Monday, February 4, 2013

Looking Back on 2012, Looking Forward to 2013

It’s that time of year when we pause to reflect on the year we’ve had. And Champagne has had one hell of a year!

Change and growth is what keeps us moving forward, instead of sitting stagnant and unable to keep up with the changing times. Ebooks have grown into a very profitable and viable option over print, just as I knew they would years ago, when I was told it was a crazy pipe dream. "Ebooks? Really? Why don't you want to publish real books?" Not that I am ready to break out and do the 'I told you so' dance, but... um... I TOLD YOU SO! (okay so I lied. I've been dancing for days.) Our small, home-based publishing house is now a vibrant, successful independent press with an office in trendy downtown High River, AB. Now, anyone that's been to High River is probably giggling, because it's not all that trendy, but it's a nice little town just the same. Heck, they film Heartland here so it can't be all bad! And where we once managed with a small handful of staff, we have grown to include 7 editors, 3 line editors, 4 artists and other support staff such as slush readers, customer service staff, and manuscript formatters.
This year, we've increased our sales by 166% overall, from the previous year. Most of those sales are in the digital market, which isn't a surprise if you've been following the trends. The prediction for 2013 is that ebooks will outsell paperbacks in all forms. I am certainly curious to see how that's going to play out.
I think I'm still on a high from last year's stats and stuff. I'm so very excited about the state of the publishing industry these days. It's such a vibrant, almost living-breathing thing right now, that it's hard not to be enthusiastic. Part of it, I think, stems from seeing all the new hardware coming out. Yes, smartphones and tablets are popular for reading, but stats are showing that a whole lot of people (myself included) prefer a dedicated reader for their ebooks. I don't like all the distractions that go along with reading on a smartphone or tablet--and I have both, so I'm speaking from experience. It's too easy to 'quickly check email', or see what's happening with Twitter, and before long, I've done everything else but read the new mystery that I'd been itching to read.

I recently got a brand spanking new Kobo Glo and I love it! The backlight feature is my favorite, because I can turn it off when I don't want to use it, turn it on when I want to read late at night. Got the Kobo software on my smartphone, on my laptop and on my Galaxy tablet, so I can truly read anywhere. What's amazing though, is it's the only reader that syncs all your devices--meaning, if I'm reading on my Kobo and stop on page 74 of Borderlines by Archer Mayor (which I am currently reading), all I have to do is hit sync on my Kobo app on my phone and it'll open up to page 74 of Borderlines. Same on my laptop or my tablet. I really like that.
This month we have a couple of chat events with our friends at Coffeetime. The first, a live chat at the Coffeetime Romance chatroom. February 13, is Love-Champagne Style, so we'll be talking romance. We've got another multi-genre loop chat on February 14, on their Yahoo group, so if romance isn't your thing (and even if it is), come by and yack with us. We'll have authors of all sorts, and some might even be dressed! Good thing it's not a video chat, that's all I can say about that.

This month we have a fabulous offering of books. Feels like mystery month at Champagne, as we've got an accountant combatting terrorism in Blood Money by Erika Mitchell. When a theatre director is murdered, an actor discovers the shocking truth behind the gruesome murder, and The Rest Is Silence by John Paulits. Anita Whiting says The Killing Hour is a time for magic and murder. Then we lighten things up with some terrific fantasy. Amber Gifts by Kevin Henry takes us on a scavenger hunt through time. Too bad it turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Before Prince Charming, before Snow White, there was William. Tainted Glass by debut author Brian Carufe is probably the most imaginative take on the classic fairy tale that I've seen in quite some time. You don't want to miss it. The Silver Catacombs by Kyra Dune has Charlie searching for his lost magic and Tower Of Obsidian by L. T. Getty is a fantastic medieval fantasy with dragons, witches, magic and the hero who gives his all to save the princess in distress.

Until next time,


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