Q&A: About Releases for “Tales”
All authors with an online presence receive questions from readers about themselves and their works. We are no different in this.
Since the inception of T·N·D·S: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga, and its first release, we as well began receiving queries specific to this project… and not always about individual tales.
We thought we would share some of those submitted questions and, of course, the answers we gave.
Q: How many “tales” will there be?
As many as we have time for… as many as we have notions for… as many as we can fit in around our primary work on contracted novels… and still have a life of our own. Our contracted novels always come first in our writing schedule. But so long as readers are enjoying these short ebook-only works, we will continue to find spare time in which to write (and publish) more of them.
Q: Do you plan to ever do true collections of more than one “tale” lumped together in one ebook?
We have thought about it, but for now, J.C. already has a lot on his plate where T·N·D·S is concerned; he is the one who handles all aspects of our e-publishing process. It is not just a matter of putting more than one “tale” into a single ebook. Even for ebook coding and compiling, it is not that simple.
As well, there are challenges in marketing such along side of the individual ebooks and dealing with minor different requirements across our selected vendors. But it is always in the back our minds for the future. That is all we can say for now.
Q: Have you thought about producing printed editions of one or more “tales” together?
Certainly, but there is a catch. Though the cost of a printed edition does not rise sharply for the amount of content included, the base starting price is quite high by commercial standards. Any such edition would have to include enough related content to make it viable to you as a purchase while not driving the price too high in the end. And the price would be high, just the same, versus a book from a professional publisher / publishing house.
Even with some new P.O.D. (print-on-demand) operations capable of national and international ordering and shipping, the price point would be… startling. This has always been the case with specialty press editions; it has not changed with the new (and bigger) specialty press entities nor will it into the future. Print is costly.
There is also the need to (re)develop a layout specifically for print, as the ebook editions cannot simply be transferred into that format. J.C. knows how to do this as well as preparing a master layout file for any P.O.D. production company. But again, time is a factor and the contracted novels for our professional publisher come first. We have not ruled out this option entirely, but it is on hold for these and other reasons.
Q: What is the schedule for releasing new “tales”?
The short answer is that there is no real schedule. The long answer is a bit more complicated.
We try to release a tale every 4-6 weeks. This is worked around the two of us writing an NDS novel and Barb having time to work on her next Mist-Torn Witches novel.
Even after a new “tale” is authored, and we swap off with the other of us playing “editor,” and then the new work is put through a copyediting cycle, the publishing process can take a week or more. Some ebook covers that J.C. puts together have taken up to 5 days around his own writing and other duties.
Afterwards, the ebook is uploaded and cataloged at our selected vendors. We wait until it hits the shelves at all vendors before making a press release notice. This part used to take up to 11 days when we still distributed through Apple / iTunes. Now it takes between 24 and 72 hours among our remaining direct vendors, barring validation errors that J.C. must address in the ebook itself or the store metadata that is required.
In addition, we avoid releasing a “tale” in months when our publisher releases one of our contracted novels. That window is usually extended to 6+ weeks. Yes, we contacted our publisher (our editor) to make this arrangement cooperatively, even though we had no legal requirement to do so.
NOTE: Roc (Penguin-Putnam) and our editors over the last decade plus have been excellent and gracious. We do our best to treat them in kind for mutual success related to our novels… and as a matter of good manners and true professionalism.
Much as the new e-self-publishing craze has fueled heated debates about “traditional” publishing, that rift is partially manufactured by extremists; that seems to be the state of things in the USA, even in our field of work. We do not partake of either side in this conflict. Openness with our publisher combined with cooperation has maintained a good working relationship.
All things considered, we will probably produce about 7 to 10 tales per year, though over the last year-plus, we have produced and published more than this. That is our schedule for the T·N·D·S project.
So there you have it; a peek behind the scenes of the Hendee home office and NobleDead.org. Coming in October, we should have something new… as well as Puppy Love (“Sagecraft” Collection) ending its experiment with the Kindle Select program and becoming available through Barnes & Noble and Kobo Books.