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I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’ve signed a three book deal with 47North, Amazon Publishing’s speculative fiction imprint. That means that there will be a second edition of Off to Be the Wizard, followed by at least two more Off to Be the Wizard books, all of which are currently scheduled to come out within the next two years.

The trilogy will be available to libraries and bookstores, we’re looking at producing audiobooks, and the e-books will be DRM free.

Below I’ve attempted to anticipate and answer some of your questions:

 

When will the new books be coming out?

The second edition of Off to Be the Wizard should be out in January of 2014. I’ll have more detail on the release dates of the second and third books as we get closer to them.

 

Will the new edition and the new books be available on Nook/Kobo/iBooks/Smashwords/Google Play/as a PDF?

No. Once the second edition of Off to Be the Wizard comes out, the e-book edition will be a Kindle exclusive, as will the second and third books.

 

 

Does this mean that you have to pull Off to Be the Wizard off of the market until the second edition comes out?

No! Surprisingly, in the time between now and the second edition’s release date, the first edition will continue to be available on the Nook, in Smashwords, and should soon pop up in the Google Play store (ironically).  The self-published first edition dead-tree version will also stick around until just before the second edition drops.

 

 

What will happen with my existing Kindle version?

 

It will continue to work after the second edition comes out. I actually built up quite a head of steam over this point and was prepared to walk away from the deal if this wasn’t the case. Getting worked up was unnecessary, as it turns out, because the first time I brought it up, 47North’s response was something like, Of course the old Kindle file will still work just fine. We’d have to be monsters to try to turn it off and force people to rebuy the book. That’s not a quote, but it’s pretty much what they said.

 

If you want the second edition, you’ll have to buy it separately when it comes out, but if you’re happy with the first edition, it won’t stop working (on Kindle or any of the other platforms).

 

 

Will the new edition have the same price?

 

Pricing won’t be my decision anymore, but it will be comparable to the current pricing, and there will be occasional deals, specials, and promotions.

 

 

Does this mean Off to Be the Wizard will finally be available at the library and/or bookstore?

 

Yes, all three books will be available to public libraries and to any bookstore that wants to carry them. That said, many bookstores won’t carry books published by Amazon Publishing as a form of protest, which is their right.

 

 

What with all of these novels, will you be putting Basic Instructions on the back burner?

 

A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!  I intend to put out a fourth Basic Instructions collection between now and Christmas, and production of the strip will continue at the current pace (Although I am going to skip a comic this week, because of the Fourth of July).

 

 

What are the next two novels about?

I can’t get into much detail there, but I can tell you that I’ve written over 50,000 words for the first draft of the second book, and that it takes place mostly in Atlantis.

 

 

How did Off to Be the Wizard do as an independent book?

In a word, “well.” In the last three months, the book has sold thousands of copies. Sales have slowed with time, but that’s to be expected. If any of you have a novel you’ve written, I can heartily endorse self-publishing it as an e-book. You don’t need anybody’s permission to be an author anymore. That said, I have a huge advantage over most self-published authors, and that advantage is you. I have a reader base with whom I can communicate on a regular basis. I was able to tell you about my book, and many of you bought a copy. Many of those who did so left positive reviews on Amazon or their told friends about it, and that is the best advertising possible. I am still the luckiest guy any of you know, and the fact that you know me is the reason why.

 

 

If the book was doing well independently, why sign on with a publisher?

There are certain things I can’t do, or am not good at. 47North will be able to help me with those things.  So far, I’ve written 1.33333 novels. I have a lot to learn and much room for improvement. I figure working with professionals on what will turn out to be my first three novels will be good for me. Also, while I can’t get into any specifics, the deal I got with them is quite fair, and they have a great reputation for being a pleasure for authors to deal with.

I’ll also say that as the author of a humorous science fiction novel, having a marketing partner that has the e-mail addresses of every person who’s ever bought a humorous science fiction novel from Amazon.com seems like a good thing.

 

 

Why do you hate people who don’t own a Kindle?

I don’t, but to be honest, making multiple files that work flawlessly on multiple services, then managing those services, has been sort of a time sink. In the last two months, all of my non-Amazon outlets combined have accounted for 3.2% of my sales.

If you don’t own a Kindle, or don’t want to use a Kindle app on your phone/tablet/computer, you’ll still have the ability to read the books on paper. (Now you might even be able to do it through your public library!) If you just hate the idea of Amazon making a dime off of you, well, that’s your right. There are certainly companies I feel that way about as well. All I can say is that Amazon has created a set of tools that has allowed me to create what I wanted to create, publish it easily and profitably, and now Amazon publishing has made me a deal that I believe is more fair than any of the traditional publishers would have even considered.

If you have any questions that I didn’t cover, please send them in. Thanks again!

 

Signed, the luckiest man you know,

Scott Meyer

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Reader Comments (28)

Awesome! Can't wait!

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurtis Sawyer

Congratulations, sir!

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Excellent. I had just started re-reading the first one and was getting pre-emptively angry with you for not writing any sequels.

Will the second edition of the first book be significantly different (besides typo corrections)?

Note from Scott: I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don't know yet. I can think of a couple of minor tweaks I intend to make, but I don't know what my editor will have to say yet. When I do know, I'll pass the information along.

Thanks for asking!

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersford

Yay! I'm so happy to hear this. I was hoping you were going to write sequels.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Way to go, Scott!

Frankly, you're probably a better, kinder man than me by far. You went, in my opinion, far above and beyond the call of duty to comply with every single nagging person plaguing the comments section and whining about how your book is not available on some platform known to, like, 3 whole people on Earth.

Congratulations, and I'm really looking forward to read more of your novels and see how your long-form prose matures up end evolves from an enjoyable read to an art form, like your comics already have.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSlaador

Once you publish on Kindle, will my dead-tree version still work?

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Shockley

Sweet! My 1st edition of OtBtW with vintage typos is going to be worth a mint. I'm going to keep my Kindle in a mylar sleeve from now on to keep it from losing value.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterX

Congratulations, Scott! You deserve this! :-)

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

It's interesting that you categorise your novel as 'comedy sci-fi' whereas when reading it I thought of it as 'comedy fantasy', primarily because of the medieval setting and the use of 'magic'. I guess it's both?

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhenry

I CAN NOT WAIT!!!! Congrats!

What will be the changes in the second edition of the 1st book?

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

Congrats Scott! Amazon DOES have a great rep for being a pleasure for authors to deal with. Fair terms, no shady contracts, brilliant marketing, etc. You have made an excellent decision signing with 47 North.

I have a Nook but find myself reading just as many ebooks on my phone or iPad through the Kindle apps. Luckily, I will have a choice since the OtBtW books will be released DRM free, which means if I wanted to...I could use Calibre to convert the Kindle file to ePub and load it on my Nook. It's not a big deal - I don't understand why people would complain about Amazon exclusivity when it's so easy to convert DRM-free Kindle files.

Anyway, you will never ever regret this decision to go with 47North. BUT...you should still consider self-publishing some short stories now and again as they pop into your head. Then when you have 3 or more out there, you can re-publish them together in a single ebook. Extra cash baby!

I agree about still self-publishing other works. And fear not, I'll keep haranguing Scott until he does just that. ~Missy

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Well that explains why I wasn't able to find the Mongoliad at my local Barnes & Noble. I learned a thing today!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessamy

Great news indeed. Congratulations! You've earned this.

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I need to get a job so I can buy all your books. Congratulations! :D

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEla

Congratulations. I am very happy for your success. I've been following your work for a while now and I know you've worked hard for this.

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank M

Congrats, Scott!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbyevad

I'm confused.

If the book will be DRM free, why is it Kindle-exclusive?

Or, do you mean "It will only be available from Kindle, but you can copy it somewhere else and read it on anything you wish"?

Exactly that. Since the books will be published by Amazon, you won't be able to buy them from the Nook store or Smashwords or any of the other outlets, just from the Kindle store. But since they'll be DRM-free, you can use whatever conversion software you like on them. ~Missy

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaestloz

Great news - well done.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLen

awesome!
I'm happy for you, and i'm happy for the rest of us that were looking forward to a sequel.

Just promise us that you wont make us wait 3-4 years between sequels like certain authors do. . . grumble, grumble.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbonhomous

How do you do it Scott? By 'it' I mean just kick ass at life at all times? I have a hard time believing it is as easy as you make it look... No wonder Rick is such a mess, it has to be difficult being around someone as amazing as you so often. Every time he sees you he just gets reminded of a level of awesomeness that he will not achieve.
For real though- Congrats man, don't forget about the comic that started it all when you become a millionaire recluse like J.D. Salinger

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNK

Glad to hear it! I found Off To Be The Wizard to be an enjoyable read, and was thinking that I'd like to see a sequel.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMithent

Dude, YOU SUCK! Seriously, Kindle only? I do not own a kindle, and I do not support Kindle. I purchased the 1st edition for my Nook, and ripped the DRM. I greatly prefer ePub. If I cannot buy a DRM-free ePub (or an ePub that I can remove the DRM myself, I am not interested). Too bad, too. I really liked "Wizard."

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Harrelson

Yay! Congrats on the 3-book deal! I look forward to continuing the saga.

I greatly appreciate that you took the effort to release the first edition on Smashwords. I don't mind too much that the future releases will be Kindle. I do all my reading on my archaic Nexus One anyway.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiilo Van Steinburg

Congratulations!

July 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexander Gieg

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