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Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman

Entries by tag: publishing links

John and Teyla - Uh Oh

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I didn't do anything this weekend except work, so...that's about it.

If you missed it last week, I had a post about the Raksura Novellas coming out in paperback, a post with a snippet of The Dead City, and a post about Emilie and the Sky World coming out on March 4.

Book Deals

Miserere by Teresa Frohock is $2.99 on Kindle and The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams is $3.93.

And there's been a $1 or so price drop on the Kindle editions of The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods. I don't know if it's permanent or what.


* BBC History: The Missing Tudors: black people in 16th-century England

* Mirrors may have worked magic in ancient Japanese rituals

* Kameron Hurley: Surprise! I Have No Idea Your Book is Coming Out
The truth is that when it comes to awards season, or the week or month your book comes out, if you haven’t been talking about it in some way – on Twitter, in blog posts, even fucking Facebook – then chances are MIGHTY that other people don’t fucking know about it. And if other people don’t know – book bloggers, others writers, fandom in general – then NOBODY knows.

(And the problem with Facebook is that it doesn't show your friendslist all your posts. So even the people who are friended to you on there in order to see when your next book is coming out may not see your posts talking about when your next book is coming out. Facebook wants you to pay them to "promote" your posts, but people who have done this say it had either no effect or their posts were shown to even fewer people that way. Posts that have likes and comments are sometimes shown to more people, but it's still a crapshoot.)

John and Teyla

Consent Meme, and Links

beth_bernobich has a post here: Consent is Sexy More than once, I've come across the complaint that the need to ask for consent isn't sexy. I disagree, and in my current story-in-progress, I wrote a scene that is all about consent:

I loved her scene, and thought I'd post one too. This is from The Cloud Roads:

Jade has wanted Moon for a long time by this point in the book, and they've just fought a Fell ruler, and Moon has confessed about his past to her, and he's in a very vulnerable state. Even though the Raksura aren't human, and their reactions and behavior aren't the same as ours, I still felt she would take a moment to make sure Moon knew what he was doing:
snippetCollapse )

ETA: And N.K. Jemisin continues the meme on her blog here and J. Kathleen Cheney here and Lane Robins here.



* Publication Process: Edit Letters and Stuff J. Kathleen Cheney talks about the editorial process that her book went through on the way to publication.

* Another post from Beth Bernobich on suppressing women's writing: My answer was that our biggest obstacles are silence and obscurity. Women's works get ignored all the time. Our work is seen as less valuable. Less important. Invisible. It might not be conscious, but it happens. A lot.


The Siren Depths is finally available at Kobo. It's available at a bunch of other places, too, and the list of links is here on the book page on my web site. (The ebook is cheapest and DRM-free at Baen.)

Dr. Orpheus


Links! I've been collecting a lot of links to post, and these are some of them. I also need to do a book recs post at some point soon. Hoping for rain today, and hoping that Jack stops trying to lie on my mouse hand with his head on the keyboard.

Nathan Bransford: The Publishing Process in Gif Form

Kristine Smith captures a neat moment at WorldCon: Death and the Maiden

Sarah Rees Brennan: Real Lady Sleuths

Booklust: A More Diverse Blog Tour For one week in September (the week of the 23rd), we want ALL OF YOU fantasy/sci fi/magical realism readers (with blogs and without) to read a fantasy/sci fi/magical realism novel written by a person of color. And to write a review of that book. You know as well as I do that books succeed based on word of mouth and mentions and conversation, and this is where bloggers can help the MOST. Just read one book. And share your thoughts on that one book.

Innsmouth Free Press is raising money to pay pro rates for a Sword and Mythos Anthology
Sword and sorcery: the realm of daring assassins, crafty thieves and talented wizards. Lovecraft’s Mythos: a place where the weird, the horrifying and the strange coalesce. Both sub-genres should come together and you can make it happen.

Sword and Mythos is an anthology to be edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, published through Innsmouth Free Press.

Kickstarter: Texas or Die: an Anthology of Texas Horror with contributors to include Bill Crider, Rhodi Hawk, Angeline Hawkes, Shane McKenzie, Christopher Fulbright, A. Lee Martinez, Wrath James White.

Book rec:

Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top, edited by Ekaterina Sedia
Stories of circuses traditional and bizarre, futuristic and steeped in tradition, joyful and heart-breaking! And among the actors you will find old friends, be they sad clowns or free-spirited gymnasts, as well as new ones—mammoths, mechanical piano men, and things best not described at all. Come one, come all, and enjoy the literary show unfolding!


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I've been trying to teach the land piranha/kitten that no means no, and to not eat the other cats' food, and not to eat my food. This is going sort of the way you might expect, but it's got to be done.

I can see a distinct difference between Tasha, who we got as a kitten from a friend and who was born in their house and had already lived with other people and cats for a while, and this kitten, who was a stray and then was picked up by the animal shelter. Tasha already knew how houses worked, and understood bathtubs, showers, etc, and had good food manners. To this kitten, everything is something new, and all food belongs to him.


New music vid by Felicia Day! Gamer Girl, Country Boy - Felicia Day & Jason Charles Miller


World SF Blog: The Western Cultural Imperialism Bingo Card

The Book Smugglers: Book Expo America and BEA Bloggers Conference 2012: A Recap
We have mixed feelings about this year’s BEA “Bloggers” Conference (on a side note, why are there quotation marks around “bloggers” in the logo for the conference? SO. WEIRD.). This is the third time we have attended the conference, but in many ways this year was a first as it was the first time that BEA officially organized and ran the con after purchasing it from the hardworking bloggers that founded and ran the show in prior years.

Michelle Harrison: Michelle Harrison: Five things I wish I had known before I was published
I always imagined that upon completing a novel there would be some kind of revelation, some secret I’d unlock that could make it easier the next time round. There’s no such thing.

A.E. Bogdan: Sweet Pains: Headaches, Fatigue and Brain Fog
In 2008 I started having bouts of fatigue and brain fog. The brain fog became so bad that I stopped reading and writing. I simply couldn’t maintain my thoughts from paragraph to paragraph. Sometimes I’d feel better for a while, but it never lasted.

The fatigue increased over the years, along with body aches and back pains. After a few years of this I started getting full-on dizzy spells. A few times on work gigs I felt so groggy and out-of-it I feared my clients would think I was stoned.

Beautiful sand paintings: Incredible Sand Drawings by Andres Amador If I can ever get logged in to my Pinterest again, I'm going to pin one of these.

Into the light

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Yesterday started out well, then a weather front came in and the day went down in massive sinus headache flames. I'm hoping to get more done today, though. And hopefully we'll get some rain.

If you missed it, I posted the Three Worlds Compendium yesterday, which includes a missing scene from The Cloud Roads.

Also, I got interviewed on the Mad Hatter's Bookshelf and Book Review!


More links:

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany Collection of fairytales gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth had been locked away in an archive in Regensburg for over 150 years

Writer Beware: Why You Can't Always Trust the Source But the worst market listings--which may have been compiled by people who aren't very expert (like this one), or may be the corpses of once-active resources that haven't been updated in years (here's an example), or may be databases where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet can create an entry, no matter their qualifications or ethics (WritersNet is a case in point)--may be full of questionable agents. And even the best may allow some undesirables to slip through.

One Minute Book Reviews: ‘The Average American Author Earns About $9,000 a Year’ / Quote of the Day
That's certainly accurate as to what I've been earning every year for quite a while (except for last year, when it was under $5000).

Ladybusiness: Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs
So no, I wasn't wrong last year to go, "hey, wait a minute..." and feel like things were unequal. If you're following popular SF/F blogs run by men I believe this is a problem you will continuously run into, except by those focused on their review diversity. Reviews of books by women don't feature as often on blogs run by men or shared by men, but on blogs run by women, it's more equal and sometimes even women as majority because culturally women are trained to read "traditionally" male things, while the reverse is not true.


Book Recs and Link

Above World by Jenn Reese. A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna's fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku's tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt - growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains - here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
I've ordered this and can't wait to read it.

The Mortsafe by Lillian Stewart Carl. This is a new short novel in her Jean Fairbairn and Alasdair Cameron mystery series. I love this series. It's a supernatural mystery series set in modern day Scotland, where Jean, an ex-history professor turned travel writer, and Alasdair, a former DCI, can see ghosts. The first one is The Secret Portrait. It doesn't show it on these B&N entries, but they're all available in various ebook formats, too.


NYT: Book Is Judged by the Name on Its Cover
Patricia O’Brien had five novels to her name when her agent, Esther Newberg, set out last year to shop her sixth one, a work of historical fiction called “The Dressmaker.”

A cascade of painful rejections began. Ms. O’Brien’s longtime editor at Simon & Schuster passed on it, saying that her previous novel, “Harriet and Isabella,” hadn’t sold well enough.

One by one, 12 more publishing houses saw the novel. They all said no.

Just when Ms. O’Brien began to fear that “The Dressmaker” would be relegated to a bottom desk drawer like so many rejected novels, Ms. Newberg came up with a different proposal: Try to sell it under a pen name.

Written by Kate Alcott, the pseudonym Ms. O’Brien dreamed up, it sold in three days.

Hot Zone

Question Answers and More

On Dreamwidth, grammarwoman asked Once you get an idea for a story/novel/work, how do you evaluate its viability? How much time do you put into it and what paces do you put it through to determine go/no-go?

That's a tough one to answer. It really depends on how excited I am about the idea, and if I stay excited about it through the first fifty pages or so. If I do, it does help me at that point to have other people (sometimes friends, sometimes my agent) read it and give me feedback. Good feedback on something will help keep up my enthusiasm for it. If I'm not enthusiastic about something I'm working on, I generally feel that prospective future readers won't be, either.

One thing I try not to think about is whether it will sell or not. I know I'm no good at judging that.

limb_of_satan asked My friend and I were recently discussing the rise of e-books and self-publishing. I feel like I'm seeing more and more authors (Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Liz Williams for example) doing projects and stories that are available directly from them, to their fans, without the benefits (or hindrances) of a traditional publisher. I'm all for this because I want the authors I enjoy to be able to make money and continue to share their stories, but I wonder a little bit about whether the quality suffers from lack of an editor. For most readers the editor is all but an invisible presence in a book. Do you feel editors, in the traditional sense, are important for a book to be their best? Do you think self-published work suffers from any stigma?

I think professional editors are really important. For me personally, even if you get feedback/beta reading/editing help from your friends and your agent, to have someone who edits for a living and comes at the book from an objective perspective is a huge help. A good editor will be looking at your work with the attitude of making sure your book is the best version of your book that it can be, not trying to turn it into a different book or into the book they would have written if they felt like it or had the time, etc.

And one thing that's important to remember is that the "hindrance" of a traditional publisher includes paying you an advance for the book, distributing the book to bookstores and libraries (especially libraries, where people who are too poor to afford books or ereaders can still read it), and paying for cover art, design, copyediting, etc.

Self-publishing is a lot of work, and to me, it would be a last resort for a new novel. For reprints of previously published books, or short fiction or novellas, I think it works great. I do think self-publishing still suffers from a stigma, and it's more likely than not that a good self-published book will get lost and go unnoticed among the thousands of bad ones. Unless you already have an audience of readers, or friends who have an audience of readers who can recommend your book, you can be out of luck. Self-publishing is something that's very easy to do, but very hard to do right.

Glad you are still writing - I started reading you with The Element of Fire and have always enjoyed your books and admire that you are willing to start new worlds and new characters and aren't churning out book 12 in a series (even if that would perhaps make you richer!)

Thank you very much! I appreciate that.


Con or Bust

con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions, ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction here.

There are tons of signed books, jewelry, knitting, homemade cookies, and more. My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here.


Things I've been meaning to link to:

Mur Lafferty: Definition: Work For Hire: The latest publishing brou-ha-ha is the tale of LJ Smith and her being fired from writing “her own” series.

Book Smugglers: Smuggler’s Ponderings: Thoughts on Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I’ve been thinking about Wonder by R.J. Palacio a lot and about my reaction to it since I finished reading it. There are many things I loved about the book and I do recommend it to everybody, including its intended audience (Middle Grade) although I do so with reservations and the hope that the book can – should – engender thoughtful discussions.

Cherie Priest's ConDFW report: Dallas gives me nosebleeds: A love song for Texas

Lisa Mantchev: This is EXACTLY what's it's like to finish a new book.

Atlantis Dark

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It's cold and rainy here today, but that's good, because we still need the rain. It would help the second summer of firey death we're probably going to have to be able to start it with all the lakes and rivers at capacity. I'm working on getting a stiff neck from sleeping weird, but I'm hoping going to aerobics class will take care of that.

I'm linking to this again because I can: I was interviewed at the Terrible Minds blog, where I talk about the time I almost got eaten by a tornado.

Other good things to read:

An article by N.K. Jemisin, on being a black woman writing genre: Dreaming Awake
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don’t have enough myths of our own, we’ll latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because it’s human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight.

Kameron Hurley, on Because unless you get hit by a bus, life goes on
We just keep hearing the same mantra. “Just do good. Work hard. You’ll get everything you want.” When really, what they mean is DEAR GOD KEEP GOING OR YOU WILL GET EATEN BY SCAVENGERS.


Tomorrow starts con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding in its annual fundraising auction starts Saturday, February 11, 2012 and ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction tomorrow. There are tons of signed books, jewelry, homemade cookies, etc.

My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here. Remember, bidding doesn't start until tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th.


If you're on Twitter (I'm @marthawells1) Night Shade Books is giving a free book to a Bay Area public library for every ten followers they get. They're @NightShadeBooks.


Busy Weekend

We had a pretty busy weekend. St. Michael's, the small private school that a friend teaches art at, was having another "make enough money to keep the school open" garage sale (the school is pretty vital for students who need special attention, have special needs, or who can't speak English. Plus students who just want a curriculum that includes everything from Latin and Greek to competing in robot-building contests.) So we donated our old and far too huge TV cabinet. Two very nice men from the school came to get it, looked at it, went away and came back with a third nice man and a furniture-moving dolly, and they got it out of there. I just hope they sold it.

This opened up a whole third of our living room which we hadn't seen in more than ten years. It feels like the living room grew a pseudopod. We had the cabinet for years and really liked it, but now I feel like that was Stockholm Syndrome. The tiny cheap cabinet we had ordered to replace it got delivered unexpectedly on Saturday morning, so we spent some time getting it put together and rearranging everything.

Then we went to a large Thanksgiving party that friends in town have been having every year for about twenty-six years. It sort of grew out of the SF/F club associated with the university (which has been around for longer than that) but the party has now taken on a life of it's own, with the grown kids of the original group showing up.

Woke up to rain this morning. That hasn't happened in a long time. When I first moved here, it started to rain in Fall and didn't stop till summer.

MSNBC Depleted Texas lakes expose ghost towns, graves

*** Five Old-timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie

Malinda Lo: YA Heroines Outside the Straight White Box


Writer and editor Cat Rambo is offering an online workshop
As both a writer and editor, I bring a focus that lets me advise you from both sides of the desk. My experience as the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine as well as short story collections and anthologies combined with the fact that I’m a working, selling writer helps me provide you with solid, up-to-date market advice for both online and print publishing. My teaching experience includes the Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, and Bellevue College and I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis, to name just a couple of people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from.


ETA: GuysLitWire: is doing another Book Fair for Ballou High School
Book Fair for Ballou High School

GLW is partnering up again with school librarian Melissa Jackson to get some more books to Ballou. While the year began with less than one book for each student in the Ballou library (the American Library Association advises a minimum of eleven books per student), after our successful spring book fair and the publicity that surrounded it and Melissa's own efforts, Ballou now has four books for each student which is a huge improvement. But, improving is not enough, we want to hit and then exceed the ALA minimum and so we are going to shamelessly take advantage of everyone's holiday joy and gift-giving mood this time of year and hopefully add to the stacks at Ballou with this smaller, but no less enjoyable book fair.

I love book fairs! The post includes the link to the high school library's wish list at Powell's online bookstore, plus the address to ship the books to.

The Cloud Roads

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The Serpent Sea cover, without titles, by Steve Argyle. It's neat to have Jade on the cover this time.


Kameron Hurley: By the Numbers: Earning Out the Advance on a First Novel
So I’ve mainly been sitting around gnawing on my nails for months waiting on royalty statements to see just how screwed I was writing a feminist science fiction novel with far too much religion and billions of expletives.

Terrible Minds: What It's Like Being a Writer

Every word of this is true, and it's why I generally try hard to avoid telling people what I do for a living.

"Oh. A writer. Uh-huh. Well, that's great." They blink and offer a kind of dismissive or incredulous smile, as if I just told them I was a cowboy or a space marine. Occasionally there exists a follow-up question. "So, you write, like, what? Books?" And that word — books — is enunciated as if it's a mythical creature, like they’re asking me if I spend all day tracking Bigfoot by his scat patterns.

What I'm reading this weekend:

The Shirt on His Back by Barbara Hambly. This is the newest Benjamin January historical mystery. Ben is a black musician and surgeon in 1830s New Orleans. In this one, Ben, Hannibal, and Abishag Shaw are at a mountain man rendezvous in the Rocky Mountains, trying to find the man who killed Shaw's brother. Publishers Weekly said Along the way, January and company encounter eccentric trappers, reptilian fur traders, tragic prostitutes, raging missionaries, and sensitively three-dimensional Sioux, Omahas, Crows, and Blackfeet. Their expedition plays out against the British-U.S. rivalry for the enormously profitable beaver fur trade, while American covered wagons toil on toward Oregon. Excellent, excellent book.


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