Sunday, 12 December 2010

bite me: the week in bite-sized chunks

Angry Robot Books: during the days running up to Christmas, advent, if you will, Angry Robot have been gifting readers through their digital advent calendar with anything from writer Dan Abnett’s secret family bread sauce recipe (awww) to Christmas horror short, The Holiday Man by J Robert King. I think this is a great idea – it’s for the fans, it whets appetites for authors, it brings a sort of warm glowy feeling often associated with Christmas and being given free things, and it fosters a community spirit amongst its readers, also known, rather fuzzily, as ‘brand loyalty’.

self-publishing: a success story: this weekend it was reported that self-published Fantasy author Brian S. Pratt has been earning thousands of dollars from the 17 eBooks he’s publishing on eBook platform for ‘independent writers’, Smashwords. I hesitate to say ‘perhaps this is the way forward’ because I’m an old-fashioned snob at heart when it comes to publishing. Still, authors have complete pricing control over their work, the eBooks are available in all formats and they’ve published over 25,000 authors since they opened for business back in May 2008. Perhaps this IS the way ... no sorry, I just can’t.

Penguin USA: Penguin Daw author Gini Koch has been guest posting on The Author’s Desk blog this week and has some interesting theories about why readers might be put off by Science Fiction (because it’s viewed as ‘hard or scary or boring’). Koch’s titles are the Sci Fi equivalent of the Paranormal Romance. The Alien Series, beginning with her debut novel Touched by an Alien (a title not as misleading as the TV series about angels), centres on marketing manager Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt who kills a man after he turns into a monster. She’s whisked away by secret agents who reveal to her that this man was mutated by an alien parasite, and that they too are aliens from Alpha Centauri. But, more importantly, they’re sexy aliens. One such agent, Jeff Martini (another case of the Ford Prefect misjudged moniker?), begins stalking Kitty, which she, of course, finds sexy and alluring. It was one of Booklist’s Top Ten adult Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2010, so there is obviously something to all this sexy alien malarkey. Interestingly, Koch writes in one guest post about how the majority of her readers are not Sci Fi fans originally. Perhaps this ‘non-threatening science fiction’ as Koch dubs it would be my perfect way in to the genre, although it’s more soft-focused than soft.

Orbit: more festive frolics from publishers. I love a good visualisation. Orbit have put together a lovely visual graphic to examine the difference between the Christmas elf, and the Fantasy elf. Enjoy! They’re also giving away ‘Christmas loot’ regularly in the run up to Christmas, although more excitingly, they’ve changed their logo to reflect the season. Maybe this is only exciting to me.


  1. I look forward to reading what you think of Touched By an Alien and Alien Tango. I couldn't put them down.

  2. I have a feeling I'm going to be utterly charmed by them!