Thursday, August 28, 2003

The August the 28th post.

Let's see -- today's big news is MADDY GAIMAN IS NINE TODAY. (And on the subject of birthday parties, why is there a plastic box filled with wobbly water-balloons in the kitchen? Do I have anything to worry about?)

I promised her that I would tell people at some point that Maddy's current favourite book is "The School Story" by Andrew Clements, a book she found on her own and loved so much that she read it over and over and made everyone else in the house read it -- and we all really enjoyed it. It's a book about a twelve year old girl who has written a novel she wants published, and her best friend, who is a natural born agent. It's also a pretty good portrayal of the New York publishing world.

And Maddy thinks everyone should read it. Especially people who want to know about being published.


There's a nice article about me in the Toronto Star, although the article is peculiarly certain that I've already got the Hugo award for best Novella for Coraline. And while I'm happy to be the favourite, I'm nowhere near as confident about it as the journalist. (My favourite of the novellas is Paul Di Filippo's "Year in the Linear City".)

The Hugo, incidentally, is not the kind of award that makes meaningful phonecalls of the "We just thought you should know that you REALLY OUGHT TO COME TO CLEVELAND FOR THE AWARDS CEREMONY. We can say no more than that," variety. Or the "You've won, you won't be there, please write a speech so it's not embarassing," kind of award. In the case of the Hugos, nobody knows who's won, except the awards administrator and whoever's getting the plaques made.

China Mieville says that he will be wearing a suit to the awards. I hope he gets to go up onstage and wear it while getting a Hugo.

Lots of fun ballot-stuffing going on at the SFWeekly Hugo site now... Or possibly David Brin really is that popular.


"So I spent from 6.00am until 1:30pm standing in lines, and then 1:30 until 4:00ish sitting waiting"

MWAHAHAHAHA! Now you know what the fine folks at your SIGNINGS go through...but then, the people in line at your signings actually want to see you.


The comparison had not entirely failed to cross my mind. Although I hope nobody's ever had to get into line for me at 6:00am for a 4:00pm signing...


And for those people wondering about the signing on Saturday:

Having already arrived at Torcon, I scouted out the Chapters where you're doing the signing. They have signs up saying that you'll sign any number of Wolves and Coraline, and two other items, presumably per person.

Tom Galloway


Hi Neil:

How do the profits work for an author when it comes to hard cover vs. paperback? I ask now because I just bought Coraline in paperback, after waiting these many months for it to be issued that way. I just can not justify spending the extra money for a hard-covered book, even when I want to read it when the book first comes out.

In fact, I should confess that I borrowed American Gods from the library since I didn't want to wait for the paperback. Sorry about that your loss on that one, but there is a back-handed compliment in there somewhere!

Thanks for everything (the blog, the books, the comics, etc)


Well, mostly an author will be getting something between 8% and 15% of the cover price of what you pay. (In comics that 8% is being split with an artist, so the writer will be getting something closer to 4%.) So that's how it works.

The idea with paperbacks is that they're cheaper than hardbacks, but the publisher is selling more of them because more people can afford them. So don't worry. These things work themselves out.

Beyond that -- don't ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that's what they're there for. Use your library). Don't apologise to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend's copy. What's important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read...