Tag Archives: me me me

03 Feb

Why I did Xenowealth: A Collection as a Kickstarter

Clay Kallam has nice things to say about the collection, and recommends reading the Xenowealth collection in the first regular review of Xenowealth: A Collection.

He does lead off with this:

The brave new world of publishing can affect even the successful, including Tobias Buckell, author of “Xenowealth” and “Arctic Rising” books, who now must resort to crowdfunding to get all of his works into print.

(Via Worlds Beyond: Tobias Buckell revisits his ‘Xenowealth’ world with a new collection of short stories – San Jose Mercury News.)

I’m grateful to Clay for recommending the books.

To dig into why I did the Kickstarter, as opposed to selling it to a publisher: I make more off the Kickstarter. I’d talked to one publisher about it, and they turned it down. And I’ve run the numbers. A mid list author like me, for a short story collection, can expect something like $1,000-$5,000. $5,000 is high for a short story collection. The received wisdom is that short story collections don’t sell. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

And to be fair, readers do seem to prefer longer pieces.

The reason I didn’t shop the project around any further was that I knew I could make more rolling my own. Xenowealth: A Collection got $7,105 on Kickstarter. Yes there were fees, shipping, printing costs, but there were also more preorders via backerkit. There were a lot of eBook preorders once I put that up as well.

When all is said and done, this will be a project that is looking likely to break $10,000, which leaves me quite delighted. Who would have offered me 10K on a short story collection?

The follow up question is: why don’t I do more novels this way?

Well, so far, there have been more advantages doing it the other way. Monetarily. But also growing my reach and audience. The Apocalypse Ocean is not the most I’ve made off a novel in all the publishing methods I’ve tried (crowd funding/direct digital/medium press/NY Publishing), but it’s middle of the pack. But, having roughly tripled what I could expect to have made on the short story collection, crowd funding is a tool in my kit that I can deploy if things ever flag elsewhere. If I have to flip that switch, I am happy to. I’m grateful to my readership for sticking with me in all the ways I publish things.

I made a lot of mistakes while doing this Kickstarter last. I’ve made due note of every single one. I was originally going to write a post called ‘All the ways I crashed and burned on my 3rd Kickstarter’ but that’s no positive learning and moving forward, it’s me feeling bad for myself. And the truth is, I don’t need more negativity. Mark what failed, avoid in future, learn. Always learn. The biggest error was a messed up print run using the wrong paper for the collection. After I sorted that out, I used the extra copies as advanced reader copies, sending them out to reviewers.

The fact that Xenowealth: A Collection is being reviewed by the San Jose Mercury News shows that there is a lot of potential, and the experience is ending up positive.

Forward!

Xenowealth: A Collection

Xenowealth: A Collection

Series: Short Story Collections, Book 5
High concept, adventurous science fiction stories featuring the beloved characters and settings from Tobias S. Buckell’s popular Xenowealth novels. More info →
15 Jan

Xenowealth: A Collection available today in trade paperback and eBook

Imagine me twirling around in a rain of confetti made by left over packing material…

…because…

…Xenowealth: A Collection is now available as a trade paperback and eBook.

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I made a promise to myself to get the much delayed limited edition hardcovers out before today, and I just barely got them all slipped into the mail yesterday and a last few stragglers in early this morning.

::Collapses::

But that’s not why you’re here.

The general eBook has been in the hands of early Kickstarter backers for a while now, and the trade paperbacks went out a while back too.

All of you who missed the Kickstarter are wanting to get your hands on it. The limited edition hardcover will only exist for the Kickstarter backers (plus some extras I have on hand in case anyone gets a mangled one and I need to do customer service), but the eBook and trade paperback are now available to all.

The full Xenowealth book page is here, but you can click the summary and buy link below to access all the versions:

 

Xenowealth: A Collection

Xenowealth: A Collection

Series: Short Story Collections, Book 5
High concept, adventurous science fiction stories featuring the beloved characters and settings from Tobias S. Buckell’s popular Xenowealth novels. More info →

 

Amazon hasn’t fully merged the eBook and paperback’s pages yet, but if the popup confuses you, here is a direct link to:

the paperback

vs

the Kindle eBook

So there we are.

As I mentioned in my newsletter, books live and die by word of mouth, so all signal boosting is super appreciated…

02 Oct

New review of The Apocalypse Ocean

Hey, cool, a new review of The Apocalypse Ocean via SFF World:

Having just finished a read-through of all four Xenowealth novels I can recommend them in a heartbeat. This is science fiction at its most enjoyable, offering plenty to marvel at, while still giving food for thought.

(Via The Apocalypse Ocean by Tobias Buckell – Official Reviews – Science Fiction and Fantasy World | SFFWorld.)

28 Sep

Baltimore Book Festival Recap

I got back late last night from Baltimore where I was the SFWA Guest of Honor. This year Sarah Pinsker took over running what I’m told is a constantly growing tent with what I saw was a great list of running panels and interviews.

Fran Wilde, the author the recently launched and great read Updraft, interviewed me about writing, sailing in fiction and much more.

The panels were a great deal of fun. I got to meet YA author Justina Ireland and catch up with Rosarium’s Bill Campbell, who’ll be turning Arctic Rising into a graphic novel series.

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Bill and I also snuck off next door to Baltimore Comic Con which was going down to walk around and check stuff out, as well as catch up on what was going on.

One of the panels I was really impressed by was Mike Underwood and Sarah Pinsker’s show ‘Dangerous Voices Variety Hour’ where they gave away prizes for audience members who guessed the right answer to science fictional and fantasy trivia, let the guest authors read some quick fragments of their work, and also got the authors to try and guess answers to win the audience members prizes. It was fun.

Double fun because I got to do the panel with Diana Peterfreund who is a great writer I’ve followed online for a while and enjoy reading. I wish we’d had more time to catch up, but the panel was fun.

Another fun moment was sneaking out with Scott Edelman Saturday night to go to Vacarro’s Italian Pastry Shop in Little Italy, where we caught up with each other. Scott was the editor guest instructor at Clarion in 1999 when I attended.

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I got to meet a number of new folks like Emmie Mears, Anna Kashina, KM Szpara, catch up with others like Keffy, Annalee Flower Horne, Bud Sparhawk Michael Underwood, Tom Doyle, Karen Burnham and Anne Gray. Met Anatoly Belilovsky again, who I met at Nebula but had forgotten (so sorry, man). I grabbed some interesting dinners, and hopefully didn’t say anything too silly.

John Appel gifted me with some locally made dark rum for the trip home, and helped me get to the airport after I was only able to spend 15 minutes at the last panel:

My thanks to Sarah Pinsker for all her organizational work and making sure I got to where I need to, Summer Cullen of the festival for travel arrangements, and all the sponsors and organizers of the Baltimore Book Festival for bringing me in.

21 Sep

The Baltimore Book Festival happens this weekend, and I’m a guest!

This weekend I’ll be appearing at the Baltimore Book Festival as the SFWA guest of honor, which is really nifty. I’ll be on some panels and at a meet the authors event, as well as signing books and being generally available. So if you live within a decent travel distance of Baltimore, I hope to see you there!

The list of science fiction and fantasy related events at the Baltimore Book Festival can be found here. Sarah Pinsker (and many others) has been hard at work pulling together authors and panels for the event for what looks like many months, now.

Here are some of the panels I will be on:

Friday 4 PM: Literary Salon – interviewed by Fran Wilde

—–

Saturday 12 PM Dangerous Voices Variety Hour
A fast-paced quiz show in the vein of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! brought to you by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Win free books and learn things you never knew about your favorite authors.

Panelists: Tobias S. Buckell, Sarah Pinsker, Michael R. Underwood

Saturday 4 PM Future: Charming? Baltimore City as a template for futurism.

What does Baltimore look like in the future? SFWA Guest of Honor Tobias Buckell and a panel of writers, futurists and social designers discuss Charm City’s future through the lens of the engineer, the writer, and the activist. Panel led by Jason Harris (“Redlines: Baltimore 2028”).

Panelists: Anatoly Belilovsky, Tobias S. Buckell, Jason Harris, Nia Johnson, K Ceres Wright

Saturday 6 PM Meet the Author Social

Rub elbows with your new favorite science fiction and fantasy authors at this annual event!

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Sunday 11 AM Design Your Own World

Join us in a Rousing Game of Stump the Panelists with a Worldbuilding Mashup – Audience Participation Encouraged. Learn what goes into creating fantasy and science fiction worlds.

Panelists: Tobias S. Buckell, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Anna Kashina, Don Sakers, Alan Smale

1 PM SIGNING TABLE

3 PM We Need Diverse Books: The Next Chapter

Books with diverse characters, written by diverse authors, are a focus of the We Need Diverse Books campaign. Readers are clamoring for books about and by people of color, LGBTQIA people, people with disabilities, people of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. What’s next for the industry? Our authors talk about diversity, representation, and the next steps.

Panelists: Tobias S. Buckell, Bill Cambell, Justina Ireland, KM Szpara, GL Tomas

Come out and say hello!

15 Sep

Anthology LOOSED UPON THE WORLD is Now Available, contains two stories of mine!

From John Joseph Adams’s website:

This is the definitive collection of climate fiction from John Joseph Adams, the acclaimed editor of the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series and Wastelands. These provacative stories explore our present and speculate about all of our tomorrows through terrifying struggle and hope.

Join the bestselling authors Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nancy Kress, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jim Shepard, and twenty others as they presciently explore the greatest threat to our future.

This is a collection that will challenge readers to look at the world they live in as if for the first time.

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(Via NEWS: LOOSED UPON THE WORLD is Now Available Wherever Fine Books Are Sold! – Loosed Upon the World : Loosed Upon the World.)

I have two stories in there, ‘The Rainy Season’ and my collaboration with Karl Schroeder ‘Mitigation.’ Mitigation went onto to heavily influence my desire to write Arctic Rising and Hurricane Fever.

The Rainy Season has only appeared in my short story collection Mitigated Futures previously.

I’m quite honored to have these two stories included next to the other amazing authors in this collection.

15 May

Operation Arcana is now out in audiobook!

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Operation Arcana is now available. It is unabridged and produced by Skyboat Media, the production company of acclaimed producer and narrator Stefan Rudnicki. It features the vocal talents of narrators: Paul Boehmer, Gabrielle de Cuir, Richard Gilliland, Sunil Malhotra, Arthur Morey, and Stefan Rudnicki.

(Via ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK – Operation Arcana : Operation Arcana.)

More anthology details:

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In the realms of fantasy, the battlefield is where heroism comes alive, magic is unleashed, and legends are made and unmade. From the War of the Ring, Tolkien’s epic battle of good versus evil, to The Battle of the Blackwater, George R.R. Martin’s grim portrait of the horror and futility of war, these fantastical conflicts reflect our highest hopes and darkest fears, bringing us mesmerizing visions of silver spears shining in the sun and vast hordes of savage beasts who threaten to destroy all that we hold dear.

Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is sounding the battle cry and sixteen of today’s top authors are reporting for duty, spinning never-before-published, spellbinding tales of military fantasy, including a Black Company story from Glen Cook, a Paksenarrion story from Elizabeth Moon, and a Shadow Ops story by Myke Cole. Within these pages you’ll also find World War I trenches cloaked in poison gas and sorcery, modern day elite special forces battling hosts of the damned, and steampunk soldiers fighting for their lives in a world torn apart by powers that defy imagination.

Featuring both grizzled veterans and fresh young recruits alike, including Tanya Huff, Simon R. Green, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Maberry, and Seanan McGuire, Operation Arcana is a must for any military buff or fantasy fan. You’ll never look at war the same way again.

And here is the Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION—John Joseph Adams
RULES OF ENCHANTMENT—David Klecha & Tobias S. Buckell
THE DAMNED ONE HUNDRED—Jonathan Maberry
BLOOD, ASH, BRAIDS—Genevieve Valentine
MERCENARY’S HONOR—Elizabeth Moon
THE GUNS OF THE WASTES—Django Wexler
THE GRAPHOLOGY OF HEMORRHAGE—Yoon Ha Lee
AMERICAN GOLEM—Weston Ochse
WEAPONS IN THE EARTH—Myke Cole
HEAVY SULFUR—Ari Marmell
STEEL SHIPS—Tanya Huff
SEALSKIN—Carrie Vaughn
PATHFINDER—T.C. McCarthy
BONE EATERS—Glen Cook
BOMBER’S MOON—Simon R. Green
IN SKELETON LEAVES—Seanan McGuire
THE WAY HOME—Linda Nagata

You can read ‘The Rules of Enchantment’ for free at Baen, the story is here.

Some opening lines?

Sure:

You’d think arrows are pretty silent compared to gunfire, but there’s no mistaking that bristly whistle as it whips through the air just past your head before it thwacks into someone’s Kevlar. Everyone eats dirt, and you’re checking your ammo with your back against a tree trunk wondering how the wood elves flanked you when you realize how stupid a question that is: this is their territory.

You’re new to the squad, so you’re still nervous. Every crack in the brush and shaken leaf has you jumpy. We’ve all been teasing you. Rookie this and rookie that.

I’m about fifteen feet away. I can see that your face is pale and shaken, but you have your rifle cradled and ready, looking for orders. The rest of the squad is spread out. Diaz is pulling an arrow out from his body armor and looking a bit chagrined. Orley is slowly crawling through dirt; he’s got a bead on the shooter. “Sergeant: got eyes on the woodie,” he reports.

“Hold,” I order.

This is the rendezvous point. But we’re dressed in robes that make us look like peasant travelers. I can feel Orley objecting already to the suspicion in my head, but even though our minds are all linked up into one single group mind via the Spell of Tactician’s Weave, only one of us is still in charge.

Me.

“Ditch the robes,” I order.

“Sergeant Cale . . .” Orley really doesn’t want to do this. He wants to engage.
Diaz forms up a memory. A story he was told about a couple of African-American special forces who stumbled in out of the night with bows and arrows. Scouts setting out to blend into the local land. They ended up getting shot by jumpy sentries on the way back in who thought they were orcs.

Diaz is half-black. The realization that some people see black skin, bows, and right away think orc and go straight to trigger-pulling leaves a bad taste in all our mouths.

Teachable moment about making assumptions aside—and believe me, Diaz has laid plenty of those thanks to the intimacy of the Tactician’s Weave—Orley gets Diaz’s point and eases up. Now everyone’s on board with my line of thought: that the elves are looking at us and seeing the Enemy, not US Marines.

We all shrug off the cloaks, displaying our standard Marine Corps digi-cammies and gear. My staff sergeant insignia is quite visible, making me the high-ranking target. I narrow my eyes at the shadows.

A bird whistle from the tree canopy pierces the air. They’d had us marked from the get go.

Shit.

If it wasn’t for body armor, Diaz would have been a bloody piñata. And you, rookie, would have gotten a nasty surprise from up above.

Yeah, look above your head, rookie. That grinning visage looking down the bark of the tree is a wood elf. Remember what they taught you about high ground? That includes firs. You need to be better about your situational awareness; clear up and down, not just the two dimensional plane.

Operation Arcana has a whole page with more free reads and interviews at John Joseph Adams’ website.