Blatant plug and a bit on the publishing world.
One of my favorite author’s newest books just became available for preorder. Dave Freer, among the best fantasy writers of the day is set to release his first solo book in a few years. Working with in the same world that the stunning epics The Shadow of the Lion, and This Rough Magic were composed with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint, Dave has written a book that nestles between the two previously released books without a single continuity error, or making the story seem contrived . A Mankind Witch follows Erik, Manfred, and Francesca through the frozen north and into situations fit to freeze the blood. There are several new comers to the book. It is entirely safe to read this before or after the chronologically later This Rough Magic. I happen to get my greedy paws on an advanced copy and can tell you that this book in no way suffers from the lack of the formidable talents of Lackey, and Flint. It stands on its own and highlights the appreciable talents of Freer.
Now why am I blathering on and on about a book none of you will be fortunate enough to put your hands on for months? Well aside from A) Liking Dave’s work, and B) liking Dave, and C) liking to tease and torment, it’s simple. With the exception of a very few top names in the publishing world there are two main banes to exposure for an author.
- Lack of shelf space. This manifests in two halves. First, there is both an absolute physical ceiling on space, and a time limit. In some genres the on shelf time before a book is destroyed (for which the publisher has to refund the money, and the author does not get paid) or returned. The second half is the sadder one. With the exception of a given genres Names, many books authors books are ordered once, and never again unless the book is requested by a customer.
- The other important piece I’ll bore people with tonight is how much preorders can effect the possibility, and or size of future printing runs. Preorders also work to familiarize people up and down the chain between you and your favorite author with said author’s name. To paraphrase Jim Baen of Baen Books; publishers don't sell to consumers, their customers are the distributors. The distributors don't buy books for the consumer either; they buy them for the big chains. The big chains buy based on arcane and flawed algorithms that leave a lot out of their calculations.
Here’s a review of the first book in the series: by me.
And here are a couple places you can preorder it.
Amazon Jabberwocky Mysterious Galaxy