Back from New York, BEA Recap, and Updates

I got back from Book Expo this weekend and have a lot of catching up to do. If you are waiting for an email I will be spending today trying to get through all of those. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on.

Book Expo was interesting. This was my second BEA. It isn’t a convention. It’s a trade show for the entire publishing industry. Sci-fi and fantasy make up one tiny fraction of this thing. I gave away ARCs for Son of the Black Sword, met with buyers, vendors, and sales reps, basically lots of schmoozing, then Baen has a little reception/gathering, and then we do a nice dinner.

There are a few people that I get to meet with whenever I go to New York who are just wonderful folks. I don’t just mean to work with, but to hang out with too. Baen’s marketing wizard, Corinda, is the best. I love working with Barnes & Noble, Audible, and Simon & Schuster.

I had some very interesting business conversations, many of which I can’t post about in public. I was worried that I’d catch flack because of all the negative media attention related to Sad Puppies, and the many CHORFs screaming about how I’ve ruined my career, will never work in this town again, blah, blah, blah. Basically, most of the publishing industry hasn’t heard or doesn’t care about the Hugos, it is a non-issue to them, and those who did talk to me about it were either on my side, or weren’t on my side but thought the stagnant little pond still needed a rock thrown in it.

There were also some interesting political conversations. The vast majority of the publishing folks live around and work in New York and are usually politically liberal. Everybody is nice, but at party conversations, people like me are a weird fly-over, red state curiosity. No, really, I do own like that many guns. 🙂 I had a fascinating and too brief conversation about how Simon & Schuster realized after Bush’s reelection that there were actually lots of people in America who are not liberal and did not think that way, and maybe they should start some imprints to publish conservative political books, and New York publishing was all like no way, nobody believes that stuff. But S&S started some imprints aimed at conservative audiences and shockingly enough, made buckets of money.

I know all of you guys in the rest of America are like, well, yeah, obviously the other half of us like to read too… But it is hard to explain. It’s like for many of them most of us who live/believe differently don’t even register. It isn’t malicious at all. It is just a cultural blind spot of an industry that overwhelmingly swings one way and lives in one region. Sharp business people, regardless of their personal beliefs, see that market exists and realize that there is money to be made by providing products aimed at it, or at least offering products that don’t actively insult that market.

I always enjoy visiting NYC, but I’m a country boy at heart. My tolerance for crowded cities is measured in days. Everything is loud. Everybody is up in each other’s business. However, the food is amazing. So for a few days I eat like a king, and when I’m not going to meetings, I play tourist. After a few days, my brain is fried and I just want to go back to my home county that has more cows than people, not a single stop light, which Manhattan would fit into one corner of, and not hear sirens or honking every second.

Now for the updates. First off, the new website is looking pretty good. Thanks for all your hard work, Jack. I know he’s been making tweaks all week based upon you guys’ feedback. If you guys have any issues with the website, Jack reads the comments and has been working on them.

The next Book Bomb is going to be for Peter Orulian’s Trial of Intentions. After that it will be Peter Grant’s latest, War to the Knife. Dates to follow as soon as I figure out when exactly I’m around.

I owe you a calendar of tour stop dates. I’m going to ALA and DragonCon this summer, and then I’ve got 3 weeks worth of stops in October and November around the country. I’ll get that posted soon.

Baen made a book trailer for Son of the Black Sword, I’ll get that posted too. It is pretty nifty. I have had a book trailer before this, but it was for the Czech version of Monster Hunter, and it was SO METAL. Man, I love the Czechs. But anyway, American book trailer for Son of the Black Sword coming soon.

It looks like I’m going to be doing some book signings in Europe pretty soon too. More to come on that. I’ve got to renew my passport. The last time I did that was when I applied for that accounting job in Baghdad. Yes, you can tell how much I enjoy travel. 🙂

Trailer for Son of the Black Sword
Do not be alarmed.

62 thoughts on “Back from New York, BEA Recap, and Updates”

  1. Do yourself a favor and apply for Global Entry (which comes with TSA Precheck) after you renew your passport.

  2. Glad to have you back in the Safe Zone. We were starting to send cryptic radio transmissions just to make sure you were safe: The Chair is against the wall. 😀

  3. I think I saw Orulian in the bookstore the other day. Guess I need to go back have a look at it.

  4. Hopes you come to Nashville TN area this year. I was extremely sick during you 2013 visit. Would love to meet you and get a book signed.

  5. “…which Manhattan would fit into one corner of…”
    And, of course, where all the people would fit into one Manhattan corner.

    “…and not hear sirens or honking every second.”
    How do you guys sleep with all that quiet?

    1. Crickets. I had a friend who grew up in the city and he didn’t sleep for weeks when his family moved to a farm. The crickets kept him awake.

      1. There used to be a cassette tape [which dates me] of city sounds like traffic, subways, and sirens to help New Yorkers sleep when they were on “vacation” out in the sticks.

      2. Crickets. I had a friend who grew up in the city and he didn’t sleep for weeks when his family moved to a farm. The crickets kept him awake.

        Apparently the cicadas are back where I live and 911 had to issue a statement that the noise you are hearing is cicadas. Please do not call 911 about it. Heh.

  6. I do not miss living in Manhattan (or Brooklyn, or northern NJ to do the bridges and tunnels things) AT ALL. The restaurants range from good to amazing even if their pricing can be shocking. My bank leased Per Se’ for an evening. The bill was more than I paid for my first house. The museums are likewise amazing – the Met is in the top 3 museums in the world – the others being in the range of the BM, the Louvre, some of the Smith’s in DC etc. I am with you – being in The City is a diversion sustainable for only a few days.

    During my time in blueland, I tried to be an undercover libertarian with a variety of success. Some of the hate is pure, diamond hard and unreachable. Some of the opposition is just bafflement and a total lack of awareness of the ‘other’. Those folks I could talk to.

    One area where is simply no reasoned dialogue possible? Guns.

    Speaking of which, I will miss seeing you at the LC range day. I think I have to skip D*C, alas.

    1. I’ve been to Per Se once. Yeah, food and wine will set you back over a grand for two (but, hey, no tipping allowed!), and it’s definitely an experience. The food is superb.

    2. I haven’t been to NYC since the early 1980s. Don’t particularly feed a need to visit any time soon. . .

    1. I’m not LC (obvs). However, lets play! Hard to cover all the categories – any objection to starting with best steakhouse? Following categories could be Italian, Latin, Asian, French etc.

      I’ll go first: Delmonico’s near Stone St., hands down.

      1. “…any objection to starting with best steakhouse?”

        How could anyone object to that?

        “Delmonico’s near Stone St., hands down.”

        Never been. Have heard good things.

        How about Italian?

      2. For steak, I’m partial to Keen’s on 36th near 6th. They’re also the only place I know where you can get a mutton chop.

  7. I haven’t commented here before, but been reading you and several other SP blogs (and books & stories) for a while. I’ve read SF/F on & off since the late 60’s, but much less in recent years. My tastes run more to history these days. However, at some point, the CHORF’s finally pissed me off enough that I registered for Sasquan. I’m diligently reading through the nominations, but one of the extra bonuses in the packet, was a new Grimnoir story, and I had to read that right away. Lots of other great stuff to come, in a packet that provides an entire book, with only 1 or 2 actual nominees (or a complete book of stories by an Editor nominee)!

    I devoured the Grimnoir books recently, as well as 3 MHI so far. I’d also already read all of the John C. Wright nominated works before (anyone who says that man cannot write should be automatically disqualified from opining on any serious subject from now on). Been reading Sarah Hoyt, Brad Torgersen, and other Puppies, for a while, and looking for more great stuff to come. By the way, congrats to Brad for his 3rd Anlab award from Analog – it’s well-deserved!

  8. Glad you’re home. 2nd the opinion on big cities. Hug your wife, hug your kids, hug your guns. Okay, maybe not your guns.

    Jack needs to add links to older post archive. Otherwise, looks good.

    1. Actually, hugging your guns is acceptable. Recommended even, right before you squeeze the bang switch. 🙂

  9. So basically the entire publishing industry is in “How could Nixon have been reelected? No one I know voted for him” mode?

    As far as NYC restaurants go, I’m afraid that my time in New York left me less impressed by them than most other people. Yes, there are some really good ones, but there are also some really terrible ones: unquestionably the worst experience I’ve ever had at a restaurant was in New York. Overall, I believe that New York restaurants are no different on average than restaurants everywhere else, but the fact that there are so many of them means that you go further out on the bell curve and have a better chance of running into something that’s either really fabulous or really terrible.

    1. That’s reasonable. All of my truly execrable dining experiences have been overseas – India, North Africa and London particularly. Also, skip the hotdogs in NYC Central Park, no matter how hungry you are.

  10. I’m looking forward to your Book Bombs. My tastes in news and real-world events are complex shades of gray, but my tastes in f/sf are romance, adventure, and happy endings (sex, violence, and happy endings). A good story where the hero wins and gets the girl satisfies my escapist fantasies. Please keep the recommendations coming.

  11. NY used to be the everything capital of America with the exception of its cousin rising in Calif which took 2 of its baseball teams in ’57 and eventually even The Tonight Show in ’72. Book and magazine publishers, ad executives, commercial artists, TV executives, actors and writers, Broadway producers all colluded to produce a look and feel to America as a business, even to every year’s officially approved colors, a thing still distributed to whoever’s paying attention. That was back when America still liked itself. When that stopped NY went into a severe decline until the ’90s though the media still held a giant share of influence. It’s been eclipsed but it’s still kinda there though the glamour and at least illusion of grace is all but gone. Basically if you wanted to make it NY was the portal to do that; it was a magnet.

    I can kinda see the appeal of living there; eventually the world comes to NY if you stay long enough. It’s reputation is so cosmopolitan I’ve met people there who seemed to be happy just not to be where they came from.

    The thing I saw in Times Square long ago which struck me as odd was a movie theater which showed kung-fu films 24 hrs. a day. Of course that’s all gone now. That’s the nature of the world and why nostalgia is so fun sometimes.

    1. My experience with NYC is that its reputation (not least, in the minds of New Yorkers) is as being cosmopolitan, but in reality it’s one of the most provincial places I’ve ever seen, in that many there know nothing whatsoever about the world outside of city limits.

    2. NYC is great for someone who never leaves NY except for Atlantic City. Once a person sees Paris, Florence, etc., NYC is exposed for what it really is: a poseur desperately wanting to be accepted by the grown-ups.

  12. re: Book bombs,
    I read vociferously, (5+ books a week, thanks to a long commute) and I really appreciate the book bombs, I’ve found the books to be worth reading, and a good introduction to new (to me anyway) authors. Keep them coming, and I’ll keep buying them.

      1. Well, better tell Baen Books that the link is now hot and can be reachable. They should make it private while working on it.

  13. Fairly regular reader, brought in with the SP campaign, but first-time commenter. I, too, was at BEA and was sorry to have missed your signing (damn meetings), but glad you enjoyed it. BEA is a weird animal as far as trade shows go and it’s far, far smaller than it used to be (and seems to shrink a bit each year).

    One thing I noticed, and a somewhat telling one at that: Both the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America had double-sized booths at BEA (across the aisle from one another) and seemed to have a fair amount of traffic. But, of course, the SFWA was missing. Surprise. SFF used to be more prominently represented, but even Tor is just one cover panel in the Macmillan booth.

    1. “Both the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America had double-sized booths at BEA (across the aisle from one another)…”

      Those seem like optimal conditions for a water balloon fight.

  14. Wait, Larry’s coming to D:C? Sweet! I had originally decided not to go this year but this changes everything. I’ll be there with my PUFF Exemption coin. If you have a kaffeeklatsch, I’ll buy the first round.

  15. While most of Europe, including my own homeland, now make NYC seem fairly staidly centralist – may you be be welcome on this side of the Atlantic.

  16. Hope you can make it to North Carolina! I’ve just read through the Grimnoir books and loved them! Will be reading MHI over the summer.

  17. Peter Grant’s new one is the sequel to War to the Knife. It is Forge a New Blade. I’m in the middle of it now. I seem to be reading quite a few books by folks I originally met via blogs, including you, Peter, Marko, and Old NFO who I was fortunate enough to meet at your book signing at Uncle Hugo’s last year.

  18. “The next Book Bomb is going to be for Peter Orulian’s Trial of Intentions. After that it will be Peter Grant’s latest, War to the Knife.”

    Thanks very much for the shout-out, Larry. Just one minor correction: my new book is “Forge A New Blade”, the sequel to “War To The Knife”. Please book-bomb the new one – or both of them, if you like! 🙂

    The third and final volume in the trilogy, “Knife To The Hilt”, will be published (God willing) in November.

    Thanks again!

  19. Your chat with the S&S guy brings to mind not only the quasi apocryphal Pauline Kael story, but Charles Krauthammer take on Fox New’s niche audience- half of America.

    And when I am in NYC- I always (if I can( go to Katz’s to get a hot pastrami on rye.

  20. Welcome home. Completely understand your point about the cultural blind spot. I have friends and relatives in a certain part of upstate New York and there’s a homogenous mindset that bends in strange directions when you start to question their assumptions. Forbes had a page last month about the value of other types of diversity, beyond skin color and gender. One was ‘cognitive diversity.’ How you can have a room full of Harvard graduates that look like a Benetton ad but they’re all thinking the same thing, and it constrains your company’s creativity.

  21. Agree with the blindness of people in major cities. I had a guy in Chicago ask me how the surfing was in Nebraska

  22. Dear JC,
    When are you planning on opening up the Monster Hunter series to short story submissions for an anthology a la Man Kzin Wars?
    Yes, I’m sure the idea has been mentioned many times before.
    Yes, I’m sure it’s potentially a bad business idea for a plethora of reasons.
    If you ever do something like that, please yell really loud so that those of us who are interested can submit a story. I have two in mind (which is your fault, since you forced me to enjoy your series and stimulated my imagination.) 😉
    Regardless: thank you for your writing. I am deeply impressed and greatly enjoy it (especially MH 2, 3, and 4.)

  23. Congrats on your success Larry and I hope this is only the beginning for you. Of all your post, the thing that really caught my eye is Dragon Con. I love going to Dragon Con, but haven’t been in a couple of years. I’m going to try my best to get there this year.

  24. The “real NYers” may be scared of the shadow of a gun, but jump on the MetroNorth out to Westchester and Connecticut, and you’ll find that many of us are armed to the teeth, and love the shooting sports.

  25. Suggestion for the new site (at least the mobile version). There should be a “next post” or “previous post” button or link at the top or bottom of the page. I have to scroll back up to menu and then home to check out other posts.

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