When we launched Crazy 8 Press in the summer of 2011, none of us really knew what to expect. In some ways we envied the established Book View Café and wanted to immediately achieve their success, but as we are doing now, they built it title by title, author by author. So, we’re doing that, releasing 6-8 titles a year.
The challenge then and remains today is getting the word out. Press releases, blog posts, interviews, it’s a slog and a slow process. The founders all brought their followings with them, but there is significant overlap so the hope was that we’d start with this core and grow outward. In some cases that’s happening. We got a tremendous bump in attention in the worst way possible. When Peter David has his stroke, the year began with people flocking to our site to buy his books to support his incredible medical expenses. It brought our site to peoples’ attention which we hope will mean they come back periodically to see what’s new.
Since we launched there have been successes such as Peter rescuing The Hidden Earth series from Tor’s indifference and Mike Friedman’s forthcoming new editions of his earlier books, also retrieved from a traditional publisher. We succeeded with the well-reviewed ReDeus series of books while our Latchkeys series met with silence. The lesson learned from the latter has everything to do with outreach than content. Those who read the digital stories or print omnibus were delighted there are just too few because the target audience are young adults, many of whom do not yet have online purchasing privileges.
There’s much to be proud of starting with the fact that we’re still talking to one another after two years. After all, going into business with friends comes with certain risks but we’re putting friendship first which I think helps tremendously. We still believe in sticking together and helping one another find audiences and bring our stories to life.But we’re also growing. We’ve welcomed Russ Colchamiro and Paul Kupperberg this year, expanding the sorts of books we’re releasing. We’ll be releasing a book on behalf of an editor who needed a home and that’s exciting. We all have new projects in the works and Mike has made it his goal to crack the library markets.
Summing up, we’ve learned a lot and remain optimistic about the future and that’s cause for celebration.