Following a year that saw acclaim for its titles, growth into eBooks, and a successful launch party at the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal, ChiZine Publications has unveiled more changes for 2010.
One change will be simultaneously releasing signed, limited edition hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and eBooks. “We used to release the hardcovers months before trade paperbacks because, one, the profits from the hardcovers helped offset the costs of the trades; two, it helped gauge interest in a book; and three, that’s how everyone else did it. And eBooks would be released whenever we could get the conversions done. Not anymore. We have the staff and finances to get them out and reach those three audiences at the same time. One book, one release date.” Publisher Brett Alexander Savory adds that they’re dedicated to keeping the prices of their eBooks as low as possible — most ChiZine Publication’s eBooks are $5.95 — and without DRM.
In addition, from now on all hardcovers will contain exclusive content not found in the trade paperbacks or eBooks. “We used to include special content in some of the hardcovers, but it will be the norm now. Besides the signatures, that kind of extra content is what makes them special.”
Novellas — fiction too long to be a short story but not long enough to be a full-length novel — may become a staple for CZP moving forward. “Getting Robert J. Wiersema’s novella The World More Full of Weeping was a coup for us, having an author that well known. What I didn’t fully realize is that big publishers won’t touch them, not even for someone like Rob. Since then, we’ve landed Tim Lebbon’s The Thief of Broken Toys, and word is getting around to other well-known writers that we’re in that market. We really hope be able to announce some big names in the coming months.”
Another change is that the formerly invite-only press has begun accepting unsolicited manuscripts, thanks to the addition to the CZP staff of Slushie/Editor Helen Marshall. “CZP’s mission is to publish voices we felt needed to be heard. We’ve done that. There are others we want to talk to, but to fulfill CZP’s mission to move the genre forward, we now need writers to find us.”
When talking about CZP’s success, Savory says: “There are a lot of reasons. One is that my wife and business partner — who is an absolutely voracious reader and fantastic editor — has equal weight in choosing what we do and do not publish. Her insight has been invaluable. Another big advantage is our publicist, Matthew Moore, being so plugged in and online, talking to people on Twitter and Facebook and blogs. But more than that, a lot of big publishers are in the book business. We are in the story business. I trust the writer’s vision and purpose and stay out of their way as much as possible as editor. I know they’re great, so my job is to get their greatness in front of as many people as I can. This also means moving into eBooks in a big way and knowing what readers want—a reasonable price without DRM gumming things up. But still, a book has to be great inside and out, which is why Erik Mohr’s brilliant cover art is so valuable and a big reason we’ve been noticed. The cover for David Nickle’s Monstrous Affections stopped people in their tracks at WorldCon. Plus, I’ve found a printer that can deliver a book you can tell is of very solid quality when you pick it up.”
CZP plans to launch six new titles — Chasing the Dragon (Nicholas Kaufmann), Chimerascope (Douglas Smith), A Book of Tongues (Gemma Files), Katja from the Punk Band (Simon Logan), Cities of Night (Philip Nutman), and The Thief of Broken Toys (Tim Lebbon) — at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, Sussex, England in March 2010.