Sunday, November 25, 2007

What I Like about the US Thanksgiving Holiday

If you didn't know, DMP is headquartered in Canada, so our Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. But I really like the US holiday... it means I get almost no email. Well, except from Jana and Nina who are both workaholics (which as their publisher, I am glad because it helps sell books, and Nina too is Canadian, so I suppose she can be forgiven :)).

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


First up in the new year is Swordmasters... and a funny thing happened on the way to publication :)

You may look at the title and think "Shouldn't it be Sword Masters?" and you know, you might be right. Then again, maybe not. We had this problem you see - there were enough of us working on the project, that we got a little confused.

There's Selina... writer extraordinaire. Lynn, her editor extraordiare, the cover dude-extraordiare, John, myself and the marketing team. And what we discovered was that all over the place we had it both ways. So I am standing up (well, actually, that makes it hard to type, so really, I'm sitting - but it just doesn't have the same ring, you know?) and taking responsibility for the single word title. When the marketing materials came along, it was all two... oh my, oh my. In what I think is the final art it was a single word, so I opened the manuscript and it seemed to be one word throughout, and after a quick debate with the whole team, we decided to stick with the possibly incorrect, but most often used, single word version.

So stand up and shout with me... Swordmasters is ONE word! (and then please, put in a preorder and enjoy!)

Every once in a While

Every once in a while, I will get a cover done, and be either completely stunned at how different it is than what I envisioned, or a bit disappointed because it didn't turn out quite the way I hoped.

One of those was for The Chalice of Life. Here we have an author eager to really make a difference in the book world, and a little outside it--committed to learning and growing--and the cover didn't quite meet expectations. So we sold out the print run, and I am pleased as punch to be posting the working version of the new cover. It's not often that we will go back and redo a cover, but we did this time, to help support both her efforts, and ours.

Karen asked what I thought the impact of the new cover would be. And here's my thoughts on the matter: My firm belief is that covers sell books. I know that I will often pick up a book in the bookstore based on a cover. Whether I buy it or not is another matter, but I will pick it up because the title or cover look interesting. I think this cover will sell books. The girl on the front (yes, I know her name but it evades me at the moment... and I did mention we needed to reprint because we're out of books, right?) is a little light-skinned compared to her description in the book, but we're going with the fact that she is lit by the fire of the dragon's breath. The chalice itself is now a jewel of note, and the dragon wraps it all up. Lynn Perkins and Christina Yoder pulled this one together (They've also done Sojourn and Virtual Evil for me), and they've done wonderful job.

I'd like to point out that the previous cover wasn't a bad cover -- it just didn't fit with the feel of Dragon Moon. I tend to go for a more commercial appeal in my covers (and as anyone will note in the next year, I like dragons... but that's a no-brainer, right?), and the previous one didn't have that feel for me. So, by changing it up, I hope to see sales increase, and I think that is a no-brainer :)
Drop me a comment--tell me which one you prefer!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Links to our Books

So, I finally got my butt in gear and got three more books ready and posted up for you lovely readers. It's been a long few weeks, mostly with personal stuff, and I've not done as much as I should have. I've been experiencing a bit of the blues, and I don't know why. I think I've been overwhelmed with everything going on, including the sheer volume of correspondence I've been getting. I don't even want to look at email any more. How the heck did we work before email? And how the heck to do we survive it now??

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

Links to Our Books

And apparently, for SEO, I should link to these in the actual posts:

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)

The Compulsive Link Follower

Ok, so that describes me... I can open explorer to check something out, and hours later realize I've got about 50 tabs open and have learned tonnes of stuff, though not necessarily what I set out looking for.

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.