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Shanna's Journal
Shanna's Adventures in Publishing (and in life)
The E-Book Scoop 
13th-Jul-2012 12:11 pm
dalek tea
It looks like I'll be getting a new air conditioner on Monday. They had to come out again yesterday to take another look because apparently I'm really special and my house was designed by a drunk moron, but one of the guys had a genius idea for how to approach the unique situation that should improve things significantly. In fact, it almost seems like the house was designed to do it that way in the first place, but for whatever reason (possibly the same reason that made them think faux leather wallpaper in the bathroom was a good idea) they didn't do it that way when the house was built. It's not even costing me as much as I feared (though still, please buy books). The really geeky guy wasn't there this time, but the new guy and I did spend some time explaining the concept of steampunk to the main sales guy, and the main sales guy was really intrigued by the Terry Pratchett book I had lying on the bar in the living room, which led to a discussion of other book recommendations, and he ended up taking one of my bookmarks because he thought his daughters would love my books. I hope the guys who install the unit are as cool because they'll likely be in my house all day. It is possible that I may not be able to do my regular blogging on Monday, depending on what power needs to be turned off. Or I might wilt and leave them to work and head to the library. We'll see. I just need to make it through the weekend with the limping AC that can't cool below 80 degrees (which is where I usually set my thermostat anyway, but I think it's actually a bit above that during the day now).

I had a talk this morning with the person who works with my agent to do the digital publishing, so here's some of the scoop, mostly about book 5, but a lot of this will also apply to book 6. Our target release date is August 15. That's when the book will be uploaded to the booksellers. When they make it available is up to them. It's pretty much the same as with paper books -- some stores shelve right away on release day while others leave books sitting in boxes in the back room for a while until they get around to putting them on the shelf. According to the expert, the All Romance e-book store gets things up almost instantly. Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble get them up in 12-24 hours. Google takes a couple of days and Sony and Kobo can take up to a week. The books will also be available via Ingram and Overdrive, but Ingram sells through other accounts and Overdrive sells mostly to libraries. That does mean that you can request it through your library.

We'll be putting it up for pre-order with Apple and possibly with Amazon, aiming at having that ready around the beginning of August, but Amazon keeps changing the way they do pre-orders, so that may or may not happen. For those who want a printed paper book, there will be a print-on-demand option eventually, but possibly not right at release date. We're aiming to have that ready in time for Christmas (getting it all formatted is totally different from doing the e-book and is rather complicated). That will be available through Amazon and via Ingram, so you should be able to order a copy through a bookstore. It would be a trade paperback like the initial books and would probably be in the same price range as the paper copies of the first four books. For those who don't have e-readers (like me), you can get free apps for computers and smartphones that will allow you to read the e-book. It may not be the ideal reading experience, but it's there if you want to read the book and can't wait for the hard copy. If you're a bookseller, librarian or reviewer who wants a review copy, that will be available via NetGalley, probably around the beginning of August, but that's a different conversation I'll be having with the publicist next week.

I'll be updating the web site when I have specifics, and when the books go live at the various sellers I'll post sales links here and to my web site, and probably also Facebook and Goodreads. Any other questions? I'm starting to get really excited about all the possibilities with this. I was reviewing the EPUB version of the file on my phone last night, so it's a real book now. I now need to get the Kindle app to check that format for any funkiness. And now that I've admitted having that book on my phone, I'll have to guard it carefully.

As a fun exercise that will also help us in setting things up to maximize the exposure to the right kind of readers, I have a couple of questions. First, which genre categories would you be most likely to look for my books in? (Either specifically looking for books in the series or just looking for something kind of like that.) Second, if you were searching for something like this to read, what search terms would you use? (Pretend for a moment that you haven't read the other books in the series and aren't searching for my name or any titles, just books kind of like that.)

I managed to get the DVD of I'm With Lucy from the library, so I don't have to dig up the VHS tape from recording a TV broadcast, so I think it's going to be a romantic comedy movie night with ice cream in front of a fan. I miss having good science fiction/supernatural Friday nights, but I'm really anticipating Haven this fall because the guest casting is raising the awesome levels. They're going to have Claudia Black (Farscape and Stargate SG-1) and Iain Glenn (Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) in guest roles. That's a real notch above last season's "celebrity" guest stars. I hope both get to use their real accents and aren't forced into faking American.
13th-Jul-2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
Sympathies on insane house design; my grandmother's house had carpeting in the kitchen and bathroom, until she recently had it renovated.
13th-Jul-2012 06:46 pm (UTC) - Categories
I would look under paranormal romance for your books.
Good luck with the AC, hope you cool off soon!
Christine Amaryllis
13th-Jul-2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
Ideally I would looks for it under cozy urban fantasy, but amazon doesn't recognise that. Failing that the cozy paranormal genre. Amazon doesn't exactly return what I would expect in that category, they are a bit too light in substance.
13th-Jul-2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
categories: fantasy, urban fantasy, fairytale...in bookstore I'd look where all the sci fi/fantasy books live

search terms: magic, merlin, fairytale, spells, fantasy...and maybe terms for the different magical creatures etc like gargoyles

13th-Jul-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
If I were looking for your book I would look under fantasy romance or paranormal romance or urban romance. My library has them labeled romance at one library and mystery at the other. I never know where to look!

That said, I looked up the search words that the library uses for your book and they were: Young women in love (no lie!), magic, fairies, young women looking for employment, and Katie Chandler.

14th-Jul-2012 06:01 pm (UTC) - Print-on-demand option
I'm very glad to hear that the books will also be available in print, because I don't have an e-reader and like to keep real copies of books I like. But to wait till Christmas... Maybe I better take a look at the free apps for computers, so I can buy the electronic version in one month and a day.

And to answer your questions:
1) I would also look in urban fantasy first. Your series might be lighter (something buyers can easy see at the cover) and might contain more humor than the average urban fantasy, but for me they are urban fantasy when I compare them with series as Kate Daniels. I think paranormal romance or fantasy can be possibilities to.
When I would look for them in a bookstore, I would look in the fantasy section (they don't make a difference between urban fantasy, paranormal romance etc).

2) Fantasy, humor, romance, urban fantasy, wizards, New York, fairies... Hmm, difficult question. I don't think I would find them with search terms, but using 'Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought' wouldn't help either in this case, because I still haven't found something like this series.

Greetings, Tineke (Belgium)

PS: I told my mother the good news about the printed edition and she asked me what the 'print-on-demand option' means. Since I couldn't answer her question, is it possible to explain how it works, please?
15th-Jul-2012 02:59 am (UTC) - Re: Print-on-demand option
The print version may be available earlier than around Christmastime, but it should definitely be available by then.

Print on demand means that they don't print a book until it's ordered. With regular publishing, they print a bunch of books and then they're there ready for people to buy, and they hope they sell. With print on demand, they only print them after they're purchased, so they're not in stock.
14th-Jul-2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'd look in sci-fi/fantasy first, chicklit second, and mystery third, based on my bookstore experiences.

For search terms: urban fantasy, magic, chicklit, fairytales, Merlin, NYC.

MJD's early Betsy, Harris' early Sookie, and Kimberly Frost's Southern Witch series come to mind as comparable. Mimic their tags!

I wouldn't use PNR because to many of us that's equated with one romantic pairing per book, a la Kenyon, Ward, etc. There's some overlap between the PNR and UF audiences, of course, but I know that on goodreads there are those of us who appreciate the distinction. We have different expectations from each categorization.

Edited at 2012-07-14 08:06 pm (UTC)
16th-Jul-2012 04:30 am (UTC)
When I've tried to search in the past I've used Romance, and Chick-Lit... I only usually find them under your name, or occasionally the titles, though it was better last time I tried to search so I could hook a friend. :-)

Can't wait to Pre-order!
23rd-Jul-2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to learn that prayers do get answered. I've got August 15th marked in my calendar.

I'll also be buying my first e-reader. Years of high-minded talk about being a Luddite and proud to own paper books crumpled instantly at the news that it's e-reader or nothing for Much Ado About Magic. I'll be getting a Nook as soon as B&N releases the book. :)

I'd look in urban fantasy, sci-fi or general fiction for your books (in that order) if I hadn't read them before. I don't know which search terms I'd use, because I first found your books from a recommendation off the RRL listserv. After that I kept searching by your name to find new titles. Sorry I can't help here!
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