As I am now writing my dissertation (ha!) these round ups are focused on what dedicated SFF UK imprints are doing to digitally market themselves, their books and their authors to their fans and wider readerships.
Voyager: are gearing up for the release of George R R Martin’s long-awaited A Dance with Dragons – released 12 July. It’s been six years since A Feast for Crows, not that we should complain. According to initial reviews, it’s going to be well worth it. We should also celebrate Voyager’s new free app to ‘reward’ fans’ patience. There aren’t many apps for SFF titles, and that George (first names basis) has one is great, but also maybe demonstrates that to have time and budget dedicated to an SFF imprint author, that author needs to have proven himself (with a HBO series perhaps).
Orbit: are also gearing up for their biggest release, possibly of the whole year (warning: bias alert), Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story on 28 July. And in the process, Mark Yon, reviewer and administrator at the excellent SFFWorld, has been diligently slogging through The Dresden Files’ backlist (someone has to do it) and providing weekly reviews. Despite being a nerd for Jim Butcher, I am one fan (such a small word) who will NOT be eagerly awaiting the release of Ghost Story, because I’ve already read it. A staff member at Little, Brown on my work experience may have been subjected to several hours of My Love for Jim Butcher, and, possibly hoping I’d read it and shut up, produced a freshly printed copy for my greedy mitts. In response, and much to her relief, I exploded with happiness. Just another 12 months ‘till the next one. It’s embargoed so no review, unfortunately, except to say (without spoilers), that it’s… necessarily a departure from what readers are used to. I also recommend a re-read of Changes, to understand just how necessary a divergence Ghost Story is. Harry wasn’t just on the edge in that last book, he was free-falling from it.
Gollancz: are still celebrating their 50th anniversary. This time they’re publishing the third edition of the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction online, free of charge. The first two editions won the Hugo Award – I wonder if it’s possible for an online resource to do the same? I’m also curious to know how much this makes sense commercially. But it is great publicity for Gollancz, so maybe they will reap the benefits elsewhere. Or, you know, maybe they’re just nice. You can eagerly await the launch by watching this space, following them on Twitter or visiting their Facebook page.