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It's probably a sad comment on my likelihood of ever obtaining "bestseller" status that I'm honestly much more pleased with a good review from Weird Tales (Daughter of Hounds) than I am with one from Entertainment Weekly (Murder of Angels). But what the hell ever. Scott Connors, in the forthcoming Weird Tales #346, writes: "Daughter of Hounds is a testament to Caitlín R. Kiernan’s status as one of the most consistently interesting writers working in the field of weird fiction today."

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:

Holy shit.

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...


( 8 comments — Have your say! )
Jul. 31st, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
I did an LJ review just for fun, and here was my favorite sentence:

"Sunshine" is a dark, introspective movie that gives our place in the scheme of things as stardust, but we're fiesty stardust that refuses to go lightly into the dustbins of history.


I still think the psychotic captain of Icarus 1 was extraneous, though.

Jul. 31st, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
'there are precious few effective means open to authors for the promotion of books'

The CRK Street Team can go to bookstores threatening to beat people up unless they buy your books.

Jeez, you're really not using your bully pulpit efficiently, are you? Not once have I seen anything in your blogs along the lines of 'Go forth, minions, and...persuade. Quickly! Have done with it!'
Jul. 31st, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)

The CRK Street Team can go to bookstores threatening to beat people up unless they buy your books.

Yep, I'm sure that would do the trick. That or making national news over an Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky suicide cult.

Jeez, you're really not using your bully pulpit efficiently, are you?

When I try, people get whiny.
Jul. 31st, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
You know, a real street team isn't a bad idea.
Jul. 31st, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Hah. *blushing* I don't mind at all.

I made that post so late, I'm surprised it made any sense. You know, in English.
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm very happy with this issue, and I hope you will feel the same.

I love "In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection."
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
Perhaps you could get your web-site up and running, that would certainly do well for promotion. I say it's the most important thing actually, more important than a blog and Myspace because it's a home base, you can set up a shop, a link to subscribe to the digest, bibliography with links to purchase, etc.

Also when I "google" caitlin r. kiernan the first result is to the now defunct Low Red Moon Journal, a link from their to your current blog or web-site might be a good idea.

I enjoy your work and am reading it slowly, Silk is certainly one of the best books I've ever read.
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
A review is what got me. Of "In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers" in the Realms of Fantasy magazine. I'd just recently discovered Lovecraft and was taking a Gothic fiction course and was drawn to the description of your book in the review. Purchased it immediately and never looked back. =)

I loved this month's SD, particularly the second story (In the Dreamtime...). It was gorgeous (I use that word a lot for your stuff, but so appropriate, because what you write is so lush). I'm not yet used to getting it, so when it pops up in my emailbox I am always pleasantly surprised.

Anyhow, I'll continue to recommend you to everyone I know. =)
( 8 comments — Have your say! )