Friday, April 5, 2013

Publishing Toriana

The Disenchanted & Co. books are a new venture for me in a lot of ways; it's the first time I've written urban fantasy and worked with my publisher, Pocket Star. This is also the first chance I've had to release a novel in e-book before print. While I'm obviously more experienced with the traditional route, I think it's an exciting opportunity to take a new direction with the work and try something different with the publishing.

Now we'll do a little time traveling back to the summer of 2012, when I sold the series to Pocket Star. As we discussed the particulars my new editor, Adam Wilson, decided split Book One into two 50,000 word novellas to be released in e-book form, followed by a bindup of both novellas in a print edition of Book One, and then follow that up immediately with Book Two. Turning a novel into two novellas meant ending the first novella on a cliffhanger, naturally, but there were a lot of advantages to making Book One into a two-part serial. We would have a chance to keep the cover prices low, bring out Book One much sooner for the readers and the retailers, and build some anticipation for the release of the print editions.

As I said it's not how I usually do things, but Publishing is changing, and I want to change with it. In order to stay competitive, I really need to. You're all aware of how important the e-book market has become for authors and publishers. I'm also blessed with a very loyal readership whose support has always been phenomenal. Armed with that, I had no qualms about taking such a different approach to the publication.

Here then are the release dates and some new titles for the Disenchanted & Co. novels:

Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship's Curse (e-book edition novella, Book One Part 1) -- August 2013

Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed (e-book edition novella, Book One Part 2) -- October 2013

Disenchanted & Co. (print edition novel/bindup edition of Book One Parts 1 & 2) -- February 2014

Book Two (print novel, as yet to be titled) -- March 2014

While Adam and I were discussing the most recent retitling of the Book One novellas I couldn't help chuckling; this particular novel has had more titles than an European monarchy. I thought it would be fun to look at how many it's had, so here's a title timeline for Book One:

Aug '09: Victoriana (original working title) -- I often use a character's name or something from the world-building as a working title when I outline a novel idea. This one started out under the banner of the new name I'd coined for my parallel universe America.

Sept '09: Charming Toriana -- Shortened the country name and added Charming as a play on the protagonist's namne

Oct '09: Charming Harry -- Ditched the country name, added another character's name

Nov '09 - November '11: Harry's Charm -- switched around October's title idea to this, which became the novel's pitch title for the next two years

December '11: Spell-Breaker/Disenchanted Inc./Dreamstone/Nightstone -- new title pitches for an interested editor

Jan '12: Spell-Breaker, Disenchanted Inc.
-- title and series title pitch, same editor

Oct '12: A Lady Cursed/A Nuisance of Curses/Enchanting Kit/Her Ladyship's Secret/Stroke of Dark/Stroke of Night -- new title pitches, different editor. Yes, we do this sometimes endlessly.

Nov '12: His Lordship Possessed/His Lordship Bespelled/His Lordship Enchanted -- new title pitches for the e-book edition of Part 2

Dec '12: Her Ladyship's Curse/His Lordship Possessed -- final titles for Book One. Or so I thought.

Jan '13: Disenchanted & Co. -- final series title.

Mar '13: Disenchanted & Co. Part 1, Her Ladyship's Curse/Disenchanted & Co. Part 2, His Lordship Possessed (e-book novellas)
~ Disenchanted & Co. (print novel)
-- Final titles for Book One

It's taken a while for me to stop thinking of Book One as Harry's Charm, the title I had during the rather lengthy process of submitting and selling the series. Over time I'd grown emotionally attached to that title, so at first it was tough to let it go. It's a bit like having a friend show up one day and tell you that you can't ever call them by their old name anymore. But while Adam and I were tinkering on the titles I got rid of my separation anxieties and focused on what was best for the story. My old title was comfortable, but I thought we could do better -- it's the sort of confidence that grows while working with an editor like Adam, who is very intuitive and creative -- and he gets the credit for the final titles, which I do think are terrific and a perfect fit.

One final note: this week I got a chance to look at the cover artwork for Her Ladyship's Curse, and while we're not ready to unveil it just yet, fasten your seatbelts -- it's absolutely gorgeous.


  1. Oh the agony! My anticipation levels for this book were already quite high, now they've gone through the roof. That little teaser at the end did it - grr! Roll on August.

    As publishing first in e-book form is new to you, so is buying for me. I usually prefer the print book, but I can't wait on this one hence my very first e-book pre-order.

    1. I appreciate the support -- and the willingness to try the new format, too. I have been slow to adjust to the e-book as a reader, but now that I have a Nook I'm finding I really like being able to order a book and receive it a few seconds later. Talk about instant gratification!

      One more reason I'm very grateful to Adam Wilson and the rest of the team at Pocket Star for this release plan; if we didn't bring out it out in e-book format first my readers might have had to wait an additional six months to a year for the print editions.

  2. I'm really happy to have the e-book option--nothing like instant gratification--and then to have the first book in print just a few short months later is great news.

    Though I read many e-books, when I truly love a story, I want to have the "real thing" for my keeper shelf (okay, shelves), because you just never know when that EMP might strike and wipe everything off my Kindle!!

    1. I think having the print edition follow the e-books also puts my mind at ease, Terlee -- I know a good percentage of my readership do prefer print, and while they will have to wait a couple of months they'll still be able to purchase the novel in the format they prefer.

  3. Grr, you're putting me on the spot here. I have a shelf dedicated to you in my house. Do you really want me to lose your e-books in my quickly growing e-library? I'm having trouble keeping up with my recent buys.

    I'll go out on a limb and buy it both ways because I love your work. I had to limit authors I was going to collect hard copies of their books (space). No one rat me out to my husband though, please. >.> <.< Thanks for confirming a hard copy!

    1. Thank you for taking the chance on this new series, Falconnajias, and for planning to invest in both formats. I know it's a change, but if these first books do well I don't think my print readers will have to wait like this in the future (can't guarantee that, naturally, but your support does make a difference.)