Monday, July 15, 2013

Out There

Last week my British publisher, Gollancz, dropped the price of the ebook version of The Quiet War to £1.99, to help promote the publication of Evening's Empires, the fourth novel in the Quiet War universe. Some American readers wanted to know whether they could get in on the deal, and I realised, to my chagrin, that I didn't know. So I thought it might be useful to make a list of what is available in the UK and the US - to keep things simple, I'll skirt around the more complicated issue of translations for now. Some of this information is available in the sidebar, by the way, but not all of it. So this, by way of clarification, is what's current as far as the Anglo-American axis goes:

First, in the UK, the following novels are definitely available as deadtree books:

Evening's Empires
In The Mouth of the Whale
Gardens of the Sun
The Quiet War
Cowboy Angels

Five titles from my back list - Four Hundred Billion Stars, Eternal Light, Red Dust, Pasquale's Angel, and Fairyland - may still be available as paperbacks, but are I think mostly out of print.

All of the above are also available as ebooks in the UK. The rest of my back list as at present out of print, but I have plans to revive several titles as ebooks.

A short story collection, A Very British History, was published by PS Publishing in March, and is very much in print. And a single-volume anthology of the Confluence trilogy, with two associated stories tipped in, will be published by Gollancz in December.

In the US, only Gardens of the Sun, The Quiet War and Cowboy Angels are available as deadtree books. (Three other titles are still under contract with Tor, but have long been out of print, and haven't been turned into ebooks because, amongst other reasons, Tor have a vast pre-ebook-era backlist.) They are also available as ebooks - but as I discovered, they aren't available as the British versions. That's because I have a different publisher, Pyr, in the US, and while Gollancz was briefly able to release its ebook versions in the US, that ended when they sold US rights to Pyr. And that's why, I'm afraid, the price of The Quiet War hasn't dropped in the US: it's a special offer on the British ebook associated with a new novel coming out from my British publisher.

The five back list titles mentioned above are available as ebooks in the US, by the way, because I took back the rights after they went out of print in the US, and offered them to Gollancz. If you're confused at this point, I don't blame you.

Availability of books still reflects the old territories carved out by publishers in different countries.  British publishers claim the UK and most Commonwealth countries; US publishers the US and Canada. Back in the day, US readers would not have expected US editions of books to reflect the pricing of editions in British bookshops. Now that the internet connects everyone with everyone else, it isn't much of a stretch to imagine that someone in the US should be able to download a British edition of an ebook; but rights and territories, and the geolocatory vigilance of platforms like Amazon, prevent that.

Neither In the Mouth of the Whale or Evening's Empires have a US publishing deal.  At present, if American readers want to buy either novel, I can do no more than point them towards the Book Depository, which sells deadtree books with free worldwide shipping. And if they want the ebook versions, then I'm afraid it won't be possible (outwith spoofing your location) unless and until an American publisher buys the rights, or until Gollancz decides it can't sell them.

However, there are a few other ebooks which are available in both the US and UK (and in Canada and elsewhere). These are titles I published myself to Kindle Direct, including the stories 'City of the Dead'[, 'Dr Pretorious and the Lost Temple', and 'Prisoners of the Action', the short story collection Little Machines (originally published by PS publishing), and two collections of Quiet War short stories, Stories From The Quiet War and the latest, published just last week, Life After Wartime.


Anonymous John Mitchell said...

Hi Paul,
I hope this page helps:

July 17, 2013 1:57 am  
Blogger Brian said...

Can you self publish "In the Mouth of the Whale" and "Evening's Empires" ebooks in the US, if only via Kindle Direct?

July 17, 2013 6:18 am  
Blogger Al said...

John, if he goes to that page, he'll see a different version than I would, in America. Amazon detects your location when showing you pages.

July 17, 2013 6:54 pm  
Anonymous Claire Wihnyk said...

Hi Paul,

I'm hoping to find out who to contact about the film/tv rights to Evening's Empire. Could you please email me?

Claire Wihnyk
Marc Platt Productions

July 18, 2013 2:08 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

John - Thanks for going to the trouble of looking that up. Trouble is, as Al says, we're directed to different pages, or different pages have different functionality, because of Amazon's location tracking. Something that only recently became obvious to me...

Brian - My UK publisher has world rights for the Quiet War novels. So I can't turn them into ebooks myself. Although the first two were bought by Pyr in the US, the second two are still on the market. If no one in the US makes an offer, Gollancz might put up the ebooks themselves, as they did with five backlist titles, but at the moment they are still waiting to see if something good might happen. I am thinking of putting up a few other titles from my backlist as ebooks, but need to do that properly, and it will take a little time. And at the moment, most of that time is taken up with writing a new book.

But thanks for yr query, and thanks to all who ask about US availability. Am only sorry I can't give more positive news at the moment.

July 18, 2013 4:22 pm  
Blogger David D. said...

Surely electronic publishing should make it easier than ever to publish in multiple jurisdictions. But evidently the transatlantic book publishing relationship remains complicated despite recent advances in technology and several centuries during which the publishing houses have had the chance to figure it out. I look forward to the time in the years to come when I can download - in mere seconds! - electronic versions of your most recent two titles, here in the States.

July 22, 2013 3:50 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

David D - Me too!

July 22, 2013 6:11 pm  
Anonymous John Mitchell said...

Sorry for posting a confusing link to
I can list the kindle e-books I have purchased in here in the States:
Life After Wartime
Stories from the Quiet War
The Quiet War
Gardens of the Sun
Cowboy Angels
400 Billion Stars
Fairyland (reading right now)
White Devils
Eternal Light
Red Dust
Pasquale's Angel
The Secret of Life
Whole Wide World (seriously messed up paragraphs!)
and then the various "kindle singles"

July 30, 2013 2:25 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Thanks John - much appreciated.

July 30, 2013 8:07 pm  

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