Exciting Kickstarter: Shapers of Worlds Vol. II

Edward Willett is a prolific author of SF and fantasy for all ages. He’s also the creator of a podcast called The Worldshapers, in which he interviews other writers on their creative process. I was a guest on his podcast in its second year. Ed is putting together the second anthology of stories by folks who were on his podcast, and it’s called Shapers of Worlds Volume II. It’s a fine collection of authors. (Yeah, I’m in it, too, but that’s not why I said that.)

It costs money to put books together, especially books with a lot of authors who need to be paid, so Ed for the second time is running a Kickstarter campaign to finance the publication of the book. He’s got a lot of great rewards lined up for folks who contribute. Ebooks, treebooks, audiobooks, and more! (Including some from me.)

Take a look and consider a contribution! It’s a great project, and it’s in its last two weeks. Shapers of Worlds Vol. II.

Panglor Wanders into Bizarro World of Paper Books!

Panglor wraparound cover for print_sm

Panglor—the man and the book both—have always been about exploring bizarre new worlds. It’s literally much of the plot of the story. For quite a few years now, he and his ou-ralot companion LePiep and his human companion Alo have been available only in the digital world. Now, he’s found his way back into Print World! Yes, a new print edition of Panglor has hit the newsstands—er, bookstores. This is the first print edition since the Tor paperback of 1996, which was a revision of the Dell first edition of 1980. Long trip, dude!

Here it is, wandering into a store near you, whether on that great long river (you know the one I mean), or elsewhere. Basically, in theory, any store that orders from Ingram. Which is pretty much all of them.*

*Translation: It can be ordered by any store.

Etsy and Me, and Coffee* Makes Three!

Chaos 1-4 Tor hardcovers

Back in the day, I used to sell autographed copies of my books from my website, by way of a simple pricelist page that could be printed and mailed to me. I didn’t sell a lot, but it helped me connect with some readers. Then the web got more complicated, and sales tax got more complicated, and I gave up on that model. Now, I’m selling autographed books through Etsy! Yes, that place you go to (statistically more likely if you are female) to buy crafts and things. It turns out you can sell books there, too, and a number of authors and booksellers do just that. Now I am, too.

Here’s what I’ve got in my StarRiggerBooks store so far:

All autographed and personalized as requested. Great gift ideas, right? Come and be my customer! Or share it with a book-loving friend!

*You didn’t think I could build an Etsy store without the help of coffee, did you?

New Edition: Eternity’s End!

I’m pleased to let the world know that Eternity’s End is back in print—and by print, I mean treebook, paper! For this new edition, I have arranged for the use of the cover painting created by Stephen Youll for the original Tor hardcover and paperback. This time, it’s paired with great type design by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. It’s a big book, too—very hefty. I’m extremely pleased with the way this came out.

Eternity's End_print cover
Click image for a better look.

This cover design will very soon be applied to the ebook, as well.

I did the interior layout myself, using Vellum software, which I thought did a really snazzy job.

You can get it right now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. Soon, elsewhere.

Neptune Crossing Completes the Set!

Neptune Crossing - paperback

With this brand-new print edition of Neptune Crossing, the complete set of The Chaos Chronicles (to date) is available in matched format and design. The previous edition was in a 6×9 inch trim size, while for the rest of the series, I chose 5.5×8.5 inch trim. I chose the smaller size because it feels better to hold in the hand (according to my crack test team), is easier to slip into a bag or backpack, and (I felt) looks a little more professional.

Choosing a trim size is a trade-off, because the cost of printing is based on the number of pages, not on the size of the pages. So a smaller trim size means more pages, and therefore higher cost to print, and naturally, higher sticker price. But the difference was only a dollar or two per book, and I decided it was worth it.

But that’s not the only change. The interior is completely reset, using a font called Merriweather for the main text, which I first used with The Reefs of Time. I find it attractive and readable, and also fairly compact, which helps to minimize the page count in my long tales.

On top of that, my crack cover designer, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, redid the titles and byline with a beveled look suggestive of embossed designs, used by most publishers on books they really want to sell. And I’ll admit it! I really want the books to sell! (But you knew that, right?)

Anyway, I’m pleased, and I hope you are, too. I’ve been noodling over the question of how I might sell autographed complete sets online, which I would like to do. (Without the administrative headache of sales tax across different states, etc.) Anyone out there have a good idea?

Neptune Crossing in paperback: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

 

Books in the Year of Covid-19

You probably didn’t think of books as a sector that would be hammered by Covid-19. Writers can write anywhere, right? Maybe, but that’s not the whole story, by far. Traditional publishing and bookselling are in deep trouble due to the shutdown of the economy. Even audiobooks are apparently being hit hard. If you’re at all interested in books, publishing, and reading, please read this summary by Beth Meacham, Executive Editor at Tor Books. She knows what she’s talking about, and it’s sobering.

————————-

Read the whole piece…

Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Looks like I picked the wrong year to put my money on audiobooks, right? Possibly. But seriously, this is hitting a lot of people in the creative arts hard. I will just add as a ray of hope: Ebooks do not seem to be suffering in the same way as print. Ebooks are all handled online, and you can download them (and publish them) while shut up in your home. So they remain a (generally) inexpensive and readily available way to keep information, stories, and entertainment flowing.

Still, what hurts books in any sector hurts everyone. So please keep supporting audiobooks and print books if you can. (Mail-order from your local bookstore, perhaps?) And keep reading!

 

 

New Way to Buy Print Books AND Support Local Stores!

Bookshop logo

Stuck at home, and you want to buy a book on paper (hey, it happens!)—and buying online seems the only option but you’d rather support local indie bookstores? There’s a new way to do that, and it doesn’t require an app! It’s called Bookshop, and it’s an online store dedicated to supporting authors, book communities, and bookstores! Whaaat?

The way it works is, you order online just like at any of the big stores. The print books are sourced from Ingram, just like at your local store, and you get it in the mail. If you go in through a link like one of the ones I have below, the author or community that created the link gets a referral fee. In addition, a significant portion of the profit from the sale goes into a fund that gets distributed regularly among participating independent bookstores. It’s sort of like Indiebound, if you’ve used that, but even better. Right now, they only ship to the U.S., but they may expand in the future.

Authors can set up their own pages at the store, featuring their own books (just print right now, and some audio). They, or anyone else, can also set up pages where they feature books they’d like to recommend to you. Buy one of those books, and the author gets the regular royalty, and the recommender gets a referral fee, and money flows toward independent stores. It’s a great way to support authors and bookstores, all while buying online—particularly useful right now, when the storefront economy has slammed to halt, due to the coronavirus.

Here are some links! These folks are my friends and colleagues. They write all kinds of stuff. Try any of them, and you’ll support the author whose link you picked, even if you browse around and buy other books by other authors. I’ll add more as they come in. Folks are just getting ramped up on this.

Give it a try! It’s fun!

Jeffrey A. Carver | Laura Anne Gilman | Deborah J. Ross
Pati Nagle | Gillian Polack | Madeleine E. Robins
Doranna Durgin | Nancy Jane Moore

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Alert reader Laura _ sent me this copy of The Reefs of Time that she bought from Barnes and Noble online. Anything look wrong to you?

Reefs of Time defective copy

As you can see from this shot, I am holding just the cover open. The first page inside the cover is Prologue Two. Missing are all the front-matter pages, including title page and copyright, dedication, “Previously in The Chaos Chronicles” synopses, and Prologue One. Yikes! How many other people got defective books like this, and didn’t trouble to get in touch with me to let me know?

The book, as far as I have been able to determine so far, was printed by Ingram, a usually solidly reliable producer of books. I’ve asked for an investigation, but I don’t expect to have an answer anytime soon.

If you, or anybody you know, received a defective book, please let me know! Thanks!

Oh, and ditto if you get a copy of Sunborn with the cover type skewed to the side (which happened to me).

Psychedelic Thursday: Part Two

posted in: books, recommendations 1

Now that I’ve flogged my own books (not to death, I hope!), I thought I’d make some other gift suggestions. Books, of course, but not mine. Have you read:

Richard Bowker’s Portal trilogy, about a young man making his way through life-and-death situations in the multiverse? Starts out YA, but as the characters grow up, so too does the tone of the books. Richard’s a fine writer, who deserves notice. Here’s the trilogy at Amazon, to get you started.

Covers for the Portal Trilogy by Richard Bowker

Craig Shaw Gardner’s Temporary Magic Series, a totally silly trilogy about Lenny and the magical temp agency he goes to work for, saving the world with the help of Bob the blue horse/pooka, among others. Craig, by the way, has started working on a new Ebenezum book, for those who love his wizard who’s allergic to magic. Here’s his Temporary Magic Series.

Temporary Magic trilogy covers, by Craig Shaw Gardner

And if that isn’t enough, there’s a continually evolving panoply of fine writing at Book View Café, never to be missed!

Book View Cafe storefront

New Print Editions: Strange Attractors in Paperback!

I know this seems crazy, coming right after Reefs, but the new paperback version of Strange Attractors (Book 2 of The Chaos Chronicles) has been almost ready for months. I got it done just before taking flight to Atlanta. Right now it’s available only through Amazon, but I’ll be getting it into Ingram soon, to make it more widely distributed. This is all part of my effort to get the entire series of Chaos books back into print editions.

And the audiobook is coming! It’s been recorded, and while some final tweaks have to be made, most of the hard work is done. By Stefan Rudnicki! Stay tuned!

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