3 min read

🥇 First editions and print-on-demand

Photo by Cristina Gottardi
Photo by Cristina Gottardi

Angie

Dave and I are proudly anticipating our fourth book, Shepherd’s Call.

Sounds like I’m talking about a baby, doesn’t it? Well, it sort of is.

I’m extremely proud of it and pleased with the whole series. We’ve worked hard on all the books, and we’re happy that you, our fans and readers, have embraced them. And we’re also happy and fortunate to win a few awards along the way! 😘

Sadly, there are challenges.

Working with a hybrid publisher, it costs money to produce the books. Between editing, book design, and printing, it gets expensive.

Usually, we do okay. When we sell face-to-face at markets, we do great. From our first book to our latest one, we’ve seen a growth in sales.

However, the pandemic didn’t help and it put us in a tight spot.

We have a new book coming out, but we’re also running low on our printed copies of Along Comes a Wolfe and Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing. All of it costs money.

To avoid putting ourselves into debt, David has suggested that we try print-on-demand for the older books. The quality isn’t as nice, and he recommended we change the look to distinguish them from our first editions.

We’ve had several conversations about it, and truth be told (David is aware), I’m not 100% sold. I simply don’t like the idea of having a version of our precious babies that looks different. However, I also understand the need for being able to get books out there without a huge cost.

I suppose that you, our die-hard fans (those of you that read this newsletter 😉), already own my favourite version of the book. And you’ll likely line up for the launch of Shepherd’s Call—and in due time, Wolfe’s Blood—and add those first editions to your collection as well.

I love my book babies—not just the words, but the care and craft we put into the paperback editions. But my goal is to tell our stories and share them with readers (and maybe drive poor Dave nuts😆), so I'll likely—and begrudgingly—accept these new versions as well.


David

As Angie mentioned, we've had countless discussions lately, and I've noticed that many of them circle around the idea of a book: is it the story, the physical object, or something in-between?

Recently, we put our stories online, accessed through a membership. (You can read our entire collection for CAN$50/year, as well as get some other exciting perks.) We did this because not everyone can purchase our physical books due to constraints.

Printing costs money, and the moment we send them across a border—let alone an ocean—shipping often doubles the price.

But we also know a lot of our readers like holding a paperback in their hands.

We’re proud of the print editions of our books, and Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing and Friesens have helped make them beautiful.

The layout of the pages and those subtle, glossy covers give me goosebumps. I love to see them on a shelf in a store.

And a lot of care and craft went into them.

I can remember endless discussions about how we’d colour-code the spines and what each book’s colour would be. And, of course, there were long conversations about what images we’d choose.

Along Comes a Wolfe was fairly easy. After Angie saw the first version, she immediately got to work photographing her face for its cover. Shepherd’s Watch was also quick, but Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing made up for both of them by completely wearing us down.

We went back-and-forth on it for weeks. It wasn’t until a last ditch search for a new image that we figured things out. Once we had it, everything fell into place in less than an hour.

And surprisingly, we’ve had the cover for our next book Shepherd’s Call finished since last year—of course, adorned with a photo taken by Angie.

So, I can understand her hesitancy to let go of these editions. We put a lot into them. They are our babies (perhaps hers even more than mine!).

But I also think that by offering a print-on-demand version, we can open our books—the physical version—of them once again to a wider audience. Readers from all over the world can buy them, even if we can no longer afford to print the original versions.

That, for me, is the most exciting part. It means that we get to share the adventures of Charlie and Tony once again for anyone to read, and I can hardly wait!


Thank you so much for being a part of our journey.