July 13th, 2012

dalek tea

The E-Book Scoop

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.