Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On E-Books, Elbow Grease and a Brand New Day

I want to tell you about the perilous journey Mad Money took from traditionally published book to e-book. It’s possible you can sense how very proud I am of this publication. Something in making a thing entirely with your own hands, I think. And it delights me that my first published novel -- much-loved by readers and critics, harshly treated by the cruel realties of an industry that sometimes seems to be eating itself -- is once again available in a very significant way.

The journey began with a serious edit. There have been some technological changes since the book was first published several years ago, but that was a small part of what I was doing back there. I had always been concerned that a cautious, middle-of-the-road editor had seeped some of the heart out of the book. The things that concerned me then have been corrected for this edition. If you’ve read Mad Money before, it won’t seem like a brand new book, but there are some parts that will make your eyes widen, that’s what I hope.

Then the formatting for both Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. The latter will handle distribution for everything other than Amazon. Eventually that will see Mad Money available for Kobo in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, through Apple at the iBookstore, for Sony readers and various other formats. Some of those are available now, but I’m told it can take a few weeks to propagate through all the systems.

Even coming to the place of deciding that would be the way to go for me took several miles. And though I know there are other options, for now the Kindle/Smashwords combo seems to be the right one. I’d be happy to hear if you have other ideas. And I’ll let you know if my call was the wrong one. (Or the right one, for that matter. You’ll want to know that, too.)

My partner, David Middleton, designed the gorgeous cover. I’m going to write about that process at some future point, but I think it’s dead cool he not only conceived of this cover for Mad Money, he began shooting images for it pretty much as soon as I told him I suspected I’d be able to revert the rights back for the Madeline Carter series, enabling me to take a run at electronic publication.

As it happened, when I first set my sights on doing that, we were in New York City, in the financial district. Our hotel room boasted a terrace that actually looked out at the Stock Exchange. On the day David took this photo, we ate street meat on the stairs of the building opposite the Exchange, while hordes of teenagers clamored for the attention of the cast of Jersey Shore, who were there for the closing bell. Madness.

The photo of the palm tree was taken earlier this year when we visited San Simeon. (A trip that forced us to revisit Citizen Kane, and then The Battle Over Citizen Kane. Next up: The Magnificent Ambersons, but that’s all a story for another day.)

The sky was a local one, taken last year out on a ramble with our dog. It was taken not to be part of my cover, but because it was a gorgeous sky and it stopped David in his tracks. It was a beautiful day, too. Talent and technology make it stormy for the Mad Money cover.

There are other publication days in my future, but I suspect this one will be special. Today I feel part of something new and important. It feels like a brand new day.

3 comments:

Dr Shelley said...

I can't wait to read it on a Kindle! Yeay Madeline Carter!

Linda L. Richards said...

Thanks, Shelley! Though, of course, it can be read on an iPhone and other devices as well. While we're on it, since this process started, I've downloaded a Kindle reader for both my Mac and my NetBook and they're really quite good.

Richard Cooper said...

Congratulations, Linda! A beautiful book and cover, and so great that you control the electronic rights for distribution. Excellent work.
Best,
Richard