Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Launching an e-book

So much has changed in the publishing world recently that it's hard for an old scribbler like me to keep up. But the biggest change, surely, is the recent move to e-publishing. Paper books are still being produced but if you believe the pundits, the prognosis isn't good.

Last year, for the first time, e-books outsold the printed variety. Right now most books by established authors are available in both formats. But how long can that last? The panel topics at Bouchercon and other recent mystery conferences reflect enormous uncertainty around the future of books.

I'm one of four Ottawa short story writers who have contributed stories to an anthology produced by Sisters in Crime Toronto Branch. The Whole She-bang will be an e-book. You may have read Janet Costello's blog in this spot on Monday about how the anthology came about and the decision to make it electronic. There will be a few print-on-demand copies available for those who haven't made the jump to Kindle and co. but primarily it's an e-book, downloadable onto all readers for the princely sum of ninety-nine cents .

The question the four Ottawa contributors are now struggling with is how in the world do we launch an e-book? It feels like we're breaking new ground here. Normally, book launches involve book stores to sell the books. But what do you do when there are no "books" to sell?

We've decided that instead of a traditional launch we'll have a Download Party at the Greenboro Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive on Wednesday, October 24 at 7 pm.

Bring your e-readers and join Elizabeth Hosang, Sue Pike, Madona Skaff and Linda Wiken (the Mystery Maven herself.) We can promise plenty of refreshments, readings and the usual kibitzing. If you don't have an electronic reader, Elizabeth will show us how to download books onto our laptops. Do come. We'd love to see you there!

Sue Pike has published a couple of dozen stories and won several awards including an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Crime Story. Her latest, Where the Snow Lay Dinted appeared in the January issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Sue and her husband and an opinionated Australian Shepherd named Cooper spend the winter months in Ottawa and the rest of the time at a mysterious cottage on the Rideau Lakes.


  1. Congratulations on your new book. I love the title.
    In January 20ll, when Decadent Publishing released my ebook thriller I had an on-line book launch. About a week prior, I started the ball rolling by emailing friends regarding the coming event. They helped with promotion. The day of, I created a buzz on my blog. I supplied the buy link to my new book plus links to music as well as to recipes for food and beverages. It was a blast. Your plans sound equally as excited. I wish I could be there.

  2. Thanks, Leanne. I might steal a few of these ideas. Hmmmmm.