Wednesday, May 13

Kweshyins Kweshyins evriboddi gots kweshyins . . .

First: I'm not going to tell you what names those future projects might be published under, because
1) I haven't decided yet, and
2) it would kinda defeat the whole purpose of using a pseud, which is to hoodwink gullible bookstore computer ordering systems -- and presumably equally gullible human genre buyers -- into ordering more copies than they otherwise would, if they knew that I (ass-end charlie in the genre mid-list) wrote them.

The chain bookstores see my name below the title, and then bring up their tally of my most recent sales figures . . . then they order ten percent fewer copies than my last book sold, on the perfectly reasonable (and in fact correct) assumption that if this particular title takes off, they can always order more. The downside is that publishers use pre-orders to judge how much push they want to put behind the book -- and so the chains order less and less, and the publisher is less and less inclined to flush advertising dollars down the toilet of a failing career.

At a certain point, a particular by-line vanishes into a downward spiral of diminishing expectations of success. The rule of thumb is that if you haven't broken out by your fourth novel, you're done. So I'm done. The only reason you keep seeing books with my name on them is that
1) I had a pre-existing contract for two Caine novels, and
2) my estimable editor had a brilliant idea for an on-the-cheap publicity campaign, and
3) the author-of-record for my SW books (for ordering purposes) is "Star Wars," which means that my shitty sales record doesn't affect them at all -- but they also don't help pump the orders for my original stuff.

This is not to say that you won't see more Stover books; I have contracts for two other tie-ins, as well as the last Caine book. If one of my new projects becomes wildly successful, I may be able to return to the genre as a "Thus&Such writing as Matthew Stover" kind of thing.


No, I don't play CoD4. I don't even own a 360.


During the events described in Heroes Die, Berne is 27 or 28, if I recall correctly -- roughly ten years younger than Caine.


For anyone wishing to reach me (and who doesn't already have my email), your best bet is to create an account at or and pm me.


There are currently no plans to re-release Blade in conventional print. I had a nibble from an independent publishing house about putting out a collector's edition, but that seems to have fallen away.


I have no idea about the sales of Lynch and Abercrombie and company, except a strong suspicion that they're considerably higher than mine.

That's all for now. I have to go kill things.


Adam M said...

I just realized how Caine Black Knife and Jericho Moon are sort of parallels. Both feature heroes against a ruthless and nomadic tribe, an abandoned city later repopulated, a prominent warrior woman, and so on.

And while we're on the topic: the sheep-skin thing in Jericho Moon is a condom, I figure. But I guess I'm too much of a prude to figure out the lemon part. Any hints?

Anonymous said...

I also need to apologize for how horribly off topic the above post was.

Doug B. said...

You can count on at least one sell for the next Caine book. As soon as I see it at or where ever, I'll pre-order it. I had "Caine Black Knife" on pre-order around 5 months before I got my hands on it. Other than that I'm glad to hear you'll at least finish off the second half of the story for "Caine Black Knife".

Last note, post on here whenever the pre-orders go up. Might boost your sells with at least your fans.

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of your work. I really like your Star Wars Novels and that was the whole reason that I picked up the Caine Books... Which are amazing.

Here's hoping that people see your work for what it is and start buying it.

Jason Wingert

Andreas said...

I guess it's time for my occasional question about a print-on-demand-version of BoT. Or would that also count as "conventional print", and I should bury my hopes once and for all...?

Lou said...

Adam, the lemon is supposed to be a diaphragm. And, having just looked it up on Wikipedia, it is apparently not anachronistic, but an actual BC era contraception technique.

Anonymous said...

Jason friggin' Wingert! How've you been?

Anyhow, Matt, how are we supposed to know which pseudonymous name to order when the books end up, um, existing?

Anyhow, I vote for Raymond Story.

NSB said...

So there's no way to leak the byline to the fans without it showing up on the bookstore computers, eh?

Chris said...

Y'know, Matt, I always wondered why, on the covers of your novels, you'd gone from Matthew Woodring Stover to Matthew Stover, then Matt Stover. Now I know! I will look out for a crime novel by M-Stov. It has a certain J-Lo ring to it; I like it!

Best of luck with 'em. n' I DO expect to know when I can buy them. I know where you live, remember. Well, the state, at least. Ah, balls.

p.s. I like commas, because they are free.

MWS said...

Raymond Story is a GREAT idea.

My books are submitted as being by Matthew Woodring Stover. The art dept. makes the changes to fit with the cover design. To the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to market my work under the name Matt Stover -- although it might produce an unexpected surge from old-line NFL fans . . .

Adam said...

Ditto on Raymond Story. Use it.

Also, thanks for the info on the lemon. That's been puzzling me for some time.

Ian Kaplan said...

I have really enjoyed the Caine books. I could not find "Blade" on Amazon for anything but a very high price, but I was able to check it out of the library.

If you own the copyright to Blade, perhaps it could be brought out via a "print on demand" press.

I'm sorry that the publishing game has not worked out better. Sometimes it is just fortuna..

MWS said...

I do own the copyright to BLADE, but its publication rights are leased to Del Rey. There was talk of an in-house POD version, but so far it has come to nothing . . . partly due to technical mechanics of publishing contracts that are too complex (and tiresome) to be recounted here.

So I won't.

Joe said...

It's understandable if Matt can't tell us his psued. I just hope since we'll be seeing fewer Stover books he can recommend some hot new authors if he happens to read their stuff.

Maybe somebody in mystery/crime fiction?

Michael said...

I like your idea joe, I'd sure hate to miss a novel full of ass kicking and karate chops just cause i didnt recognize the name!

I am Dr. Krog said...

Well fuck me like a dazed donkey. I'm sitting here reading your blog as inspiration for writing, since I think of you as a very successful author, and you're enacting plans against all the all the BS crap you have to do deal with at the higher levels. I thought you had free-reign now after SW. Glad you have a plan though. I'd tell you to 'inch towards daylight,' but you probably get that a lot. Back to rereading Iron Dawn now...

Jared said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salt-Man Z said...

I've been playing around with Spooner-style, transparent pseudonyms, and I have to say I've become quite fond of "Stove Mather". (Though I agree that Raymond Story would be perfect!)

rebecca said...

I love Raymond Story. Especially if it means I'll have *some* idea of which are your new books.

Is there some way to tip off your current fans without blowing your cover? I'll just be real disappointed to miss out on anything of yours.

I really wish they'd at least put out BoT as a POD book...I pimp out HD but then people don't go on to buy CBK because they can't find the second book.

tgibbs said...

Just a couple of months ago, I came across the trade pb edition of Blade on the shelf of a Berkeley bookstore--at list price! (I didn't even realize that there was a trade edition)

Now I can finally loan out my prized copy of the mass market paperback.

Couch said...

Man!! I can't believe that your books aren't flying off the press! Let me tell you. I'll be 40 in January...and I've been reading Fantasy since I was, what?...10? Probably younger than that.
So let's say 30 years of reading...and I read super fast and read about 2-4 books at a time...
The Caine books are BY FAR the best fantasy novels I've EVER read!! There is no comparison....none!! Perhaps it's because of the Sci Fi twist to them? Maybe....'cause I read Sci Fi as well....and Classics and lots of Non-Fiction...just in case anyone thinks I don't have a strong enough literary background to judge.
When I found out Caine Black Knife was out...I flipped out of my chair backwards! I screamed OH YEAH!! so loud, my office-mates thought I'd just closed a huuuuuge deal!! LOL..
I bought the eBook (because I read WAAAAY too much to carry around a bunch of big, dead-tree books. Ebooks have been a Godsend for me! Love 'em! I have over a 1000 books on my Palm Pre so that I'm never without SOMETHING to read!) I know this makes me sound like a dork....but, I don't care. At my age, I've stopped giving a hoot about what people think...and I'm eagerly awaiting your books!
BTW....I have an extremely long I never reread books...EVER. However...I've read the Caine series 3 times already...and each time, it's so packed with detail that I always enjoy re-reading. Never been able to do THAT with any other titles. So, that should tell you how good they are.
I know praise doesn't keep the lights on at night...or the gas flowing in your need sales to make you can keep on cranking out those books! But, I just wanted to let you know that your books have made at least one life that much more bearable than it was before! Thank you so much...and I wish I could do more than just thank you. I've pushed your titles on people when I've been able to... and some have gone out and bought them straight away...and I hope the ones that i didn't witness doing so went out anyway and bought them. I'll keep pulling for you...just please, please, please....keep writing my friend! The Fantasy/Sci Fi world is a very empty place without your work!! Mahalo and aloha!!