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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.
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