Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dreamspinner accepted Visible Friend (my story involving a recovering heroin addict) and will be publishing it in April.

Abercrombie Zombie is proceeding, but at a shamble. :-) Jackson and Adin are calling to me again. A sequel to Mongrel is calling to me . . . faintly. My impression so far is that people aren't too interested in the book, and I'd probably be better off sticking to contemporaries. My imagination hopes I'm wrong.

I'll be a guest blogger-opinionator at Wave's on the 21st, although I'm not sure what topic to tackle. (Go ahead and throw ideas at me if you have 'em!)

The following was ganked from Etienne at the Dreamspinner authors loop:

Many people who chat on the Internet and use text messaging tend to overlook the "art" of capitalization. They shouldn't. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



Chris said...


Oh, give Mongrel a bit of time - I know that I have so much I want to read, but somehow the holiday things are getting bumped to the top of the list... December's so crazy.

LOL at that bit from Etienne!

Tam said...

Congrats on the acceptance. And yeah, I'm completely overwhelmed trying to get through Christmas themed stuff (there seems to be much more of it this year) that everything else is having to wait because who wants to read about Santa on January 20.

K. Z. Snow said...

You could be right, Chris, but it has been my experience that readers shy away from oddball stuff. (I think Val even ran a poll on reader preferences at Obsidian Bookshelf, and contemps came out waaaay ahead.)

K. Z. Snow said...

Boy, you said it, Tam! There seems to be a bumper crop of holiday stories this year. I suspect it's caused quite a bottleneck in people's TBR piles!

Val said...

The capitalization example -- too funny! I read it too fast the first time, and didn't get it, and then had a big laugh once I'd paid attention. :)

And, KZ, really, listen to Chris about Mongrel! It just barely came out ten days ago, and every reviewer I know is struggling through mountains of stuff to read. For example, did you see Elisa's gargantuan TBR list she posted on her LiveJournal?

I do searches all the time on everybody's books, trying to gauge how far I'm falling behind with my reviewing versus other reviewers, and I've noticed a lag of 3 or 4 weeks between almost everybody's release dates and when the reviews start trickling in.

Plus that poll I did can't really be considered statistically relevant because only about 30 people responded. :)

Lily said...

Congrats on the upcoming release!

I love the capitalization quote. Too funny!

I'm struggling with a huge TBR as well and the Christmas themed stories are hot now. Give it time. I'm looking forward to reading Mongrel even if it's not a contemporary. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Yep, Val, you gotta take time reading the capitalization examples! :-D

I kind of had a feeling Mongrel would get off to a slow start (and you're all absolutely right about the reasons!) The book's subject matter combined with holiday hustle-bustle combined with the genre's rapid expansion are making slow starts more or less inevitable for many books.

So, yeah, I'll definitely give it a couple of months before I decide about a sequel.

(But Val, regardless of its size, I do think your poll pretty much reflected readers' preferences. In general, I've noticed a lot more interest in, and possibly a higher regard for, contemporaries than for fantasies and paranormals -- except the ones by super-popular authors, of course. Argh, I wish I could train my imagination!)

K. Z. Snow said...

Thanks, Lily! Oy, people really have seemed overwhelmed by their TBR piles lately. It must have to do with the proliferation of offerings in m/m fiction. I have an ever-growing backlog of "wannareads" too.

Val said...

In general, I've noticed a lot more interest in, and possibly a higher regard for, contemporaries than for fantasies and paranormals

You've definitely got a point. My contemporary Wicked Cool is doing better than my paranormal Trinity Trespass. I'd still love to see more in the world of Mongrel if you can fit it in between the contemporaries. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Val, I was going to ask you if you'd noticed a difference in your books' performances, but since it really wasn't any of my business, I kept my trap shut! :) I had a feeling what you just said would be the case, though.

So...given what you now know, will you be going ahead with a sequel to Trinity Trespass? (Is that putting you on the spot or what? *g*)

Chris said...

Val: Do you think that the different publishers have anything to do with the sales difference?

K. Z. Snow said...

Chris, I'm going to jump in before Val does and suggest it might have something to do with each story's length (and, therefore, cost). I don't think readers perceive LI as being inferior to AQ--unless you were implying something else?

Chris said...

KZ: No, I wasn't implying that LI was inferior! I just think that AQP is smarter in how it sells - only available at AQP for the first week and 35% off (making it very appealing to purchase from them directly), then available at ARe, etc, the next week. LI's new release discount is not much (some 5%/10% thing that's rather confusing) and then the books don't hit ARe for months.

I know that authors get more $$$ when people purchase directly from the publisher. But as a reader, ARe is very convenient (can purchase from multiple publishers at the same time, instead of having to go to a dozen sites) and rewards customers with its "buy 10, get 1 free" policy (as does AQP, actually).

Plus, AQP has a great newsletter, so it's easy to tell what the new and upcoming releases are, and to click directly to those releases. LI doesn't have a newsletter, just a Yahoo group, which is much less appealing and much less reader friendly.

The bottom line is that I think AQP makes it easier for readers.

Val said...

Wow, good questions here!

K.Z., for the sequel, I just don't know. I still don't have a clear picture of Trinity's sales because the Amazon and aRe data takes awhile to come in.

But there's always the possibility that the Trinity sales wouldn't be robust enough that LI would be willing to publish a sequel. I just don't know.

And Chris, you raised some great points regarding all the good stuff that Amber Allure does. I think it helps sales a lot that AA puts the new releases at Amazon and aRe only a week after the release dates.

I wish LI would do that rather than keeping the books exclusive to their site for about 2 months after release date. Both as an author and as a buyer/reader, I wish that.

But, like I was saying, I still don't have the Amazon, aRe data. I'm just going by publisher sales, and Wicked Cool sold twice as much in 11 days as Trinity did in one month. That could be due to cost like K.Z. is saying but there's only a 0.99 difference between the two.

It could also be due to length, in that Wicked Cool is 18K and Trinity is 45K. Readers might think, "Holy crap! I'm flooded with stuff to read. I only have time to try a short one from a new author."

Meanwhile, the publisher sales data speaks for itself. As K.Z. might say, "Oy!" For whatever reason, the readers have spoken. :)

But I'm really thinking it's a case of contemporaries being vastly preferred to fantasy / paranormal in the case of an unknown author.

That is, K.Z., you can get away with it -- e.g., readers gave Fugly a chance and really liked it even though supernatural happenings may not be their preferred theme.

But us new authors who haven't yet earned a place in the readers' hearts? I'm going to say it again: "Oy!"

Chris said...

Val: The critical first month - when Wicked Cool was available everywhere and Trinity wasn't... :(

K. Z. Snow said...

Really good points. I hadn't realized those two publishers had such significant differences in distribution and promotion.

But here's another interesting tidbit. Just going by the stats on Goodreads, Fugly has proved my most popular m/m title to date. Yet, Liquid Silver's website is not friendly to shoppers (especially in our genre), and LSB waits three or four months before making its titles available on distro sites.

Go figure. Maybe it's a case of word-of-mouth trumping all other factors. I just don't know.

Val said...

No, Chris, really, distribution doesn't come into it because I was looking at publisher sales alone. (Sorry, I wasn't clear.) Wicked Cool sold twice the copies from AA site in 11 days than Trinity did from LI site in one month. I still don't have the third-party distributor info.

Everything seemed relatively equal under those specific circumstances: promo, distribution (publisher site info only), and price (close enough).

So the only ways I can explain the sales differences are

(1) theme - contemporary vs paranormal.
(2) length - short vs. long
(3) perhaps AA promo with readers picking up Wicked Cool as part of 10 books so they get one free.
(4) or maybe it helped that Wicked Cool was part of themed series with more established authors participating?

K.Z., word of mouth is just priceless. That will definitely make the difference!

K. Z. Snow said...

Well, Val, I sure wish people would start bumpin' their gums about Mongrel. ;-)
(I'd always heard that December and January were the worst release months -- and wouldn't you know it, I have a new book in each one.)

Val said...

I know that Mongrel is coming up very soon for review on Wave's site because I asked to review it, but another reviewer was too fast for me and claimed it already! :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Uh-oh. That's scary, because your review was a dream come true.

Crap. *sigh*

BTW, I am determined to read TT. It's intrigued me no end since I read the excerpt you posted. Don't care what any steenking sales figures show. ;-)

Clare London said...

Congratulations! (I'm getting to my blog feeds veeeeery late :)).

And I hear ya about the contemporary. Branded has *always* got good reviews - i.e. people who pick it up, like it - but far more of them pick up contemporaries instead in the first place! Never mind, we have to pander to the Muse sometimes. And I don't regret writing any of mine, ever. It's just as you say, it puts us off writing sequels, or other books in that universe. At least, if we're looking for publishing acceptance and success...

Hey. it'd be nice if I wanted to write *anything* at the moment LOL.

The capitalisation quote has my whole family snorting with welcome laughter at the moment, in the middle of another damned heavy snowfall :):).

K. Z. Snow said...

Long time no see, Clare!

Yep, so true about reviews vs. popular appeal. But I HATE the thought of having to write only what people seem to want. That makes me think of publishers who look only for the *next* this or the *next* that instead of seeking out fresh voices. Ugh.

You're still getting dumped on over there? Yikes! Does London handle snow removal well? I suspect the city isn't terribly well prepared for such "weather events."