Update Day and Where Else You Can Find Me

Hi everyone! Today’s Update Day for my Big Dreams Bloghop, so today I’ll be letting everyone know how I’ve done in July.
Before I start, though:
Today I’m also visiting Shah Wharton, giving some more reasons why I decided to self publish. Then, Nick Wilford posted an awesome review of The Vanished Knight, so if you’re wondering if you should buy it, you might want to check it out. 
Okay with that said, let’s take a look-see at July and what I want to do in August.
My Goals for July: 
1) If my submissions aren’t done by the end of the June, I want them done by end of the first week of July. 
Done, and today, both books have gone live.
2) Ditto for review copies being sent out. 
3) As soon the two above are done, I want to work on something new. Preferably a rough draft. I might join CampNano, but I’ll see toward the end of June.
This I didn’t get to, but I’m now in a place where I can get started.
4) Edit my short story for my Untethered Realms Anthology.
1) Finish the book I’d started. 
2) Read other books. Not giving myself a goal as to how many, because I know things are going to go nuts once my books are published. 
Read one other book and started another.
Social Media: 
1) Send out all materials and guest posts etc for my blog tour. 
2) Maintain my web presence as far as humanly possible. 
1) That Europe trip is still in the pipeline, but will possibly happen in July. I want to get all necessary things done before my plane takes off from Cape Town. 
Still didn’t happen, but that’s okay. It would have been too much on my plate, I think.
2) I want to recover from the publishing pressure by doing some other arts/crafts.
I got quite a bit of crocheting done.
3) Continue to grow my business.
So overall, I think I did great! Although I didn’t get a lot of fiction writing finished, I actually achieved all but one of my other goals.
This month is going to be a lot calmer, though, so I think I can ramp up my goal setting again.
My goals for August:
1) Write 15k words.
2) Finish the rewrite to O1.
3) Edit BvB1
4) Edit ES1
5) Edit Untethered Realms Short Story
6) Tie up any remaining loose ends to The Vanished Knight and The Heir’s Choice. (Which includes publishing the paperback versions.)
7) Prep for rewrite to VD
8) Work on concept to P.
Writing-wise, my month should look something like this:

1) Read six books.
2) One of which must be Shakespeare.
3) And another must be in French.
4) Read for an average of fifteen minutes per day. (Which mean I can read for an hour on one day and then skip three, if needs be.)
Social media:
1) Continue with my regular blogging schedule.
2) Regular Tumblr and Wattpad posts.
3) Start catching up on Wattpad Critiques
4) More regular presence on Twitter and Google Plus.
1) Continue to grow my business.
2) Get some crafty stuff done.
3) Start a painting/drawing.

Okay! That’s it for me. How did you do in July? Any goals for August?

Guys, I don’t care what country you live in. If you depend on copyright, you need to read this.

At the risk of sounding seriously dramatic: The Copyright Act is under threat.

Big internet players are lobbying to change the law in ways that is not beneficial to the copyright holder.

First, I’m linking to Richmond Illustration Inc because that post explains all this much better than I can, but in case you’re still wondering if you should bother to click through, let me present you with a little excerpt from the above mentioned site as a TL:DR:

• How Orphan Works will Impact Artists
Brad Holland in “The Return of Orphan Works: The Next Great Copyright Act” states:
“The Next Great Copyright Act” would replace all existing copyright law.
1. It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.
2. It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.
3. It would “pressure” you to register your life’s work with commercial registries.
4. It would “orphan” unregistered work.
5. It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers.

6. It would allow others to alter your work and copyright those “derivative works” in their own names.

7. It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.
Don’t relax just yet, if you read here and here, you’ll see it they’re not limiting this to visual art. This extends to all copyright. 
In other words, this is a BIG DEAL, and it could directly affect us all if the new act goes through. As someone who already had a taste of almost losing my income to third parties using my work without my permission, I don’t want to see this becoming legal in its current form. 
So what can we do? 
The Copyright Office is trying to figure out the best way to present a law that protects copyright holders while helping out people trying to do research. 
As such, they have put out a public call for comments on the law, and will use those comments when drafting a proposal for congress. 
So if you want to help them not propose what’s currently on the table, please submit a letter here. 

Include the following in your letter: 
– It’s important that you make your letter personal and truthful.
– Keep it professional and respectful.
– Explain that you’re an artist and have been one for x number of years.
– Briefly list your educational background, publications, awards etc.
– Indicate the field(s) you work in.
– Explain clearly and forcefully that for you, copyright law is not an abstract legal issue, but the basis on which your business rests.
– Our copyrights are the products we license.
– This means that infringing our work is no different than stealing our money.
– It’s important to our businesses that we remain able to determine voluntarily how and by whom our work is used.
– Stress that your work does NOT lose its value upon publication.
– Instead, everything you create becomes part of your business inventory.
– In the digital era, inventory is more valuable to artists than ever before.

If you are NOT a professional artist:
– Define your specific interest in copyright, and give a few relevant details.
– You might want to stress that it’s important to you that you determine how and by whom your work is used.
–You might wish to state that even if you are a hobbyist, you would not welcome someone else monetizing your work for their own profit without your knowledge or consent.
A good example of a letter (albeit by a visual artist) can be found here

If you’re still wondering about submitting, think about it this way: 

My letter took me about 30 minutes to draft. 
You have nothing to lose by writing and submitting one too. 
There are people who stand to gain HUGE profits from our copyrighted work if the current form of the New Copyright Act goes through, be it now or in the future: and it won’t be you.

Next Stop: Next Door

Sort of. Actually, I’m visiting Murees Dupe, who lives so close to me that we met each other for coffee last weekend. (Which is a nice change from, you know, living on the other side of the world.)

My topic for today is Strong Female Characters, so head on over to tell me what you think. Even better, Murees has another excerpt posted. 🙂