A lot of people have been asking me why we ‘went the ebook route’ with Bloody Waters.
In the two or three years that has elapsed between Possible Press agreeing to take on the book and the book finally seeing publication the ebook world has changed drastically. I bought myself a reader at the start of 2011 and I haven’t looked back. I can have just about any book I want, immediately, and generally for less? Sign me up!
I love physical books. I have a house full of them–but that’s just the problem. I have a house full of books and I’ve long since run out of space to put them. Nowadays I’ll only buy hardcopy a book is special, or if there’s no other way to get it. Ebooks take up a lot less space.
The other noticeable thing about ebooks is that they seems to be part of an almost separate economy to print books. If you compare the bestseller lists for ereaders to those of ‘regular books’ it’s striking how different they are–and how much better represented indie publishers are on the former.
It’s tough for a book like Bloody Waters–sold by a small publisher, written by a first time author–to compete for shelf space against established names and big companies with marketing budgets. Those companies fight for space in Walmart; smaller publishers fight for space in independent bookstores. There’s a lot of competition for not a lot of sales.
It just felt like the best opportunities for Bloody Waters were in ebook form, where none of that is a consideration… and it appears to have paid off. I don’t have numbers yet, but based on reader feedback I’ve sold a lot more copies of this more quickly than I have of just about anything, with the possible exception of The Sixsmiths… and that’s not a regular Book Trade book; it’s a Direct Market graphic novel, where almost all of your sales for the life of the book are based on pre-orders.
Traditional publishers have noticed this different market and are now scrambling to produce more ebooks. Some of them might eventually see print, but they are packaging and publishing a lot of riskier material as ebooks first.
The same is true of Bloody Waters. It feels like the book is a success already and it’s looking like we will in fact go to print next year–but no promises. If you want to see it happen, I can only recommend that you buy a copy of the ebook now and let everybody know how much you dig it. That means tell your friends, write us up in your blog, and review us on Goodreads and Amazon.com.