February 22, 2012
I wanted to launch a few of my own imprints at the last publisher I worked for. My top two choices were a textbook imprint to help bring down the price of textbooks and a more general imprint that contained topics that would serve our traditional audience when they weren’t on the job.
The guys I worked for felt that separate imprints were too ambitious and that we should aim for new series instead. They also felt that two was too much and that I should first get one up and going.
Both made sense, and after almost two years of talking about it we launched the series. During those two years we each made a number of compromises. In the post mortem for the series after they killed it two years ago, one of them observed that it was like boiling a frog. We had made many decisions that individually weren’t bad but collectively left the series as not worth continuing.
They were right. The series as it then stood was not consistent with my vision and it was not worth them maintaining. It no longer made sense for either of us.
Unfortunately, the series had a very personal subplot for me. I wanted to fill it with all of the books I would have wanted to share with my youngest daughter had she lived.
Today is the sixth anniversary of Elena’s death and although the pain is still real, I have had a little more space to think less emotionally about a book series. First, and hardest to realize, is the fact that she died before she was seven. I can’t possibly know what books she would have grown up to be interested in. Second, the series must be steered by what I’m interested in and not by my trying to guess what someone else might be interested in.
I’ve been working on a new series of books that I’m writing and publishing through Apple’s iBookstore using the iBooks Author tool.
Coincidentally, Apple approved the first book in the series late last night.
Perhaps it’s even ironic – although I try to be careful in using that word. I have made the decision not to base the series on what Elena might have been interested in and I end up launching it on the anniversary of her death.
So it goes.
I’ll talk about the book and the imprint more in the coming week.
Now I have memories to share and pancakes to eat.