Okay, I’ve crossed the line. I openly admit it. Many science fiction readers have, you know. Crossed the line…into fantasy.
How could I resist? A NEW author who has worked over twelve years on a 395,000 word epic? Tried to hone it down and it only got bigger. It sounded familiar. However, his famous agent didn’t blink an eyelash and now it’s a best seller? (not as familiar) Who was this person? Once again, (soapbox alert) someone has written a huge book and is garnering accolades for it.
Intrigued, I read his first book The Name of the Wind and loved it. At that length, it’s expensive, so I went the library route. (Sorry, Pat) and went back immediately for the second book A Wise Man’s Fears.
Read this interesting interview on Amazon at the Wise Man’s Fears page.
In an exclusive interview for Amazon.com, epic fantasy authors Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear) and Brandon Sanderson (Towers of Midnight) sat down to discuss collaborating with publishers, dealing with success, and what goes into creating and editing their work.
The story is told in the first-person narrative. Kvothe is a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever known. His childhood is spent with a troupe of traveling players until evil demons called the Chandrian wipe out his entire family because they are mentioned in his father’s song. Kvothe is left destitute to spend years as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city where he grows up fast. Desperate to learn more about the Chandrians in order to seek revenge and also to learn the higher magic of naming, he makes a brazen, yet successful, bid to enter a legendary school of magic. There he makes a dangerous enemy and also garners a cadre of friends. It is a story within a story as the unassuming bar owner, who is really the supposedly dead Kvothe, tells the real story of his life to a chronicler. The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fears are masterpieces of fantasy writing that transports the reader into the body and mind of a wizard and his astounding life. It’s a story you can’t put down with twists and turns that keep you reading late into the night. I highly recommend both…and look forward to the next one in the trilogy.
However, now that I am a publisher, I absolutely see the problem of such a large book. The price of printing. I think the trend is away from them, and that the short story will become more and more popular. In that vein, I have just written a short story that eventually will join my constellation of works. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.As the explosion of the ebook phenomena happens, one of the questions people are asking from both sides of the aisle is, “How can I find/sell a good book?”
Kristine Kathryn Rusch allayed some of my fears by saying that it will be a lot like it always has been, except instead of walking into a bookstore with hundreds of books, you browse Amazon with millions. However, you will go down the same aisle, (science fiction in my case) armed with some authors you particularly like and gaze around for some new intriguing authors that you may not have read yet. (If you like that one, then you might like…)You will check out the book reviewers, thank you, and the awards to see what might be interesting. You will explore a book that someone has recommended to you via word of mouth, or Twitter. Maybe, through Facebook or Linkedin. The process will be the same, the venue is all that is different.
For example, I want to suggest a new book by an Indie author that I met over LinkedIn. He has a brand new book out called The Stone Dragon. I read his first chapter, liked his writing, and was intrigued by his storyline. Here is another story of a magician but he only performs magic when he is sleeping. It works through the unconscious. He also has to deal with a dragon that has been embedded into his home and affects his life. I think the book is one you might like to read.
Tom Kepler, the author, has a background as a writing teacher and helped me out when I was pulling my hair out on a formatting problem. Thank you, Tom.
I think that we are going to need more and more review sites to help our readers find what they want and with no big publishing house behind the new Indie author. Maybe we can help out each other.
The hardest part in this new paradigm isn’t the writing, it’s the marketing. A new books gets only whispers, and hopefully that builds until the general public hears some shouting about it. Most often, the word of mouth whispers get drowned out in the day to day distractions. Also, most new authors don’t know the ins and outs of how to market their book. A lot of it, is hit or miss. The old venues aren’t working any more. And we’re not sure what works now.
But this new paradigm is powerful and people are connecting to places they would never have before. A writer in my writer’s group met her husband over the internet. He lived in Portland, she lived in England. A wide ocean between them. They Twittered and e-mailed. He flew over to meet her and now they are married and living in Portland. They plan to return to England soon.
The world is changing and it’s amazing.