Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

Gucci covers and snazzy workflow interfaces

I'll have to ask my editor at DC Comics about the company that prints their hardcover compilations. I've received my author copies of ARKHAM UNHINGED vol. 4 and they're a proper Gucci job – dust jacket and laminated cover, each with different artwork, plus black endpapers and black backgrounds throughout. They're not cheap, but they definitely look worth the money.

I used to accept naff quality from novel publishers because that was what you got and you couldn't argue about it, but since I've gone indie, I've realised how good the final product can look for a fraction of the expenditure and for the same retail price. So I like to applaud quality when I see it. Nice one, DC. Okay, packaging isn't content, and you could read my stuff scrawled on cardboard boxes if you were really keen, but if you're spending your hard-earned cash, then I want you to have the best possible customer experience. We all like nice stuff. It puts us in the right frame of mind. Tea from a china cup usually tastes better than the same brew from a paper one.

GOING GREY seems to be up on the B&N site already, both as paperback and e-book, which is pretty speedy, seeing as my author dashboard is still showing "pending." (Incidentally, the Nook Press publishing portal is a case study in getting workflow right. The online editing and collaboration tools are brilliant. I really take my hat off to them for that.) The Nook edition of VIEW OF A REMOTE COUNTRY isn't on the B&N site yet, but the paperback is. Well, they said 72 hours, and we're not at the 24 hour mark yet, so I call that a good result.

If you're using Kobo, iTunes, or Nook, I'd say grab your copies of both books sooner rather than later, because there's a probability that I'll be opting for a 90-day Kindle-only period at some point in the near future to see if it shifts more merch. (Paperbacks and audiobooks aren't affected.) If I put those two e-books into what's known as Kindle Select, then they won't be on sale anywhere else for 90 days.

And as of now, my brain officially hurts. I've hauled myself up a steep learning curve over meta tags today, and driven Kindle Direct's support desk mad with questions I didn't understand the answers to, yet they remain graciously patient, bless them. I'm going to clock off and have a serious coffee or three to see if I can re-boot my neurons.