[LMB] Book subtitles

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Mon Aug 1 14:58:56 BST 2016

[LMB] Book subtitles
Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Mon Aug 1 13:29:48 BST 2016

HB:  I got an e-mail from Amazon recommending for me _Shards of Honor 
(Vorkosigan Saga Book 2)_ and _Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga Book 3)_.    I 
hadn’t seen those subtitles before.

LMB:  It would be really interesting to know what autobot triggered your 
message, and how/why; not my doing, anyway.

The subtitles are an artifact of Amazon's rigid automated series-listing 
constraints.  One has to choose a single series order, which is numbered 
and insists on calling the whatever a "book", even when it's a shorter 
piece.  (Most lately with the two Penric novellas.)  We chose to go with 
internal-chronological for the VK-verse, which rather artificially casts 
_Falling Free_ as "Book 1" even though it was the 4th book I wrote and 
had published.  Which at least has resulted in an uptick of sales for 
_FF_, but may be a bit confusing for some new readers when they go on to 
_Shards_ and it's not more of the same.  Well, as long as they're 
reading _something_...

It's worth doing despite the awkward constraints, because then one taps 
into the automated series cross-referencing which helps more people find 
more of the books.  And, of course, helps those who want to start and 
read "in order".

I have appended my own more fluid Bujold reading-order guide at the tail 
end of every direct-placement e-book, but, of course, no prospective 
customer sees that till they've already bought and read at least one 
e-book.  (And noticed it there.)  A bit late off the mark, but it's 
something.  But, really, most book browsers want something simpler and 
more succinct than a 2000-word essay when shopping.

Ta, L.

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