Back in December, a bunch of Harper Voyager US/UK authors got together on the #SFFchat hashtag to talk about writing, publishing, and the sci-fi/fantasy genre with aspiring SF/F authors. We had a fantastic discussion (read the highlights), so we’re going to do it again.
On Wednesday, June 22nd at 3pm Eastern and 9pm Eastern, 18 Voyager authors will be answering questions on Twitter under the #SFFchat hashtag. Each chat will last an hour. We’re also doing a massive giveaway of Voyager e-books and print books, which you can enter using the widget below. All are welcome! Please join us if you want to talk about SF/F and maybe win some free books. A list of what you might win:
The Brass Giant- Brooke Johnson
The Oldest Trick- Auston Habershaw
Elixir: A Changeling P.I. Novel- Ruth Vincent
Desert Rising- Kelley Grant
Breath of Earth- Beth Cato
The Rogue Retrieval- Dan Koboldt
Grudging: Birth of Saints- Michelle Hauck
Mercury Retrograde- Laura Bicklel
Across the Long Sea- Sara Remy
Los Nefilim (print)- Teresa Frohock
Dissension- Stacey Berg
Three Days in April- Edward Ashton
Unexpected Rain- Jason LaPier
Hero Born- Andy Livingstone
Shadow of the void- Nathan Garrison
Darkhaven- Afe Smith
The Drowning God- James Kendley
If you’re an author seeking representation or publication, we hope you’ll also join the #SFFpit Twitter pitching event on Thursday, June 23rd.
BONUS: And the Voyager authors have started a Facebook group just for SFF fans called SFF Junkies. It’s a new place to hang out and talk SFF books or even writing. You can find it in the rafflecopter or use this link.
Enter the Giveaway
The release of my story Final Flight means promo, promo, promo all over the place. Here are my recent posts and interviews–and there are more to come, too!
– Fantasy Cafe’s Women in SFF Month: Beth Cato with The Healer as a Fighter
– “Why I Write Steampunk” at The Spec Fiction Hub
– Final Flight: A Father and Son Story in the World of Clockwork Dagger at the Qwillery
– Beth Cato on Clockwork Daggers at SF Signal
– Writing Short and Long Fiction with Beth Cato at Dan Koboldt’s site
– Writers and their Beasts: Beth Cato at J. Kathleen Cheney’s site
– Introducing Beth Cato of The Clockwork Dagger Series at The Steampunk Cavaliers
– Beth Cato talks about Characters, Cooking and of course, her latest Clockwork Dagger off-shoot, The Final Flight with N.O.A. Rawle
Whew! This published author gig involves a lot of juggling (and not the literal kind, or everything would go splat in my face for sure). I’ve been balancing edits and promo for my novella and news on other submissions and life stuff in general. My husband’s co-workers were actually asking after my health because I hadn’t sent along cookies for two weeks.
Here’s where I’ve been on the interwebs as I spread the word about “Wings of Sorrow and Bone”:
– Gremlins in the Clockwork Dagger novella at SFSignal
– Getting the Submissions Call for The Clockwork Dagger, at Michelle Hauck’s site
– Writing a Novella: Wings of Sorrow and Bone, at Dan Koboldt’s site
– Katherine Harbour interviews me about “Wings of Sorrow and Bone”
– How I wrote a novella in 4 easy (?) steps at Auston Habershaw’s site
– Rivka and the Gremlins in Wings of Sorrow and Bone at Books by Centeno
– Interview at I’m Shelf-ish about Wings of Sorrow and BoneRead More
YOU GUYS. The book is out and through the miracle of the internet I have duplicated myself to be on All the Web Sites to promote the release.
Actually, all these links are proof of months of work but that’s all really boring to talk about. There is so much love out there because I’m totally ignoring the haters as much as I can. My feelings are so deep and complicated, I can only express myself in cat gifs.
Ahem. That done, here’s the full proof of my presence everywhere!
First of all, today I have an Ask me Anything on reddit/Fantasy! Drop by and ask me questions. There’s also still an open topic on Goodreads where you can pose questions for the Sword and Laser broadcast.
My friend Lauren the Flute recorded a gorgeous rendition of “Pure Land” from the Secret of Mana soundtrack in honor of my book’s release!
My Favorite Bit in The Clockwork Crown: Gremlins at Mary Robinette Kowal’s site
Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Beth Cato (THE CLOCKWORK CROWN) on Sensory Overload
Seven Reasons to Read (and Write) Steampunk by Beth Cato at Bent Over Books
Picture association with Clockword Crown author Beth Cato at Sara Dobie Bauer’s Blog
My Superpower: BAKING at Skiffy and Fanty
The Most Wonderful, Agonizing Secret: Waiting to Announce a Book Deal at David Walton’s Blog
Wheeeee! Book! Buy it! Pretty please?Read More
First of all… look! A giveaway! It runs through Friday.
My publisher did a really nice post congratulating me on my Locus nomination. Awww.
Remember the #TwitterFiction I did last Wednesday? You can now read the whole event in a convenient Storify format!
SheKnows.com included The Clockwork Crown on their list of 15 most anticipated spring and summer books! Huzzah!
I’m at Kate Heartfield’s site to talk about Unlikely Influences: What Beth Cato Learned About Writing by Baking Cookies. I know. Feign surprise at the subject matter.
Do you want to know more about research books I used for The Clockwork Dagger series? Find out in Magic and World War I Medicine at Teresa Frohock’s Blog.
For a general overview on medicians, read Medicians in The Clockwork Dagger at David Walton’s blog.
I also had a post at SF Signal with Developing Miss Percival as a Sympathetic Villain.
I was interviewed by the East Valley Tribune about my books and Phoenix Comicon.
Whew. I think that’s it. Things are crazy here right now. My son finishes up his 4th grade year today. Tomorrow is my 15th anniversary. I’m trying to edit a few stories and work on promotional stuff for Crown‘s release. I only have a few days left to prepare for Phoenix Comicon.
YES. I CAN DO THIS. …Right?Read More
Today I welcome author David Walton to the blog. His book Superposition is out from Pyr today–be sure to check it out!
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PUBLISH MY BOOK?
There are so many choices these days! Submit your book to a big NY publisher? Try a small press? Publish yourself? Each of these choices have their pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking for. And I’ve tried all three.My first novel, TERMINAL MIND, was published through a small press. The second, QUINTESSENCE, was a hardcover release with Tor Books. My third, QUINTESSENCE SKY (the sequel to the Tor release), I self-published. I have only one experience with each so far, so your mileage my vary, but I can tell you what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve learned from the journey so far.
1. SMALL PRESS. The best part of working with a small press was the very small number of people involved (two!), each of whom was totally devoted to my book and making it succeed. They cared about my opinion and worked very hard on the book. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a very wide reach. They couldn’t get Terminal Mind in bookstores (for the most part), and even when it won the Philip K. Dick Award that year, not many people knew about it. All in all, however, this was a great experience, and I have no complaints.
2. BIG PRESS. The best part of working with a big press is that it’s big! Everyone has heard of Tor, which means credibility, a bigger advance, and national bookstore distribution. Tor made Quintessence into a beautiful hardcover, and I thought my career was made. Unfortunately, although the book sold a lot more out of the gate than Terminal Mind did, it wasn’t very much by Tor’s standards. It didn’t earn out its advance, and they declined to pick up the sequel. Still and all, an exciting experience that has done a lot to establish my name in the genre and spread awareness of my books.
3. SELF-PUBLISHING. Self-publishing has been an adventure. I approached it differently than many authors do: instead of hiring people to produce the cover art, cover design, interior layout, e-book format, etc., I decided to do it all myself. As a result, it cost me practically nothing to produce Quintessence Sky, though it took a lot of learning and a lot of work. I think the result is quite attractive–not entirely up to Tor’s standards, perhaps, but certainly as good as many small press books. The great thing about self-publishing is that I own it. All the profits come to me, I can run special sales and promotions whenever I like, and it will continue to be available forever.
4. MEDIUM PRESS. What, you say? A fourth option? I thought you were talking about three! We often talk of three categories, but really there’s a whole spectrum. There are not-quite-so-big publishers, and medium publishers, and small publishers, and quite tiny publishers. My fourth and fifth books, SUPERPOSITION and SUPERSYMMETRY, will be published by Pyr Books in April and September. Pyr could be considered a big press–they have national bookstore distribution through Penguin Random House, and they publish a good number of books each year. My experience there so far has been extremely positive: they have the personal enthusiasm and attention of a small press, but the reach and publicity of a larger one.
So… which option is best for you? The answer depends on what you want. None of them are easy roads. None of them is a sure bet for making money. The question is, where do you want the difficulty to be?
If you try for a big publisher, the difficult part will be getting published at all. The competition is fierce, and books are relatively few. If you are published, the difficulties may come in retaining control over your work. What you get in return for these difficulties are the credibility and visibility of a big house, and a crew of smart and professional people to help you succeed.
If you self-publish, the difficult part will be in finding readers. Getting published is easy, and you’ll have complete control over your work. But you won’t have run the gauntlet of agents and editors, and so no one will know if your work is any good or not. It will be difficult to convince them to give it a try. You will also have to do all the work yourself, or pay someone to do so.
There are many options along the spectrum between those two extremes. The best way to publish your book is the way that works for you. Like me, it may even be a different way for each book! May you find success in one or the other, or in the many options that land somewhere in between.
David Walton is the author of the newly released novel SUPERPOSITION, a quantum physics murder mystery with the same mind-bending, breathless action as films like INCEPTION and MINORITY REPORT. His other works include the Philip K. Dick Award-winning TERMINAL MIND, the historical fantasy QUINTESSENCE (Tor, 2013) and its sequel, QUINTESSENCE SKY. He’s also a Lockheed Martin engineer and the father of seven children. You can read about his books and life at http://www.davidwaltonfiction.com/.Read More