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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back in Print!

"We have the technology..." Do you remember those famous words from the 1970s "Bionic Man"? 

In 40 years even the makers of that series could not have envisaged the technology available to us today. Publishing is one of those industries that is still coming to terms with technological advances and for years e-publishing has been struggling to make its mark on the world. Now we have KINDLE and IPAD (I am irrationally hankering after one of those machines - so many apps...) and it looks like the e-book may finally have come home.

At least I hope so! My two books, BY THE SWORD and THE KING'S MAN went out of print early last year, ironically just as they were starting to make a bit of a market for themselves and for eighteen months I have been making apologetic noises about the unavailability of my books, particularly following the recent "showcasing" of THE KING'S MAN on the ABC. Attempts to find new publishers for them have been unsuccessful, even with the promise of a previously unpublished sequel so I made a decision to go it alone. I figure I own the electronic and print rights to both books, they've both been published so it's not as if it is a "vanity" publishing. Publishing as we know it is changing!

Originally I thought I would just make up a couple of .pdf files and make them available through my website then a friend put me on to Smashwords, a site run by Mark Coker. 
"Smashwords is an ebook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers and readers. We offer multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device. 

At Smashwords, our authors and publishers have complete control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works.It's free to publish and distribute with Smashwords.
For readers, Smashwords provides an opportunity to discover new voices in all categories and genres of the written word. Once you register, the site offers useful tools for search, discovery and personal library-building, and each week we add new features based on feedback from members."
Why not! The process of re-editing the books myself (the original publisher did a shocking job), getting spiffy new covers designed and getting the books up has been time consuming but I'm really pleased with the result and I hope the readers are too.Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way.
For those of you familiar with THE KING'S MAN, I have taken a  liberty. THE KING'S MAN was originally intended to have a sequel close on its heels but with the termination of my contract the sequel never happened. As a result the book ends on a cliff hanger - unforgiveable as every book should be complete in itself. So call it "Director's cut" but I have tied off the loose end I left at the end of the book and will be happy to share the new last chapter with anyone who has been  teetering on the edge of that cliff!
I have also been working with one of Smashwords affiliates, WordClay, to get a print (POD) edition of BY THE SWORD available at a reasonable cost. It should be available in a couple of weeks.
All in all, an educational experience and I certainly don't expect to be giving up full time work just yet.  I am just happy that my books are "back in print".