Bank Holiday Monday Links

Despite the doom-and-gloom weather predictions, it’s turned out to be a good Bank Holiday!  Lots of sunshine (where I live, anyway), and it feels like spring is finally here.  And not a moment too soon…

A few Monday links:

Sarah Rees Brennan talks about women and worldbuilding – she makes some interesting points.  Hand-wavey worldbuilding is one of my pet hates (I can overlook it if I’m really invested in the characters, but it takes a lot!).  I haven’t seen a male/female divide on “good” worldbuilding but then again, my reading skews heavily towards female authors so IDK.  Anyway, she mentions THE TURN OF THE STORY, which is one of the very few online serials I fell for (primarily because it wasn’t a serial until it was…) – definitely worth reading if you haven’t already.

Speaking of worldbuilding (or lack of), Marko Kloos talks about how his Frontlines military SF series started out.  Which made me think a bit about what I consider to be worldbuilding.  I don’t need to know the nth detail of a world, but I appreciate consistency between characterisation and the setting.  How characters think and react should be shaped by the society and culture in which they live, which in turn is influenced by history, technology, the physical setting and so forth.  When any of these are out of sync, it feels slightly jarring to me – does that make sense?  Do you think of worldbuilding differently?

Finally, an interview with Lois McMaster Bujold, who’s an author who does amazing worldbuilding IMO.  It’s a great interview and covers quite a few topics.  On backlist books, I found this piece interesting – not surprised, though:

So, yes, I now make much, much more from my self-pubbed backlist e-books than backlist paper books. None of them sell more than modestly, but I have 20 or 30 titles up, depending, and they do add up. A frontlist (new) lead book publication with good push from a major publisher can still top that in the first years of a book’s life-cycle. By my current calculations, after about five years e-versions go back to being more advantageous.


9 thoughts on “Bank Holiday Monday Links

  1. Woohoo, gotta love bank holidays! Especially when the weather turns out to be nice 🙂

    what’s a hand-wavey world-building?

    As for back-lists, I do think self-publishing is the way to go. People who already have the books in print will be willing to buy the e-book version if the price is right and usually, self-pubbed e-books’ prices are right. if you don’t have the print versions already, well they can become really hard to find… and personally, I’m not a huge fan of traditional publishers re-printing books.

    • LOL – hand-wavey worldbuilding is my own term for worldbuilding that hasn’t really been thought through and crumbles as soon as someone starts asking questions. You know, when you question the why behind something, and the person just waves their hands and gives you a vague answer? (There’s probably irony in here somewhere.) For example, one that bugs me is Anne Bishop’s latest series – loved the first book, but there are so many inconsistencies in her world… like why does her world have exactly the same number of days in a week as this world, just with different cute-sy names?

      Re backlist – my issue with publishers and ebook backlists is that they price way too high. Like you could get a second-hand copy for a few pence, and the ebook edition is the same price as a new release.

      • Re backlist – well I guess they consider the ebook as new and that’s why it’s so expensive. At this point, it’s the same amount of work for them to re-released it as ebooks than to release a new book. I’m not saying it’s right, but I think that’s they’re reasoning.

        LOL about the Anne Bishop comments. There are a lot of things I don’t question about that one… I think it’s because she based her world on ours, so she can get away with a lot of things. By the way, “hand-wavey world building” is a good expression.

      • Good old ebook pricing – I think it’ll be a while until the market settles on a “fair” price for backlist. I shell out for new releases, but tend to wait for a sale/offer on backlist.

        I’ll start using hand-wavey worldbuilding alongside wallpaper historicals 😉

  2. I always love the links you come up with, Li. When I catch up with other things I want to go and read more of the articles. I love buying authors’ back-lists in ebook format–especially when the price isn’t outrageous. Seems like the price should come down after a few years.

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