The contracts are now final, so, here is the scoop on the re-release of the Wars of Light and Shadow in North America - and To Ride Hell's Chasm:
HarperCollins, London, will be bringing them back into North American retail through their partner distributer, Trafalgar Square. The editions will be the same, on both sides. I'd expect that release dates eventually will be brought to synchronicity with the schedule for imports, already shared by Australia and New Zealand.
The advantages: this publisher has stood by the series the entire way, and now, with all the numbers in one pool, the London editors can provide one seamless program.
No wait for the readers: it made sense NOT to re-submit this huge pile of volumes and wait, and wait, and wait for (maybe) a US deal from a busy editor with an overloaded list, then if a deal happened, to Wait some more, for the books to be set into a list, and production schedule (years of wait).
I could not act, for the series, until all of the US/N American rights reverted. Then it took months to work through the details of this fresh arrangement, which is cutting a bit of a precedent...the series books were not ever offered to another house (so please, no more comments the editors of such publishers were "stupid" - they weren't ever invited to read by submission).
The workings of this arrangement have been going on for beyond a YEAR or if not more than two: and obviously, during the back and forth negotiations to see if it was feasible, I could not explain what was up....I'd hoped to keep Meisha Merlin on the hardback/large format side, but that gamble on my part didn't pan....there will be an effort made to reintroduce the books to this market, and having all the titles spring back in a short period can certainly hook the momentum - let it roll.
Better: HarperCollins London has also committed to the REST OF THE SERIES: so all of the titles planned are under one roof, poised for a coordinated effort.
This seemed the best course to take, given a tight market and the transitional, strangled state of the industry, in general, brought about by sequences of megacorporate mergers, and the rapid shifts and shocks opened by internet marketing, chain store demands, warehousing crisis, e books, and upswings of sales of audio books.
This brings in a new window of opportunity, and a new chance to break out.
My job: to write the last three (Initiate's Trial, Destiny's Conflict, and the last, single volume of Arc V, title pending). Yours: read, enjoy, join in my celebration!
This is a wonderful start to the year. Year of Possibility indeed.
CONGRATULATIONS JANNY! (And WOOHOO For us.)
Kudos to HarperCollins for the dedicated support.
Just in time -- the binding on my Ships of Merior is starting to fall apart
Janny, this is SUCH fantastic news!!! I'm so glad to hear that HarperCollins found a way to get your books into the hands of us poor North American fans without having to order through the UK, though your books have always been worth the extra expense!
And as for them committing to the rest of the series... well, the ear-splitting shriek of joy doesn't really translate here (good thing I'm at home and not at work or somewhere that might be embarrassing!!). Absolutely congratulations!!
Janny - Yay! I am very excited for you and for me too! The best news is that HC will be with you till the end of series. I also look forward to replacing my very worn copies of your books. They are a bit tattered and doggeared. Congratulations and Happy Thoughts :-)
*Clansman does his Highland Happy Dance*
Time te rrrrrroll out the barrel, lads and lasses!
A grand toast is required, aye!
Janny! Delighted about the news for your books and the rest of the series! I think also, a series of Audiobooks would just be BRILLIANT - how's your narrating voice? *grin* I love taking long drives, and listening to WOLAS would be fantastic.
You must be so relieved.
And thanks from all of us, for holding on, and holding on, and holding on - to get your fantastic creation to us. It's a testament to never giving up.
Motley - you can hear my narrating voice FREE, on the excerpt downloads in MP3....I really hope a HarperCollins production would use a REAL PROFESSIONAL ACTOR for the job...I'd love to hear the result!
How about Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed)? He did a great job on The Silmarillion.
Yeah... but there is something special about hearing an author read her own work.
I'll check out the MP3. Ta!
You sound a bit like Holly Hunter, one of my favourite actresses. Perhaps she could do it. *grin*
Judge John Deed? Hmm.. he was much better as Ray Doyle in the Professionals!
I had Christopher Lee in mind as a narrator. If he was still alive, Richard Burton would have done a good job as well.
Audio books for WoLaS?! I must have died and gone to Athleiria!
This is a great idea - sign me up for a copy when they get done!
Janny's spellbinding gift of languages + a professional actor's speaking ability = large amounts of happiness
(I would vote for Christopher Lee as well!)
Most excellent news. Incidentally, Amazon USA has already started posting preorder links for several WoLS titles. HarperCollins UK lists release date of May 1, 2009 for Curse of the Mistwraith.
Do you have a link to that page on the HarperCollins UK site?
I'm nervously positing this, but, IF there WERE an audio book to be made, (and it is all conjecture at this stage, not fact, there is no such work in the pipeline yet) wouldn't it make more sense for it to be read by a woman with a US accent, fitting in with the voice of the Author (given that she seems reluctant to read it...)?
Somehow I don't think the booming-voiced male Baritone is appropriate in this instance. And it's been so DONE.
Oops. I suppose I should have worded that more precisely. Amazon USA lists the HarperCollins UK edition as becoming available on May 1, 2009. Preorders help drive distribution demand, so help get the word out if you can. I've already ordered a couple.
Yes, the preorder links for the first three Light and Shadows titles and To Ride Hell's Chasm (August for that one) are up on Amazon USA.
There is no audio edition in the works YET, to my knowledge - just, the rights have been signed making it possible....demand will hasten the opportunity, always.
I have not had a chance to read everyone's reactions here - just reacting to your initial news -
WOOHOO!! WAY TO GO JANNY!!
So, are we going to be seeing new covers for these babes? My favorite remains the CotM cover - I fell hopelessly in lust with Arithon.
Don't let anyone tell you NOT to judge a book by its cover. I became intrigued by the artwork, bought the book, and got HOOKED by the interior. Arithon became even sexier as a result.
An audiobook would be greatly appreciated by the dyslexics I know, especially my brother, who wants to see WHY I am so hooked on this series.