I received a very bright and bubbly email from Carly McCracken, the CEO/owner of Alpha Wolf Publishing. I wasn’t alone, it was sent to all her authors,artists and editors. I quote ‘the following is VERY important news,[a comma then ‘and’?] and effects each and every one of you intimately. This is NOT a joke [ why would people take it as such? Methinks she might have been celebrating]. It is very serious.
The heart of the matter is that an outfit that until yesterday I personally had never heard of called Solstice Publishing have acquired Alpha Wolf Publishing in a merger deal. AWP is from here on in an imprint of Solstice Publishing, whatever that actually means.
According to Carly, who will be staying on as an editor for Solstice, this is good news for everybody. Apparently Solstice are brilliant at marketing, have several best sellers on their books [no pun intended], some celebratory [well in America} authors and have managed to sell 30 film options on their current titles and the production company involved aims to option another 10 and guess what? According to Carly ‘yours could be one of them’. My contract is unchanged and the only differences I’m going to see are going to be improvements. Faster editing, good artwork and marketing. Ah yes, I mentioned marketing twice. Well this is going to consist of press releases, pinterest, twitter, blogs, the inevitable facebook and ‘the list goes on and on’. OK, it is marketing and now I know how they are going to market my book(s). I didn’t expect they’d be hiring billboard space, taking out TV and radio ads or hiring people to wander round major cities with placards. I sound a bit cynical perhaps, well it’s 0730 as I write this and the anchorage was a bit bouncy last night. Today I move into the harbour where it’s much calmer. Just a small matter of negotiating a shallow channel, min depth 1.5 metres and I draw 1.05. Other boats have done it and I have their waypoints. I digress.
Emma the Agent was delighted
I immediately copied Emma the email and despite being around 10pm in NZ she got back to me as usual in about thirty minutes. I don’t think the girl ever sleeps. This is good news she told me. The publishing industry is experiencing a shake-out with many smaller, indie companies being brought-out by slightly [my comment] bigger indie companies. This mirrors what is happening in the Traditional Publishing Industry. Well, it’s happened once, Random and Penguin got together. To be strictly accurate, Emma said that many major publishers are gathering small independent publishers to join them. I didn’t ask but I’m wondering why? I mean, if you’re a major publishing company what’s in it for you? If you like a particular book that an indie has published then you approach the author or their agent. Most indie publishers have a clause in the contract which allows the author to ‘buy back’ their books so why buy or otherwise acquire the entire indie publisher? If anybody knows then please tell me because I can’t really see it to be honest. Perhaps I’m just thick.In any event, this doesn’t appear to be the case of a major publisher acquiring a small indie publisher although I suppose that would depend on how you define a major publisher. Solstice have been going since 2008 and have currently 200 authors. Take a look at their website, if nothing else it’s a better one than Alpha wolf’s.
Well, I have to fill out new forms for each of my contracted books. Much, if not all of the information is the same required by the forms that I’ve already filled in so Carly has kindly said I may cut and paste. Despite my general aversion to form-filling I’d better do it asap because until I hear differently Eliezer’s Journey is coming out sometime this month and I have guaranteed Internet access until the 10th. In the meantime I have not seen any artwork or galleys. Understandable maybe but I have been feeling a bit out of the loop, as it were. When I send in the forms, or at least the one for Eliezer’s Journey, I’ll ask about time-scale.
In the meantime
Sales of The Kaieteur Caper if not exactly off to a racing start are showing signs of life. At the moment ebook and paperback sales are pretty much equal which means the ebook sales at least are above the minimum royalty payment limit, so in three months I can look forward to an electronic transfer of funds. I’ve also had an idea for the next Karno adventure, but that’s for another time.