Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Ides of Turkeyday, or The Royal Nonesuch.

Turkeyday is barreling down on us, which means it’s time for the November blog post.
It’s been a helluva year.
Reviews are starting to come in for Silencing Orpheus, and so far, people like the book. That makes me very happy. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I only recently joined Amazon’s Author Central. I’ve been using those tools along with Goodreads’ Author Dashboard as what Heidi Cullinan calls “Tea Leaves.”* While by no means could we call SO a blockbuster hit using those metrics, it is finding an audience, and that’s exactly what I want.
Next step? SO has been submitted for consideration to the Lambda Literary committee. More news on that as it develops.
People are still be amazingly kind to Stealing Ganymede, and as I’m so grateful for that.
I’m taking this summer off from teaching so that I can work on getting the first draft of the next book (ostensibly, the last one in the series…though there have been glimmerings in the back of my mind that perhaps there’s more to say) into shape. I haven’t talked this over with Rebel Satori, yet, but I’d really like to have that third book out early fall of 2015. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I just finished reading the two most hotly anticipated books of this year back to back: Allegiant (the last book of the series that started with Divergent), and Doctor Sleep (Stephen King’s sequel to The Shinning). I wish I had better news. I gave both a 3-star rating on Goodreads (technically 3.5 for Allegiant, though you can't do half-star ratings on Goodreads, so I rounded it up to 4). Allegiant because the middle got very muddled, and Doctor Sleep because it just didn’t work on a lot of levels.
I had a conversation with a co-worker on Thursday who is also published through a small press. We talked a lot about why we both went small press rather than entering the morass that is large press publishing right now. If anything, Allegiant and Doctor Sleep strengthen my resolve that better, more challenging material is coming from indie publishing, these days. While it is frustrating that King is going to make millions off of a mediocre book (not horrible, just “meh”), it is also encouraging in some ways. Better quality does not necessarily come from using a publisher whose editing staff alone is bigger than the entire staff of the small press I work through. Small presses are choosing challenging work from writers who really do have things to say, rather than taking artists who have something to say and milling off all the sharp edges until they can no longer say it. Sending a book through a big press’ editing staff doesn’t make it better than sending a book through four readers you know and trust.
If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, I hope that the writing is going well. Remember, even if you are behind in your daily goals, you are still W R I T I N G, something most people who call themselves writers in coffee shops are N O T doing.
Remember when you’re making purchases for readers on your Xmas list that small (and small-ish) presses are out there. I particularly like Lethe Press, Melville House Press, and Arsenal Pulp Press. Dreamspinner Press isn’t really all that small, anymore, but they do produce very high-quality M/M romance. The indie works of Brandon Shire are also quite good.
And, I should mention, the reason I submitted SG to Rebel Satori (and its sister imprint, Queer Mojo) in the first place was because they produce quality transgressive work. If you like my novels, think about stopping by and helping to support Rebel in producing me and others like me by buying one of my imprint-mates’ books.
As always, thanks for the support. See you in December!

*= Quite frustrated that there isn’t a way to check Kindle or Smashwords sales, and that even Author Central says their count on paperbacks could be off. Still, better than having nothing.

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