New strategies

Staying current with publishing is a job that requires constant attention. So now I’m taking a break from writing while I restructure how the books are distributed. The capricious nature of Amazon makes them an unsuitable partner for small fry. You don’t get treated so much as a valued content provider as much as a pain in the ass. So, although readers won’t see much change, I’m going to go through distributors who seem to have a little clout and are author friendly. I like author friendly.

There are some other changes in store as well, with some exciting news about my Caribbean cozy mysteries. At the moment, there are three: SWEET DEATH, THE MISSING SKILLET, and DEATH OF A SANDMAN. You can find them all at https://www.amazon.com/Ed-Teja/e/B001K8HYZU

The Long Road to Someplace

After spending a lot of time trying to get a handle on this crazy world we call publishing, to make sense of what Amazon is doing, to understand the trends in books, I’ve backed off. I’m writing a novel that is based on my years in Cambodia and will take place there. It’s the story of an expat and its a tale of success and failure.

The working title is Crocodile Tears but the story hasn’t proceeded far enough yet to know it that will work. It fits the theme of the book, but perhaps not the tone. This is mystery, but not a mystery in the traditional sense. It’s an ambitious book that borrows from life in a way that makes it hard to write. So, despite having an outline, it most likely won’t be available until near the end of 2017. If things go well, it will come out in hardback as well as paperback and ebook formats, and I’ll be doing a launch that involves a preorder.

Once I know the real tone of the book I’ll be contacting cover designers to find one who can do it justice. It’s an exciting project.

The closest thing I’ve done to this book is a short story: Imitating Art. It’s based in Asia and available in several languages now as well as an audio book, narrated byJoe Farinacci.

 

Shifting Sands and New Resolve

There’s much in the news about publishing these days–the rise of self publishing, predictions of the demise of print books, predictions that print isn’t dead, and commentary saying the golden age has come and gone in typical modern, high-speed fashion. What sometimes gets lost in all this is that writing is not publishing. I feel somewhat heretical saying this in an era when “how to write” columns focus on creating author platforms or formatting ebooks, but it’s true. Publishing is a business and always about commerce. Writing can be, but isn’t inherently. Sometimes writing fulfills other needs.

As a publisher, Float Street Press has focused on putting out good (interesting and in our opinion, worthwhile) books and not enough on commerce. That’s because it is really more of a writer’s collective than a real business. As such, the shifting sands of the business end of things, changes in the terms of service at Amazon, the rise and (more often) collapse of their rivals, the erratic and abrupt rise of subscription services, all came about while we were attempting to build up an organization that produced books with covers that better represent the stories inside, to find unique and interesting ways to reach readers.

Oh, we followed in the footsteps of others and turned to Facebook ads, and promotions, and such… but half-heartedly and not very well.  So that is ending.  Rather than put on gloves and go toe-to-toe with people who are, frankly, much more savvy about marketing, and even acquisition (not that hard) we are changing our strategy.

Fortunately we are a collective, not a business. We have no serious overhead. We have a love for books and a passion for good writing. So where does that take us? Honestly, all it means is that we stop worrying about selling. We will stop promoting entirely. We will make books available, work with friends to help their labors see the light of day (in the best possible package) and write and produce books. They will be made available through the usual outlets, in case people do want to read them. But because we know of no way to cut through the noise level, we will stop wasting the time and money trying to do that.

Here is an example of what the future holds, with us working on our books and helping other good books get published.

Javaid Qazi is a fine writer of literary fiction (has there ever been a category so doomed by its very name?) and we’ve published several of his books. We were intending to publish his newest AN UNSENTIMENTAL EDUCATIONwww.amazon.co.uk but decided instead to let him market his entire catalog himself. You won’t notice the difference, but it simplifies all our lives. The book is out today and available for 99 cents from Amazon for an introductory period (and available in paperback). It’s available through Kindle Unlimited as well and I hope you will check it out.

A clash of cultures… a trial by fire

Freshly arrived in the United States from Pakistan, Ravi Daliwal, a young college student, found a world that was bright and promising. His horizons seemed limitless; his hopes and dreams were without boundaries.Working in Silicon Valley he found dazzling, yet the work unfulfilling and the world around him soul destroying. Now his wife has taken their infant daughter and left him untethered and footloose. Turning to alcohol and casual sex he finds relief but he finds himself wondering how his life took such a bleak turn. When and why did life become a dreary round of dull work, brittle relationships and meaningless hedonism?

 

Gaining in Translation

It’s exciting to have work appear in multiple languages. You have a chance to reach a wider audience and maybe make some new fans. We’ve worked with Babelcube.com to find top translators for many of our works. It’s a lot of effort, but we are starting to see some exciting results. One of our short stories, IMITATING ART by Ed Teja takes place in SE Asia and is an intriguing tale of an expat who is a storyteller.

 

For many languages the book is available in all the usual places, including Amazon. So if you want to read it in Spanish or Portuguese it is available there. Clicking on the book covers will take you to the iTunes links to the books, but they are on Barnes & Noble and many other bookseller sites as well and most are available in paperback and ebook formats.
Unfortunately, Amazon and B&N don’t support all the languages we are using and so the translations into Turkish are available at Kobo, Scribd, Page Foundry, and iTunes and the Romanian at Kobo, Scribd, Page Foundry and iTunes.

 

For movie buffs

Lots of people are selling screenplays of old movies, but Float Street Press has recently published a screenplay that hasn’t been made into a movie yet. OUTLAW TRAIL is a story by Derek Stephen McPhail. It’s an out-of-the-ordinary tale of Texas Rangers, Indian wars, passion, vengeance, and ghosts. Outlaw Film Productions is hoping to see the movie made in the near future. Meantime, you can read it in either ebook format (Amazon.com, Amazon UK or Amazon CA) or in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Outlaw screenplay

 

To learn more check out this short video from the
WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Welcome to the Raj

The Remingtons of IndiaA new novel of the Raj era in India by Javaid Qazi

A vivid portrayal of a time, a place, and a society.

Returning to India in 1899, young Katherine Remington, finds herself swept up in the tumultuous cavalcade of the British Empire at its zenith.

The turbulent tribes of the Khyber Pass are up in arms again! Murderous intrigue is rife in the palace of Maharaja Balraj Balram; the odor of scandals intermingles with the pine-scented breezes of Simla, threatening youthful romantic dreams and military careers. And in the hot, narrow, crowded lanes of old Delhi, Hindu-Muslim rivalries breed bitter and bloody communal conflicts.

Against this backdrop, Katherine, the daughter of an officer in the British Indian Army, must establish her own identity without bringing dishonor to her family. Torn between two men: Jason Price, a rich and handsome charmer and Captain Forbes, a taciturn career soldier devoted to Duty, Katherine must learn the difference between mere infatuation and True Love.

Her brother David, a Political Agent, falls in love with an Indian princess. Now he must choose between loyalty to a career and or heed the call of a powerful passion.

Over 600 pages of the drama of a time gone by!

Available in ebook and paperback from Amazon and other retailers.

 

 

Talking about short stories

We are moving along in getting our books and stories in audio format. The most recent addition is the short story “Imitating Art” by Ed Teja, and narrated by Joe Farinacci. Click on the player below to hear a sample of the story. You can get it for only $3.95.

Here is the blurb

Imitating Art ACX

 

A writer backpacking in Asia finds a quiet place guest house and settles in to write a story about a real criminal on the run. But as he gets to work, fiction and reality blur together in a curious combination.

It’s available now on Audible.com and soon at Amazon.

Boat bum audio

We are excited to announce that The Legend of Ron Anejo is now available as an audiobook. Go listen to the free audio sample and see if the humor of a life aboard a wooden boat in the Caribbean is the one for you.

The Legend of Ron Anejo | [Ed Teja]

 

Available in the UK at:

www.amazon.uk

A darkly erotic world

We’d like more of our readers to get to know Kurt Dysan. His first story, A BURGLAR IN MALAY is available in ebook and paperback from all the usual suspects.

Burglar in Malay

It is an erotic story that takes place in Malaysia, just as the title suggests. It is an erotic crime story, in which lust for stolen jewels competes with more basic lust.

We recently published his second, titled LUSCIOUS THIEF. The cover was done for us by The Cover Collection and we love it.

 

www.amazon.co.uk">

Another erotic crime story of multiple deceptions, betrayal and lust, it examines the very real weaknesses of even hardened criminals. To let you taste his stories, this short story will be free on Amazon from April 5, 2014 April 8, 2014.

 

New stories and new ideas

We’ve recently put up (on www.amazon.com ) a new story by Javaid Qazi, called Bridge of Ropes.

  “Two children form an alliance and build a bridge that is both physical and symbolic. Their friendship helps them deal with a world in which most adults are part of the problem.”

Despite how it might sound, this is a story for adults, not children.

 

 

 

 

Another new story from the press on www.amazon.com was written by Kurt Dysan. AS with his previous story, A Burglar in Malay, this one is darkly erotic and called LUSCIOUS THIEF.

“Cal’s a bodyguard for a crazy woman who insists that tying her up and using her is part of his job. His life is in the toilet. She’s a burglar after the woman’s jewels and he’s in her way. Joining forces might solve some things and screw up others.”

The cover for this story came from Madelene Martin at theBookCoverDesigner.com

 

We’ve got other stories coming and recent remakes of a few covers for older stories to better reflect their themes.  We hope you enjoy these stories.