Well, hello there my wonderful friends. I've been getting some questions, specifically on Facebook, about the direction I am going to be taking in the future, and now that my new book cover is showing up, It's probably well past time to clue everybody in.
To begin, I should probably back up a bit. I'm not sure how many people know at this point, but despite great effort and desire to make it successful, my publisher has gone out of business. I hold no bitter feelings. Some disappointment--well, a lot of disappointment--but I feel that they did all they could and it is time for me to move on.
I've done a lot of thinking and praying over the past few months, trying to decide what to do. I know how challenging it is to find a publisher for a series that has already started, but I didn't want this one to sit on a shelf for ten years while I try to build up a reputation with my other work so I could reprint and finish out The Woldchild Saga. So many of you have asked repeatedly when the next book is coming out, and I've hated to tell you that I didn't know.
So, I've taken things into my own hands. As of today, I printed The Sapphire Flute as an e-book at Smashwords.com and you will eventually be able to find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as other places, all downloadable for only $1.99. You may be blinking your eyes right now in astonishment that the cost of the book is 1/10th of its hardback price, but you saw right. It is $1.99.
When I began writing, I did it for the sheer joy of it and only wanted to share my stories with others. Publishing this way allows me to do that. You can have the book, cover and all, for less than it would cost you to make a quick drive-thru for lunch. About 1/3 of the cost. All I want to do is share this story with others and let them find some joy in it as I have.
Now, I know some of you may feel you can't download an e-book because you don't have a nook or a kindle or other e-book reader. But guess what? You don't need one. My brother reads books on his phone all the time, and if that is too small a screen for you, you can read on your computer. Amazon has a Kindle version for PC, and I know there are many others types out there.
If you don't have an e-book reader yet, may I just put in a word about them? They are amazing. My eyes tire easily and I have a hard time reading from a computer screen for long periods of time, but reading from my kindle is just like reading a newspaper because of the new technology called electronic ink. It literally looks like it is printed on the screen, and then you push a button and voila! The next page is there. I love my kindle more than almost anything in my house--aside from people, of course--though there are days with my kids I wonder . . .
Just kidding! Wow, I've gone way off from where I meant to go with this.
Going back now. In leaving my publisher, I received my rights back, but they, understandably, kept the rights to things like the artwork, cover art, typesetting, etcetera, so I've had to redo that myself or have it done. Now, since I am NOT an artist, no matter how much I might wish to be, I hired a friend of mine who is also a writer by the name of Deirdre Eden Coppel to do my cover art. She did a fantastic job, well beyond my expectations.
Here, let me show you. The original cover, in case you need reminding, was this:
Now, I love this cover. I really do. It is a bit juvenile looking for the story inside, but it is stunning to look at. I have a poster of it on my wall, and with it being the first book I ever published, it will always have a place in my heart. It's bright. It's colorful. I love the way the flute is twined with the title. I love the wolf. And though you can't see it, I love the dark tree line on the back.
But obviously I couldn't keep it, so Deirdre and I talked about what I wanted and what she envisioned, and we came up with something that I think we both love. I know that the first time I saw the finished draft I stopped breathing, I was in such awe, and I literally had tears in my eyes. It is beautiful and exactly what I wanted.
And finally I have a cover that represents my book. It is a true reflection of what is inside. Want to see it? Well here you go!
So, it's been a journey--sometimes hard, and other times wonderful. I plan to publish the entire series as e-books and also as audio books, all for download. I'll be doing the reading myself as I have a small studio I built here in my office. That will be coming soon. And if there are enough people asking, I may even have some actual books printed, though I'm not sure when at the moment.
I'm sure many of you are still asking, "Karen, when can we expect the NEXT book? I've already read this one!" Well, let me tell you. Deirdre has agreed to do the covers for the entire series for me, so as soon as I have a cover for The Armor of Light, I will make it available through Smashwords, also at a really good price, then will have the audiobook follow shortly. I'll finish the series as quickly as I can. I just have one other book to write first.
Anyway, that is what has been going on. I'll keep you updated on when things change or I have a new version or book or audiobook available for upload. For now, if you want The Sapphire Flute you can get it HERE. And let me know what you think. I always love to hear back from my readers.