Needless to say I #@&% psyched about this!
Next up on the old itinerary is outling the next novel. How about everyone else? Keeping busy?
So recently I've been seriously dabbling with the idea of self-publishing. In particular, I've been toying with the idea of self-publishing a sword & sorcery novella. I'll be the first to admit that when I send a story out on submission--as I have with this one--and it gets rejected time and again, the editors are usually right. It belongs in my trunk.
But in this case, I don't think it's so cut and dry. For starters, there are only so many worthwhile markets for novellas. On top of this, there are only so many worthwhile markets for sword & sorcery. And when your fiction is Rated R--as this piece is (along with most of what I write)--this limits your market options that much more. Translation: I ran out of quality markets for this story very quickly. On top of this, the previous stories I wrote in this universe have all found a home ...but none were even close to 22,500 words, the length of the story in question. But knowing that I have sold three other stories in this world gives me a little extra confidence that this story is still worthwhile enough that I should explore other options. My confidence in it really hasn't wavered at all.
So with this in mind, I thought I would reach out and invite anyone who has any thoughts about self-publishing to share their observations and/or experiences. No need to go in flying blind if I don't have to. Mind you, if I do decide to self-publish it probably won't be for a while yet. If I go this route I'm interested in laying out money for a copy edit, real artwork for the cover, etc. If I'm going to do this I want to do it right (right by my personal definition for me going this route, so no one should be offended by me writing this). And while I could make these investments right now if I want to, I'm more inclined to wait for a more opportune time, probably early in 2016. I also won't rule out the possibility of sending this story back out into the wilds of the traditional publishing circuit if in the interim a new market opens up that suits this piece. Again, I'm not 100% sure that I am going to self-publish, but right now I feel like I probably will.
So with all this said, I'd love for people to share their thoughts and especially their experiences in the world of self-publishing. Asking about this now should give me plenty of time to make sure this is actually the route I want to follow, and if it is I'll have more than enough time to plan things out properly. So please, folks, have at it. No thought is too big or too small if you're inclined to chime in.
So I may not be watching HBO's Game of Thrones anymore until the next book comes out, but here's a topic I thought might be worth discussion: the ratings. For whatever reason, I am fascinated by tracking the ratings to GoT. Even though I'm not watching the show for the moment, that trend has continued.
And in case you weren't aware, the ratings this season are dropping. Mostly anyway. The season premiere scored its highest rating to date, which would lead one to believe that it would be a ratings bonanza all season as has been the case in previous years. Now don't get me wrong, the ratings are still strong, but normally when there is a dip in ratings for GoT it's nothing more than a minor fluctuation before the ratings ultimately climb again to new heights. But for the most part, the ratings this season have been slightly weaker than season four, and this week they took a noticeable dip, dropping the show into season three territory. You can see the ratings here on Wikipedia for every episode if you're curious.
Now while the ratings are still strong, this latest dip is a bit extreme, which tells me something happened in the previous episode that pissed off a lot of viewers. Going by the episodes I watched before I stopped watching, I would conclude that they ended up doing something I had expressed concern about a few writeups ago, i.e. Sansa was exposed to Ramsay's sexual perversions (please don't tell me if I'm right or wrong). This struck me as inevitable once they had Sansa filling the Jeyne Poole role from the latest book, and with Petyr off to King's Landing, the timing on this one feels about right. I mean this is Ramsay we're dealing with after all. I can't imagine what else would piss off viewers so much, and something clearly did.
Now this all leads me to the discussion point of this post: why have the ratings been dropping all season? Ratings going down as a show progresses is nothing new in television, but it's new for GoT. So other than that final episode where the writers clearly pissed off the viewership, what do you all think the reason is for the ratings suffering this season? Could there be a correlation between the fact that they've deviated more than ever from the books this year? Is it just a case of the inevitable ratings decline that all shows suffer from? It could be, but that does seem a bit odd as the story continues building toward its apocalyptic climax. Is it possible that enough hardcore fans like myself have stopped watching because they want to wait for the next book? Could there be some other reason? All thoughts are welcome, but *please* remember that I stopped watching the show with a few minutes left at the end of episode four. So whatever points you may wish to make, please refrain from discussing matters in the show beyond this point.
But at the moment, there really isn't much to talk about with any of them. As I've made abundantly clear, I'm done watching HBO's Game of Thrones until the next book comes out for fear of spoilers, so obviously the accompanying posts are done with (and by the time I start watching the show again I doubt I'll renew these posts, as the episodes I'll be catching up on will be old news). Realms of Fantasy shut its doors for the final time three and a half years ago. (Can you believe it's been that long already?) After that much time has passed, there isn't much to post about when it comes to the magazine anymore. After about seven and a half years of working on and off on the RoF Retrospective series, I posted the concluding entry in the series about four months ago. I should add that there actually will be some news about my retrospectives in the next month or two, but that's a bit down the road. As to my editorial work outside the magazine, there's actually quite a bit of activity on this front, all of it pretty damn exciting, but none of it will be fit for public consumption for a while yet and there isn't much happening on the Oz Reimagined front these days. That leaves my writing. There isn't much to say here either. I have a few shorter pieces on submission and I still have four pieces accepted by Weird Tales that are waiting to see the light of day. Last year I started shopping around a young adult novel that I killed myself on. An editor at a prominent house has expressed interest, but for various reasons that shouldn't be made public the novel is currently in a state of limbo. I'm not sure when that will let up, but hopefully the answer is sooner rather than later. Right now I'm devoting my writing energies to the sort of ambitious sword & sorcery/epic fantasy novel I've always wanted to write, but at this point I'm bogged down in world-building and character sketches. The light at the end of the tunnel is close on that front, at which point I'll put together an initial outline, and then finally dive into the actual writing. But updating you guys on the minutiae of my writing progress when I haven't even started writing the actual novel sounds pretty damn boring, even to me.
So this all begs the question of what I should do with this space? I've had this account now for about nine years, so it seems like a shame to just abandon it. But at the same time with all the defections that LiveJournal seems to be suffering, I honestly don't even know how many people bother reading my LiveJournal posts anymore. So I'm putting up this post for a two reasons really:
1) To hopefully get an idea of how many people are still reading these entries. If you are, I'd love to hear from you in the comments section. You don't have to say anything beyond "yes," "hi," etc. I know some of you won't reply because that's how it goes sometimes, but if you did that would be great. If I'm presented with actual evidence that a number of people are still reading these posts, I will make a concerted effort to keep this LiveJournal going, even if I have to reinvent it a bit until things pick up again on some of my usual posting topics.
2) And building off point number one, if there is anything anyone would like me to blog about, now would be a great time to chime in.
As expected and predicted, I was not able to jump back into HBO's Game of Thrones this week. Based on the feedback I've received on Facebook the threat of spoilers for future books is too great to ignore. Some people have rationalized to me that maybe these aren't spoilers so maybe I can keep watching. The key word here is "maybe." Maybe isn't good enough, not for me when it comes to these books. I need 100% certainty that I'm not getting spoiled. And if I can't have that then I'm done with HBO's Game of Thrones until I read the next unpublished book from George R. R. Martin, The Winds of Winter.
So what does this mean? Well for starters the first forty-eight hours after a new episode of Game of Thrones will consist of a social media blackout, because that is when the Internet will be most rife with spoilers. Logging in to LJ to make a post is fine, because I'm not being exposed to the streams of new posts out there. Those are what I have to watch out for. In addition, I'll be unfollowing quite a few sites on Facebook following the social media blackout, because there is always the chance that one of these sites will put up an article about GoT at any given point. The show is just that popular. I'll keep recording each episode, and once I've read the next book, I'll waste no time diving back into the series.
And speaking of the next book, the most recent scuttlebutt I read online concerning the next book is that GRRM is hoping to have it done before the next season of the show. Given this, along with the fact that I haven't read any of the books in several years and that I always want all the information at my fingertips when reading a new book in the series, when I'm done with my current reading material, I believe it's time to dive back into a reread of all the existing GoT materials. It's the perfect way to combat whatever blues I may be feeling over having to put the show on ice.
In case you're wondering, I plan to do the reading a little differently this time. There are five stories in this universe that take place before the books, and I plan to read those first, as this time I'd like to try reading everything in chronological order. Also, when I reach A Feast for Crows, I plan to read it concurrently with A Dance with Dragons, reading a chapter in one before shifting to the other. I realize the one-for-one approach won't be exact, but being as these books basically take place at the same time I'd like to see what it's like if I read the books in the same manner. Perhaps it will reveal some new nuggets.
Anyway, thanks again to everyone who has read and commented on these writeups over the last four and a half years. I leave you with one final discussion point about the show: I've made my feelings well known about whether I'll keep watching the show. I asked people the same question on Facebook and received answers on both sides of the fence. So if you care to chime in, lemme know where you stand on this now that we're entering (or least seriously risking) Spoiler Country.