Women Writing SF/F…or not

A couple of interesting articles were pointed out in Another Part of the Internet.  I’m posting them here to boost the signals, and because they are an interesting addition to the ongoing shouting match discussion about how women don’t write SF/F, except when they’re putting guy writers out of a job by doing it wrong.

Strange Horizons’ 2012 SF Count

Lady Business 2012 Coverage of Women in SF/F Blogs

The break-out points from the NPR study of women in cinema, at I’m Working On It, including some interesting information from studies done at the Geena Davis Institute regarding how men perceive the number of women within a group.

The transcript of the NPR study of women in cinema

Anybody got any more?  Real Numbers relating to real publishing are what we’re looking for, not Opinions.  The reason the shouting match discussion exists is that there are ‘way too many Opinions, and ‘way too few Real Numbers.


Empirical evidence that women have been writing SF/F for A Long Time.

Broad Universe Statistical Tour of SF/F/H

Mail Call

Today’s mail brings my author copy of Hvad Fluffy Vidste: 16 Science Fiction Katte, published by Science Fiction Cirklen in Denmark.  This anthology of cat stories reprints my very first ever professional science fiction story, “A Matter of Ceremony,” which would be reason enough to be inordinately pleased to have it included.

It’s all double-chocolate icing on the cake to find that I’m sharing a ToC with: Mercedes Lackey, David Barr Kirtley, Gene Wolfe, Pamela Sargent, Philip K. Dick, Sean McMullen, Andre Norton, Fritz Leiber, Saki, Edward Bryant, Reobert A. Heinlein, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jody Lynn Nye, Paul Melko, and Damien Broderick.

. . .I can honestly say that I never dreamed that my name would appear in a Table of Contents that also included Saki.

And in addition to all that?  It’s a beautiful book.

But, don’t take my word for it, here’s the cover:

16ScienceFictionKatteHvad Fluffy Vidste
Art by Manfred Christiansen

Five Things Make a Post

Well, let’s see. . .

1.  You still have time to pre-order signed copies of Carousel Sun from Uncle Hugo’s.  Here’s the link.  Uncle Hugo’s is the only bookstore offering autographed copies of Carousel Sun.  They have autographed copies of some of our other work in stock, as well.

2.  I supported Doug Thornsjo’s Kickstarter campaign, and just before Christmas, received my Majors deck of the Tarot of the Zirkus.  These cards are amazing.  Provocative art, good hand-feel and weight, slightly larger than my favorite deck, The Halloween Tarot.  Take a look at the on-going project, and buy a deck for yourself, here.

3.  Mozart continues to make gains.  He’s eating wet cat food again, not just beef baby food, is sleeping well, and taking an interest in the various projects going on around him.  Thanks to everyone for your good wishes.

4.  There’s been some question about the release dates of upcoming publications.  This is what we know:
January 7Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 2, trade paper
January 15:  “The Gift of Music,” free to read on Baen.com
February 4: Carousel Sun, trade paper
March 7: Necessity’s Child, mass market
Early 2015Carousel Seas, trade paper

5.  I wish to report that it is not snowing!  It is, however, Pretty Darn Cold (for the purposes of this discussion, PDC is 3F/-16C).

Promise keeping

Back in, oh…October, I guess, 2012, a couple folks who are interested in the nittier-grittier part of our careers asked me to let them know if Dragon Ship earned out.  I agreed to do that, though they may have thought I’d forgotten about them by now.

In point of fact, Dragon Ship, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, published in two hardcover editions in September 2012, has earned out.  I know this because we have received the royalty reports for January-June 2013, covering sales made during the six months prior to that period, aka July-December 2012.

Y’all didn’t believe me when I told you that the Wheels of Publishing Grind Slow, did you?

While I’m here, let me address a couple of other frequent questions.

A question that we’re asked frequently, with regard to all of our books, is “Where do you make the most money, from paper sales or from esales?”

Based on this batch of royalty statements, it looks like print still has a slim sales edge, for new books.  Books that have been out for awhile (I give you Mouse and Dragon, the gift that keeps on giving) seem to have stronger esales.

The third frequent question has to do with how well our indie ebooks, offered through Pinbeam Books, sell.  This is often part of a conversation about how it’s no longer in the best interest of authors to be yoked to a trad publisher.

So, the indie sales more than pay the mortgage every month, which is pretty good for something that’s a sideline, which we don’t promote, and only update the inventory sporadically.  We have seen sales fall off since early 2011, when we first started making the chapbooks available electronically.

I think there are two reasons for that.  One is that when the Kindles and the Nooks were Hot Items that everybody had to have, all those people with their new toys tried to make sure that all their favorite books were on the toys.  There was, in a word, a Great eBook Rush.

The second reason is that Steve and I are simply not bearing down and making new eChapbooks available every month or two.  See “sideline,” above.

Regarding the larger discussion of Trad Publishing vs. Total Author Control. . .our experience has shown — since 1995, when SRM Publisher published it’s first paper chapbook, Two Tales of Korval by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller — that a hybrid approach to publishing — some trad, some self-publishing — is the path that produces the greater rewards.

Anybody have any other nitty-gritty publish-y type questions?  Now’s the time to ask.

EDITED TO ADD:  This just in, from Forbes:  How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Make?


Liaden Universe® InfoDump: The Big, Crunchy Edition

Okey-dokey, then!  This is going to be chock-full of Stuff, so bear with me.  I’ll try to break things out into Subjects, to make it easier to digest.

The 2013 Liaden Universe® World Tour and Trade Secret Push!

Steve and I want to thank everyone who made our book tour a reality: Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf; Corinda Carfora, the Baen publicist; our wonderful drivers, Jim and Aileen; photographer David Decker; and most especially the intrepid indie bookstore owners and staff who put themselves out to make us feel welcome: Tyler Stewart at Pandemonium; Brian and crew at Toadstool Books in Milford NH; Patty Cryan of Annie’s Bookstop in Worcester;  Maria Perry of Flights of Fantasy; Joan Silvestro at Book Trader of Hamilton; and Thea Kotroba at the Chester County Book Company — and the PR folks at the Burlington, Worcester, Holyoke, and UPenn Barnes and Noble Bookstores —

And! Everyone who came out to meet us, listened to us talk, asked questions, and got their books signed.  It was great to meet you, live and in person!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

For those interested, there are pictures of the tour here.  We’ll add more, as soon as we get them off Steve’s camera.  Also!  If you have a picture from the tour that you’d like to see added to the album, email it to me at rolanniATGmailDOTcom, with your name and where it was taken.

We also want to thank PhilCon, for adding us to the list of panelists at what amounted to the Last Possible Second; especially Todd and Joanie Dashoff, and programming chair Hugh Casey.  We had a blast.

And we’d especially like to thank Robert the Red Cap at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, who sorted us out, got us to the train on time, made sure we were sitting on the right side, and wished us a safe trip back to Maine.

Also — is that one badass angel overlooking that train station, or what?

One more stop on the Trade Secret tour

Steve and I will be talking sci-fi and signing books at Books-a-Million in South Portland, Maine, this Sunday, November 17, from 2-4 pm.  Here’s a map, with phone number and address.  Hope to see you there!

Signed Trade Secrets on-hand at Uncle Hugos!

Uncle has fulfilled all preorders; and still has a few signed copies of Trade Secret in-hand, so if you missed getting a signed copy — or if you’d like to give a signed copy as a Yule gift (books make wonderful presents!) — you can still order from Uncle Hugo.  Here’s the link.

Carousel Sun news!

For them what partakes, the eArc of Carousel Sun, sequel to Carousel Tides, is now available from Baen.  Here’s the link.

The tradepaper edition of Carousel Sun will hit the shelves of your favorite bookstore in February 2014; the ebook, a few weeks earlier.  At this point, I have no news of an audio edition.

Now!  Don Blyly of Uncle Hugo’s and I are working out a system that will allow me to sign and personalize pre-ordered copies of Carousel Sun.  As soon as we have the bugs worked out, I’ll give you the link, and instructions.  So, watch the skies.  Or the waves.  Or, yanno, both.

The Tomorrow Log coming from Audible!

Lee and Miller’s The Tomorrow Log will be available from Audible.com on December 3, 2013, narrated By Kevin T. Collins.

Speaking of Audible. . .

You are of course aware that Every! Liaden Universe®! Novel! in existence can be downloaded as audiobooks from Audible.com.   Here’s a link to the whole series.

News for Antipodeans

Amazon.com.au is now carrying Kindle editions of Every! Liaden Universe®! Novel! and! Pinbeam eChapbooks!

Publication Schedule

The publication schedule (aka When Things Are Available for Purchase/Reading) now looks like this:

November 2013 Trade Secret hardcover, ebook, and audiobook
December 3, 2013The Tomorrow Log audiobook
January 2014A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume 2 tradepaper
January 15, 2014:  “The Gift of Music,” free short story, Baen website
February 2014Carousel Sun tradepaper, ebook
March 2014Necessity’s Child mmp
January 2015Carousel Seas tradepaper, ebook

Here is the delivery schedule for the next five Liaden Universe® novels (aka the date that each novel is due in Madame the Editor’s hands):

May 15, 2014:  First of Five
February 15, 2015:  Second of Five
November 15, 2015:  Third of Five
August 15, 2016:  Fourth of Five
May 15, 2017:  Fifth of Five


Regarding scheduling and the “next REAL book”

Good morning.

I hope everyone’s weekend is going well.

Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we’re shredding and cleaning, and getting ready for the book tour — you’ve heard about the Trade Secret Book Tour, right?  Here’s the link.   Hope to see you at one or more of our stops!

So, last week the ebook edition of Trade Secret hit virtual bookshelves at Baen, BN, Amazon &c.  This means that a number of people have read the novel; and that, of that number of people, a smaller, but very eager, number have written to me wondering when they can read (choose one) the sequel/the next Theo book/the next book in the REAL timeline/what happens to Daav/fill in the blank.

I’m answering those questions here in part because I don’t want to have to answer every single one of those emails individually, and also in the hope that all the rest of the people who are wondering these same things will read this before they feel compelled to shoot off an email.

Regarding the title of the new next book to be published by an Author of the Confusion Factory — that will be, to the best of my knowledge, Carousel Sun, in February 2014.  (Yes, I do realize, as a couple folks have pointed out, that Carousel Sun is not listed on the Baen website as an upcoming book; UPDATE:  A kind friend points out that Carousel Sun is, indeed, on the Baen Publication Schedule.  Here’s the link.  I take the word of the young man who told me that it was not listed as being part of any “bundle,” since the ways and means of “bundles” are obscure to me.  I don’t know why any of these things are so — or not so.  My information is this:  Carousel Sun is listed on Amazon and BN as a February book.  Further, I’m told by Baen that the galleys will possibly be ready for me to read when we return home from the book tour.  That’s all I got.)

OK, so:  Carousel Sun, February 2014 is the next “new” book; after that — perhaps Carousel Seas (which was turned in in August, so it could possibly appear in the Spring of 2014 — this is, please note, pure speculation on my part; I don’t make the Baen publishing schedule.)

After that?  I dunno.  The next book set in the Liaden Universe® is due on Madame the Editor’s desk in May 2014.  Again, pure speculation, and assuming such variables as a very clean manuscript and space in the schedule, it could, maybe, appear at the very end of 2014.  Could.  Maybe. See above re my involvement in making the publishing schedule.

For those who are “turned off,” as one correspondent put it this morning, by the Carousel books — you’ve got, yes, a long wait before you.  While I know you may be disappointed, I will ask that you please keep your disappointment to yourself — done is done.  The particular set of delivery schedules that created this inconvenience for yourselves was set years ago, ‘k?  And I happen to like the Carousel books, and hearing how they’re minor, or disappointing, or whatever, makes me sad.  It’s far more difficult for me to write anything when I’m sad.  Just sayin’.

So, moving onward, what can the longtime readers of the Liaden Universe® expect?

You can expect, eventually, five books.  I can say with complete confidence at this point that NONE of those five books concerns the doings of Jethri Gobelyn ven’Deelin, so those of you who are jonesing for a third (!) Jethri novel are going to have to find solace elsewhere.

Will any of those five books be in the REAL storyline?  Well, that’s more difficult to say, there being a number of definitions of what, exactly, the REAL storyline is.  Steve says all of them are in the REAL storyline (he can say so, if he likes; after all, he was there at the beginning), but some readers interpret the series differently than he (and I).

Let’s put it this way:  The books — as pitched, and purchased — concern the ongoing adventures encountered by members of Clan Korval as the Clan tries to settle into its new role, on Surebleak, and in the wider Galaxy.  The next book — the book we’ve started work on just recently, is not a Theo book, by which I mean that Theo is not the main character.

Those of you who have been with us since September 2012, at least, will recall that these five books — The Five-Book Dash, as we’ve been calling it — are, in their entirety, the “sequel” to Dragon Ship.  I am made to realize, from email, and other comments, that this is, in essence, “pulling a Wheel of Time.”  Which is apparently a Bad Thing.  Whatever*.

The way we look at is that the five books coming are sequels to all the books preceding them:  Agent of Change, Crystal Soldier, Fledgling, and all the etceteras of them — every one of the seventeen prior Liaden novels feed into the action of the melded storylines you’ll be seeing.  Remember how we say, over and over again, that the Liaden Universe® is not a straight-line series?  We really mean that.

Think of it this way:  The Books of  Before are a short road that intersects and flows along with another little street, The Space Regencies.  That combined street makes a slight bend and suddenly we’re on the main thoroughfare of the Agent of Change Sequence, down which we proceed for quite a number of blocks until it crosses The Theo Waitley Sequence, with which it runs parallel for a time, eventually merging with it onto the interstate — The Five-Book Dash.

If this seems unnecessarily complicated to you — well. . .it’s the way our shared mind-space works, so we’re all sorta stuck with it.

Now!  Not to belabor the point, but in the interests of Absolute Clarity, I offer here the publication schedule as it is known As Of This Moment:

November 2013 Trade Secret
January 2014A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume 2
January 15, 2014:  “The Gift of Music,” free short story, Baen website
February 2014Carousel Sun; Necessity’s Child mmp
March 2014Necessity’s Child mmp

Here is the delivery schedule for the next five Liaden Universe® novels (aka the date that each novel is due in Madame the Editor’s hands):

May 15, 2014:  First of Five
February 15, 2015:  Second of Five
November 15, 2015:  Third of Five
August 15, 2016:  Fourth of Five
May 15, 2017:  Fifth of Five

* * *

OK.  Who has questions?


*The published Liaden Universe® is almost exactly two years older than the Wheel of Time.  Just so you know.

Reminder, Explanation, Tour Schedule Update

Frequent auditors of this journal will recall that Lee and Miller will be embarking in the near future on a book tour.  The complete tour schedule is reproduced at the end of this blog entry, for your convenience.

PLEASE NOTE that we have added one more stop, in Maine, at the end of the tour.  We’ll be signing, reading, talking and doing who knows what other crazy things at Books-a-Million on Sunday, November 17, from 2-4 p.m.

Please feel free to distribute the schedule below wherever it may be of interest.

* * *

I’d like to take just a moment to clarify something about the book tour.  The tour is in support of a few things: Lee & Miller, the Liaden Universe®, Baen — but it is in Direct Support of Trade Secret, the 17th novel in the Liaden Universe® which, yes, is scheduled to be “published” on November 5.

There seems to be a little bit of confusion regarding this word “published,”  which more correctly ought to be rendered, “available in bookstores.”

See, the books have already been “published,” which in this usage means “printed.”  We know this because Steve and I received our authors’ copies a week or so ago.  This means that, even now, there are Trade Secrets in the S&S warehouse, and Trade Secrets on their way to distributors, and Trade Secrets directly on their way to bookstores. . .

. . .and Trade Secrets on their way, via the Sekrit Publicist Underground, directly to all of the stores where we will be signing, and! to the nice folks who will be escorting us during the various stages of our tour.

Which is the long way of saying that, Yes, Trade Secret will be on hand at our signings — even those signings that happen before November 5 — and if you come to one of our signings, you will be able to buy a book and see us sign it for you in front of your very eyes.

Which, you gotta admit, is kind of cool.

* * *

One more reminder — “Out of True,” a Liaden Universe® short story will be available to read for! free! on the Baen front page, starting. . .call it mid-day, Eastern Daylight Time, on Tuesday, October 15.  You will have to scroll down a bit (fiction on the Baen front page is published, as we used to say in the newspaper biz, “below the fold”) to find it.

* * *

The Official Lee and Miller Book Tour Schedule

Thursday, October 31, 7-9 pm
Pandemonium Books and Games, 4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA

 Friday, November 1, 7-9 pm
The Toadstool Bookstore, 586 Nashua Street (Lorden Plaza), Milford NH

Saturday, November 2, 2-4 pm
Barnes and Noble, 98 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington MA

Sunday, November 3, 1-4 pm
Annie’s Bookstop of Worcester, 65 James Street, Worcester MA

Monday, November 4, 7-9 pm
Barnes and Noble, 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke MA

Tuesday, November 5, 7-9 pm
Flights of Fantasy, 381 Sand Creek Road, Albany NY

Wednesday, November 6, 7-9 pm
Book Trader of Hamilton, 2421 Nottingham Way, Mercerville NJ

Thursday, November 7 (be careful! there are two events today)

Noon-2 pm : 
University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, 3601 Walnut at 36th Street, Philadelphia

7-9 pm:
Chester County Book Company, 967 Paoli Pike, West Chester PA

Friday, November 8 — Sunday, November 10
PhilCon, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill, NJ     

Sunday, November 17, 2-4 p.m.
Books-a-Million, South Portland, Maine