Getting Physical With Books

I’ve been a huge proponent of digital publishing down through the years. In fact, I take great delight at watching other pundits holding forth on discoveries they’ve made, which are identical to things I was saying five years ago. These would be things concerning the pricing of books, the rise in popularity of series fiction and a whole bunch more. Even though I don’t get a lot of credit for that sort of thing, its still fun to see.

One of the cooler aspects of advancing technology is that it’s reducing the cost of printing books. Print on Demand still hasn’t had prices fall to the point where it’s economical to sell into stores, but for limited runs, it really works well. Last year and this, the Origins Game Fair has produced limited edition fiction anthologies with stories by the authors at the show. That’s only possible because of print on demand. (And in this year’s collection, Heroes!, I have a brand new story set in the In Hero Years universe, featuring Puma.)

I’ve gone ahead and produced print on demand editions of three of my digital-only (or hitherto digital-only) books: In Hero Years… I’m Dead, Tricknomancy and Mysterious Ways. In fact, depending upon the conventions you catch me at this summer, I might actually have copies for sale, right there. Because of the cost of shipping books, I’m only printing them in small numbers, but using the links below you can get one printed up for your reading pleasure.

Don’t let it shock you: physical books cost more than digital downloads—at least, in the world of print on demand they do. I’ve priced each of these books at $15.00, though Amazon may discount them now and again. What’s curious is that even though the books cost more than the digital, I actually make less on each sale. I make the best profit when I order in bulk and sell direct; but since we all know how heavy books are, you’ll understand why I’m not going to carry a hefty inventory to each show.

This weekend, at Phoenix Comicon, I’ll have ample copies of each book on hand. Ample, in this case, means 22. Get them fast. As always, at any show, I’ll be happy to sign your books.

The really cool thing about print on demand publishing making physical books available at a reasonable retail price is that we can maintain that wonderful tradition of having a library of books on shelves. While I really enjoy reading on my iPad, I take great delight in having a single room in the house with shelves floor to ceiling, stuffed with books. To me, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Other folks can have their happy place being a beach or a mountain cabin—for me, all I want is a library packed with books. Okay, and having a secret passage in there somewhere is cool, too.

As always, I really appreciate your support in my career. If you’ve passed up reading my digital-only books because they were digital-only, here’s a chance to see what you’ve been missing.

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13 Responses to “Getting Physical With Books”

  1. Any way to order any to Australia? I would dearly love to purchase all three.

  2. I’m going to guess your question means that Amazon does not make POD books available in Australia. Not a good thing. (I also gather you’re not conveniently planning to move to the Eurozone or the US any time soon.)

    I’m fairly certain I’ll have spare copies later in the summer. I’ll have to figure out what shipping is to Australia; and then we’d have to work out a PayPal exchange. I do think we can make this work. I’ll figure out details and be in touch.

  3. Timothy Fitzgerald 21. May, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Thank You!!! I also have a big room full of bookshelves stacked top to bottom and was feeling a bit left out with your recent digital only publications. I printed out a bunch of your short stories and made it into a binder, but reading an entire book like that is annoying and it would probably cost nearly as much as buying your print on demand copies:)

    I am very happy to hear you make this move. Any idea if Perfectly Invisible and Perfectly Dead will be joining the POD roster?

    Thanks again Mike and I surely hope the new deal with Skyhorse will allow you to present us with An Ungrateful Rabble this year!

  4. Mike, do you know if the Origins book will be available to purchase online? Just curious as I hate to have gaps in my collection.

    Thanks,

  5. Finally found them on Amazon, had to do a very specific search including author name to find them.

  6. Russell Davis 23. May, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Mr. Stackpole, it’s great to see these available in print. Personally I prefer to read books on my Kindle rather than the physical books that I have to hold open, (wow getting lazy). It makes it really hard to gift books or try to get people to try new authors.

    I do have a question on these physical books. What version are they? For in hero years and mysterious ways do the include the deluxe extras?

  7. Russell Davis 23. May, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I forgot my most important question. While i liked both tricknomacy and the bloodstone books I LOVED In Hero Years, will, when and how will the new story be available.

    Looking on Game fair site i found this.

    http://www.offworlddesigns.com/time-traveled-tales-anthology/

    I want to confirm this is the book and give a little easier link to those that might want to buy it. Personally I’m not a big fan of short stories and would only be getting it to read an expanded view of your In Hero Years universe. Will I get the option to buy it on the kindle any time soon or do you have contracts with the show that prohibit that? Given the preference I would rather have a kindle version of the whole book rather than the physical one if that will become an option.

  8. Perfectly Invisible and Perfectly Dead WILL be joining the POD roster. I’ll actually combine the two into a single volume, plus some additional material. That’s the plan, anyway.

  9. The Origins book will not be for sale online prior to the convention. We’re doing a limited run, so if you want one, you’ll have to get someone at the show to snag it for you. I suspect, however, that the material in the book will be repurposed later, and available in a parallel format, but not in the collectible Origins edition.

  10. the advert you found was for the 2012 anthology. The 2013 is titled HEROES! The convention does not have the ebook rights to publish, so it won’t be available in digital form (at the moment). Since this is a souvenir volume, which folks at the show can purchase to get autographed, we’re only doing it in a short run.

    So, find a friend going to the show and have them snag a copy for you. :)

  11. Hi Mike,

    Been a fan for a long time, read and re-read most of your books at least once and am eating up each new thing you dish out. The latest victim was (belatedly) Mysterious Ways. The style reminded me much of Wolf & Raven, a book I fell in love with literally on the first sentence. I do have a question though. I saw, at the beginning of the book a list of other Merlin Bloodstone stories. I was wondering where one would go to acquire these stories as the world and characters really whetted my appetite.
    Thanks in advance!

  12. I just finished reading the copy of Tricknomancy I picked up at the Con last weekend. I was the Dash Hammett fan you talked with. I really enjoyed the collection and hope to see more of Trick in the future.

  13. The Bloodstone stories were all contained in the super delux edition, which is what the physical edition is. That’s the best place to find it all. I probably should figure out a way to let folks upgrade if they purchased the basic version. That will take some thinking. :)

    The reason the style reminds you of Wolf and Raven is because both books owe a lot to Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries. The style is very much the same.