This is a New Idea (which I stole from Kate Elliott): This is the blog post on which discussions of Cast in Ruin, with spoilers, should take place. If you have questions that I can answer without spoiling future books, I’ll try to answer them here as well.
And now: two things.
First, I have to say that I have no idea what the actual on-sale date of the book is, and have been using Amazon’s, as reported to me by various people. In my mind, it’s an October 2011 title, and in my experience, new titles tend to ship and arrive the month before the publication month. Sometime. (It’s my suspicion that the release week is actually the week in which October 1st lands, because that’s the on-sale date for the ebook.)
September 20th — today! — is the day Amazon listed as release day. Some people’s books have already arrived, and I have even seen picture proof of its external existence.
Second: I know that the internet savvy among you will be aware that some authors are very concerned about when sales occur. They aim for ‘release week’, because they hope that sales during that week will land the book on the NYT lists, as the NYT numbers are compiled weekly.
I am not one of these authors. It’s my (possibly erroneous) belief that the momentum for a book has to be large enough on its own to achieve list status (any list), and also my certainty that many more people read these books than read my various on-line ramblings.
Also: I have two sons. They were once two small sons, and in the case of the elder one, I could not remain on the inside of any store for longer than ten minutes before he melted down. Going to a bookstore was a luxury, and remaining in the bookstore while he started to ratchet up the volume was…not a courtesy to anyone else who happened to be trying to browse. I love books. I want their authors to sell well, and continue to be able to write them. But being practical? I had no idea when the release date/week was, and there was no way, if I saw a book I wanted to read — while bouncing restive baby and praying for another thirty seconds of silence — that I was going to put the book back and come in a week later.
Given this experience, I am happy that people are buying the books at all. I have no idea what the right week even is. I don’t care if you buy the paper book or the ebook; I do ask that you buy a legal copy of some sort, where at all possible, because any other venue doesn’t reach the publisher, and if the numbers aren’t there — publishing being a business — it makes it harder for them to justify continuing to publish the books. Plus, they give me covers I love, and editing.
And while yes, the opportunity or possibility exists to now write the books and put them out on my own, it’s not really possible to get the paper versions down to a reasonable price at their length in PoD; in order to get it into any stores/Amazon at all, a book the length of Cast in Ruin would cost a minimum of 20.95, as opposed to the 14.95 retail Luna charges.
Ebooks are a growing market, it’s true — but as of Cast in Chaos, they’re just over 20% of my readership. Which means, in order to self-publish, I would be walking away from 70% of my readers (I’m assuming that 10% of the paper readers would find the PoD on-line, and buy it there).
Wow, long again. I’m sure this will surprise no one.
ETA (because it is late and I have had no coffee): If circumstances are such that you can’t buy a copy, I understand that; books are luxuries. But in that case, can you find a copy in your local library? Libraries do buy a copy, and the more people that pass through the doors, the greater the likelihood that their funding won’t be nuked to zero in the coming years.