Monthly Archives: March 2013

Publishing and Marketing 01: Publisher Communication

About 2 weeks ago, I asked readers if they would be interested in some sort of a semi-regular column on the blog, the core topic being publishing & marketing. The response on the blog itself was rather lukewarm, to be honest, but I did have some good, albeit short, conversations with people over Twitter and Facebook about this.

The whole idea for the column sprung out of the “disaster” earlier this month when it was revealed that Random House’ eBook-only imprint, Hydra, was contracting new authors on the conditions that there would be no advance payments (which disqualifies the imprint from being considered a publishable market according to the rules, regulations and guidelines of the Science Fiction Writers of America’s organisation), and that they wanted complete rights over the work in question, irrespective of medium/format. Their payment structure was also dubious, frontloading almost all the costs of publishing the author’s work on the author himself/herself. Such costs include editing, covers, marketing, and so on, from what I understand. John Scalzi has done two in-depth posts on the subject here and here.

online-relationships-300x189Given the amount of information out there already on this particular subject, the furor over which has caused Hydra to revise some of its terms and offer authors better payment plans after a VERY stern letter from the SFWA, I am not going to cover this for now. All I can say is that if you are looking to get published by such eBook-only imprints, and I stress eBook-only, then you damn well make sure that you do not sign away your rights for foreign translations, audiobooks, print, and so on. Other people have already said it best: make sure to get some legal opinion and at least ask around when you get that contract. Make sure that you are informed about what you should and should not be doing.

Anyhow. Moving on.

For this first installment in this column series, I wanted to talk about publisher communication. Communication is a funny thing. We all define it quite differently and it means different things for different people. The specific area I want to cover today is how publisher communication works with marketing in the context of keeping readers and reviewers (they need not be mutually exclusive) informed and keeping a positive dialogue open. So here we go! Read the rest of this entry

NANP: Nomenclature and Subsconscious

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Eric Brown, who has penned a number of works in the SF and Children’s Fiction genres. I’ve been eyeing his Bengal Station and Helix novels from Solaris for a while now, having heard some great praise about them in recent months. And then I got an email from Solaris that he has a new Helix novel, The Serene Invasion, coming out, which is great news and finally the impetus to get me reading his books, which I shall be doing next month. In the meantime, here’s what Eric has to say on the topic of names and their meanings and significances.

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NANP: Cultures and Obsession

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Marie Brennan, author of numerous urban fantasy novels such as the Doppelganger and Onyx Court series, and more besides. Her latest novel is A Natural History of Dragons: The Memoir of Lady Trent, from Tor, and something I’m looking forward to reading quite soon. I came across her name on a fellow reviewer’s blog, and her book sounded really interesting so I sent her an invite for this series, and was really excited when she said yes. Here’s what she has to say on the topic of names.

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Thoughts: Steubenville

If you have been paying attention to the news in the last few days, you know what has been happening in Steubenville, Ohio.

This post is my attempt to denounce the way the American media has reacted to the guilty (delinquent) verdict given by the court to the two young men who committed rape and were sentenced. Be warned that this post may come across as a rant, includes a lot of swearing, and may just not be all that comfortable of a read.

I normally do not swear heavily, especially not on this blog, so, just for this time, ignore that if you can.

There are some issues that I’ve wanted to blog about for quite a while, but have attempted to refrain from such since that is not the focus of this blog. However, there’s a lot that goes on in my head about things like this, and this time, I want to say something to get it off my chest.

So, if you go ahead and read this post, keep all this in mind, and don’t come back to complain about the tone or content. You have been warned.

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NANP: The Evil One. The Doombringer. The Destroyer of Worlds. Wilbur.

Continuing the trend of hosting some great Angry Robot authors for Names: A New Perspective, today’s guest on the blog is Wesley Chu. Wesley’s debut novel, The Lives of Tao, comes out pretty soon, and itpis one that I’m really looking forward to reading, since I love the concept and the cover art for it. Aliens and multiple lives? Sign me up! Here’s what Wesley has to say on the topic of names. And slightly topic, I just realised that his initials are the same as Wesley Crusher’s…

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NANP: Names and Games

Carrying on with the original concept behind Names: A New Perspective, today’s guest is 2013 debut author James K. Decker. His first book, The Burn Zone, is already out from Ace/Roc Books, and has been getting quite favourable reviews from what I’ve seen. I’m certainly excited to read it, given the setting and the subject matter and the protagonist. Looking forward to it! Here’s what James has to say on the topic of names.

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NANP: Names and Naming

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is Martha Wells, author of several SFF novels and also a number of tie-in fiction novels, with more on the horizon. I’m particularly excited about her upcoming Princess Leia, which should be really good fun. I’ve just recently finished reading her upcoming YA novel for Strange Chemistry, Emilie and the Hollow World, and it was a damn fine read. In short, Martha is currently a favourite author and one of my next reads will be her Death of the Necromancer, which went out of print a while back and which she has recently self-published. Definitely check out her books! This is what Martha had to say on the subject of names and their importance.

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Monthly Report – February 2013

Once again, the monthly report has been severely delayed, so I offer my apologies once again. Between a huge review backlog and other endeavours, it’s become rather tough to find time for the report writing. But anyway, here it is.

Overall, I think the month turned out to be decent enough. I’m making steady progress on several fronts, and having a damn good time of it, which is always good in the end! Although, all things considered, I’ve been thinking that I devote too much time to reviewing and should tone it down. Not sure about that! I definitely need to devote more time to my writing, and also tone down on my TV watching. Funny how “entertainment” can impose on life.

So, this is how the writing and reading went down last month, and you can find the January report here.

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Publishing & Marketing Column

For the last couple of months I’ve been considering doing a semi-regular column on the publishing industry. Specifically, I’ve been considering the aspect of marketing and getting published. The basis for both is, of course, personal experience in the case of the former and my observations over the last 18 months for the latter.

Here are some thoughts I’ve had about this.

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NANP: Great Names For The Great Families

I love interacting with debut authors. Often, they are much more excited about their books, and they are much more open to talking with bloggers. It’s a bit of a random observation, but it’s what I’ve seen over the past year and 2 months. Names: A New Perspective was created so I could talk with debut authors in a more… professional capacity, and continuing with the trend of having some really great debut authors from the past 2-3 years stop by the blog, today’s guest is Emma Newman, the latest debut from Angry Robot, who are currently my top favourite publisher in the industry. I’ve recently read Emma’s first book, Between Two Thorns (review soon!), and it is one awesome title start to finish. Today is also the launch of the book in the UK (details here), so if you are anywhere near Bristol, UK, be sure to stop by at Forbidden Plant this evening and say hi! In the meantime, here is Emma’s great post on the topic of names. Oh and also, Happy Book Birthday to Emma!

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Cover Art: The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (Angry Robot)

Time of late has been extremely limited, between work, reading, and reviewing, so the blog has been a bit neglected with regards to new content. This is why I’m doing a cover reveal post for one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Read on and find out why!

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NANP: The Character of Names

The first guest author on Names: A New Perspective for March is Joseph D’Lacey. His latest novel, Black Feathers, was my first introduction to his work (review) and it was also one of my best reads for last month (see here). All I can say right now is that I eagerly await the release of the next book in the Black Dawn series, currently titled The Book of the Crowman. Good times ahead! Here’s what Joseph has to say on the topic of names and his processes.

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