All About eBooks

So, by now, you might have noticed that Tome of the Undergates is on Kindle, but not Nook, and Black Halo is taking its sweet time getting to either one.  I’ve gotten a number of emails about this and I thought I’d make a post for clarification on exactly why it is that my books, while certainly heading to the eReaders, are doing so with all the desperation of an overweight cannibal chasing a quadruple amputee doused in honey mustard.

First of all: yes, we have absolutely every plan to put them on every goddamn eReader we possibly can.

Secondly: no, it isn’t a matter of corporate greed or sticky red-tape tactics on behalf of Pyr or Amazon/Barnes and Noble/iBooks.

Thirdly: yes, laziness probably does factor into it, but not on our parts.  Lou Anders busts his bottom more than most editors in all things, and this is no exception, which brings us to the real reason why it’s taking so long…

We don’t want to look like shit.

I mean, if you’ve picked up any eBook by now, you’ve probably come across one or two that look less like a work of fiction and more like the disjointed, erratic manifesto of a madman.  eBooks tend to be riddled with errors and formatting problems of all kinds, largely because a lot of publishers are content to throw a .pdf file out there and call it a day.

Given that Pyr puts exactly 2.4 metric asstons of effort into the interior of their books, though, they are not all that willing to just toss it aside.  The end result is that our eBooks look really good, with proper formatting, illustrations and fonts all preserved.  The side effect is that such a thing takes a lot of time and effort on behalf of Lou and our lovely assistant editor, Rene Sears.

So, yes.  It’s coming.  It’s just coming slowly and carefully, like a heart surgeon.

…well, that was wrapped up rather quick, wasn’t it?  I’m a little disappointed that didn’t take at all as long as I’m used to.  I mean, usually, there’s a lot of meandering and metaphors to artificially inflate my posts so that you think I have something to say.  Admittedly, you might be feeling a little stiffed.  Here, let me make it up to you by saying exactly the same thing in a snippet from my latest project: a Dante’s Inferno-style biography of Lou Anders that I’m calling The Anderman.

Canto 6, Verse 22

And because I showed no fear, he wanted me to know more,

thus he opened the doors and I beheld them: shackled to their desks,

in life hereafter as they had been in life waking.  Perhaps it was

the editor’s great sin that he be damned to a hell without love lost,

knives in the belly, soddering irons in the flesh, fire in the spirit.

Nay, we had lived too long and too little to earn anything but this.

Our hell was repetition.

I leaned beside one of the damned, his eyes glass and his fingers curled,

and he looked to me and spake:

“Yea, Anderman, thou hast come far and with great fear in thy heart,

but a heart thy still possesseth and thou art cruel to come show it to those

who yet crave to have one beating in their chest.”

Said I to he:

“Pray, you unfortunate soul, what dost thou dwell here before thy glass screen?”

“Ah, canst thou be so relentlessly vulgar as to not know, Anderman?

Perhaps thy heart beats only with fear,

thy love spent long ago.

Knowest thou that we toil to amend the sin of poor formatting,

a year for each typo, as the Devil’s due,

and as the Devil is petty this is indeed a vengeance served

for that time he tried to read The Lies of Locke Lamora and we

accidentally replaced “Locke” with “Steve.”

I turned to my guide and begged him to take me away,

I could not bear the sight of these tragedies.

And my partner blinked once, the sound of glass shattering,

and returned to a work that would never be finished

as though I had never even looked at him.

Would that I never had.

7 Responses to “All About eBooks”

  1. Cara Powers

    Brilliant, you bastard!

  2. Justin

    Thanks for saying this Sam. I get a few eGalley’s from time to time from publishers and they look like crap. Page breaks mid sentence, dangling puncuation, etc. I live with it because they’re… well.. free. But if I paid $10 for something that had those kinds of problems I’d probably never buy another eBook from said publisher.

    That said, aren’t we getting near the time when the eBook is almost as important to success as a hardcopy?

  3. J.M. Martin

    Sam, this is awesome. Thanks for the laugh, and for the envy.

    –J.M. Martin, a nookColor owner, waiting patiently…

  4. N.R. Burnette

    I’m wondering about the conversion rate on 2.4 metric asstons, would I have to pull over at the highway truck stops if I’m reading a Pyr novel?

    Thanks to Pyr for maintaining high standards.

  5. Sara

    I’m glad they are doing it right. As someone who was shitastically angry after spending $7.00 on a Nero Wolfe novel, only to find that they royally fucked it up with ridiculous typos and formatting errors.
    It was clear that they scanned the text and never copy edited it. And since Stout is one of my all time favorite go-to authors it pissed me off.
    I was told that my “suggestions” would be passed on and when (and if) they corrected it, I would get an updated version of the book.
    I was stunned they had the nerve to put it out there without any editing at all.
    I hate shoddy workmanship.

  6. Griffin

    Verily, you and your editors are the lions among the mange-ridden dogs.

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