[sticky entry] Sticky: My Books

Mar. 13th, 2012 09:44 pm
elizabethmccoy: Two youths on a rooftop. Text: All That Glitters (All That Glitters)
There's really not much I can say that isn't implicit in the subject line. Follow the links to pages for either the story/book itself, or to a landing page for the "universe" in question, which will then link to the individual pages.

Science Fiction
     The Kintaran stories
     Snips and Snails
     Queen of Roses


Fantasy
     The Lord Alchemist stories
     Sweet Phantom


Or search for my books at your vendor of choice.
So I wrote this a while back on my personal blog, and because of the oddities of having a personal and a "professional" DW account, didn't crosspost it. Well, I'm going to do so now, with some minor modifications.




Okay, so there was a thing that haikujaguar on livejournal posted, about representation as authors in fiction, and how it felt like this should be a non-issue -- that people should just self-publish and do an end-run around the gatekeepers. (You can probably find the post and she may let me link to it (or she may tell me to occlude the name), but for Bast's sake, if you comment there, be good. Because the TL;DR form is I think she's 100% right on one axis of the argument, though I disagree with her on another axis.) So anyway, I had a mass of feels which I inflicted on her. And which I should probably put here, because it goes really meta in spots. (And now she can delete all my comments if she wants! ^_^ )

...um, Person Who Is Traditionally Published Soon (Now!), whom I refer to, tell me if you'd like me to A: edit this in any way on those aspects, and B: delete the other comments and just reference back to here. I was trying to avoid saying anything specific!





I have, as is said these days, feels.

Feel #1: Self-publishing is absolutely a way for anyone to give a shot at something that is not mainstream marketable -- whether it's some weird cross-genre thing (Hello, Deep-Fantasy-Worldbuilding + Romance plot!), and/or a weird length (E.g., a novella or novelette -- or 125,000+ words), and/or a niche genre, and/or the author somehow does not appeal to the gatekeepers. The bars to entry? Well, if you can format a submission to an agent or editor, you can format for the Smashwords Meatgrinder and Amazon. O:p The bar to entry is having art that does not make would-be readers scream and run. (On the other hand, that bar is low -- there are a huge number of out-of-copyright books which have nothing but a reasonably attractive font on a non-clashing plain or subtly textured background, often with a couple of borders on it. E.g., http://www.amazon.com/Thuvia-Maid-Mars-Edgar-Burroughs-ebook/dp/B0084BMPC8/ , https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thuvia-maid-of-mars/id507071544 , https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beasts-of-tarzan/id915782627 , or https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tales-of-space-and-time/id511012684 . Those aren't optimal covers, but neither are they going to show up on Worst Cover sites.)

Feel #2: So far, the economies of scale are still with traditional publishing. POD prices are still coming down, but mass-market paperback books (the small ones, not the trade paperbacks) at mass-market paperback prices... are still traditional publishing-tied, since they can afford to print 2,500 books at a time. The bar to entry is, as in the past, the gatekeeping editors.


Feel #3: Advertising. This is where US traditional publishing and self-publishing can be neck-in-neck, since the last time I was at a con, there was a trad-published author literally doing the "yeah, get your friends and family to seed your books with some reviews on Amazon" thing. So it's not like she had a lot of faith in her publisher pulling in strangers to leave non-prompted reviews. On the other hand, I have a friend whose first book will be coming out early next year in the UK, and it seems that TorUK is actually doing a certain amount of advertising on their end. [[By now, it has come out, and they not only did a lot of promotional stuff on various blogs and Twitter, but also did an ebook sale at Amazon UK which had her as #3 in one of the larger Fantasy categories -- with #1 and #2 being Neil Gaimen books. So, thus far, they seem to be supportive.]] This may be observer-bias, as I follow her tweets and talk to her online and therefore know what her publisher is doing for her.

(One of those things is sharpening the focus of the book towards the genre it's falling into. Which is something I'd never cope with from an outside source on my selling-best-for-me books -- but I can also see why the editor is requesting those revisions on what's already a pretty darn good book. Do all the revision-requests make it "better"? Debatable. But they do improve focus on a very specific audience.

Meanwhile, lest anyone say that self-publishers don't get revision requests... Well, a smart self-publisher listens to the beta-readers, and solicits feedback. I knew that Crucible, which introduces the Empire's "third gender," was going to have resonances with certain groups of real-world people, and I solicited feedback from certain people about whether the resonances were in ways that were hurtful or not. So I was revising content based on "editorial direction" as well. O:>)

So even though I don't personally have a foot in both camps, I can see where both camps have strengths. Primarily, the strength of tradpub is that one's MMPB books will be more affordable than POD (if this changes, LET ME KNOW!) -- and because one is a member of the gatekept, the within-genre competition for New MMPB will be at a known level. (Yes, this is simplifying.) If your goal is fame, or a Hugo award (same thing...), then you want to be traditionally published at this juncture in time.

For that matter, if your goal is to inspire readers in some way, then you want to be traditionally published, and ideally in hardcover -- that gets you into libraries, that gets you into bookstores, and that eventually gets you into used-book stores (if only when the MMPB comes out), in quantities that are more likely to reach your target audience.

If you feel that your books are most likely to inspire a minority group of readers who are not likely to have A: access to e-readers, and/or B: access to PODs at new-book prices, then you want to be traditionally published. At this juncture in time. For the same reason as above -- libraries, bookstores at MMPB prices, and used-book stores.

But flip this around. Most tradpub authors -- like most self-pub authors -- are not going to make a living off their books. But if what you are after is whatever money you can get, then self-pub is more likely to give you something, for two reasons.

1: Nothing will make money if it is only sitting on your hard drive. The Story Fairy will not show up and leave a quarter under your laptop, but even the worst story ever will occasionally get a sale from "I gotta see this trainwreck for myself" spectators. (...sell through no-returns places, and sell cheap, if you're writing a trainwreck.)

2: Self-publishing gets a larger chunk of the cover-price, between 35% and around 80%, depending on where you sell. This means a self-publisher has to sell fewer copies in order to make some quite tidy amounts.

So if your goal is money, then you have two options: be one of the blockbuster traditionally-published authors (e.g., Scalzi, George R.R. Martin, maybe Sir Terry Pratchett), or self-publish and see what you can get. (Tip: if you write fast, write fast. A quintillion books selling at 2.99, even if just a few a day, add up! ...sweet stars but I wish I could write fast. p_q )



And then there's a final goal, which is freedom, where self-publishing is almost certain to win hands-down. (Though, as always, read contracts, blah blah blah.)


Yeah, I probably should have run over to my LJ. I see that now. This is a risk of being a pantser. *sigh*

So, to actually address the whole point of [haikujaguar's] post (...I write long...), I'm going to say that if the goal is Making The Most Money, then [she] is right. Hands down. Self-publishing allows one to go straight to the readers, and say, "Here I am!" with whatever marketing one wishes to do (whether as a minority of some kind or as a genre-author or whatever).

If the goal is fame, I think tradpub has an edge -- but there's always a chance of catching attention with self-pub. See also Wool. See, for what it's worth, 50 Shades of Gray.

If the goal is Reaching Others, though, I'm going to disagree (hopefully respectfully!) -- traditional publishing currently has the edge, and I'm really not sure how to change that without dismantling more than the publishing industry! The sheer economics of scale that permit certain prices of MMPBs and the industry of used-bookstores... The issues of getting libraries to carry a hardback (and they do still prefer hardbacks, in my experience), when they're overworked enough that vetting for basic skills (spelling, punctuation, formatting) is hard and they can really only buy based on a limited number of soundbites. Eventually the economies of scale may collapse and then it'll be more of a free-for-all, but I'm suspicious that it won't be for a lot longer than some people think. (I can only hope that POD becomes cheap enough that used-book stores will be able to transmute to "used books and POD-printing" stores.)

This means that yes, if the goal is to reach minorities through fiction, then representation still matters, and that fight still matters, hugely. Finding self-worth can be hard for anyone, and when fiction has a character one identifies with, it can really help. (Honestly, I probably didn't give up on the concept of healthy relationships existing... because of fiction. Not like I had an example of that at home, y'know?)

Self-publishing is an important tool in that fight, though; the ability to point and say, "Look, this does TOO sell!" is one way to get publishers to lumber around, walrus-like, and take notice. (And self-publishing is a way to reach some people, if on a more limited scope. Which means sometimes it's time to stop using a given story as a battering ram, and use a different one, in one's personal career. Self-publish the old story and hope it will matter to the smaller potential audience. Perhaps it will catch fire and kick in the tradpub door that way. Self-pub is no longer doom.)

I think it vastly behooves a would-be author to know what they're looking for. And if it's reaching people, not to diss those of us who choose to make money instead. (Fiction helps pay for our gracious host's coffee! and more important things in her life! and my mom's mortgage for a couple of months!) Or those of us who prefer the freedom to publish weird stuff without it being revised into a tight niche or edited down for wordcount (if it's accepted at all, which it probably wouldn't be), or who mistrust current tradpub contracts.

(Or those of us who have permission to publish quasi-fanfiction; my short SF stories include background concepts lifted 100% from Steve Jackson Games, and I have permission from SJ to make money off them in self-pub and small press. Not so sure he'd be keen on me making a deal with Tor! ^_^)

Basically, we gotta know what we're talking about on the issue. Fame/"authorial reach" and money are intertwined in tradpub. They're much less-so in self-pub. Authorial reach/fame is impacted by gatekeepers. Making money is much less-so, if at all, in self-pub.

And not being really firm on which one we're talking about is likely to result in people talking past each other in painful ways. O:(


Then I replied to a comment:

I would say this falls into the category of "if it's not going to be accepted by a gatekeeper, get it out there any way you can so that at least some people will be able to access it." Which is a reason that can work both for profit-priority and reach-priority. But I don't think that one can talk coherently about what her (or any author's) business-plan is/should be without knowing the answer to the following:

(...note that I am not actually insisting you either answer these or discuss business plan! I'm sort of springboarding to the meta-level of talking about talking about business-plans.)

1: Is one writing and publishing for the money? (I don't mean that in the "selling out" way, but in the sense of where the priorities lie. There is no shame for prioritizing allocation of one's energies to supporting oneself and one's family. Me, I'm writing for the money, in part because I know I'm not really mass-market appeal. Too long, too different, too niche.) If that's where the priority lies, keep doing more of that.

2: Is one writing to, e.g., give teens role models or validation? If so, self-publishing might be a step in the direction of, "I have a platform, I have people who will read this and sales-figures to back up my assertions, and you are the agent/editor I have deigned to offer a manuscript to, in order to reach more people in mass market paperback form." Basically, the "Look, this DOES TOO sell" maneuver; for this option, keep doing more to build and maintain the readership, but also start picking targets for manuscripts, and have a few manuscripts which will cycle through agents/publishers.

And the ever-present 3: Spoons, as the term goes. How many are available? When one has only so much energy, one has to allocate it according to one's ability and needs. Sometimes one can only save as many starfish as one can reach, walking on the beach; sometimes one is driven to build a Cat-in-the-Hat Starfish-Retrieval Device that will pitch many more of them out to sea after they've been stranded at high tide. Sometimes someone can do both, or start by trying one and winding up doing the other.


The thing is, if someone is very concerned with reaching people, and is getting making money advice, they're going to be upset even if they can't verbalize why. Meanwhile, the people who are all for making money as the first priority are likely to feel that reaching people advice is, at best, full of hidden and questionable assumptions. (Which it is! It's assuming that the priority isn't what the asker is asking!)

So... people giving making money advice (which is likely to lean to self-publishing unless you're Lady Gaga and maybe even then) are likely to be making very good, cogent points, and are going to be hurt by people going, "Well, you're special, I can't possibly do that because I don't have the Magical Birthmark, so there's no way I could get your readership." It's like offering someone a hand up and having it slapped away. It feels like the person is going for the unrealistic "I want a stroke of luck RIGHT NOW that will get me tons of money."

But what it might be is the unspoken, maybe unrealized, goal of: "I want a bigger platform and I don't have the spoons to do the writing and the platform-building, so I need the platform that a publisher can get me." (Which may also be a pipe-dream, depending. Try to get a contract with TorUK; they do seem to be giving good advice and setting up publicity stuff.) And all the realistic "that can happen, though you have to lay the groundwork to take advantage of flashes of luck" advice in the world isn't going to address the hidden assumptions about writing-for-reach, with the spoons someone has in their possession.

(Meanwhile, self-publishers who want reach will do things like advise lots of Free/Discount sales, in order to get more people looking at it, and not really keep track of whether it translates into increased profits in the long run. This will, obviously, make for screaming on the part of people who are looking at this as a money-making business -- and the reach-oriented author will be bristling at being thought an idiot for leaving money on the table.)

And, of course, it's going to be a sliding scale of priorities for everyone. It's just easier to talk about the extremes.


From another comment-reply:

(...I also think that people knowing what they want, money or fame, is necessary for them to decide what they'll settle for. People rarely make sound business decisions that are based on unexamined assumptions.)
elizabethmccoy: Cover for Cruicible (Crucible)
When Dareus Kymus traveled to the Empire to seek a bride for his brother, he didn't plan on getting captured by pirates. Now his luggage is reduced to the clothes on his back and a few hidden alchemies, his traveling companions are an Imperial Wind-priest and a foreign "Bride of the Gods," and the itinerary includes a cross-country trek through ancient, poisoned battlegrounds – all while staying ahead of the slavers who want to recapture them.

Dar thought he'd been in scrapes as a lad, but the blightlands of the Empire are a crucible beyond his imagining. It will take all his luck, skill, and the talents of his companions to have a prayer of returning home . . .


Available (in English language only, thus far; sorry) at:
• Amazon
Amazon.AU
• Amazon.BR
Amazon.CA
• Amazon.DE
• Amazon.ES
Amazon.FR
Amazon.IN
Amazon.IT
Amazon.JP
• Amazon.MX
• Amazon.UK

elizabethmccoy: Crowned woman, dubious expression. Text: Queen of Roses (Queen of Roses)
Ahem. That title is me being professional. The truth is that I am flailing around like a 14-year-old (I have a 14-year-old; trust me on this flailing analogy), squeeing, grinning and staring into space, and generally going, ANALOG! EEEE!

I will now try to be professional again.

Queen of Roses has been reviewed at Analog. The link is http://www.analogsf.com/2014_09/reflib.shtml, and Sarafina is in rather good company, among books by M.C.A. Hogarth, C. S. Friedman, and Deborah J. Ross (who has been continuing the Darkover books), and others.

Now I'm going to go off and be unprofessional and eat ice cream in celebration. *big grin*
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
I was tagged by Stephanie Cain, and here are the questions we're supposed to answer... *grin*

Rules of tag!

Basically, you link back to the person who tagged you and then answer four questions: What am I working on? How does my work differ from others in its genre? Why do I write what I do? How does my writing process work?

So here I go!

What am I working on?

Lots of things. All at the same time, kind of. The top 4, in order:

Crucible (Alchemy's Heirs #2): getting beta-reader feedback. I'm extending myself in two or three different directions and would like to avoid horrible amounts of Fail.
• A GURPS supplement, on spec. That's getting some GURPS beta feedback before I sail it into the slush.
That Dragon Thing: What came to me in a dream as unabashed dragon-shifter smut... developed fantasy-world politics, a need to have Our Dwarves Are Different, a relatively different magic system (which is what's driving the politics, in large part), and eventually I am going to shove the characters together and scream "NOW KISS." Eventually. This had better stay novella-sized, is all I'm sayin'.
Copper Leaf Bargains: This is the thing I should be focusing more on. It's a Lord Alchemist book, and a jump back in time to when the twins are babies. Kessa and Laita get to be the viewpoint characters for this one.

I should also be getting a business name filed so I can do hardcopy versions of my books, but the universe has been conspiring against me. (I really hope that by the time I put up this post, I can strikethrough that...)

(...nope.)

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Primarily? My favorite world, the Lord Alchemist universe, differs in that it's... not really staying tidily in a genre. I call it fantasy-romance, but it tends to use deep fantasy tropes/expectations, and romance-heavy plots, so... it kind of does work best for the Venn Diagram of readers who want the world as a third character to go along with the Relationship Plot. (And then I veer off into something that's a lot more plain fantasy, with Crucible.)

My science fiction, thus far, sits in the smaller niche of Non-Human Viewpoint Characters. Whether aliens or AIs, those are the heads I'm trying to get into, and figure out what it's like to see the world through slitted eyes or security cameras.

Why do I write what I do?

A love of words -- well, dialogue, anyway. A love of characters. A hatred for forgetting things. The realization that if I want to have any room in my head for anything, I have to write things down to get them out of my head.

Seanan McGuire once posted... I think on her blog, though it may've been Twitter... something along the lines of, "If I forget your name, you won't stop existing. If I forget a character, they will." That's a paraphrase, but it resonants with me a lot. Even worse for me is that I will, at times, make up my very own AU fics in my head...

I also write what I do because few, if any, other people are writing this! I want it, so I have to write it. AI stories that scratch the exact itch? Alien viewpoints and space opera setting? Fantasy with UST (...till it resolves, anyway... ;) ?

How does my writing process work?

Frankly? Annoyingly. I'm a pantser. I would love to actually write to an outline sometime -- but I think someone else would have to write the outline. If I try to do anything like that, the story dies on me. It becomes actively repellant. I have done that story and... It just doesn't work.

This is very frustrating, because... it's not that I don't have some kind of crude outline in my head. It's that it has to stay in my head until it's all written, with only the barest of notes as reminders. This... produces a cluttered head. (Aside from the bottom two of the "what I'm working on," above, I have... the unnamed companion story to Copper Leaf Bargains, Alchemy's Heirs #3, and an unnamed story also set in that universe, pertaining to the Laerini side of the family. Plus a short story in the Kintaran universe that I want to finish, plus two SF stories in entirely different universes (different to each other, too), and that's not even counting the second Queen of Roses book that's half-written...

(Not to mention all the smut erotica that I'm planning on finishing and putting out under a pseudonym. No, I do not think I will be telling people what that is...)

Ahem. Yes. I write by the seat of my pants, and hold the structure of the story -- what I have of it -- in my head. Mostly I wind up the characters and set them moving along to bump into each other, and try to poke them in the direction I want them to go for the result I want. (I generally have an idea of the result I want, anyway.) Then I write, trying to skip the boring parts, till I get to the end, and eventually throw the result at beta-readers to tell me where I need to cut the boring parts I didn't skip in the first place.

...this is a terrible way to write, by many standards. If I could pick a way to write, it would be to draw up an outline and churn words out brilliantly every day. But I didn't get to pick, so this is the way I write. Now, time to post this, remember to tag a couple other people, and get back to writing.
elizabethmccoy: A girl with a polar bear, titled "the bear prince." (The Bear Prince)
I have, at long-last, uploaded the translation. Hopefully I didn't introduce any errors when formatting it for Smashwords...

Currently in all formats at:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/398696

Should be propagating to B&N, Sony, Diesel, etc. (But not Amazon, sorry; Amazon won't take Russian-language e-books.)
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
While Smashwords has always been happy to sell to anyone who can get money to it, Amazon has just opened an Australian store. My stuff should be there, too, of course! Now I have to go and enter the proper URLs on all the other pages...

(Sorry about the few updates. The perils of only updating when I have something useful to say. Work proceeds apace on Alchemy's Heirs 2: Crucible.)
I have also been known to do a spot of editing now and then. While I'm not as happy with the ending as I could be, the rest of it amuses me and even made my spouse smile.



For Want of a Comma


Scene: a throne room. Prince John paces. You may imagine him played by a scruffy lion with a short mane if you wish.

PJ: I have sent my man, Rich Lackcomma, to spy upon Robin Hood. He reports today!

ENTER Lackcomma. You may imagine him as played by a cross-eyed crocodile.
PJ: You have returned with information? )
Because this site, http://www.livrariacultura.com.br/Produto/Busca?Buscar=elizabeth%20mccoy , certainly has my stuff from Smashwords... They're probably operating as a Smashwords Affiliate rather than as a retailer in the Channel Manager, but it was a bit surprising to discover!

...anyone know any decent Brazilian translators?
elizabethmccoy: A blue star on a dark blue background, titled "The legend of the morning star" (Legend of the Morning Star)
The same story, now available in Russian. This tickles me greatly. As it's the only Russian-language story I have up, it is currently at the minimum price I can set (in USD), of 99 cents. Hopefully, as I can afford it, I can get The Bear Prince translated, and then slowly accumulate enough to get the duology translated. (Alas, at the moment, translations are pretty much "a lark" for me. But a very awesome lark!)

Давным-давно, во времена, когда драконы еще не истребили богов, жила-была принцесса...

Ветерки--добродушные духи воздуха--унеслись вихрем прочь, в вечном танце--такой уж у них обычай. Поднимаясь высоко в небо, они пересмеивались и сплетничали о красивой смертной девушке, которая--ну и ну--почти не уступает им в искусстве танца.

Важно знать, что к болтовне ветерков прислушивались и другие существа. Например, дух огня, слуга солнечного бога. А еще... а еще сам солнечный бог, Алайон.

Подслушав разговоры ветерков, Алайон заинтересовался. И послал своего слугу Кайро проследить за девушкой--проверить, так ли она красива, как уверяют ветерки...



Available at:

Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble (as "Unknown (Russian)"...)
Kobo Books
Smashwords

• More to come...
(Just posted this as a comment to http://dearauthor.com/features/letters-of-opinion/to-save-indies-publishers-need-to-reconsider-drm/)


One brick and mortar store admits that he doesn’t know why his customers would buy ebooks through him.

1: Desire to support a resource/establishment they enjoy.

2: This is the reason they should do it (and in mass numbers!), that I bet no one's enabling technologically: that the customers can voluntarily let the bookstore access which ebooks they buy (and have not returned!), and give them a steep-to-good discount on the matching physbook. Yeah, so they may be buying for Aunt Edna, Uncle Rodger, and Cousin Lee; they're in the store, buying physbooks; just make sure the discount is better than break-even. ( Likewise, if the store is allowed to keep records of physical books bought at their bookstore, offering a smaller discount on the matching ebook encourages people to do all their physbook shopping there, as well, rather than on "the 'Zon.")

B&N is perfectly positioned to offer this sort of service to its members and isn't doing it. (If they're not keeping the purchase data from membership card discounts in their stores, they're... seriously not thinking.) Neither is Amazon; they're doing that Select thing instead. Kobo is partnered with indie bookstores already? Hopefully Kobo will realize how they can offer a service that can offer lock-in to both their e-store and their affiliated bookstores -- even without DRM.

(Heck, if they'll do the "buy a physbook at any affiliated store, using your Kobo Membership data, and get an e-book discount"... That would certainly encourage shopping at affiliated bookstores for split-format buyers like myself, and if the Kobo Membership data will quietly give the ebook's affiliate fee to the store that sold the physbook, even if the ebook purchase is made through Kobo's main site... Stars know, I get physical books gleefully, zip through my Read Right Now purchases, then wind up wanting to read something in the bathroom and having... my phone or my iPad, with my physical Read Later purchases downstairs in the To Be Read pile. Or I finish one and am away from home. Oops. Now, imagine I could get on Kobo's website, access my list of bought physbooks, and click "buy ebook" for the one that intrigues me, with a discount...)
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/03/2013/books-arent-dead-yet/ asks if one would rather own KDP or B&N. I said...

If I were to own one of them, I'd like to RULE B&N WITH AN IRON FIST, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *cough* A little autocracy and vision might yet save it. Or at least let it go out with an impressive bang. (Get the impression I'm not impressed with some of B&N's choices, especially in the online realm? Yeah. I love the local-ish one, but I've never had very good experiences with the online store or their customer support. I hope other people do better there, because I do get sales from B&N and certainly would never harsh on readers... But I don't think B&N is doing as much as it can.)

Things I'd do with B&N:

• Hire programmers with skill and humility, who want to Solve Problems YAY. More under the cut! It got long. )

I'm sure I could come up with more -- I heard some horror stories recently about gift cards and the B&N online store, for instance -- but that's just for starters...

Now, someone give me command of the B&N stuff, and a copper parachute, and I'll get to it... >:)
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
Computer programmers have been known to say, "There are always N+1 bugs," where N is the number of bugs found and squashed.

Likewise, there are always N+1 typos.

But should enough typos be found in a given book, I can correct them and upload a new one. (This will be a bit of a production with Smashwords, for some books; the new requirements for cover-images are excused for ones uploaded before those requirements, but if I upload a typo-fixed copy... I'll have to make a new cover, too.)

In any case, please feel free to post any typos you might find, that I may wince and eventually correct them.
Should I be posting links to reviews? Most of my reviews are on Goodreads and Amazon, with a few on Smashwords. I think there might be one or two on the B&N site. Anyway, a couple of the awesome ones that make me bounce up and down and want to geek out like a fangirl with the reviewer (but I don't, because I don't want to risk making the reviewers uncomfortable), are at GoodReads.com. These are really detailed reviews. (Less-detailed reviews also tend to make authors pleased, of course! Don't feel that there's some kind of review bar that you have to pass before you can review.)

Read if: You're looking for something living comfortably between fantasy and romance. You like thinking about the problems of consent and forced marriages. You love a heroine who has a bit of sneak thief in her. You're my sister.
--http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/391754501

Read if: You enjoyed the first one. You are interested in the high points of self-publishing in the year 2012. You like actually complicated forced-marriage scenarios, and not stupid ones.
--http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/448297855
There are also "skip if" paragraphs, which are, frankly, fine by me. I'd rather people be warned off if they wouldn't enjoy a given book!

This next pair is extremely spoilerific. Heck, I'll put the excerpts from them under a cut, just in case! Spoilers! )

If I've forgotten any good, detailed reviews... I did link to the Dear Author review, yes? ...please tell me! Or tell me if I shouldn't do any more "hey, look, awesome reviews!" or if I should make more strenuous use of the cut-tags, or whatever.
elizabethmccoy: Plague mask; text "Plague" (Plague)
When sickness comes to the country of Cymelia, alchemists and herb-witches create the healing brews that save lives. But this illness is different; the usual measures have little effect. Master Iathor is his city's best hope to discover a cure – but even with his alchemical skills, the plague is spreading through the city, and amongst his own household . . .

This 6,000 word short story is a prequel to Herb-Witch and Herb-Wife, set around 20 years (give or take a few) before the events in the duology. It includes approximately 2,000 words of worldbuilding notes in the glossary. Hopefully one will not need to read any of the glossary in the back, but for people who want to know more about the world? There's ample information, and perhaps an easter egg or two.

Art is once again by the amazingly talented Sarah Cloutier.

Priced at 99 cents, it is currently available at:

Amazon
•• Also, in American-English: Amazon.AU, Amazon BR, Amazon.CA, Amazon.DE, Amazon.ES, Amazon.FR, Amazon.IN, Amazon.IT, Amazon JP, Amazon UK. Prices may vary, according to automatic conversion of price at time of upload; VAT & other fees may be added by Amazon. *sigh*
Apple's iBookstore
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
•• Nook UK
Blio (Blio doesn't use static pages for books; search on name and title at the homescreen.)
Diesel eBook Store
Inktera
Kobo
Sony ebooks
Smashwords (with 35% available as a free sample)
Versent
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
I'm planning on attending the Arisia convention in Boston (as a guest, not a panelist), and am working on some little tri-fold brochure mock-ups so we can get some pretty color ones printed for leaving on appropriate tables at the con.

I now have over half a dozen black and white mock-ups, futzing with the margins. Guh. Word, why don't you have a Tri-Fold Brochure template?

*long pause*

*checks the Templates section*

*tries loading a brochure Template*

*discovers it wants weird stuff filled in, and has pretty well tweaked her version anyway*

Hush. Just hush. -_-
elizabethmccoy: An anthropomorphic feline's face, with the words "Uniqueness Counts" (Uniqueness Counts)
Prompt by LJ's Tuftears

"You will look fabulous," the signal-flare crimson Kintaran promised.

His target, a svelte female with unfortunately common tabby markings, flicked her ears nervously. "But... you have a hairdresser's. I..." She gulped. "I don't want the 'popular' cut."

Flare put his own ears back in indignation. "You think I'd be k'eetha? Please! Have faith! Credits entirely refunded if k'eetha!"

"All right..."

Over an hour later, mane curled and galaxies nestled within every formerly-plain black stripe, the Kint fem purred happily while she handed over her cred-card.

Several hours afterward, both Kintarans purred happily, and no credits had been swapped at all.
elizabethmccoy: A feline-humanoid face, with the words "what really matters" beside it. (What Really Matters)
This bookstore, in Massachusetts, apparently has a "kiosk" with Kobo. If you want to support Porter Square Books, and want to buy one of my ebooks, please consider clicking on http://www.portersquarebooks.com/search/kobo/elizabeth%20mccoy .

They have no idea I'm putting this on my Dreamwidth Journal/Blog, and have never even met me. We're not even in the same state. But I read an excerpt from an interview with Josh Cook of Porter Square Books, which included:
If I could get one wish from the ghost of Sylvia Beach, it’s that she, or someone who cares about the inherent value of books, gets a seat in those boardrooms to advocate for readers not consumers, for books as a pillar of culture not as a unit of sales, and for bookstores as community centers not retail outlets and merchandise showrooms. And yes, I can totally see my house from the high horse I’m on right now.


I'm a bit of a sucker for that last line, so for what it's worth... There's a link that might do a little to make both me and Porter Square Books a little happier. :)
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
Or: I aint'nt dead! (To quote Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax...)

Late night chatter. )
elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
Well, I've been added to one, anyway... Check the "Literature" link off of http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FantasyContraception and you'll see Dry Tea mentioned! I am astoundingly tickled, giddy, and delighted to be on the page.

Of course, this means that even when I escape TV Tropes, I'll never truly leave... ;)
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