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This time I got a question... posted 18 November 2004 in Author Q & AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just found out that - once again - ALL the major genre publishers passed on the mass-market paperback rights to The Darkness that Comes Before.

Since we have so many big brains on this board, I thought I would field this question: What can a guy do to drum up some attention in the US?

Maybe I should become a Dunyain spam master or something... view post


This time I got a question... posted 19 November 2004 in Author Q & AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ah, the dreaded answer: Time will tell. My agent says the same thing.

Thanks for the encouraging words, Erthaelion. I never expected the book to be 'popular,' and I'm amazed at how well it's doing here in Canada, but the only real chance it has in America is for it to be affordable enough for people to take the risk on a no name, to see if it represents a direction they're interested in following.

Maybe I am being impatient. But this is the fourth time it's done the rounds in New York now. It's not like I'm writing experimental prose fiction or something... Sheesh. view post


This time I got a question... posted 20 November 2004 in Author Q & AThis time I got a question... by Grantaire, Moderator

Hm. I see popularity as being a loop- very difficult to get into, but if you can get there, you're set. For example, at the local Borders (a very big bookstore), there's only one copy of TDTCB in the entire store, buried in the obscurity of the fantasy section. Someone who was actually looking through the fantasy section could find it, but for people who just look at books that are prominently displayed in the store and in the section, they would not find your book. For the most part, the books that are prominently displayed are not the best books. For example, novelizations of Star Wars movies are usually on racks on the ends of rows of books, whereas books like yours, and China Mievilles are deep into the rows. You've gotta be popular to be prominently placed, because stores don't want to take a risk on a relatively new and unknown author. And most casual browsers don't look indepth into the rows of books, they mainly look at what is prominently displayed.

So, you have to be popular to be placed prominently...but have to be prominently displayed to get many readers. Quite a nasty little loop. Hopefully, you'll get somewhat of a cult following, which will eventually lead to popularity. Remember what happened to Donnie Darko? view post


This time I got a question... posted 20 November 2004 in Author Q & AThis time I got a question... by Da-krul, Auditor

Everythings been said allready.... oh We'll at least us Canucks are catching on to the wave <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


This time I got a question... posted 20 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Wasn't Donnie Darko killed when a jet engine crashed into his home? <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

That positive feedback loop you're talking about really is the case. It actually seems to be happening here in Canada - something which is blowing me away. But the American market is a different animal - far more saturated I think. I had a couple drinks last night with these guys who sold 45 000 albums here in Canada, where rocketing toward success, but for whatever reason, everything fell to pieces in the US, first saleswise, then bandwise... view post


This time I got a question... posted 21 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Damaen, Candidate

No, no, dont you see, Scott? There isnt room beside such Bestsellers and obvious classics as "Shes Just Not That Into You," oprah's latest choice in random fiction (thanks, oprah), Shopoholic's Sister, etc

perhaps if you explain to the publishers that your novels are Chic Lit? ;]

if it makes you feel any better ive mailed 3 copies of Darkness to friends inthe US already. Damaen Press Int. We have distribution issues at the moment but are really looking forward to the 3rd quarter. view post


This time I got a question... posted 21 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

That's awesome, Damaen. That 3rd quarter is always such a heartbreaker though! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Maybe I should pose on the cover, you know, my hair-extensions blowing in the wind, my sunken chest and beer-belly gleaming with perspiration... view post


This time I got a question... posted 22 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Andrew, Peralogue

This is a half-baked theory coming straight out of my A@@, but, maybe politically and culturally this ain't the best time for your type of book in the U.S.. Things seem pretty starch-collar right now in terms of the public's reaction to the mass media and offensive content. I'm think'n things like Janet's breast, and this new row involving the "desperate housewives" NFL commercial slot - Like, people seem to have realized that the public is sick of having flith forced on them and their little kiddies, so maybe the book publishing goons are second-guessing stuff that's a bit on the edge content wise. Not that I'm comparing your books to desperate housewives ads - i just mean, that the moral backlash might be catching some really worthy material as well as the stupid racey t.v. stuff. I dunno.

It's unfortunate that for so many Canadian authors, the Rainbow's end is south of the border - but if you keep writing such fantastic stuff, I have no doubt that eventually someone down there will get it.

Off topic now - i have to take a shot at Erthaelion for that Brooks/Jordan/Goodkind comment - there's such a Canadian elitism vis-a-vis the U.S. - and it's completely unjustified. Go down to any bookstore in Canada and the shelves are full of aforementioned crappy authors - and the canadian public are lapping it up. We're not brilliantly smart just because we're into Bakker, and U.S. publishers, which are in the business of making the most money with the least risk, aren't thoroughly stupid for not taking a chance on an unknown. The Sole reason I picked up Prince of Nothing was because it had Erikson's stamp of approval. I suspect there are many of us on this board in that same camp. The only reason I picked up Erikson was because some Chapters employee had it as their pick - and i was intriqued by the cover art of Chain of Dogs. It don't get no more smrt than that. view post


This time I got a question... posted 22 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Well Scott, it seems there are a few things at play here:

1) The bigshots aren't willing to take on another second rights deal. From what I have inferred from the numbers, Tor's probably a little disappointed with the relative lack of sales for Erikson's US re-release of Gardens of the Moon.

2) It takes time to build that groundswell these days for non-American authors writing fantasy/SF. Took Erikson 4 books to get a US deal, so this might be par for the course.

3) Mass-market paperback right now might be getting things assbackwards, actually. The main buyers of MMPBs are those who've heard the buzz about the earlier release and just are waiting, but usually those numbers are dependent upon how well the hardcover version sold. Publishers have to sell a lot of MMPBs to recoup the costs in comparison to hardcovers. If I remember correctly, it isn't all that much more expensive to produce a hardcover than it is a paperback, so publishers would have to sell many more copies of a MMPB than a hardcover or softcover tradeback to break even. It's one of the reasons why today there are fewer and fewer releases ever going to MMPB, if I understand things correctly.

You've read Miéville and know how popular he is now in SF/fantasy circles. But it wasn't until his fourth novel, Iron Council, released back in July, that he was available in anything over than softcover tradeback. The MMPBs of PSS and The Scar weren't released until 2-4 years after the original tradeback releases. It took a lot of word of mouth for there to be sufficient demand perceived for his publishers to release MMPB editions. I'm guessing the same might be holding true for you. Hate to say it, but you might have to be patient and pray that the current "viral" approach continues to spread.

Also, if $25 is too risky, would it be feasible to see if Overlook might follow Penguin Canada's example and release the books in tradeback form? $13-16 in that form might be just enough to generate a few more new sales. Besides, tradeback appears to be the way that most fantasy/SF publishing is going these days, mega-sellers excepted. I highly doubt there'll be new releases/re-releases of Wolfe's work in MMPB format, the same for Charles de Lint. Yet they seem to be doing well enough, right?

So maybe it's just a matter of staying the course, pushing for tradeback editions as a compromise, and hope that the quality will be spoken for enough by people such as myself that eventually the MMPB versions will come? view post


This time I got a question... posted 22 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Ayuh. There's a few other factors involved as well. Not many seem pleased with the prospect of splitting NA rights.

For no names such as myself, initial cost is horribly important. Overlook will be releasing trade paperback versions - which likely help quite a bit - but for some reason that $10 mark seems to be the magical number.

Berlin before Manhatten, I guess... view post


This time I got a question... posted 22 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Mithfânion, Didact



Well actually, they are. For instance, The Knight by Gene Wolfe is coming out in MMPB in January and De lint has mmpb's as well.

Overlook doing a trade version seems like a good option as long as no one is willing to do a pocket.

In any case, I also think that once the trilogy has been completed and there's been lots of word-of-mouth, than publishers might be more inclined.

On the other hand I don't really understand why no one in the US wants these rights. I just don't get it, but then I never understood why it took five years for a US publisher to decide they wanted Steven Erikson either.
view post


This time I got a question... posted 22 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Well Mithfânion, the problem with second rights is the same as getting a used car - they just aren't worth as much, money-wise, to the publisher. While the author can make more money with very little to no writing for the reprinted story, the publishers just aren't willing to shell out as much money, in part because of differing legal obligations to the first rights holder/publisher.

As for new Wolfe being published in MMPB form, very surprising, considering his "literary" reputation and the relatively small number of sales (around 30K or so a book since the Sun cycle books, if I remember correctly). Then again, I did read where Tor has decided to market him as a big-name author again (printing 50K books for The Wizard). view post


This time I got a question... posted 23 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Traditionally though, publishers didn't worry all that much about small initial margins, being intent on 'developing' new authors. view post


This time I got a question... posted 23 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Traditionally, yes, that was indeed the case. But now in the age of mega advances for a few top players, companies just aren't patient enough to develop new talent. It's more of a throw shit at the wall strategy, to see which authors will stick/sell quickly with a minimum of promotion. This "microwave" approach really has been a major factor in the decline and fall of the "midlist." Actually, it might be a good thing to be a decent priority for a mid-level publisher at this time, because you're less likely to get lost in the shuffle.

But long-term aspirations certainly don't address today's needs/desires, do they? view post


This time I got a question... posted 23 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Damaen, Candidate

you know, its wierd. I had a friend come into the stor ethe other day to buy a book. He wanted Darkness, but he saw that we had returned all the trade paper copies and he refused to buy mass market paperback, so he bough Jonathon Strange &amp; Mr Norrell instead. canada like to flaunt the money i guess. Poor, economically downturned america. view post


This time I got a question... posted 23 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by neongrey, Peralogue

Geez, I wish I had the money to be able to pooh-pooh mm paperbacks, instead of having to wait for them to buy. :/ view post


This time I got a question... posted 24 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Mithfânion, Didact

On other but related news, I just read that Orbit UK has bought the British rights to Prince of Nothing from Simon &amp; Schuster and will start that off by releasing mass market paperbacks of the first two books in Summer 2005. view post


This time I got a question... posted 24 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Mith! Aw, man...

Are you ever going to let me release any news first? I haven't even signed anything yet! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

Definitely excited though, about being with a dedicated SF&amp;F line, and more than anything, about working with Darren Nash once again, who was my editor at S&amp;S before Viacom pulled out the knives. view post


This time I got a question... posted 25 November 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Mithfânion, Didact

Lol !

Sorry <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


This time I got a question... posted 05 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by saintjon, Auditor

Well, I'm not sure if this can help in any way whatsoever, but I've always felt Nicole Kidman had a good line in that one movie where she said, "You're no one in this country unless you're on t.v." or something like that. Worked for Stephen King back in the day.

It's really too bad you even have to worry about it. Kind of saddens me about this country in general that a great canadian author would have to worry about the consequences of not crossing borders. view post


This time I got a question... posted 05 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thanks for the words of drummer wisdom, Arsenal. Maybe someday I'll be huge in Brazil... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

How are things back in Van? view post


This time I got a question... posted 14 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Fell, Peralogue

Hello Scott,

I wish I had some numbers for you, but I do not. I would imagine that Amazon.com would be your easiest, most affordable way to drum up more recognition south of the border.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1585675598/">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... 585675598/</a><!-- m -->

Personally, I do 99% of my book previewing on Amazon.ca. It allows me to find other books of the same genre, find new authors, read others' reviews, et cetera... and it's actually where I first came across TDTCB. Those "Listmania!" features on Amazon are an awesome tool, and if you can inspire fans to add your book to their lists, others with similar interests will come across them.

Also, here is where you might catch your literary audience: getting the books associated to lists, mediums, forums, and other mediums not fantasy-oriented. I don't read fantasy, with the exception of Clive Barker and other dark surrealists (Iain Banks, Graham Joyce, etc), and I have gone on to buy copies of TDTCB for two friends, as well as inspired two other friends to purchase and read then — all of whom love the books now, and only half of them are into fantasy.

I would suggest mapping out a correlative map of associations between what your product is and what it can be associated to. As I said in a previous post, I guest-lecture at the University of Alberta on contemporary occult studies and practise, and I now use passages from your books and suggested TDTCB on the last hand-out I had (of a small selection of fiction to pursue, among the likes of Frank Herbert, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison).

Try some Buddhist forums, or spiritual, or occult, et cetera. I have plugged it many times on OccultForums.com, so I am sure it can spread elsewhere... historical fiction, philosophy, religion, warfare, whatever.

Fantasy is obviously saturated in the U.S. Not to say that your works don't have what it takes to make it, but all in good time. Right now, you want to market yourself as pertinent, as a literary work of fiction, in other important circles. view post


This time I got a question... posted 15 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Gable, Candidate

Whaddaya MEAN what's it gonna take to drum up attention in the US?!

Give Cnaiur a gun. Semi-automatic, I'd suggest, but hey--I'm not even published. Oh, and maybe, while the Holy War lays seige to the next bastion of the Fanim infidels..have them play a little football scrimmage before the fortress walls. Have the Emperor and Maithanet next confrontation take place in a McDonalds. Simple things, Scott. Simple things.

Seriously, Good luck.
Your books rock--it'll happen.
Last resort--fake your own death.
Hell, I never gave Nirvana a second-glance before that blond fella died. (kidding) view post


This time I got a question... posted 24 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Some great ideas, Fell - and thanks for plugging the book by the way! My difficulty is that I have such a hard time with SELF-promotion - something in me literally cringes. I could never be a politician... <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: -->

What I need, Gable, are some action figures for a Happy Meal! view post


This time I got a question... posted 27 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Fell, Peralogue

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:3mgecksf
Some great ideas, Fell - and thanks for plugging the book by the way! My difficulty is that I have such a hard time with SELF-promotion - something in me literally cringes. I could never be a politician... <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> [/quote:3mgecksf]
Think of it as symbolic association, rather than self-promotion. Look at it this way, you't not worth any more than any of us are. I have specialties I am acknowledged for, as do you, as do many others. We are all equal in capacity, but unequal in opportunity.

If you — or preferably, your agent — can bridge the association between what it is you do to other fields, then you will see a true, powerful cult following develop. The easiest way to build something new is to associate something radical with already-established ideas and symbols. Too difficult to just make a splash in uncharted waters. Or, in this case, in a pond already burdeneed by torrential downpour. Take your stone and skuip it across someone else's pool this time. view post


This time I got a question... posted 27 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I made a pitch to Daniel Richler at BookTelevision. We'll see how that works out... view post


This time I got a question... posted 27 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Annabel, Peralogue

I know next to nothing about publishing but I think you need more press in the USA. Most of your interview/signing dates seemed to be in Canada. Do you ever get down to the lower 50??

Also, here's how I find new sci-fi fantasy to read. Easiest way - I find a book I like on Barnes &amp; Noble or Amazon and then I see what other readers of the same book enjoyed. Or, I pop onto a favorite author's site and see what they recommend.

Here's a sneaky suggestion (thinking like the Consult, ahh!) - why not have your fans on this site infiltrate other really popular authors' discussion boards and lavish loads of hyperbolic praise on your books. The really active sites like, oh, the Jacqueline Carey site or, mebbe, Bright Weavings (the Guy Gavriel Kay site). view post


This time I got a question... posted 27 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Annabel, Peralogue

Going back and reading all the posts, yeah, Scott, maybe you should hire a personal trainer and do some beauty shots for ads/back of novels. Part of the reason I keep reading Mieville is because the man's a hottie (the bald head, the muscle tees, the tight jeans, the tattoos, the British accent - c'mon, is he REALLY the author?). And I always thought that Gavriel Kay's books would do so much better if he just posed with G-string on the back of the novels instead of those tweedy, patch-elbowed jackets. view post


This time I got a question... posted 29 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by painbird, Candidate

well as for me, i saw tdtcb in hardcover at a local barnes and noble (i live in new hampshire, usa) and bought it. my wife said something along the lines of 'sheesh, $25 on a book by a guy you've never heard of. you BETTER like it.' now it's not the $25 is a lot of money but i had recently had a bad string of books that i could not finish and probably spent about $50 on crap (terry goodkind being one of the crap books, sorry to his fans) so she was weary. i picked up the book that night and was amazed. 'holy shit' were my words, 'this book is f*cking great' and i was only about 100pages in. i finished it quickly, ordered twp from the great white north and have told everyone i can that they need to read these books, that they are the best fiction i've ever read. i am trying.


i think that there are so many books out there and the few good ones get lost in the shuffle. it reminds me of the music industry. pop everywhere and all the good stuff is so hard to find and even harder to market. people have no attention span and want fast and dumbed down reads. the majority of people don't want to think, it's really too hard and sometimes they get headaches. because of this, i think companies know what will sell and continue to overlook the true artists and keep pumping out the easy stuff.


just my humble and somewhat incoherent opinion. view post


This time I got a question... posted 29 December 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThis time I got a question... by Annabel, Peralogue

Agreed, Painbird, with SOME of the above. Actually, I think that the media, the press and the publishers underestimate the sophistication levels of the general populace. How else do you account for the international success of writers like Eco? He even got a movie starring Sean Connery. Or the success of the Passion of the Christ - it was in Aramaic for god's sake. Its not the level of taste that is the problem, its laziness. Americans are slothful - we like to have our culture spoon fed to us through mega-bookstores, chain record stores and the telly. And, bright sparkly things entrance us - we gravitate to those big, colorful ads, displays, etc. However, most people know good stuff when they see it and will spend the $$$ for it. For most fantasy fiction, frankly, it ain't Hegel or nuclear physics and, as with all good fiction, there is always engaging human drama. So, I just don't understand publishing. Can anyone enlighten me as to the underlying economics which are driving publishers to take fewer and fewer risks on new authors? view post


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