I could write and argue about how I’m not a debut novelist because I’ve self published a lot, via podcast and ebook, and I had a small press book out in 2008. But honestly my books have never before been in book stores, in front of people who never would have found them otherwise. It’s a big deal to me.
Coverage today that makes me squee: BoingBoing, where Cory Doctorow calls me “one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy.” and I got to write The Big Idea on John Scalzi’s awesome blog. (I wrote it the day the hubby had his accident, so I was kinda scattered. And I did get the birds out of the house.)
I’m nervous and happy and excited and want to hide under the desk.
Hey guys, sorry you haven’t seen me around much except for the regular postings of Shambling Guide. I had the feeling of Life Tsunami hit, and it forced a bit of a depression on me and haven’t felt up to recording lately. I’m finally coming out of it, and figured I’d fill you in on what’s up.
My husband is doing much better, thanks all who asked. Four weeks ago he was hit by a car on his bike. On one hand, it could have been SO MUCH WORSE than it was. He was very lucky. On the other hand, he still broke his collarbone, fractured his elbow, and got road rash. So the past four weeks have been focused on him, his recovery, and the fact that he can’t drive. Doc visits today place him as healing fast, so that’s a happy thing. I told him he had mutant healing power like Wolverine, only slower.
The book The Shambling Guide to New York City is doing well, as far as I can figure. I don’t have numbers for any other book to compare the bookscan numbers to, but the editor is happy, the reviews are all great, and I got some NPR love in the form of a one-minute review from Cory Doctorow on The World show, which was just awesome.
I’m about done with my Torment novella. If you followed the Kickstarter campaign, you may have noticed one of the stretch goals was a novella written by me. That’s due this month, and I’m on track, thanks to…
Stonecoast residency next month. I’ve finished 3rd semester, so that’s a relief. This fall I work on my thesis. I’ll be writing something new, I think. We’ll see.
I am not going to go see Man of Steel. I’ve never been one of the huge movie fans, gotta see stuff on huge screen, opening weekend or else the film will degrade, etc, but this, I think, speaks to something larger that has been bugging me. We’re told to write our passions, we’re told to write what scares us, we’re told to write the unique story only we can tell. And then what does media give us? Another Dresden book. Another Sookie book. Another Wheel of Time book. Another Spider-Man reboot. Another Superman reboot. Hangover 3. Star Trek reboot movie II. Fast and the Furious VI. Final Fantasy XIII, another Mario game, another Uncharted game, another Bioshock game.
And dont get me wrong, I like a lot of those things too. Some of them are damn good, and some of them I actively look forward to. (Another Dragon Age game? Sign me up!) And hell, if I can make Shambling Guide stick as a series, I’ll be writing that as long as I can. It doesn’t bother me that that sequels and reboots exist, my problem is it seems these kinds of media are THE MAJORITY of what we are getting. A new game that’s not a third person shooter of some sort? A fantasy book that’s not political intrigue and rape featuring The Chosen One? A summer blockbuster that doesn’t ride on the heels of last year’s blockbuster?
I feel like people who complain about the lack of healthy food when you travel. When healthy food is offered next to fast food, you know where people are going to go. I’m totally guilty of this. People go for the comfortable, the easy, the familiar, all the while saying they want something new and exciting. The market follows what people do, not what they say.
So with Man of Steel, I’m doing. I’m not voting for another reboot with my dollars, not with Wonder Woman in production hell (is it on or off again? It’s like a bad relationship at this point.) Not with people claiming women stars can’t carry a movie (except when they can – those times don’t count, naturally.) Not with so many superheroes out there and Hollywood suckling constantly at the teat of SupermanBatmanSpider-Man.
(And please don’t cherry-pick in order to prove me wrong, I know that there ARE original media coming out, and I know that The Avengers is Thor’s gift to Hollywood. I’m not saying the above are absolutes, but they ARE dominant, you can’t deny that.)
Rant over. I’ve got a sinus headache that’s making me hate life. So watch my new favorite song. This is so NSFW. Seriously.
Another note about my super exciting OMG I can’t believe it’s actually happening book launch:
How to help authors:
Buy their book. This one is a duh, but it bears repeating because it gives me the chance to throw these links on the page. (Amz) (BN) (Indie) (Waterstones) (Audible) – check Amazon or Audible in your area of the world for the book, it should be available in the US, Canada, and UK. Or listen to the podcast if you’re not sure you want to buy yet.
Tell a friend. Word of mouth is still the best marketing an author can get. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc, all of those things can help.
Semi related, review the book. Toss a review on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads. They really do matter. They matter a huge deal.
How not to help authors:
Pirate their book and then donate a couple of bucks to them via PayPal. I know you are justifying it by saying my publisher will only give me $X of royalties, while you’re giving me $X+$Y and that is therefore more and better. However, if the publisher doesn’t make money, they have no incentive to get me to write more books for them, which means I will have to write different books and hope I get another publisher. (Many people have asked what has happened to PFK II, and it’s the fact that I don’t have a contract for that, while I do have a contract for other books.)
Review them based on the price of the book, whether the book is available in your area, or anything else that has nothing to do with the content of the book. Seriously, how many one star reviews are on Amazon because someone got their shorts in a wad over a “too high” ebook price, or how many authors get an email stating that the reader is going to pirate the book because it’s not available in their territory? Not the author’s fault and the book sales shouldn’t suffer because of your hissyfit.
Enough people have asked that I've put up a donate button, thanks for wanting to support my blog, fiction, and podcasts! If you would rather join the Secret Society of Ink Splattered Fabulists for premium I Should Be Writing content, go right ahead!