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Books on Shelves - Michael M Jones

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February 14th, 2008


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06:11 pm - Books on Shelves
Swung by my local Barnes and Noble today, and much to my surprise, they had a cardboard dump out with three hot new releases. The first was GRIMSPACE, by Ann Aguirre, which is a nifty SF adventure. The second is Anton Strout's very own Dead To Me, an awesome new urban fantasy. I forget what the third was.

Point is, the release date for these books is February 26th, which makes me think that either someone at B&N jumped the gun, or they moved up the street date. Either way, good to see these books starting to trickle out into the wild.

Grumpy because said B&N didn't have Jen Barnes' new Squad books, or Steve Berman's anthology, Magic in the Mirrorstone, both of which should have come out this week. *shakes fist*

They will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:jimhines
Date:February 15th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
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As I understand it, publishers and stores are more careful about the release date when it comes to books with bestseller potential. Because bestsellerdom is calculated on books/week, if some of the stores start selling early, it dilutes the impact of that first week's sales.

In my case, the books always start selling a week or so ahead of the release date, because everyone knows there's no way I'm hitting those lists :-P

I could be completely wrong about all of this, of course ... this is just me piecing things together the best I can.

No idea why they didn't have Mirrorstone. That's rude. And surprising, considering how much the publisher is pushing this one.
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 15th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
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When I asked, I got the "well, technically, it came out on Tuesday, but we don't have any. I could order it for you..."

I may just have to do that for Magic in the Mirrorstone and The Squad books, because I'm easygoing except for wanting books. :>
[User Picture]
From:antonstrout
Date:February 15th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
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Unless it's the new Tom Clancy or such, most books do not have what is called a Strict On Sale Date. For Dead To Me, 2/26 is the on sale date, which means it starts shipping two weeks prior and is allowed to roll onto the shelves when it arrives. You and Rhona were the first to see it tho! Woot!
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 15th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
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My years spent working in a bookstore left me sensitive to street dates and on-sale dates. Hence the only reason why I even found this amusing, as opposed to "Hey! Awesome! These books are out!" At Waldenbooks, if we violated a street date, our manager would hurt us. :>

Okay, I was all "Hey! Awesome!" anyway. And then I bought copies because I could, I was there, and they were there. :>
[User Picture]
From:ultracheese
Date:February 15th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Looking at Aguirre's website, she has four books projected into 2009. Is this a common practice? Or is it merely that she's made a deal with the publisher for these four books and they've got a hard schedule?
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 15th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
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Sometimes, authors will get those coveted multi-book deals. In this case, she probably had all those books, or some of them, already finished, and when she got picked up by agent and then by publisher, they liked her enough to contract for all four books and schedule them for a rapid-fire release like that. It's not entirely uncommon. Jennifer Rardin's first few Jaz Parks books have come out fairly close together. Lilith Saintcrow's Danny Valentine series was spaced close together. The first few in Vicki Petterssen's Zodiac books came out only a few months apart.
It happens when a publisher has enough faith in the strength of someone's debut and material and wants to capitalize on a quick opening, gambling that people will want that volume of work from the author in a short timeframe.

Hope that makes sense, I'm still waking up, here. But yeah, that's probably a fairly hard schedule, as these things are worked on months, even years ahead. You want some -real- release schedule fun from one of the hardest working SF writers out there, check out Elizabeth Bear's bibliography. Something like seven books over the next few years, in three different series.
[User Picture]
From:ultracheese
Date:February 15th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
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That makes complete sense. Thanks, chief.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 17th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
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A friend pointed me here because she saw my name. I can only reply, "Yep, the book's out early."

Since I'm here...

Ultracheese asked: "Looking at Aguirre's website, she has four books projected into 2009. Is this a common practice? Or is it merely that she's made a deal with the publisher for these four books and they've got a hard schedule?"

and

oneminutemonkey replied: "Sometimes, authors will get those coveted multi-book deals. In this case, she probably had all those books, or some of them, already finished, and when she got picked up by agent and then by publisher, they liked her enough to contract for all four books and schedule them for a rapid-fire release like that. It's not entirely uncommon."

I can address this. Yes, I have an agent (and she's fantastic). No, I didn't have four books finished. I had Grimspace written when we made the first multi-book deal for the Jax (SF) series. I had Blue Diablo (and a kickass proposal) done when we made the second multi-book deal for the Corine (UF) series.

Afer I had a contract, I wrote the second Jax book, Wanderlust, this summer in a month. That's how long I take to do a first draft -- 3K a day for 30 days until done.

I believe they plan to put a book out from me every six months. The Ace imprint publishes the Jax series / Roc does the Corine series, what my editor calls "the Jim Butcher split". It's a good pace, but since I'm fast, it won't be grueling. My third contracted Corine book isn't listed on my website yet, nor are the third and fourth Jax books. I don't know what the schedule will be like beyond a certain point.

I've no idea what is or is not common, but I'm tickled with the way things have gone. Hope this answered your questions!

Cheers,
Ann Aguirre
[User Picture]
From:ultracheese
Date:February 17th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
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Ms. Aguirre,

It's interesting to see you be able to crank through that many words in a single month - I also tend to write densely on a daily basis, when I actually AM writing, but I often hear that others are happy if they can crank out a thousand words at maximum on a given day. Thanks for detailing your situation, and I look forward to reading your future releases.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 17th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
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"It's interesting to see you be able to crank through that many words in a single month - I also tend to write densely on a daily basis, when I actually AM writing, but I often hear that others are happy if they can crank out a thousand words at maximum on a given day."

That exemplifies how the process can vary, doesn't it? I thrive under the "game on!" challenge, which is to finish the book in 30 days. Sometimes I write more than 3K a day if it's really rocking. Some words are diamonds; others are steaming piles of crapulence. I just don't stop until the first draft is done, and then I polish it up on the second go. Like Nora Roberts says (and others I'm sure), you can't edit a blank page.

I always take two weeks off between projects to prevent burnout, though, and during those fourteen days, I give new meaning to the word 'slacker.' My XBox 360 fears me. *g* Mass Effect (which I discovered last month) is just the best game ever.

Glad my prior comment was helpful, and I do hope you enjoy my book, if you should be so kind as to read one.

Ann

PS - Congrats to Anton on his release! :)

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