Douglas Smith's blog

Branding for indie publishers

Friend and fellow writer Karen Abrahamson blogged recently on how indie authors who are going the ebook route (and print POD as well) need to consider developing a "brand" when they do cover design. Karen was kind enough to use my new short story ebooks, with covers designed by Erik Mohr (a finalist for the Aurora Award this year as best artist), as one of her examples of how to do this. Check out her blog post here. And you can check out all of my ebook covers at any of the major ebook retailer sites, including Amazon or Smashwords. I'll also be making these available for purchase directly via this website in the very near future. Stay tuned.

A million word milestone

I recently sold reprints of two of my shapeshifter stories, "Out of the Light" and "Spirit Dance," to Best New Werewolf Tales, Vol. 1 and 2 (or maybe 1 and 3). The sales are cool enough in themselves, and I (obviously) have a soft spot for were-beast stories, so just that news would have been good enough for me. But when I recorded the sales in my ever-so-big-and-complicated submission and sales tracking spreadsheet, I got a surprise. Now, I track ever so much re my fiction subs and sales – subs, rejections, rejections before first sale for a story, total stories sold, sales by story, sales by country and by language, and more. And one of the stats I track is my total number of words sold and published. When I entered these two sales, the cell in my spreadsheet for total words sold went all "######" on me, meaning that the result was too big for the current column size. So I expanded the column and what did I see? 1,001,866! Over one million words sold!! Not bad considering that all of those words are from short fiction sales. So thanks to Best New Werewolf Tales for helping me hit a milestone. If you want to read these two stories, my bookstore links are shown above for both stories (available in all ereader formats). They're cheap and they're good. What more could you ask for?


"Scream Angel" in premiere issue of Hyperpulp in Brazil

My story "Scream Angel," which won the Aurora Award in 2004, has just been translated into Portuguese and reprinted in the premiere issue of the new Brazilian speculative fiction magazine, Hyperpulp, edited by Alexandre Mandarino. The cover looks gorgeous, and I'm proud to be part of the launch of a new genre magazine. An early review described "Scream Angel" as "a true pearl of fantastic literature. Breath-taking." This is the thirteenth publication for "Scream Angel," and its tenth language. It remains one of my own favourite stories, and it's good to see that it still has legs (well, actually she has wings...). And if you'd like to read the story in English, here's your chance.

Guest at Toronto Comic Con

I'll be a guest at Comic Con March 23-25, 2012 at the Direct Energy Centre at the CNE in Toronto. I'll post more details once I know them but at a minimum I'll be selling and signing Chimerascope, Impossibilia, the "By Her Hand" movie book, and ebook short stories. Hope to see you there!

I'll be signing at the Small Press Book Fair, June 19

I'll be signing at the Small Press Book Fair this Sunday at Hart House at University of Toronto, as part of ChiZine Publications presence at the Fair. Come down to sample the best of the small presses, and to meet the CZP staff and other ChiZine authors. The Fair runs from 11am to 5pm, and I'll be signing my collection, Chimerascope (which is on this year's Aurora Award ballot), from 2-3pm. Details on the Fair are here.

Ride to Conquer Cancer update: I did it!

RTCC 2011 - pit stop Day 1I did it! This past weekend, June 11-12, I was one of over 4,600 cyclists who rode in the 2-day major cycling event called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. This is the fourth year for the Ride, which this year raised a record $17.5 million for The Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, to support cancer research, treatment, and services. The Princess Margaret is Canada's leading comprehensive institution devoted to cancer research and care. And with help from many of you who read this blog, I raised $4,185 myself. Thanks to all of you who supported me!

Reading at the eBar in Guelph on June 22

On Wednesday June 22, I'll be reading at the eBar in Guelph, along with friend and fellow writer, Marcy Italiano. The eBar is connected to the bookstore, The Bookshelf, at 41 Quebec Street (map). I'll be reading from my collection, Chimerascope, currently a finalist for the 2011 Aurora Awards. The readings run from 8-9pm, and then it's mixing, mingling, and munching. There will be books on hand to buy, and Marcy and I will be signing copies. If you're in the area, please drop by.

My collection IMPOSSIBILIA now available as an eBook!

(November 2012 update:  The PS Publishing ebook version has now been replaced by my new version, in both epub and mobi formats. More information here.)

I'm very pleased to announce that my first collection, Impossibilia, published in 2008 by the award-winning and most excellent UK press, PS Publishing, is now available in ebook format in both .epub and .mobi (Kindle) formats. You can buy directly from PS Publishing or from Amazon at the following links:

  • PS Publishing ordering link (.epub or .mobi formats)
  • Amazon ordering link (Kindle / .mobi format)

Impossibilia was a finalist for the 2009 Aurora Awards for best long form work. The lead story, "A Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh," was also a finalist for the 2009 Aurora for best short form work. Another story in the collection, "Spirit Dance," won the Aurora in 2001 for best short story. From the reviews:

"...stories that are so unusual and beautiful that no other name than Impossibilia could possibly describe this collection." "Impossibilia is a treasure to be savoured, like gourmet chocolates and fine wine...beautifully written and wondrously imagined." "The writing is superb. Douglas Smith is an artisan and his stories beautifully crafted. ... In my search for the perfect short story, the three in this volume certainly qualify." "Each tale was rapture and ecstasy, magical and mysterious, perfect and implausible." "Highly, highly recommended." "...echoes of Ellison and Bradbury..." "There is a certain exhilaration that comes from reading the book’s complex and powerfully emotional stories couched in that deft and smooth prose." "A fun romp that delivered something different......exhilarating, enjoyable..." "I loved them all from the first word to the last." "A book that ably demonstrates what Smith is capable of as a writer..." "Smith [lays] bare the psychological and emotional fragility that motivates his characters." "A wonderful book...Each [story] is an example of how a master at the art tells a story." "An amazing little collection." "[Smith deserves] to be known to by a very wide audience indeed.” "I don’t know what else to say...except READ THIS BOOK!!!"

And of course, you can still order the signed and numbered, limited hardcover edition (cover at left). More information on , including excerpts from the stories, can be found here. I hope that you'll check it out!

Support The Ride to Conquer Cancer and win a personalized ebook!

Just a reminder that on June 11-12, 2011, I'll be participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 2-day major cycling event sponsored by Enbridge and benefiting The Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, one of the top 5 cancer research hospitals in the world. I'll be cycling over 200 km that weekend, from Toronto to Niagara Falls, with thousands of other riders. All the proceeds will go to The Princess Margaret to support cancer research, treatment, and services. Many of you have already shared this incredible adventure with me by supporting me in my fund raising efforts.

Guest blog by Susan Wingate

With the following blog post, I'm beginning what will be a regular occurrence of inviting other writers, editors, and miscellaneous creative peeps who I know to make a guest blog appearance here at "So Here's the Thing…". Today's guest is Award-winning and bestselling author, SUSAN WINGATE, co-host of the very popular talk radio show, DIALOGUE: BETWEEN THE LINES, on which I made a recent appearance. Susan's guest blog on her BookExpo America experience made me smile, reminding me of how author signings can manage to be challenging, tiring, humbling, strange, and fun, all at the same time. Here's Susan to tell you about it. – Doug

No Sleep Till You Get Back Home - BEA & Ice T Getting to New York is always an adventure when you're traveling from the west coast. Normally, I fly out from Seattle and make a connecting flight before reaching LaGuardia. Last year I flew into Philadelphia and promised never to do that again, since they schedule flights so close together that you usually miss the connection.


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