Archive for April, 2009

Peculiarities from Abroad

April 20, 2009

Normally, in books as well as films, the first in a series typically is the biggest seller.  Stands to reason.  Not all fans who see book or movie 1 will return for number 2, no matter the quality.  Few will begin in the middle, and those who do are likely to go back and pick up the story.

However, the Chinese language edition of book 2 of the Jason Wander series, Orphan’s Destiny, is outselling book 1, Orphanage.  Counterintuitive.  Dare I say inscrutable? 

It may be the covers.  Chinese  Orphanage  depicts the alien enemy as spiders with blood-dripping fangs.  At the risk of a spoiler, the Slugs actually look like, well, big slugs.  So Chinese cover artistic license evidently extends to a phylum shift.  Chinese Orphan’s Destiny, on the other hand, depicts alien warships that remind me of the floating martians in the 1950s film version of War of the Worlds

But in the UK editions, book 3, Orphan’s Journey, is minutely outselling book 2, Orphan’s Destiny.   Nope, can’t be the covers – the UK covers mirror the US covers.

In the Czech Republic, the covers (book 3 was released by Fantom Print in March) are consistently old-school SF, but the sales fresh.

I dunno.  I’m just glad readers are enjoying the series.     


Two months and counting

April 2, 2009

Jason Wander Book 5, Orphan’s Triumph, hits the shelves and the ‘net in just under two months.  It’s been a long and strange journey for General Wander, and only just less for his creator.

A number of you have asked where things go after Book 5.  That mostly depends on the series’ publisher, Orbit.  Orbit and the Jason Wander series defy the trends of contemporary publishing.  Most publishers and booksellers are shrinking and retrenching, but Orbit is growing.  Orbit’s new projects, not least the Jason Wander books, have succeeded disproportionately in a changing marketplace.  I credit an editorial viewpoint sharp enough to recognize good writing and compelling storytelling, coupled with an effectively adapting marketing approach.

I’ll let you know how things go from here.

Meantime, get ready for Orphan’s Triumph.  I think it will surprise you.  I know it surprised me.