Well, a mighty delayed update to this blog but for good reason: I've published my first book!
"Fantasy stories have always existed: Epic tales of the fanciful and fantastic are evidenced throughout history, bringing a little whimsy into our lives in one form or another. Featuring the works of Elizabeth-Rose Best, Ian Gough, Mae McKinnon, and introducing new talents Kris Hawley and A. R. Lachance, this collection of twenty-one stories explores the genre's spectrum from quaint and curious fairy tale to dark urban fantasy. Whether you read fantasy to escape, to relax, to learn, or just on a whim, you'll find some kind of magic in Fantasy Unbound."
It's available for free through Draft2Digital's eBook distributors: https://books2read.com/u/4j19vX
(Note: Amazon Kindle has a minimum price of $0.99 for some reason. All proceeds will be put towards a print version of the book.)
You can also download the PDF or ePub from Scribe Cat: https://scribecat.ca/books
This was an incredible experience right from the start! I broached the subject with Mae McKinnon and Kris Hawley back in October 2018: A fantasy anthology to showcase our work with a very accessible price tag to entice new readers.
Mae's been a long-time friend and co-conspirator; we've trapped muses together and supported each other's work at every turn. Her characters and her worlds have always inspired me, so I've always wanted to work with her (officially, ha). She's also an incredibly prolific writer with six books under her belt prior to Fantasy Unbound: Academia Draconia, The Damsel and the Dragon, High Fyelds: A New Beginning, High Fyelds: The Big Race, You're a Dragon, and The Soul Within.
Kris has written for Scribe Cat before and you'll see that quirky style of his in every story he contributed to the anthology. He says he struggles with completing stories—but his endings are some of my favourites! I'm really hoping he publishes more in the future (and, as any good friend would, I plan to pester him to write more too!).
After crunching some numbers, we (and by that I mean Mae...she's clearly the sociable one, hehe) asked Ian Gough and Elizabeth-Rose Best if they'd join us on this mad adventure...and they bravely accepted!
Working with Ian on this anthology was marvellous—he was always on point and came up with a wide variety of fantastical tales. Some of his stories also tie in with his series, the Core Lands, which includes his two full-length novels: Lotan the Librarian and The Ballad of Hubert Wells!
Elizabeth-Rose Best has a descriptive style with a touch of whimsy that adds a different flavour to the anthology. She's crafted an in-depth world in her Naiad Chronicles which includes four books so far: Vision, Messenger, Caller, and Guardian.
We had a loose structure and prompts to play around with, but I really wanted everyone to have free rein. ...and then I dropped the 350-word challenge on them. 🤣 They all did very well (with some cursing)!
It was an absolute pleasure and honour to work with these four fabulous authors and I hope we have future projects together!
Publishing on D2D
The author who started me down this free eBook path, Lesley Donaldson, also mentioned Draft2Digital. There are so many eReader providers out there, so many platforms, that I think I would have been overwhelmed to offer the book everywhere I could. Just between the people I know who read eBooks, I had to look at Kobo, Kindle, and OverDraft (plus a PDF for folks who don't have eReaders).
While my second copy editor and original book designer dropped out, my partner was kind enough to pull out a great cover design and stand with me as I worked on the interior design. I've only every designed books for print so this was...interesting.
Draft2Digital does provide their own ePub creator, but I'm rather controlling so I had already designed my headers and table of contents. I can't say the options pried me away from using inDesign or even just MS Word's own styles. Of course, getting the ePub to behave itself was an entirely different story. I'm accustomed to a certain order to front and back matter in books: eBooks do not behave the same way at all!
Once I published through Draft2Digital, it was a tense waiting game as distributors published the eBook in their own time (two or three days was about the average, with Hoopla being the last hold out after twenty-one days). It was pretty simple...except for Amazon Kindle. I didn't realize they don't allow free eBooks! I had to price it at CA$0.99 just for them and wrestle a bunch of tax information besides.
Now, the focus is getting that book out there: So, if you're at all inclined to enjoy some fantasy short stories, find Fantasy Unbound on your favourite eReader or here on ScribeCat.ca. We'd also be overjoyed for any and all feedback: You can contact me directly or leave us a review on GoodReads or BookBub!
Thanks for reading and have a great start to 2020!