Pubhistory_10

It was Richard Curtis who told me about Greg Bear's experience with his new novel Quantico; His US publisher unexpectedly rejected it. Curtis suggested an alternative, the infant, but lustily growing e-book market. Greg agreed, Quantico came out as an E-Reads, did well, and went into physical publication. Quantico deserved to succeed; I bought a hardcover copy, read the book, and thought it was excellent.

Could Courage take the same path as Quantico did? I thought for a while, exchanged an email with Greg Bear, who encouraged me to try, and decided, what the heck, why not. I owed it to Ratha fans to get the book out. The road to e-publication was a bit bumpy, but new ways often are. First, Courage was scheduled to appear as an E-Reads release on Fictionwise.com. Then, when E-Reads allied with Baen Books, they decided to make Courage a featured e-release for April.

So here we stand, with the series back in "deadtree" print and the new book ready to jump out on the Internet. I have learned a lot about Internet book promotion in the process. I have tried my best not only to get the book out on the Internet, but to interact with fans via email and posts on many websites, including MySpace, LiveJournal, LibraryThing, Goodreads, Facebook, Wands and Worlds, Baen's Bar, You-Tube, and others as user "rathacat".

The character visualization 3-D animations still appear on You-Tube, along with clips from the animated Storybreak Ratha's Creature episode (also on MySpace). The author and series have a Wikipedia entry and comes up on search engines and query sites, such as Ask.com. There is a new role-playing site (Into The Mist; Voyage Untold) and a fan site (Trails of Conquest>). The Scratching Log, hosted by Blogger, is syndicated to various sites, including the Amazon Connect facility. Courage itself has captured a five-star review on the Internet.

Not too shabby for a book that got canceled.

Wands and Worlds' review of Ratha's Creature also has some good words about Ratha's Courage plus a link to the book's page on Baen Webscriptions.

Later this spring, Amazon.com will carry Courage as an E-book (right now the page says not available, but it will be) and it will appear on Fictionwise.com.

In some ways, Ratha's Courage resembles the series character Thistle-chaser, Ratha's daughter, who was nearly killed in infancy. Like Thistle, the new book has survived, shaken off its injuries and is thriving in the hearts of its devoted fans. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, live long and enjoy.

(see the next page for more recent news)

 

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Publication History Update (as of 08/24/09)

Here is what has happened recently:

Imaginator Press released Ratha's Courage as a trade paperback on October 5  2008.  The book became available from many internet booksellers and drew numerous positive reviews online. Courage was in the top nomination for the anthropomorphic community's Ursa Major Award, and listed in the ForWord Magazine's awardselections.

To publicize Ratha's Courage, I attended Further Confusion 2009 (late January) in San Jose as a Guest of Honor.  This was my first furry (anthropomorphic) and I had an absolute blast doing panels and conferences. I even did some fursuiting myself. I plan to attend Further Confusion 2010 and look forward to participating again.

I continued to post on Twitter, got listed on Cats Who Twitter, as "Rathacat", was invited to virtual "animal pal" beach parties and roadtrips, and someone even made Ratha a virtual surfboard!

Ratha's surfboard, by @Cat_Named_Sinbad on Twitter

 

I also did several author interviews via telephone, and will be making the audio files available on this new site.

Because Viking-Penguin was converting most of their books to the Amazon Kindle format and dropping the paperbacks,  Clan Ground, Thistle-chaser, and Challenge went OP in mid 2009.  The books are still available as Kindle editions and Ratha's Creature is still in paperback as well as on Kindle. Sheila, I, and agent Richard Curtis acted as quickly as we could to request reversion of the rights to the other titles.  We also secured as many of the books as possible, to keep them available to fans.  

The good news is that Imaginator has bought the rights to Clan, Thistle, and Challenge, and plans to re-issue them as paperbacks.  If V-P lets Ratha's Creature paperback go OP, Sheila and I will take the rights on that one as well.  Having control of the whole series will make marketing it much easier and more successful. 

We wanted to use the striking Christian Alzmann covers that appeared on the Firebird editions, however we couldn't get a timely response from V-P.  We have found a new and exceptionally talented artist and are starting to arrange things with him.

The experimental Twitter fiction "Ratha's Island", a Tweeted novelette-length piece featuring our favorite big kitty and a cast of very strange animals from a different line of evolution began on March 14, 2009 and ran every day twice a day for a month.  It also helped to attract new readers to the series.

So, once again, Ratha and the Named stand poised on the brink of a wonderful new development and I am very excited.  I'll keep everyone posted.