I wasn't going to post about these until they're actually on sale. (We're still correcting and tweaking them.) But, what the hell, with the prior dispatch and declaration of independence from traditional publishing it seems timely.
I give you: proof copies of our paperback editions. And they're totally gorgeous. (All conceivable credit to my awesome writing partner Glynn, who designed them, top to bottom.)
Here's what I wrote Glynn about why I was (for a while inexplicably) so freaking excited about these.
To: Glynn James
Subject: Re: Paperback plan + Re: Molles gets slammed
Date: 2014-04-04 10:59
I've been trying to figure out why I'm so stupidly excited about the paperbacks. I think now it's because it'll only be when we've got our own paperbacks that we're truly free, completely free, from the old publishing masters. Until then, they've still got one big thing we (or I, at any rate) don't have. But afterwards, we've got it all.
(Also, I won't have to have any more defensive conversations with people where I explain why I'm only publishing e-books these days… I'm afraid, however, good my explanation to wit: that e-books are where all the sales growth is, and I do a lot better writing new books and e-publishing them, than spending the time to produce paperback editions it still sounds to many or most people like: because I can't get properly published anymore.)
This, to my mind, is well beyond a revolution it's little short of a miracle. Here I have in hand beautiful paperback editions of the first half and a bit (about 500,000 words) of the epic story that Glynn and I have spent the last two years of our lives imagining and there's no publisher or other middleman involved. The books are about to go on sale, where Amazon's distribution platform will make them available to 2.4 trillion Internet users. (*) This, distribution, is why you used to need, absolutely, a publisher; and why now, absolutely, you don't.
And we own the complete rights to these, our intellectual property, for all time as opposed to giving up all conceivable rights to them until 70 years after our natural deaths (not to mention giving up virtually all control over what's done with them) in exchange for, on a good day, 8.5% of the cover price of any copies the publisher can be bothered to shift.
It used to be that the great thing was to have a high-powered agent and a Big Six publishing contract. Well, I've had both, and neither got me much of anything. Now, the great thing is to have the rights to your own IP so that you (the one most qualified and, by far, most incentivized) can look after and exploit them yourself. Which we are now, suddenly and unexpectedly, empowered to do.
Amazing how life turns on a dime sometimes in wonderful directions. (Or maybe persistence (*) along with its helpmates resilience and resolve makes all things possible.)
If you're wondering how, or thinking of doing this for yourself, it's now possible through CreateSpace, Amazon's partner for print-on-demand paperbacks. While definitely more difficult and involved than e-book publishing, it's still very manageable. Not only do they walk you through the process but, afterward, your book is instantly for sale on Amazon. (Who, not at all incidentally, sell 41% of all new books in the U.S.)
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” - Calvin Coolidge