Happy New Year to all science fiction and fantasy fans.
2016 is off to a great start.
First, I want to mention Mark Coker’s annual predictions for the future. Many of his comments are worth reading, especially if you are an Indie Publisher. Just be aware of his bias as he goes on a rant against Amazon, and especially Kindle Unlimited. They are competitors and Amazon is seriously in the lead.
Http:/www.smashwords.com/2016 Book Publishing Industry Predictions: Myriad Opportunities amid a Slow Growth Environment
As an Indie Publisher, I support Amazon, and the Kindle Unlimited program has been very generous to me. I had several books listed on Smashwords and two in their Scribner program…profit? $0. Now in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited almost half my income comes from the program, and new readers are finding my books and buying others in the series. As an author, what would you do? Who is best supporting the fledging author?
If the Kindle Unlimited program becomes unfavorable at any time, all I have to do is opt out. The exclusive requirement in the contract is for just three months with volunteer renewal options.
I find it a great way to expose my books to avid readers while being paid at the same time. At the moment, it’s a great deal for an author like me.
Having said that, Coker has a lot of good comments based on data from his ebook distribution website called Smashwords. Here are a few quotes to munch on:
“Every year readers are spending more hours reading books from indie authors. Reader eyeballs will continue to transition to indie ebooks in 2016….”
“In the 2015 Smashwords Survey we found strong evidence that series with free series starters earn more than series without…”
“Amazon understands, and we at Smashwords agree, that the future of publishing is self-publishing.”
And on that I heartily agree also.
This week I get to pick five books to read for 2016.
First, I chose some old favorites such as Lois Bujold and Sheron Shinn but who have new books out in 2016.
I also wanted to try out a few best seller listed books such as The Bone Clocks and Time Salvager. Books that make such lists often turn out to be good books.
Finally, I wanted to read a few self published authors who had an interesting looking story, which I found free on an ad website. Deep Crossing was one that was also suggested by Amazon. In this way, I can help promote fellow Indie authors and get a deal to pass along to you too. Since I’m currently writing about space exploration, military science fiction and stories on traveling in space interest me.
Next week, after further research, I will add five more with the understanding that the list will be filled in with other selections as the year rolls on and new books get published.
Making a list and putting it out focuses me on thoughtful choices so that I’m not flailing around on what to read. It also gets me excited about reading new science fiction.
Some on the list are not out yet. Bujold’s Gentleman Jole will be published in February. Stephen Lynch The Thorn of Emberlain is promised for Spring of 2016.
So is my ninth novel, Worlds Too Far, which will also be published some time in the Spring. My writing group claims it is the best one to date. It stands outside of the series and yet takes place in the same universe.
A fleet of spaceships search desperately for a world to call home, but face insurmountable odds fighting against the dangers of space and the frailty of human nature.
Here are my first few picks:
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Louis Bujold
The Jeweled Fire by Sheron Shinn
Time Salvager by Wesleyan Chu
Deep Crossing by E. R. Mason
I’m now combing the lists of upcoming titles and will select five more to review and report on for you.
Meanwhile, each blog will contain information on marketing, exciting science news, or an occasional author’s rant . Why else blog if there’s not a good discussion/rant, now and then, where I can talk about what it’s like to be an author and find out what other authors are doing?
Some good books look to be headed our way and 2016 could be a great reading year. Enjoy some special ones with me.
Ps: I hope you’re watching the Expanse Series on the SyFy Channel. Reading the books has helped me understand the plot better, and I really like the sets and special effects.