Monday, September 15, 2008

Gay Books: editions on Amazon

Had to happen, and we're thrilled that it has: the original DreamCraft editions of books like DEATH'S HEAD and THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE are starting to change hands at ... they're described as "rare, autographed" ... which is absolutely true. In what I think of as "the DreamCraft years" I signed every copy -- thousands of them, and many of them with personal messages, depending on what people wanted.

When we changed to for manufacture, obviously, I could no longer autograph copies, ince the books are made in and shipped from locations across the world. (Why did we change? The numbers being produced and shipped exceeded the ability of a local hands-on studio; DreamCraft did a great job, but there's only so much human beings can do ... is 100% automatic, robotized ... human hands never touch the book. The first fingers on the book you order are YOURS, when you open the package and salivate. And the change was a good thing, because it meant the advertising and social networking we'd been doing for some time was paying off ... people were saying, "Hey, Keegan's back!" They were buying books -- in fact, they were buying so many books, DreamCraft had to outsource. Enter Lulu.)

So, there hasn't been an autographed Keegan edition, now, in something like eight months, and the time is absolutely right for the older DreamCraft editions to start changing hands through book dealers on the Internet.

Mind you, beware: Amazon bookstores are right now carrying tip-top condition DEATH'S HEAD UNABRIDGED and RABELIAS ALLIANCE, but because they're rare, signed, and hand-cafted (for which read: absolutely beautiful and unique), they're expensive.

Our price for these books is in the $23-$24 bracket. The collectible (!) is worth five to ten times that much. I'm (to use the British term) gobsmacked at the prices, and at the same time very, very gratified to see this happening.

I still have the ambition to give up the day job and write full time, and lately I'm starting to believe that it not only can happen, but WILL. If you've been following this bog for the last few months, you'll have come with us through the trials and tribulations of independent publishing on the web, seen some of the mistakes one can make, and shared the small triumphs. We're having a blast; it's big fun, and I think this feeling carries through to readers, who tune into the fun. Nice. Very.

So, if you're at looking for Keegans, you'll be finding the old GMP and Millivres editions, and you'll also start to see the old DreamCrafts. Beware of the price ... check out the price from our website (Mel Keegan OnLine) and know what you're paying, and what you're paying it for.

If you want the collectible: go for it. But you could also get four or five of the new editions, for the price of the collectible. Your call.

Next on our agenda is the hardcover issue of WHITE ROSE OF NIGHT. That should be available today or tomorrow, and look out for a newsletter from DreamCraft about it. Then, there's a raft of new artwork being done for the "send an e-card" page. We'll make some of the pieces available on the blog here as desktops, and possibly also a screensaver, if time permits.

Next for me personally -- THE LORDS OF HARBENDANE. The book is polishing up so well, I'm starting to get that certain feeling a writer gets, when you know you've got hold of something very, very good. I had this feeling while doing DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT --

Speaking of which, have you looked at the review, on Rainbow Reviews? I'm so delighted. Here's the link direct to its page: DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT on Rainbow Reviews.

We're also on Book Hitch, and thanks to Friend Aricia (hi kiddo, how goes it?), we're on something called Now, this, I'd never even heard of till someone sent a message along the lines of, "Great to see you on Shelfari." Here's the link to Aricia's own page at Shelfari: ... she uploaded a whole box of books a couple of weeks ago, and (surprise, surprise), we found out that eight of the old Keegans and some of the new ones were already there. Cool. (Thanks, Aricia: I appreciate it!)

Actually, turns out to be a lot of fun. They have this graphical, animated interface with which you can knock yourself out for half an hour (click to see larger):

For writers going the POD route these days, the Internet is a fantastic playground. In one day, we get visitors from Russia, Ethiopia, China, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Iraq (!), Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Malaysia, Norway ... oh yeah, and the US and Canada, UK and and Aus, too. Show me any other stomping ground that can match this.

From personal experience, I would have to say that gay publishing has never looked brighter. We're reaching people in places in the world that would have been impossible, just a few years ago -- and ebooks make the coverage even wider.

If the United States does indeed, in 2009, turn into a locked-down, repressed, religious extremist, condom-free zone where safe sex is illegal, the draft siphons up any kid not in college, and much of the country is irradiated following the 'Armageddon war' Sarah Palin and John McCain seem to lust for so passionately (see my post, "Palin and McCain: advocating a new AIDS epideic") ... well, it'll be downloads to the rescue. Gay books will vanish from stores across America, they'll be dragged out of libraries and burned, and if you're found owning one, you're in trouble, But --

Do you know how many ebooks you can fit on a flash card the size of your thumbnail? And how easy those are to hide, how impossible they would be to find? Palin and McCain and their cohorts can burn all the gay paperbacks the like; there'll be even more changing hands as contraband. Remember, in school, reading about the Prohibition years, when fortunes were made on booze? Same difference. It'll be the Internet to the rescue in this weird, Orwellian future we see looming after the November polls.

And if you're ever going to get THE LORDS OF HANDBENDANE, I need to get back to work.


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