Crossing the Line

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.

Patrick Rothfuss.

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.

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9 Comments

Filed under dragons, fantasy, magic, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Crossing the Line

  1. M G Kizzia

    I was never one to see a line between Sci-fi and fantasy. It is all just, “What if?” Sort of like trying to market a book as an indie author. There is a lot of “What if?”
    -Michael
    The Fiction Side: The Storyteller http://mgkizzia.wordpress.com/
    The Non-Fiction Side: Word & Spirit http://michaelkizzia.wordpress.com/

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  2. I see a blurred line. Science fiction is possibility. What might the future bring? What might be possible. Fantasy is more magic and imagination. Not at all possible, but interesting and always good against evil.
    Being an Indie author and marketer…the great challenge. I see a lot of What works? and What next? Why am I doing this?

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  3. For years I was a “I only read SF” girl. then I read a little George R R Martin, and a little Michael Moorcock, and still, I told everyone within a hundred miles that “I only read SF”.

    yeah, then I read Rothfuss. now i consider myself a fantasy fan.

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  4. M G Kizzia

    Yes, I forget who said it, but they said science fiction is the improbable made possible and fantasy is the impossible made probable.
    As for what works? Exactly the right question. Book marketing these days, especially online is so new we are all stumbling in the dark trying to figure out what works.

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    • Yes! A great quote and I don’t remember who said it either. What is working for you in marketing? I find in person sells better than anything. i have actually sold books at my manicurist because i mentioned that I was a writer of time travel. The tricky part is finding the venues.

      Hey Redhead! Two of my favorite fantasy authors. I was the same. Read mostly science fiction until i ran into George R.R. Martin and now Rothfuss. Ever try the Assassin series with Robin Hobb? Same there. SM

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      • Excellent quote!

        Sheron, I have read some Hobb, she is amazing! I also adore China Mieville for “weird” (not sure if he’s SF or F, but it’s darn good stuff).

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  5. And the answer is Rod Serling said that “science fiction is the improbable made possible and fantasy is the impossible made probable.”

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  6. I hope I am not crossing a line here, but I am trying to find someone to review my published book, “The Once and Future Wizard:The Awakening.” IT is yet another line crossing in that it is not Science Fiction nor is it Fantasy exactly. It probably most fits into Speculative Fiction. It is a combination of Fantasy, Mythology and Ancient Aliens theory. Let me know if anyone is interested and I’ll be happy to send a PDF file and/or more info on the book. Or you can visit my website. Thanks for your time.

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    • Tom: I apologize for the slow response. I would be agreeable to taking a look at your work on the understanding that I will review it if I like it. I am not going to trash someone in public, neither am I going to offer up on my blog something that I don’t believe in. Now I am in the seat of those editors that I was so willing to criticize and there are indeed some uncomfortable spots in it. I am going to be out this week (check my new blog) and I will be able to look at it after that. If you are amenable to this, e-mail me the pdf. Understand that I am still accumulating readers in this blog, but then the cost is free so you have nothing to lose. Sheron.

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