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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Stupefying Stories: Progress Report, 11/14/17

It’s been a challenging week here at Casa di Calamari. With the abrupt and unexpected shutdown last week of, we have in one blow lost our distribution into the Nook, Kobo, Google Play, and Apple iTunes stores, as well as into the OverDrive and Bibliotecha library sharing services.

This in itself is not an insurmountable problem. The lion’s share of our sales have always been through the Amazon Kindle store, and we still have direct access to the Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play stores, should we decide to go back to doing that. It was just a.) nice to have a single point of control for all our non-Amazon distribution (especially given that Apple has made an art form of being difficult to work with), and b.) really nice to have the ability to distribute ebooks for free, which is something Amazon makes not quite, but very nearly, impossible.

The problem is, our primary marketing strategy for the rest of this year was based on being able to release a series of free ebooks—beginning last week, actually—in hopes of spurring more interest in the rest of our titles.

Sigh. Dammit. Back to the drawing board.

Admittedly, I’ve grown leery of talking about our plans. Rampant Loon Press plans seem to be recipreversexclusons: that is, the moment we say, “This is our plan,” the plan becomes something that cannot possibly happen in this universe, and the very nature of reality itself will warp as much as is necessary to ensure that it remains so. Nonetheless, to lob a slow and high grapefruit of a pitch to Fate and fairly beg her to belt it out of the park, here are our plans for the rest of this year and the first half of 2018.

First off, we remain committed to STUPEFYING STORIES. We plan to release two cover-dated issues and at least one theme anthology in the next four weeks, and our stretch goal is to release a second theme anthology before year’s end. Beginning with the January 2018 issue STUPEFYING STORIES officially goes to being a quarterly, as we feel that producing four issues a year on schedule is something we can reasonably handle.

This does not mean we’re cutting back. When we first launched STUPEFYING STORIES, we called it an “anthology series,” and we’re now returning to that concept. The reason for our doing so is as simple as it is semantic: we’ve found that cover-dated issues (i.e., “December 2018”) have very short shelf-lives, while undated anthologies continue to sell out of the back catalog. Ergo, in 2018 we will produce four issues, and fill in the rest of the schedule with theme anthologies and other packages.

Secondly, we’re just putting the wraps on THE RECOGNITION REJECTION, the second book in Henry Vogel’s Recognition Trilogy, which we’re planning to release on December 1, and we’re already working on THE RECOGNITION REVELATION, which should release on April 1, 2018.

Will release. I’ve got to stop qualifying my answers and hesitating to commit. It will release on April 1, 2018. Will.

By the way, here’s the cover art for THE RECOGNITION REJECTION. Pretty cool, huh?

Thirdishly, our plan to release a series of free ebooks is not dead, merely pining for the fjords, as we try to determine the best way to deliver free ebooks now that Pronoun is defunct. (Please, don’t say “Smashwords.” Been there, tried that, won’t produce the results we want.) One question we weren’t even considering last week is this: if we were to provide selected ebooks free for the effort of downloading them, in what format would you like to receive them? Rather than leave this question rhetorically hanging, I’m going to put a survey widget in the right column and collect opinions.
Four: I almost forgot! Coming soon, the Rampant Loon Press Company Store!

But that’s a topic for another column...

Kind regards,


~brb said...

...and there are other things in the works, but these items are enough temptations to Fate for one day.

~brb said...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! All the Amazon sales links in the right column have quit working? When did that happen?!?!?! Fate, you skanky b!tch!

~brb said...

Okay, the Amazon sales links work if I right-click on the cover and select "Open in new tab," but if I just click on them, they go to a blank white window. Is this a new behavior in Blogger, in Amazon, or Firefox? I do not know, but I've got to find a workaround...