tam’s guest post: happy holidays??


Yes, it’s a bit early and I’m not being politically correct about the “December holiday period”, I’m thinking about holidays in general, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving (since we just had Thanksgiving) and stories that are written with a holiday theme. Some publishers seem to come out with little sets of shorts with holiday themes; others just seem to publish random books set around a particular holiday.

I wondered if the readers out there like to buy holiday books. Do you only buy them at the holiday time, i.e. Christmas books in December, Halloween books in October or do you buy them year around? I will buy Halloween themed books any time. I love the holiday and am happy to read about Halloween in March. For some reason Christmas not so much. I have bought Christmas themed shorts outside of the December season but not as often as Halloween stories.

As an author, do you find it kind of a waste of your time and effort with regard to sales as you really have a pretty small window of opportunity since not everyone is like me and buying Halloween shorts in May. Or do you see it as a way to get your name out there to people who might not “know” you for your other work?

Many holiday shorts also revisit characters an author has created in other non-holiday works. I can think of two Christmas shorts, one from JL Langley’s Tin Star and one from Jourdan Lane’s Soul Mates series. Do you prefer that or not really care? I do find it a bit awkward when I’m not familiar with the characters and am faced with a short that assumes I know who they are and the world they are living in, but enjoy it when I do. What do you prefer?

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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14 Responses to tam’s guest post: happy holidays??

  1. Jenre says:

    I'm with you, Tam that I'm happy to read Halloween stories throughout the year. I don't tend to read Christmas stuff out of season though, especially in the height of summer because it feels a bit odd.

    As a rule I don't buy the holiday spin off stories because they don't add anything to the previous books and are often made up of an additional sex scene between the heroes. They are also often ridiculously priced for the word count.

  2. I don't like short stories, period. They're not worth the money, or my time. I particularly dislike holiday themed vignettes. Useless!

  3. Lily says:

    Holiday stories are alright but not something I actively seek out. If I see one and it sounds good I'll buy it, even if it's no longer that holiday time.

  4. Ingrid says:

    Christmas stories are way too mushy most times so I stay clear of them.
    Also the way Americans celebrate Christmas is not the way we do so I don't feel a connection.
    And of course I don't like shorts.

  5. Kris says:

    I rarely buy the holiday themed stories and I stay well and truly clear of those which are associated with previous books.

    Re: the latter – I can understand why fans are interested in revisiting their fave characters, but to me they rarely add anything to the story and are usually bloody expensive. A waste of time and money.

  6. Tam says:

    Jen: But all shorts are ridiculously priced for the word count. LOL I'm still addicted. Sigh. There does seem to be something weird about reading Christmas in March. However Halloween less weird. Not sure what's up with that.

    Emmy: People seem to enjoy shorts or steer clear. Doesn't seem to be much middle ground.

  7. Tam says:

    Lily: I don't always go looking but if I find them I can enjoy them “out of season”.

    Ingrid: Another short hater. *pout* 🙂 I do imagine the different customs does make it difficult to connect. I don't mind sugary mush sometimes.

    Kris: I generally enjoy revisits, but yeah, all shorts are expensive but I'm kind of an addict I think. The crack of the e-book world.

  8. K. Z. Snow says:

    OMG, that man is LUSCIOUS!

    Now…what was the topic again? Oh yeah, books. Bummer.

    I read scary stuff all year 'round. Love, love, love it. Christmas stories? No.

    I wrote a Christmas novel called Mrs. Claws, kind of a romantic comedy with a lot of fingernail humor, which is now at Cerridwen Press. Of course I think it's charming. Considering one of the characters is an ass-grabbing, wise-cracking dwarf and there's also a skank involved, it isn't exactly standard holiday fare. But it does have teh HEA.

  9. Merwan says:

    I've only bought a couple of Christmas stories (and that was because I'm in love with the author's writing), it's not something I do; even less so for Halloween ones.

    I have a few (free) stories set at Christmas that I reread every Holiday season, and for Halloween I just reread my favorite horror books. That's healthier for my wallet, especially since I hardly ever have a lot of time around Christmas to read.

    PS: About shorts, though I don't hate them, they're rarely as satisfying as a novel or novella. I always want more.

  10. Clare London says:

    This is a great post, especially as I was just about to sir down and pen a Halloween short LMAO. I think I may just put the keyboard away and just go ogling menpix instead.

    I *do* like shorts but maybe that's because my life and free time are so erratic LOL. I like them especially to try out an author's style – though obviously that's probably going to be different in a novel, but it does give me an idea of their quality.

    And if I love an author, they could write the side of a cereal packet and I'd buy it.

    However, spinoffs? If I haven't read the original, it doesn't appeal because the characters aren't alive in my mind already and I doubt the short will have time to spend on that. It reminds me a lot of fanfic days, when the characters are already established with the readers, so a story can just be a 'slice of life' and still be enjoyable.

    I like Christmas and Halloween stories all year, but I agree that Xmas ones tend to be all full of smuch, and I'm not so keen on that. Well, not always LOL.

  11. Tam says:

    KZ: I'm sure it was charming. 🙂 He would be a tasty treat to find in your Halloween goody bag wouldn't he?

    Merwan: Shorts can definitely leave you wanting more. I think because I don't like “horror” I get my fix of slightly scary with Halloween shorts. 🙂

    Clare: No, no, you get writing that short for Jen and I since we seem to be the short lovers here. Time to ogle boys later. 😀

    I agree about spin-offs I'm not familiar with not doing much for me. Of course sometimes you can't tell until you've bought it and start reading and then realize that there was more back-story somewhere that would have made it all make sense if you'd read it. Kind of a waste then.

    If that #%$@%# chipmunk outside doesn't shut the hell up there is going to be chimpunkicide in a few minutes. MY GOD! How long can he keep chirpping like that?

  12. Tam says:

    KZ: I'm sure it was charming. 🙂 He would be a tasty treat to find in your Halloween goody bag wouldn't he?

    Merwan: Shorts can definitely leave you wanting more. I think because I don't like “horror” I get my fix of slightly scary with Halloween shorts. 🙂

    Clare: No, no, you get writing that short for Jen and I since we seem to be the short lovers here. Time to ogle boys later. 😀

    I agree about spin-offs I'm not familiar with not doing much for me. Of course sometimes you can't tell until you've bought it and start reading and then realize that there was more back-story somewhere that would have made it all make sense if you'd read it. Kind of a waste then.

    If that #%$@%# chipmunk outside doesn't shut the hell up there is going to be chimpunkicide in a few minutes. MY GOD! How long can he keep chirpping like that?

  13. orannia says:

    I don't read Halloween stories, but then Halloween isn't really celebrated here…well, it is celebrated more now than it was when Iw as growing up.

    Santa always used to buy me a endo-of-year holiday (I'm not using the 'C' word until next month) anthology – I've still got all of them and often bring them out over the holiday period as some of them are really good.

  14. Tam says:

    I salute you for refusing to say the C-word Orianna. We were searching for a black cape for my daughter in the Halloween aisle, right next to all the C-lights. Arrggghh. It's October people! LOL I'm getting the Dreamspinner “holiday” thingy this year so we'll see how it goes.

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