What Kind of Reader Are You?

Reading seems like a solitary activity. You don’t usually pay attention to how other people approach reading, except perhaps for family members when you’re waiting for them to finish a book you want to read.

Authors and publishers, however, are keenly interested in how readers go about their reading, because it holds the key to the future of the industry.

Think about how consumer behavior changed movies. Used to be, everyone saw movies at the theater. Then, TV began running movies several years after their theatrical release, albeit with commercials and edits. VHS made it possible to watch movies whenever you wanted them. TiVo and VHS recording changed how we watched TV, too. Then came movie rental stores, which gave way to RedBox and Netflix. Now it’s not only possible to pretty much watch what you want when you want, but ‘binge watching’ is the new normal.

The music […]

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The Business Side of Bucking Trends

Folks, we once again welcome Laura Anne Gilman, author of Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West), a thrilling adventure set in an American West that isn’t quite ours, ruled by the Devil and watched over by Isobel, his Left Hand. It’s a wonderful start to what I expect will be an exceptional series, and I hope all of you have been able to score your own copy by now. Today Laura Anne presents a little chat about bucking trends.

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Back when I first came up with the idea that would become SILVER ON THE ROAD, I sent it to my then-agent, asking “what do you think?”

Her response was that she loved it, thought it was great…but that it didn’t seem very commercial, and I probably should stick with what we knew was working, the urban fantasy. And because my then-agent was savvy […]

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You Should Write About Zombies!

Zombies are hot these days. Whether they’re the moaning, shambling kind from Night of the Living Dead, the fast-moving Rage types or the Walking Dead zombies that fall a little in between, people think zombies are cool. There are zombie walks at cons and classes on doing zombie makeup. For three years in a row there was an online zombie blogalypse called Blog Like It’s The End Of The World, in which everyone wrote entries to their blogs on a designated day as if the zombie apocalypse was occurring. There’s even a zombie marathon (and let me tell you, if I lived closer, I would SO join in. As a zombie, naturally – I can’t run well enough for a road race. I shamble much more effectively.) And, of course, there are zombie novels… World War Z, Feed, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and […]

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When Goths Discovered Brown

Last week, the internet’s hackles were raised (I know, there’s a surprise – the internet got upset about something! Oh noes! Run and hide!) when, after Tor.com hosted its month-long steampunk celebration, a few fairly big name authors expressed their weariness with all things steampunk. Skirmishes broke out all over. “There are no well-written steampunk novels!” said one side. “If you don’t like it, don’t read it!” countered the other. There were accusations that steampunk is only pushing white privilege on an oblivious reading public that ought to be paying better attention. Delicious snack cakes were even recruited into the fray, although somehow I never got my hands on any of the chocolate cupcakes with the white squiggles on top. But I digress…. As far as I can tell, the brouhaha ended pretty peacefully, with few casualties. So I’m not here to either deride or defend steampunk, or any other […]

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The Next Big Thing

“Everybody’s talkin’ bout the new way of walkin’ Do you want to lose your mind?”

The lyrics above are part of “Walk Right In,” first recorded, apparently, by Gus Cannon and The Jug Stompers in 1929. Yes, I’m just that old. Okay, seriously now, when I sat down to write this article, that was the song going through my head. The reason is that everyone is always talking about the next big thing, but the problem is that by the time it’s been identified, it’s not really new anymore. It’s too late to lead the pack, though maybe not too late to get swept along in it.

The fact is this, in life or in fiction…you want to be a leader, not a follower. Sure, there are some genres that are struggling right now more than others, and knowing that you might decide to work on your fantasy novel rather […]

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