In traditional publishing, a very good argument has been made that an author (or artist, cartoonist, musician, etc.) did not in fact sell his book to the public. All he had to do was sell his book (or whatever) to a Gatekeeper. Once convinced of the worthiness of said book, the Gatekeeper would allow the work to be disseminated to the public, who would then decide if they liked it.
One of the exciting things about this current period in history, is that at the moment, a person working on the internet does not have to appease a Gatekeeper figure, but can throw their work out directly to the public (or at least that segment of the public that has access to a computer and the internet). This has been a tremendous boon to Kaja and myself. For the last thirty years, our work has been ignored or marginalized by editors and publishers because it was 'different'. Once we experimented by posting it online where anyone could decide upon the merits of our work for themselves, we had more readers than ever before. A LOT more readers.
We would once again like to run an experiment with our readers. Relax, it won't hurt. This January, Night Shade Press will be releasing the first Girl Genius novel; Agatha H and The Airship City. Now, as I'm sure you are aware, thousands of new, excellent books are released out into the world. Some of them will catch the attention of the public and flourish. Many more will languish in obscurity, eventually winding up in dusty boxes in the author's garage, where they will be used as Christmas gifts for the mailman. We would prefer that this not happen, if only because we are fond of our mailman, and I have a lot of stuff in my garage already.
Thus, we are launching a campaign that I'm calling 'A Gift For Kaja'. If you are planning on buying Agatha H and the Airship City from Amazon.com, we ask that you hold off from pre-ordering, and buy it on January 12, 2011. The idea is that if enough people buy a book on a particular day, it will rise in the sales ranks. The higher we can get it, the better. Yes, it's just for the one day, but if we get it high enough, then other people, people not already Girl Genius aficionados, will notice, and we hope, check it out. We will be posting ads and links to facilitate this on our site, as well as wherever else we can get them.
We are very much aware that there are those who do not like Amazon.com for various reasons. We have always urged our readers to buy our books from their local book or comic shop. Independent booksellers are a treasure to be cultivated. However, in today's world, sometimes this is just not possible. There are numerous places where there isn't a bookstore, or where the owners won't order our books. In these circumstances, Amazon is a viable alternative, and if a book does well enough on Amazon, more traditional stores will take note, and consider ordering it themselves.
You might be wondering why the name 'A Gift For Kaja'? Simple. January 12 is Kaja's birthday, and I'm hoping to make it an interesting one. You can help.