The mailman (did I mention I have a Pavlovian response to the mailman?) brought me two packages from my agent today, new foreign editions, both of The Hallowed Hunt. The Russian edition is one of their melange mix-'n-match covers, an assortment of scenes from other novels' artwork in the general vicinity of the fantasy genre, put together in a sort of mosaic. I see they no longer have interesting artwork in the endpapers, alas. Economics, no doubt.
The other is from Bragelonne in France, and its cover art is clearly purpose-painted; they selected the scene of Ingrey entering the oak wood, and the ghost warriors coming out of the trees with their ragged banners, Ingrey's wolf in mistwraith form sort of hovering over his shoulder like a bad conscience (or else he really reeks...). Very nicely conceived, actually. I quite like it. I hope we can get scans up one of these days. La Chasse Sacree is the title in French (with an accent over the second-to-last e that my computer would doubtless supply me if I knew which button to push, but in the meanwhile, just imagine it.)
Subject: (chat) More Eos blog posts
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006
I see Eos has the fourth of my blog posts up this morning -- one more to go, tomorrow.
They have an arrangement for comments below the posts that seems to be sadly under-utilized at present...
Subject: (chat) Bujold Eos blog posts
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006
Ah ha, the first of my series of blog posts is up at the new Eos blog:
Sort of a warm-up piece, but it got me started. I focus in more on TSK tomorrow.
There is a place at the end of each post where folks can post comments/discuss, too, which makes it more interactive than usual for this publisher.
Subject: (news & chat) radio interview upcoming
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006
Hi all --
I'm just back from downtown Minneapolis, where I recorded a radio interview with the folks from independent public radio station KFAI's program "Write On Radio". It seemed to go very well -- really good questions, and they let me read a bit from Beguilement. It will likely air sometime in December -- I'll post a heads-up when I get the date and time, plus they will have it available as streaming audio from their website for up to two weeks after the broadcast, at www.kfai.org. They normally air the show at 11 AM on Thursdays. 90.3 FM in Mpls, 106.7 in St. Paul.
And this concludes our broadcast day in more ways than one, being my last official outing to talk with, like, total strangers about my book for a while. I still have a couple of blog posts to write for the Eos blog next week, but I have ideas for at least one of them thanks to the chat list (thanks, Mary Piero Carey -- I think one'll be about landscapes in TSK.) After I recover a bit.
I also had a quick phone interview with a reporter from the Sci Fi channel's website, Sci Fi Wire, although I'm afraid I jittered between tongue-tied and incoherent on that one. It'll be written up rather than recorded, though, so perhaps he'll smooth it out. It's amazing how the way the questions are framed facilitates, or doesn't, the answers. A blunt "Describe the plot of your book" is not one I can get my head around, for some reason. Especially not for this book. The KFAI interviewer was a writer himself, and somehow much easier to talk to.
Ta, L. (Suffering PR fatigue, but still spending much too long on the internet.)
Subject: (news) The Mislaid Magician
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006
Hey, Amazon claims to be shipping Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's new Kate & Cecy book!
From Harcourt, under their YA imprint, so in brick-and-mortar stores you'll likely have to look for it in the YA section.
And it's as delightful as its predecessors (I read it in manuscript, smugsmug.)
Subject: (news) More TSK chapters posted at Eos, signing tomorrow at Hugo's
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006
Eos, in preparation for my guest-blogger appearance on their website next week (starting Oct. 23), has now posted the third chapter of Beguilement, directly following the first two on the same page.
http://outofthiseos.typepad.com for their new blog.
Interesting: the front page of the HarperCollins website proper has a counter showing the book pages most visited, among all their offerings. When the chapters first went up, your visits boosted Beguilement to the #3 slot, for a day or so. This was considered a very good thing by my editor, as it brought the book to the startled attention of more folks in-house than just her. So do, do, keep that URL circulating!
Now with added chapter.
A last reminder, I will be signing Beguilement (and any other book of mine you put in front of me) at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis tomorrow, Saturday October 21, at 1 PM.
Subject: (news) TSK:B opens at 28th on NYT extended list!
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006
...Is that enough acronyms for everyone?
For the opening week of sales, The Sharing Knife, vol. 1: Beguilement has appeared at #28 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller extended list. This is the list that will appear, eventually, dated 10/29 and covering sales the week ending October 14, so this is advance word. (The list currently up on the Times website is for the sales week ending October 7, and datelined October 22, which I presume is the date it will appear in their paper edition.)
This is the kind of news one's excited editor calls one up and tells the writer personally, rather than sending a mere e-mail. Because it's a feather in her cap, as well -- and as well it should be.
But mostly, I want to thank you all, because for all the hopeful efforts at promotion a publisher may attempt, the real results are up to the readers. You guys did this, and I am very grateful.
The NYT extended list is a peculiar insitution. I'd never even heard of it, despite having a writing career for a decade and a half when A Civil Campaign first cracked it. My then-excited editor had to explain it all to me when she called. The Big List, as it's commonly dubbed, and which appears in bookstores, libraries, and newspapers all over the country for the sort of free publicity no money can buy, is everyone's gold ring. It covers the books ranked from 1 to 15. The extended list goes to 33. Until the era of websites, the only folks who saw this extension were the booksellers. Now, it was and is important there, because it gives them a heads-up which books to watch, but it doesn't supply that extra turbo-boost on the readers' side that cracking the top 15 does. But these days, the extended list is getting around more, and isn't quite so obscure.
Keep that sample chapter URL circulating:
Ta, L. (Chuffed!)
...and very relieved.
Subject: (news) Cordelia reaches Estonia
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006
Hi all --
The contract came through today for my first sale in the Estonian language, bringing the number of languages my books have appeared in up to a satisfyingly round 20. It's for Shards of Honor and Barrayar, which is a fine way to launch the series. The sale is to a publisher called Varrak, in the (I presume) city of Tallinn, Estonia. No, I never find out when publication will occur/has occurred till the author's copies appear in my mail.
We also have an offer pending from Hungary, which will boost the language-counter to 21, a thought that makes me blink. More news on that when the paperwork goes through, which tends to happen in a more speedy fashion now that everyone's on the 'net.
The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls have also earned out their advances in Spain, which warms my heart. I like to see my publishers happy in their Bujold-purchasing decisions. Earning out an advance does not necessarily match one-to-one with the publisher breaking even on their investment, but it's usually a good indicator.
Ta, L. (Small businesswoman hat on this morning.)
Subject: (News & Chat) Beguilement a Book Sense pick for November
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006
I am pleased to report that The Sharing Knife: Beguilement is one of the Book Sense picks for November 2006. This is a monthly list of recommended reads from independent booksellers. The Curse of Chalion was also a Book Sense pick, way back when. An excellent list to be on; I see Beguilement was one of the few F&SF genre books to make the cut, this month's outing. This is an especially interesting list because it's chosen for content, not sales numbers, and it cuts across genre and other boundaries to encompass a huge range of books.
I see Fleeing Fundamentalism is also on the list; I sat across from this author, Carlene Cross, at one of the tables at the Author's Tea last weekend at the Midwest Bookseller's Association meeting in St. Paul. She, and her book, sounded exceptionally interesting.
I suppose I should describe the tea. ( It wasn't open to the general public, so I hadn't put it on my posted travel schedule.) It's set up as a chance for booksellers to meet authors of upcoming hot works. Publishers send their authors to the meeting (I was easy, being local); they have booths, signing lines to give sample books to the booksellers, and this tea, which is a chance for the bookstore folks to meet writers if not one-on-one, at least six-on-two. The room was set up with about 15 round tables, and every twenty minutes or so the writers would switch to a different table, so about 24 booksellers all told got a shot at each writer. (Comparisons with the Mad Hatter's tea party were inevitable and amusing.) It was especially helpful for me to listen to the other writers talk about their books and pick up their techniques, since I find talking off-the-cuff about my work very difficult. From the first table to the fourth, I could watch myself get better at the task, as I got to see what worked. Enough signed copies of each writer's book were supplied to each of the tables on their rotation so that all the booksellers a writer talked to would have one.
Thoughtfully, the organizers fed the writers a separate tea before the main one, so we didn't have to try to talk with our mouths full. It also gave the chance to round us all up, pre-sign the books, and supply us with our instructions. I had a good time; to find out how I sounded, one would have to chase down one of the booksellers in our little audience, but I hope I did OK.
Subject: (News & Chat) TSK sample chapters at last! Sort of...
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006
Well! HarperCollins Canada seems to have beaten the main Eos site in getting the promised sample chapters up. They aren't exactly easy to find, but here's a direct link:
The first two chapters. They seem to have lost the scene breaks in the re-formatting, which is going to be a bit confusing, especially as most of them also involve viewpoint shifts, but you guys are smart, you'll figure it out.
Some folks have already read Chapter One in the back of the mass market paperback of The Hallowed Hunt. Here at least is a small taste of What Happens Next.
As soon as Eos manages to get their American links up, I'll be urging folks to distribute the URL far and wide. Historically, sample chapters have been one of my best e-sales tools. I especially love them because they are the one thing that sells my books on content instead of on packaging.
Subject: Sample Chapters Finalized!!!
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2006
Here is the URL for the TSK sample chapters I invite you all to scatter far and wide...
Please, please disseminate this. LiveJournals, blogs, chat lists, wherever fellow book-readers hang out.
Subject: (news) More Dayton, OH TSK signing details
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2006
I'm told that my signing, at 7 PM Monday, October 16th, will definitely be at Books & Co.'s new location in Dayton, OH:
Books & Co.
The Greene Shopping Center
4453 Walnut Street
Beavercreek, OH 45440
Folks in the Dayton area, please pass the word!
To reiterate, here in the Twin Cities, I'll be signing (plus Q&A and maybe a short reading) at Dreamhaven Books & Comics on Lake St. on Saturday Oct. 14th at 3 PM; and at Uncle Hugo's on Chicago Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 21st, at 1 PM (just signing and chatting -- no space there for a formal program.) Both Hugo's & Dreamhaven will have signed books by mail order.
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