will provide a professional photo shoot of you and your family (or partner, pet, baby, etc.)
– Gute will give a presentation on the history of piracy (perfect for schools or libraries!)
– Mr. Grossnickle will serve as grillmaster for your backyard barbecue (you provide the grill and the meat; we’ll bring the side dishes)
– Thudd will present you with a custom, handcrafted pair of bracers
– Lassie Lyons will give you a beginner or intermediate lesson on the fiddle
– Finn will give you a voice lesson and teach you some sea shanties
– Something we haven’t thought of yet? Talk to us!
Access to all campaign updates
Your name on Pirates for Sail’s web site
Watch a tear fall from One-Eyed Mike’s one eye
Live streaming event access
Autographed compact disc copy of Crabby Road
Digital copy of Crabby Road
A personalized handcrafted Black Spot
Autographed Pirates for Sail T-shirt (S-XXXL)
Limited-edition Pirates for Sail pin
Pirates for Sail shot glass
In-person concert from Pirates for Sail
Personal service from a Pirates for Sail crewmember (see above)
It’s kind of crazy to think that it’s been 5 years since I’ve been involved with Raw Dog Screaming Press. There are other dates to mark that anniversary that might be more “official,” such as the date my first book with them was announced (at DogCon 3), but I quietly mark the beginning of this journey from my official invitation to the very first DogCon. That was when the Dog Star Books SF/adventure imprint was announced, and when I started to get the idea that I might have found a home for my urban fantasy/alternate history novel.
Funny story: I wasn’t even at the first DogCon! (Even though lots of people seem to think that I was.) I received the invitation after I’d already scheduled the housewarming party for my new home, and since I had not yet met John Edward…
Over the years we’ve evaluated thousands of manuscripts in our various editorial endeavors, from The Dream People magazine to numerous anthologies and our publishing imprints. One thing we realized is that as editors you are never merely signed an author, you are entering into a business partnership.
We also learned the hard way that when investing a book it’s best to meet the author first. That way we ensure everybody is on the same page, so to speak, concerning the publishing process. We also make sure there’s no issue with personality conflicts, or any other potential problems.
Likewise, we feel it’s a good thing for authors to vet any publisher they might work with, and do so by meeting them in person. Second-hand accounts are great, but you know best what you want and need. If something doesn’t click with the publisher you’re better off knowing prior to being locked into a multi-year deal.
One function our yearly DogCon event serves is to provide a platform for authors to meet us. There’s still time to get tickets and join us. Of course, if you can’t make it to the Broadkill Resort you can join us for the highlights online free of charge.
You don’t absolutely have to attend DogCon5 in order to get to know us…instead you could be patient and come to one of our workshops, but they have a higher price tag.
KW Taylor came to our second Bourbon Ridge retreat, during which she had a sit down with us to discuss her writing. The result? A year later we published her novel The Curiosity Killers.
Jessica McHugh was awarded the scholarship to attend our first Bourbon Ridge retreat after we ran a successful crowdfunding campaign. The result? Next year her novel Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven will be published by Raw Dog Screaming Press.
Jim and Janice Leach also attended our first Bourbon Ridge retreat, and their collaborative poetry collection all soon be published by us.
We’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with many others at our events, many of whom we’d like to work with at some point. Some we don’t, and others still are uninterested in working with us. Not everything is about signing contracts—there is such a thing as just having a good time.
Maria Alexander? She was one of those people we just hung out with back in the early 2000s. Over a decade later her debut novel Mr. Wicker came our way, and when we published it she won the Bram Stoker Award.
Lucy A. Snyder? She was somebody who happened to be at a bookstore where we were doing an event. She asked if she could read as part of our lineup, we said yes, things were cool. Years later she put together her collection Soft Apocalypses, which won a Stoker Award when published by us.
You never know where just being cool and hanging out will lead.
What is included? You learn the secrets of the most prolific writers, editors, graphic designers, and publicists in this week-long workshop. From coming up with your idea, writing and editing, to cover design, interior layout, uploading your files, and executing your PR plan, we guide you step-by-step through the process.
This workshop has a total value of $1,356.68…but you get $774.68 in value free when you act now! We hope to get to know you better in the Create a Horror Book in a Week workshop.
There is a lot of news coming from both me personally, and also for Raw Dog Screaming Press and the Broadkill Writers’ Resort. To keep up with it all I strongly recommend subscribing to our newsletter, which we try to pack with valuable information such as job openings in the publishing industry, fun events and free downloads unrelated to us, and other opportunities.
To sample our newsletter without actually having to subscribe you can take a look at our most recent addition in the archive online. We send our newsletter once a month at the most. What do you lose by subscribing and getting tips about free stuff? You can subscribe here. If you do so please ensure that our email address is whitelisted in your account. Thank you!
What counts as “big news,” anyway? There’s only one way to find out…
I missed –––––– when it happened, even though I was involved in the scene at that time. Why? There were people to take care of, although in retrospect it’s clear I could have called on others to cover for me while I took a weekend to be part of that event.
I didn’t ——————— even though I was invited. Why? There was work to finish, none of which was so important that I can actually remember them now.
I wasn’t part of –––––––– because I wasn’t born yet. That’s the cause of me missing so many other cool things.
[Names and dates have been redacted to protect the innocent.]
There’s a real science behind happiness, and the role of experiences in your happiness. As it turns out that experiential investments–time, money, effort–bring long-term happiness by becoming part of our identity, while material purchases only bring short-term happiness.
Shared experiences also bring greater happiness by providing deeper connections with people. Some of my best friends are people I’ve been on the road with at book signings and conventions. One reason I lament missing so many of those aforementioned events is that I’ve missed even more bonding moments.
You’ve been at ground zero for something that turned out to be a big deal, right? Either for your personal circle, or people you are connected with on the internet, or for the public at large, you can list at least one great thing you were a participant in, a witness to. Hopefully more than one.
Do you really want to settle for “hopefully more than one,” though?
There are plenty of instances where I should have taken advantage of an opportunity. Or, better yet, created the opportunity for myself. This is pure conjecture on my part, but I don’t believe it is egotistical to assume other people are like me and have similar regrets.
So, let’s save our future selves a bad case of hand-wringing and indigestion. We can get ourselves to DogCon5, and wrangle our friends and associates into coming along for the ride. I’ll sleep better knowing I spread the word, and you won’t have to hear about the news on the internet after the fact.
The news? Yes. There will be several new developments unveiled at DogCon5. What constitutes a new development or big news for us? Well, we have been steadily launching or acquiring new imprints, winning awards, publishing international music stars, and having movie deals and foreign translations. I won’t reveal details here, but those in attendance will have the opportunity to be beta testers.
Other than being an early adopter getting in on the ground floor…at a secluded, pristine beach…what else is scheduled?
What if you can’t attend? Well, you can still have access to:
• Simulcasts of select event programming
• Free downloads
• Post-event videos, slideshows, and more
• A total lack of all the cool things you would get in person
I feel as though I’ve missed it all, even though I have done a lot of things. And, realistically, nobody can do everything. However…you can take this one action:
Imagine your future self asking Do I regret being part of a cool indie publishing event on the beach?
In your mind’s eye do you see yourself angry and depressed by memories of bonfires on the beach, meals and games with artists, and swag?
Oh, and we’ll be debuting new books during the event. Will you have a new product? Maybe you’re excited about what somebody else is doing? Whatever it is please bring it along and share it with us in person. Thanks!
September 25, 2016, 5-6PM Horror, Dark Fantasy & Paranormal
If it goes bump in the night then it probably belongs here. Join us as we talk about our deepest fears and learn how authors catch just the right feeling of dread to keep you up all night.
Authors: Jeremy M. Gottwig, Richard Groller, John Edward Lawson, Emmie Mears, Damien Angelica Walters.
September 30-October 3 • DogCon 5
DogCon is a big shindig RDSP holds every year to celebrate books, authors and all our supporters. It’s a chance for the RDSP family to get together, meet each other, show off the latest works and begin new creative ventures. Activities will be running Friday to
Monday but Saturday, October 1 & Sunday October 2nd will be the main event. Each DogCon is different and this one will be more about strengthening the RDSP author community than having public book events. Activities on Saturday & Sunday afternoon/evening will be aimed at the public but other times will be more for the authors. However, anyone is still welcome to hang out the whole time. Plans are evolving but here are some of the things we will definitely do:
Guest speaker publicity expert Beverly Bambury will give two workshops on book promotion techniques
Group meals/snacks (likely a shrimp boil, s’mores, Gooey donuts and a cookout)
Also, mark your calendar for the very first event organized by the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, free to the public at the Long Branch Library in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, October 22.
There will be four workshops and panels covering a wide array of subjects, from Imagery in Film to world building. More details to be announced!
November 5-12 • From Concept to Market: Create a Horror Book in One Week
Have you ever wanted to take advantage of a great idea? Have you wanted to get a book into the marketplace quickly to take advantage of a holiday season, current events, or just plain beat a competitor to your audience’s wallet? Learn the secrets of the most prolific writers, editors, graphic designers, and publicists in this online workshop. You will receive daily training and personal attention, have access to a members-only online community, learn how to save thousands of dollars by doing your own book design using free online tools, compose a manuscript in days, and initiate your publicity campaign. Hosted by John Edward Lawson.
The DogCon yearly event has grown more bold with each year, and DogCon5 this September 30-October 3 promises to be the best yet!
Step behind the scenes with your hosts John Edward Lawson and Jennifer C. Barnes, the founders of Raw Dog Screaming Press as they look back over 13 years in the publishing industry, and share hard won insights.
That includes lessons from past DogCons, and the user experience upgrades the DogCon team has implemented to take things to the next level in 2016.
FREE TO THE PUBLIC!
Get the goods without committing to purchasing DogCon tickets. Find out what all the hype is about!
Raw Dog Screaming has repeatedly shaken things up in the publishing scene, inspiring a new wave of imitations by competitors with each new move. Learn why!
Those who register will be on the inside track. Don’t let everyone get ahead of you, join the pre-party now!
Thinking about a career in publishing? Come spend time hanging out with publishers and editors!