French collection "La Danse des Esprits" is now out

I've blogged earlier about my new collection of fantasy short stories being translated and published in France.

Well, the collection is now out, and you can check it out on the Dreampress site. Cover art is by Daniele Sera. Thanks again to Dreampress publisher, Benoît Domis, for his interest in my stories and for making this happen.

New fantasy collection in France (and, yeah, in French)

About a year ago, I blogged that Benoît Domis of DreamPress had approached me regarding publishing a collection of my fantasy stories in France.

All the details have now been worked out, and I am very excited to announce that La Danse des Esprits will be published this October and will include thirteen (a good number for a fantasy collection) of my previously published stories, translated into French. Aside from the coolness of having a new collection and in another language, I am particularly excited because of the people involved with this project.

First, it's great to be working with Benoît again. He was formerly the publisher and editor of the excellent French dark fantasy magazine, Ténèbres, in France (now an annual anthology), which published two of my Heroka shapeshifter stories, "Spirit Dance" and "A Bird in the Hand" way back in 2000 and 2001. He's been a fan of my work since then, and always said that one day he would do a collection of my stories. Thanks, Benoît, for your support and for making this happen!

Next, one of my absolute favourite artists, Daniele Sera, agreed to do the cover, shown here. Feast your eyes on the gorgeous job he did! The image (and the collection title) is a nod to my story "Spirit Dance," my first Heroka story and one which won the Aurora in 2001 for best short form in French. Yes, werewolves rock.

Finally, one of my all time favourite authors, Charles de Lint wrote the introduction for the collection. Major fan boy moment. I still can't believe that he graciously agreed to my out-of-the-blue request, and am very grateful to Charles.

Here's the table of contents for the collection, which includes an Aurora winner, five Aurora finalists, a Best New Horror selection, and a new, never published, Heroka story ("Dream Flight"):

  • Spirit Dance
  • The Red Bird
  • By Her Hand, She Draws You Down
  • Memories of the Dead Man
  • A Bird in the Hand
  • Dream Flight
  • The Boys Are Back in Town
  • Out of the Light
  • The Last Ride
  • The Dancer at the Red Door
  • Going Down to Lucky Town
  • A Taste Sweet and Salty
  • A Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh

Again, La Danse des Esprits is planned for release from Dreampress in October 2011.

Publishing a Short Story Collection

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me in August 2011 on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of those books. l've blogged this interview in the past, but have pulled the separate blog posts from the interview into one article here.

Question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 3 of 3)

Krista Ball continues her three-part interview with me on my experiences in publishing my two collections and working with small presses. Part 3 is below or you can also read it on Krista's blog. Here are the links to the earlier posts in the series: Part 1 Part 2

Question: What are three things that people need to consider before going with a small press?

First is reputation. If you're considering a small press, check out their authors and contact at least three of them. Ask them about their experience with the press. How involved were they in the publishing process? Did they get cover input? What about the quality of the editing and copyediting? What about promotion? Where were they reviewed? Scan the awards ballots and see which presses are showing up regularly. And check out some of their books, especially their covers, and their author list. Any big names on their list? Would you like to be included on that list, or have you not heard of anyone that they publish?

Second is distribution. See my comments above. For the time being, print distribution into bricks and mortar bookstores is still very important. So you will want to understand exactly what distribution deals the press has to get your book into bookstores. And I'd include their business model in this as well. Do they only do limited print runs? Do they do paperback editions (cheaper for readers) or only hardcover? Do they produce ebook editions?

Third is the degree of authorial involvement in the publishing process. I mention some of this under the first point, but if you're considering a publisher, then they should be able to tell you how much you'll be involved with key decisions in the process, especially the cover.

Notice that I didn't mention money. I'm not saying that the money isn't important, but I'd suggest that you worry less over an advance and instead ensure that you understand their royalty structure, especially for the eBooks. And most importantly, make sure that you understand what rights you are licensing and are comfortable with how and when those rights revert to you.

Okay, I'm way beyond just "three things," but I have to mention another key option that any writer with a backlist of short stories needs to consider in 2011, and that is self-publishing a collection as an ebook or even as a POD book plus ebook. I haven't done an e-collection yet, but I have put up most of my backlist as individual ebook short stories, available through all the big e-tailers and now also on my own store. I can easily put out an ebook collection of just my fantasy stories, or my SF stories, or only my Heroka stories. It's all under my control.

It would take too much space to discuss indie publishing here, but it's become fairly simple to self-publish a book, whether it is a collection or a novel. If you want to know more about that world, I would strongly recommend Kris Rusch's "Business Rusch" blog series and Dean Wesley Smith's "Think Like a Publisher" blog series.

Interview: Publishing a collection (part 1 of 3)

Fellow author Krista D. Ball interviewed me recently on my experiences with selling my two collections and with working with small genre presses for both of the books. The discussion went longer than we expected so Krista is posting the interview in three parts on her blog. I've posted part 1 below, or you can check out "Publishing a Short Story Collection" on Krista's blog as well.

Krista's first question: In Chimerascope, most of the stories were at least nominated for Aurora Awards and one was a winner. With a strong list of credits like that, why did you choose to go with a small Canadian press like ChiZine?

True, the stories in Chimerascope have a lot of award credentials. "Scream Angel" won the Aurora, while another nine of the sixteen stories were Aurora finalists. "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" was also a Best New Horror selection, and several more received honourable mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. I could talk similar numbers for my first collection, Impossibilia, which had another Aurora winner ("Spirit Dance") and an Aurora finalist in its three-novelette line-up.

But if I pick up any collection, I'd expect to see award credits for the stories. A collection is supposed to represent an author's best work. But unfortunately, regardless of awards, a "big" publisher will simply not be interested in publishing a collection, unless you are a Name (which I'm not). The strategy for how an author should market a collection changed from when I started writing to when I was ready to market Impossibilia in 2008. And it's changed again since I published Chimerascope just last year, thanks to eBooks and indie publishing options.

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