...Lurking, peering up out of the swamp.
That's things for you. You never know when one of 'em is going to leave a trail of wet footprints, a bit of duckweed, and a complete absence of Rover.
(It's not easy living with my mind) Now, to resume normal programming, I've had a few things on my mind lately (some with duckweed) and I was trying to decide just which to write about. Decisively, I have gone for both!
Which is the 35% offer from Amazon. The higher one... is reputed to have more than just duckweed. It's lawyerese, a language which fills me with a (totally irrational I am sure) desire to attach the speaker/writer to a slab of wood (by means of six inch nails through the feet) and to suspend the same slab over a crocodile pond, until they learn to speak straight non-evasive English. The Baen contract, and the Tekno contracts should be used as standards - if it's more complicated (in Flesch terms if nothing else) it's over the crocodile pond with you. Still, there are a lot of you reading this blog, so if you want to have a look and leave comments about death-traps and nasty sneaky servitude for your children clauses that I might have missed I'd be grateful.
Secondly, the perennial issue of how the hades you get your work noticed. Let's face it: unless your publisher paid through the nose for your book (An advance of at least 25K but realistically closer to 100K - in which case they'll work hard to get their money back) you're effectively the only person who will market and push your book. You can argue about how right or wrong this is, or how wise or stupid, or if it actually works at all in anyone's favor, but that is the status quo. Whether you sign up to lawyerese above, go your own way, or get a publisher... your new book is one among tens of thousands. It's probably not even on display in 9/10 of bookstores, and it probably won't be re-ordered unless customers ask for it. That's the reality for 98% of us. You can either sit and whine about it... or at least work on it to the best of your ability. I've chosen the latter, in my best ineffectual style, and, of course perpetual ragged edge of disaster finances. I'm not much good at it, but hell, I try. So what possible ways are there?
Well... there is the I think DD prescript of forget about it and work on getting a lot of books on the shelf. People do notice that.
Then there is CV altnernative of everything from live shows to poetry. How she finds time to write I don't know, but I admire the effort. I am not sure about dividends or just how long haul practical this is. (and of course my famous Vogon poetry skillz do limit this option.)
There are cons and give-aways. which is very nice if you can get to cons, get anyone to come to your readings who isn't a reader already, and um... the cost and effectiveness of giveaways. I did what I could afford (which was VERY little) but if it had any effect, I am yet to hear of it.
Then there is our own Rowena's trailer - which is good but how could I get many people to see it, assuming I could do one?
Charlie Stross held forth a while ago about the only answer was blogging... which is all very well if you got in early and got a blog audience before there were 10 zillion to trawl through. Still, I am persuing this as best I can. I suspect I am nearly as naturally good at it as I am at childbirth. I'd noticed Ilona Gordon (who is good at it) mixes giveaways with hers, and guest blogs. I'm up for more ideas... besides persistance, that one I have got.
So there we are, friends, ladies, gentlemen, mantlepieces and others. In my inimitable style I now await your brickbats and comments on the Kindle thing and of course, how to get your book noticed. I'd prefer ideas that involve staying out of jail and alive, if it is all the same to you. And no duckweed.