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Clare: and Chrissy: Hello everyone, welcome to the August Edition of The Clare and Chrissy Show. It doesn't matter if you are dashing about getting ready for back-to-school, or finalizing your plans for the UK Meet (only 4 weeks to go!) we're happy to see you.

Clare: Some of you may remember earlier this year when Dreamspinner Press celebrated their fifth anniversary.

Chrissy: Confetti Time!! Both Clare and I were honored to recognized as two of their first year authors, despite our shock at realizing five years had gone by since we were initially published.

Clare: Good Lord, that means five years since we first met online.

Chrissy: Awwwwwh, sweetie. You remembered. I thought we weren't going to celebrate anniversaries?

Clare: It had all rushed by so fast! That's what stunned me. It seemed like only a few months had passed since I agonized over my pseudonym, set up my first attempt at a website, and dipped my stubby little toe into the rocky waters of online promotion.

Chrissy: Instead it's been years. Here's a case where time traveled much faster than a speeding snail. Wow, I'm going to need some more confetti.

Clare: Gawd, I'm going to need another margarita. This is worse than my sons' birthdays, when I start doing the maths and figuring out that if they're this age, then I'm … *gasp*

Chrissy: My lips are sealed.

Clare: They'd better be! I was a child bride, you know *coughcough*.

Chrissy: In addition to realizing it's past time to revamp each of our now-expired five year career plans (now there's a blog post waiting to be written), we also face the fact that somehow along the way we acquired a backlist.

Clare: Quite different from only having one or two titles under our collective belts.

Chrissy: Usually we don't tend to notice unless we are updating our websites, or preparing a layout of covers.

Clare: As most of our attention is firmly fixed on our latest release, and those - hopefully - upcoming.

Chrissy: There are edits to be made, excerpts to pull, blog hops, and group chats to calendar.

Clare: Don't forget reviews to be read! (or skimmed past quickly *lol*)

Chrissy: All circling us back once again to even more website updates. It's an attention-consuming cycle.

Clare: Then, just when we think we've got it all handled and we can get back to the business of writing, it's time for another new release and we start all over again. Dammit, do I sound like I'm complaining?! That's not the case, of course!

Chrissy: But when we stop and take a breath, or *cough* haven't released anything new in a while it's a different matter all together.

Clare: All we can say is, each of the older stories has already received their time in the sun. We've posted excerpts up one Yahoo Group and down another twenty-four. Chatted and given away free copies until we're convinced that there's no one on the planet who hasn't had a chance to win their own copy.

Chrissy: At what point do we figure we've beaten this poor horse of a story to death and beyond?

Clare: Welllll... This is where the advantage of age and experience comes to the fore.

Chrissy: As in, old age and treachery beats youth and skill?

Clare: Less of the old from you, Munder. The thing to remember is that the web world is not only fickle, but distracted as well.

Chrissy: Add in the veritable onslaught of new titles released every week now compared to a few years ago and we begin to understand that despite our personal perceptions - and hopes! - our work may have only reached a small percentage of our intended audience.

Clare: And the audience changes as well. It's interesting to check the number of members in any online group and realize how much they've grown over the years.

Chrissy: Many of these members are not only new to the group, but also new to the M/M genre.

Clare: We authors love a reader who tries one of our stories and then goes on to investigate our entire catalogue of work.

Chrissy: But there are just as many readers who pick and choose, depending on what's caught their eye for moment.

Clare: Chrissy and I love to get together and participate in online chats at some of the various group sites.

Chrissy: They're a great place to have some fun, expose older excerpts to lurkers, and get to know more of our audience. We also post excerpts of older works on our websites, offer holiday deals, and celebrate our older work on our blogs.

Clare: No matter the venue, each time we've dragged some of our backlist out into the light we always have someone chime in and tell us….

Clare: and Chrissy: "I hadn't heard of that story!"

Clare: Rather sobering actually. Reminds me there's little chance of me becoming an internationally-famous household name at this rate ... but I daresay that's character-building! LOL

Chrissy: We're lucky in that unlike authors who tell us they can't stand to reread their older work, it's a pleasure for us to sit down after a chat or blog post, reread an older work, and get to know the characters all over again.

Clare: Sure they may be a few things we cringe over, or wish we could change (e.g. my becoming-notoriously-legendary overuse of exclamation marks, for example!!!), but those just go in the big list of things to do on a reissue. Well, assuming there ever *is* a reissue. :)

Chrissy: In the meantime we have the joy of introducing these characters to an entirely new audience.

Clare: As well as remembering why we liked them so much and deciding they probably merit penning a sequel ... or two.

Chrissy: That happens all the time! Then I tell myself that no, I have to finish the story that's in progress now, then I can get back to them.

Clare: Hmph, my characters aren't nearly so well behaved or willing to wait.

Chrissy: Well, that is one way to shine the spot light on an older story we didn't discuss - write the sequel!

Clare: Works every time (*starts doodling a scene for Red and Carter...*).

Clare: and Chrissy: Tell us what you think!

Readers, do you scour an author's backlist or are you happy to pick and choose from the latest offerings? Does it bore you to tears when an author continues to flog a story from years past, and do you just wish they would stop?

Authors, how do you feel about publicizing your older work, and do you ever feel a story has been overexposed? Have you ever been proved wrong? And what about those you think have been neglected? What do you do to bring older works back into the public view?

Everyone who comments to this month's post will be entered into our random drawing for some of our Free and Festive Clare and Chrissy Swag! Winner to be announced at our next monthly blog post.

SPECIAL NOTE: We're gearing up for a special "open forum" episode of The Clare and Chrissy Show later this year. Do you have a question about one of our posts? One of our stories? Love or Hate our characters? Interested in our favorite music? Reader's choice! All Clare, all Chrissy, all questions will be answered. But fear not shy soul, no names will be used, only questions.

You have between now and September 30, 2012 to think of a question you'd like answered and email it to chrissymunder@yahoo.com. Be sure to mark which one of us the question is for, and then sit back and get ready to learn all.

July Winner: egret17- Congratulations! Please choose a story from one of our backlists, and then send an email to Chrissy at chrissymunder@yahoo.com for your free download.

Missed a month? Follow the sticky post for these rambles of ours HERE

And to learn more about us:

Here's Chrissy! website // blog.

Here's Clare! website // blog.

pic credits:  savage chickens/doug savage


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
Do you scour an author's backlist or are you happy to pick and choose from the latest offerings?

Sometimes. Especially if I particularly am captivated by a story, I will go and see if anything else catches my eye. There are so many new ones though, it does get overwhelming. It happens more with series or sequels. Sometimes there are stand-alone sequels that catch my interest and make me want to read how they got together or more about that world so I'll go searching.

Does it bore you to tears when an author continues to flog a story from years past, and do you just wish they would stop?

Not at all. I'd rather that. I actually stopped following someone on Twitter because if I saw one more post about her latest book (not m/m so everyone can breathe easy LOL) I was going to scream. It was just the same posts over and over and over. If I didn't click the link the first time, I'm unlikely to 3 days later. I'd much rather find out about a book I may have missed. I've not been around m/m that long (oh crap, 4 years??!?! No way) so there are books I haven't read that I'd be happy to have a look at.

You've given me an idea for my blog. Maybe once or twice a month I'll pick an author whose books I've loved and profile their back-list rather than just the latest book I've reviewed. I would love people to share my love of fave books that may get overlooked with all the shiny and new. Well done guys. :-)

Oh and 4 weeks? No way! I am so looking forward to Brighton. Very excited. But that also means I have to get my kid organized for back to school. I'm sure there will be surly attitude the night before as I struggle to get her to toss out papers from old binders and add new. Sigh. Her last year. *sniff* How did I get so old? (Don't answer)
Aug. 15th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful answers to our questions! With the flood of new books out there I know I'm years behind in my reading. Hmm, same as I am in my movie watching. All those new releases have been moved to the newer section or even over to the regular alphabetized aisles by the time I get to them. Your newly-inspired blog feature may give me hope of finding some of those titles that looked interesting but I lost in the shuffle. :)

Good luck with the back to school (ignore me while I do the happy them-days-are-done dance) - and enjoy Brighton!
Aug. 16th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful input :)

I must admit, I'm only going from my experience, when people "find" a story of mine that I thought was blatantly and obviously out there for ages :P Way to bring me back down to earth :)

It's not often an author blows my socks off - as Mara says - but I love going back over backlists and eating them up! But I really like hearing about an author's work OTHER than their latest release. I like the way that comes out in interviews rather than promo posts.

I took a look around the hotel last night to talk about seating etc - it's great!! And so good to be next to the sea, *whatever* I say about being a city girl!
Aug. 15th, 2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
As a reader: If I find a new-to-me author who blows my socks off I'll be on the trail of their backlist instantly. If I suspect there might be prequels or sequels of something I've enjoyed then I'll be hunting details on a backlist and waiting for new releases. Or at least that would be the plan, but as you say there are just so many books available now that it is easy to miss something, or in my case, easy to forget if I don't buy instantly.

Overpublicised backlist? Sometimes I get that feeling, but if an author is regularly annoying like that I'll be trying to avoid anything they've got to say and not buying anything they write. Generally I like to hear about the 'antique' titles - I've either read them and enjoy the reminder or missed them or they didn't appeal but might now (my tastes have changed over the years, so maybe that's happened to other readers too!). I can ignore things that I'm not interested by - if I've read the advert too often then I'll skim.

As a writer I find promo really difficult - be it new release or backlist. I worry about going on and on about the backlist (and the new releases). I try and avoid doing the things that annoy me in others, but it is difficult to decide what to do when I'm avoiding so many things! I'm looking for more tips and tricks at the Meet.
Aug. 15th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
Interesting to look at the questions from both perspectives, isn't it? And it's horrible when your big list of things to remember as an author has more "do not's" on it than "do's".

The volume of new releases really is staggering. As you say, easy to forget if I don't grab it instantly. That's a great reminder to be sure there are valid buy links on the posts.
Aug. 16th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
That's such a good point - that we're inundated with info and offers and choices, and unless something grabs me right NOW I often miss it. I like catching up on backlist info, but I like it to be easily available. Drives me nuts when I find there's a prequel or sequel, but I can't quickly see the order for reading. Yep, I'll often give up completely!

I think overpublicists (is that a proper term? *g*) are annoying whatever they do - I appreciate it's a fine line and probably none of us do it perfectly, but I think your benchmark is sound of DoAsYouWouldBeDoneBy.
Aug. 16th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this post and opinions on it, as I'm at the stage of only been published just over a year so still in the process of building a backlist.

As a reader when I find a new author I always go back and look for everything they've written so if their backlist is easily found, and there's stuff out there about it, I find it very helpful.

I'll often find an author by an older story and then work forward too, so it works both ways.
Aug. 16th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Watch out, Anne! that backlist will sneak up on you before you know it. :) Good point on finding an older piece of work and then working forward. I've done that myself.
Aug. 18th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
I must admit there's a real satisfaction in "finding" an author and then being able to read a backlist all the way through. It usually helps to cement that author as one of my favourites for the future, too :).
Sep. 1st, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
When I read an older book and review it favorably, it's fascinating to watch it propagate through the "to-read" lists of my GRs friends. There are so many new books coming out all the time, people forget about the older books.
Sep. 2nd, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
That has to be a lot of fun to watch. :) What's crazy is how a title from a couple of weeks ago can become an "older book", much less a few months/year!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )