Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saville on His Scribe Nomination

There's a great interview at UKSFBookNews with IAMTW member Steve Saville about his nomination for a Scribe Award. Here's a short excerpt:

UKSFBN: Do you think these awards are going to help raise the profile and respectability of tie-in novels and boost sales, or is it more of an intra-industry back-slapping exercise?

SAVILLE: Sorry, I can't help but chuckle at the idea of the awards existing to boost sales when as a general rule of thumb most media tie-ins outsell traditional SF and Fantasy novels quite considerably - and I don't mean one or two thousand more copies, I mean twenty or thirty or fifty thousand copies and often more.

I find it quite interesting, but tie-in writing is often seen as the 'ghetto within the ghetto', which is just absurd when you consider who are actually writing these books. Off the top of my head: Max Allan Collins, Brian Hodge, Christopher Golden, Craig Shaw Gardner, Tom Picirrili, Tim Lebbon, Kevin J Anderson, Keith DeCandido, Eric Nylund, Sean Williams, Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore... I mean, these are guys who can write, win those 'traditional back-slapping awards' and more importantly sell from the bookstore shelves.

Thanks to my Warhammer novels I was in a position financially to go full time as a writer two years ago. Whether they want to admit it or not, most genre writers would kill for the sales levels of even average tie-ins. Eric Nylund's recent Halo novel scaled the Giddy Heights of the New York Times Bestsellers list. I remember reading Allan Dean Foster's old media tie-ins and never once did I think of Splinter in the Mind's Eye as disposable fiction; as a young reader it was fantastic.

As a writer, for me, the most important thing is actually being read. The idea of sweating over a novel only read by 200 people is a pretty depressing notion. You want your words to reach as many people as possible.

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