FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS author James A. Owen launches a new Urban Fantasy series – as ebooks
June 23, 2011 – Silvertown, Arizona – The shifting landscape of publishing is something that should be embraced, not feared, according to popular YA author James A. Owen, who is leading by example by releasing his next series, MythWorld, as ebooks.
“My friend Will Eisner often remarked how the comic book market always went in cycles,” Owen says, “and I think the same is true of publishing in general. There are always going to be ups and downs, but what’s most important is to keep creating good work, and then finding the best way to make that work available to your readers. And right now, ebook devices and apps are creating opportunities to reach new readers that we’ve never had before.”
Owen had a long history of publishing his work through his own imprint, Coppervale Press, particularly in the comics field with his graphic novel series StarChild, before signing with publisher Simon & Schuster to release the seven book series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.
The series includes The Search for the Red Dragon, The Indigo King, The Shadow Dragons, The Dragon’s Apprentice, and the book that started it all, Here, There Be Dragons, which has gone through multiple printings and is published in more than twenty countries. A long bout with pneumonia last Fall threatened the series’ annual release schedule, and has potentially delayed the last two volumes, The Dragons of Winter, and The First Dragon. As Owen recovered from the illness and worked to catch up on the schedule, he realized that while those specific books might have to wait for publication – there was no reason for the readers to wait so long to read new stories.
MythWorld , which Owen says is “…an Urban Fantasy Pulp Adventure epic about ancient manuscripts, zen illusionists, opera, murder, magic, and the alternate History of the World” was Owen’s second large project after StarChild, and began as a series of traditionally published novels in Germany, but of seven planned books only five were written, and four published – the result, Owen says, of market conditions at the time. “Sales were pretty good, and Book One won the AI Award for Best International Novel, but it wasn’t enough to make a living on, not at the time. But times change.”
Two volumes were published in France by Studio Malens, but Owen never sold the rights anywhere else, something he now says is due to providence and synchronicity. “The right offer never materialized, and I was busy working on the Dragons books. Then, when I was in the middle of the pneumonia, the epublishing revolution started, and I realized that there were some opportunities to be had – especially for an author with an established readership.”
In April 2011, Owen revived his Coppervale Press imprint with the motivational/inspirational ebook, Drawing out the Dragons, which has received rave reviews and is selling in ever-increasing numbers. Next came the short story collection The Unusual Motion of Strange Beasts, published in May, and which also included a special preview chapter of MythWorld. And now, Owen and Coppervale have published MythWorld Book One: The Festival of Bones. It’s available as a pdf via the Coppervale International website, and will shortly join Owen’s other books on Amazon and BN.com. But that’s not all.
“When this started with those first plans in Germany,” Owen says with a Cheshire grin, “it wasn’t going to be just seven books, but two series of seven books each, followed by one more concluding novel, for fifteen MythWorld books in all.” Owen plans to release all fifteen at roughly monthly intervals over the next year and a half. “I have the first series almost completed, and we’ll be releasing Books Two and Three over the next couple of weeks. But Book Four I expect to create a lot of noise,” Owen adds, “because it has a very direct tie to my Imaginarium Geographica novels. A conversation that began in The Dragon’s Apprentice is concluded in MythWorld Book Four. So there are definitely connections that the readers are going to love!”
The fact that the books can be released immediately after completion and editing is part of the attraction, said Owen, who also designs and illustrates the covers of his books, but he has no plans to step away from traditional print publishing. “I’m the nephew of printers,” he said, “and I love a gorgeous book in and of itself. Simon & Schuster has done such a wonderful job with the Imaginarium Geographica books, and my working relationship with the editors, art director, publishers, and all of our bookseller partners is definitely something I want to continue.”
Owen said he and S&S Books For Young Readers President Jon Anderson have discussed his followup to the current series. “It would probably be a quartet of books in a new series, but before that can be planned, I have to finish up the art on The Dragons of Winter, and then wrap things up with The First Dragon, both of which are keeping me very busy,” Owen said in conclusion, “but busy is good. I’ve been busy, and not busy – and I definitely prefer busy!”
MythWorld Book One: The Festival of Bones, is available now at www.coppervaleinternational.com and this weekend at amazon.com and bn.com.
For more information contact:
James A. Owen