December 30, 2012

Cedar Street Editions

One of my projects this year was to continue to learn more about the art and science of e-publishing, and what better way than to set up a new publishing company and turn some of my out-of-print mystery titles into e-books?

 The company is Cedar Street Editions and my first title, recently released, is Gaudí Afternoon, originally published in 1990, under the name Barbara Wilson.

Even though I have a background in publishing and had done one e-book before––An Editor's Guide to Working with Authors––I needed professional help, especially with an older novel that only existed electronically on a floppy disk somewhere in a box in the garage (or a landfill). I found such help with the wonderful folks at eBook Architects. The first thing that appealed to me was their no-hype website with good information. I was impressed too that they made of a point of being committed to quality. I sent them a copy of Gaudí Afternoon. There’s a more recent edition with Judy Davis looking perplexed on the cover (from the movie that was made of the book), but I wanted to use the original, with the bright and lively design by Clare Conrad.
In about a month I got back from eBook Architects a Word document scanned from the original pages for proofreading. There were a few of my errors (“desiccated” is now spelled correctly if anyone is interested), and a few of theirs in formatting italics. While waiting for the scanned document I bought ten ISBNs, since I plan to go on with this venture, and set up a website for Cedar Street Editions. Once I sent the corrected copy back, it was only about a week before I received the digital files, formatted in versions for Kindle (mobi) Nook (e-pub) and a variation of the e-pub files for Google. I knew a bit about this from my first book and already had vendor accounts with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There were again a couple of glitches when I uploaded the files to the devices; eBook Architects took care of them immediately.
I uploaded the new files, described the book, and filled in some information. And, amazingly, Gaudí Afternoon was available for purchase online. I was thrilled at how straightforward and relatively easy the whole process was. As most writers know, it’s hard to get out-of-print books re-published and, although there are plenty of my mysteries floating around online and in second-hand stores, there’s no income for me in that. Meanwhile Google has been and is planning to scan as many books as it can. They had already scanned Gaudí Afternoon, according to the Authors Guild, which has been trying to inform and protect its members (and to come to an agreement with Google) for quite a long time. Since I’m interested in publishing, in having my books available, and in making a bit of money from my labor, e-publishing strikes me as a good solution.
As an editor I now also feel I have a better handle on how e-publishing works—something that can only help when advising other authors how best to proceed through the thickets of information about self-publishing options.

~Barbara Sjoholm

"Join globetrotting Spanish translator and amateur detective Cassandra Reilly in this high-spirited comic thriller set in Barcelona. While translating a magic realism novel about the search for a lost mother, Cassandra gets a call in London from femme fatale Frankie Stevens. Frankie's husband Ben has vanished without a trace, but Frankie thinks he's in Barcelona--and she wants Cassandra Reilly to find him. The first of the Cassandra Reilly mysteries."

Winner of a British Crime Writers’ Award for Best Mystery Based in Europe

Winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Mystery

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Will you also be posting on your efforts at making it available and getting the word out?