*drumroll* Downside book 5 is officially titled:
I’m really, really excited about it; I think it’s a great title, and I’m quite pleased with the book in general, and yay etc. etc.
Also, as I promised on Monday, Stellar Four has posted a big huge excerpt of the opening chapter of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC up on their site, as both a cool thing to do for their first-ever Urban Fantasy Week and as a thank-you to all of you; the winner of my Downside T-shirt in the L.A. Banks auction was one of the ladies from St4, and she wouldn’t have had to cough up anywhere near as much cash as she did if not for all of you amazing, generous, and awesome people. The excerpt will go up at around 11am PST, which is still a while away and I didn’t want to wait to do my blog post for today. So you can check back here–I’ll update the post when the excerpt goes up–or you can check back there directly.
Last night I got my first look at the cover art for SACRIFICIAL MAGIC. It made me very, very happy. I can’t wait to show it to you! Which I will do as soon as I can. It’s getting a few little tweaks here and there at the moment, so fingers crossed it’ll only be a few more weeks.
A small but interesting discussion has been taking place over whether or not authors should rate their own books at Goodreads/LibraryThing/B&N/Amazon/wherever else. I’m actually surprised the subject is still coming up; I thought it was rather obvious that rating one’s own books makes one look like a tool? (Yes, I know, I wasn’t going to discuss this stuff anymore, but this isn’t really a long discussion and there seems to be a consensus anyway. Of course, we’ll see how long it takes for “Stacia Kane says you’ll never ever get published if you rate your own books on Goodreads” to pop up.)
Rating one’s own books is one of those things you see recommended/mentioned a lot on the message boards of vanity presses, along with the usual other useless stuff like having your friends and family review and rate your books so it looks like lots of people love them. Or trading reviews with other authors from the same press, and having your book’s name in your reviewer handle/sig/whatever to attract attention to you and your books, too. The problem with all of these ideas is that readers aren’t stupid. A 5-star review from the book’s author is a red flag. That red flag gets even bigger when you add a few other reviews from people in the same geographic area (and/or with the same last name as the author), especially when those reviews tend to be rather shallow, like “This book is wonderful. I couldn’t put it down. What a beautiful story!” and nothing else. Like I said, I think readers are smarter than that.
It just looks bad, rating your own books. It’s tacky. It looks desperate. I’ve never seen an author I respect or admire do it; I’ve seen one or two I have the exact opposite feelings for do it. Anyone who tells you it’s a good idea is someone whose judgment should be questioned, thoroughly and comprehensively.