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

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?

 

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.

 

 

A science fiction collection

We are happy to announce that VISIONS OF JUPITER, a collection of three quirky short science fiction stories by Tilly Jupiter, is now available in both ebook and paperback formats from Amazon and as an ebook from Smashwords.

Visions Tilly is working on a major project right now, in cahoots with another of our science fiction writers, J. Reid Beckett. We will be making announcements about it later, probably early next year. If you want to be kept informed and possibly win a pre-publication copy, sign up on our contact form on the contact page. We covet our fans and don’t share information with anyone else.

 

If you are a book reviewer and interested in any of our titles, please let us know through the contact page. Thanks!

 

An Unfortunately Low Profile

It seems like when the most stuff is going on, there is often the least to say about. With several projects in the queue, but not ready to go live, there isn’t a lot you can say about them. I’ve mention some of them, and since then we have been working with editors, cover designers, and writers (of course) to get them into shape — producing the quality we (and you) want.

For instance, Javaid Qazi is finishing a huge edit on his Indian Romance novel, THE REMINGTONS OF INDIA. While it goes off for a round of final edits, we are doing the book layout, so to have something for reviewers.

At the same time, we are trying to establish relationships with reviewers and prepare advance review copies so that they will help us let the world know about the new books. And, of course, there is the endless effort to try and keep pace with the world of publishing, which is a rather unstable universe, prone to changes (both temporary and permanent) and requiring us to try lots of things to see how best to interact with readers.

We have avoided Facebook as a time sink, but hear from others that it works for them. So what to do? With few people and a small (microscopic) budget, I am going in many directions at once. But it is all good. Exciting stuff. And I learn something new nearly every day.

And on we go.

But there is little to say about that journey, at least that is worth telling, beyond the simple idea that our low profile means that we are working hard.

 

Booksignings

I love bookstores. I don’t just mean the ones that carry our books either. Even as the tidal wave of ebooks washes over us (well actually we are body surfing on it–not wanting to miss the ride) I love to go into stores and look at books. There is something special about opening one and reading that first page, even if you put it back. Physical books might not be the most efficient use of resources, but they sure as hell are inspiring. Just holding a book in my hands is wonderful.

It isn’t the best time for bookstores in general, but some are doing well. Without getting into any particular debate on their future, we are turning to them now to promote our books and, in the process, generate business for them too. Of course, all bookstores are not author friendly, so it is a matter of working with the willing. Fortunately, a lot of independent bookstores do love books.

Jim Beckett andThe_Invention_of__Cl_Cover_for_Kindle I are scheduling signings of our book THE INVENTION OF CLAY MCKENZIE. On October 26th we will be at COAS Books in Las Cruces, NM from 10 am to 12 pm (during the farmer’s market) signing away and talking with readers.

We are scheduling other signings as well and will announce them as we get closer to the dates.

 

 

New books come before marketing

We’ve put a fair amount of energy into ramping up this site, hoping it will provide a place where people can learn about the new books our authors are working on. A lot of that work doesn’t show, as it involves simply learning what to put up and how to make it look right.

The site is still quite incomplete, as working on the new books takes priority over almost everything, and certainly over any marketing efforts. We don’t have and won’t have a Facebook account for the press. We don’t have time for that. It’s lovely to do such things, of course, but a small press is, well… small. If we market, that is time taken away from things we are more concerned with. (This isn’t a condemnation of marketing, just that in achieving our goals, it is less significant.)

Here are a few things we are putting time into.

Javaid Qazi has a new book in the works–a rather long romance that takes place in a fictional British Raj. Our medium-term focus is on getting that book edited and formatted. We want it to read and look great–the physical book should complement the story and the final entity provide a wonderful reading experience.

Even though the editing is ongoing, the layout has already begun. That means we are deciding on the best typeface, the nicest (most appropriate look) for the chapter headings, and designing attractive running headers. All details, but things that work together in determining the overall look and feel of the book. The cover is done–designed by Judy Bullard. Here it is.

The Remingtons of India Amazon

Can you tell that we love books?

And this is but one project in the works. Further down the pike we are working on the debut of a new series of science fiction novels. The intention is to have at least two ready to go before we launch them (lots of opportunities for Beta readers there)  and a sequel to Ed Teja’s mystery UNDER LOW SKIES (Amazon and B&N).

If you would like for us to let you know when one of these projects is ready, use our contact form on the contact page to let us know. If you are a book reviewer and one of these interests you, we are looking to do launches and will make pre-release copies available in various formats.

We are also eager to find some serious Beta readers who will read and report on our books. if you are interested in one of our books, we’d like to know that as well. We love the way Beta readers help us catch the niggly bits that otherwise slip by. Naturally, we hope that readers will develop an enthusiasm for our books and authors that translates into reviews and word of mouth, but mostly we want your sharp eyes and feedback.

 

July ebook sale!

During the month of July, a number of our ebooks will be on sale at Smashwords. Some will be 50% off, including full-length novels, such as THE INVENTION OF CLAY MCKENZIE, UNDER LOW SKIES and THE LEGEND OF RON ANEJO. It’s all part of a summer reading festival. Just go to the Smashwords page and click on a book, or go directly to the book link here, and you’ll see a coupon code for your discount. Enter it and you’ve got your discount. It is a great way to find new authors, and new stories and you’ll be able to choose the ebook format you want to download.