Tagged important for authors

How to Request A Book at Your Library! (Important for Authors)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Gentle Reader,

Did you know you can get your local library or school or university library to get my books? ANY of my books? Even the digital versions?

I love the library and I adore librarians, I know there are a handful of you lovelies out there reading this blog. *waves*

I pretty much grew up in my local tiny library and because it was so small I learned pretty quickly to request books. Well, you can do that with new books, print books AND these days electronic books too through a handy dandy thing called Overdrive (also Bibliotheca).

I want anyone who needs the comfort food of my books to be able to get ahold of them.

You can help me spread the love.

You see an actual request from a library card-carrying patron has an immense impact on library stock. In fact, there is pretty much NOTHING I can do to get my books into libraries if you don’t ask for them, especially my independent stuff like the Parasolverse novellas and the San Andreas Shifter series.

Even if I donate books, if they haven’t been requested, the library usually just sells them, without even bothering to put them into their collection.*

How to request your library carry my books…

On your library’s website (or in person) there is usually a form where you can request a book be purchased.

The link could be called anything from “suggest a title” to “ask us to purchase.”

Request the digital version?

Hopefully your library is connected to OverDrive…

  1. Log in to your library’s OverDrive site. Use your library card number and pin.
  2. Search for the book by title.
  3. Add titles you can recommend.
  4. Hover over the cover, Recommend
  5. You can choose either to be notified or to be placed on hold & enter your email addy.
  6. Recommend this title.

It’s pretty self explanatory but a librarian can guide you through it.

You can do this for all of my books and for books from many other authors you love. Mine are also available for Bibliotheca, but I am not familiar with the step-by-step process.

I work hard to make certain everything I can make available to libraries, is made available. So please, spread the love!

In case you didn’t know or haven’t been able to read them. Here’s my independently produced books that are less likely to be readily available at your library. But you can request them!

  • How To Marry A Werewolf (Channing’s novella) 9781944751142
  • Poison or Protect (Preshea’s novella) 9781944751043
  • Romancing the Werewolf (Biffy & Lyall’s novella) 9781944751104
  • Romancing the Inventor (Genevieve Lefoux’s novella) 9781944751067
  • The Sumage Solution 9781944751081

Also if you want to teach with the Finishing School books, there are FREE downloads to help on my website:

So there it is, I hope this post has been helpful. A remember it doesn’t have to just be my books.

Yours (in the library),

Miss Gail

Want more on libraries from the author perspective?

Update on OverDrive from Elizabeth Spann Craig

Overdrive vs Libby: Which Will Serve You Best?

OUT IN SEPTEMBER!

Amazon | B&N  

All books in the first print run of 10,000 are SIGNED.
If you want it dedicated or are paranoid about ensuring it’s signed,
you can order it via Borderlands Books using the SIGNED button on my website.

NOT USA?

Borderlands Books will ship to you.
Order using the SIGNED button on my website.

This special edition of Soulless includes 10 stunning full page illustrations in Edward Gorey style by the talented Jensine Eckwall.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Officer of the Day, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Octopuses from Space!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Weirdest Things Done In The Name Of Books

Book News:

booooOOOOOooooks

Quote of the Day:

“How did we go from tea to death so quickly?”

~ Gail Carriger, Prudence

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


10 Best Packing Tips For Authors (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

This blog originally written for and posted at Fiction University. If you are an author or a soon to be author, it’s a great blog to follow. I highly recommend it.

10 Best Packing Tips For Authors

I used to be an archaeologist. Now I write fiction for a living.

Biggest surprise when I switched careers?

I travel more as an author than I ever did as an archaeologist.

These days I have one event a month, mostly long weekends at conventions, writers conferences, book fairs, or comic cons. I also do several longer writing retreats and the occasional book tour.


No matter what the event, if attending as an author there are the ten things I always pack!

Professional Author Packing List

1. Business Cards

  • Front, glossy: A picture the 1st books (up to 3) in my most popular series.
  • Back, matte: Name & contact information (I believe website & email are sufficient).
  • Plenty of white space on the back so people can write notes.

2. Bookmarks and Other Swag

Swag is a contentious subject. I don’t use mine for promo (not intentionally). Instead I see swag as something special to give devoted readers. So I usually have exclusive in-person bookmarks, postcards, badge ribbons, or pins.

3. Name Tent

I recommend making your own name tent. You might need your own for signings or panels, especially for an easily misspelled name. I printed mine in my preferred font, on good card stock, and then laminated it.

4. Book Cover Art

The hardcover dust jackets, or a publisher’s sample paperback cover art, make great standees. I suggest packing the first books in a series, only. It isn’t always done to “prop a book up” on panels or other speaking engagements, but it’s best to be prepared in case it is done, without having to lug around actual books.

5. Signing Pens

Whatever your preferred pen is, pack several. Since I get strange signing requests (parasols, anyone?) I travel with different kinds of pens: black and gold sharpies, a highlighter, and my preferred gel signing pens (loaded into a vintage-looking necklace).

6. Tiny Notebook

I always find myself thinking of something to jot down while in a meeting or on a panel, so I like to carry something with me for notes (lately I settled on these waterproof grid paper ones). Otherwise I end up using my phone, which comes off as rude.

7. Newsletter Sign Up Sheet

I always pack a stack of print outs for the Chirrup. It gives shy readers something to do while I’m signing their books, and reaches those who aren’t on social media.

8. Professional Attire

Whether attending an event for the purposes of promotion, education, or networking it’s best to dress up rather than down. You don’t have to go to my lengths, but at least attempt proper attire.

9. Layers and Folding Tote

Convention centers and hotels have notoriously tricky atmospheres. It’s usually worth lugging around a light jacket, cardigan, or shawl. I find a folding tote also works wonders, as it’s also good for all the extra bits that I shed or accumulate throughout the day.

10. Save Yourself, Save Others

Someone will love you for one or all of the following:

  • Individually wrapped toothpicks
  • Tissues
  • Breath mints (If someone offers you a breath mint ALWAYS take it. They’re trying to tell you something.)
  • Pain killers and other useful over-the-counter meds (like activated charcoal)
  • Snacks

Further Reading for Authors!

Further Reading for Travellers

Further Listening!

Gail travels so much she started a podcast, 20 Minute Delay, about it.

Coop de Book for August is A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole. This couple reminds me of a contemporary Conall & Alexia. (Discussion here.

——————–

  • Did you miss my latest release? Stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!
  • Coop de Book for July is Competence, of course. (Discussion here.

OUT NOW!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1911-1914 Longchamp, France via antique-royals tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My fountain pen collection.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Recommended Podcast!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

~ Mark Twain

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Books Sizes – Custard Protocol Models (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Miss Gail!

You cry, the distress coloring your tone, tears in your eyes, lips trembling…

Why can’t I get the print book in the size I desire most?

or

Why is this book slightly bigger/smaller than this other book of yours?

I know honey, I’m a little anal too. I get your pain. I do.

Here have a handkerchief… Cuppa?

Feeling better?

OK, let me explain…

People have very strong opinions on books sizes and formats. We aren’t going to get into a debate about that here – no we aren’t. Instead, I am going to talk about about the very wide range of book sizes that there are in the world and why you can’t always get what you want. (Sing it with me!)

Would you like a sample?

Here is Soulless (and Etiquette & Espionage for scale) in a wide range of sizes. From Left to Right:

  • Hardcover USA
  • Trade Paperback large
  • Trade Paperback medium
  • Mass Market Paperback USA
  • Japanese wee

Shall I make it even more confusing?

A small sample of just trade paperback sizes

the leaning tower of Soulless

Yeah there are different hard covers sizes too. I know, right?

Honestly it’s a mess.

So that’s what the world of publishing is like. (You can carry that same level of illogical chaos into the business side of the industry too.)

Book sizes are further complicated by metric versus not metric. (For reasons of me being a former archaeologist, I tend to blog in metric.)

Different books sizes: USA Hardcover, USA trade paperback, UK b-format trade paperback

See above, that’s just the English language new releases!

Still with me?

The Custard Protocol books release to the USA in hardcover, then about six months after the USA trade paperback releases.

  • We aren’t going to talk about hard cover because I can’t control that. Or, more precisely, at the moment I don’t want to.
  • We aren’t going to talk about mass market. That’s my favorite size and my books don’t come out in it anymore. I’m a bitter sad resentful old bitty about it.

Instead we will talk…

TRADE PAPERBACK

USA Trade (non-standardized)

For Gail Carriger (that’s me), that size in the USA is:

20.85 cm X 13.80 cm

This is the exact same size of the Finishing School and Parasol Protectorate trade paperbacks. These are the ones that are still available new.  So if you wanted all my novels in EXACTLY the same size, then you’d need the USA trade paperback size.

However…

In the UK the most common (although there is a wide range) trade paperback size is something called b-format.

B-Format (UK standard)

That size is:

19.80 cm X 12.60

These are all stupid measurements. It bugs the donkey’s butt out of me.

So B format is smaller than USA trade (for me).

Guess what else, I can’t print exactly that size myself for my self published projects.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Why?

When self publishing, especially in order to distribute as widely as possible and in as many different parts of the world, I’m much more limited in options similar to either of my USA or UK trade – that still allow me to cover costs. (I already make little to no money on print editions of my indie books, going custom is simply not an option.)

So I chose…

20.20 cm X 12.50 cm

That’s taller but about the same width as the UK’s B-format.

Why use that size?

Well that’s billed as 8 X 5 inches on most publishing platforms. It actually isn’t, it’s slightly smaller, but it’s good enough, and it’s easiest to work with. This size has been standardized as the smallest option for self pub, easily accessible, on both Ingram and Createspace. I prefer smaller books and I need to stay smaller for my novellas so I get some kind of spine to work with. (It needs to be thinker.)

So that’s what you get.

So yeah, If you’re upset that Competence for the UK is about 4 mm taller than Prudence and Imprudence. I tried, I really did. But at least this matches to my novellas. And the Custard Protocol series is interrupted by novellas, if you want to stack them that way on your shelf at least so all the later ones will match.

Wait, what?

Written & in-world chronological reading order of my recent books should go something like:

  1. Prudence (Custard Protocol Book 1)
  2. Imprudence (Custard Protocol Book 2)
  3. Romancing the Werewolf (Supernatural Society Novella)
  4. Competence (Custard Protocol Book 3)
  5. How to Marry a Werewolf (Claw & Courtship Novella)
  6. Reticence (Custard Protocol Book 4)
  7. More Claw & Courtship novellas possibly set before/during, or after Reticence.

Make sense?

No it doesn’t. But then again the fricken sizes of books makes no sense to me, why shouldn’t I pass along the pain?

The suffering.

Oh, publishing.

Yours etc,

Miss Gail

You Don’t Have To Take My Word For It

Having A Preference On The Shape Of Books

Meanwhile over on 20 Minute Delay I tell a HORROR story about a Lyft experience and Piper and I go deep on how we get around on the ground, from Public Transport to the gig economy to Car Rentals.

Secondary Travel; How to get around Once you’ve arrived at your destination”

We also get into extended stay suites, how to stay safe while using ride-share services, stopping for cannolis in New York, and tracking progress when someone else drives. Piper talks about choosing between rental cars and ride-shares, positive car-service experiences and rental car apps. Listen to the podcast on our:

Website | via RSS | on iTunes

COMING JULY 17!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ensemble 1913 The Philadelphia Museum of Art _ OMG that dress!

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Too shy cards...

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Aggie by Ace Artemis Fan Artist

Quote of the Day:

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”

~ James Bryce

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


10 Authors Who Helped My Career Early On (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good day Gentle Reader,

I decided to join in a bit of fun and spread the love by sharing ten authors who have helped me in my career.

Whether it was blurbing my very first book or for on-going counsel and friendship, read on to find out who!

Since I have had (and accumulated) so many over my decade as a pro, I decided to go with only those specifically from very early on in my career who maybe didn’t realize how important they were to me.

10 Authors Who Helped Miss Gail Early On

  1. Mike Shepherd
    Mike invited me to sit with him during lunch at a con when I was a wide-eyed wannabe impressionable young writer. He gave me good advice and, most importantly, was kind and generous with his time. He modeled for me how an author ought to behave with new unknown writers. I’ve tried to do him justice by paying it forward, now that I’m a grizzled old warrior myself.
  2. Mur Lafferty
    Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast gave me hope in dark times and was a voice of reason for years before I ever met her in person. Being interviewed for this podcast was a personal goal of mine and possibly a greater honor than being nominated for the Campbell (sorry SFWA). I’m delighted to call her a friend and peer, and couldn’t be more thrilled by her continued success.

    Howard Tayler, Mur Lafferty, Gail Carriger at WorldCon in Melbourne

  3. Howard Tayler
    I met Howard because I recognized his voice at a con party from his podcast Writing Excuses. (I trotted across the room at him waving an accusatory finger and saying, “You’re 15 minutes long!” To which he replied, deadpan, “And not that smart.” We’ve been great friends ever since. I’ve always enjoyed his very different perspective on being a creative, having come out of the world of online comics.
  4. Angie Fox
    Angie gave me my very first cover blurb. And very very kind she was too.
  5. Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    Kris holds the starring roll as the first time I encountered an established author who had read and enjoyed my books. She was almost giddy when she met me at a con party. From such an icon of the field, I was utterly overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and approval. I’ve watched her career evolve to being entirely indie, and I read her business blog with great interest. I don’t always agree with her, but I utterly respect her.
  6. Mercedes Lackey
    So important as an inspiration, and then to get to meet her in person and learn she read my books and enjoyed them. I’m still get giddy thinking about it. I have a whole blog about her importance to my queer characters (and identity).
  7. Peter V Brett
    Initially we met at World Fantasy 2009, Soulless’s launch weekend. But it was a few months later, when Peat came trundling up to a small East Coast con to say hi and hang out, that we became thick as thieves. We’ve been devoted author chums ever since. Right up to and including the part where he (and the lovely Wesley Chu) consoled my sobbing drunk arse at World Fantasy in 2012 after B&N lost 500 signed books. It was Peat who came up with the solution, and it’s Peat who I still go to at those times when the author and business sides of my life conflict in painful ways.
  8. Ken Scholes
    From the very beginning Ken and I were clearly kindred spirits. He was at a World Con new author meet & greet, I sat down next to him, and neither of us ever looked back.
  9. Mike Perschon
    In the arena of steampunk Mike (and Kevin, of course) have always been my foundation. Mike brought with him an entirely new perspective and academic way of looking at genre which I love and always find valuable. He also has the most wonderful voice. Someday I will write a Canadian werewolf character in honor of Mike.
  10. J Daniel Sawyer
    Dan is my rock, there’s no other way of putting it. We’ve written together, argued, driven around the country, consoled each other, and bolstered each other up. Our lives have taken us in different directions but we still try to Skype regularly and I know he’s always at the end of a phone line if I need him. He’s written me into his books, and I’ve written him into mine. We still work on projects together, as he is the audio genius behind Crudrat and now 20 Minute Delay.

So there you have it. Bet you didn’t know a lot of these Gail intimates, because as important as we are to each other, we don’t really talk about it publicly that much.

Anyway, show them a little joy if you can, try a book or two, tell them Gail sent you along with her love.

And in the immortal words of Dan, “be good to yourself” (and to the people who support you).

Yours,

Miss Gail

(Inspired by a Facebook Post from Piper J Drake.)

COMING JULY 17!

Amazon (hardcover) (audio) | B&N (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

 KoboiBooks | Audible

SIGNED edition, use the SIGNED button

NOT USA?

 Amazon.uk (paperback)| Book Depository (paperback) Kobo

Direct from Gail for Kindle .mobi | non-Amazon digital readers .epub

 Competence by Gail Carriger is the third in the Custard Protocol series featuring Primrose, Rue, and all their crazy friends..

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Guy Rose – The Green Parasol 1911 (Source- my-museum-of-art.blogspot.com)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“You know you’re a writer when…

You meet someone who’s a jerk and the first thing you think is, “Dammit, now that perfectly good name is ruined for future characters.”

~ Gail Carriger

Book News:

Outfits for Tash from Ace Artemis

Quote of the Day:

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


How to Review a Podcast on Apple iTunes, Step-by-Step Instructions (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I make no bones about my love of podcasts, Gentle Reader, in fact I have one of my own (20 Minute Delay) all about travel hacks.

One of the things that really helps podcasts (in much the same way that it helps books) is reviews. For Podcasts the best place to put those reviews is on Apple, because they kind of own the ecosystem. (For books, it’s Amazon.) Whether you consume using that platform is kinda irrelevant.

However, it is HARD to review a podcast on Apple! Especially on a desktop.

Well the amazing Kelly recently showed me how much easier it is to do on the phone, so I thought I would also tell you all.

How to Review a Podcast on Apple/iTunes

In 5 Easy Steps

You need to have Apple’s native “Podcasts” app installed on your mobile device. You don’t have to use it to consume podcasts (in fact I recommend Overcast myself).

Open the app and get started.

1. Click on the “Search” option at the bottom.

2. Type in the name of the podcast you are looking to review:

For example “20 Minute Delay” click on “search” or the name of the podcast if it came up.

3. Click on the podcast image (AKA it’s card).

4. Scroll to the very bottom to the Ratings & Reviews section.

5. There you can give it a rating and write a review. It’s easy to just do a star rating if that’s all you want to do, but adding a nice few sentences is always better.

And there you have it, one kind way to give back that doesn’t cost money.

OUT NOW!

Amazon (print) | Kobo | B&N (print) | iBooks 

Direct from Gail (Optional Signed Edition) 

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger features a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him).

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

Bookshelf Fantasies says:

“This is a charming novella that works as a stand-alone, although prior experience with Gail Carriger’s steampunk/supernatural world certainly is helpful (and possibly even essential). I love everything about her books, and this piece fits nicely into the world she’s created…”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1911 via Ephemeral Elegance @drapedinhistory 1911 dress

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Poc Queer Romance Authors Community Page

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Two concepts every professional author should understand when applied to the publishing industry (both indie and trad) and marketing:

Book News:

Fan Art Conall lord_maccon_in_anubis_form_by_mommyspike-d4al8wa

Quote of the Day:

“No one is prepared for a crochet penis.”

~ Drunk Pip on retreat (still true tho)

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Have You Considered Making It Funny? The Power of Humor as Subversion (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Humor is POWER

Comedy in writing is an interesting thing, Gentle Reader. I talk about it a lot in person, but I don’t really write about it that much here on the interwebs. Whatcha know, this is special.

Writing about comedy is a little like watching one of those cooking shows, a frustrating tease. It destroys the magic, knowing how it gets made and you still don’t get to enjoy it when it’s finished.

So instead of writing about what humor is in literature, I’d going to talk about what it can do.

The Semantics of Funny Business

Can I get something out of the way first?

By humor I mean a great deal more than a sassy angst-driven pixie dream girl vomiting forth her quirky first-person perspective on life’s current tragedy. Humor is not just wit and treading the dark line between horror and slapstick.

Comedy can be anything from puns, to twisted sentences, interjected narration, complex word building, ludicrous situations, absurd exaggeration, contrast, oddball perspective, and so much more.

What humor really is, and what many more serious writers (and readers and critics) forget is that it is also a tool.

A very powerful tool.

Inbox Cat Licks Her Lips At You

 

Humor & Narrative Structure

From a purely mechanical perspective comedic moments in prose are instruments of pace. A reader will forgive many things if you make them laugh. For example, a long drawn out description is easy to digest when there are a two points of connected titillation in the beginning and middle that yields up a laugh at the end.

Comedy is part of the heartbeat of a book, as much as any action sequence. It can be used to relax a reader right before delivering a strong narrative punch, thus making that punch more powerful. It can also be used to intentionally break tension, giving the reader some breathing room.

Many authors develop a sing-song voice to their narration (sentence and paragraph structure, even length of words and the order they follow each other). This can lull readers into listlessness, wake them up with a shake of laughter, and suddenly they are once more paying very close attention to the text.

Comedy Long Form

My favorite moments of comedy are the long interwoven ones that come with plot, world-building and character.

I imagine my reader laughing out loud and a friend asking, “What’s so funny?”  The reader would have to describe the whole book, or the entire world, or a character’s background for the hilarity to be understood.

I call these “you had to be there” jokes.

This kind of humor is interwoven with fabric of the story and is, usually, instrumental in defining a book as comedic.

Most authors use some form of humor at some point, even if only a bit of witty dialogue. Funny things can happen in suspense, mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. But these are usually high notes, unexpected bright points, that give the reader a point of uplift, a chance to catch their breath.

Comedy authors tend to run the opposite pattern, the story runs brighter and lighter so that the readers pause for breath is in the moments of sadness, and poignancy. But much as the humor is more stark in a generally darker book, that moment of sadness can be more striking and impactful in a funny book.

Did you read that? I’ll say it again. If you write mostly comedy when you have something important, emotionally wrenching, or vital to say it will stick out and stick in reader’s minds by contrast.

Characters & Silences

Comedy has an interesting effect of characterization. I’ve found over the years that it is often my most humorless characters that readers gravitate towards. The grouchy ones, and the glum ones, and the ones who have very little to say draw attention by contrast. With all these crazy hilarious dramatic stars twinkling about, it is the quiet darkness the reader ends up focusing on.

Dancers have a saying that the moment you are still on a stage is as important (if not more so) than the movements before and after.

Whether the funny parts of a book are its movement, or whether they make up the silence in between, it is the difference that readers are picking upon, and it is the contrast that will leave the most lasting memories and have the most profound effect.

My Cat Thinks You’re Hilarious

Subversion

Which leads me to my point.

Oh yes, I have one.

If you take nothing else from this, please realize that comedy is a tool, and a powerful one that can have a profound impact on readers.

As a culture we are tempted to dismiss funny things, after all, it is hard to take funny seriously. Because comedy is so easily dismissed, it becomes all the more powerful. One has only to look at sitcoms on US TV and the way they have, over the years, altered the  perception of what it means to be an American family, from the Brady Bunch to the aptly titled Modern Family. Yes, in some ways these shows played catch-up to the real world, but in other ways they normalized those differences to generations who lived without alternate models.

Hidden behind laughter is possibility.

You see the secret is, what’s funny can become what’s normal.

Laughter and relaxation can become belief and hope and understanding in a way that slides around harshness, and anger, and resistance. As an author I want my books, first a foremost to leave readers smiling. But if the comedy has really done its job, it also leaves them more accepting of the differences in themselves and others.

This article originally written for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor.

As always, you don‘t have to take my word for it.

Do you want more behind the scenes info? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

LATEST RELEASE!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Japanese Parasol

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Tea in the Office

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Harper’s Bazaar New York Sat June 13 1891

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Saying “Goodbye” Is Never Easy

Book News:

Fan Make Manga Doll

Quote of the Day:

“A lady must always be prepared. Snacks are an essential part of espionage.”

~ Gail Carriger, Manners & Mutiny

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


I Blame Jane Austen for 6 Popular Tropes in the Romance Genre & My First Story Bundle (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Before I start today’s blog, Gentle Reader, I’m DELIGHTED to announce that I am participating in my very first Story Bundle! It’s the Sorcery & Steam Bundle and it’s live for one month & one month only!

The Sorcery and Steam Bundle

Curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Sorcery. Steam. Ghosts. A touch of romance. Mythic creatures. Some truly violent bad guys. And one little black cat.

Now on to your regularly scheduled blog post!

There are a lot of tropes in genre fiction and romance in particular. This is a good thing for us readers because often what we are looking for is a new take on an old trope. There is comfort in that.

A while ago, I was thinking about Jane Austen under the context of romance tropes and identified what I have called, ever since…

The 6 Austens:

  1. Emma  ~ Friends to Lovers (or Consanguinity): close friendship blossoms into romance (this one is also May/December)
  2. Mansfield Park ~ Unrequited Love: X has loved Y forever, they finally get together
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ Enemies to Lovers: X and Y dislike each other, sparks ensue
  4. Sense & Sensibility ~ Sweet Torture (AKA On the Rocks): X and Y are perfect for one another, circumstances tear them apart
  5. Northanger Abby ~ Mistaken identity: X willfully misunderstands Y and Y’s intentions
  6. Persuasion ~ Redemption (or Reunion): X and Y have a past, mistakes were made that must be rectified

Here is a long list of some other popular tropes.

I realized, as I was mucking about with this post that these are also some of the tropes in romance that I most gravitate towards as a reader.

I suspect I should blame too much Austen in my formative years.

This made me wonder how much I’m employing these tropes myself…

  1. Friends to Lovers: Finishing School Series
  2. Unrequited Love: Custard Protocol Series (so far)
  3. Enemies to Lovers: Soulless, Poison or Protect
  4. Sweet Torture: The Sumage Solution
  5. Mistaken Identity: Romancing the Inventor
  6. Redemption (or Reunion): Romancing the Werewolf

Funny that.

I could be shoe horning them in, though, because while I like to categorize things I kinda suck at categorizing my own stuff.

Makes me wonder where How to Marry a Werewolf and The Omega Objection are going to fit.

You probably can already guess on Competence knowing who the main character is!

Yours,

Miss Gail

Did you miss my latest cover art reveal? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for Feb is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.

LATEST RELEASE

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1910 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Lady with the Sunshade

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Some of my favorite Dark Garden corsets

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Piper and I go deep into hotel loyalty & tipping on our latest 20 Minute Delay Episode, plus things people don’t know you can ask for from the front desk.
Also we pick the gadgets that we travel with because hotels don’t have them!
(Also on iTunes)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Chirrup members got the sneak peek of the cover art for Competence last weekend but now the art is everywhere!

Quote of the Day:

“Away we flew. The car, having such a light load, frisked and kicked, and made merry of a journey that to us was becoming very grave.”

~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


In Which Gail Dives Head First Into Also-Boughts (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello my darling Gentle Reader.

This is blog post is going to be one of those long rambling ones where I am ruthlessly using you to try to understand the strange world of ebooks and publishing.

So, yeah, you can skip it if you’re not into that kinda thing.

Also-Boughts!

Oh you know them, they live on Amazon and other book vendors, below the description, lurking like tempting little sweets…

You might also like…

or

or

Readers who likes this book also liked…

Most authors, including me, find these utterly fascinating. It’s basically:

Who am I author-friends with without ever actually meeting them?

A strange kind of author gossip.

We know something (although certainly not everything) about Also-Bought algorithms:

  • They are often tailored not just to the book but to you, the reader, and your previous buying history.

But not everything:

  • They’ve changed a lot over they years, Soulless, for example, had the movie Serenity as an Also-Bought, now that kind of cross pollination between media seems verboten.
  • You can read more about also boughts from an author perspective, here.

I had a new release recently, and with that a shift in my Also-Boughts. At the same time, Amazon (accidentally?) killed sponsored ads site-wide for desktop (who knows if this is a blip or not).

This meant those Als0-Boughts were pretty much the only other thing offered up to readers and for this short spate of time, and they couldn’t be easily hacked into.

So I thought I’d investigate…

Why these books?

Wanna play?

Here are some of my Also-Boughts, in order, and not my own books.

OK, so first we have Louis McMaster Bujold. I love her and she’s quite popular and this is a lower price point than her normal offerings on a recent release, but this looks to be a continuing series het fantasy.

I’m guessing fan crossover is likely responsible?

Jordan L. Hawk. No surprise here. Hawk’s Hexworld is an alternate Victorian universe with shapeshifters featuring gay romances, lots of crossover with Romancing the Werewolf. I purchased it recently myself. I read everything she writes in this universe.

Grace Draven is a killer romantic fantasy author, and this is a holiday novella offering, so it shares that with RTW. I picked her excellent Radiance for Coop de Book a while ago so I’m not surprised to see her here. She’s been making waves for a while now. (Amused to see that title though, what with Georgette Heyer and all.)

A Thousand Miles Up the Nile got a shout in the same Chirrup that announced the RTW release. I’m assuming that’s why it’s here.

Okay, here is where things start to get interesting. With the exception of Trickster’s Queen (which is on massive sale, is by my favorite author, and is spy related so I gave it a huge shout out and I think everyone should buy/read it) the other three are total unknowns to me.

Third page in and already I’m confused, so now I investigate!

Bec McMaster – a name I know because she also writes steampunk (and there really aren’t that many of us). From the cover I am assuming Fantasy Romance. However, from the others in the series this might be steampunk, or at least gaslight fantasy. The price point is right to be rec’d along side RTW and it’s also a recent release. That said hers isn’t a name I hear often from my readers.

Devon Monk – is a urban fantasy author out of Portland with a huge Oregon following. Pacific Northwest is also my biggest US territory. I blame Powell’s. This is a holiday themed short for only $1,99 set in a popular fantasy world, so I’m guessing that explains the connection.

Amy Hoff – Is a totally new name to me, the book is described as a supernatural crime novel “When Scottish folklore meets everyday Glasgow.” This book is in KU and so far is the only KU to show up in the Also-Boughts. I’m wondering that’s why it was nested there? As a kind of lure?

Jeannie Lin is a new author to me but I sure am intrigued. Steampunk China, dark, but fascinating twist on alt-history. Reviews look good. Have any of you read this series?

“In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers, eliminating China’s best chance of fighting back.”

Patricia Briggs is no surprise at all. I nest next to her in bookstores (last names, you see?) and we share quite a few readers. What’s interesting is that it’s the first obviously traditionally published book to show up as an Also-Bought. This is also a pre-order, it’s not out until next March.

Anne Renwick, another new author name to me. (I do try to keep a close eye on my fellow authors, I swear I do!) This is a prequel short set in a KU only steampunk world. Pretty cover.

Josh Lanyon, a surprise to me. This is looks like a straight up noir mystery short, with a dude gumshoe. Not normally a story to be connected with my stuff. But looking at HIS also-boughts and categories it seems like this might be a queer character? And it looks like he writes pretty snarky. I didn’t get any of that from the description or the cover.

KJ Charles is one of the leading authors for MM historical, mainly regency set. So no surprise at all to see her listed here in pre-order form, also this does not look to be a gay romance. Surprised there wasn’t more, to be honest. I really enjoyed her Society of Gentlemen series.

Ministry book, since Tee & Pip are dear friends of mine and we came into steampunk pretty much together I’m not at all surprised to see their next listed here for pre-order. I know we have a ton of crossover fans, to the point where people want cross over stories (sorry, IP issues make that impossible). I believe this is the last one in their Books & Braun series, comes out boxing day.

Nalini Singh & Courtney Milan are two of the biggest stars in the het romance firmament at the moment, the one in PNR and the other in Historical. Courtney and I share an agent, and this is Hamilton related (props on that bandwagon jump). It also looks like her story in the collection might be… could it be … gay? Hummmmm. And one of my Alpha readers is a big Singh fan, although this one is contemporary het rom, so I don’t know how many of my readers would read this book.

Kate Danley (never heard of her). Looks like chick-kicking-arse UF, so basically on brand for my trad books.

Lyn Gala, fantastic gay SF author who I have rec’d a million times, this is her Aberrant Magic series, which is gay UF. I comfort reread her sci fi regularly, don’t know why I never tried this series. Runs off to sample the first book.

Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy was a Coop de Book pick, and it was on super sale recently and I gave it a shout out. Light fantasy with strong historical element and assassins so… yeah. Perhaps not like Romancing the Werewolf, but definitely one for my reader base.

Angel Martinez, I have tried the first book in Offbeat Crimes like three times now. It should be totally my thing: gay, cops, urban fantasy, humor. It’s like a laundry list of Gail’s loves. But for some reason that first book…and you need to read them in order. Grrr.

J Kathleen Cheney.  No clue on this one. Not sure from the description what this series even is. Fantasy maybe?

Okay, there’s a bunch more but I’m gonna leave it there. Not sure where I’m going with this, just find it interesting.

Pippity pip,

Miss Gail

You Don’t have to Take My Word For It

Do you want more behind the scenes info? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for December is The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania Book 1) by TJ Klune.

OUT NOW!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available in digital form (print & audio to follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

Rally the Readers says:

“Don’t let the novella length of Romancing the Werewolf fool you: there’s a sweet, wonderfully developed story here, along with some lovably quirky characters, lots of witty dialogue, and tea. This novella was everything that I’d hoped it would be—simply perfect from beginning to end.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1905 NYU Costume Studies @NYUcostume Mary Garden wearing Redfern Ltd., Les Modes 1905.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Lilliput on her 5th Birthday

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Caffeine in tea – is it bad for you?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Top 20 Scariest Things Ever Said to Writers

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


Where’s the print edition? The Mess Behind Self-Pub ~ Some Sad Hybrid Truths (Occasional FAQ)

Posted by Gail Carriger

The moment I list a new book, Gentle Reader I get hundreds of people asking…

I really appreciate your enthusiasm!

I’m going to state up front one basic truth:

If the book is long enough (novella or longer), I will always endeavor to publish a print edition for you.

That said…

I am no longer promising to try to synchronise Print with Digital release dates.

I will bring out most books in print as soon as possible, but it will always be after the digital edition.

This statement applies to my independently published works:

Here’s Why Print Editions Are Delayed

  1. Lack of Print Pre-Order:
    There is no way to set up pre-order for print safely and without great financial risk. We can hope Amazon will fix that (and yes, with 75% of the market or more, I will be talking mainly about Amazon). If I want to workaround their prohibition on pre-ordering print, it takes too much time, effort, and TOS risk to make me comfortable.
  2. 3rd Party Scraping:
    In order to get print set to drop at the right time, I have to list the book with Createspace or IngramSpark and then take it off distribution. This means that 3rd party scrapers find the book during the brief moment it’s offered wholesale. They then list it for sale, even though it isn’t (they just throttle shipping when you order from them) which brings us to…
  3. Buy Button Scammers:
    Since Amazon changed TOS there has a been a big scramble to steal buy buttons. I’m a prime target for this kind of thing as I work hard to promote my pre-order and get everyone excited. Then a 3rd party can basically steal all the print pre-sales from me by listing it before I do (see point #2) and charging extra. Readers think that’s my print pre-order, and then the 3rd party just pretends to ship even though they don’t have the book.
    * How to Avoid Scams While Shopping on Amazon?
    * Why Are They Selling Used Books On Amazon At Crazy Prices?
    * Amazon Out of Stock Issues (the Pros and Cons of Publishing with CreateSpace, IngramSpark/Lightning Source)
    * More on how the Buy Button effects authors & scammers
  4. BookBub Rejection:
    BookBub will not send out a new release notification to my followers if someone else (e.g. 3rd party scammers) lists the book as already published. What the scammers do is list an early publication date. Then BookBub says they can’t post a new release about my new book, because the print book was “already out months ago” according to its Amazon’s listing.
  5. Possible Copyright Issues:
    This TERRIFIES me. If someone else can claim my book released early, they can also try to claim my copyright. Fortunately, I have a  killer IP lawyer. Still, I’d rather not have to use him, because we are getting very expensive, all because the print edition. Which can’t make back that kind of money.
  6. Print Edition Sale Date:
    There is no way to schedule a strict on sale date for the print edition. You submit to Createspace, they say “available between 5-7 days,” and drop it 3 hours later. I’m not a gambler, I hate not being able to have everything planned.
  7. Price wars:
    Between 3rd party scammers, Ingram’s restriction, and Barnes & Noble all trying to claim market share on print books I can’t control the price of my book. Print is already a favor to the fans, and guess who loses out if someone decides to slash the price and Amazon decides to price match? Yeah… me.
  8. Vendors Don’t Care:
    Never make the mistake of thinking Amazon or any other vendor will do anything about any of this. They do not care about authors. They do not care about readers. They care about profit. They are a business. That is their business. So I must safeguard myself.

Finally, and here is where I get possibly too honest (but that’s ever an issue with me):

I can’t make enough money off print editions of my self-published books to make any of this worth my time. Self-pub print editions are less than 3% of my income.

They are, literally and figuratively, a luxury item that I produce for those of my readers who must have print editions.

Yes dahlink, I’m looking at you.

So where does that leave us?

  • Me, still trying to get the print to you as fast as possible but it will likely start to run a week to a month behind digital releases.
  • You, still writing me emails, comments, and such every time I publish a book and it isn’t instantly in print.
  • Me, directing you to this blog post. *waves*

Could be worse, you could not want it at all, right?

Or it could be audio, which always takes way longer than it should.

All that said, I will still try to continue to use Borderlands to pre-sell print editions. That, I believe, I can do simply because they are close enough to me that I can physically truck books over to them using BART. (See how much I love you? PHYSICAL LABOR on PUBLIC TRANSPORT!) So if you really want it, you’ll end up having to go through them.

Final Thoughts ~ Gail Bucks Tradition

Here is the thing, I come out of traditional publishing and putting all three editions out at once (digital, print, audio) is a traditional approach. It’s intended to make a run on the Lists. It helps with a broad reach. It does all sorts of important things. There is something admirable about it, no fan is left in the dust. But it is traditional.

I’m not that kind of person. You know I like manners and history, but tradition?

I’ve always been interested in experimenting with new things as an author. Jumping whole hog into something different. When my publisher calls me up and says, “Would you let us try…?” I almost always say “YES!”

That’s why I went hybrid in the first place.

That’s why my books are such weird mash-ups of so many different genres.

I don’t like to be in a category.

Nevertheless, I tried to do my self-published stuff the same way my publisher does my traditionally published stuff and…

…it doesn’t work.

I should have known that from the outset. Because not only it is not my style but the system is not set up for an individual author to fight that particular fight. Not even an author like me who has the most enthusiastic killer fabulous fans on the planet.

So I’ll be trying other ways going forward until I figure out what works best for me.

Unique, my dear! Unique.

One of the things I’m trying is occasionally throwing a short in with the print edition, to make it a little different from the digital, given print readers have to wait slightly. A perk of gratitude.

I hope you don’t mind being on this strange experimental journey with me.

As always, many hugs,

Miss Gail

Publishing Moves On. Do Readers?

More on Amazon in 2018: Buy Button, Launching a Book, & Promotion

P.S. If you subscribed to the Chirrup, you’d already know all this.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September 2017 is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now in all editions.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1901 Afternoon Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My friend Alex White models his book

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

10 Steps to Making a Living as a Self-Published Fiction Author

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Does Microwaving Water Result in Such Lousy Tea?

Book News:

The Hat Tilt On My Cover Art

Reading My Collection says of Prudence:

“This book is ridiculous, wonderful and fantastic…. It was a delight reading the adventures of the grown up children of characters I came to love.”

Quote of the Day:

“When all else fails, dress beautifully and throw your food.”

~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


7 Side Effects of Being a Full Time Author (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I’ve been a full time author for five years now, and I’ve learned a few things. Here, Gentle Reader, are some of the side effects of my life choices.

1. My spelling is worse than it ever was.

While my typing has gotten faster my accuracy certainly has not. Follow me on Twitter for the sad consequences of this fact.

2. I have never read that book you think I should have.

New book, old book, whatever the book is that you think I should read because of what I write, or assume I have read because of my genre. I probably haven’t read it.

3. I know about all the octopuses on the internet.

All of them. All the time. First.

Octopus Mug

4. My passion for the oxford comma is unbending.

I’m open to wiggle room on other points of grammatical enforcement, but you will pry the oxford comma from my cold dead calloused fingers.

5. Cocktail parties are a minefield.

What do you do?
I’m a writer.
What do you write?
Commercial genre fiction.

Then the conversation inevitably goes horribly wrong, either…

  1. I have to explain genre by using dumb Hollywood examples.
  2. They assume I’m some starving artist type who lives off my tech-bound significant other.
  3. They want to tell me all about the brilliant book they have inside them. (Which is invariably not brilliant and should stay inside, preferably buried with a small but elegant tombstone.)
  4. They want me to write the book of their: life, times, weak imagination.

Godeys Sept 1872

6. I have no sense of time

I never know what day of the week it is and I never know if it’s a national holiday. Ever. The number of times I have gone to the bank and then been confused as to why it’s closed are almost as frequent as the number of times I’ve gotten up and gone into the office, even though it’s Saturday.

7. There is no retirement, there is only writing

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

Love Bytes says:

“And if that is how the author treats her secondary characters, you can be damn sure that her protagonists are wonderfully written. They have layers and flaws–some not so obvious on first or second inspection–and grow throughout the book in the way all good characters should.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1900ongesoleil- “The Umbrella Maker” Studio Shin-e-Do ( Kobe, Japan ). End 19th century? Kimbei Kusakabe.(1841-1934). Photographer

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

New TSA Policy May Lead to Increased Scrutiny of Reading Material

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

My Top Five Suggestions for People Thinking about Writing a Book

Book News:

FanArtCharactersparasol_protectorate_sketches_by_terrizae

Quote of the Day:

The truth about Gail & tea comes out at last

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


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