Planning for the Future

Okay, Ethshar and serial fans, I’m thinking about what I want to do about future projects.

The fact is, regular advances have been dropping as paperback sales nosedive, and the big publishers have become far harder to sell to if you aren’t a young woman writing about vampires. Small presses, on the other hand, have been cashing in on the rise of ebooks — in many cases, more effectively than the traditional big houses — and have more money available than ever before. Self-publishing is also more viable now than at any time in the past century, thanks to ebooks.

So I’m planning to switch more of my output (possibly all of it) to non-traditional routes — the difference in money is no longer the overwhelming thing it used to be. I’ll be writing more Ethshar novels and other stuff I want to write, regardless of whether anyone in New York thinks it’s commercially viable.

But do I want to do these as serials-followed-by-small-press, or should I just write ’em and send them straight to Wildside and/or FoxAcre without bothering to serialize them? Or should I self-publish?

Do you guys like the serial format, or just consider it a necessary evil to get the stories you want to read?

As for small press vs. self-publishing, I’m not sure any of you guys care; the big difference there is whether I want to do all my own editing and formatting and marketing, or let a publisher take a huge slice of the money in exchange for taking all that work off my hands. A small press means there will be a hardcopy edition, probably cheaper than if I self-publish one, but the ebooks will be about the same. If anyone has advice on the subject, though, I’d like to see it.

Another question: Are you guys only interested in Ethshar, or would you be willing to pay for other stuff, too? Not sequels to twenty-year-old science fiction; I’ve learned my lesson there. But I have several other projects I’d like to write — The Dragon’s Price, for example, which is a big ol’ fantasy novel I wrote fifty pages of and then put aside as Not What Tor Wanted. Or more of the Bound Lands series that started with A Young Man Without Magic and Above His Proper Station — I had a dozen plotted, and more than a hundred pages of On A Field Sable written, when Tor dropped the series.

I’m considering maybe putting those on Kickstarter, and writing them if they attract enough pledged support.

Oh, incidentally, watch for several small-press reprint projects coming up — Wildside and I are discussing Tales of Ethshar, collecting all the short Ethshar stories (including the first chapter of The Unwanted Wardrobe), and a bunch of mini-collections of my short fiction are in the works. We’re also discussing reprinting assorted novels that aren’t currently in print.

So — here’s your chance to tell me what you want to see from me, and in what form. Talk to me.

48 thoughts on “Planning for the Future

  1. I could take it or leave the serial format; I’m pretty neutral. Really I’m mostly interested in what gets your work published the fastest–if serialization results in the final product coming out sooner, then I’m for it. But if it actually slows it down overall, as we have to wait from week to week for the donations to come in, then I’m against it.

    You’re right that I personally don’t care whether it comes from self-publishing or small press; that should rightly be whatever you’re most comfortable with. Whatever it is that can keep you writing!

    I’m mostly looking forward to Ethshar and Bounds Lands, especially the latter. Single works like The Dragon’s Price, less so. But my opinion may be atypical, I’m one of the apparent few who liked Realms of Light.


  2. Fastest? Well, with a serial you get to read the first draft pretty much as soon as it’s written, while for any sort of finished publication there’s going to be a lead time — but the serial is first draft, not the final product.

    Actually, you probably get the finished book faster if there isn’t a serial, since I generally don’t submit it anywhere until the serial’s done, as I don’t want the complete book coming out before I’ve finished serializing it.

  3. Yeah, I think I actually prefer non-serials then. I prefer the finished product to a first draft; even though they’re pretty similar. Also I like to be able to read the book all at once, rather than get to read for 15 minutes and then frustratingly have to usually wait a week for the next chapter.

    Of course, I could solve that problem by deliberately ignoring the serials and always just waiting for the end book, but I don’t think I’m capable of doing that.

  4. Re: serial format – The one thing the serial format does is remind me to keep coming back to your website. Absent a serial, it might take a while for me to realize a new book was coming out. I agree that I’d rather read the book all at once, given the option.

    Re: things to read: I always liked Touched by the Gods, but it’s probably kind of a one-shot universe. Happy to read Ethshar and The Dragon’s Price, and was enjoying the Bound Lands.

  5. One thing the serials have done is to give me an e-mail list — I expect to keep that, and use it to announce any new publications.

    Touched by the Gods is a title I’m hoping to see re-issued, but it’s also almost the only novel I ever wrote where I never came up with a premise for a sequel. A prequel about Rubrekir the Destroyer was a faint possibility at one point.

  6. The serial format usually doesn’t work for me. The problem is that every time a new installment comes up, I either read it immediately…or let it fall into my backlog, where I may not get to it for months. A chapter, even a short one, is long enough that I’m unlikely to get to it immediately.

    That said, serialization seems like a great way to maintain interest over time. I keep up with Girl Genius and other webcomics, because each new strip generates discussion of where the story is going. Even if I’m not reading every installment of something, just seeing it show up in my RSS feeds reminds me that it’s there and that I intend to get to it.

    As for what I want…I know I like Esthar, so I look forward to it more than anything else you write. On the other hand, I like your other fiction as well, and I’m always a bit sad when an author ends up dedicating all their energy to a single series, no matter how much I like it. (I look forward to the next installment of the adventures of Vlad Taltos more than anything else from Brust, but I still wish he’d write more outside that series.)

  7. I saw the serials as a way to get more Ethshar books after Tor dropped them. I could live without the serials if I knew more Ethshar books were in the works.

    Serials for other sequels in a series also are optional if I knew more were in the works.

    Serials for new series would be nice and something I’d be interested in. It might be a good way to test interest as well.

    I’d prefer to have at least a print option in the end. I don’t really care if you self publish it or go with a small press because I know with you I’d be getting quality in the end product. I think it’s more how much work do you want to do at the publishing end.

  8. Whatever gets your books in my hands and at least a goodly portion of my money for that book into yours is good with me. Love the Ethshar books, enjoy the Bound Lands and the rest. Any ‘traditional’ Fantasy you want to send our way, I’ll be more than happy with.

  9. I enjoy the serial format partly just to see the changes that happen between the first and final drafts, but it wouldn’t bother me to have to wait for the final product.

    The big thing for me is being able to get physical copies of the books. Even though I’m a Kindle owner, there are certain series, like Ethshar, that I prefer to get on paper because I don’t want to worry about not being able to reread them in five years. That’s assuming wherever you publish e-books uses DRM, which may or may not be true.

  10. I’ll support your writing anyway I can. I usually try to put at least $30 – $50 into each serial. While admittedly I usually read the first 5 or so chapters online and wait for the published edition. But i always print myself out a copy of the serial for comparison when I read it published. I love my paper copies of books I know it would save me money & Lots of space on the long run to buy a nook or get downloads but I just can’t buy and read e-books I need my hard copy.

    Ethshar series will always be my favorite of your books. But I read everything else i can get my hands on. There has only ever been one story out of all that I have read i had a tough time with(Shining Steel), I but finding it loosely related to Nightside City helped a lot in redeeming it. Like Richard I LOVED “Touched By The Gods”. Enjoyed your additional information on the Universe/Moons/Gods/Champion. As well as Dragon Society Trilogy and Cyborg. So no matter if its a continuation or something new I will buy and read it.

    As for publishing through a publisher Big or small or self published. I would go with whatever is most beneficial for your bottom line and/or convenience. I have no problem buying directly from you or a small publisher.

    If you still want to do donations to pay for publishing costs the books I’d contribute to that as well to get the finished product out first I’d be in for that to. Some musicians I enjoy have used to fund project/album releases. I’d donate that way or through your own paypal system. So that’s an option if you go that way too.

  11. I now much prefer reading on my Kindle to paper fiction, so hardback/paperback editions are unimportant to me. I have enjoyed the serials, but have not always gone back to read the final versions, so maybe unserialised might be better for me, but I am not sure.

    Ethshar I will buy without question, others are a “probable”


  12. I think you can potentially reach a bigger audience by self-publishing. You can also hire out the editing and formatting for a flat-fee rather than a percentage, if you want to go that route.

  13. I’ve really enjoyed all the Ethshar serials. I like getting to read a chapter a week and always looked forward to the next installment. So I’d be happy with lots more serials. I’d also be open to new series in serial.

    I’ve started reading ebooks on my fancy phone and am hooked. I’d be happy to read all books in that format from now on. It’s so much easier to read them whenever and where ever. Having the thing on my shelf is less important than the accessibility to read it.

  14. I like paper books. I don’t have an unlimited budget. So if there’s a choice which would let the printed books be cheaper for me (while of course compensating you), that would be my personal leaning.

    As far as serials go… I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other. If there is a serial, I probably will read it, even though I generally prefer reading a book in as little time as possible (at least the first time). If serials are helpful as an inexpensive way to get interest/attention for a book, then perhaps they’re worth it

  15. I agree with other comments: I’m neutral on serial. I like the weekly fix, but I’d be happy to wait for the book if it makes your life easier. One plus for the serials is that I see blog comments by other readers that are occasionally interesting. Yours is the only author’s blog I read, so it’s a novelty to me. I don’t care which publisher either — I rarely even notice who publishes the books I read.

    I don’t usually enjoy ebooks as much as paper (batteries don’t run out in paper books!), but I’d happily read your work in that format if that’s all that was available.

    I second the comment about Touched by the Gods. It was my favorite of your books for a long while, and I just re-read it last month coincidentally. Not quite as good as I remember it on a second reading, but definitely interesting. I love the ending.

    I mildly prefer Ethshar novels, but I’ve enjoyed very nearly everything you’ve written and would buy anything you publish.

  16. Sorry about the moderation delays, guys.

    So far, it sounds as if a majority don’t care about serials so long as the books come out. I’m okay with that. For the minority that does like the serials — well, I’ll keep that in mind and see if I can come up with something.

    If I go through a small press such as Wildside, there will be paper books, but probably only trade paperbacks available from online sources, not sold in bookstores.

    Frankly, running the actual serial is kind of fun, but sending out the books afterwards is a major pain in the ass — and no, Wildside isn’t willing to do it for me. If I do more serials, they’ll probably only get you ebooks, not hardcopy; hardcopies might well result, but wouldn’t be part of the deal for donors.

    In fact, I might do the serials purely as advertising, rather than to make money. Hmm. I’d want to do something to encourage readers to buy the finished books, though, rather than just reading it online.

    I’m thinking as I type here, none of this is set in stone yet.

    Robert, how would I reach a larger audience by self-publishing? The same audience, okay, but larger? I don’t see that. And any effort I put into the publishing end is that much less I can put into writing, so while I might make more per book, I’d produce fewer books…

    It’s really hard to say where the optimum is.

  17. I’m just guessing, of course, but I suspect that the serials are, by their nature, most appealing to the hard core fans. I think an inexpensive (compared to a trade paper) ebook edition would at least have the potential to reach more casual fans, as well as the hard core. But I could be completely wrong; I, of course, don’t have the numbers on serial participation and how well the paper copies sell after the serial is complete.

    The right balance point between, say, putting an ebook together yourself vs. paying a copyeditor, cover artist, and someone to put it all in the right format vs. letting a publisher do all that and take a percentage depends on how well the book sells…which of course you can’t know in advance. If it was easy everyone would do it, right? 🙂

  18. Small press publishers, unlike the big guys, know to price ebooks reasonably. Wildside’s pricing most of mine at $5.59, which seems about right.

    If I were self-publishing novels, I’d probably price them at $5.99.

  19. I see the serials as good advertising. You might get better sales by publishing when the serial is only half way done. That way the people who are impatient will buy the book just so they don’t have to wait for the next installment.

  20. I love the serials because I love the speculation, the participation, the assistance that results. I have no illusions that we are collaborating, but one of the reasons my wife started reading your books is because I kept raving about how cool it was that the author of many books I enjoy is not only responsive to his fans, he’s downright friendly with them. Once she heard about all the discussion and backstory explanation/clarification you give in the comments, she became insanely jealous and wanted to experience that also.

    So, for that reason alone, I would hate to see the serials die. I’m glad you let us know that they are fun for you. I assure you the feeling is mutual.

    As to paper versus digital, I still have most of my copies of the serials in the envelopes in which they were sent, unopened, unread. I purchase the e-book copies as well, since my main reading avenue these days is through my phone and/or my BN nook. As it happens, I have not read the Bound Lands books yet because BN still have them priced $12 for the first and $14-15 for the second book.

    Paperbacks really do establish my price range. $10 for a book is generally my max. I donate more than that, but serials are different, since I get a guaranteed 1st edition, autographed trade, and I also get to participate, and that’s worth the extra price.

    But when all is said and done, I love your writing, and if prices go up, that would be unfortunate for me, but it wouldn’t stop me from buying. It might take me MUCH longer to do so, though.

  21. I agree with RM in that I love the feeling of participation that I get with the serials, but I don’t think the serial format works well with all books. For example I enjoyed Realms of Light but being a detective novel there were plot building sections were there was a serious lull in the action; made it hard to follow/come back to in the serial format. I really don’t think it was an issue being an older sci-fi novel but just the detective nature.

    I would like to make a suggestion on the serials however, if a reader has donated enough to receive the final copy it might be more of grab to provide them a different access to the serial that let’s them read all the written chapters rather then waiting for other readers. Perhaps a format that gives more copy protection like

    As to self publish, I’d read your books either way but the larger houses do put more effort into advertising for you. If you self publish you’ll really only be picking up new readers via word of mouth.

    eBook vs Dead Tree, I like eBooks but especially with your works I love to lend them out to my friends and it’s just plain easier to to loan out a paperback then an ebook with the different format, readers and DRM.

  22. If I have to special order a trade paperback, that’s OK by me. If donors to serials get ebooks at the end, that’s cool too.

  23. I really enjoy the serial format – it takes me back to when I was actively watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (when it was on-air) and waiting with anticipation every week for the next installment. That said, I would buy your books either way, regardless.

    That said, I am not a fan of e-books. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I like to hold a REAL paper book in my hands and read it. I will happily pay for the serial, but I want an actual copy of the in-print book afterwards (happy to pay more for that).

    If you went the self-publishing route and needed help with editing, I would be happy to help out. I’m a lead technical writer by profession and spend my days editing the writing of others :o)

  24. Ah, now the serial fans are speaking up…

    By the way, we’re getting new participants this time, probably because I linked from Facebook, so let me explain the moderation rules: If you’ve never posted a comment to this blog before, your comment goes to moderation. Once I’ve approved any comment from you, though, you’re approved forever — there won’t be any delay on future comments.

    If you’re approved and a comment doesn’t show up, or if I’ve cleared the moderation queue and yours still doesn’t show, there’s a problem — quite likely you did something the spam filters didn’t like. I can then go fish your comment out of the spam trap if you let me know, preferably in e-mail, that it’s there.

    So, that said, back to the discussion.

    It’s not B&N that has the Bound Lands e-books priced so high; it’s Tor. They aren’t allowing discounting, and set the prices where they are. That’s one reason I’m not happy with them right now.

    Any novel I write from now on will have a paper edition, and an e-book edition — it won’t be either/or. If I self-publish the paper edition may be expensive and not have much in the way of cover art, but there will be one. This is one reason I’m leaning toward the small press, though, even though it means splitting the profits.

    However, compiling the mailing list, packing up the books, and hauling them to the post office after a serial is complete is a pain in the ass. It is by far the worst part of the entire process. So right now, though I reserve the right to change my mind and I’ll listen to argument, I’m thinking that any future serials will be advertising, pure and simple, and will not guarantee donors will receive hardcopies. I may still have an option to reserve a copy somehow, I’ll talk to the folks at Wildside and FoxAcre about that, but it won’t be a standard part of the package.

    It may take a few iterations to work out all the bugs — and right now I’m working on Graveyard Girl, which my agent is enthusiastic about, so it’s going to be awhile before the next serial in any case. Plenty of time to plan.

  25. I liked the serials because it was the only way to get new Ethshar books, I’d vastly prefer to just get an email saying one is done buy it here and buy a nice crisp fresh DRM-free epub that I can read on my iPhone.

    A year and a half ago I was 100% on the physical book side, but now that I’ve got a high-res screen to read on, and the ability to have my current book with me everywhere, and to read in bed late at night without bothering my wife, I am 100% switched over to reading ebooks. I average a little over a book a week, and in the past 18 months it’s been 2 physical books vs the rest ebooks.

    I prefer Ethshar, but would probably buy anything that isn’t a sequel to something I either haven’t read or haven’t read in 20 years.

  26. Ok, my vote is for Dead Tree books. I don’t care what you do for everyone else, I want dead trees. I’m getting older and screen reading is getting harder. And you don’t need batteries for a dead tree book.

    As for DRM, that is a double edged sword. Worse then Paypal – and you are familiar with my views on paypal.

    As for serials, I have mentioned this before – I save it up, acrobat it piece by piece, and then read it when it is done. And have sent you the acrobat files to pass out or toss out – your choice. The serials are a means to an end, not the ride itself. Though I have contributed to all of them so far.

    As for editting – can a dedicated group of fans / readers contribute that for you? For distribution, can we set up a distribution tree? Or set up some fans / readers to help you? You will still have to autograph them, of course.

    As for the money – well, as long as we get value for the money, charge what you have to.

    Oh, and we don’t have a local B&N anymore. After they closed the local one, the closest bookstore is 1/2 hour ride in a couple different directions. Amazon gets a lot more of my business now.

  27. I think you’re misunderstanding what I mean by editing. Proofreading and copy-editing can maybe be crowd-sourced, but real editing can’t.

  28. I just got a Kindle for Father’s Day and Realms of Light was the first book I bought (I enjoyed it, though with currently portable computing with independently powered devices, the solution to stopping the villain seemed a bit of a stretch). I’m not 100% sold on ereading (after all, I’ve still got hundreds of unread dead tree books to get through), but I do find it easy to read that way.

    The serial format doesn’t thrill me, but I did enjoy the comments and your insights and responses to the comments (though I lost my carefully saved copy of the Last Calling to a disk crash. Rats!) Having seen the obsolescence of so many media in the last few decades I like having the paper copy because I know paper will outlast a piece of electronics.

    I had also been thinking of a fan distribution tree to help with the burden of you packing and shipping all of the copies you promised. I’m not sure how to determine how to pick the trusted fans to help with the distribution. Perhaps some shipping parties where groups of fans/friends gather to put the packages together assembly line fashion. Would a signed book-plate in each book be enough to satisfy buyers so that you wouldn’t have to touch each book to make that chore easier? On the other hand, knowing that the author did touch the particular copy of the book is part of the joy of having an autographed copy.

    One problem with trying to decide which system provides the best bang for the buck in terms of your return on your time, it seems almost impossible to be sure which will work best unless you try a book in each way while carefully tracking time invested in each process. Not a fun prospect.

    In any event, I’m glad to hear that you’re trying to find a way to keep the books coming. I do hope you provide a collection of the Ethshar short stories as I don’t follow short stories much and so haven’t noticed those and would be happy to read them without having to hunt a variety of sources.

    As far as advertising, my brief history of looking for ebooks has shown me that many authors are providing free or very cheap previews and it seems that many people with ereaders look through such offerings regularly. So how about making the first third of a novel available free or cheap and then hope that enough readers get hooked that they’ll buy the completed book, either as dead trees or electrons.

    All right, that’s enough rambling. I look forward to hearing what you decide from among your various publishing options.

  29. I don’t claim to know exactly what you want by editting, that is why I asked the question.

    And if the fans can only provide proof reading, is that enough to swing the difference in value for real editting? Only you can determine the answer to that, I ask to get you thinking of alternatives.

    As for a distribution tree – here’s an idea. You get orders for 5 books in Florida say. I become the node in the tree, you mail me the 5 books, and I mail the 5 to the individual addresses. In return, I get a discount on my book or something.

    In the end, only you can determine the final economic sense of any particular plan. We, as customers, have to determine if it is worthwhile to us.

    And as I write this, I recieved book 33 in a 33 book series by E.C.Tubb – the final book. (Good thing it is the final book, as he died last fall.)

    When I latch onto a series….

  30. I still like the print version of books; hardcover slightly preferred, but a good trade paperback or paperback will do. Perhaps someday I will switch to ebooks wholly or partially, but not yet, and for the next several years I’d like at least the option of purchasing one.

    Serialization not so important; I really like its value as advertising, for putting up the first 1/4 – 1/3 of a book, but then requiring purchase to get the rest of it. (If readers wanted to, or you had such an option, they could even “purchase” the entire novel when you were only part-way through writing it, kind of like how people bought into the serial at the beginning. Maybe a slight discount to people who purchase early…?)

    Mailing out copies — pay someone to do it. 🙂 If you’re willing to consider paying a publisher to do editing, formatting, and marketing work, then pay someone to help you do the physical work of packaging and mailing them out at the end. I’m sure there’s some college student who’d take a few hours of a temp job.

  31. Serial good…

    as for ebooks… put them out… no DRM (paper books don’t have any :))
    would love to see your whole back catalog as ebooks
    (mostly as finding hard copies is getting to be a pain)

    one of the good sites i found is the baen free library as well as their paid section
    dozen formats and good prices

  32. I like your serials because it keeps Ethshar going and I really think self-publishing and digital formats are the way of the future. However… If you could put together installments that I could download for $5 or so a week and read on my ebook reader.. Well, I’d buy those every single week, just like I buy my comic books. Not least because I’d have the chapters loaded into my files and ebook reader to read forever. I would also happily buy short stories and such for small donations, much like webcomics make off of their extra content.

  33. All formats are good for me. However, I’d like to see more about Toben of Telven…the guy who started it all.

    And I’d really like to see a couple of books continuing the cyborg books. I really liked that story line and I always kind of felt the over all story was left unfinished.

  34. Tobas? I don’t have any immediate plans, but it’s possible.

    As for the final cyborg novel, The Exile and the Empire, I’m not sure how much interest there is. I might try that one on Kickstarter and see what happens.

  35. I would rather there not be a serial. I’ve always enjoyed relaxing outside reading the Ethshar novels. It takes away from the overall story reading a little here, a little there, a little a month later. I realize that I could easily NOT read the serial, however, It’s nearly impossible to not read it knowing that therits a hop, skip, and a jump away. I’m all for you self publishing, e-book or otherwise. You can always count on me buying the final copy. Cheers.

  36. I enjoy reading the serials, and then reading the final book, but I could actually live without the former as long as the latter happens. What’s the most difficulty for you?

    Ethshar, of course; anything else you care to put up quite likely. I don’t think I’ve even read the Bound Lands stories so shall have to go look them up first, but your worlds usually will handle a good deal of exploration. (Google just found me a bibliography – I’ve missed more of your stories than I realized… )

    As for sequels to 20 year old sf novels – hey, *I* liked _Realms of Light_ but I do understand (btw, is there going to be a final version or do I just pass the first draft on to my husband, who also wants to read it?) Come to think of it, there’s another vote for skipping the serial – he doesn’t want to read anything but the final version of things.

  37. What I like about the serials is that I get a feeling of personally supporting you, and also see the way a story evolves. But that isn’t a strong argument for your continuing to do serials.

    I’m very likely to buy whatever you write, but for me the fantasy works better (I did enjoy Carlisle Hsing’s 2nd outing.) At the moment I still read dead trees, but that may well change.

  38. Kay, the final version of Realms of Light was published by FoxAcre last year, and distributed to donors. I don’t see your name on the list, at first glance. E-mail me if there’s a problem there.

    As I think I said somewhere above, the most difficult part of a serial is mailing out the finished books — there are always glitches with people who have changed addresses, copies lost in the mail, etc., and in general, it’s just a pain in the butt sending out hundreds of books.

    If I do any more serials, donors will get e-books, rather than hardcopy. Or maybe I’ll provide coupons for hardcopies, to be purchased from the eventual publisher. I’ll figure it out before I start another one, but I really don’t want to do another mailing.

  39. The downside to donors not getting a physical book is, of course, the autograph option you have graciously provided. I’m not saying it would have influenced my decision over whether to donate or not, but getting an autographed first edition is something that may well have swayed others.

    I still hold out hope that your next book will launch a popularity storm that puts you above Rowling (I have to say I think your books are FAR better), and thus my autographed first editions will become like GOLD!

  40. Well, been out of town and am not going to re-read all the various comments. I have been reading you since Ronald Reagan. I like the Ethshar books I generally like most of that older sci-fi stuff. I enjoyed the Cyborg series and Denner’s Wreck. I love that collection of short stories. It’s hard for you not to write something that I might like. I have not read Realms of Light- doesn’t mean I won’t just having trouble getting there. Um, bought a copy of Dragon weather, it started slow and I put it down.
    Anyway I like reading the serials but I want a dead tree that I can hold in my hand later. I will read pretty much anything Ethshar-related that I can get my hands on. Talking to you about how the story is going to turn out is a thrill and actually got my writing again-no I am not going to pester you for editorial comments. Anyway, thanks for everything. Please keep writing Ethshar stories…. I really like it when you re-visit characters. It has been very interesting, to see characters shown from someone else’s perspective. You are very good at that.
    Thanks again.

  41. As stated earlier, been away for awhile. What is the story with the Unwanted Wardrobe? Clearly it is a serial but what’s its current status?

  42. The Unwanted Wardrobe was an April Fool’s joke. While it’s possible I may someday write a real story with roughly the same premise, the one that’s there now will never have a second chapter.

  43. Drat! I was looking forward to getting chapter 2 in April of 2012!

    My hopes and dreams are utterly CRUSHED! Now I’ll never know if Deyor and Shanelle ever manage to color coordinate.

    I guess that’s what I get for not donating.

  44. Most of what I have to say has already been said, but I like the serial format. I like the interaction with other fans speculating and commenting and I (obviously) enjoy the extra details and commentary that you provide. While I do, generally, prefer to sit and read a book at one go (in a hardcopy version) these things more than make up for it.
    I am more interested in Ethshar than your other work, but not exclusively. I like the 20 year old science fiction (though reprinting the old stuff first would probably have been helpful), and have enjoyed everything else of yours that I’ve read… so I’d still buy other things, just possibly not as fast.

    Serials as advertising; this seems like a pretty important thing. One of the common comments among successful self-publishers and the like is how important self promotion is outside of the major publishing houses, and it seems like the serial format has treated you pretty well in terms of getting noticed various places.

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