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. 🙂