Hostage, the sequel to Stranger, is out now. The e-book is $4.99; the paper book will be released in a few months.

Sherwood has put up a detailed post about why we chose to self-publish Hostage. It’s well-worth reading in full, but the short version is that we finished Hostage a year ago. If we stayed with Viking, it would be two more years before it would be released. (Stranger also took three years to come out, counting from when Sharyn November first told us she wanted it; two and a half years if you count from when we actually got our contract.) We decided that being able to control the price and release dates of the series was more important to us than the prestige and resources of a traditional publishing house.

Feel free to discuss here or there; feel free to publicize and link anywhere.

I welcome comments on your own publishing experiences. I ask only that you refrain from put-downs of individuals or general statements that anything is evil. Amazon included. Criticize all you want, just don’t say stuff like “Amazon is trying to enslave us all, like STALINIST RUSSIA!!!” or “You’re just self-publishing because no one wants your politically correct tripe!!!” or any other statement that naturally lends itself to three exclamation points.

Hostage at Book View Cafe (the writer’s collective). Hostage (The Change) at Amazon. At Barnes and Noble At Apple. At Kobo
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)

From: [personal profile] brainwane

punctuation


or any other statement that naturally lends itself to three exclamation points.

This is so great.

Thank you and thanks to Sherwood for the behind-the-scenes peek!
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


AMAZON WANTS TO END ALL BOOKS AND HAVE US RELATE TO THE WORLD ONLY THROUGH DIGITAL DEVICES oh wait that's Google

That was a really interesting post (I am about halfway through it).
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

From: [personal profile] davidgillon


Fascinating, and seems like a logical decision. When the editor's panel at Worldcon talked about setting their publishing schedules for 2016 I did start to wonder what the effect of the lead-time was on authors, and when that lead-time is being applied sequentially to every book in a series there are real issues for sales/continuity of Fanish attention.

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From: [personal profile] davidgillon - Date: 2015-01-06 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
sputnikhearts: (Default)

From: [personal profile] sputnikhearts


That was really interesting, thanks! I knew the lead time was long but I didn't know such things were the norm. Sigh! Educational at least. And best of luck!
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)

From: [personal profile] oursin


I know academic publishing moves like a very sluggish glacier, but I'd have hoped that trade publishing was a bit more expeditious.
green_knight: (Eeek!)

From: [personal profile] green_knight


I've worked for a publisher that publishes most of its books within 3-4 months of delivery of the final draft; but that means there's no room in the schedule for the author to go travelling around the world (real worry). I'd say that 6-8 months is more realistic (from my limited experience); but that doesn't account for editing passes. For that (drawing on the freelance side of things) I would say another 4-5 months for delivery, read-through, editing passes, talking things over... and then *deciding* that you'll have a mss ready to go into production and won't need another pass because you're setting a massive operation into action at that point.

I can see how different houses might make decisions depending on their experience with how long it will take to get the mss from submission to final draft.

And *then* you get to 'editor overworked, does not have time for this mss right now' which seems to be completely unrelated to the schedules that have been agreed.
starlady: (bibliophile)

From: [personal profile] starlady


Sharyn's replies, if they do reflect an emerging industry standard at the Big Five, make me think that either a) they are going to get out of the adult genre game or b) that all but the a-listers are going to wind up decamping for non-traditional publication venues like you did. Three years is ridiculous. A book is not a movie.

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via_ostiense: Eun Chan eating, yellow background (Default)

From: [personal profile] via_ostiense


V. glad that you've decided to self-publish, as I just finished reading Stranger (motivated by Sherwood's post) and can now buy Hostage and start right away.

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isabelknight: (Default)

From: [personal profile] isabelknight


Will you post a reminder when it's available in print? I have Stranger (which I very much enjoyed!) in print, and I like to keep all the books in one series in the same medium when I get them if I possibly can.

From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com


It's a great post; I thought it was excellent that Sharyn contributed. I've linked to it on my LJ, and I've got some tweets up for you to retweet.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Thank you! I thought it was very interesting and unusual to have her perspective.

From: [identity profile] fengi.livejournal.com


Hey, is there still any service which allows you to buy e-books via a bricks and mortar store? The last time I read about that is before I had an electronic device so I didn't pay attention.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Good question. I have no idea. Is there a specific reason why you need to do that?

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From: [identity profile] lyda222.livejournal.com


I read (well, okay mostly skimmed) Sherwood's longer post and my feelings about this are mixed. I think it's really important to take care of yourselves as writers. Being able to put out a book in a reasonable amount of time seems like one of those things that ought to be an industry standard. (As a point of research/data, I never waited more than a year between book delivery and publication when I worked with Penguin USA. On the flip side, covers were presented to me for comment, not correction or input.) So, yes, being able to have readers find your next work ASAP makes a whole boat load of sense.

What I'm finding problematic about this is that, as always, it's only the author who suffers.

I wish instead of forcing talented writers to take measures, publishers would f*cking change (note lack of exclamation points, not even one.) Because, really, these aren't all-Cap feels, these are lower case, sad feels.

You guys are taking the high road, and you should because there just aren't enough traditional publishers out there that it's ever worth burning bridges. But, I just wish that, for once, someone higher up paid the price of stupid marketing moves, slow turn arounds, and all that jazz that writers are expected to put up with. It's not professional on the part of the publishers. I'm sorry, but it's just not. Because when there's a huge gap in production like that, rest assured that when the next book failed to sell well, they'd look YOU in the eye and say, "I guess your book sucked. Sorry. Bye."

And most writers have the kinds of egos where they think, "Yeah, I guess my book must have sucked." instead of looking at the obvious like, of course no one found the book you waited x many years between books and priced the e-book only a dollar less than the paper (that was true of me, and my books were trade paperback which meant Penguin expected e-readers to shell out 12 or 13 bucks for a damn e-book. UNREAL.)

Anyway, I'm straying into all-caps territory, so I think I'll stop here.

I'm glad you guys are doing something proactive, but I'm sorry you have to.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Thanks, Lyda. (You're not all-capsy! I put in the warning because this sort of post sometimes attracts a lot of random drive-bys of the !!!HITLER!!! sort.)

Being able to put out a book in a reasonable amount of time seems like one of those things that ought to be an industry standard. (As a point of research/data, I never waited more than a year between book delivery and publication when I worked with Penguin USA. On the flip side, covers were presented to me for comment, not correction or input.)

We did have cover input, and made some corrections - the initial cover was basically the same, but the central figure was posed differently, the buildings looked like European castles, and the eater roses looked like tentacles. I love the cover. And by pure coincidence, the silhouette made it much easier for us to continue in a similar vein. There was no way we could afford a photo shoot, and there are no stock photos of a Korean girl and a Latino boy posing together in non-modern clothes, even if we painted in a chain.

Your experience is interesting. As you know, Stranger had its release date announced and then pushed back twice. I think it probably would have sold much better if it had come out in time to take advantage of all the interest generated by its accidental controversy.

Traditional publishing seems to be getting slower and slower. Andrea Host became a self-published author after a publisher sat on her manuscript for ten years. And she's been quite successful. I wonder if she's actually done better for herself than she would have if that publisher had bought her novel after, say, two years... or if she'd have gotten trapped in a cycle of late releases, no publicity, pressure to write more commercially, etc, and had so never managed to develop a fan base.

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From: [identity profile] egelantier.livejournal.com


i'm just so happy there wasn't a three years waiting for hostage, and we won't need to wait ages for the next book as well. i don't know, the waiting periods sherwood cites in her post seem insane, even if you've told me some of this before. like, they're illogical; it looks like the publishers are set on intentionally failing. a pretty sad state of things, and i'm glad there's a self-publishing way out of this loophole. and i, of course, as always wish you all the best with the series ♥

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Three years is unusually long. But yeah, it's often an odd business model in that most books will fail without publisher-driven publicity, yet most books don't get that publicity. It seems to me that if only a few books will get promoted by the publisher, they might as well only buy the books earmarked for promotion. I'm sure there's much I don't understand, though; perhaps the small number of books that succeed on their own makes buying a number of sink-or-swim titles worthwhile.

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From: [identity profile] wordsofastory.livejournal.com


I was very excited to pick up a copy of Stranger in a brick-and-mortar store, but it's great that you'll be able to bring out Hostage so much sooner. I'm really looking forward to reading them both!

From: [identity profile] a2zmom.livejournal.com


I don't know that much about publishing, but I'm curious - do you feel there are any big advantages to go the traditional route? Because I agree, most books get no marketing push that I can see whatsoever.

I suppose if you have a really good editor you work with that would be a plus, but other than that...

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


The first and most obvious advantage is the advance! If it's a really good advance, not only is that great in itself, but you get a better chance of all the publishing house bells and whistles because they are really invested in you and your project.

Other than that, you get the benefit of pro production. For most of us, doing the production end of things is tough, and can be a real grind. Like, my problem is coming up with decent cover art, because I can't afford to pay. So a lot of mine I've done myself . . . and I know they look terrible. Formatting, etc, are also tough challenges for many.

Then there is the editing end. There is no mathematical formula for that, but I feel safe in saying that every project is better for editing. Especially for visual writers, who frequently (though not all, of course) don't always "see" the prose they are using. And everyone needs extra eyes for proofing, typos, grammar glitches, etc. (Though, yes, traditionally published books cross my desk all the time with awful errors.)

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From: [identity profile] patty1943.livejournal.com


Just ordered the ebook. I LOVED Stranger. Happy this is out so fast.

From: [identity profile] anglerfish07.livejournal.com


I enjoyed Stranger, and I've already finished Hostage! :) I did love how Ross, Yuki, Mia and Jenny were portrayed in Hostage, and I will write a review... I'm just trying to think how to write it.

This is very interesting. Sherwood's post was very enlightening. :) I'll head to her post and comment on it too. I had no idea traditional publishing worked like that. I can see why you and Sherwood wanted to self publish. I'm just relieved I don't have to wait 3 years for the last book to come out.
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