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Analogue Men: Now Digital

It’s official! Nick Earls’ Analogue Men is now available on Kindle everywhere!

And this week is your last week to get it at its special intro price of just $2.99.

That’s a bargain for any book by Nick Earls. Nick is the Aussie author who, in the past year, has collected awards like paperbacks collect dust. He’s won People’s choices. His covers have won design awards.

And his most recent book before Analogue Men was the Wisdom Tree series, which as a collection was named the 2016 Adult Fiction ebook of the year.

So what’re you waiting for? And why? It’d be a steal even at twice the price — which it will be, before long!

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Get Dolph the Unicorn Killer RIGHT NOW!

I know, I know — it’s Stranger Things weekend.

But it’s ALSO the weekend of Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories.

And there are other stories. There are stories about vampires and the Marlow family (for all you fans of Martin’s amazing Inside the Outside). There’s a stripper and bachelor shenanigans and maybe a sex club or several.

And they’re short stories!

My suggestion is to read one between episodes of Stranger Things, just as a kind of palate cleanser and to break up your binge a little.

What’re you waiting for?

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Introducing Dolph the Unicorn Killer (and other stories)

I know it’s been a while. I’ll explain shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to share this awesomeness it’s my pleasure to be making available next Friday, October 27th the newest collection from Martin Lastrapes.

I first met Martin five or so years ago when his novel Inside the Outside was first published. We met via comments on another site, and he reached out to see if I’d want to do an interview. And I hurriedly bought Inside the Outside to read it to determine whether I did. It wasn’t something I did a whole lot, but I like supporting awesome authors.

Martin’s novel blew me away. Not only was I sure he was the real deal, a great writer with a unique voice and something to say, I knew I wanted to work with him. I didn’t know how or when, but hey an interview was a good place to start.

Fast forward a couple years and when I founded Exciting Press, Martin mentioned he had some short stories.

Which we tried publishing.

When I first started publishing a decade ago, I truly hoped that the digital revolution would do for publishing what Apple and iTunes had done for the music industry. I hoped one day we’d be able to buy singles, short stories for 99c, novels like albums for $6.99 —

And now it really has all blended together and everyone’s streaming everything.

But that’s a tangent. On topic: the stories did okay. They were well received.

But I’ll be honest overall that Exciting Press has built a great reputation and published some awesome books but still has a lot of opportunity to grow in sales.

Which brings us to Dolph.

A brand new collection. A few stories published previously but revisited, and a slew of new ones.

Coming next Friday, but in a day or so we’ll put up a pre-order link.

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Congratulations Again to Nick Earls (with further thoughts on indie quality)

In addition to winning Best Adult Fiction ebook for Wisdom Tree, I’ve just learned that the collection also won the gold eLit award for literary fiction.

The eLit awards are intended to “illuminate digital publishing excellence.” From the site, “The eighth annual eLit Awards are a global awards program committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing entertainment.

The eLit Awards are an industry-wide, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the electronic publishing industry.”

These are, in other words, digital-specific. Even the FAQs mentioned that if you absolutely must send a hard copy, you can, but . . .

Which I think is terrific. That’s what I intended Exciting Press to do. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a print book; I used to say it’s been five or six years but I feel like I’ve been saying that for several besides. We’re a specifically digital publisher, and I don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon.

What’s more, though, is that I think it’s awesome for venues like this to recognize indie literary fiction. “Literary” is a weird genre, unlike most others. You know with fantasy that you’re getting fairies and with science fiction you’re getting spaceships and with crime you’re getting a dead body in the first chapter (and yes I just oversimplified all those genres but bear with me here), but what are you getting with “literary” fiction? I think a lot of people dismiss the idea of literary as a separate genre as snobbery, and perhaps that’s a response to a perceived condescension, because there’s a thought that writers who aim for literary would sniff at genre fiction as trashy, as “oh, I don’t read that. I prefer LITerachure.”

But I’ve said before I’m desperate for discussion of quality in the indie world. Far too often coverage of indie success stories is positioned as “Self-published author sells go-jillion copies, sells book to HarperCollins.” This is the lazy sort of narrative that lumps 50 Shades of Grey into the indie world (it wasn’t “self-published” — it was posted in fan-fiction forums before it was picked up by a small Australian publisher, who later sold it to RandomHouse).

I think I get why it happens. Because anybody can click that publishing button, there’s no longer an impedance, so the corporate publishing industry and those associated with it want to maintain an illusion that there’s a separation of wheat from chaff, if you will. That sure, anyone can put some chaff out there, but without that “refinement” it will never be wheat. And the indie world, meanwhile, still wants a seal of quality, a way of demonstrating legitimacy, perhaps,  and so it falls back on the only objective measurements it can — sales and Amazon rankings and a lot of numbers more related to algorithms than to stories or books.

My hope is that one day we’ll talk, simply, about great books. That one will be able to open the NY Times or Atlantic, or tune into NPR, and will hear a story about a great book, and when one goes to find that book, it’ll turn out to cost five dollars on Amazon and the author of that book will get 70% of those royalties when readers get it for their Kindles.

And you’ll notice never once do I hope that who published a book will be part of the discussion. And sure, one could try to argue it’s not now, that NPR never mentions X book was published by so-and-so, but often that’s because media venues are, by policy, closed to what they consider “self-published” titles. They don’t just not want to cover them — they outright don’t want even receive anything. Book blogs, lots of awards . . . “Sorry, we don’t accept self-published submissions.” They’re the ones who will write about indie success only when there are sales numbers behind them.

If you sense a frustration here, you’re right, but moreso I’ll argue this is my hope. This is why I founded Exciting Press. To bring great indie fiction — and not just titles we’re publishing — into a conversation about fiction and quality that may never even consider an algorithmic result or a moment-to-moment ranking on some list or other.

It’s also my hope that congratulating the others I’m working with on more accolades becomes something of a habit.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. And don’t take the eLit or Ippy awards for their word, either.

See for yourself how terrific Wisdom Tree is:

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