My friend Kleenestar observed recently that “once you get to a certain critical mass of not-posting, the return to semi-regular posting is shockingly hard.” This is very, very true. And it goes double at the end of a semester.
So, my apologies for the silence. I’ll return to the world of the e-living by giving an update on Doppelganger.
More reviews in various places, mostly on blogs, a few on Amazon. Another negative review, too. This one, I will link to; it’s on the Green Man Review. (For the record, I didn’t link to the last one because it was someone’s journal, and I didn’t want to give the impression that I was asking anybody to go defend me in the comments thread. This one, on the other hand, is in a publication that habitually publishes reviews.)
It’s very odd, seeing the utterly contradictory nature of the positive and negative responses I’ve gotten. The GMR review doesn’t like the world or the characters all that much. Other people have spoken glowingly of that selfsame world, those selfsame characters. At least one person has found my prose terrible; others have raved in favor of it (though in the vein of “it’s nice and tight” rather than “wow, it’s really artistic”). Some of that is personal taste. Some of it, I imagine, is a matter of focus; you might pay attention to the aspects of the world that are original, while someone else is more attentive to those that aren’t. Some of it is probably perspective, since originality is partly a matter of what you’re accustomed to. Hell, thanks to my late introduction to The Lord of the Rings, I cruised happily through fantasy for many years without spotting who was ripping off Tolkien.
I’ve been getting fan-mail. Is that weird or what? <g> Over two dozen complete strangers have written to me since the book came out, telling me how much they liked it. For those of them who might be reading this journal: I am grateful to each and every one of you. No, really. As much as it boggles me to be getting such messages, this is, in a sense, why I wanted to write: not to get letters from readers, per se (especially since I feel like an idiot, trying to figure out how to respond with anything better than “um, wow, thanks!”), but to tell stories that other people care about. The letters are simply a way for me to know I’ve succeeded at that.
Sales-wise, I have no numbers yet. I won’t get anything official until the first royalty statement, I imagine, which will happen some time after June; they come to me twice a year. (I do get royalty statements, even if I’m not getting royalties yet. They let me know how far away I am from getting royalties yet.) I may get some less official numbers in the nearer future; in fact, I hope so. At the moment, I’m basically going off anecdotal evidence and sporadic checking of my Amazon sales rank against a handy webpage that translates the otherwise meaningless numbers into something like a sales rate. But that doesn’t tell me much, since my rank’s been fluctuating by as much as twenty thousand places. (I kind of wish Amazon would just abolish the bloody thing; it’s little more than a way to feed the fluctuations of my self-confidence.)
Now that the semester’s winding down, I’ll have a little time to do promotion. No concrete plans for that as yet, but watch this space for announcements.
That’s it for the nonce, I believe. Posting should resume as normal, since I’m out of classes now, and virtually done with grading. Ah, summer. How I’ve been looking forward to thee.