One internet trend I’m closely tracking is the concept of an authors’ co-operative, where authors band together to publish and market their works, usually backlist titles or shorter pieces of writing. I know of three so far (feel free to add others) – Book View Cafe, A Writer’s Work, and Closed Circle. All three offer a mixture of free reads and titles for sale.
Closed Circle and BVC are mainly SF/fantasy-focused, with quite a few familiar names – the former has just three authors (CJ Cherryh, Lynn Abbey, and Jane Fancher), while BVC’s author list appears to be growing by the week! Too many to list individually, but Sherwood Smith is one (and I’m a fan of both her YA and adult fantasy books). Seanan McGuire is another, and everywhere I turn nowadays, I’m seeing glowing reviews for her October Daye UF series (I’ve the first one and really need to get around to reading it). Finally, I haven’t spent much time on AWW yet, but it’s listing a variety of genres and I am tempted to get Patricia Rice’s “Lost Love” short story collection (she certainly gets around as she is also a member of BVC!).
It is also currently Ebook Week, and BVC is having a 50% sale on selected titles. I was already planning on getting an e-copy of Sherwood Smith’s “Crown Duel” (with additional material!) and $2.50 is a complete bargain. I’m also having a closer look at the other titles on offer, and at the moment, am tempted by Phyllis Radford’s “Lacing Up for Murder”. Any opinions on this?
I will be honest though, and say that if it wasn’t for the fact I was already familiar with some of the authors on each site, I would take a bit more persuading to look past the website design and ebook covers (not all of them, but certainly some!). I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover and all that, but it does go to show the oft-overlooked contribution by publishers in terms of cover art and marketing.
Also, it probably depends on the author, but more promo wouldn’t go amiss. For instance, one of the reasons I want the “Crown Duel” ebook version is because it contains additional scenes from another character’s POV (yes, I’m a sucker), but it only says that on the author’s bibliography page, not on the Smashbooks page for "Crown Duel". I mean, this is exclusive material – why not emphasise it?
I’m going to stop grouching now and actually head off to buy the ebooks. But do you have any opinions on this trend? Bought any books from a co-op? Excited about backlist titles becoming available?