Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Home From A Workshop

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I returned home on Monday from an intense eight-day workshop on the business of writing, held on the Oregon Coast.

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch have held the ever-evolving “Master Class” workshop for many years. It’s aimed at the needs of working writers and is updated each year to reflect changes in the publishing business. I found it extremely useful and I’ve returned full of ideas and new inspiration. I have a a lot to do.

Writing more fiction is my top priority and I’ve already adjusted my schedule to accommodate that. My plan is to ignore email, Twitter, and the news until at least noon. Instead, I’ll start my day by diving straight into writing — after my early morning play session with Xena Rose, of course.

I’ve succeeded at this new schedule for two days so far — yay me! — and I’ve already seen a significant improvement in my productivity.

Afternoons and evenings will be for everything else, as I gradually implement many of the new ideas I’ve gathered.

That’s it for now. More soon.

A Few More Discounted Nanotech Print Books

Friday, July 14th, 2017

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m trying to clear my shelves, so I’ve been offering print copies of my books at highly discounted prices, plus postage. Full sets of the Nanotech Succession are sold out, but I still have:

2 sets 1 set of Deception Well and Vast
I can sell the pair for $12.50. Both will fit in a single padded Priority Mail envelope, which costs $7.20 in postage in the USA. So it would be a total of $19.70 for the two books — signed — if you’re in the USA. Unfortunately, postage is vastly more outside of America.

• a single copy of Vast –sold
$7 for the book + $7.20 postage in the USA, so $14.20 for a signed copy. Again, postage will be much more outside of the USA.

• a single copy of my middle-grade/YA novel Skye Object 3270a
Set at Deception Well, this is appropriate for younger but skilled readers. (Eleven, twelve, and thirteen year olds maybe?) This one is small enough that I can send it First Class instead of Priority Mail. So, $4.25 for the book, $4.29 (estimated) for postage. We can round it so the total is $8.50.

You can pay via PayPal or via a check drawn on a US bank.

If interested in any of these, email me: linda at mythicisland dot com

Also see this post if you are interested in a German-translation of The Red.

The Nanotech Succession — highly discounted!

Monday, July 10th, 2017

UPDATE 7/13/2017: The full sets are sold out. I have copies of some of the books though. I’ll post details soon.

$25 plus the cost of Priority Mail postage can get you print editions of all four books of the Nanotech Succession.

Gorgeous cover art by the amazing Bruce Jensen.

PLUS I’ll include a bonus copy of my related middle-grade novel, Skye Object 3270a. (If you have a middle-grade reader in your life, this could help hook them on science fiction!)

These are the Mythic Island Press trade paperback editions. Size is 5.5″ x 8.5″.

$25 is roughly what it cost me to print the four Nanotech books.

All five books will fit into a medium flat rate box. Postage on that is $13.60 in the USA. Sadly, it’s much more internationally.

You can pay via PayPal or via a check drawn on a US bank.

I will sign and date the books!

If interested, email me: linda at mythicisland dot com

I have at least three sets. Maybe four.

Check back for more books!
I am determined to clear off some shelves, so if you’re interested in signed copies of some of my older titles, check back here. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be offering more HIGHLY discounted print titles along with a few giveaways.

Book Giveaway: German translation of The Red

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Do you read in German?
I have four three extra copies of the German translation of The Red that I’d like to give away to readers who can appreciate them. The translation is by Helga Parmiter and was shortlisted for Best SF translation 2016 for the German equivalent of the Nebula awards.

The catch is, I will ask you to pay Priority Mail postage (via PayPal) to wherever you want the book sent. That’s $7.20 in the USA for the padded flat-rate envelope, $6.65 for the cardboard envelope. Much higher prices outside of America, sadly.

I will sign and date the books!

If interested, email me: linda at mythicisland dot com

Check back for more books!
I am determined to clear off some shelves, so if you’re interested in signed copies of some of my older titles, check back here. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be offering some HIGHLY discounted print titles along with a few more giveaways.

English-language too! 😉

Still here…

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Yes, I’m still here.

I should probably be blogging more, given that my newest novel came out just last week, but I’ve been caught up in promotional tasks along with a major — although unexciting — backend project.

The print editions of many of my books are printed by a company called Lightning Source. There is some advantage to also having them printed by Createspace, an Amazon company. So I’ve been converting and updating the books for that purpose. It’s a task that requires detail work, and time, but I want to get it done as soon as I can so I won’t have to continue paying for a monthly subscription for the layout program I’ve been using.

Anyway!

What’s going on in the world of The Last Good Man?

Not enough, to be honest. The launch itself went well, and sales continued at a reasonable pace for the next few days, but have been dropping off alarmingly since then. I have a few small publicity ventures ongoing, and a few more in mind, but nothing major is on the horizon, so I’m concerned that sales will continue to lag. That’s what happened with The Red, despite the good reviews, so it’s starting to feel like “déjà vu all over again.”

On the positive side, y’all are fantastic! Reader reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads have been terrific! Thank you, and I’m so very pleased to know that so many of you have enjoyed The Last Good Man.

Of course, not everyone agrees. I did get a 1-star review at Amazon a few days ago, although the customer’s ire is directed at the price of the ebook’s kilobytes — one kilobyte being as good as another, I suppose — rather than at the story.

Two more online appearances since my last post:

Jeffrey A. Carver, author of The Chaos Chronicles along with many other novels, recently finished reading The Last Good Man and posted his thoughts on it. In short, his advice is, “Don’t miss this one.”

And over at Marie Brennan’s blog, I posted about the “Spark of Life” — that moment during the writing of The Last Good Man when the story felt as if it finally came alive. TL;DR — a technical change, likely of interest only to other writers, is what made the difference for me.

Onward.

Now Available: The Last Good Man

Monday, 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.

The Business of Writing

Saturday, 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

Friday, 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.

Tracking Preorders – June 9

Friday, 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

Friday, 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.