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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)

I remember a time when people would simply grind up trees and print words on them. There was no hubbub about how you could obviously never read a book if it wasn't available on a non-Kindle e-reader. Seriously, people. The book weighs like three ounces. If you don't have a Kindle and you don't want to convert, think five years back and kill a tree.

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Just finished "Off to be the Wizard"! Enjoyed it immensely, and my fantasy reading daughter will be starting it tonight, cannot wait for sequels, my only request is that you continue the character of Kirk as I guiltily associate myself with any character with the same name as myself!

July 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKschobert

Bought OtbtW a while back and finally just got around to reading it.. and loved it, and remembered about this update, so thought i'd just comment about not being able to wait until the sequel was out and that you can convert mobi files to epub etc, but 101 people have beat me to it....

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParry

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