Two months into 2012, and a lot has been accomplished; first and most important, the Wearing the Cape trade paperback has been reformatted, re-edited, and re-released. The trade is now slightly bigger (6″x9″) to provide more surface for the awesome cover, and all minor (very minor) edits have been duplicated in the Kindle edition as well.
I still can’t get over the cover art, and how close it comes to my own inner vision of my heroes. Viktoria Gavrilenko is an outstanding new artist.
My main justification for shelling out several hundred dollars for a cover (and another to come for Villains Inc.) is my intent to make a push and get WtC and VI onto the shelves of bookstores and comicstores nationwide. Still not sure of the details, only that it can be done.
As for a sales report, I’m happy to say that WtC and VI are both performing well this quarter. After a deep drop-off at the beginning of the year (experienced by all superhero titles, judging from the Amazon rankings), sales have picked up again and are holding steady at about 20/day for Wearing the Cape and a bit less for Villains Inc.–and I expect VI’s numbers to rise to match WtC now that VI4 is no longer separately available. I have also arranged to raise the price for both books to $4.99–the going rate for indie-published novels that have displayed a good track-record. Since polled Kindle-users consider anything from $.99 to $5.99 an easy impulse buy, and have expressed a perfect willingness to pay full shelf-price ($7.99+) for ebook titles they like, I feel it is time for my books to match current market practices.
The one thing I regret doing is taking Wearing the Cape off of the Amazon Prime list, which means it will no longer be available for free borrowing by Amazon Prime members. I really didn’t want to do this, but Amazon’s exclusive ebook-vendor agreement prohibits Amazon Prime ebooks from being sold through other e-vendors, and I intend to make WtC available on the Nook through Barnes and Noble (my goal for March). So if you have any friends who are Amazon Prime members, let them know that if they want to borrow WtC they had better do so before March ends.
One observation I’d like to make, while not exactly news, is that WtC needs good writers. I’m not talking about open-sourcing Hope’s world for other writers–although I may in the future–I’m talking about the future of the superhero genre itself. Watching the Amazon rankings for the past few months, I’ve concluded that Amazon needs to create a new genre-ranking: Superhero Adventure. At this time most superhero stories are dropped into the Graphic Novel/Superhero category. This has the advantage that comic-book fans, looking for graphic-novel collections of their favorite comics, will stumble across these unillustrated superhero stories (and currently four of the Top Five in this category are superhero novels). But the disadvantage is that indie-authors are competing with comic-book companies for ranking positions.
I am firmly convinced that, if more writers can turn out stories like Ex-Heroes/X-Patriots, Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, In Hero Years… I’m dead, and Other People’s Heroes, Amazon will eventually have to create a new category for us–and other works that should be in the superhero category (like George RR Martin’s Wildcards series and Soon I will Be Invincible!) will join us. This will be good for everybody.
A final note: now that the new edition of the WtC trade paperback is out, it’s time to announce the drawing winner. And the winner is… Linda and Dennis! Let me know where to send your autographed copy. Thanks to everybody who gave me their thoughts on the books, and especially those who also expressed themselves on Amazon!