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Cover Reveal and a Question!

Okay, gang, we are looking at releasing--very soon!--the fairy-tale anthology I've been promising you for awhile. In fact, here's the cover!


(Was I supposed to do a big reveal there? Errr...play a little drum roll on your desk, maybe?)

(Also, Twitter told me to do that jacket quote. When I get some more blurbs, I may change it to something slightly less meta.)

Now, this is not the annotated fairy-tales, which I can't actually sell for copyright reasons--those are best treated as weird fan fic--but stuff like "Toad Words" and "The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight" and "The Wolf And The Woodsman." Basically, most of the short stories and weird little things I've posted here over the last few years* plus--excitement!--an all new novella called "Boar & Apples" that has been seen nowhere before!

There is poetry, but not much of it. Hopefully not enough to damage your enjoyment.

Depending on proofreaders and my own mad schedule, I am hoping to get this out sometime this week. However, here's the thing...

Smashwords is...well...frustrating and very slow to push out to vendors and in a number of ways behind the times. And there is a service called Draft2Digital that will get the book into iBooks, Kobo, and B&N, and do it much faster than Smashwords and without the various griefs, which I'd kinda like to use. (Plus Amazon, on Kindle, obviously, but I want a non-Amazon alternative as well, because eggs, baskets, etc.)

The only thing that would be lacking here that Smashwords does is offer various formats, like .pdf, .rft, read online, etc, which would not be available if I don't go through the Smashwords Meatgrinder.

So my question is---is anybody using those formats here that will be completely unable to access the book if I don't do Smashwords? (If you want to read on your actual computer, there's a free program called Calibre that will take an epub, and the book would be in all the various stores.)

I'd kinda like to skip the Smashwords step, now that Draft2Digital is an option, but I don't want to lock anybody out of reading if I can help it, so I want to hear from you guys!

(Alternate possibility--skip Smashwords, and if you cannot do any of those other reading methods, e-mail me and I'll sell you a file directly--trying to avoid direct sales because I don't want to be tech support for that, but I could probably manage a couple if people really need .pdf or .txt!)

As always, Toad Words would be completely DRM free (or as free as I, as creator, can manage it--can't swear that various services don't get shady on the back end, but I'm opting out wherever there's an opt out.)

Anyway, let me know your thoughts, everybody!

*Except "Elegant and Fine" which is fan-fic for another five or six years, until the first Narnia book falls out of copyright.

ePub is all I need. I say skip SmashWords if you need to.

I can actually put JUST the ePub up on Smashwords, and may do so, just so anybody who uses that site will still be able to find it.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Gah. I really want this for myself and also to give as gifts. I'm one of those horrible people who doesn't have an e-reader but I will manage. So basically do whatever works for you and I'll adapt (aka Don't Shut Up but Take My Money).

Same here. I'd love to see it in physical-paper format, but that's a whole different kettle of troubles to get done well.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: arrgh (Anonymous) Expand
Any format, any place; I will find a way to make it work.

Most convenient: Amazon Kindle (or maybe I will want iBooks/epub if there are more color illos inside.

TL;DR I don't care about Smashwords.

If people don't want to install Calibre they can just install FBreader, which reads epub files. There is also a Firefox extension, EpubReader, that lets you read epub files in your browser. I have used both, they aren't the prettiest of interfaces but they work.

I personally have a Kindle and Calibre, so I can handly pretty much any format you come up with with ease as long as it's not locked up with DRM.

[LJ... stop logging me out in the middle of things!]

Is your concern with Smashwords just the distribution to other outlets? You can really easily set distribution permissions for a given title, so if you like you can post it to Smashwords and just set it so that Smashwords won't try to distribute it elsewhere.

If it's just with Smashwords itself... yeah, I feel you there. I publish to Smashwords anyway even though I don't use it for distribution just because it brings in a decent if unreliable chunk of money on its own, but I'm working on what's probably a much lower volume of sales.

It's mostly the meat grinder and having to do a bunch of tweaking to the file that I could avoid otherwise. Might put it up as an ePub there still though.

Last week was a very bad week. Other than a cure for cancer and a winning lottery ticket wrapped together in a declaration of world peace, I fail at thinking of any announcement that'd make me happier than this...

And Caliber works very well as long as there's no DRM.

There are plug-ins for Calibre that will allow it to convert DRMed files as well. I store my entire ebook library (including magazines and trade journals) in Calibre as it makes it easy to move books to an from my various devices and I can even read them in Calibre on my laptop if I have to.

As to the original question, I'm happiest if I can get the book in either mobile or epub. I can deal with just about anything except pdf. There just isn't a decent way to reflow the text to make it read cleanly on all devices.

Ooo! Does it have the Bluebeard story?

It had "Bluebeard's Wife"--the one complicated novel length Bluebeard story is just finished and will be sold separately later this year (I hope!)

I say save yourself some pain and skip Smashwords, but that's easy for me to say because 1) I'll be reading on Kindle, and 2) toads do not spring from my fingertips as I type.

Also, will there be a printed version? Maybe a nice edition from Subterranean, or Sofawolf,
or yourself?

Great cover quote; I would buy a book with a quote like that on the cover.

Edited at 2014-08-02 10:59 pm (UTC)

Kindle will do me fine.

But if it didn't, I would take it as a challenge to read anything you put out by fair means or foul. Consider it a Quest.

This applies to us as well; we will be using Kindle, so we don't have a horse in this race, but we're excited to see a new Ursula Vernon work no matter what. :-)

Glenn and Christa

I'd get it from B&N or Amazon, and read it on a Kobo (in the case of Amazon, after putting it through Calibre to make an epub). It's not that hard, and I would expect that those who do find it hard would be able to grab someone more comfortable with mucking about with Calibre to do it for them. (Especially since with no DRM, you don't need to find the DRM-stripping Calibre plugin).

I like Smashwords as a concept, but I'm not that keen on their execution, and in my personal experience, when I point people at my ebook page, with links to all Smashwords-sellers and Amazon, 95% of sales happen on Amazon.

That 95% thing has been my experience as well.

There are also plug-ins to read epubs in your browser. The one I know about is for Firefox and is called epub-catalog. (I have ~issues~ with Calibre, mostly related to the creator and his insistence that his file organization system is the very best way and if you want to do it differently you are WRONG. OTOH, it's free and you get what you pay for and all that...)

But I'll be buying it off Amazon, so my vote may not count.

I don't need Smashwords, and it sounds like they are a huge amount of trouble for not much gain on the author's part, and I would selfishly like you to have that energy to make more cool stuff. Or, you know, to play Pokemon and be happy.

Please don't change the front blurb!

I have Calibre so am not fussed as to formats.

There won't be a way to get this little thing on actual paper, will there? I dearly hope they will be.

Not immediately. It's so much more expensive and requires a lot more work on my part...I have had a few people interested in publishing a print version of Nine Goblins, so it may yet happen, but it's a whole 'nother kettle of work...

Ooh. Want. Now.

And I do Kindle, so I'm fine.