Thursday, August 3, 2006

Three in a row!

Being an author is kinda cool sometimes. :) Today I got recognized not once, not twice, but three times in public -- a record to date.

It happened first at BestBuy, where a sales associate in the computer department told me how much he'd enjoyed my books, including Factoring Humanity and Calculating God.

Then it happened at the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto. The cashier there played it cool. When I handed her the four copies of the October Analog I was buying, which has my name prominently on the cover, she said, without missing a beat, "Don't they send you contributor's copies?" (Yes, they do -- but I wanted more.) We had a nice little chat after that.

Later, I was out at the monthly First Thursday fannish pub night, which we were holding in a new venue this month. A fellow entered the pub we were in, did a double-take when he saw me, and came over to say he really enjoyed my interviews on TV, and vividly remembered some comments I'd made about cyberpunk.

Nice! :)


At August 04, 2006 7:12 AM , Anonymous Dwight Williams said...

Seems to be a common problem with almost all publishers re: contributors' copies, doesn't it, Rob? ;-)

At August 04, 2006 8:30 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

You mean not enough author's copies? Yeah, it's ridiculous, and part of the mean (read that in the sense of "cheap" or in the sense of "nasty," take your pick) side of the publishing game: give authors so few copies of their own work in hopes that the author will BUY copies.

A major book publisher will ultimately remainder thousands of hardcovers and have 10,000 or more paperbacks destroyed in the "returns" process; a magazine like ANALOG, ASIMOV'S, or F&SF, will have 20,000 copies of each issue tossed out at the end of the month. But the author should be content with 10 copies of their book (that's what most publishers' boilerplate calls for), or two copies of the magazine.

Authors are at the very least partners in the production of their own work, not a market segment to be exploited.


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