HELLO THURSDAY HAVE SOME STUFF!!!
Stuff the first: I have committed Tumblr. Again. I wasn’t keeping up with the Ask A Goblin site, and when I realized six months had gone by without an update, I decided it was time to retire the site. But I still kind of wanted a Tumblr, both for reading purposes and to share random stuff. So I created Tumbling Down the Goblin Hole, which will be used for precisely whatever the heck I feel like posting.
The convention/conference schedule has gotten a little ridiculous over the past month or two. I am incredibly excited and a little overwhelmed, and there’s at least one potential big deal for 2014 that I can’t talk about yet. All I’m gonna say for now is that sometimes this gig is awesomely surreal. And also, thank you.
Have you seen Brotherhood Workshop yet? It’s a YouTube channel of LEGO Lord of the Rings stop-motion videos. Their latest offering is a showdown between the Goblin King and the Cave Troll. Sigh…nobody every wants the goblins to win.
RANDOM PICTURE OF TAZ THE CAT HELPING MY DAUGHTER WITH HER HOMEWORK!
Finally, for those who might have wondered, the unofficial title for the third book in the Magic ex Libris series is Unbound. I’ve got a summary written up, and will be sending that to my agent soon.
Daniel D. Webb
March 21, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
This is downright presumptuous, so I’ll apologize in advance, and reaffirm that you of course have no obligation to pay attention to me at all. But it’s something that, at least once a week, I find myself wanting to call up an author and warn them about, so here’s a bookseller’s perspective.
The thing about titles is that if they consist of something witty and/or catchy that is impossible to copyright, expect competition. I don’t know how many times customers have expressed surprise that there can be more than one book with the same title. It is a sadly regular occurrence that I have to send them away because, despite my knowledge of books and the resources provided by my company, I’m not able to narrow it down based on what they know to figure out which book they want.
An Amazon.com search I just did on “unbound” brings up 67,646 hits–and that’s narrowing it down to the category of books alone. Barnes & Noble’s in-store database only returns 125 hits at a time, which means if a given title is not one of the top 125-selling books with that title, it won’t even come up.
A title like that is basically gambling that all your potential readers know exactly who you are and what they want; asking for “Unbound” by Jim C. Hines is an easy search, whether they’re doing it at home on Amazon or have walked into a brick-and-mortar store. People, I’m afraid, are not so reliable. I pity the bookseller who has to figure out “It’s about, like, books? And they come to life or something?” or “Y’know, he’s that guy who does the funny pictures in drag,” and yes, both those things will happen. At home, folks could probably narrow it down with a simple Google search–the ones who don’t look at the 67,646-hit-long list and give up on the spot.
You’ve always done such great titles. “Libriomancer” and “Codex Born” are both entirely unique. The same is true of everything in the Goblin and Princess series; no competition. It’s easy for readers to find you knowing only a very little detail. Heck, that fact alone can help people find your newest if the title is trickier to pin down. One of my best tricks for finding such a thing for a customer is asking if they know any other books by that author.
Based on what the title “Unbound” hints at for the story, I’m already excited about it, whatever you choose to call it. Sorry for cluttering up your comments with my dissertation; I hope it’s in some way helpful, or at least not too annoying.
March 21, 2013 @ 3:36 pm
What’s up with cats and paper? If a receipt drops on the floor, the cat will sit on it. Paper must have some magnetic quality perceived only by cats.
Oh, and congrats on the secret big thing.
March 21, 2013 @ 4:15 pm
Somewhat OT but Audible continues to be very cool and sent me a notification that I could now download “Libriomancer” with the new narrator from my library. So not only did they notice the problem but those of us who bought the first version get the new version without having to do anything. I can’t speak to the improvement yet as I’m buried in book 4 of a series right now but the reviews look better!
March 21, 2013 @ 5:52 pm
I firmly believe cats have pushed us to use our thumbs to develop first paper (for sitting on and shredding) and then cardboard boxes to sit in. Really, the whole history of technology may be driven by cats. Agriculture? Attracts tasty rodents to eat. Industrial Revolution? Paper, boxes, shipping that requires boxes, tasty cans of food. Computers? Warm things to sit on that cause humans to stay still and make laps and order things in boxes.
Oh, and what the first guy said about the title. Plus nowadays, with the 50 Shades, “bound” means more than books…
Jim C. Hines
March 21, 2013 @ 8:05 pm
I’m very happy to hear it! I was bummed about the problems with the first narrator, but I’m loving Audible for the steps they’ve taken to try to make things right.
Jim C. Hines
March 21, 2013 @ 8:08 pm
Thanks, Daniel. There’s certainly time for some back-and-forth about the title with my editor. That said, there’s a lot I like about “Unbound,” both thematically for the events of the story, and for the connection to bookbinding, which fits into the pattern of the previous books. But I’ll mention this to the editor and see what she thinks. Thanks!
March 21, 2013 @ 9:44 pm
Yey Gencon! Do you know what days you will be doing events/signings etc yet? I don’t want to miss out!
Jim C. Hines
March 22, 2013 @ 8:07 am
I don’t believe it’s 100% final yet, but it looks like I’ll be doing panels and signings Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The dealer’s hall signings will be Thursday and Friday afternoon, and Saturday right before lunch. Assuming nothing changes 😉