Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Guest author on the ASIF forum

Just a quick note to let everyone know I'm the guest author on the ASIF* forums over the next fortnight. Please make your way over to the following link to participate:

ASIF forum - Simon Haynes

The discussion will most likely include publicising your work without alienating readers, the care and feeding of literary agents, surviving the editing process with all limbs intact, why self publishing is a good idea - sometimes, the ups and downs of small press, invisible short fiction markets and a whole range of other topics, so feel free to jump in. The more people participate, the more useful the result will be.

I'm your typical internet junky and will therefore be visiting regularly. My goal is to leave no question unanswered - your goal should be to ask the questions ;-)

* ASIF is Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus, a site which aims to review every piece of Aussie specfic - twice.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


James said...

I went into the local Angus & Robertson here the other day looking to grab a copy of Hal 2. Not a single copy of Hal 1 or 2. The nice lady came over and asked if she could help, so I asked her where the novels by Simon Haynes were. "Oh, we don't have any," she says. So I say, "I'm suprised, I thought you'd be supporting Australian authors," and walked out.

Simon Haynes said...

There are two types of chain store: company-owned and franchised. The latter are pretty much running their own business and although they still have to stock the regular stuff (e.g. catalogue specials, big name authors, company-wide releases) they also get some choice with regards to what else they put on the shelves.

The company stores usually just open up the weekly boxes from head office and put the stock out. (I'm sure there are company stores which act more like franchises, but I'm just trying to point out why it's usually pointless to complain in a store run from hundreds or thousands of km away.)

They can all order titles in, but that's slow death for an author. No impulse buys.

Add all that up and you can see why readers treasure dedicated independent SF bookstores like Galaxy, Pulp Fiction, Fantastic Planet and so on. I know there are great branches of the chain stores too, but many toe the company line.

It's also 8 months since Hal 2 was released and 14 since Hal 1 - smaller shops with less space will have replaced the books with something newer. However, when Hal 3 comes out they'll probably get some of the first two again. THAT'S why authors and publishers like series more than standalone titles ;-)

(And if you get a store manager who thinks six SF novels on the shelf is half a dozen too many there's not much you or I can do about it ...)