So, as we near completion on a couple of the projects I've spoken about before, I am now working like a nutter on a fabulous piece of collaborative publishing.
Timelines are tight, but wow, this thing is exciting. It involves me, a brilliant Sci-Fi author, and a major video games company.
More when I'm allowed to say, but we're aiming for a launch in early June, so keep your eyes peeled for me mouthing off in the press about it!
Also - anyone London based with an interest in publishing would be well advised to head here: http://t.co/t43Ney9fwy
Not just because I'm speaking, obviously - there are far cleverer folk than I hitting that stage. Great speakers, booze, great people. What's not to love? See you there?
Well now. We're close. We're really, really close. Two spanking new, wonderful stories are about to break out of their incubation chambers and head to eReaders to the world over.
Shadechasers by Rick James is going to be first out of the gate. It's a quite brilliant debut from a refreshing new voice in YA fiction. Rick and I (well, mostly Rick) have been hard at work on polishing, editing, polishing again, reformatting, converting, editing and polishing again, and we're this close to being ready. I know we said that a few months back, but we saw the Christmas madness and decided to spend a few extra months really making this story the best it could possibly be. Once we are done, it'll go up for sale everywhere you can possibly think of to buy an eBook, including Kindle, Kobo, and B&N.
You'll also be able to get an extended downloadable sample exclusively from this site, whilst for those who haven't yet bought into the eReader goodness, we're going to serialise the first part of the book on a dedicated page here too. Check back next week or follow @rhodesythebear on Twitter for linkage.
Project two is another stroke of genius, again YA, utterly different in tone to Shadechasers but they both carry the hallmark of future classics. Human Redux, by videogames veteran Christopher East, is a marvellously thought-provoking adventure through time and history, as our heroes attempt to stave off an alien apocolypse by rebooting the history of the world and rewriting human evolution via their actions. Human Redux is deep in line and copy editing now, so we're still a little way off, but rest assured, this is one you will not want to miss.
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So, this years Futurebook is on Monday. If you can't be there and want to keep abreast of the chatter, make sure you follow @samatlounge on Twitter (or even me, @rhodesythebear), and keep an eye on the Futurebook hashtag, #fbook12
I've been asked to chair the Pricing panel. It's an interesting question, that, given what I've seen from other industries.
We'll be discussing the race to free, physical vs digital, the power of pricing as a marketing tool and how it affects big publishers and self-publishers differently.
I know it's a burning question for authors, agents and publishers alike so it should be an enlightening discussion.
If you have any key questions you think I should be asking, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Full programme is here for those that are interested.
A multi headed update this time around. Deep breath:
So, Shadechasers is nearly ready. Nearly. I can't wait. We've built this to be the ultimate mobile reading experience.
It's a fabulous story, with chapters built in such a way that you can grab a quick read on your phone in the same time it'd take you to tap out a text message, but remains a deep and thrilling white-knuckle ride through a sinister world.
We're just cleaning up the final ePub and then we can start sharing. Watch this space!
Also - a reminder that Carved is ready to buy right now from this site! Head over to the eShop and part with a measly 99p for a grisly non-fiction account of one of the most shocking crimes in recent London history.
In other news, Amazon have started to make their play for the mobile space with a snazzy new preloaded app on a forked version of Android on Droid DNA. More on that here: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/13/amazon-app-suite-verizon-preloaded-droid-dna/
This shouldn't be dismissed easily - it's a direct play at OS level from Amazon and is a direct assault on Google Play. It doesn't, yet, support video, which may hamper the appeal in the short term, but let us not shy away from the message: Amazon have your phone in their sights. Amazon's shopping trolley in your hand and direct delivery in the palm of your hand - across all types of content (eventually) and the convenience of Amazon's full ecosystem - after years of poor execution on content delivery, Google should be worried.
It's silly season for the games industry again. Assassin's Creed 3, Halo 4, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 all out within weeks of each other.
It would appear that Halo 4 suffered the most - not selling as many week one as either Reach or Halo 3. My feeling this time, though, is that Microsoft may have been a little canny.
On the surface, it looks a slightly disappointing result. However, given the lack of mainstream exposure this time around, I do wonder whether they deliberately targeted Halo fans only with a less-than-record-breaking marketing budget, and expanded the Halo IP in the process. The video work leading up to the launch was nothing short of examplary, and if this is indeed the way MGS decided to take Halo, I believe the trade off of slightly lower units for Halo's rebirth against a longer term franchise gain is a sound one.
If you haven't seen them, do check out the Halo 4 spots:
AC3, and BLOPS2 on the other hand, smashed it out of the park, breaking records all over the place. Metro reported today that Black Ops 2 sold 8 million copies on day one. Take that, Skyfall....
So, the big bear today has a bit of a sore head. My term at Walker Books finished yesterday, so much red wine was consumed and ridiculous dancing was witnessed.
This means, however, as you may have guessed from my last update, that I'm ramping up Orb operations starting from Monday! Some stuff you won't see, as Orb is still an awesome digital consultancy, but some, big, brilliant stuff, you definitely will see.
I have now got hold of the final manuscript from the brilliant young talent I mentioned in the last update. Of course I'm biased, but it truly is something quite unique, and is an absolute riot to read. I'm busily formatting it into epub and mobi and it'll be available soon, but we're in the throes of negotiating some rather novel pricing structures and distribution methods, so watch this space for launch dates and how you'll be able to get hold of it.
Also, I've been getting my not inconsiderable frame around various shows and conferences lately. On Tuesday, I chaired the Gaming Panel at The Bookseller Kids Conference 2012. It was a great event, and I even managed to nag Sony into doing a presentation on Wonderbook. Photos here courtesy of the awesome Maia Walczack: http://on.fb.me/SkU2Tn
Comic news soon, I promise!
Apologies that I've been quiet. I've had to, you know, actually do a day job for a bit.
I've decided to add a blog section to this site, partly to keep me sane, partly to provide a longer-than-140-character soap box, and partly to share my dubious wisdom the the wider world.
Subsequent posts here will generally be me ranting about the books/games spaces and developments in those markets, but initially, as this is a bit of a catch-up post, thought I'd share our plans for global domination. Or, at least, a niche of it.
So first up, bit of a company update. For those of you that follow me on Twitter (@rhodesythebear) or have been buying our partners' comics on the PSP, you'll know that as of September, the PSP Comic Store is no more. Not a huge surprise given the death of the PSP, but still a little sad.
Given that I'm NDA'd to the nadsack, I'm not allowed to reveal if/when/what comes next, if anything at all. In true XBox style, I don't comment on rumours or speculation.....but I am definitely working on comic stuff for a number of different platforms.
However, I have also been working on something quite different. In the next few months, Orb will be publishing a brand spanking new YA epic from a brilliant new talent. We'll be starting off digital-only, across a number of different platforms and formats. The book is done, professionally edited by one of YA's new young superstar editors, and we're in talks with various partners about some innovative business models. Personally, I can't wait.
Whilst you're waiting for that, do check out Aidan Minter's Carved, which you can buy from this site or from the Kindle store, with other retailers following soon.
It was the most horrific crime in London for more than 40 years. In what looks like a sacrificial killing, the headless torso of a six-year-old boy is found floating in the River Thames. Here, for the first time, Aidan Minter, the man who discovered the body, tells his side of the story and reveals the incredible ground-breaking aspects of the 10 year police investigation.
Most shocking of all, he recounts the barbaric and gruesome circumstances of the boy’s death, uncovered through innovative police forensics. In a shocking and sometimes candid account, he also reveals the traumatic consequences to his own health and the Metropolitan police force’s exhaustive search for justice home and abroad, which saw investigators come face to face with the reality of child sacrifice in London.
Carved is out now, so do click here to buy direct from Orb for a measly 99p, or if you'd rather buy from the big boys, we'll post links to retailers as they go live.