Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming soon to a Kindle near you...

Never let it be said that Flux isn't standing at the ready to pounce on any bandwagons that saunter our way.

Starting this month, the first few Flux titles (HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION, THE TREE SHEPHERD'S DAUGHTER, and INTO THE WILDEWOOD) became available as Kindle downloads on Amazon. Over the next few months, more titles will be appearing in this exciting (and popular) format.

The people I know who have Kindles swear by them. I know several agents who use them as an alternative to schlepping paper manuscripts around, I know publicists who enjoy being able to view popular blogs for breaking news, and I know editors who use them on the commute to work to get caught up on the competition.

As Kindle 2.0 looms in the near future (with, I'm told, a sleeker design) and as Amazon struggles to keep up with the orders, it's clear that the age of the e-book may finally be coming into its own (and, no, I don't think that threatens the future of publishing real books, as some harbingers of doom like to predict...but that's a post for another time). I say "finally coming into its own" only because e-books have had a start and stop history, as have most new techonologies strugging to discover which formats make the most sense (VHS vs. Betamax, Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD).

So for you e-book readers out there, have at thee! More Flux to come!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Freaky (sorta) Friday

Remember FREAKY FRIDAY? Not the movie(s) but the original book by Mary Rodgers? In it, teenage Annabel Andrews swaps bodies with her mother and is forced to give Mom's life a try (it turns out harder than she first imagines).
Well, I've decided that if I ever wake up in the body of a teenage girl,* the book I'm turning to that will tell me what I need to know is Barbara Haworth-Attard's MY LIFE FROM AIR BRAS TO ZITS.** A hit in Canada (under the title A IS FOR ANGST), Flux is pleased to publish the US debut of this funny and original novel. Teresa, the book's protagonist, is a fresh and (sometimes painfully) honest voice that had me from page one. I'm not saying I want to BE Teresa, but I think she holds her own in the story and (again, should I find myself a teenage girl in this or any future life) I'd be happy to follow her example (well, mostly).

You may have guessed by now that this February release also just arrived in house and I'm holding a shiny new copy in my hands, which made me happy and giddy and prompted the need to tell the world about it.

So there it is, world!

*=No, I don't plan on this happening but I liked to think I'm prepared for any eventuality. Ask me sometime what I plan to do if I ever find myself in John Malkovich's body.
**=The plot of Barbara's book has NOTHING to do with FREAKY FRIDAY or body swaps. It's just a segue device. Not necessarily a good one. I'll work on it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You had me at 'ahoy.'

Some of you know that I started my career with Flux as the senior publicist. In that capacity, I had the good fortune to work one-on-one with many of the authors (and in my new position, I'm enjoying the chance to get to know the other authors not in my charge) and it often fell to me to discuss with them some of the quirkier of aspects of publishing. Like having a final copy of a book in your hand when it first gets delivered from the printer is very different from the book actually appearing on a bookshelf. These things take time. And after a bit of initial consternation, everyone comes to understand this.

My Esteemed Predecessor liked to blog about new books when final copies arrived in house. He'd share his delight at seeing the book come to light and just generally enthuse about how excited he was that soon the world would know the wonderful secret he'd been sitting on for months.

This sort of blog post usually started this chain reaction:

Esteemed Predecessor (on blog): TITLE X is in the house! Woo hoo!

Author of TITLE X to Me (the author's publicist): You have my books in? Why aren't they in the stores? Why aren't they available? Oh sweet Gutenberg, my life is over!!!!*

Me to Esteemed Predecessor: I hate you.

And then me and Author of TITLE X would talk about the aforementioned difference between having a book in house and having a book in store and everything would be cool.

Now that I've shifted sides, I completely understand his often unbridled giddiness at seeing a project come to fruition. Case in point: I'm holding in my hands a brand-spanking new copy of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, the debut YA novel of A. S. King. It's pretty. I didn't acquire this book. I had no editorial input. But I read it and fell instantly in love with it.

The book has generated a bit of internet buzz for its cover and some of the early reviews have been positively glowing. I can guarantee that you haven't read anything quite like this book and if you think you've got it pegged based solely on the premise (17th century pirate is killed and reincarnated as 100 dogs before finally being reincarnated again into a 20th century teen with all her memories intact), you're very, very mistaken.

This beautiful book (no, really, how can you not love the cover?) also features a fantastic interview with the author, conducted by Leila Roy, the blogoddess over at BOOKSHELVES OF DOOM. Everyone who has read this book can't help but talk about it. So pardon me while I summon the spirit of my Esteemed Predecessor and crow about the impending arrival (in a bookstore near you) of DUST OF 100 DOGS. You'll find it in about a month. Pick it up and see what all the talk is about.

*= This is, of course, an gross exaggeration of the actual reaction. But I think the spirit is there.