Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Friday News Roundup

June 23rd, 2017

First, thank you to everyone who’s helped with this week’s launch of The Last Good Man! Social media posts, shares, retweets, and comments all make a real difference in getting the word out. And a special thank you to all who have posted reader reviews on Goodreads and Amazon! The novel is off to a great start in both places, but if you’ve got the time to post a review of your own, please do! It really does help.

Here are some recent events:

The newest review is from Jerry D. Lenaburg at the New York Journal of Books, who very kindly says, “Nagata is rapidly assuming her place among the greats of military science fiction.” Check it out here.

On Wednesday I was over at John Scalzi’s blog talking about the not-exactly-market-savvy Big Idea behind The Last Good Man.

Also on Wednesday, DJ interviews me the blog “MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape.”

On Thursday I got to visit Chuck Wendig’s blog, TerribleMinds, where I talked about “Five Things I Learned Writing The Last Good Man.” Stop by for some insights on the writing process.

Now Available: The Last Good Man

June 19th, 2017

I’ve been talking about it for months, and now The Last Good Man has launched. Print and ebook editions are available now. An Audible audio edition is on the way; I suspect it will be out around the end of the month or the first week of July. I’ll let you know!

Thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word.

If you read and enjoy The Last Good Man, I hope you’ll consider posting a review at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and at Goodreads if you’re active there. It really does help!

Here’s the back-cover description:

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.

And here are some blurbs to help persuade you:

“A new novel by Linda Nagata is always an event. The Last Good Man pulls us into next month’s headlines with a conviction and energy that makes for an extraordinary tale.” —Hugo and Nebula award-winner Greg Bear, author of War Dogs and Darwin’s Radio.

“…a thrilling novel that lays bare the imminent future of warfare.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

“…if you want a novel with pulse-pounding action, in which soldiers square off against the futuristic machines — a novel that you won’t be able to put down once the action heats up — [The Last Good Man] delivers with the precision and firepower of a tactical missile…not only a cracking good read, it is a novel driving first, and fast, down the road we are seemingly already set upon.” —Paul Weimer, Barnes & Noble SFF blog

“The Last Good Man is a compelling and subversive novel, told by unique characters, especially True Brighton: sympathetic, prickly, determined, all too human. Linda Nagata has impressive insights into technological advances and their potential effects. Not to mention some very cool invented AI critters…. It was a privilege to read TLGM before its publication.” —Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Vonda N. McIntyre, author of Dreamsnake, Starfarers, and The Moon and the Sun.

And vendor links:

☆ Amazon

☆ iBooks

☆ Barnes & Noble

☆ Kobo Books

You can also ask your local bookstore or library to order the print edition. Here’s the ISBN: 978-1-937197-22-3.

Well, I guess I should get back to work on the next book.

Imminent Release + Review Roundup

June 19th, 2017

JUST A FEW MORE HOURS TO GO!

That’s right! The ebook edition of The Last Good Man releases at midnight tonight — midnight wherever you are … I think? The print edition is already on sale at Amazon, and soon will be at other vendors — and of course you can still preorder it.

In the meantime, some new reviews have appeared:

Sharon Browning writes for the review site LitStack. I blush to quote it, but she says, “The Last Good Man excels on so many different levels, there is simply no reason for you not to go out and experience it, regardless of your reading preferences. Honestly, it’s that good.” Read the review here.

“Reading Over The Shoulder” is a review blog with a unique setup. It’s structured in the form of series of letters between two brothers currently living thousands of miles apart. Robert is the elder brother. He describes The Last Good Man as “a unique experience in all the right ways and I definitely recommend this book. Not much left to say, so go out there and get it!” Read the full review here.

Dolly runs the review blog “Just Talking About Books” where she and associate reviewer Marta cover many genres. Read Dolly’s review of The Last Good Man here. She says it’s “Highly Recommended.”

UK and Ireland Sale

June 19th, 2017

For readers in the UK and Ireland…the ebook edition of THE RED: FIRST LIGHT is on sale at Kobo through the end of the month. If you’ve already read it, you can still tell your friends!

I don’t have a direct link since I can’t see the UK store from here, but you can search on this ID: 9781937197193.

American Gods

June 18th, 2017

I read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods not too long after it was first published. With all the publicity surrounding the television series — which I haven’t seen yet — it seemed like a good time to revisit it. This time, instead of reading, I listened to the audiobook edition. In summary: Highly Recommended!

The audiobook is full cast. Different narrators read different voices, and Neil himself contributes some of the interludes. I advise you not to be in a hurry as you listen to it. It’s a long and complex story populated by many characters. The epilogue — also long — is structured to remind us of those many characters and also serves as a lesson in how to effectively tie off plot threads one by one.

Not a complaint, just a wry observation:
Our protagonist, Shadow, is described as a young man, big and tall, with long dark hair. For me, one of the peculiarities of the audiobook was that Daniel Oreskes, who voices Shadow, sounds a lot like Vin Diesel. Now, Vin Diesel has a fine voice and so does this narrator, so this wasn’t a problem. Still, my identification of that voice with Vin Diesel meant I was visualizing a young Vin Diesel instead of a young man with long dark hair. Oh well.

If you’re looking for a terrific audiobook, you won’t go wrong with this one.

The Business of Writing

June 17th, 2017

In my last post I promised to take a look at expenses versus income for my newest novel, The Last Good Man. The novel has been on preorder for several weeks. As of yesterday, preorders had been placed for 542 copies. I estimate the net income from those copies will be roughly $2,415, which I’ll receive in two to three months.

So what about expenses?

As the saying goes, time is money, and time is by far the biggest expense incurred in writing any novel. Suffice to say, this novel took most of a year to write. Other expenses include editing, cover art, copyediting, software fees, setup fees for the print edition, advertising, and postage. Right now the partial total of stuff I actually paid for stands at $3,627. Some of the postage was paid on a different card and I’m not going to track down the amounts right now. I’ll just note that the actual dollar figure for expenses is a bit higher.

Not all indie writers spend this much. I didn’t spend this much when I indie-published The Red. For that book, I had only one round of paid editing, I had a free copyedit, and free cover art from my daughter. But I’ve had a few years since then to realize the value of good editing, so I indulged this time, wanting to make this book the very best I could. I also wanted a copyedit consistent with standard practice in the American publishing industry. And I wanted a specific sort of cover art. I definitely got my money’s worth there.

I believe that The Last Good Man is well written and well laid-out. I believe it compares favorably to most traditionally published books and it’s already earned some enthusiastic reviews. But as you can see from the figures above, it’s got a long way to go before I can call it profitable.

Why am I publishing these figures? In part because it’s a glimpse into the industry that might be useful to other writers planning their careers, and in part because it’s an explanation of why I’m doing so much promotion. But it’s also because most articles about writers and their incomes focus only on the very successful, and that’s not most of us.

I’ve been in this business a long time, I’ve had many novels published, both traditional and indie, I’ve won awards and been short-listed for more, and my books have been well reviewed — yet my sales have always been tepid. Maybe The Last Good Man will change that. I hope so!

If you’d like to help out, buy the book! (I know most of you reading this already have. THANK YOU.) Ask your local library to order it. Post a reader review at Amazon and Goodreads. And do the same for any other author’s books that you’ve especially enjoyed. Writing is an art but it’s also business — and readers get to decide if we stay in business.

Tracking Preorders – June 16

June 16th, 2017

Just a few more days until publication!

To review for those new to my blog, I’m publicly tracking preorders on my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man. The novel has already earned a Publishers Weekly starred review, and several glowing endorsements from other writers. But it’s a crowded marketplace…

My goal was a modest 500 preorders before the June 20 publication date. And you know what? I made it! The print orders did it. There were a total of 153 as of this morning — VERY small potatoes in the grand scheme of things — but enough to let me reach my goal. Thank you to everyone who preordered a copy, whether ebook or print!

Date Total Preorders Events
May 5 31 Social media announcement of preorder links
May 12 84 Email to 1800+ newsletter subscribers**
May 19 164 New review by Michael Patrick Hicks
• probable inclusion in targeted Amazon emails
May 26 225 New review at Barnes & Noble blog
June 2 285 • Email to 525 newsletter subscribers(++)
• Included in a list of summer reads at Kirkus
• Included in a list of summer reads at The Verge
• Included on 3rd pg of “NOOK Press Presents”
June 9 377 Includes some print preorders
June 16 542 Figure includes 153 print preorders.

So what does this mean in dollar terms? After all, I need to contribute something to the family income…

The ebook is priced at $7.99. For most copies sold, I earn 70% of the list price less a few pennies, so let’s say $5.55 per copy. That’s a nice cut, much better than I’d get in traditional publishing. If all preorders go through, I’m looking to net around $2,175 from the ebooks.

By contrast, print — specifically print-on-demand — is expensive. So despite the $18 cover price, I’ll be netting only about $2 a copy for the preordered print books.

Adding estimated income from ebook and print preorders gives me a total of $2,415, which I won’t see until two or three months after publication. Not exactly high finance, eh? But it’s a start.

I’ll write more on income versus expenses in another post.

Find all related posts here.

Find preorder links and info here.

Details:
++ The 525 newsletter subscribers are a separate list, newly signed up via a recent promotion. It should be assumed that most are unfamiliar with my work.
**Around 350 subscribers have been long-time subscribers. The others are mostly new to my work, having signed on during recent promotional events. Only 39% of emails sent track as having been opened.

Back From Japan

June 15th, 2017

It’s not really a good idea to go on vacation right before a book launch, but circumstances worked out that way so I spent the last week in Japan with Ron, my daughter Dallas, her husband Ed, and a new camera which I don’t know how to use. For most of the trip I had the camera inadvertently set on some kind of burst mode and I haven’t had time to figure out how to pull individual shots, so all but the first of the photos below are from the second to last day of our trip.

We started in Tokyo — my first visit to that city — then headed out to Nagano for a few days. From there we were able to visit Matsumoto Castle and attend a firefly festival in Tatsuno. This was the first time I ever saw fireflies! They are amazing and wondrous little creatures. I did not realize they are so bright.

We also took a long day trip, starting with the Shinkansen to Itoigawa. From there we transferred to a one-car train that headed into the mountains — the “Japanese Alps” — following a spectacular narrow gorge with a white-water river. We were heading for a nature preserve, so we left the train and took a bus up to a ski town, nearly empty in June. From there, a twenty minute gondola ride with more spectacular views, and then a five-minute tram. By this time it was late afternoon and we had only twenty minutes at the top where the nature preserve was located. We didn’t see the green meadow in the brochure though because there was still several feet of snow on the ground! The scenery was gorgeous all the same and well worth the adventure.

We returned to Tokyo and visited some sites around the city. Our first day was rainy, but a sunny day followed and we were able to visit the Meiji Shrine Inner Garden and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Photos below.

Street of umbrellas. 😉


Read the rest of this entry »

Tracking Preorders – June 9

June 9th, 2017

To review for those new to my blog, I’m publicly tracking preorders on my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man. The novel has already earned a Publishers Weekly starred review, and several glowing endorsements from other writers. But it’s a crowded marketplace…

My goal is a modest 500 preorders before the June 20 publication date — only eleven days away! This is the first week print preorders have shown up. Only 36 so far, but it’s a start. Thank you to everyone who ordered. This number has been included in the total below.

Date Total Preorders Events
May 5 31 Social media announcement of preorder links
May 12 84 Email to 1800+ newsletter subscribers**
May 19 164 New review by Michael Patrick Hicks
• probable inclusion in targeted Amazon emails
May 26 225 New review at Barnes & Noble blog
June 2 285 • Email to 525 newsletter subscribers(++)
• Included in a list of summer reads at Kirkus
• Included in a list of summer reads at The Verge
• Included on 3rd pg of “NOOK Press Presents”
June 9 377 Includes some print preorders
June 16

Details:
++ The 525 newsletter subscribers are a separate list, newly signed up via a recent promotion. It should be assumed that most are unfamiliar with my work.

Find all related posts here.

Find preorder links and info here.

**Around 350 subscribers have been long-time subscribers. The others are mostly new to my work, having signed on during recent promotional events. Only 39% of emails sent track as having been opened.

Tracking Preorders – June 2

June 2nd, 2017

I’m publicly tracking preorders on my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man. The novel has already earned a Publishers Weekly starred review, and several glowing endorsements from other writers. But how is it doing in a crowded marketplace? Not so great.

My goal is a modest 500 preorders before the June 20 publication date. During this past week I passed the halfway mark, and it’s possible the numbers are a little better than what I can show here. More on that below. First, the current statistics:

Date Total Preorders Events
May 5 31 Social media announcement of preorder links
May 12 84 Email to 1800+ newsletter subscribers**
May 19 164 New review by Michael Patrick Hicks
• probable inclusion in targeted Amazon emails
May 26 225 New review at Barnes & Noble blog
June 2 285 • Email to 525 newsletter subscribers(++)
• Included in a list of summer reads at Kirkus
• Included in a list of summer reads at The Verge
• Included on 3rd pg of “NOOK Press Presents”
June 9
June 16

++ The 525 newsletter subscribers are a separate list, newly signed up via a recent promotion. It should be assumed that most are unfamiliar with my work.

I can’t see preorders at iBooks, and I didn’t ask my distributor for an updated count, but it’s unlikely to have changed much from the five copies reported last week.

The print edition is available to preorder and I know that at least two books have been ordered, but those numbers have not shown up in any report, so I’m going to assume I won’t see print numbers until the books actually ship. That means print is a big mystery, and the numbers above reflect only ebook sales.

By the way, both Barnes & Noble and Amazon are offering the print edition at a 23% discount as of this writing.

Find all related posts here.

Find preorder links and info here.

**Around 350 subscribers have been long-time subscribers. The others are mostly new to my work, having signed on during recent promotional events. Only 39% of emails sent track as having been opened.