Thursday, January 12, 2012

Publishing Update on "The Termite Queen"

I want to thank two people who have recently reviewed
 "Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder."
  Your interest is much appreciated!
  David Lever ( and Jack A. Urquhart (
 both have interesting blogs and good books of their own for sale.

       Before I tackle another post on my extraterrestrial species, I want to talk about how my preparations for publishing "The Termite Queen" are coming along. I did decide to publish it in two volumes.  They will be entitled, respectively, "The Speaking of the Dead"  and "The Wound That Has No Healing." The first is working out to be a little over 300 pages. The second will be longer.
        First, a word on the status of the permissions thing. I have received permission to publish quotes from Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Seamus Heaney's translation of "Beowulf." I still haven't heard from Evangeline Walton's publisher -- it was the last one I sent -- but I'm expecting it day-to-day. After I get the Walton, there will be nothing standing in the way of publishing the first volume. I have one more outstanding request that belongs with v.2, and I still have to pick some substitute poems for that volume. I found satisfactory substitutes for the Stephen Spender, the Auden, and the Ezra Pound.   Then I will have to create a cover drawing for v.2 from scratch, which will take some time.  That will give people time to digest the first volume and grow impatient for the second.
        As for preparing the book, I'm engaged right now in formatting v.1 for paperback in CreateSpace. I think I've done about half and have conquered the formatting problems with the headings and page numbers. Honestly, that's the most difficult thing you can do in Word.
        I've also made up my mind about the cover art -- I used the more edge-on elliptical galaxy -- gives more depth, I think. And I've finished the back cover as well. GIMP worked! I tried a sample of my drawing and it was extremely easy to upgrade the DPI using that program, so when I actually get ready to upload everything, it should go really fast!
        I hope to be ready to do that by the middle of February at the latest!
        Now the ebook problem. It turned out that not every publisher who holds print rights also holds the e-rights to an author. That's the case with Robert Graves. I will have to shell out another 300 bucks or so if I want to obtain his e-rights. I'll have to see what the case is with the other permissions that are still outstanding. I may try to publish on ebook even though it costs me extra, because I know some people just love their ebooks. If I do, the price is going to be the same as the paperback, however, because I want to encourage people to buy "real" books (I'm planning another curmudgeonly post on that subject later).
        I will also need to upload a sample if I put the book on Kindle, to make sure it will properly display the strange characters of my conlang. 
       So e-publication depends on those two things -- whether I want to spend the money to get additional permissions to publish, and whether Kindle will accept my copy.


  1. Pricing the paperback and the ebook the same can backfire, particularly if the paperback is very expensive, as is usually the case with Createspace books. If someone prefers ebooks and yours is overpriced, they won't buy either one. The technique is being used by traditional publishers to try to protect print publishing. The result has mostly been a backlash.

  2. Catana -- Well, I'll just wait and see whether I even can publish as an ebook. As I said, it will depend on how much extra I have to spend on permissions for e-publishing and on whether the e-format will take my strange characters. Another problem will be getting the format to hold for the epigraphs. I don't want them to appear simply as a formless blob of words at the heads of the chapters. And I guess I'll also wait to see how much I'll be charging for the paperback. CreateSpace gives you a minimum which will cover their costs and give them some profit,and then you can charge whatever you want above that.