May 31st, 2011

Second Life

As we move into summer

And so as we move into summer we here at the Confusion factory are looking back a bit -- we've had a hectic 12 months and a day or two --

within the last 12 months we were in Orlando as Guests of Honor for last year's Oasis, then on to Chicago's Western suburb of Naperville for our joint Guest of Honor gig at DucKon. During those several weeks of Guest-of-Honor non-stop travel we decided to move forward on our search to relocate closer to the ocean in Maine in the next year or two, and have been working on that ever since ... but there were some delays (see following narrative). Part of that decision includes scaling back SRM because of space and time limitations (and the fact that we're running out of the cases Meisha Merlin titles that helped feed us for several years during the MM meltdown phase) -- expect some sales at starting tomorrow so we can eventually clear out the basement and be ready to move closer to the ocean by next December, if all else continues as is.

We had a bunch of Baen books come out (and more are on the way!), and then I went to AlbaCon in October ... and about a week after Albacon I ended up in the hospital for a week with pneumonia and a bonus diagnosis of cardiomypathy ... which led to the closing of the in-town SRM Publisher office and then to my ICD implant in January, as well as delayed publication of the annual chapbook, which finally turned up as Skyblaze.

The books continued to come out from Baen, and we continued to get offers to be guests at conventions, some of which we've now been able to schedule, including the RSN visit to PortConMaine. We also are looking forward to RenoVation -- WorldCon -- in Reno and a stop on the way home at Uncle Hugos for what may well be our biggest signing ever before the summer turns into September.

Meanwhile the ebook revolution was spinning along and we finally jumped back into the fray with our chapbook backlist and more via our website.

We made a big deal about getting the Liaden Universe material up for Kindle and Nook, because, heck, many of our fans seem to like the Korval gang and their friends (and enemies!). But -- it turns out some of the Liaden readers don't know about or realize there are other Lee & Miller mini-universes and short things out there -- and our quick announcements on the Liaden books may have failed readers looking for more. For one thing, we made no special mention of Fellow Travelers, which is *the* Liaden Universe chapbook that convinced us we needed to keep doing chapbooks way back when.

But there was a little more to the technical details of aiming at the secondary markets than we'd realized and some of the "other" chapbooks went up while we were concentrating on those details, like trying to figure out our Smashwords ( ) stuff (still not complete) because Smashwords is a practical way for us to get some of our books into the Apple system -- and though the books became available we weren't cheering them along the way we could have.

So: while we continue to add our existing ebooks to Smashwords one or two a day, where they slowly migrate into "premium catalogs" like Apple, you can still order the epub and other formatted other books for Kindle and Nook now if you don't want to wait. If you're looking for Lee & Miller stories you may have missed, try these locations at the Pinbeam Books catalog site -- which is some of our joint chapbooks as well as a novel (note that in Calamity's Child their is a Liaden story) ... and then there's Sharon's page (including links to her mystery novels!) and my own, still in progress -- -- the poetry book TimeRags II will be added as time permits. TimeRags was my first book publication, way back in 1975.

So, we've been busy. You can help us clear the decks for summer travel by passing on the website for your ebook reading friends and once the sales get up to SRM, doing something about them.

Here's a list of some of the chapbooks you may have missed, now findable electronically at the Pinbeam website, all available through major purveyors of ebooks for $2.99:

Chariot to the Stars -- a collections of my early fiction
Variations Three -- a collection of Sharon's early fiction
Endeavors of Will -- a collection of Sharon's fiction from her first 20 years of writing
The Cat's Job -- what can I say -- this has been a popular book for a long time. Each sale also helps keep Hexapuma in meds!
The Naming of Kinzel -- a young wizard, written years and years before Harry Potter. There's a lost Kinzel novel, by the way -- at one point we thought we'd make our living writing Kinzel stories!
Master Walk -- another universe we thought might make us a living -- I still think we may write in this one some more.
Quiet Magic -- a hers-mine-ours collection of Lee and Miller short fiction.
Fellow Travelers -- Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 2, I think...
and there's also a $4.99 novel, The Tomorrow Log, which also begs for a continuation and which we keep looking at to see how to go on with it ...