Going “Real Book”

Let’s get the Breaking News out of the way:

The entire McCall-Malone Mystery series is going to be available in print!

Which is to say, existing in the real world: On actual paper, available to be bought in a bookstore, checked out of a library, held in your hand, given to a loved one as a present, even signed by yours truly if you so desire.

The print edition of the first book of the series, Turnabout is Fatal Play, should be available for purchase from Amazon by the time you’re reading this blog post.

Plus, all future books (except for omnibus offerings) will be made available as eBooks and paperback editions simultaneously.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, waiting for sales numbers that would justify making the move. Then, a few weeks ago, I happened to talk to three different people on the same morning who wanted to read my books but didn’t do eBooks. They were all frustrated. It made me feel frustrated. I checked my sales figures.

After which I contacted my ever-reliable support person (Matthew Wayne Selznick of MWS Media) in California and told him it was time.

So the process is under way. The first book, as I said, should be available now. The second, Decease and Desist, is almost ready to go. One Deadly Game and Dying of Desire will follow as quickly as possible. Grave Reckoning will be next up, coming next year.

All of which is very damned exciting – and not a little frightening.

Because this opens up a whole spectrum of new possibilities. I’ve already had inquiries about autographed copies (no problem!) and review copies (you bet!). I have to figure out how to get my books into bookstores, at least the local ones, and the library if possible. I may have to deal with events like readings and/or book signings eventually. We’ll see.

It occurred to me this morning, while I was sitting on my cushion supposedly meditating with Maxine purring at my side as usual, that my entire writing career is no longer hostage to the first EMP burst of World War III or the replacement of the Internet by Something Else someday. There will be physical books out there with my name on them, on people’s shelves and in their personal effects and on used book tables and who knows where else. All kinds of places, for a very long time.

That feels really damned good in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.

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