Friday, May 08, 2009

Update

I promised I'd let you all know the fate of the StarDoc series, as Crystal Healer, book nine, finished my current contract. I now know what will happen to book ten.

But before I get into that, I'd like to look back at the first nine books, which span the entire length of my pro career:



This saga began with my first published novel, StarDoc. A science fiction series with miniscule print runs, no publisher support and a completely unknown author faces overwhelming odds, and yet somehow it became a genre bestseller from book one. That sounds great, but what it translates to is that all of the first five books earned out and made a modest profit, but never strayed beyond the midlist.

Midlist wasn't good enough. The publisher decided without telling me that they would shut down the series after book five. I wasn't finished, however, and the readers also refused to accept it. They wrote letters and e-mails, and otherwise made trouble. It didn't make a difference to the publisher, but it did to me. My readers didn't give up on me, and I couldn't give up on them.

They spread the word, kept me writing StarDoc stories for them and believing we could bring back the print books someday. It was a hopeless battle, of course. For the next four years, using word of mouth alone, my readership kept the series alive. Although no new StarDoc books were published from 2002-2006, my readers kept the faith, passed along my free stories, pestered their friends to read the books, expanded my readership, and gradually built up my sales numbers for the first five books, enough to keep them in print. In time they built them up enough to prompt the publisher to offer me a new contract for two new books, and then two more.

So what is the publisher going to do about book ten? You all know how my luck goes -- mostly from bad to worse. SF as a genre has never sold well, and with the way the industry is right now, the midlist doesn't sell enough to make it worth most publishers' time and money. And selling the tenth book of a SF series . . .

Well, as it turns out, not all my luck is bad.

Sold yesterday: StarDoc book ten, title and publication date to be revealed (hopefully) in the near future, to Roc SF/F.

I've been so quietly stressed out about this book that I'm kinda in shock. I'm not sure what it means, other than I can finally finish the series, and my loyal readers get to see the last book in print.

I'm kidding. After all these years, and so much disappointment, and so many hopeless battles, I do know what it means. It means two words. Two words I've waited seven years to say about this ordeal. Two words that as a midlist science fiction author I was never supposed to say. Two words that I'd really like to tattoo on a few jackasses, but I'll settle for just writing them here:

We win.

45 comments:

  1. YES! Oh, congrats. Looking forward to #10.

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  2. Congrats! I'm sure a big weight just got lifted off your shoulders with that news.

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  3. So can I say... woo hoo!!!! for us

    And congrats to you.

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  4. Woo HOO!!! Way to go! I'm sure it's a relief. Take a breath and have a cookie. You deserve it. :)

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  5. {Insert big loopy grin here} :D

    Oh, great news! Congratulations!
    (I love those two words).

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  6. That is awesome Yay! Congrats.

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  7. Jonathan Bernard1:50 AM

    Woot! This is fantastic news! I was first introduced to the StarDoc series back in 2001 (or so...) from a member of the Forward Motion writing website. I have been a fan every since.

    I am glad we get another book, and look forward to many more.

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  8. This post goes in my bookmarks-- I love witnessing the artists beat the system. Congratulations!

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  9. Ooooo... I thought you meant those other two words!

    Woot! To us and an even bigger WOOT to you!!!

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  10. Congratulations, Lynn. This put a big smile on my face for the day! :)

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  11. Congrats, Lynn. It is so nice to see that just because a series is not exploding (even though it deserves to be) it can succeed. There is room for all kinds of stories that we want to read and when publishers get that, we will all be better off.
    P.S. Hope this made sense as it is very early and haven't had enough tea yet.

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  12. Oh yeah...I had been wondering about book ten. Thank you for not giving up.

    Congrats!

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  13. Congrats!!!!

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  14. Lynn--I am so thrilled for you! And also for me and the rest of your readers. More Stardoc! yay!

    Congratulations and keep the faith!

    xo
    lisa

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  15. YES! *HUGE HUGS* You proved it. You did it!

    You bring out the best in your readers and we couldn't be happier for book 10!!!!!

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  16. Yay! This calls for cookies.

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  17. I won signed copies of your books a couple years ago and devoured them. Congrats on book 10!!! You must be super happy!!

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  18. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Lynn,
    Congrats! I know you have said in the past that you felt 10 books for a series was a good number. Now you'll be able to complete Cherijo's story the way you wanted to. Hurray!
    Tami
    Jacksonville

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  19. Hurray! Since I came late to the dance, I never realized what you went through to get the series published, but I'm so glad you did. Especially considering the first StarDoc book I read was Omega Games. Now I'm reading forward and reading from the beginning. I can't wait to see what happened (and what happens from here). Congratulations, Lynn. =o)

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  20. I have tears in my eyes right now. This post is so inspiring. I love how you always remember that readers come first.

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  21. AWESOME!!! That's true marketing at work. When your fans do it for you because they love your work.

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  22. I am doing a happy dance. This is great news. I have the whole collection and recommend them to friends. I think I will celebrate by starting to re-read the series. I did that after the last Darkyn book came out.

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  23. Oh yeah, the saga continues. Congratulations! This is news we've all been waiting for.

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  24. YAY! That's great news.

    I'm late coming to this series...just found the first 3 books a few weeks ago and they are sitting, not so patiently, in my TBR pile.

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  25. Keita Haruka1:00 PM

    *pop goes the bubbly*

    WOOHOO!! :D That's wonderful!

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  26. Ariellia2:34 PM

    HOT DANG!!! OH YEAH BABY!!

    (Yes, I'm excited)

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  27. That's awesome Lynn!! Kudos. Kudos.

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  28. Yay! I have the entire series and I cannot wait until Crystal Healer comes out! I look forward to hearing more about the development of Book #10! :)

    Shawntelle

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  29. *sighsniff* i love a happy ending!! :D COngrats hon!

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  30. Congratulations! It's news like this that keeps us all warm at night.

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  31. I'm glad you won:)
    Congrats.

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  32. You really know how to set a gal up :p. That's fantastic news. Can't wait to read it.

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  33. Desiree9:11 PM

    I am thrilled! I started reading your novels by reading the Star Doc series! I didnt even know about your other books until I discovered your blog. But of course I had to go out and buy the rest and read those too. I now have all your books currently in print. I'm hoping you will stick around for as long as you still enjoy the business and I will keep reading!

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  34. Congratulations. You feel a great responsibility to your readers, which says to me that you're a great writer.

    One funny thing about SciFi is that there's SciFi for men, SciFi, for women and SciFi that both will read. It's a strange market.

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  35. Yay for Lynne and all of us!

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  36. Raelene Gorlinsky1:17 PM

    Hurrah for the midlist! That's what most of us read the most. And where we get the most interaction with and response from authors. Plus where we readers can truly feel we might be able to provide some support and encouragement to authors and possibly have some bit of positive influence on the future opportunities for their books.

    My son loves the StarDoc series, he'll be thrilled to know there will be a tenth.

    Raelene

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  37. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is SO awesome! Wow...what an amazing story, and I'm glad you finally got an HEA with this! :)

    Happy Mother's Day!

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  38. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Yes! Long live Stardoc!! My favorite sci-fi series of all time.

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  39. This is a late post, but...

    I remember the long, dry years of no new StarDoc books and was always wondering when a new one would come out. Thus when "Rebel Ice" came out, I was super excited and now I know more will be coming!

    Congrats! I'm excited for the 10th book.

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