First the rah rah new sales part: I've been asked to contribute to two upcoming Mammoth Book anthologies! The first is Futuristic, the second Paranormal. Since I just happened to have a space opera idea I'd been sitting on along with a great idea for the theme in the second, I jumped up and down and said yes yes yes. Titles, release dates, and so on TBA. Like the other Mammoth anthologies these will release in the US and UK.
On top of this we're moving because there are now five of us in a tiny house and the list of ways that's not working any more is too long to go into. Needless to say we knew the change was going to have to happen and we planned our lease to end about the time we'd be ready to deal with it, and that time is at hand. Somebody joked that I should tell people how to move, and when I went "haha" I got back, "No, really. Share." So here you go, how to move.
First of all, I am using
Trello to organize the move with checklists and to dos and important move-related information such as the kids' new bus route, new trash pickup day/time, and so on. Using Trello means I can share all of this with my husband and we can both add items, cross off to dos as we finish, and we also get to watch the progress bar of the % done fill in as a nice visual reminder that we're on schedule. If you don't use Trello, use some way to keep your to do list and important information in one place; a notebook will do.
The to do list might look something like this: get boxes and packing supplies, get change of address packet from post office, notify utility companies of date of service end at old location and start at new service location, arrange for moving help, rent a Uhaul, pack, move, do final cleaning of house. Whatever tasks are related to the move go here. Writing it down helps prevent anything important from getting overlooked or forgotten.
Home Depot is our go to source for packing supplies. The book boxes especially are a bargain, and we used about 40 of them. (Yes, we have way too many books.) You can often get free boxes from local businesses but that leaves you dependent on the type and availability and cleanliness of the freebies. You can also source used boxes on Freecycle or Craig's List, but for cheap clean availability you really can't beat Home Depot. (I have to add that given the resurgence of bed bugs in most cities, reusing a stranger's boxes is maybe not the best choice for economy in the long run.)
If your move is local, decide if you'll do it yourself, hire movers, or use a combination of rental equipment, your own labor and some hired muscle. This is not a decision to leave to the last minute as rental equipment, movers, and hired muscle may be booked well in advance. If you hire movers, go with the big guys and save yourself a world of trouble. If Cut Rate Movers are half the price, there is a reason for that and you get what you pay for.
Once that's all dealt with, start packing. Give yourself plenty of time so it's not a nightmare on the last day. I've been systematically packing cupboards and closets, boxing up seldom-used items and leaving only the last minute things to the actual last minute. Pack like things together, label each box with a Sharpie so you know what's in there when it's time to unpack, use packing paper and bubble wrap for fragile items, ziplock bags for liquids that could spill. It helps to mark each box with what room it goes to along with the contents, i.e., "linen closet, spare bedding", "garage, bicycle gear".
For the truly organized, measure the rooms and your furniture and plan the layout in advance so moving is a simple matter of putting the pieces where they belong instead of trying to figure out where the couch goes while two people struggle to hold up the ends.
And all of this is really not unlike writing a book or a story for an anthology. Planning and organization and starting early so you can stay on schedule no matter what goes wrong will all go a long way to ensuring success and saving your sanity.
Today is the day, Nightborn (aka the Darkyn returns) is officially on sale. Also officially on sale today, the start of a promising new series by Seanan McGuire,
Discount Armagedden, the newest Cal Leandros book from Rob Thurman, a new Alpha/Omega book from Patricia Briggs, hot romance from Stephanie Tyler and Jaci Burton. It's like the publishing fairy brought out all the goodies on the same day to make up for my month of sick people and teething baby.
Since I naturally want all my favorite series, fascinating new series, and great romance to continue to be available, I tend to preorder so that my purchase counts towards the all-important (to publishing) sales numbers of the first week. This is also a great time to descend on the local bookstore and ask for the book if it isn't visible; sometimes this prompts somebody to remember that box in the back that didn't get opened and once on the shelf, somebody else can discover it. Request a copy from the library. And so on.
There are many ways to support your favorite authors. Buy the books, borrow them, talk about them, recommend them to a friend. It all helps to ensure that the next book happens, that the series doesn't get dropped. Before I knew anything about the business I had no idea that something as simple as a library hold placed or a "here, you've got to read this" had anything to do with whether or not the books continued to come out. It matters.
For Nightborn and Discount Armageddon in particular, which had physical books shipping well ahead of the official on sale date and thus actually penalizing the authors on their numbers, reader demand and word of mouth can make an enormous difference. Love paranormal romance and urban fantasy? Give these a try. If you like them, recommend them to a friend.
Today is leap day! Time to do things you've been saving up for the last four years. Such as, go buy new books! Since it's releasing early I'm posting my review of Nightborn here:
From my Goodreads, "Go pre-order this now. Yes, you, right now. This is vampire romance on steroids riding a Harley, with all the badassery and twice the heart. Fans of the Darkyn will love the reunion with old friends and those new to the series will appreciate the author's deft breadcrumbing to orient readers to who's who without slowing down the high-adrenaline plot. Simone and Korvel remain at the center of the story throughout but the supporting cast and secondary storylines make this novel bigger, faster, stronger. Did I mention the steroids? Go! Buy!"
See, I could post an early review because I got an ARC. But now people can buy it early. Or wait until next week when you can also buy the new Patricia Briggs book, AND the first book in a new series that also started shipping early and I would hate to see die as a result: Discount Armageddon.
It's up to you.
But happy leap day and as for me, next week is book shopping GOLD. In the meantime, if you haven't been reading Shiloh Walker's cliff-hanging ASH trilogy, the third book came out yesterday. Reading all 3 will keep you busy until March 6. And sleepless.
Not much blogging lately due to the sudden attack of plague in the Teglia household, i.e. 2 kids got ear infections, the other one plus a parent got strep throat, and as the non-medicated family member I've been running around taking temperatures and administering juice and antibiotics. So in lieu of a real blog, 5 Thursday Things:
1. Lynn Viehl aka PBW aka many other pen names is doing a huge giveaway including a chance for an ARC of Nightborn! Go forth and enter.
2. Alison Kent's upcoming cowboy series has the first book available for pre-order now. It is Undeniably pre-orderable, nab yours!
3. Kris Reisz has launched Books Love You. Check it out for recs and write your own book love story.
4. Considering an information diet for Lent?
Lifehacker has some tips.
5. And finally, look, a cute cat picture. Who doesn't need a
tube of cat?
And now I must give the husband juice and antibiotics.
I'm not actually here today. I have a bonus day with my oldest, who in lieu of a field trip is here with me while little sister is at school. It hardly ever happens that I get solo kid time, so we've been making the most of it. You can see what we've gotten up to on Flickr. I didn't take pictures of her
doing the maze of Theseus and the minotaur, but I think I covered the rest.
And then head over to Genreality to read the post I have up there on the topic of writing spaces, with still more pictures.
This wasn't exactly designed for writers, but
Trello's project planning with easy drag-and-drop and visual layout made me pounce. If you're looking for a work-flow tool, this online service is worth a look.
Since everybody else is so brilliant and cogent in their arguments about why SOPA/PIPA is a Very Very Bad Idea, here is your roundup:
2. Boing Boing
3. The Oatmeal does it with pictures
4. John Scalzi with a pro writer's perspective
The Daily Coyote on what would never have been under SOPA/PIPA (and for the record, Shreve, I loved your book)
And what do I think? I think the entertainment industry has persuaded the government to temporarily lose their damn minds. Because if anybody thinks Occupy is an issue now, wait until the 99% who depend on the internet directly or indirectly for their income are unemployed AND unable to download porn. There'll be bloody revolution in the streets. Which is exciting to read about in fiction and history, but would you want to live through it? Me, neither. So here's hoping for a hefty dose of sanity in the water supply in DC. In conclusion: keep America working and downloading porn. Down with SOPA/PIPA.
(In all seriousness, yes, piracy is a huge problem. Yes, it personally costs me money. That doesn't mean that blowing up the internet is the answer. And I'm sure more people use the internet for Wikipedia than porn or piracy.)