Tuesday, June 4, 2013

John Irving Wins Lambda Award: Actor Learning to Love; Week's Bestselling Indies

(Update: Lambda finally posted winners here. )

(Update II: This may be insignificant, but I think it's interesting to note that several Lethe Press books won in several categories. The reason why it's interesting is because owner of Lethe Press, Steve Berman, went on an epic rant about the LLF and the Lambda awards not too long ago. You can read about that here. I'll bet you won't read THAT update anywhere else online today.)

In order to find out the winners of the 2013 Lambda Awards, I had to go to wiki to find a list. I don't know why nothing's been published anywhere else yet, or maybe I missed it. But this is the best I could do with a simple search. I was thrilled to see that a book I read and reviewed when it was first released by John Irving won in the bisexual category, In One Person. I have never read a book that gave a more accurate and detailed account of what it's like to die from AIDS before. You can read my review here.

Of course this explanation of what attracts Billy as a bi-sexual is vital to the story with respect to how he managed to avoid being infected with the AIDS virus. If I go into more detail here I run the risk of another spoiler, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. But I do want to say this one thing. This account of what actually happened during the height of the AIDS epidemic is the most accurate I have ever read in fiction. Irving either did a great deal of research, or he experienced all this for himself, because I know for a fact that he nailed it with perfection, from the Hickman catheter to PCP pneumonia. And if you are young and you are LGBT you should read this novel just for the historical facts. You won't hear them anywhere else. I have over ninety published works out in the LGBT genre and I touch on these topics, but it's not a place I want to go into detail about because it's just too painful to revisit.

Although I'm not always thrilled with the LLF, especially because they don't allow digital books to be entered in the Lambda Awards...as if digital books aren't even real books...I do think they are important to the LGBT community and I think they finally got this one right with John Irving.

You can read the winner list in full here. I haven't read any of the other books, and probably won't.

And, as a side note, I read John Irving's book, In One Person, in *digital* format, not print, on my iPhone the day it was released.

Most Discussed Books this Week

The most discussed book this week is Dan Brown's "Inferno." It's interesting because I recently downloaded a copy from audible.com and I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Tony and I have a seminar in Philadelphia on Thursday and I think I'll listen to it in the car on the way down.

The most talked-about book in April was also the most talked-about book in May. According to our monthly chart on books trending in social media, provided by CoverCake, Dan Brown’s Inferno is again cropping up in the majority of online conversations centered on books. Jeff Costello, CoverCake’s v-p of client services, said he thought the novel got a boost from a public relations blitz at the beginning of the month, following its mid-month publication. While comments about Inferno have been mixed, Costello said that “people are definitely talking about this book.”

The article also goes on to mention a few other books people are talking about, and there are a few familiar names on the list I read often.

The Actor Learning to Love

My new release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, The Actor Learning to Love, is out today. I've posted about it here with excerpts. I don't have any links yet, but I will update later today. Update: Here's the publisher link.

The actor is the bad boy billionaire who hires someone to stay in his NY penthouse and care for his exotic parrot...a talking parrot he inherited from an ex-boyfriend who couldn't put up with the bad boy actor.

The guy the actor hires to live in the penthouse for one year is Rory, and Rory has a young son and they recently moved out of their Brooklyn apartment. The reason they moved out is because Rory just went through another divorce and he's fed up with love, marriage, and men altogether.

It seems like the perfect arrangement, but the bad boy actor has ulterior motives that involve Rory and his son. I won't give out any spoilers, but this is the first time I've ever worked the attacks on the World Trade Center into a novel (you can see the twin towers in the background on the cover)...it's also the first time I've ever written a strong lesbian theme into the subplot.

Indie Bestseller List from Galleycat

Here's list of self-published books that made several bestseller lists this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in four major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, B&N, Apple iBookstore and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

I still find it amazing that I'm now seeing bestseller lists for self-pubbed books. Even though I've self-pubbed several of my own it's not something I ever could have predicted ten years ago. Notice how they mention digital books, not print books.

I'm going to be publishing more posts on indie publishing over the summer from my own personal experiences. And one of the angles I'm going to take is how some authors need to self-publish now in order to survive. I love small e-publishers, all of them. I don't have any issues on a personal level and I will continue to support and promote them as much as I can. But I find issues in a general sense that go across the board. These are the issues that prompted me to self-publish my first indie book over a year ago, and I'm going to start talking about them more.

Authors are going to be put in the position of learning to manage their own careers more and more in the future. If you're lucky enough to have a great agent, that will make the difference. But for those who work unagented like me, it's important to know what's right for you. I had one e-publisher once tell me that I was getting too much exposure. I didn't buy that then, and I don't buy that now. In fact, Joe Konrath recently talked about this on his blog, and I happen to agree with him 100% on this topic. How can a genre author ever have too many books out and get too much exposure? I'm Ryan Field, not Ryan Seacrest. The more books I have out for my readers, and the better I can price those books, the happier my readers are going to be. But you see small e-publishers can't compete that way. They are promoting a stable of authors, not just one or two. And the individual authors finds himself or herself in a precarious position, especially an author who is able to release more than eight books and stories a year.

So I will be going even more independent this summer and I will be self-publishing more books and stories on my own. And I'll go into as much detail as I can about why and how I'm doing it for those who might be interested.


Steve Berman said...

Thanks, Ryan, for mentioning Lethe. We actually only one in one category. And I still stand by everything I said: the judges should be announced in advance to ensure transparency and fairness (and a changing of the guard) and that Spec Fic and Anthology deserve to be split into Gay and Lesbian like Mystery, Romance and Erotica.

Anonymous said...

As it is with publishing, people's options are a great deal broader now compared to before, which is fantastic. I'm just not too keen on the way some writers (self-published and traditionally published) insist that their way is the only, screw everyone who disagrees.

I unsubscribed from Konrath, the Passive Guy, David Gaughran, Dean Wesley Smith, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch because of the "us vs. them" mindset they tend to foment among their readers, whether intentionally or not. I've also been pointedly avoiding sites or blogs that demonize self-published writers (and there are quite a few of those out there).

Everything hinges on informed choices, which all authors should make. I just wish that the loudest voices in the industry would acknowledge this - or at least would do so more often.

I happen to be one of those who've tried self-publishing and decided it wasn't for me. I'm very happy with my small press, and as far as freedom goes, I've enjoyed a great deal more freedom with this company than with other small presses I've worked with. My key issue with self-publishing is not having the capital up front to invest in good editing work and cover art. I'd rather give up a small portion of my royalties to achieve the results I like.

Regardless, I buy books mostly from small presses and from self-published authors. I think it's a great time for publishing because of the shifts happening in the industry.

ryan field said...

@Steve...Congrats on the win, and thanks for commenting. I'd like to see e-books included, too. But I have a feeling that's going to take a long time.

ryan field said...

@haydenthorne...I happen to agree, and I always try to keep posts geared toward all the options writers have nowadays. I've published with traditional publishers, e-publishers, and I've self-published.

A lot of the more popular publishing blogs out there aren't always geared toward getting information out. They usually have an agenda and they only give out bits and pieces of info that suit their own agenda. I try not to do that. I only promote my own books here and books I've read and loved. I'm even pro-agent, in spite of the fact that there are agents who don't disclose everything they should.