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Selling Moorcock to a New Audience

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  • Selling Moorcock to a New Audience

    Hi Mike,

    I live in London but do a fair bit of travelling and always take time to browse bookshops whenever and wherever I can. I’ve noticed that it’s almost impossible nowadays to find new copies of your books anywhere other than on Amazon. None of the high street bookshops in the UK stock them. Even Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue only carries 3 or 4 on its shelves. Neither of the two main bookshops in Melbourne this weekend have any currently available.

    Fantasy, admittedly largely of the “pixie shit” kind, is riding high at the moment on the back of Harry Potter and the LOTR films. Are your publishers doing anything to exploit that popularity? Now seems to be a perfect time to introduce a new younger audience to your EC series.

    All the very best

    PV

  • #2
    The various Waterstones in Edinburgh have a fair whack of Moorcock* in fairness to them.

    *What kind of a phrase is that?!

    Comment


    • #3
      As does the same store in Bath, mainly thanks to the influence of Steve Andrews, I'd wager.
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

      :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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      • #4
        The Waterstones here have none.
        "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

        Hunter S Thompson

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        • #5
          I don't get to the mainland often, but I can surely say I've seen none of Mike's books in my neck these days. Shame.
          Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

          ~Henry David Thoreau

          Comment


          • #6
            if their is a anthology we might get one but its a moorcock free zone in swindon bookshops. the local library have a good selection but we only have a smiths ans a waterstones now so becoming a bit of a mere to find good books unless very lucky in the second hand book shops

            in last 3 years we have lost a independant bookshop,borders,1 of 2 branches of waterstone and the oxfam bookshop.
            come to the dark side we have cookies

            Comment


            • #7
              There's usually a fair bit of Mike's stuff on the shelves hereabouts in the box stores. Haven't been over there for a while, but the last time I was in B&N they had several of the Del Rey titles and a couple of the Tor Hawkmoon. Borders, of all places, seems to stock the Quartet fairly regularly. On the whole, though, I think our happy days of wandering the stacks at leisure are numbered. Norman Spinrad has a very informative discussion of the weirdness that drives print sales over at his blog. He calls it the Death Spiral.

              http://normanspinradatlarge.blogspot...8_archive.html
              Last edited by Kevin McCabe; 08-27-2010, 02:06 PM.
              Kevin McCabe
              The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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              • #8
                It's been a few years since I havent seen Mike's books in the big stores. There was a time in the early 00's when I never saw them around much. I think in the UK the rights are held by a different company.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know Orion are doing a Hawkmoon reprint in the near future. I proposed they do what Tor are doing and issue them as individual volumes, but they argue that the chains don't want small books and they want to fill their shelves with what I used to call 'fat fantasy' books. It's possible that Dr Who sales might make chains decide to order more titles. In the US my publishers seem to get behind the books more, I must say. That said, there are reverted titles from Orion which can't be published. Unfortunately I have yet to discover details. In the coming months we shall be sorting stuff out with Orion and with luck we'll come up with some sort of ublishing or reversion plan. Once I have control of some books, at least, we might see a better psttern to reprinting.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can find some of the works at Chapters or Indigo but it's often, for example, reprints with the newest cover or incomplete White Wolf collections.

                    OTOH there is a shop in Toronto, on Queen Street West, called BakkaPhoenix, which specializes entirely in sci-fi/fantasy. I usually have no trouble finding material there, and this is not a used book store.

                    I do agree that I'm more likely to find it in just the most specialist shops, and/or going all the way to Minotaur, flying over the Pacific...
                    Thick as wind-blown leaves innumerable, since 1985

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've found that both the Barnes & Noble and Borders in my area (Atlanta) tend to stock any of Mike's books that are in print. Though I buy most of Mike's stuff from my local comic book shop, I do check the bookshelves at the chains just to see what they're stocking.

                      I do agree that the relative shortness of Mike's older books is a bit of a problem in today's SF/Fantasy market where many readers apparently buy their books by the pound. What's needed, I think, is a fantasy version of Hard Case Crime, a publisher who puts out mystery paperbacks in the style of the old Gold Medal books. Usually around 250 pages, with pulp style covers. Check the link below. Something of this nature would be great for new and reprint fantasy books that are closer to the glory days of DAW than today's doorstop trilogy saturated market.

                      http://www.hardcasecrime.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Seems most of the big chains keep the newest bestselling stuff in stock. MM isnt the only one to have undergone a lessoning in what books are kept in stock in the big chains. Look at Piers Anthony. When he was in vogue, you saw whole sections dedicated to his books in places like Waldens. True, you still see his stuff a LOT more then MM's books but it seems to be rather cyclic.
                        Also, look at the time periods of the writing. Much of the older pulp books are simply outdated in terms of technology of what was available then and what is available now. Some of the stuff you see in books that were printed in the 60s just are not as fantastic or there are "newer" science fiction ideas that have overridden them. As an example remember the story (not sure of the author) where a man went into space in a giant "bullet shot from a machine on Earth. To get rid of the trash, he simply opened the door threw it out and shut it real fast. Today, we read that and just consider it to be silly.
                        The ideas and overall story in MM's books are still great but some of it is confusing if you are not already a fan and today's readers want stuff spoon fed to them and for what they get spoon fed to them.
                        The average Joe who is not already a fan will likely just buy a copy of whatever is popular at the moment and pass a MM book over so shelf space is reserved for the new stuff.
                        Now, if something were to be done to bring MM's books to the fore once more, that would likely change. A movie series or tv series would do a lot towards making his stuff more popular and thus gain it more shelf space.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think Paizo (Planet) and Tor have done excellent work with their single volume editions of Kane and Hawkmoon but Orion's experience is that they can't sell them that way!

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was pleased with the compilations that White Wolf did. Before them, I was stuck going through secondhand stores hoping to find one here and there and trying to piece them together.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Axeman View Post
                              The average Joe who is not already a fan will likely just buy a copy of whatever is popular at the moment and pass a MM book over so shelf space is reserved for the new stuff.
                              I guess that's part of my original point, Axeman. Most committed MM fans, like the people who use this site, will have most of his output. If I'm a typical reader, many will have bought his books second hand until they were old enough to afford new releases in hardback. My collection sits at about 150 novels, short story collections, comics, etc. but I'm not such a completist that I'll buy every edition of every story Mike's ever written.

                              Therefore, there is limited scope for decent sales of the back catalogue to the existing fan base. We've all mostly got what we want and will only buy a book new if it's a really special edition or brand new output.

                              The Dr Who book is a great idea and the publicity generated may very well turn new readers to Mike's books. I sincerely hope it does.

                              However, Mike was unequivocal at the BFI that he is unlikely to see any of his books in film in his own lifetime. If the books don't translate well to film they're not likely to be too easy to do for the TV either.

                              So where does that leave Mike and his opportunities to grow his audience?

                              How about a film based on his life? Now that would be cool!

                              Who would play Mike and who would play Lemmy? Maybe that's a debate for another thread......

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