Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Gail Carriger

Friday Midday Links: NY Times brings forth its ebook bestseller list

Friday Midday Links: NY Times brings forth its ebook bestseller list

Update: A reader mentioned that I forgot to point out that Barnes and Noble is having a groupon where you pay $10 for a $20 gift certificate that can be used on anything. Be sure to use your Groupon before April 10, 2011.

# Limit 1 per person. Valid on all items – including sale items. Not valid on previous purchases and/or adjustments. Not valid with other offers.
# Except as prohibited by applicable law, on April 10, 2011, any funds remaining on the BN Groupon shall be reduced by $10.00. For example, if you use your BN Groupon to make a $6.00 purchase sometime in March (meaning your BN Groupon would have a remaining balance of $14.00) but do not use it again thereafter, on April 10, your BN Groupon will be reduced to $4.00 (because $14.00 minus $10.00 is $4.00).

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India may be the fastest growing market for English language books but the digital craze isn’t gaining a foothold there yet or so say the major publishers in India.

The sales of digital books in India is expected to pick up in coming months but that will not impact the aficionados love for hardcover books as has been the case in the West, say major publishers here.India may see good rise in sales of digital books as downloading them on mobiles becomes a possibility but their growth trajectory may not be same as in the West, they say.

As I understand it, India is replete with cell phone users but whether cell phones = ebook adoption remains to be seen.

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The New York Times unveiled its new set of Bestseller lists this week to be published in the Sunday issue.   There are several new additions:

  • ebook
  • ebook + print
  • all print formats

Strangely, the Times will not count any individual vendor sales such as self published books citing “market instability” as the reason.   I think that is a bunch of hooey, but this is the Times and the Times list is what they want to make it, damn the market reality and all.   So the ebook and print list doesn’t represent a huge change given that the Times is excising a big portion of the ebook market.

Having said that, there were some interesting findings.   For example, Catherine Anderson’s book, Here to Stay, was number 3 on the mass market list but 23 on the ebook plus print list and did not appear on the ebook bestseller list at all suggesting that her numbers are primarily built upon print sales.   Susan Elizabeth Phillips made it to 12 on the NYT hardcover list and 31 on the ebook + print list but like Catherine Anderson, did not generate enough ebook sales to make it onto the Times list.   Conversely Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Consort was number 8 on the mass market list and number 18 on the print + ebook and number 18 on the ebook only list.

This week’s list is dominated by thrillers and mysteries.   In fact, of 96 slots on the mass market, hardcover, ebook, and ebook + print list, 51 were filled with either thrillers or mysteries titles compared to 24 titles with a romance designation.

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Book By You is a personalised romance novel service wherein you fill out a questionnaire and receive a romance novel starring you and the hero/heroine of your choice.   The reason I am mentioning it is because the services is now offering a gay and a lesbian title.   While I am not a fan of the service myself, I am glad to see that they are recognizing all sorts of love:

To spice things up in time for Valentine's Day, the company has just released a couple of hot, steamy same-sex novels catering to gay and lesbian readers.

"Hot Blooded" tells the erotic story of two gay men -’ one vampire, one mortal -’ who fall deeply in forbidden lust and love, while "Seduction Games" follows a sexy romance between two lesbians who pine for each other after they become rival contestants on a reality-TV game show.

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Our friend and fellow reader, Keishon, is shutting down her romance blog to focus on her current love: mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction.   Keishon started the To Be Read challenge and is one of my inspirations for blogging. I am glad that she isn’t leaving the blogging scene entirely.   You can still find Keishon at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog.

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Carriger_Heartless-MMGenerally, I think Orbit is a genius imprint.   They do cool things and great promotions (think the online paper doll thing for Gail Carriger’s series) and I think that their publishing blog is one of the best in the business.   Their covers are great.   Amanda Downum’s covers, in particular, are just striking.   I’m not a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction, but their blog posts are so interesting, I still follow along.   I think because I have such high expectations, I was struck nearly dumb by the really awful cover for Gail Carriger’s next book, UHeartless.   The hair looks like a wig that is about to fall off and the face is too realistic for the cover. It looks like a bad SIM.   I don’t know what happened here.

My First Sale by Gail Carriger

My First Sale by Gail Carriger

Welcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Gail Carriger is the author of the Parasol Protectorate series.  You can friend or follow Gail on Twitter, Facebook, Livejournal, or Blogspot. Or join The Parasol Protectorate Facebook Group and take over the world one sip of tea at a time. You can also play the  Alexia paper-doll dress up game (beware, though, I’ve wasted many many precious minutes on this game. Blameless, the latest book in the series, is out now.

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So I wrote  Soulless on a dare. No really.

I was winching on, as you do, that no one wanted to buy my overwritten overbuilt YA fantasy series (ten years or so of trying).

My then partner, AKA the Louder Half, looked at me and rumbled, “So why don’t you just write something that will sell?”

To which I replied, “I’ll play your silly game.”

At which he explained, “Your problem is that you want to be an artist. What you need to be is an artisan.”

He’s a computer geek, what can I say?

But there was some merit to this idea. So I thought to myself, what’s missing in the book world right now? What do I want to read that I can’t find? What niche can I carve for myself in this troublesome market? I know they say never to write “to the market”, but I was so very tired of playing by all the rules.

So I nosed about. There were plenty of urban fantasy books out there but they were mostly contemporary. Steampunk was just getting popular but it was mostly dark. I enjoy reading about the past but I also dearly love a good laugh. So I dared myself to try to write a steampunk urban fantasy comedy of manners. Why not? I had nothing else to loose.

It took me 6 months to write and then I sent  Soulless out into the slush piles and prepared to collect rejection letters. I did collect them, but mostly from agents.

Much to my shock, just under two months later, I got that fateful 212 phone call that every writer dreams of (212 is the area code for New York City). I was drinking a most excellent latte and correcting term papers at my favorite local cafe. There might have been some rather indelicate sputtering and a certain amount of foam loss as a result of the fact that on the other end of the line was a senior editor from a major publishing house.

I then wandered, in simulated dignity and forgetting all about both exams and latte, through the cafe and out the back where I started gyrating around the parking lot in an excess of excitement.

With possible contract to hand, I queried my first choice agent and she said yes. Contract negotiations commenced. Only then did I find out they wanted a series.