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Since Harcourt only controls the North American rights to their editions of the YW ebooks and these can't be sold outside the US, we've started bringing out international editions that can be purchased by everybody else. So You Want to Be a Wizard, Wizard's Holiday and A Wizard of Mars are out already: and now Deep Wizardry is ready to go. (The books are coming online out of order because some of the origin files have been easier to convert than others.)

Deep Wizardry costs USD $5.35 and is available in Kindle / .mobi and Nook / iPad / .epub formats. More info at DianeDuane.com, or you can click here to go to the Deep WIzardry page at the DD.com shop.

(Just a note: if you've heard the scuttlebutt about a revised/updated edition of DW, be advised that this isn't it. That'll  be coming out later in the year. This version matches the text of the US editions.)


Feb. 19th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
The tweaks are coming pretty much in three flavors. (BTW, only the first four books are being tweaked: everything after The Wizard's Dilemma is pretty much OK.)

(a) Tech stuff. Fixing old outdated tech material, and adding features that the present readership expects as part of normal teen and preteen life (where appropriate): cellphones, computers, etc. Also, tweaking action and some plot elements to reflect the effect that today's tech would realistically have on them. (For example, it no longer makes sense to hold exposition over the phone in a phone booth.) Various allied issues (i.e., a line like "Why would I ever come over to your house? You don't even have a color TV" seriously needs to be revised to suit this century). My readership is very sensitive to this stuff and has been writing me about it... so time to get busy.

(b) Cultural / historical issues. The Ireland of A Wizard Abroad, for example, is not the Ireland of today... and everyone knows it: the book comes across as seriously dated because of this. (High Wizardry possibly has the worst case of this, though its problems also fall under (a) above.) There is also the question of attempting to lay down a more sensible timeline. This has its own challenges and the discussions have been going on for long enough... time to bite this bullet. (Go over to the YW discussion forums and search on the term "timeline" and see what's been going on.)

(c) General stylistic polish. For example, I'm a lot better at dialogue than I used to be due to all the screen work of the last decade. Much dialogue in the first four books needs to be loosened up so it no longer sounds stiff or peculiar to the younger reader. And there are some other minor stylistic and structural issues that are obvious to me but probably not to other people.

...Nobody should panic when they see this set of agendas. I'm aware of the dangers of fixing what's not broken, but equally aware of ignoring issues that could cause the loss of my next generation of readers if they're note addressed. I intend to come at this with a light touch and not change anything really major. But the sooner this work is done, the better. The revised ebooks will serve as the preferred texts for when the US publisher next goes to press on the series as a whole: and for the texts on which we'll be basing the region-specific international print editions to come (as I no longer plan to wait for foreign publishers -- I'm going to start doing my own other-language editions. German and French first: then we'll see what happens next).

Anyway, because of the revisions making them significantly different from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt versions, I will be able to market these books in the US. So that'll make a lot of people happy. :)
Feb. 19th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Well, there went about 50 bucks I didn't have, how did I miss them all being on the Kindle :)

I like the idea of updating them for the times. Just please, on the cover and in the notes, let it be known that they are updated editions? I'm going to want complete sets of both, for my children to be able to see the difference.

I can't wait for the Foreign language editions either....please add Dutch to your list! I'd love if the other language editions were easily available in the US. I learn my reading skills in other languages by reading books I know by heart in English, and it is very hard to get the other language editions in the US!
Feb. 19th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re the labeling: Absolutely -- there would be no point in people getting confused. Also, I would always want both versions of all the books to be available, because the older readers would want the ones they grew up with. I guess the plan would be that, at the point the publisher swaps in the revised texts, that would be the time I would start pubbing the originals to Amazon again in ebook and print formats.

Re the other-language formats, I have no problem with having all languages be available internationally. Increasingly, territorial limitations are looking more and more useless, and since I'm not a big company, there's just no point in them. Why make it harder for your readership to get what they want?

...Dutch is a good idea, definitely, and one of my target languages (the first four books came out some years back in Dutch anyway, from Luitjens (sic?), though I think they're out of print now). I would have to buy rights to the translation from the publisher, but there probably wouldn't be too much of a stink about that.)
Feb. 20th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
This probably falls into the category of "I have no idea", but... will the publisher be issuing new editions with new ISBNs? Or will they swap them in under the guise of a new printing?

(If it's the former, like it should be, then they'll probably reissue new ebooks and all will be well. If they're naughty and just update the text under the same ISBN, I doubt that they'll ever actually update the ebooks with the new text...)
Feb. 20th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)

They'll have to put new ISBNs on them. That's what kept Deep Wizardry from going straight to its new edition this last month or so after we resolved the permissions problems with the quoted material in the book. I was going to do the revisions and get those in early next month, but Harcourt didn't have the staff/time/resources/money to spend on the issue right now. But it's no biggie: the situation will keep for the time being, and I can go ahead with the release in the US, and those who want the new version immediately can have it.

Feb. 21st, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
Having both versions around -- thank you! Too many books are now only available in the 'new' edition (for instance David Gerrold's "When Harlie Was One") and my copy of the 'old' one is getting, well, old. Some books I've been able to pick up second-hand at conventions but some I can no longer get the original.

I'm sure I will enjoy the updated ones, but as someone else said I'll want copies of both (I'm not quite a completist, because there are some of your early work I haven't found, but I'm close). Which of course is more money for you, especially if you do your own publishing *g*.

In the meantime, I gather that the next Omnitopia book is due out fairly soon (well, August, but this year is going fast)...
Feb. 21st, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether I'm in the minority here, but I've always felt that there was something appropriate about the tech/timeline oddities. I mean, I don't know much about Ireland, either now or fifteen-twenty years ago, but as far as the rest of it, I can't really see a better way to do a continuing, contemporary story.

Speaking of which, if you do intend to continue, I can only assume you'd want to re-update at some point. And I don't really think that juggling the old stuff over and over while also trying to move forward is wise, or best for the series itself.

But perhaps I am a special case. For several years I mostly read stuff that was written during or around World War II, and didn't have any problem with it. For that matter, I first picked up H. G. Wells a couple of years before YW. I suspect, now, that I wasn't ready for it yet, but the point is that I have no problem dealing with lower-tech assumptions.

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