It’s Emperor Mollusk Month!!

It’s strange, but I don’t often talk about the business of writing.  Especially my own business.  Like all novelologist, I am basically a small business owner.  I create a product, partner with a publisher, and together, we bring that product to the fine folks out there.  It might be a bit mercantile to use the term “product”, but there’s nothing weird about it.  My books are a product, something to be bought and consumed.  I don’t write them for my own pleasure.  Not primarily.  Primarily, I write to earn a paycheck.  I do like writing.  Heck, I love it.  But it doesn’t change the fact that if you didn’t pay me to do it, I’d probably not do it.  I’m fortunate to make a living doing something I enjoy, and that’s something I remind myself of every day.

I write this blog, brilliant as it occasionally is, goofy as it often can be, because I want people to buy my books.  I probably wouldn’t blog just to blog.  I realize there are a lot of people who do just that, and I see nothing wrong with it.  But I’m here on the internet to remind people that I’m here and to encourage folks to buy my books.

Yet I don’t often say this:

Please, buy my books!

I don’t care which format you prefer, hardcover, mass market, or e-book.  It’s your call.  But buy them because I can’t make a living if you don’t.

Yes, I’m sure that soon I will get a comment from someone who says I just wrote two posts about copyright / trademark law being too extensive and how I don’t think piracy is a horrible problem.  And I stand by those posts.  I don’t want  you to pirate my books.  I want you to buy it.  And you probably should because it’s easy to buy and there’s very little excuse not to.  Though I’m sure they will be pirated, and I’m sure I’ll lose some sales because of that.  But piracy isn’t going to kill my career.  I just don’t believe that.

Without getting into the dry numbers, I’ve hit a sales plateau recently.  I have my loyal fans, but growing past that has proven difficult.  I can get people to buy my books.  But I have trouble getting return business sometimes.  My own theory is that this is due to the truly standalone nature of my novels.  It’s a competitive market and when people buy books, they tend to go with something reliable.  I wouldn’t call that playing it safe.  I just think that with so many choices, people will generally aim for something they can count on, with characters and worlds they are at least partially familiar with.

That’s a problem with my books.  Not only are they not part of a series, they’re also not even set in the same universes.  This incompatibility means that when someone picks up one of my books, they are taking a chance.  For those of you who take that chance, I can only express my unending gratitude.  I know there are plenty of choices out there, and I appreciate your willingness to take a chance on the new worlds and characters I create.  Your support is the foundation for any success I get, and I love you for it.  Seriously, if you need a kidney or something, let me know.

But for everyone else out there, for those who are only have a passing familiarity with my work who might just be visiting this website out of curiosity, this is a great time to encourage and inspire you to take that chance, to buy my space squid supervillain story.  EMPEROR MOLLUSK VERSUS THE SINISTER BRAIN is due out on March 5th, and I want it to sell like hotcakes.  Better than hotcakes!  I want it to sell so many copies that I am indicted by environmentalists for cutting down too many trees and the internet becomes known as the Aleenet because it’s primary use will be to support all the fan clubs who love the book.

So I’m exercising my power as a world-renown(ish) novelologist, I am declaring February to be EMPEROR MOLLUSK MONTH!! I know it’s also Black History Month (which I very much support), but it can be two things, right?

In the coming weeks, prepare yourself for a whole lot of stuff on Emperor Mollusk and his universe.  I’m going to approach this from a Mass Effect perspective, meaning that you are going to learn not just about the story I’ve written, but the universe it takes place in.  I’ll also be writing about the story, about the inspirations that helped create it, and about the characters themselves.  My hope is that by the end of the month, you’ll be salivating to read this book.  You’ll see it not just as a novel, but as a doorway into a world of fantastic adventure, deep thoughts, and cool characters.  Kind of like Narnia, but with more rayguns and giant robot fights.

Stay tuned, gang.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Keelah Se’lai

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,



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  1. KJ
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    One of the reasons you’re one of my favorite authors is that you DON’T write series(es?).

    As a general rule, I don’t like series. There are trilogies or series that I will read, but I am extremely, extremely selective about getting involved with them. I think I only have enough time to read about 15 or 20 books a year, and I don’t want to spend half of those books on a single author writing in a single setting with a single set of characters. I largely read because I have a constant hunger to see something new, and getting wrapped up in a series defeats the purpose of this.

    If an author can meet my need for novelty, I will go back to that author again and again, ironically reading more books by them than the number of books in many series I’ve passed up. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve put down after seeing “BOOK ONE in the blah blah blah trilogy…” on the cover–but I have five books of yours in my library that I’ve read.

    Anyway… I’ve you’re especially pushing for Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain, I will be more than happy to pick it up. And read it in public. And tell everyone how great it is. (Even if it isn’t in a series.)

  2. Lisa
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I like stand alones. I often get bored with the repetition of a series. And I love finding an author who can produce many great stand alones. When I pick up that author’s books, I know I can expect a good, entertaining read, no matter what the universe or who the characters.

    And I LOVE telling my friends and family about great authors.

    So please keep up the good work!

  3. David Greybeard
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been buying all your books since that first one! I’m one of those folks who prefer buying hardcover, so I’m happy all your newer books are in that format. Thank you for all your hard work.

  4. Posted February 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I definitely love books in a series, although it does drive me mad having to wait for the new book to come out, especially since mass market paperbacks can be read in a day or two, depending upon how much time you have. I love different series being set in the same universe, but I truly hate the waiting.

    I am always excited when one of your books comes out because I know it will be a great read, and I for one, am happy that when each book is finished my time with the characters is over and done with. I have plenty of other authors driving me nuts waiting for the next book in their series, it is nice to also follow the works of an author who is proficient enough to write completely new books each time.

    I am very much looking forward to Emperor Mollusk and must look into getting Chasing the Moon the next time I am at a bookstore.

  5. Annamal
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if it would be profitable or not (I have no idea how your audiobooks do overall) but would it be worth lobbying to get your oldest books out as audiobooks?

    I’ve already bought every book you’ve got at Audible and I would really love to buy more (and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Emperor Mollusc is also a candidate for audiobookdom).

  6. Jesse
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    It can absolutely be two things. For example Dec 25th is not only Christmas Day it’s also National Pumpkin Pie Day.

  7. Posted February 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Another vote for stand alone books. I like my reads to have proper endings not invitations (demands?) to buy yet another book in a series.

    I pre-ordered Mollusk just now.

  8. Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I have to say this: you should never worry about what you write (which I doubt you do) or how people view your work. Your books are some of the best writing out there, and that’s INCLUDING the fact that they’re all standalone.

    Every time I pick up one of your books (on he first day they’re published for 5 years now), I know I’m in for one of, if not THE best read of the year. And they keep getting better, which I didn’t think was possible after Automatic Detective and especially Too Many Curses, which was my favorite for years.

    Until you wrote Chasing The Moon. I don’t know how you did it, or exactly what you did, but the stars aligned for that book. It was wonderful. It was one of the rare books where I actually STOPPED myself from reading it so fast because I want it to last, and those books are one in a gabazagillion. It was a hard time in my life, and that book honestly took me out of my slump with every page I read.

    So I just wanted to say thank you for everything you write. I’ll be picking up Mollusk on March 5th (6th year running!) and I’ll bet I’ll absolutely love every word.

    Never sweat what other people say, whether criticisms or warnings to do series. Just keep on doing what you’re doing, and you’ll be absolutely fine.

    All the best,

    Danny G.

  9. Ryan Fisk
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    If you want to sell more books, give them away (in ebook format). To paraphrase Cory Doctorow: Your biggest problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. You need your name out there even more than it is currently. Google Cory and the Baen Free Library for more details if desired.

    I purchased about half your books and read the other half from the library. I’ve loved most of them (Too Many Curses and Gil’s are two for certain), and at least liked all of them (I can’t figure out why I didn’t love Monster, even though I liked it). The ones I purchased were because of finding you at the library. At this point, I mostly only buy books from authors I’ve read at the library or who have given away free copies of their books. My last three book purchases (hardcovers this time) were because I had read the first book from the library, and wanted a copy of it and the other two that continue the story (it’s not really a series, the story is just huge). I’m not telling you to write 10,000 page stories, I kind of love that you don’t, but if it’s a really good story and it needs 3000 pages, I’m not gonna fault an author for having to break it up.

    Anyway, thanks for writing great books, most of which I love and tell people about.

  10. Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I just finished reading The Automatic Detective and I loved it. Also enjoyed the heck out of Gil’s. Count me among your loyal fans. I, too, like that you don’t write books in a series. I want a new story, a new world in every book.

    Bring on the Mollusk!

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