Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Books Are Always New

As is becoming a tradition here at Heroines of Fantasy, the Big Boss is our blogging guest in January. Eric Reynolds started Hadley Rille Books with a few bucks, stories he loved, and a fair dose of determination. More than six years later, he has published twenty-one novels and nineteen anthologies and collections--and is still going strong with seven novels and three anthologies planned for 2013. Not bad for an IT guy of twenty six years, eh?
Thanks, Eric, for guest posting! And for being as proud a "papa" as you are.

In 2012, we added several new fantasy novels to our line-up at Hadley Rille Books, all of which you've seen blogged about here on Heroines of Fantasy. They’ve been well received, and as is typical with a small press, the sales aren’t big, but they’re steady. Because at Hadley Rille Books, our titles are always new.
Typically, when a large publisher releases a book, they do an initial print run based on an estimate of how many books they expect to sell. If there are books left over from the initial print run, they’re usually pulped. If all the copies sell, then the publisher considers doing another print run if they believe more will sell, and if the bookstores will accept more copies. If neither of those is the case, there won’t be a another print run at that time. Unless the book is a best seller, the book is off the bookstore shelves within months.

In the small press world, we generally use print-on-demand that not only allows us to keep books in print indefinitely, but saves us from ever having to destroy left-over copies. So, not only does print-on-demand make business sense for a small press, it's also a much greener alternative than offset printing. Our first fantasy novel, The Song and the Sorceress by Kim Vandervort, is still available and will be for a long time since it costs very little to keep it available. We still receive orders for it more than three years after its publication.
If you were to superimpose a sales graph for one of our books on top of the same for a large press, stretched out over, say, five years, you would see a large spike for the large press book at first and a small spike for our book. However, the large press book will dive after a couple of months and will hit zero at some point once the print run is used up. Our book will decline somewhat, but it will always be above zero and continue with steady sales since the books are printed according to demand, even one at a time. And since we have a smaller readership than the large press, our book hasn’t been seen by most of the potential readers for it and will continue to be “discovered” by new readers two or three years after its initial publication. Over time, the steady trickle of sales adds up. While our book sales may never reach the numbers the large press book reached within the first few months, our sales eventually add up to something respectable.

This is also true, of course, with ebooks and in the past year our ebook sales have exceeded our print book sales. Ebooks, like print-on-demand, can remain in publication indefinitely, and since the technical effort of getting them available costs nothing, then we can afford to price them at a much lower cost than the print versions. Still, the majority of readers prefer print books, at least at the present time, so we offer both (and will be offering audio books in the near future). Ebooks have also allowed us to reach a new market for our older titles—which are still “new”—such as our Ruins anthologies.
So as we continue to publish, and our line of fantasies grows, we have an ever-growing offering of exceptional books that continue to find their ways to new readers. We hope to continue this for a long time. And look for exciting new offerings in 2013!

Eric T. Reynolds, Editor/Publisher, Hadley Rille Books. Eric has edited forty highly-acclaimed anthologies, collections and novels, and has had short fiction published in several small press publications. He has also had several non-fiction articles published about space exploration history and history of technology. Visit his blog for
up-to-date happenings with Hadley Rille Books. Member of SFWA and Broad Universe.


Karin Rita Gastreich said...

Thanks for stopping by as our guest, Eric!

I was wondering if you could tell us a little about some of the titles HRB will be releasing this year?

Eric T Reynolds said...

Hi Karin,

This year we are releasing several fantasy novels, a couple of anthologies, and two historical/archaeological novels.

For starters, there is the new fantasy by Shauna Roberts called Ice Magic, Fire Magic. A young woman named Fila inherits the position of "Servant of Enhancement." Her job is to care for and have some control over the Land, which itself is sentient. Let's say she runs into major challenges and conflicts. As is typical in our fantasies, she grows in her role and as a person.

In September, we are releasing the new historical novel by Louise Turner called Fire and Sword. Set in 1488-89 Scotland, it follows the life of John Sempill of Elliotstoun, who was the ancestor of the current Lord Jamie Sempill. It is a very realistic and well researched and exciting novel of which the present Lord Sempill is very interested in.

In October, we will release a new Archaeology Series novel by Shirley Graetz called She Wrote On Clay, which takes place nearly four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia. It follows a young woman (Iltani)'s rise to becoming a female scribe.

More books to follow...

Eric T Reynolds said...

In May, we release Mark Nelson's next book, King's Gambit, which picks up where Poets of Pevana left off and heads into war.

Outcast is a new offering from Kim Vandervort, scheduled for release in June of this year. It's set in the same world as her two earlier books, this one heads into the streets instead of the castle, with Skerth, a young thief with some secrets, even a few he doesn't know himself.

Beyond the Gate, releasing in August of this year, is the third book HRB is publishing by Terri-Lynne DeFino. Set in the same world as Finder and A Time Never Lived, it takes place in a wholly different part of it, with entirely new characters.

Karin Rita Gastreich said...

Wow! You've got a good line-up of heavy-hitters for 2013. :)

I think we've talked about each of these novels at some point, but it's impressive to see them all listed in one place. I can't wait to start reading.

Good luck with the new releases!