Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reasons and Roadmaps by the Super Secret Musa Intern




Greetings, Kittens!

I’ve been asked to share how I found Musa Publishing and what I’ve learned and come to enjoy about my internship. Sounds simple enough, right? In actuality, this blog took forever to get down. Why? Well, let's start at the beginning.

I didn’t find Musa Publishing so much as it found me. The made-of-awesome Head Editor of the Erato LGBTQ line Liz Silver, tracked down my author persona after I’d disappeared off of the grid for a while. It turns out that she had a slot in an anthology for me and wanted to know if I’d be interested.  I jumped at it because I knew Liz got my style and appreciated my dedication to positive portrayals of polyamory in fiction.

After the anthology experience there was an offer to stick around and help put the B[isexual] in the LGBTQ line, another emphasis and dedication of my writing. At that point I started to research Musa Publishing and how it came to be. Several days later, after wading through forums and learning the saga of twists and turns that birthed the phoenix that is Musa Publishing, I knew I was in the right place.

I handed over my gender fluid, sexually fluid, D/s, femdom, political, polyamorous shifter/vampire/fae, urban fantasy and settled down for the long haul. I knew I wanted to develop the series at Musa and see it as part of the growing success for the publishing company. As it turns out, I was in a position to do more than offer book one in a series.

As a statistic of the recession, I’d been laid off for almost two years. This was great for my writing, but less so for those pesky things called bills. I’d secured a new job, but it was six weeks until I’d start and I happened to ask Liz if Musa needed any help. She mentioned the ongoing need for interns and I was immediately interested.

After a few conversations with Kerry, I started learning the royalty payment process. I have an entirely new insight and appreciation of everything that goes into those monthly payments. It’s straight forward when it comes to looking at the numbers in column A and column B, but the hours of data collection and transference and double checking and error correction, all before you get to press the magic excel button that makes it look like real money, going to real people, can leave you wanting a drink.

My patience for working with excel sheets helped it all go quickly. I believe in putting my OCD to work for the common good and that task certainly fit the bill. A little later I expanded to working with Dominique to enter author information on several sites. To have the authors go from names and titles on a page to full color covers, blurbs and excerpts, was wonderful. It took me back to my old bookseller days where I got to peek at more than my fair share of awesome fiction I’d never have enough time to read, but would happily hoard anyway. The wonderful thing about digital publishing is that now my book hoarding will never land me on an A&E special.

I enjoyed learning the systems for both royalties and author promotion and look forward to learning a great deal more, it’ll just take longer than I thought. Those six weeks passed quickly and I started training for the new job. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I have a chronic illness that’s currently in a down cycle. That makes the best of days their own hill to climb, add in a full time job and any attempt to be creative and it becomes daunting quickly. I credit the internship with preparing me for my new job. It gave me the transition period I needed to adapt to working around my illness again, and refreshed all of those detailed oriented aspects of my personality that are perfect for learning new systems. I appreciate that more than I can begin to convey.

I haven’t had the energy yet to do both jobs at the level I’d like, but I’m still chipping away at author ads, and looking forward to other tasks that I can slip in before or after my paying gig, or on the weekends. I keep at it because I want to see Musa Publishing become everything that it can be, even if I can only help in fits and starts for the moment.

On the personal side, I think that learning about publishing in all its aspects will make me a stronger author on every level from story crafting to self-promotion. It’s done nothing for my grasp of grammar and punctuation as Liz can tell you, but hey, we can’t have everything.

That’s all from me, Kittens. And yes, I know that I didn’t mention my author persona by name, virtually unheard of for an author doing a blog on anything. I’m okay with that. But for those of you intensely curious as to whether or not you know me, if you do, I gave all the clues you’d need. *Grin*

Ramble Done,

~J

Editor's note: I've heard of books published by Anonymous, so I'm really thrilled that the omnipresent and apparently immortal Anonymous is now a Musa intern.  This is an intern at the beginning of her relationship with Musa as both an intern and an author, and we are thrilled to have her.  I'm also kind of stoked that Anonymous is a chick--thousands of misogynistic literature academics are spinning in their graves at the thought. 

2 comments:

Derek said...

It's great to hear about the side of business that we authors don't get to see, so that we can appreciate the dedication behind the scenes. Thank you, Anonymous, for all your work and good luck with both the new job and your own secret writing!

Rhea Rhodan said...

You had me at "I believe in putting my OCD to work for the common good." May all of your life transitions be so fruitful!