I had a great time at New York Comic Con last weekend. There was a huge banner for the upcoming Shannara Chronicles show as well as over 160,000 visitors. Being an introvert, it was a bit overwhelming, but I had a great time signing books, my new graphic novel, and speaking on a panel with many illustrious authors.
One of the questions asked during the panel was about trends in Science Fiction and Fantasy literature and whether we (as authors) follow trends or try to invent new ones. If you look at the top bestsellers of Fantasy right now, there is a lot of paranormal (I’ve heard that the big money is in writing about billionaire shapeshifters) and a lot of grimdark (fantasy worlds that are violent, amoral, and depressing). Most of us agreed that we don’t try to follow the trends. We write what we’re passionate about.
During the convention, I had the opportunity to talk to lots of people, including an editor I know at one of the top publishing houses as well as my own amazing publishing team. What struck me from multiple conversations is the sense that there are so many new books flooding the genre that it’s getting progressively more difficult to win readers. The publishing industry isn’t stagnating, it’s a vibrant and highly competitive market place. What everyone is trying to figure out though is what makes you (as a reader) tick. I’m not sure you even realize the power you have when you post a review to Amazon or Goodreads, mention a book in a blog or on your Facebook or Twitter feed. The power of word of mouth, from friend to friend, person to person, is so much more influential than stranger to stranger or any other selling method. Every publisher is trying to know what makes readers share the books they love with each other.
I just wanted to thank you, my loyal readers, not only for reading this blog but for reading my books and all the times you’ve mentioned them to someone else. When you do that it’s mostly invisible, but oh so powerful. It’s what drives this interesting market.
In two weeks is the launch of the final book in the Covenant of Muirwood trilogy: The Void of Muirwood. I hope you’ve appreciated 47North publishing these books in such short order. It looks promising that my next series will be done like that too. More on that later!
Now, while it’s fresh in your mind, go tell someone else about a book you’ve liked! I recently enjoyed Charlie Holmberg’s Followed by Frost. I review the books I read on Goodreads to help pass along ones that have Virtus themes.
And leave a comment on how you first discovered one of my books.
(ran into a long-time friend from my Intel days at JFK airport on my way out of New York this weekend!)