Brain Science for Writers 1/26/15

Happy new year, everyone! My short story Lord of Time (cover shown above) is now widely available.  See my author website for three ways to read it.

And on to the brain science links...

Top Pick: Writing your way to happiness.  (via Passive Guy)

Social failure, not lifestyle, has made Scots sick

We're more likely to cheat when we're anxious.

How does gender of the protagonist and reader affect the reading experience? I wish they had used more than two stories here, or used a story where they could switch out the gender of the protagonist, because it's hard to separate the effect of protagonist gender and other aspects of the stories used.  But still, interesting to think about.

His brain made him do it” and so I feel much less empathy for him

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Stacey Jay, Crowdfunding, and the Business of Publishing

So I usually don’t jump in on internet kerfuffles, but  the recent blowup over Stacey Jay’s kick starter really caught my attention.  The short version is that author Stacey Jay started a kickstarter for her next YA novel after her publisher declined to buy it.  She factored in living expenses as part of the money to be raised, and got a lot of blowback for that choice, so much, in fact, that she ended up canceling the Kickstarter and apologizing.

I'm not the only person to weigh in.  There’s a Roundup at Bookshelves of Doom. And I particularly liked the response written by Chuck Wendig and Laura Lam. So I’ll just share a few thoughts.

1. What is the biggest cost of writing a book?

My dad, a lifelong businessman, once asked me what my biggest cost was for a self publishing project I was planning. I started quoting a rundown of editing costs, cover artist quotes, etc, but he stopped me halfway and said, “No Livia, your biggest cost is your time.” And of course, he’s right. This is business 101, but somehow for writers, the idea of time being a valuable thing is counterintuitive.