News and Commentary

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.

(Yes, Astra is laughing.)

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!


8 thoughts on “News and Commentary

  1. OMG How Wonderful. I had Dennis on the phone when I read that we had won, so we both had the thrill of winning at the same time. Thank you so much.

    We love the new cover for Wearing the Cape. It’s delightful that Astra is laughing as she flies through the air. You can feel her joy.

    I’m plugged in to your blog so I get an email each time there’s an entry (I forget what that’s called), so as soon as your next book is available, we’ll be jumping right on it. In fact, I rather miss hearing the adventures of Astra’s world and hope (yup pun intended) you’ll be inspired to WRITE FASTER. LOL

    Thanks again,
    Linda and Dennis

  2. Congratulations on winning! I like the new cover so much that I am ordering a hard copy for my bookself and was just holding out to see who won the signed copy.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful cover. Viktoria Gavrilenko is truly a great artist.

    If you’re looking for bookstores and comic book shops, I’d recommend checking out Collector’s Paradise. They are very supportive of indie authors and if you’re willing to take a trip out to California, I’m sure they’d love to host you.

    Also, I think the sales for the beginning of this year wasn’t just bad for superhero writers but also bad for almost every writer I know (including myself).

    I’ve actually thought about writing a superhero book myself. Although I’m not sure if it would fall under the category of superhero or pulp (Zorro, The Shadow, etc.). And of course, if superhero writers wanted to break the barrier, a multi-author anthology might be a wise move.

  4. I completely agree that more authors need to write superhero novels. I read all the novels you mentioned in a one-month period and I want more. Have you read Devil’s Cape by Rob Rogers (it came out several years ago)?

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