We’ve all heard about the “digital revolution” in publishing. It’s changing everything, from the way books are written, to the way they’re distributed. We’re all having to adjust, whether we’re an author, a publisher, or a reader.
It’s a very exciting time, one that reminds me of learning to surf.
(Um...okay. I’ve tried surfing, and it was fun...except for the time my board smacked me in my mouth. But everything other than that was great. Really.)
Anyway, you stand in front of those waves that are rolling in, and as you wade out farther into the water, you start realizing that jumping over the waves isn’t exactly the best way to go about conquering them. They’re starting to overtake you. What do you do? A) just stare at that next big, incoming wave and allow it to crash into you, bringing you down? Or do you B) learn how to “duckdive,” going under the wave and using the path of least resistance, coming out on the other side a little out of breath but ready to take on the next one?
I think you know the answer, and that’s why a couple of friends and I are attempting a “self-pubbed digital venture” this year.
We wanted to come out on the other side of that wave ready to go!
But there has been a lot of work involved with that dive. First, we wanted to brand ourselves, so we’re calling our collections of urban fantasy novellas “GothicScapes. Three stories per anthology, hopefully three times a year from us three authors—me, Nancy Holder, and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Not actually. There’s also the trademark issue to take care of, and we decided to use a literary attorney to handle that. And my accountant has come in very handy, too, as we needed to set up a way for three authors to get paid on each book. We commissioned a graphic artist to do a logo and started thinking early on about what our cover would look like. Plus, there’s a whole lot to learn about formatting and distribution. And PR plans? Time to set up some blog tours, advertising, conferences, and special release events, because it’s becoming pretty obvious that standing out in the world of digital publishing isn’t as simple as it was a couple years ago.
Then came the fun part—writing! We had to define what GothicScapes, our branding name, would be about. Since we all love urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery, we decided that’s what we wanted to give our readers...and we plan to give it three times a year, as I mentioned. That means setting up deadlines, not only to turn in the novella manuscripts, but to have them edited and formatted. (It’s tough getting used to thinking like an editor—scheduling our production tasks. See, the people who are editing and formatting for us need lead time, too, LOL.)
As for the content of the anthologies, I was dying for an opportunity to continue my Vampire Babylon series in my own novella contributions. This venture gives me the chance to reboot the series, since the last VB book, Deep in the Woods, was print published a few years ago. What’s exciting about these new novellas is that I’m able to not only continue the adventures of Dawn Madison, but I’m making the series new-reader-friendly, meaning that it should be easy for anyone to hop on board.
I’ve already written the first two novellas (Yes, I’m trying to be efficient!), even though the release dates are in October (for UNDEAD FOR A DAY, anthology #1) and December (for STRANGE SPIRITS, anthology #2). My next deadline is in February (release date April, just in time for Beltane), but thanks to a recent trip I took to New Orleans, I’ve got *that* story ready and raring to go, too!
I hope your “digital self-pubbed ventures” are just as fun as the ones I’m having with GothicScapes. It’s a ton of work, but what an exciting time this is!
So have you read any self-pubbed books that are strictly available on e-readers? What was the latest one, and what did you think of it? If you’d like to answer that question in the comments section, I would love to hear your opinion. The prize for one winner will be a first edition of my debut urban fantasy, THE HUNTRESS. I wrote it for Bombshell as Crystal Green in 2004, and Silhouette reprinted it in an anthology, so from what I hear, the first edition isn’t available any more in print....
Also, here’s a taste of the GothicScapes premiere book, available in October!
About UNDEAD FOR A DAY, GothicScapes #1
Samhain. All Hallow’s Eve. A night when zombie-like revenants can be raised by a magic-using, ancient family to exact revenge on the hunter who wrecked their underground kingdom... A time when a redheaded blackbelt pits herself against warmongering witch clans... A holiday that allows the Underworld to open and the creatures to pour out, their freedom governed by a gentleman's agreement between the forces of Light and Dark.
Welcome to UNDEAD FOR A DAY, a collection of three novellas from a trio of reader favorite urban fantasy writers: Chris Marie Green, AKA Christine Cody (Vampire Babylon and Bloodlands series), New York Times Bestseller Nancy Holder (Wicked and Teen Wolf series), and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom (Vampire Moons and Wolf Moons series).
“Raising the Dead” by Chris Marie Green (A Dawn Madison Vampire Babylon novella) reunites you with former hunter Dawn Madison, who hasn’t been the same since she retired from the life. She’s tired and drained from injuries sustained during the team’s last stand against the dragon, but when the clock strikes twelve on Samhain, everything changes. It seems that someone has sent raised-from-the-dark creatures after her, and they’re out for blood—as well as Dawn’s life.
In “Into the Fire” by Nancy Holder (A Story of the Favored,) Bridget Flynn leaps into a bonfire and goes from Samhain year wife at the first stroke of midnight to widow on the last. Caught in the middle of a feud between rival magical Houses, Bridget raises a battle force of her own. But can she survive in the midst of hot-tempered witches intent on destroying each other?
“Trapped in Stone” by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom takes us to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where the forces of Good and Evil are playing a game of Chicken with one man's soul, and the woman he loves is a major player in a challenge that has continued for a century.
Coming to your e-reader in October!
Chris Marie Green (AKA Christine Cody) is the author of the Vampire Babylon and Bloodlands series from Ace. Once upon a time, she used to be an eighth-grade teacher until she became a full-time author who has published nearly forty-five works under all three of her pseudonyms (including RITA-nominated Crystal Green). She and fellow authors Nancy Holder and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom have gotten together to digitally self-publish upcoming urban fantasy novella collections. The first, Undead for a Day, will be available in October, 2012!
***The lucky winner is Melissa! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address and full name. Thanks!***