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Author Topic: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.  (Read 243053 times)  

Offline Cherise

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #175 on: January 06, 2014, 02:16:00 PM »
A site with a search such as Vaalingrade outlined does seem cool. But at the end of the day, it's just another book display site where authors put up their books but readers never come to.

You're right.

One way [some kind of database for the books of the authors in this thread] could help is that you could get to see indie books similar to yours easily, so it might facilitate the grouping of books/authors. Then those authors could, if they wished, organize box sets or group promos with the similar authors.

LOVE this idea!

I want to find books similar to mine to cross promo with.
Maybe even do a boxed set.

In the meantime, until we have such a database, PM me if
1) you write optimistic G-rated urban fantasy and
2) you are interested.

Online Carol (was Dara)

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #176 on: January 06, 2014, 02:19:41 PM »
Ok, just skimmed the whole thread. On the subject of what is or isn't spec-fic, I'm content to let the author of the work decide. If someone categorizes a love story about teens in space as sci-fi, it's no skin off my nose. I'd just file it under three cats: sci-fi, romance, and YA. I'm not hard-core about genre definitions. I've read lots of fantasy that was 50 % romance and, while it wasn't always what I was in the mood for, that doesn't mean it wasn't real fantasy. Sarah Douglas comes to mind as a fantasy author who was hugely respected in her genre but whose books focused a lot on romantic/sexual relationships and situations. Juliette Marillier is another example. But their books are still very much fantasy. When I'm browsing the bookstore, I always mentally file fantasy books according to style and audience. Something like this:

Hardcore epic fantasy
Gamer-style "nerd" fantasy (often called derivative and juvenile but probably my personal fave)
Romantic fantasy
Historical Fantasy
Urban Fantasy

And so on. If I can tell the type of fantasy by looking at covers, blurbs, samples, and shelving (or in the case of ebooks, categories) I figure other readers can too.

* None of the above relates to the discussion of promotional efforts or a spec-fic website. Just my 2 cents on fantasy cats in general.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 02:24:50 PM by Dara England »

Online Vaalingrade

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #177 on: January 06, 2014, 03:16:30 PM »
Can't someone do more or less the same on Amazon?

No, not at all. Amazon is terrible at filtering. You get a big pile of a very, very general category and then you have to dig. You can't exclude anything, there is NO way to search for things like tone or theme beyond manually reading every blurb and even then they lie.

Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories.

It's okay to use the search there if you know the book or author you're after already, or have four spare hours to dig, but otherwise... well there a reason ENT and Bookbub exist and are useful for mainstream romance, thriller, etc and a reason it's not good enough for a lot of spec-fic fans.

You guys know where I got to look for stuff to read? Tvtropes. I just pop over to the Steampunk, Dungeon Punk, Weird West, or Functional Magic page, click the literature tab, then jump to the page for the work. If I don't see something like 'Crapsack world', Diablis ex Machina' or 'downer ending' in the trope list, I then go to Amazon or DTF for the book.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 03:20:31 PM by Vaalingrade »

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Offline Ty Johnston

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #178 on: January 06, 2014, 03:21:37 PM »
Translovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism 4 lyfe!

Aw, h--- no! You ain't puttin' no trans- in my lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism. Everybody knows it ain't real lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism unless its cislovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism.

The nerve of some people. Tryin' to dis my sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub genre like that.

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Offline M T McGuire

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #179 on: January 06, 2014, 03:25:45 PM »
For the person who asked about selling stories to magazines, it's a great way to pick up some extra money. I have never noticed a single extra sale resulting from it on my other work, however, so don't use it as just a way to build audience. Go for the monies, hope there is some extra effect, in my opinion.  (Though, I'm about to have some stories in an anthology series with a lot of pretty big name peoples that I think will get some extra love from the Zon, so perhaps my opinion will change here shortly)

I've had short stories in two quite low profile anthologies, Indie Bites and A Splendid Salamagundi. I'm absolutely convinced that both of those made a difference to my sales. Like a Numb Nuts I missed all the anthologies this Christmas and my sales have suffered accordingly.

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Offline bmcox

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #180 on: January 06, 2014, 04:37:37 PM »
Karen Lord just published this quote from Alan Moore on her Tumblr: "Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."
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Offline Victoria Champion

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #181 on: January 06, 2014, 04:39:09 PM »
Karen Lord just published this quote on her Tumblr: "Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Full Alan Moore quote:

My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; its a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.
    
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Offline Christy

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #182 on: January 06, 2014, 04:46:41 PM »
HEeeeeey! *highfive* Why haven't I seen this thread before!!

Fantasy and sci-fi author reporting.  :)

Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #183 on: January 06, 2014, 07:48:57 PM »
No, not at all. Amazon is terrible at filtering. You get a big pile of a very, very general category and then you have to dig. You can't exclude anything, there is NO way to search for things like tone or theme beyond manually reading every blurb and even then they lie.

Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories

Tangentially, I was reminded this past weekend how superior browsing Amazon is to shopping in a physical bookstore. I went into my closest Barnes and Noble, thinking I'd look for some new weird westerns or gritty low fantasy and was presented with several long shelves of books, arranged alphabetically, all lumped into the sf/f section. Just a big mess of books.

So I had to pull out my smartphone and pull up Amazon and searched on "weird western" and immediately got a long list of 400+ books. Sure it's not perfect and not granular enough, but it's a hell of a lot more useful for drilling down within a genre.

Offline Cherise

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #184 on: January 06, 2014, 08:13:17 PM »
Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories.


Keywords work in other ways, too. I am still trying to make them work for my fiction, but I have found books using keywords.

Online SLFleming

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #185 on: January 06, 2014, 10:19:45 PM »
Hi there,
I like this thread!
I'm post-apocalyptic zombie chick-lit. Spec-fic? Seems so. Romance? Yep, it's also a love story.
But I'm gonna hang out, if that's cool.  :)

-Sarah

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Offline S. Elliot Brandis

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #186 on: January 07, 2014, 01:48:25 PM »
I think if a website is going to be attractive, then you need some good front page content, too. An interesting blog with original pieces - maybe each from a different author.

I'd also be careful not to scare off people that aren't hardcore sci-fi/fantasy readers. Sub-genres can be a turnoff as much as they can be an aid.

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Offline SLGray

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #187 on: January 07, 2014, 02:42:48 PM »
Box sets are a great cross-promotion to help people out who are ready or want to do them, I think. Or anthologies. I'm hoping to do both of those.

We could also possibly do mini blog-tours if people are willing to host?

Offline Maia Sepp

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #188 on: January 07, 2014, 03:24:32 PM »
Can I dip my toe in too? I'm writing a spec-fic for the first time right now - a near-future dystopia novella with humorous/women's fiction elements...I'd like to turn it into a series if it sells.

Would anyone here be willing to beta read it for me? I'll be done before the end of the month and I'd love some feedback from someone who's been doing this longer than me (which is about everyone :)). I can repay with a beta read of your stuff, or...something else? Not sure what, but I'm open to suggestions...

Offline Victoria J

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #189 on: January 07, 2014, 06:06:33 PM »
A lot of fantasy and science fiction readers enjoy podcasts. Perhaps if we could build a site that also featured a fantasy/sci-fi podcast monthly episode (especially one featuring indie books they've read) that might draw readers. I do realize that this is very time consuming though. I used to podcast but no longer have the time. At least not right now.

Offline burke_KB

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #190 on: January 07, 2014, 07:02:37 PM »
I read about netflix having 75,000 sub genre classifications for movies and tv shows. So if you are into horror movies, you can drill down to 1980s-style-slasher-films-with-brief-nudity or something like that. It's like pandora for movies.

I think a curated site that took the effort to sort the dragons and elves from the particle accelerators would be nice, but it would take a ton of work. The traditional 30 categories doesn't get it done. To really pull it off would require a dozen people reviewing lots of books a week, and tagging them in spreadsheets. We'd need hundreds of genre identifiers, so you can find that action-packed-conan-style-arthurian-legend or the mars-terra-forming-with-a-space-elevator book.

If you had that kind of data, you could ask people for their favorite book and kick out a bunch of similar books like amazon's also boughts.

A simpler approach would be the "best speculative fiction of kboards" or something. Needs better branding. But a "best of" site would be easier to for everyone to promote on their social platforms. Build a centric mailing list on that site, and let everyone blast it with their latest releases.

 

Offline S. Elliot Brandis

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #191 on: January 07, 2014, 08:31:33 PM »
Box sets are a great cross-promotion to help people out who are ready or want to do them, I think. Or anthologies. I'm hoping to do both of those.

We could also possibly do mini blog-tours if people are willing to host?

Smaller anthologies could be cool. Say, find 8 or 10 like minded authors to put together an antho, and use it primarily as a promotional vehicle.

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Offline SLGray

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #192 on: January 07, 2014, 08:53:29 PM »
Smaller anthologies could be cool. Say, find 8 or 10 like minded authors to put together an antho, and use it primarily as a promotional vehicle.

Exactly. Use whatever royalties come out of it to pay for hosting a site, if we make one, if it was being sold for a price. Or just make it a permafree promotional tool.

Offline Greg Banks

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #193 on: January 07, 2014, 09:27:26 PM »
I tend to write dark Sci-Fi and Fantasy, currently focusing more on the post-apocalyptic and zombie genres.

I don't think that Romance is more popular. I think spec fic has become not only fractured into,a thousand different sub-genres, but also is more mainstream. Many many stories, even a lot of romance, has some sort of Spec Fic angle to it. It's hard to pinpoint a specific audience because Spec Fic is a long thread running through every other genre, including Romance (Paranormal Romance is a form of Spec Fic too, and it's very popular right now.
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Offline HezBa

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #194 on: January 07, 2014, 09:43:22 PM »
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?


Offline M T McGuire

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #195 on: January 07, 2014, 11:33:49 PM »
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?

When you say boxed sets do you mean a package of novels by different authors on a similar theme like say, humorous spec fic (sorry I'm a bit thick)? If so yes, I'm on. I'd also be on for an anthology, too. I've been involved in two books of short stories and I am certain that both have brought new readers to my work and book sales.

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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #196 on: January 07, 2014, 11:39:39 PM »
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?

I'd love to do one, but it'd have to be all permafrees.

Offline Flopstick

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #197 on: January 08, 2014, 02:09:28 PM »

I think a curated site that took the effort to sort the dragons and elves from the particle accelerators would be nice, but it would take a ton of work. The traditional 30 categories doesn't get it done. To really pull it off would require a dozen people reviewing lots of books a week, and tagging them in spreadsheets. We'd need hundreds of genre identifiers, so you can find that action-packed-conan-style-arthurian-legend or the mars-terra-forming-with-a-space-elevator book.

If you had that kind of data, you could ask people for their favorite book and kick out a bunch of similar books like amazon's also boughts.

What you're describing sounds like a tag system, and of course the solution to the workload involved with that is to have authors and readers apply the tags.

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Offline legion

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #198 on: January 08, 2014, 04:42:45 PM »
*pokes head in*
My weapons come in the form of curses and other such intangibles, so axes and light sabers down please!  :D *enters fully*

I've been focusing on other genres lately, but it seems I am a spec fic writer at heart since most of my short stories end up swinging that way, including a speculative element somehow.

My spec fic includes slipstream, dark fantasy and sci-fi, and quiet/soft horror.
Transmogrification, ghosts and other incorporeal beings, black magic, and superpowers (usually the power to transmogrify) tend to feature in my spec tales.
I've even dabbled in a zombie apocalypse story...which also ended up sort of a dark, slightly erotic romance?

Anyway, for all of the above, I blame The X-Files.
Until soon,
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Offline jnfr

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Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
« Reply #199 on: January 09, 2014, 12:45:31 PM »
I have three project 'sets' at the moment. One is a set of sword-and-sorcery shorts set in a specific world. One is a set of ghost stories which are unrelated except they all have ghosts. The other is a series of urban fantasy novels with a Wiccan circle/elemental magic contemporary setting. I tend to adventure stories more than romance though, with family life and groups of friends at the center.

So I'll bring my crossbows and chalices and random spirits intruding into everyday life and hang out with you all.

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