I don't blog here much anymore. Alas, there is very little free time in my life these days and over the years this LiveJournal has seen less and less love and affection from yours truly. But for a long time it did have one specific use that kept it relevant: I would post my blog entries on my retrospective series for Realms of Fantasy.
Well that series ended a while back but I'm happy to be posting about my RoF Retrospective series one more time as I tell you that the book Realms of Fantasy: A Retrospective is now available for purchase in both paperback and Kindle editions. As those you familiar with this blog and the retrospective series know, back when I worked for this magazine I assembled a complete set of RoF and decided to read every story because I decided that was the only sensible (or perhaps insane) thing to do. From there I blogged about every last issue and story (about 100 issues and 600 stories) over the course of several years. Now Warren Lapine, of my former publishers for Realms of Fantasy, has collected all of these entries into book and put it out through his publishing company.
And as a super happy bonus, we have recruited none other than Shawna McCarthy to write the foreword. Shawna is the founding editor of the magazine, the only person to be involved with every last issue, and she also happens to be the person who first hired me onto the magazine. This project would not feel right without her participation, so I'm thrilled to have her aboard.
While each entry is still availabe for free on my blog, many of these entries have been updated and/or revised, so I consider this book the author's preferred edition. Shawna's foreword and my introduction are also both exclusive to the book. Each entry also comes with that cover to that specific issue, and I've been told by Warren that in paperback form this feature will be in color. If you're fan of Realms of Fantasy, this book marks the perfect posthumous chapter to this wonderful magazine as you get to explore each story through the eyes of one of the magazine's editors.
Workong on it was always a labor of love, but I'm glad that Warren approached me to publish this as a book. I hope those are interested enjoy it.
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.