Here’s a fun post by Becky Chambers, over at tor.com: Three Ingredients for Space Travel
If you have the chance to go listen to a talk by an astronaut, and if there’s a Q&A afterward, there are three questions that I can pretty much guarantee will come up: What do you eat in space? Where do you sleep? And of course, the old standby—how do you go to the bathroom? The age of the audience is irrelevant, as is the topic of the talk. You might have just sat through an hour on the politics of space policy, or on the future of planetary exploration, but regardless, inevitably, there will be some curious audience member for whom a Google search is not enough. They must know, human to human, how daily necessities are handled when the stability of a planet has been removed from the equation….
My latest book, Record of a Spaceborn Few, is all about one specific home, so it’s unpacked slowly throughout. The reason this kind of set-dressing is so fundamental—whether I’m talking about my books or other books or the questions asked of astronauts—boils down to this:
The characters aren’t the only ones going on a journey. The audience is, too.
This book just came out yesterday. I’d like to read it, but I haven’t got it yet because when I clicked over just now, I found out it’s $11.99 for the ebook. Who thinks that is a good price … ah, Harper Collins. Well, it’s not a good price for an ebook. It’s a bad price. I wonder what proportion of all the people who would like to buy this book right this minute are putting it off because, like me, they are not keen on paying that much for an ebook?
Even Ilona Andrews newest … Iron and Magic, which promotes her secondary villain character Hugh d’Ambray to protagonist status … is half that. Ilona Andrews. Half that price. And who set that price? Ilona Andrews; this one is self-published.
No wonder self-published ebooks outcompete Big Five ebooks. It’s like a micro-lesson on economics right there.
I wasn’t necessarily going to get Iron and Magic because villain pov is not my favorite thing. But this looks like probably a redemptive character arc. That is my favorite thing. So, sure. Especially at that price.
Didn’t mean to segue into a post on ebook prices. I was just startled when I clicked over to Amazon to look for Record of a Spaceborn Few, and found it priced that high. Eventually I’ll pick it up, either when the price comes down, or when I am exactly in the mood for that one book and no other will do, or when prices for physical copies come down, or whenever.
Incidentally, you know what is half the price of Iron and Magic right now?