Gang, it was four years ago this month that I signed a contract with Swarm / Permuted Press to publish a new paperback edition of my first book, “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era.” The Swarm Press edition was officially released on July 13, 2008, just a day before my 41st birthday. Some folks might remember the fun, day-long “webathon” I held (the first of its kind) to celebrate the release, share short stories set in the Sovereign Era storyworld written by other authors, and to drive the book as far up the Amazon.com sales charts as we could.
The rest, as they say, is history! The book peaked at #53 on the overall Amazon.com bestseller list. The short stories went on to become “The Sovereign Era: Year One.”
It’s hard to believe it was four years ago. In some ways, it feels a lot longer. Much has changed in that time.
Four years was also the term of my publishing contract with Swarm / Permuted Press… and that term ends at the end of this month. I’ve informed the publisher that I’m not opting to extend our agreement.
That means the Swarm Press paperback edition of “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era” is officially out of print. No new copies will ship from the publisher after the end of this month at the latest.
If You Ever Wanted One…
If you’ve been holding off on ordering your own new paperback copy of the Swarm Press edition of “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era,” it is now time to buy the book.
In just a little over two weeks — maybe less — you won’t have another opportunity.
Go. Do it. There’s no telling what out-of-print collectors’ editions will cost… but copies of the original, self-published paperback have been seen in the wild for over $350.00. Even I don’t think it’s worth that much, and I wrote the thing. I’d much rather you spend $13.95.
Will There Be A New Paperback Edition of “Brave Men Run?”
I’ll be perfectly honest, gang: I’m not sure. The rights to a paperback edition revert back to me at the end of April. I could publish a new paperback edition through MWS Media. However, I’m not sure that makes business sense at this time.
The paperback edition has rarely performed as well as the Kindle version. That’s ignoring the Nook version and the e-book bundle I sell through my web site. That spike at the very beginning is almost entirely the result of the release date celebration and, more tellingly, the first two and a half months the paperback was available for sale accounts for over 60% of its sales since then. Meanwhile, the Kindle version has out-performed the paperback edition by, some quarters, as much as eighty-fold.
Folks don’t seem to be as interested in the paperback edition.
More tellingly: the Kindle version has moved 165% as many units as the paperback. Viewed on a strict royalty-per-unit-sold basis, the Kindle version has earned me over 300% my royalty rate on the paperback edition. In reality, I was given a very modest advance for the paperback edition, and at least through the end of 2011 that advance had still not earned out.
So… there doesn’t seem to be a lot of incentive for me to self-publish a new paperback edition at this time.
What’s Next For The Sovereign Era?
I’m considering next steps for the Sovereign Era storyworld. Whatever content — if any — I produce next in this setting will have to depend on audience demand, time, and level of investment in time and money required. As an unemployed freelancer, the unfortunate truth is that I have to prioritize making money and keeping my bills paid over purely creative projects. But I’m thinking!
Meanwhile… if you want a new copy of the Swarm Press edition of “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era,” you need to act now!
If you’ve already purchased a copy of the Swarm Press paperback edition of “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era,” well, then, you’re simply awesome and I thank you. You might just have a collector’s edition on your hands. Thanks!