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Pagoda
Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 05:58 pm:   

What are you working on next Matt? Novelwise and Short story wise?

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Matt Hughes
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 09:47 am:   

I've started writing a Henghis Hapthorn novel. It hasn't been presold to a publisher but I'm going to try writing it in episodes and offer them to Gordon Van Gelder as I go along.

In short stories, I've sent Gordon another Guth Bandar tale and have started a new one. I've also been writing some stories featuring Luff Imbry, the reformed master criminal from Black Brillion -- except that the stories are set before his involuntary reformation. At this point, I've sold three of the Imbrys: one to Gordon, one to PostScripts, and one to a DAW anthology that will come out next year. The fourth is sitting in Gordon's to be read pile.

I also have completed another Archonate novel entitled Template. It's a stand-alone with new characters, with a lot of the action taking place offworld. It's in limbo at Tor until we see how the paperback of Black Brillion does. Hardcover sales have not set anyone's feet dancing at Tor, but the paperback ought to do better.

Matt Hughes
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories
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Pagoda
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 05:18 pm:   

How much do hardcovers have to sell before they accept another novel?

Also why do you think it's not causing ppl to dance?

Your writing seems very good, so what is your speculation on why some books sell even when the writing and story might be inferior to your works?

I've always found that weird, so many good authors and they don't get the sales they should, at least in my opinion.

Look at Piers Anthony, he sells his Xanth series, and I think yours is way better. I dunno it's all so weird.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 10:36 pm:   

It's a long story, but basically it's easier to sell books when you're hitting the middle of the bell curve. Big commercial publishers are not set up for niche marketing.

If you'd like to help, tell your friends to go buy the paperback.

Oddly enough, Piers Anthony gave my first book, Fools Errant, a good blurb for the cover.

Matt Hughes
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories
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Pagoda
Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   

>>If you'd like to help, tell your friends to go buy the paperback.

Will do.

Maybe it has to do with publicity? Is there a way to get more? I think some authors have Public Relations people. One that comes to mind is Chuck Palahniuk.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2005 - 01:10 pm:   

New authors have to be their own PR people. Luckily for me, I actually was a public relations consultant for many years, although I specialized in speechwriting. What I lack, however, is a budget.

It's unfortunate, but the way the publishing business works, most of the promotional resources go to the established authors who earn their publishers the maximum return on their investment. Those of us who are not bestsellers (at least, not yet) are in the same position as those little turtles you see hatching out of the sand on nature documentaries and trying to make it, all on their own, down to the surf before the gulls and ghost crabs snap them up.

If we don't make it, there's always another one willing to give it a try. As my editor says, publishing is a hard, hard life.

Matt Hughes
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories
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Booneyhide
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 11:15 am:   

How many books a year does an author need to sell to make a 20k salary annually?
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   

It depends, first, on what kind of royalty rate you're getting on the retail price, and then on what that retail price is.

If you're getting 9 per cent on a $23.95 hardcover, that's roughly $2.30 per book, which means you need to sell somewhere approaching 9,000 copies.

If you're getting 8 per cent on a $6.99 paperback, that's about $0.56 per book, so you'd need to sell about 36,000 copies.

But royalty rates vary, depending on who the publisher is, and who the author is. And there are other factors to calculate: payments for foreign translation or book club rights, the possibility of selling episodes of the book as short pieces to the pulp magazines, maybe an option on the movie rights.

All in all, it's not a business to go into if all you want to do is make money. I made a lot more money writing speeches for politicians and corporate executives, but I never enjoyed it half so much as I enjoy writing fiction.

Matt Hughes
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories
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Booneyhide
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 06:52 pm:   

Thanks Matt :-)

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