Sirenia Digest #20 has gone out to subscribers. If you're an acolyte of the platypus, you should have it waiting in your inbox. I'm very happy with this issue, and I hope you will feel the same.
Yesterday was spent pretty much as I thought it would be: writing the prolegomena for #20; laying out the digest; reading aloud "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection" and then "Anamnesis, or the Sleepless Nights of Léon Spilliaert"; making minor corrections/edits to both stories; catching up on email; checking over the page proofs for the new mass-market paperback of Silk (December 2007) before Spooky sent them back to Penguin; and so forth. I think I finished up about 6:45 p.m. And I think that yesterday it finally occurred to me what a thoroughly daunting prospect it is to have to simultaneously promote seven books. Yep, seven books. First, there's Daughter of Hounds and Threshold, both already on shelves. Next week, the mass-market paperback of Low Red Moon will be released. Subterranean Press is already taking orders for the third edition of Tales of Pain and Wonder, due out in Spring 2008. The Beowulf novelization is due out October 1st. The new edition of Silk will be along on December 4th, and then the Murder of Angels mmp in April 2008. So, yeah. Seven frelling books. I figure Beowulf will mostly take care of itself, and my subpress books invariably sell out. But that still leaves five. And I have hardly even been trying to push any of them. I am a lousy saleswoman. It's just not something I do. And, even if I were good at hawking my wares, there are precious few effective means open to authors for the promotion of books. Cons? Too expensive and time consuming (and I always get sick, which makes them even more expensive and time consuming). Signings and book tours? Not unless the publisher lines them up and pays my way, and not unless the bookseller promotes them — none of which is going to happen. Print ads? Expensive, and mostly a waste of money. Reviews? Book reviews only occasionally help sell books. You can't count on them. And sadly, at best, my LJ/MySpace blogs reach only a few thousand people, when I need to be reaching a hundred thousand, at least. I need books that sell themselves. I need word of mouth. I need a really successful screen adaptation. The last is the only surefire cure, and the longest long-shot of all.
But I do have meetings with both my film agent and Producer D this afternoon.
Last night, very late last night — which means it was actually this a.m. — Spooky pointed me towards unknownbinaries's comments on Danny Boyle's Sunshine. I hope she will not mind me reposting them here:
Think of light.
No, think of Light. As in 'Let There Be'. Think of a light so bright that four percent of its brilliance will irreparably blind you. So bright that unshielded, you won't burn from the heat, you'll just burn from the Light.
It's mostly a study both of how fragile life is, and simultaneously how fucking tenacious it is. In the face of ice and fire and the void, and that light, the roiling surface of the sun, what people will do, how it drives some mad and tempers others into steel.
Puts my comments on the film to shame. See it on a big screen with a good sound system while you still can. Yeah, platypus, I'm coming...