Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Trees or the Money?

One of the great things about being a writer in the age of the Internet is that you meet the most interesting people. My good friend Maria Zannini introduced me (online and on Skype) to my good friend, Kaz Augustin.

Kaz is a Renaissance woman born in the Internet Age. Here's her bio:
I am Malaysian-born, of Portuguese Eurasian descent … a true child of the global South. In the past, I have run my own IT consultancy business, bookshop, gym, swimming pool business and martial arts school.

So far in my life, I have been a corporate trainer, lecturer, satirist, martial arts instructor, project manager, political essayist, small business owner and am now proud to call myself an author. Together with my husband, we have lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. We adore our two children and tolerate as necessary evils our willful dog and two grumpy, fur-shedding cats.
Kaz, who writes as K.S. Augustin, has a new book being released this week, In Enemy Hands, through the exciting new publisher, Carina Press.

To celebrate the new release, I asked her to write today's blog, which she titled "The Trees or the Money?"

Maya has been talking for some time now (and excellently too, I might add) about the dynamic landscape of publishing. This is a question near and dear to the heart of any author trying to plan her career through an ocean of swaying ice floes, and I admit to being one of them. (The author, not the floe.)

Up till now, I've been published with digital presses. What I like about them is the foreshortened schedule, the healthy royalty percentage and the level of communication with cover artists that a traditional NY author probably doesn't get. It'd be dishonest, however, to say that I'm not envious of those NY authors. After all, they have actual copies of books they can wave in people's faces, frontispieces that they can autograph. The best I can do is point to my computer monitor and smile stupidly. And, while royalties on digital editions beat the pants off print royalties, the number of people buying print still vastly exceed the number buying digital. Throw in the offhand comment I read somewhere that the ringtone business makes more in one week than digital presses have made in a year, and it starts to get a smidge depressing.

Hmmmm, not sounding good, isn't it? Unless a really savvy player comes along. A company that has had a reputation for thinking out of the box. A company that embraces new technologies in order to make their authors more accessible to more readers around the world. Find a press like that, and things start to look up.

Well, I have. Or, at least, I think I have. I'm talking about Carina Press and the company behind it, Harlequin. Whatever else you think of Harlequin books, the company is full of very smart and forward-looking people. When they set up their digital-first press, Carina, I became very interested. So I pitched a novel to them and they accepted it.

The way I figure it, this is a bit of a gamble for both of us. Carina doesn't have a track record yet, no matter that it's an Harlequin imprint. And I have an SF romance that's probably way harder on the SF side of things than most romances. After the number of rejection slips I've received from Harlequin over the years, I never thought the day would come when I would be associated with the company as an actual author, and yet here I am. It really is a reminder of how quickly the world changes.

Carina Press launches on 7 June and my book, IN ENEMY HANDS, is one of the titles it launches with. I am utterly chuffed. As an author, and as a reader, I wish them success and hope a fair bit of it rubs off on me as well. Pop the champagne and grab a glass.

Let's celebrate!

COMPETITION: I'm giving away two copies of IN ENEMY HANDS at my blog, Fusion Despatches here at http://blog.ksaugustin.com

To be in the draw, stop by and comment at the Competition post, telling me at which blog you read about my book. You have till 30 June!


The Republic had taken everything from Moon--her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong.

Srin Flerovs, Moon's new research partner, is a chemically enhanced maths genius whose memory is erased every two days.

While he and Moon work on a method of bringing dead stars back to life, attraction between them flares, but that poses its own problem. How can their love survive when Srin forgets Moon every two days?

When she discovers the lethal applications her research can be put to, Moon knows she and Srin are nothing more than pawns in a much larger game. Together, they must escape the clutches of the Republic before they become its scapegoats. But there are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. They want to run, but they're trapped on a military vessel in the depths of space, and time is running out....
I purchased In Enemy Hands yesterday at the Carina website here. You can also purchase the Kindle edition here at Amazon. Or you can purchase the sci-fi romance at Barnes & Noble here.

Congratulations on the new book, Kaz! I had to stop reading it to post this message. The Turk, I mean Srin, and Moon were just sitting down to dinner ... Back to reading ...


Bernita said...

Kas and I shared an editor at Carina and eventually swapped arcs.
In Enemy Hands is one damn good book.

Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks Berni and Maya for your very kind words! Maya, you'll find Srin and Moon sit down a couple of times for dinner in the novel. They really like their food! LOL

And Maya, you hit the nail on the head! The original title of the novel was ... "The Turk". :)

Maya Reynolds said...

Bernita: I always knew you had excellent taste. Congrats on signing with Carina.

Kaz: I really liked "The Turk." Would have made an interesting title, too, but love "In Enemy Hands."