Did a really fun…

Did a really fun interview with Cecilia Tan, editor of Circlet Press -- Cecilia bought my very first story, two decades ago! And now I talk to her about Demimonde -- about the book itself, about stories set at universities, about the differences between my work and Orson Scott Card's, and more:

CT: Do you see a parallel between the first wave of Internet community-building in the 90s and the burst of social media now?

Mary Anne: Thats a fascinating question, and youre maybe one of the few people who can ask it! I do think theres a very similar cooperative feel right now  a lot of people are wanting to support the work they find interesting and exciting, and that was true back in the early days of the net. There were a lot of warm fuzzies going around back then.

But there are differences now too  theres a massive signal-to-noise problem. Im sure there are a ton of great projects on Kickstarter that arent getting any attention at all, just because its so hard to make yourself visible. Back when I started writing, I was one of very few sex writers online  and as a result, I got a lot of attention, from being interviewed in TIME Magazine and on TV, to getting postcards from soldiers stationed abroad during Desert Storm, and scientists in Antarctica. My name, and work, had tremendous reach back then. Now, its much harder to keep from just disappearing into the crowd. But people like you, who have an established platform and are willing to extend it to others, definitely help  which takes me write back to the start of your question. So, yes.

CT: Are prose writers at a disadvantage when it comes to Kickstarter when compared to graphic artists, comic creators, even musicians?

Mary Anne: I dont think so  but I think books may be at a disadvantage compared to something like board games, because people expect to pay more for the product. Leonard Richardson did an analysis of Kickstarter projects, which I wish Id read before launching my project  I would have set my goal amount lower (around $4000, which would have meant not trying to do the paperback or hardcover editions), and priced my eBook slightly higher (its currently at $10  I would have gone for $15 or $20. I think if you plan and price it right, and if you have an established track record so that people trust theyll like what you produce, you have quite a decent chance of getting a book published this way. (There are no guarantees in traditional publishing either!)

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