Berkley and NAL are currently looking to acquire works that are 55,000 words of original fiction to be published digitally. These works will be published in print on a case by case basis either in a collection or individually later at some undetermined time.
Shorter works are considered to be part of their existing “especial” books which, like Orbit, is primarily for their existing authors. While many of the “especials” were repurposed, there will be original digital fiction in the future.
The digital first books will be published globally in the English language and should be found at all major ebook retailers.
The submission*, editorial and production teams will be the same as the traditionally published print first books. These books will be marketed by the existing marketing team as well.
*This does mean that they accept both agented and unagented submissions.
Berkley has invited me to acquire for them in a vein similar to the Agony Ecstasy anthology.
The initial focus will be on romance oriented books but they are open to any strong story.
The books will be DRM and Agency priced although the pricing is unknown at this point.
In all this talk about digital, some print readers are feeling left behind. Some readers have only been able to find ways to contact the author via twitter or Facebook instead of regular old email. Authors who don’t have a contact me link or have hidden their email address on an about page or a media page are frustrating readers.
Maya Banks has started mbbookstore.com where readers can buy both print books and, in the future, digital books. International readers have had a hard time finding her books and this bookstore is, in part, a response to that demand. Additionally, Banks will be releasing her first self published title in the fall. This ebook will be available via her site and all other ebook retailers. The story is called “A Colter Christmas”. Banks has hired an editor, copyeditor, and proofreader, as well as a technical expert to code the books. Freelance artwork was obtained through Millennium Promotions.
Dystel & Goderich is offering publishing services. They will assist authors in seeking out new platforms for a 15% fee. It’s a different and probably safer take on agent publishing.
Word is thick on the ground at RWA that other agents and agenting firms are offering these publishing services or actually publishing themselves.