This week, Lois McMaster Bujold announced on her blog the long-awaited coming of a New Book. Then she announced it on her mailing list, which is where I heard about it.
I am pleased to report that a new Cordelia Vorkosigan novel has been sold to Baen Books for publication, tentatively, in February of 2016.
The title is Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.
It is not a war story. It is about grownups.
And that is probably all I ought to say right now in a venue read by the spoiler-sensitive. It is, after all, a long haul till next February.
2016 will also mark the 30th anniversary of my first publication by Baen, which ought to be good for a little PR fun.
And then my corner of the internet exploded! It exploded with joy and speculation, and being that she was preaching to the choir, there was much singing in the form of harmonious squeeing.
Bujold has written, by my count, 24 novels and two collections of short stories. Shards of Honor came out in 1986, so Bujold’s award-winning career has been long and fruitful. She’s got an established fanbase, and a good reputation in her genres. With that said, it still came as a little bit of a surprise when she said she was going to try to avoid PR slogs like tours for this book.
She’s got great reasons, but one of the most interesting was when she said that received wisdom is that only 20 percent of marketing matters, but the powers-that-be don’t know which 20 percent is effective, so the recommendation is that authors do all of it.
There are some authors who don’t do any. J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee were famously reclusive, and even went to the extent of not publishing.
Sometimes PR works in unusual ways. A November 29, 2008 Independent (UK) interview quotes Terry Pratchett as saying, “If I’d known what a progressive brain disease could do for your PR profile I may have had one earlier.”
And then there are those authors who feel like PR work has overwhelmed their creative life.
I don’t have a book ready for publication, so you must understand that I’m speaking strictly from the armchair. But it seems to me that the best PR is something that’s going to do a double-duty.
Always wanted to see Washington, D.C.? Plan a vacation there, and ask your publisher (or do the legwork yourself) to look for bookstores who might want you to do a signing.
Like conventions? Go, and bring bookmarks or some little useful thing to promote your book.
Love blogging? Blog about your book, of course, and add background history (I really like the blogs for the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. Especially this one which explains a little bit about what a Ford Asbo is. You can also go on blogging tours and blog for other people.
And of course, the best marketing strategy of all is to have written excellent books, and have a built-up fan base that is willing to spread the word, and make sock puppet theater to illustrate key scenes. Well, that’s my dream strategy. First, gotta write 25 excellent books. BRB.
LOL, the cart is indeed in front of the horse. But what’s your dream strategy for marketing your WIP?
(It occurs to me that I’ve been quite internet-y, and included a lot of acronyms in this post. ASBO — Anti-Social Behavior Order. Maybe Jilly can explain this one, but apparently it’s a restraining order for hoodlums who bother old ladies with their unruly ways? BRB — be right back in the insanely optimistic sense. LOL — Laugh Out Loud. Why, yes. I’m a completist, LOL. WIP — Work in Progress)
(Also, some of you may have noticed it’s not my day. Kat will be back next week.)