Reading at ArmadilloCon

Posted: August 16th, 2009 under artwork, Marketing, the writing life.
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Today I read a bit of the new book to an unselected audience for the first time: a scene with as much interest and as few spoilers as I could find.  This was at ArmadilloCon.

The audience liked it, but you have to understand it was Sunday at a science fiction convention and everyone was looking a bit (some more than a bit) glazed.  All except one soul who apparently thought this was a critique group and not the reading of something finished, and explained what she thought needed to be changed.  (Hint: don’t do this.  It’s like the old joke about trying to teach a pig to sing–you can’t, and it only annoys the pig.  The book’s in production, as I told her with as much gentleness as I could muster.  No changes at this point.  But, ahem.)

Due to the problems with my printer, which produced a hideous *pink* version of the Oath of Fealty‘s gorgeous cover art at first try–then grayscale–and only finally the correct color–I did not have time to print out the UK Paks omnibus cover to take along.  I figured there wouldn’t be many, if any, UK fans at a regional SF convention in central Texas.  Um.  Wrong.  Sorry.  But the gorgeous Oath of Fealty cover was universally admired and the [unmentionable more than once] wrong-colored one universally scorned, except for the few people who said, “It would make a really nice romance cover…”  (writer runs away shrieking, fingers in ears.)

I may have mentioned that my editor (US editor this is) prodded very firmly for me to add to my list of “buy now” links this past week.    I’ve had Barnes & Noble and Borders and Amazon links up, like, forever on the sites–which I pointed out–but I didn’t have the other two they wanted.

I have had word just today (because I’ve been gone since Friday morning) that Barnes & Noble has changed their corporate policy to keep individual stores from pre-ordering (or any special ordering) books that aren’t a) in their system and b) specifically ordered by a customer.   What this means is that if a customer wants a book ordered that B&N doesn’t consider to be “in the system”, the local store cannot order it.   And if a local store’s manager knows that a particular book would sell like hotcakes in that store–but it’s not in the national formulary (borrowing the term from medicine)–then she/he can’t order it.   I think this is bad for book-buyers and they should probably say something to B&N about it (through the local store or direct to corporate headquarters.)    (Do I like to annoy large corporations?  Only when they’ve annoyed me.)

The convention was fun, even more than usual, because of a little red crossbow and a supply of goldfish crackers.  I’m afraid that somewhere on the ‘web,  pictures may show up.   I didn’t take those pictures, but the fact is that if you go around with a little red crossbow and a cup full of goldfish crackers…it’s probably inevitable.

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