Monday, December 24, 2007
A very heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you - for who you are, for all you do, for the friendships, the books, the trust and the laughs. For sticking through the bad times, and making good times. You are the reason DMP continues on.
I hope that 2008 brings with it the fulfillment to many dreams, wishes and resolutions. May the universe be generous in bringing joy, good health and happiness.
And may all your dragons be friendly.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
With the good news being... it should head to the printer very, very soon. Just tweaking and then we are ready to go. Look for it on sale in February.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Did you know...
Dragon Moon and EDGE now have four sales going on: the Christmas Sale, the Preorder Sale, Subscriptions, and the Gift Baskets.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Let's start first with what I don't do. I don't write books. Heck, I don't even know how my authors write books! It's a complete and utter mystery to me. I suspect it always will be. Oh, like everyone out there, I have ideas, but I can tell you this... the odds of me ever sitting down and learning how to write, of having the desire to jump to that side of the fence well, they are pretty darn slim. So... I don't write.
I don't edit. I did that once. Whoohoo. That was an experience I am not wanting to repeat. I suppose I could, but I don't want to. I am not a rereader. I like to read a book once, put it away until I've forgotten completely what happened (like 10 years maybe) and then reread it, because then it's like new. Editing means reading the same book over and over and over. Yeah, not a job for me.
Cover art? Nope. Can't draw a straight line, even with the computer helping! My artistic abilities end with the ability to choose art I like. And that's about as far as that goes.
So that's the biggies all done by others - writing, editing, art.
What do I do? Some days, I've no idea at all.
I answer email. Sometimes. Other times it piles up in my inbox. I get vast amounts of email.
I do book layouts. Actually, this is one of the parts I've discovered I like the most. I even freelance at it for a pay check now and again, because even publishers have to eat (ok, ok, truth be told, even publishers must have their daily Starbucks fix! Long live Lord Caffiene!)
I putz with covers, adding text etc, when necessary. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes not so much. Usually I spell the author's name wrong. It's becoming a very bad joke around here. And it's not even a funny joke.
I coordinate with my booksellers, without whom life as a publisher would truly suck! I coordinate with wholesalers, distributors and advertisers. All those lovely book people that make the business run. I seem to spend alot of time giving all of them the same information, in different formats. (we're working to become ONIX compliant in the new year to hopefully minimize that function!). I work with printers to get a good price on a great product, on time.
I spend part of my day as friend, confidante, coach and mentor to a very large group of wonderful authors. They've become my friends and my partners in this venture. Their trust and faith is, literally, what keeps me going most days. On the days when I want to hang up my hat and move on to something else, it's them that brings me back and keeps me here doing what I do... oh yeah, wait, we're still discussing what I do.
I do some networking. I admit to being a newbie at this. I fight vampires and zombies on Facebook (mostly because I love feeding my friends to my zombie - and if you don't know... I am a tad bit competitive, so I like being told "I laid down some zombie smack on Justyn's zombie"). I've become LinkedIn to network Business to Business (rather than social networking), I have this blog, I've got a MySpace page (though I'm there very rarely), a NING page... oh, I have piles of them. I don't do as much with them as I might, but then it takes time, which is usually in short supply around here.
I do the business stuff - pricing strategies, accounting stuff, pick-pack-and-ship, etc - the nitty-gritty stuff that keeps us running with the government and other folks. I forecast what next year will bring, I run numbers for profit and loss, I negotiate contracts and deals, I do some marketing, some grunt work, I pay the bills, do some "executive" work, some brainstorming in hopes of the next great idea... basically, I get to do a little bit of everything. One of the joys and stressors of being in business for yourself.
I problem solve, I try to keep everything running as smooth as possible - and some days I even succeed!
In general, I run a business with hundreds of "employees" and a pile of products. What I do on a daily basis varies depending on the day, the season, and my mood.
And all of that is really hard to explain in 30 seconds to the neighbours.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It means no faxes, no calls asking for the price or ISBN of a book, it means little spam even! And that's nice. I've been so rushed lately that I decided to celebrate by taking it easy. Getting, almost, the last of my Christmas shopping done (I'll be hosting 20 or so family members, so now I need to focus on the visitors, and by having one less thing to do, well, as Martha would say "it's a good thing!")
It also means that we are getting closer and closer to the end of the year. Which naturally leads to a period of introspection and a chance to review all that has transpired over the course of the last year. And it has certainly been an interesting year. Between the merger, the jump in production and the general chaos of life, the year has gone by so quickly! The books (other than a few minor glitches, turned out really well this year - and I'm proud to be the one who published them ... the glitches are all mine!... and I hope they sell lots and lots of copies!) turned out well and seem to be selling. I will tell you this. My family and I took a whirlwind trip to Calgary yesterday to pick up some hardwood flooring, as it turns out we're going to be a bit short - yes, we over estimated, but because it's "tavern" style our wastage was higher than anticipated - anyway, we stopped briefly at a local Chapters - and I saw Darwin's Paradox on the shelves. Four copies! I knew it was going to happen, but I was so excited! Other than the damn spelling error on the cover which annoys the heck out of me, it was thrilling! My books, in the bookstores - if we weren't so short on time, I probably would have gotten myself tossed trying to sell those copies because of course placement is only half the battle!
I am one less likely to look back, as usually so I'm busy looking forward. What do I see for 2008? OH MAN. Now that's a loaded question. And one I think I will save for another day. But for now let's say I see good things, great books, and new friends.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Anyway, here's the titles loaded up....
Sojourn is here! The first of the Time Rover series, this book has now won 7 awards total... as Jana put it "one for each letter in the title". We think it's going to be a challenge then to match that level of success with Virtual Evil (Bk2) and Madman's Dance (Bk3) given the number of letters in those titles! Go Jana Go.
The Gryphon Highlord by Connie Ward. Also a winner this year - and Gold at that! Way to go Connie!
And not to be outdone by the ladies of the team...
The Darkling Band by Jason Henderson was an award finalist himself with this one! Yay Jason!
It was a banner year for awards for us, and it's all because of the great writers writing great books! I'm very lucky to have such wonderful authors!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Alien Deception is here for you... followed by Alien Revelation
The Longevity Thesis who's cover is apparently a hit with young girls (they love the skeletons)
The Chalice of Life, to which we've ordered a new cover because readers where confused as to genre
Small Magics (very popular at Canadian bookstores)
and last, but not least... the book that just arrived yesterday Darwin's Paradox (copies shipping shortly)
So here's today's offerings, pared down and shared with you...
John Kremer, the self-publishing guru, sends out a weekly newsletter. I get it because being a small press really isn't that different from self-publishing. We face all the same challenges on a daily basis. (I've assisted hundreds of self-publishers through the process, and I KNOW it's no different than what I face every day!). And in John's weekly newsletter this week was a couple of links that had me clicking. The first was to visit Author ARCS which is a new website being set up to help promote author's books - by allowing readers to read them before they hit the shelves, or kindly, in our case AFTER as well as before, since it's part of our regular offerings. And in a shameless plug, click here for a copy of the very well recieved and reviewed Virtual Evil, now shipping everywhere. This is the full book available to you in PDF format.
Of course, once at Author Arcs, I had to check it out. So I wandered off the K. A. Konrath's site. I downloaded his free, unpublished ebooks, and meandered off to his blog. You must all go there. Authors, readers, publishers alike. Go. It's worth the trip. Of couse, I then popped over here to tell you about it. Now I have to go back and see where I can mosey on over to from there.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Here's something that throws a kink into the whole darn thing... and right now, since I am in the middle of laying out the first three books for spring I'm noticing it (all of them significantly over 100k hmmmmhmmm people!) that word length is one thing. Two other factors that affect this are the number of chapters, and the number of POV shifts. Too many of either and the page count balloons, and then I'm forced to use an itty bitty font size instead of something bigger and looser. So I'm stuck on these three with 10pt - sorry readers! On the other hand, they are worth a little eye-strain! so do get a copy when they hit the shelves please! (sorry for the shameless plug!)
So, some words of advice.
1. Stick to the publishers submission guidelines, including word count, as much as possible. (I absolutely cannot stress this point enough)
2. Don't have a million chapter starts. Please, we're begging you. Write longer chapters.
3. Try not to use POV shifts. If you have to, minimize. While they can be very strategic and important to the story (particularly complex stories, and I realize that they are sometimes very necessary) it has an impact on the overall cost-effectiveness of publishing the book. And that means it can have an impact on whether or not you get published.
Eventually, it gets to the point where as a publisher you don't really think of these things, it's just such a normal part of day-to-day life, so we may forget that the info is important to you writers. If you've got a question you always wanted answered about how or why we do something, ask away. If I can answer it, I will.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
But the reviews from the pro's are starting to roll in. And while I knew the book was going to be great (even after the early draft I read), you always worry how others will recieve it. Well folks, the wait is over.... 4 1/2 Stars from The Romantic Times Book Review! Plus we're getting others. So yippee!!! See the publisher dance... and a word to you all... the reviewers kindly refrained from throwing the book at Jana too, at least in public :) Read it. See what I mean!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It comes with a nifty little widget that you can post to your site so everyone can access your schedule, let's author's and readers pull to schedules - in general a nice, interactive tool.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I will be out of the office on the 20-22 for a professional development session out of town (yippee, roadtrip!).
So that means that all the fall titles are either shipping, or at the printers --- and I am going to take a week off from the production side of things to work on getting marketing stuff done. Then it's on to the spring titles.
You will see at the top of the blog links to download electronic editions. These are complete, full editions of the books. You are free to link to them, email them or otherwise share them. You are, of course, encouraged to purchase a copy (ok, we encourage you on every page, but that is how we make our meager living, so forgive us for being enthusiastic about it :)). You may not use the ebooks for commercial purposes, for endorsing other products... or for anything other than reading them. If you would like to use them for something other than just reading... please feel free to ask.
I plan on working on all our titles, so eventually, that list will be pretty long.
I tried posting the covers but they all went squishy. Once I figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong, I will get them all up there for all of you to see. Though if you scroll down, all the covers are in the slide show below.
Publishing is a crazy business.
Friday, September 14, 2007
So what am I talking about? http://www.blog2print.com/ - this will add a widget to your Blogger account and anyone can print your blog out as a book. Push a button, follow a few little instructions and voila. Not that I expect any of you to do that with my blog, but there are good and cool ones out there.
Me, I'm going to go play with my own for a while (it'd be an awfully short book right now, but for some of you....)
Reader's beware - this stuff can get addictive.
For those of you who like photo book making, I find that http://www.blurb.com/ can be somewhat addictive... and there goes the day. I like this one because you do it on your own computer rather than online.
Anyway, those are my finds for the day.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
We've been having weird weather and it's playing havoc with my head - so if I wander off topic, forgive me.
So Dragon*Con is this weekend. Way to go TEAM DMP! Jana has everything organized better than military precision - a combination of drill master and MOM. Wish I could be there. Scott had this cool idea of doing trading cards... and after a pile of problems, the team should have something resembling a TC at the con. Won't quite be the weight of a real card, but did the best we could in the time we had... but they are so very cool. I will have to pursue in greater depth as we move forward.
Had fun at ConVersion in Calgary. Small con this year, but good to hang out with some of you all... might even see a book or two come out of it. It's always fun to meet up with everyone. Though it scares me. I'm the behind-the-scenes, faceless person... and then Tee makes me do an interview with the World Fantasy Team. My very first experience recording for a podcast. Actually, it was fun. All of you and your special surprise. 3 weeks and it's out.
Did my duty as a PARSEC judge. That was interesting. It will be more interesting to see who the winners are!
Fall is almost wrapped up, and it's time to start working on spring. Funny eh? Or maybe not. Costco had Christmas stuff up. Yuck. I'm not ready for that yet but it seems to get earlier and earlier.
Yeah, that's about it for today or at least for now :)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Brian Hades announced Friday night, at the Con-Version 23 opening Ceremonies, the merger of Dragon Moon Press and EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy, in a move that makes us Canada's largest independent SF&F publisher. And while we are not bent on world domination (or at least not that we will ever admit too), this merger gives us a great opportunity to combine resources and develop and even stronger publishing platform.
My author's know the growth has been a struggle for me - mostly in terms of time and money, the two biggies. The rather drastic increase in titles over the last few years has created untold challenges. And publishing 9 titles this year has stretched me to the breaking point a number of times; having Brian there has made it possible to continue and not lose my mind (though I bet a few of you doubt that!)
It's also great that, as we move forward, we will have access to additional distribution options with Fitzhenry&Whiteside. I will let each of you individually know how it will impact your title(s) as we move forward. There will be growing pains as we do that, and some confusion, but we'll do like we always do and do it together.
It will not mean big operational changes. The DMP imprint will continue, and I will continue on as publisher of record, and we will have our own publishing platform, but you will start to notice advertising and stuff where we are all in there with the EDGE titles. I hope you will welcome EDGE authors as you've welcomed all the DMP authors. And there are strength in numbers!
Official press releases and whatnots will follow...when we've got time :) LOL, it's become my contstant refrain, now hasn't it?
This month alone, I've sent to the printer the following titles:
The Complete Guide to Science Fiction Volume One~First Contact (which somehow got lost in a shuffle of reps, and is now delayed until September 10th... that's when it's due to ship from the printer - I actually sent it to them at the end of June)
The Complete Guide to writing Fantasy Volume 3~The Author's Grimoire, with a very cool dragon on the cover... I've decided all the fantasy guides will have DRAGONS on the cover - why the heck not eh? I mean, the company has Dragon in the title... obviously I like dragons. So I'm indulging.
Small Magics, which we are going to use as our first test case in giveaway land with a bookseller.
Daughter of Dragons... even after 10 years, I still do about a reprint a year :) Can't complain, it just trucks along.
Too Many Princes, poor Deby had to wait for print copies due to a budget crunch, but they are coming now.
The Longevity Thesis - off for an offset run and then to F&H for distribution (oh, hey I will do a separate post about that in a minute).
Alien Revelation - with the orangest cover, but it looks great next to Alien Deception and wraps up the duology nicely.
Plus ARC's for a whole pile of things. Don't think I want to see the credit card bills next month. Anyone know a rich relative/friend/coworker/alien with a few dollars to spare, send them my way!
The coolest things though?? I made trading cards for the Dragon*Con team. It's something we are testing, and if it works, we may do it for everything - it's soooo much fun!
Virtual Evil is done, and is a great sequel to Sojourn, so it's off to the printer next week. Last one to finish up is Darwin's Paradox, and boy will I be glad to see that one go! Of course, it won't mean any time off - it's straight to getting the spring list ready for the distributor - any of you actually read this, reminder... stuff is due in at the end of this month :)
Tomorrow I'm off to Con-Version in Calgary. Here's to hoping we sell a few books!
And before I sign off... Hats off to Karen Webb (The Chalice of Life) for breaking 50k on Amazon. She's tapping unusual markets for us, but it seems to be working! Way to go.
Ok, off to write the "big news" post :)
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I've only got a moment today - so much to do. I get to go pick up a shiny red new SUV for my birthday... I'd like to say it was a present, and in a way it is, but really it's because Ford isn't making minivans anymore, and I always hated being a minivan mama anyway.
Ok, so long delay in finishing this up. Been to Calgary and back. Got the Escape. woohoo. Much smaller than the van, but seems quite nice.
Been busy finalizing The Complete Guide to SF today. Uploaded the files to the printer - it's always exciting to have a book off to the printers. Of course, I'm not confident I got the spine width right, but hey, can fix that later :) Now, a pile of corrections to go and the rest can head off too. Then it's heads down to marketing - I will post a link for anyone who would like to download electronic copies of the books to read - I'll be working on those shortly. If I can figure out how to set up the RSS feed, I can send em to you that way... but you'll have to check back to see if I figure it out.
Later. Time to go for a celebratory ice cream!
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
A word about this. Sojourn is a great read. It's fun. The characters are memorable - but it crosses so many genres, I never expected it to win, and win, and win again... it's been a finalist in 9 awards - crossing genres again - won in 3 so far, and a bunch we don't know the results in yet.
And if that wasn't enough, then we add in the Gold win for The Gryphon Highlord, (Foreword Magazine BOTYA)and it's been an amazing award year!
Ladies, my hats are off to you!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
If any one should stumble across this page, and knows how to do that... please let me know.
So, I'm new to blogging, and not likely to be very consistent about it. I'm not a big journaler or anything, and often am so busy I don't dare take time out to thing, let alone plunk my thoughts into cyberspace, but I thought I would give it a go :)
So, a bit about the book - well, more about the publishing of the book since I have very little to do with the creative side. I laid this one out. Took me a very long time. I have come to almost hate this book I've looked at it so much - and the funny thing is, I still haven't read most of it... you end up doing it fairly backwards and in bits and pieces and it all becomes kind of jumbled. But it's basically done.
Of course, what two weeks before we send it to the printer, we changed the cover... I will finish it up today. Actually, it's very snazzy and professional looking - I dont' think it has the same kick as the original cover, but it serves the purpose better (we're building a "series" look, so that we can publish different kinds of "The Complete GuideTM") - and the original cover didn't pass the Yoga test... that is, if we ever decided to do a book called The Complete GuideTM to Yoga, it wouldn't work. So, now we have a new cover. And a Disney Animator, Janice Blaine, is working on the little robot icon for us. It's cool.
I will be glad when this one goes off to the printer though and is out of my hair. Then it's off to finishing up corrections on the others, and getting them finalized and ready to go. They're easier though - straight fiction.
THEN I get to start all over with our "sexy" pdf versions - we're doing up added content versions for free download to any and all - part of our viral marketing... or since that is a terrible term, - part of our social network campaign.
If anyone reads this, and would like a copy of DMP titles to read in pdf format, let me know... we're setting up an rss feed to make it work easiest, but for now, sign up for our newsletter at www.dragonmoonpress.com!
Ok, time to get back to work.