Just wanted to post a quick reminder that I'll be doing a Twitter chat tomorrow at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern for about 45 minutes (unless Twitter cuts me off first). Here's a couple of things to know.
1. Address your questions to me @RichelleMead and be sure to tag them #askMead. Then, if you want to follow along with other questions and answers, just keep clicking #askMead to see the whole conversation!
2. I don't start answering questions posted before then, so don't sweat if you think you need to get them in now. Hold off until the start time, and use this time zone converter if you need to figure it out for where you live.
3. I usually get slammed with hundreds of questions and can't always get to all of them. If I see the same question asked a lot, I may start skipping them (once it's been answered) in order to get to some new and different questions out there. Also, if I've already answered a few questions for the same person, I may skip some of that person's others in order to give someone new a chance to be answered. Believe me, I'll type as fast as I can, but don't take offense if I don't get to yours.
4. If you post too many tweets on Twitter, they block you from tweeting for a while. It's called "Twitter Jail," and I usually end up in it before the time limit of a chat. So, if I abruptly stop answering questions and don't say goodbye, that's what happened to me. Follow @MalachiWolfe, and I'll tell him if I get put in Twitter Jail. Then, he'll tell you. Actually, just follow him anyway because he's awesome.
5. We're really excited about the release of Gameboard of the Gods, so if you've got those questions, bring 'em! But I'll happily answer about other books, the movie, etc. too. We'll post a transcript of it all for you to see afterward.
I’ve been so busy with SOUL OF SWORDS that I forgot to post ebook sales for April 2013! Let’s rectify that:
This is down from the 7,084 of March 2013, but up from the 3,521 of April 2012. I suspect the drop came for three reasons. First, I haven’t released anything new since March. Second, April is Tax Day in the US, which definitely puts a damper on people’s discretionary spending. Third, I suspect much of the literate public in the US spent most of their time on the Internet reading about the various tragedies, and not reading ebooks. (US sales were down, but UK sales were slightly up, actually.)
So I suspect May will be down a bit, since I don’t have anything new coming out in May. June, I hope, will be different.
Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today, describing it as “the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so.”
I didn’t know this was coming, but I’m not surprised, exactly. Amazon has been a very successful business, and if they see a potentially profitable area they can branch out into, they’re gonna do it.
I found out about this through Chuck Wendig’s post here, wherein he talks about the press release and proceeds to fragment his own brain into tiny, shiny pieces.
I’m still digesting and processing this, and I suspect some of it will boil down to having to wait to see how it all plays out. But some of my initial reactions are…
This isn’t a free-for-all. Amazon has licensed these rights from the rights-holders, and it’s for a specific and limited list of properties.
But wait, if they’ve licensed the rights, is it really fanfiction or is it an open call for licensed tie-in work?
They’ve got a no porn rule. Fair enough. If anyone’s going to write 50 Shades of Blue: A Goblin’s Erotic Awakening, I think it should be me.
My understanding of the fanfiction community is that there’s a strong value on not profiting from your work. This seems like a potential culture war between Amazon and the community they’re trying to court.
That said, no community is perfectly homogenous, and as a writer, I have nothing against getting paid for your work, so long as it’s done legally, which this would be.
Also, as someone who isn’t a part of that community, I could be TOTALLY AND EMBARRASSINGLY WRONG ABOUT THIS PIECE.
Who decides whether to license a work, the publisher or the author? Can DAW license Libriomancer fanfic without my approval? Can I do it without theirs?
Amazon takes all rights to your fanfiction story. Which isn’t entirely unreasonable in a work-for-hire situation, but will make a lot of folks uncomfortable.
Why would people pay for fanfiction when so much is available online for free?
Then again, why would people pay for licensed tie-in work when so much fanfiction is available online for free…
Should prolific fanfic writers look into getting agents? I’m not sure the benefit of an agent in this situation, but I also cringe at the idea of writers who aren’t very, very business-savvy signing contracts without someone else looking it over.
Does this mean fanfic could now qualify for SFWA membership?
Waiting for various heads to explode at that question…
Finally, Amazon is not pro-author, nor are they pro-reader. They’re pro-Amazon. (This doesn’t make them any worse or better than most businesses, by the way.) When Amazon’s interests overlap with those of readers or writers, great. But don’t lose sight of their bottom line, because I guarantee that’s what they’re watching.
I’m sure there will be many, many discussions and arguments about this, and I have no idea how it will all play out or whether or not it will work. But I do think it’s a fascinating step in the ongoing evolution of the industry.
I mentioned yesterday that I'd donated an early copy of Gameboard of the Gods to a local Seattle group to auction on eBay to raise money for a boys' field trip. Well, as we all know, yesterday also saw some pretty devastating things happen to families and homes in Oklahoma. My heart breaks for those who have suffered such unimaginable loss, and my hopes and prayers are with them all for speedy physical and mental healing.
I now have four more charitable listings on eBay to offer support to those suffering in the wake of the storms. These auctions are listed under BooksThatGive, which some of you may remember did similar charity auctions after the Japanese earthquake in 2011. 100% of the final sale (after eBay's fees) from these auctions will go to Save the Children, an outstanding charitable group which helps children all over the world and is sending supplies to help children displaced by yesterday's terrible events in Oklahoma. These auctions only ship to the US, and there are all sorts of things up there--including another copy of Gameboard, audiobooks, a shirt, and more. Check them out, and help if you can. Thanks so much for your support, and of course, remember that you can always donate directly to Save the Children and many other reputable groups offering aid.
I hear that everything's up to date in Kansas City, so I'll be headed that way tomorrow to see for myself.
ConQuest beckons; KC's annual regional convention, one of the best. Should be a good time. Patrick Rothfuss is GOH, John Picacio will be there, along with Brad Denton, Caroline Spector, and all of my old KC friends and partners in crime. I'll be doing a reading, doing a panel, eating too much barbeque, drinking too much bheer.
And even before the con, we'll have the road trip. I will be hitting the road with my Aussie friends, and driving right through the heart of Tornado Alley, which should be an... ah... adventure. If you're in Oklahoma or Kansas and think you see me passing by, you may be right. The Big Well beckons... along with Dorothy's House, Pancake Boulevard, the Cosmodrome, and the Elevator of Terror (you can't make this stuff up).
I am making good progress on SOUL OF SWORDS. So let’s have another excerpt!
“I will enter Cythraul Urdvul,” said Skalatan, “claim the power of the Demonsouled for myself, and become the new Sepharivaim.”
“Will you?” said Lucan. “Malavost tried to use the Door of Souls atop Mount Tynagis to claim the power of Sepharivaim, and look what happened to him.”
“Malavost was misinformed,” said Skalatan. “Sepharivaim is dead.”
“I see why the other San-keth consider you a heretic,” said Lucan.
“They lack vision and are enslaved to their narrow dogmas,” said Skalatan. “Sepharivaim has been dead for millennia, and my people worship the memory of a slain god. A useless folly. Instead I will become the new god and set this world to order.”
Lucan scoffed. “And you shall make yourself a tyrant as black as any of the Demonsouled.”
“Hardly,” said Skalatan. “The minds of humans are…conflicted, warring between their reason and their emotions. The mind of a San-keth is cold. Orderly. Rational. This world is a place of chaos and madness. With the power of the Demonsouled, I shall remake this world as a place of rationality and order. To the benefit of the San-keth, yes. But also to the benefit of the humans and the Elderborn and the other sapient races that live upon this world.”
“And why are you telling me this?” said Lucan. “You all but admitted that you are going to march the Aegonar south to claim Knightcastle. I assume you have a reason for explaining your entire plan to me?”
“Correct,” said Skalatan. “I wish for you to aid me.”
For a moment Lucan was not sure he had heard the San-keth correctly.
I (and the art-reward backers) have gotten two images of Lindsay Archer's progress on the novel cover, and I'm getting very excited about where she's headed. It's going to be a fantastic conclusion to the trilogy!
But speaking of the trilogy, I now have in hand the re-edits from Shawn Merwin for book 1. Within the next month, I will be able to take those edits and turn the newly revised manuscript into an e-book. I told Shawn that the red showing on the first two pages was a little intimidating, but he promised me it cleans up after that.
In the meantime, I've been keeping busy on the autobio project, writing obituaries, and working on my next Choice of Games project, a Western with a little bit of mystery to it. The autobios this batch are tremendously exciting. I've gotten to work with Jim Hines on an original essay that had the same balance of laugh-out-loud and heart-wrenching I've come to expect from his novels. Joseph Bruchac did a fantastic update about his years in Africa, Pat Cummings provided amazing graphics from her illustration process for her update, and Eloise Greenfield wrote about, among other things in her update, filming her "Grandma Rap." I always enjoy working on the autobio project, but this batch has been especially fun, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the final results once they hit the online databases.
There's all sorts of stuff going on right now, so sit back, and let's get started.
1. Early Copy of Gameboard of the Gods I donated a signed, brand new, hardcover copy of Gameboard to a local Seattle group that's trying to raise money for a boys' field trip. They have the item listed on ebay, and you can bid on it if you're interested. Note that eBay automatically inserts a lot of generic book details, but the seller has the pertinent facts--it's hardcover and final, autographed, only ships to the US, and is not an ARC (despite eBay's picture). This is currently the only pre-release copy of Gameboard on eBay that I've endorsed, FYI. Please direct any other questions to the seller, as they are the ones handling the selling and shipping logistics. I just provided them with the book. :)
2. Twitter Chat! We have another Twitter chat coming up this week on Thursday 3pm-3:45pm (or until I get thrown into Twitter jail for too many tweets). That's Pacific time here in Seattle, so convert your time zone here. Starting at 3 that day, you can direct questions to me @RichelleMead and tag them #AskMead. I'll respond to as many as I'm able to. Please be patient, as I usually get slammed with hundreds of questions. You can click #AskMead during the chat to see other questions and answers, and we'll post a transcript afterward. Should be good times!
3. New York City Signing In addition to my appearance at the BEA convention in New York next week, I'll also have a Barnes and Noble event with other amazing authors that's open to the public. Those details are here.
4. VA Casting News The principle roles in the VA movie have been cast! I don't know about you guys, but I kind of fan-girled when I saw Gabriel Byrne was chosen. I'll do a bigger movie post soon, but in the meantime, here's a handy chart from Penguin Books Australia to show you everyone. Note that Eddie is not going to be cast for this first movie since his part was pretty minimal in book one. It'd be hard to sell an amazing actor on having just one line in this first movie, but if Frostbite gets made (fingers crossed for success), there'll be tons of potential Eddies wanting that crazy awesome Strigoi plot line!
I'll close by saying that these are head shots of the actors from other projects, not them done up as the characters. Just wait until you see Zoey and Danila's hair now...
You all may recall that my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of years ago, and he's put up a remarkable fight, but the doctors have recently told him there's nothing more to be done and he's now on hospice care. So, if you're so inclined, please remember him in your prayers/thoughts, that he'll have peace and be as pain-free as possible as he moves into this last leg of the race. And prayers for some of that peace stuff for us kids wouldn't be taken amiss, either.