Blood Song (Raven's Shadow 1) by Anthony Ryan

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by suciul, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Lord Pendragon

    Lord Pendragon Registered User

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    I find these two statements very difficult to accept together. The idea that every agent in the UK would reject a novel that is better than Rothfuss is nonsensical to me.

    This is where that website/critic I was mentioning would help me out. I understand the point you're making, but look at it this way. You're working from the viewpoint that the book in question is better than Rothfuss. If I were to accept that as truth, then absolutely I'd save money buying it now.

    But I'm working under the assumption that it's highly unlikely a book better than Rothfuss couldn't get published. I am highly skeptical it's better than Rothfuss for this reason, and firmly believe that 99.99999999% of self-published fantasy is garbage. So from my point of view, it's all about risk. I can pay 3 bucks now for something I am mostly convinced will not be worth three bucks, or buy something next year for 10 bucks that I am reasonably sure will at least be passable. :)

    Perhaps, as I spend more time on these boards, or even after I pay my 10 bucks for this novel, I may start to feel as if you and I share a similar enough aesthetic for me to buy ebooks off your recommendation (you'd be a critic for me as i mentioned above, in that case), we'll have to see.

    I've seen enough opinion on these boards, though, to know that we definitely don't all have the same tastes, nor opinions to what constitutes good writing. :p
     
  2. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    I'm firmly in the wait and pay more camp (not that you asked me).

    I place a value of $0.00 in ebooks, so I would feel that I was taking a loss if I had to pay for one. Whereas I feel much more comfortable paying $10-$15 for a physical copy, which I consider to hold intrinsic value, regardless of whether or not I end up enjoying the story.
     
  3. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Would be writer? Sure.

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    For me, the cost of a book is not generally important right now. What is important is the quality. When I read a book, I am choosing to invest my time. To me, that is a more precious commodity than currency.

    I understand the idea that agents and publishers are gatekeepers and they toil through the generally awful dreck out there to put out some great, good, not so good, and terrible books. But at least, as a reader, we know that some kind of editing occurred to improve the novel.

    That level of trust is missing in self-publishing.

    However, in the current economic climate, agents and publishers do overlook great books from a previously unpublished author. They do so for various reasons that KatG could explain better than I, but it happens more now than ever before, I would suspect.

    After all, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant was turned down by every publisher out there on several occasions before Lester Del Rey gave it a shot. Today, Donaldson might have given up earlier on and decided to self-pub. And after word of mouth relayed the quality and greatness of his work, a traditional publisher would have picked it up.

    I think that's going to be the new paradigm for future unpublished authors: self-pub first and get picked up after.

    To sort through the gruesome weeds to find these gems, though is going to be the struggle.

    I am happy to say that Blood Song is one of those sparkling gems. Now, if there were only an easy way to find the next one...
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  4. Hyperstorm

    Hyperstorm resident of Hyperborea

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    That's your opinion and I think differently, I read both books and I feel BS is better than TNOTW. But again that's just my opinion and it doesn't mean much :p

    Different assumptions make both options equally viable and so I can suggest that you check out the smashwords sample to get an idea.

    As you mentioned there are enough readers over here with different opinions on what's good or not. So I would simply wait for you to read the book whenever you can and then perhaps we can talk about how good/bad it is vis-a-vis Rothfuss's debut.

    Mihir
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  5. Hyperstorm

    Hyperstorm resident of Hyperborea

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    That's a smart thing to do, in regards to newer, unheard-of authors. I believe you can also check out the sample and then perhaps decide what you make of it (The extract is nearly five chapters long). Or you can wait for next year when Ace-Roc puts it out. Either way I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

    Mihir
     
  6. Ornery Wyvern

    Ornery Wyvern 50% Certain

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    I personally don't rate it quite as highly as The Name of the Wind, 93 out of 100 instead of 94 maybe, but I am prepared to put it in my top five fantasy debuts ever. Its brilliant, read it twice already. Fair enough if you want to wait, but this is the first epub book I ever bought - for the kindle app on my phone - and I am delighted with it, honestly I am certain I will pick it up in print to, so its not saving me money, but it has allowed me to read a wonderful book months earlier :D.
     
  7. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Would be writer? Sure.

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    I'll be buying it in print also.
     
  8. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    I agree with what you say, though I don't know of any way to know before buying a book what I'll think of it's quality. Previews can help, but in the last year I've read a couple of books where I was very unimpressed by the initial chapters only to see them soon improve dramatically (imo). In those cases, previews wouldn't have been much help.

    I also see quite a bit of value in the traditional publishing structure, in their larger role as gatekeepers, as well as their doing more mundane activities, such as editing for spelling and grammar. While their books are not error free, every effort that can be made in service of that goal is worthwhile, and I understand the need to pay people for such work. I hope that I'll enjoy this book as much as you did Radone.
     
  9. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    Thanks for the compliment and the link Mihir. I'll have to wait until I have more free time to check it out, but I'll definitely do so, and let you know when I do. Thanks again.
     
  10. Lord Pendragon

    Lord Pendragon Registered User

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    This is it exactly, and in this brave new world of self-publishing, it is my fervent hope that we'll develop digital gatekeepers for our digital age.
     
  11. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Registered User

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    Based on the feeback I'll have to add this one to my queue.

    What amazes me is that somewhere out there, someone bought this book and gave it a good enough review and recommended it to enough people that it blew up. But I can't imagine anyone buying it with that cover :eek:
     
  12. Raule

    Raule Registered User

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    I'm reading this now and agree that it shows promise and is solidly enjoyable. Also agree about supporting characters being well done. I'm about 80 percent through on the Kindle, so hope to finish today or tomorrow.

    I'm willing to try self-pubbed novels if the author is working with subjects or themes that interest me. I usually go by word-of-mouth recommedations as well as sampling text to find them.
     
  13. Headwound

    Headwound Registered User

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    Looks like I'm gonna be reading Blood Song. But I wonder if the author gets more money if I buy the self published e-book. Which I still can through my kindle $2.99 not bad. I'm probably going to end up self publishing something. As a visual artist I have terrible judgement on my own creations even now in the written word. Recently learning a lot of my recent favorite authors had a rough go with publishers I wonder what exactly goes on in the process. I could be wrong but a lot seems to weigh on the opening pages if not the first paragraph. That is a pretty scary thought as a writer even though Im guilty of bailing on a novel early if it doesn't grab me. Which could be just mood related on my part . Off to read the sample material amazon provides. -jam
     
  14. Lucas Thorn

    Lucas Thorn Cthulhu's Red Bucket

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    while i was at uni, i had one of australia's best literary authors as a tutor. i remember her always saying that the most important part of your novel was the first page. she would work and re-work her first pages and encouraged everyone to do the same. your first lines telegraph not only your skill as a writer, but also set the scene. in many cases, your novel's overall tone and mood is pretty much summed in the first few paragraphs.

    i've never forgotten that, for some reason, and always remember her words every time i start reading a new book.
     
  15. Westsiyeed

    Westsiyeed The Fifth Dominion

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    I was told the same thing from my English teacher and do the same!

    I also think it's important to grab the readers attention from page 1; a book always gets points from me if it starts well and pretty much hooks you in from then.
     
  16. DurzoBlint

    DurzoBlint http://tinyurl.com/363ogv

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    I picked it up yesterday just by chance. Then came to this thread. May move it up my pile and read it soon.
     
  17. sullivan_riyria

    sullivan_riyria Creator of Worlds

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    I think you may be under the wrong impression about self-publishing. Many authors are self-publishing not because they couldn't get published any other way, but for any number of reasons including more money.

    When I was self-published I often heard reviewers saying, "Why isn't a publisher picking this guy up." But the answer was pretty simple. I wasn't on the market. I was making good money self-publishing, my books were coming out every six months, and I had complete control. I had on interest in traditional publishing.

    "But Michael, you have switched now, so I don't understand your point." My point is both myself and Ryan decided for whatever reasons that switching to traditional would be good for our careers. But I know self-published authors who have turned down six-figure contracts to stay self, so my point is don't assume that someone is self-published because they can't get a traditional deal.
     
  18. sullivan_riyria

    sullivan_riyria Creator of Worlds

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    Checkout the list I put together for Ranting Dragon. It is my pick for 20 Indie Fantasies Worth Checking out. There might be something on there you'll find worthwhile.
     
  19. sullivan_riyria

    sullivan_riyria Creator of Worlds

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    It depends. If he ends up signing a lot of foreign language translations that can make up the difference for what he'll lose in switching from self to traditional in the US (at least that is what happened to me). Before switching to traditional I estimated a loss of about $200k...which, nearly a year later, seems to be pretty much untrack. But I also got more than than in foreign sales so for me it turned out to be a "wash" from a financial perspective.
     
  20. Lucas Thorn

    Lucas Thorn Cthulhu's Red Bucket

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    and that's getting more common, authors turning down offers to be traditionally published. i wrote an article a few months ago essentially making the point that with the decline of influence the traditional publishers are experiencing, they're going to have to step up and show what benefit they can actually provide an author (edit: other than simply the merit badge of being traditionally published).

    basically, i think they're going to have to make the move into more aggressive marketing. at the moment, i feel the book market is relatively lazy compared to many other retail markets. they've always assumed they didn't need to do much more than put a few posters on a wall in bookshops. but it's not the case any more. with bookshops closing down, there needs to be more efforts made by traditional publishers, or the online giants like amazon will simply swallow them up and continue to strengthen themselves a publishing source. i mean, for 99% of traditionally published authors, the publisher does nothing much in the way of helping them market themselves anyway.

    an interesting perspective is from my previous job as a manager of a bookstore for 10 years. in that time i dealt with all the publishers on a monthly basis. they'd try to sell me their books. except none of them ever try to sell the little ones. they're only interested in getting me to buy bulk. when it came to the fantasy and scifi lists, no publisher knew what they were doing, or even what it was about. half the time, they'd skip that part of the list.

    genre fiction, i think, is where self publishing will grow. because there's no losing with it. and, as stated, you get more control. sure, at the moment there's a fair number of under-edited books out there. but those books seldom last, and i reckon it's already beginning to sink in with a lot of new people that to be writers, they need to pay more attention to their craft. you already see independant authors recommending editing etc. i don't think it'll be long before they sort that out. after all, they want the sales...