Publisher’s Note: Whew! What a year it’s been!

Guest blog by Gwyneth Gibby, Assoc. Publisher

It has been an exciting year for WMG Publishing, with Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith moving from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas. Talk about a change of pace; the first thing Kris and Dean did after settling in to their new digs was to start running 5K and half marathon races. We here in Lincoln City were left playing Wile E. Coyote to their Road Runners. That’s kind of the way WMG always worked, but Dean and Kris have kicked everything into high gear.

In addition to publishing new fiction, nonfiction, and a new magazine, we almost doubled our revenue from book and magazine sales in 2018. Dean’s Cold Poker Gang series of eight novels, about retired Las Vegas detectives who play poker once a week and solve cold cases, proved to be a huge hit. The Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott, an open pen name for Kristine Kathryn Rusch, also saw a resurgence. The seven novels centering around an African American private detective, set in the explosive late 1960s, were rediscovered by readers who recognized how important and relevant the series is, now more than ever.

We published Searching for the Fleet in September, the latest in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s acclaimed Diving series. Two novellas excerpted from that novel were first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine in 2018. Asimov’s editor, Sheila Williams, got so caught up in “Dix” she wrote, “I found I could barely breathe while reading our March/April cover story.”

Also in September, the author preferred edition of FantasyLife and Other Stories came out. Having never been happy with the original publication of the novel FantasyLife, partly because the original publisher got the title wrong (!) Kris collected three of her stories set in the same locale, Anchor Bay in Seavy County, and created an omnibus.

Fan favorites Winston & Ruby got their own collection, too, with the publication of Familiarity. If you haven’t met them yet, Winston is a kind and quiet wizard possessed of small magic, and Ruby is his familiar, with a big mouth and even bigger heart. This collection is a great way to get to know them.

Meanwhile Dean launched a new magazine. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine saw its first full year of quarterly publication since its rebirth in January. The original Pulphouse from the 1980s and 1990s was known for its attitude, and Dean has lost none of his edge nor his taste for great fiction, no matter the genre.

Dean likened the launch to starting out on a rollercoaster ride, and hearing the click of the gears. “That’s what firing up this magazine again after twenty-one years has felt like. Pure excitement, anticipation, and terror, all mixed. Kinda fun, actually.”

Pulphouse continues to publish a combination of original stories and reprints of favorites from the past. So far the magazine has been a terrific success, and there is much more to come in 2019.

Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine started the year with Justice, edited by Kris, a collection of stunning stories that tackle the theme from some unexpected points of view. Kris writes in her Introduction: “What these stories have in common, besides their high quality, is a thread of righteousness that goes through them.”

Wishes, Rebecca Moesta’s volume of YA stories,appeared in the spring. As she says: “Each tale in this book shows teens struggling with issues like young love, self-acceptance, being on the wrong end of someone else’s wish, a handicap, being an outcast, making impossible-seeming choices, or feeling neglected. In each story someone makes a wish—usually with unexpected results.”

Wishes gives readers a refreshing interlude before diving into the third in our thriller series, Pulse Pounders: Countdown, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Tangent Online called Countdown, “fast-paced and explosive…thrills and excitement.” Buckle your seatbelts, readers!

August saw the publication of a Fiction River Special Edition: Editor Saves, edited by Kris. She collected an entire volume of terrific stories that Fiction River editors wanted to see published, but couldn’t fit in any of the regular volumes. Kris, an award-winning editor, “worked her magic” as Dean says in his introduction, and from that diverse list of stories created this wonderful volume.

The year ended with Hard Choices, edited by Dean, chockfull of gripping stories about some of the toughest decisions human beings can face: to kill nor not to kill, to face the truth or hide, to fight and survive or surrender.

Fiction River also had a very successful Kickstarter campaign this year, raising more than twenty-five thousand dollars to fund the next two years of publication. Boy do we have loyal and generous readers and fans. We can’t thank you all enough, but we try.

In nonfiction we published a new title in the WMG Writer’s Guide series: Creating Your Author Brand, by Kris. The culmination of a lot of research, this book tackles the subject of branding specifically for authors trying to grow their readership and expand their book sales. No other branding book does this.

Because Kris and Dean moved to Las Vegas, the workshops that have been on the Oregon Coast have moved as well. The Business Master Class held its first Las Vegas gathering in October. Industry experts covered topics from book production and distribution, to long-term planning, intellectual property law, contracts, writing productivity, audiobooks, and overseas sales. Much fun was had by all including the zip-line down Fremont St. (And please forgive the salty language.)

The last Coastal Anthology Workshop happened in March, 2018. Hundreds of fabulous stories were read and discussed and bought for future publications, now including Pulphouse. In just a few months, March, 2019, writers and editors will gather for the same purpose in Las Vegas.

WMG also has many new online workshops, including Pop-Ups, and new subjects in the Classic series. https://www.wmgworkshops.com/

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the coming year. We accomplished a lot in 2018, there were many surprises and challenges, and much to be grateful for. And now, onward!

Thank you, and Happy New Year.

Gwyneth Gibby is Associate Publisher at WMG Publishing.

Publisher’s Note: A Christmas Gift

 

It’s Christmas Eve, and tonight I’ll be trying to marshal a very excited 8-year-old off to bed. But before I do, I wanted to bestow a Christmas gift to our readers.

I first learned about the Icelandic tradition called Jólabókaflóð last year, and this year I vowed to adopt my own version of it into our family tradition. So, I will be giving each member of my family a book, which they can unwrap Christmas Eve.

(Added bonus: Reading a book in bed is a good way to help my daughter drift off to sleep…)

As anyone reading this blog falls in the category of WMG family, I’d like to do the same for you. And Dean Wesley Smith has written the perfect book for this purpose.

The Christmas Gift is the second book in his Ghost of a Chance series, which is an offshoot of his fan-favorite Poker Boy series. Poker Boy and his team have saved the world countless times. The Ghost of a Chance Agency follows a similar charge. Superheroes and ghosts, all working for the greater good.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you will accept this Christmas gift from me. Click here to download your book.

The first book in this series, The Poker Chip, is free for everyone right now, so you can get that one, too, if you’d rather read it first. Click here for that link.

Click here to read more about the series and browse the rest of the Ghost of a Chance books.

I hope you enjoy joining me in the Jólabókaflóð celebration. What better way to spend an evening than reading a good book?

Happy holidays from all of us here at WMG.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: In the Company of Angels

This past weekend, I took my daughter to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time, but not in a movie theater. Instead, I took her to see a radio play version of the story performed by our local theater group.

Now, I tend to avoid local theater for the most part. I was spoiled growing up in such close proximity to Broadway. I’ve seen more than a dozen Broadway shows on Broadway and even the smaller theaters in the area have high-caliber talent. So, my standards for quality theater are ridiculously high.

And Lincoln City is a very small town.

But Nola’s third-grade teacher was in the performance and Nola really wanted to see it. So, I bought us all tickets and we went.

And I’m so glad we did. It was delightful.

I’d never seen a radio play before, and, of course, Nola hadn’t. At first, she was confused. Why were there only microphones and chairs on the stage, she asked. But once she understood the concept, she thought it was great. So did I. It was fun to experience something from a different era. It even had a live band.

And I love that story. I’ve watched the movie I can’t count how many times. It always makes me cry at the end (as the radio play did today). George Bailey is such a selfless guy. Everyone rallying around him at the end to help him gets me every time.

George’s guardian angel makes me think of some of the mentors I’ve had in my life. Those who helped me see my value and worth in this world, even when I couldn’t see it.

Good mentors can make all the difference in a career. Which is why when Dean Wesley Smith told me he was going to offer a mentorship program for writers, I was thrilled.

You can read more about it here. But if you’re interested, act fast. There’s only one spot left.

Speaking of acting fast, if you’ve been procrastinating buying one or more of the WMG surprise gift boxes, Thursday at noon PST is the last moment you can order them. We have one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50. Buy one for yourself and give others as gifts. You can find out more and place an order here.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: A Horse, Of Course

When you’re a designer, you tend to have colloquial names for the art we use on covers, especially when they are in a series. Sometimes they’re innocuously referred to, such as “women in beautiful dresses.” But sometimes, well, we use more caution when referring to them.

If you’ve ever read Dean Wesley Smith’s Thunder Mountain series, you’ll notice an art theme. Horses. Generally, cowboys on horses. To see all the Thunder Mountain covers and read more about the books, click here.

But inside the WMG offices, they’re referred to as the horse’s ass series. Because, well, a lot of them show the ass end of a horse. And we have a bit of a juvenile sense of humor sometimes.

Now that Dean lives in Vegas, he comes across all sorts of fascinating things. And wouldn’t you know it, he and Kris found a giant horse at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden—decorated for Christmas no less—and Kris had Dean pose for pictures. Naturally, Kris and Dean sent me some.  

(click the images to enlarge)

As you can see, horse’s ass pictures are even funnier with the author in them. What a wonderful gift for the holidays. I just hope that’s not what they meant by “Christmas bonus.” <grin>

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: A Bit of Christmas Magic

My daughter’s Elf on the Shelf has returned, and although finding new and creative places for her to appear can be exhausting (hell, remembering to move the damn thing can be a real challenge—which is why my husband, thankfully, took on the job), I love seeing the excitement and wonder that Christmas brings to her.

A friend of mine asked me the other day if Nola still believed in Santa (she’s 8). I’m happy to report that yes, she does. And even though someday she’ll discover that Christina is just a doll that Bubba moves around and Mommy is the one that buys Santa’s gifts to her, I hope she always will believe.

Because I still believe in Santa. I believe a world in which Santa exists is just a better world to live in. I believe in Christmas magic. And I’ll tell that to my daughter when she starts to uncover the deception we parents employ to create that magic for our children.

We need more magic and light in the world.

Kristine Grayson believes in Santa, too. At least, I’m pretty sure she does. And her Santa Series is the perfect way to recapture a bit of that Christmas magic.

You can buy the books one at a time or all together as a boxed set. Here’s the synopsis:

Kristine Grayson’s popular Santa Series—Up on the Rooftop, Visions of Sugar Plums and Dressed in Holiday Style—together in one volume.

The magic of Christmas takes a lot to pull off, even for Santa. Enter the elves and humans of Claus & Company, who help Santa make the big day happen.

But any time an elf or member of Santa’s family walks among the mortals of the Greater World, risk follows. The risk of discovery. The risk of failure. And most of all, the risk of falling in love.

Bestselling author Kristine Grayson makes Christmas magic with these three stories of holiday romance—no mistletoe required.

The boxed set is available for $5.99 in ebook here.

And don’t forget that if you’re still in the market for Christmas gifts, the WMG December Holiday Spectacular includes two surprise gift boxes: one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50. You can find out more and place an order here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see where that elf will turn up next…

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Two Surprise Gift Boxes, Just in Time for the Holidays

Today is Cyber Monday in the US, the day of great online deals to kick off the Christmas shopping season. It follows Black Friday (for great deals on in-store shopping, particularly at the major retailers) and Small Business Saturday (a holiday promoted by American Express to encourage shopping at, you guessed it, small businesses).

The opportunity for big discounts used be limited to a few hours of mad shopping. Recently, retailers have started expanding the great-deal window to last through the week.

Here at WMG, we decided to go one better: We have two amazing deals on book gift boxes that last for the better part of a month.

The WMG December Holiday Spectacular includes two surprise gift boxes: one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50.

The WMG Surprise Holiday Gift Box Includes 40 ebooks (novels, novellas, short-story collections, magazines, boxed sets, bundles, and a sampling of something from each of our 33 series). It has something for every reader and is a great way to share (or discover for yourself) why we call WMG The Home of Great Fiction!

The WMG Surprise Gift Box for Writers offers 12 ebooks, 1 classic workshop and 1 lecture to help the writer in your life make the most of their writing career.

The gift boxes will be available to order until noon PST December 19. They will be delivered on December 20.

So, if you’re shopping for that hard-to-please relative, need a gift for the person who has everything, or even looking to help someone celebrate Jolabokaflod in grand style, why not give the gift of reading with one of our WMG surprise gift boxes.

You can find out more and place an order here.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.