The WMG Newsletter

Get advanced notice of new releases, bonus content, and so much more.

About WMG Publishing

Founded in 2010, WMG Publishing, Inc. is located in Lincoln City, OR. The company publishes more than 700 fiction and nonfiction titles in trade paperback, ebook and audiobook formats. In 2013, the company launched Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine, which publishes six volumes a year containing short fiction from New York Times bestsellers to debut authors. In 2018, the company relaunched Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, a quarterly publication containing short fiction from New York Times bestsellers to debut authors. WMG Publishing, Inc. is also an industry leader in the cutting edge of independent publishing, offering online lectures and workshops as well as in-person workshops in Las Vegas. For more information about WMG learning opportunities, go to www.wmgworkshops.comFor more information about the company, go to www.wmgpublishinginc.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Latest News

Publisher’s Note: Anything but Haunted this Halloween


Last weekend, my family and I got our Halloween on. Every year, we go pumpkin picking and hay riding and start decorating for this spookiest of seasons. And this year, we’re adding a new level to our Halloween celebrations.

On October 1, I began my term as president of the Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City, and my first official act was to bring about a board vote to take on sponsorship of a local Halloween event that is very special to me and very important to our community.

This event began in 2008 when the late Kip Ward started hosting The Haunted Hotel at the Historic Anchor Inn. The early years were held at the hotel and featured events for the very young as well as those more inclined to the spooky side of the Halloween Street.

When the event outgrew the hotel, it was renamed the Spooky Spectacular and moved to Taft Elementary School. Last year saw the biggest turnout yet.

I was involved in the inception of the event, and when Nola was born, it was where she spent her first Halloween. We have gone every year since (except for the one year we were in Eugene).   

As long-time readers of this blog (or any writer who has attended one of our past Lincoln City workshops) know, Kip was like family to me and a very close friend of Dean and Kris. His sudden death in February 2018 was a shock and a blow to many. We miss him very, very much.

To be able to start my Kiwanis presidency by honoring Kip… Well, let’s just say I know he’ll be with me in spirit.

It’s also one more reminder that life is short, and we must spend as much quality time with our loved ones as we can—while we can.

This was the inspiration behind one of my favorite rewards in the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019 Kickstarter. Those who pledge this reward (at $60 or more) can share the joy of reading the 35 calendar holiday stories with two friends. It’s a great way to celebrate the season together, especially if your friends don’t live nearby. Click here to learn more.

Friends, fun, holidays. All of these things remind me of Kip (with whom I spent many wonderful holidays). And you can bet I’m going to be sure to enjoy this holiday season with my family and friends as I help keep Kip’s memory alive.

I know he’ll be with me in spirit.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019 Launches on Kickstarter!


Several years ago, Kristine Kathryn Rusch sent me an online Christmas advent calendar to share with my daughter, Nola. That one thoughtful gift has turned into a much-anticipated family tradition, in which Nola, my husband, John, and I eagerly check into that calendar each day to see what new and wonderful surprise awaits us.

It’s not a religious thing. It’s a magical Christmas calendar that helps us count down the days until Santa’s visit with games, computer crafts, fun scenes, and more. It’s lovely. I hope Kris knows just how very special it is to us.

I, in turn, started sending it as gifts to friends and family. Just as Kris discovered it when a friend sent it to her as a gift. That is the magic of the holiday season, to me.

So, when Kris proposed the idea of a holiday project that would be a Calendar of Stories, the staff here at WMG jumped at the idea. After a year in development, the project has launched on Kickstarter as the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019!

Backers of this project at the $15 level and higher will get an original holiday story delivered to their inbox every day from November 28, 2019, through January 1, 2020. That’s 35 total. The stories, which range from magical romance to dark crime, will be released in anthology form in the fall of 2020 in three books: Joyous Christmas, Winter Holidays, and Bloody Christmas.

Plus, all backers at the $5 level and higher will receive an electronic copy of Kristine Grayson’s new Santa Series novel, Tidings of Comfort and Joy.

And that’s just the start of the reward levels, which also include gift options (for easy gift-giving), paperback editions, workshop credits, and a brand-new holiday-themed Kickstarter-exclusive workshop.

To read all about the Kickstarter, watch the fun video Kris narrated about the genesis of the project, and see all of the available rewards and stretch goals, click here.

What a great way to get into the holiday spirit and start checking off your gift list (for yourself as well as others).

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Dealing with Trauma


Yesterday was the six-month anniversary of my craniotomy to remove a grade II meningioma. That’s kind of amazing. It both doesn’t feel like that long and yet feels like an eternity ago. I’m still healing. Still figuring out the way my brain works now. Still finding workarounds to some of the maybe-permanent brain damage the tumor and surgery caused.

But I’m here. That’s huge. And I’m doing remarkably well, all things considered. So, I’m really grateful.

I was reminded of how lucky I am that all went well last week, when I discovered that two of my high school classmates have died in the past two months.

The first died of ovarian cancer. I knew her but not particularly well. But still. F@&% cancer.

The second died of a heart attack. He was a great guy. A good friend. Someone I’ve thought about reconnecting with over the years but couldn’t seem to track down. And now, it’s too late. He’s gone. At 46.

We were also dealing with trauma of a different kind last week with my daughter. She’s been through a lot the past few years. And on Thursday, she faced what is becoming all too common in our schools: a threat of physical violence, and a menacing one. A classmate wrote in her math notebook the following: “I am hunting you Nola.”

Worse still, we have no idea who did it. But the school is leaving no stone unturned to find out. They are in frequent communication with me and I with them. Her teacher is making sure she feels safe, as is the vice principle conducting the investigation. As am I. That is my job.

But, ugh. No kid needs this. And for Nola, it’s bringing back the feelings of being bullied and unsafe she experienced in second grade when a student, after bullying her for most of the year, threated to stalk her and made a throat-slitting motion. At that point I gave the school no choice but to move her to a different classroom immediately.

Now, Nola stands up to bullies. She’ll fearlessly defend her fellow students in a heartbeat, even if she doesn’t particularly like the person being bullied. This kind of behavior is unacceptable to her (as it should be to everyone), and she won’t tolerate it. But she’s still 9. And she’s still human. No matter how strong we are, it’s hard. And it’s traumatic.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we deal with trauma for all of these reasons. And I keep thinking about a book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch I published years ago called Bleed Through.

We kept putting off the release of this fantastic book, which addresses the traumatic aftermath of a school shooting, because every time we were set to release it, another school shooting would make the news. Eventually, we decided that our only option was to do a silent release. Just publish it. No advertising. No big marketing push. Just get it out there and hope people find it on their own.

Kris and I both feel awkward about promoting it even now. Which is a shame considering what a compelling novel it is. Really, it’s a story about healing. And I fervently hope that someday, we don’t live in a world where school violence happens with such frequency that I have to worry about releasing a book that deals with it.

If you would like to read more about Bleed Through, click here.

In the meantime, reach out to people you’ve been meaning to connect with. Hug your kids. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them.

As a close friend of mine (who also had brain surgery within the last year at the same hospital) reminds me often: YOLO. You only live once.

And taking that to heart, I promise that next week’s Publisher’s Note will be of a much cheerier nature.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: A Busy Week


Last week was a crazy one around here. Release weeks—The Renegat is out in all forms but audiobook, which I have no control over—are always busy, but we have a lot more irons in the fire right now, including one major project that I’m working hard on but can’t announce just yet. Stay tuned for that.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch started teaching her Romance Craft Workshop in Las Vegas, which wraps up this week. For those interested in attending one of the 2020 writing workshops Kris does, click here. And don’t forget about the study-along option for those who would rather learn from the comfort of their own homes.

Speaking of 2020 workshops, Dean Wesley Smith has opened up registration for the 2020 Business Master Class, again held in Las Vegas. You can read more about that here.

And on a personal front, I was installed last week as president of the Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City, a position that I wasn’t sure I’d still be able to fill after my surgery this spring. But thanks to my amazing husband and a very supportive community, I felt able to take on the position. And as a special bonus, it was my husband (in one of his last acts as Lieutenant Governor for our district) who installed me. He is a past president of the club, and we now have matching gavels. (I’m not sure they thought through the whole arming a Jersey Girl with a wooden mallet thing, but tradition, I guess. <grin>)

But I also made a discovery last week that put a damper on all the excitement. The incredibly talented Flora Plumb, who has narrated many audiobooks for us, died last July. I knew she had been undergoing cancer treatment, but her last email to me was optimistic and celebratory about a new stage role. After that email, I was both dealing with my own declining health and hopeful that no news was good news. Unfortunately, it was not.

Flora was not only talented, but a dream to work with. Kind, sweet, and consummately professional, I would have offered her any audio project she wanted. In fact, we held off on doing Protectors by Kris Nelscott in audiobook to work with Flora. She read the book and loved it, but was in the middle of treatment when we released the book in September 2017.

Her voice graces 20 WMG projects, including many of Dean Wesley Smith’s Thunder Mountain series novels (Thunder Mountain through Grapevine Springs) and some of the Seeders novels (Against Time and Sector Justice), some of the Diving series books (The Application of Hope, Becalmed, The Falls, and The Spires of Denon), as well as standalone projects including The Devin’s Churn, The Death of Davy Moss, Bleed Through, and The End of the World.

You can read a short obituary here.

I’m glad, at least, that her talents can continue to be appreciated in her work, and I am honored to have known her.

She will be missed by many, me included.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Really Feeling the Love!


This week, I’m reflecting a lot on the love and support we’ve received this year through the amazingly successful Kickstarters we’ve conducted. Not only for our Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive, which just ended with a whopping 387 backers pledging $31,074 (thank you, thank you, thank you!), but also The Diving Universe Kickstarter, which sees more fulfillment of rewards shipping out soon and the wide release of The Renegat in ebook, trade paperback, audiobook AND hardcover tomorrow, September 17!

Now, I must admit: The Renegat—because of its length—proved a challenge I had not before faced. I wrote a lot about the challenges the trade paperback, in particular, posed in my August 5 Publisher’s Note, which you can read here.

But The Renegat, the latest novel in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning Diving series—also provided us with a fantastic opportunity. Through the incredible support of fans and other supporters on Kickstarter, 606 backers pledged $22,299 to allow us to run all of the Diving series books into hardcover. The first one to release is The Renegat: A Diving Universe Novel. The rest of the Diving series hardcovers will be completed later this year.

So, tomorrow marks a first for us. The simultaneous release of a WMG book in ebook, audiobook, trade paperback AND hardcover.

So, if you missed all the previous talk about this new book, here’s the synopsis of The Renegat:

As a young recruit, brilliant engineer Nadim Crowe accidentally destroys an entire Scrapheap full of ships. Now, decades later, he ends up on the crew of the Renegat, the only ship in the Fleet ever sent on a mission backwards to investigate an ancient Scrapheap.

Something invaded that Scrapheap and the Fleet wants to know what. Or who.


The Renegat: The only ship the Fleet dares risk. The Renegat: A ship of misfits and screw-ups sent on an impossible mission. All alone in deep space.


A thrilling new addition to the Diving Universe.

You can find all available versions of The Renegat here.

And if you want to get a free sample of what to expect in The Renegat, click here to read Kris’ Free Fiction Monday offering this week: “Joyride,” which was a finalist for the 2018 Asimov’s Readers Choice Award for best novella and appears in a slightly different form in the novel.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive in!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Last Chance to Get Great Rewards from the Pulphouse Subscription Drive on Kickstarter!


Our Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive on Kickstarter is going amazingly well thanks to fans both new and long-established. We are so very grateful for your support!

If you have been meaning to check it out but haven’t yet (and believe me, I get it; so much to do, so little time…), now is your last chance. The Kickstarter ends Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 3:38 p.m. PDT.

As of this morning, we’ve already hit four stretch goals, which means supporters at the $5 level and higher get the following great rewards (in addition to their initial pledges):

  • one additional electronic copy of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • ebook copy of Aliens Among Us: At Least in the Pages of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • ebook copy of That’s Really Messed Up: Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • your choice of any lecture WMG Publishing does for writers ($50 value)
  • ebook copy of A Twist of the Knife: Mystery Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • your choice of any Classic Workshop WMG Publishing offers ($150 value)
  • ebook copy of Best of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine
  • ebook copy of Best of Pulphouse: The Fiction Magazine
  • The First Myth Lecture Bundle: Creations ($200 value) 

As you can see, your pledge gets you A LOT of great stuff. And the higher the Kickstarter goes, the more rewards you can rack up.

Surely, that’s at least worth a look. Check out the Kickstarter here.

And if you’ve already supported the Kickstarter, be sure to check out all the fun stuff you’ll be getting once the Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive ends on Wednesday.

Again, thank you all. We couldn’t do this without you!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Pulphouse Subscription Drive Launches on Kickstarter!


Two years ago, WMG Publishing decide to bring back a publication dormant for more than twenty years: The three-time Hugo Award-nominated Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.  And now, it’s time for our first subscription drive after two years of publishing success with the magazine. And like all our subscription drives, we’re doing this one on Kickstarter. But more about that in a minute.

First, a bit about the role Pulphouse Fiction Magazine plays in our product offerings.

Pulphouse adds a different flavor to our magazine line.

Fiction River is purely original short fiction and varies in tone by the editor of each volume, but its voice is influenced by the collaborative oversight of series editors Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Fiction River Presents is the reprint line for Fiction River for which I act as series editor, and is sourced primarily from Fiction River volumes (with an occasional grab from the WMG inventory). This past year has also seen volumes edited by Kris and by associate publisher Gwyneth Gibby.

And although other people have a hand in the creation of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine (including managing editor Josh Frase and Kris as executive editor), Pulphouse always has been and always will be Dean’s brainchild.

Dean edits Pulphouse Fiction Magazine for WMG, just like he did two decades ago for Pulphouse. It always has been about pure attitude. The cutting edge of modern fiction. If you’ve read the original version or the modern reincarnation of the magazine, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’re in for a ride.

Here’s an excerpt of what Dean has to say about the magazine from the Kickstarter page:

In our first two years of this new incarnation, we hit our quarterly schedule on time and with larger issues than planned. We also put out three Pulphouse books as we had promised in our first Kickstarter drive. 


So eight issues and three books. A total success in our first two years.


Shocking! Amazing! And a great deal of fun! 


But we’re not done. Not by a long ways. Now we need your help going forward. We hope you will not only renew your subscription, but take us up on some of the wonderful rewards and add-ons we have available. Everything helps us keep the high-quality fiction going for the next two years.


And we will have some really spectacular new books and stretch goals if we can get to them.


Pulphouse Fiction Magazine is back, growing and stronger than ever. And with your help, we’ll keep growing for years to come.

Click here to go straight to the Kickstarter campaign.

If you supported the original Kickstarter we did to relaunch the magazine (thank you!!!), your subscription likely needs to be renewed, and we have all sorts of awesome rewards to choose from. If you missed that one, now is a great time to join us for this wild ride.

If you want to take a look at what we’ve been up to the past two years, click here. You’ll also find buy links for all of the past volumes if you want to catch up on what you’ve missed.

Thank to you all our current and future Pulphouse supporters. We couldn’t do this without you!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Five New Releases and a Kickstarter!


We had a wonderful visit with our own Dean Wesley Smith last week as we did some business strategizing and also planning for the next Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Kickstarter, which launches this week. Last week also saw the publication of five new books: three that you’ve heard about and two new ones of the Pulphouse variety.

First up, the ones you knew were coming: Killing the Angel of Death by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Luck Be Ladies: A Poker Boy Collection by Dean Wesley Smith, and Fiction River Presents: Sorcery & Steam, edited by Gwyneth Gibby, are all available in ebook from your favorite retailer. The paperback volumes will be available soon. Click on each title above for more details and purchase information.

And now, more on Pulphouse. It was great timing to have Dean here for such a busy Pulphouse week, since he is, of course, the editor and driving force behind that magazine. If you’ve ever met Dean, you know that his personality very much reflects the tone of Pulphouse. His visits are always a little off-the-wall but a whole lot of fun.

One of the books released last week was the summer issue of Pulphouse (#7 if you’re counting). The second is the first all-original book in the Pulphouse line, called Snot-Nosed Aliens. Here are the details on each of those:

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue #7

A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up eighteen fantastic stories by some of the best writers working in modern short fiction. No genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories. Attitude, feel, and high-quality fiction equals Pulphouse.

Table of Contents:
“Small Discrete Intervals from a Sample Size of One” by J. Steven York
“Daisy’s Heart” by Robert J. McCarter
“Dogmatic Computing” by Kent Patterson
“Suicide by UFO” by Jerry Oltion
“Another Door” by Annie Reed
“Introducing Alligators” by Preston Dennett
“The Mouse is Watching” by S. Andrew Swann
“Dreams of Memories Never Lived” by Rob Vagle
“A Pathetic Excuse for a Dragon” by David H. Hendrickson
“Moulin Rouge” by Jason A. Adams
“Maddie Sue’s Locket” by C.A. Rowland
“Rough Draft” by Kevin J. Anderson (written with Rebecca Moesta)
“A Good Shooting” by O’Neil De Noux
“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” by Teri J. Babcock
“Lost Book” by Ryan M. Williams
“Acceptable Losses” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“A Choose Your Own Fangle Adventure” by Robert Jeschonek
“Say Hello to my Little Friend” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Minions at Work: White Space” by J. Steven York

Snot-Nosed Aliens: Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine

When you ask a bunch of professional writers to send in stories to a Pulphouse Fiction Magazine anthology called Snot-Nosed Aliens, you get a bunch of really, really strange stories. Perfect.

Known for high-quality fiction and off-the-wall stories, Pulphouse Fiction Magazine’s first fully original anthology delivers both. Head-shaking laughter, biting themes, and more out-of-this-world aliens than should be allowed.

Thirteen professional writers. Thirteen wonderful stories. An original anthology impossible to put down.

Table of Contents:
“The Problematic Navigation of the Vessel Clayton Booker” by J. Steven York
“Blue-Eyed Bombshell” by Annie Reed
“Pepper Pretorious Saves the Day” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Hero of Fire Life” by Michael Warren Lucas
“Bushtits Gone Wild” by Stephanie Writt
“Dog People” by Robert J. McCarter
“Magnitude and Insignificance” by Rob Vagle
“Let the Families Be Joined” by Joe Cron
“Knock Knock Power” by Johanna Rothman
“Ilene’s Box” by Alexandra Brandt
“The Goddess Particle” by Daemon Crowe
“Two-Minute Drill” by David H. Hendrickson
“Power Chords” by Brigid Collins

If you haven’t already received these volumes (as a subscriber), they are a wonderful escape for the waning days of summer.

And if you want to subscribe to Pulphouse Fiction Magazine (or renew your subscription), there’s never been a better time! Our biennial subscription drive on Kickstarter launches on Wednesday and features the best prices you can find on not only subscriptions (to Pulphouse, Fiction River, and Smith’s Monthly), but also WMG workshops and some other special projects. Click here once it’s live to read all about it!

So many books to read! Thank goodness we still have some summer left.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Bundled up for August


The fog has arrived on the Oregon Coast, so it’s time to break out the jacket again in case I need to bundle up a bit for my daily walking endeavors.

And that has me thinking about bundles. Good thing, too, because we have only a couple of days left on the Sorcery & Steam Storybundle, while a new Storybundle called Racing the Clock launches late Tuesday/early Wednesday (depending on where you are in the world).

What a thrilling addition to our August lineup.

As you might recall from my July 22 Publisher’s Note, the Sorcery & Steam Storybundle includes three new books exclusive to this bundle—Killing the Angel of Death by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Luck Be Ladies: A Poker Boy Collection by Dean Wesley Smith, and Fiction River Presents: Sorcery & Steam, edited by Gwyneth Gibby—as well as seven other fantastic ebooks for the low price of just $15. Click here for more information or to buy the bundle.

I’ll talk about the wide release of those books in next week’s Publisher’s Note if you’re waiting for that information.

If you’re looking for a thrilling assemblage of fast-paced fiction, the Racing the Clock bundle might be just your speed. That bundle includes three previously published WMG titles: Fiction River Presents: Racing the Clock, edited by me; Death Takes a Diamond: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel by Dean Wesley Smith; and The Tower by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Here are the synopses for each book:

Fiction River Presents: Racing the Clock

The latest volume of Fiction River Presents makes the heart race. From one woman’s desperate attempts to escape her kidnappers to another woman’s attempts to escape a doomed space station, this volume takes off at a pulse-pounding pace and refuses to let go until the very end. Including a short story from Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s bestselling Retrieval Artist sf thriller series, this volume proves why Adventures Fantastic says the Fiction River series “is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today.”

Includes:
“The Chair by” JC Andrijeski
“Tower One” by Thomas K. Carpenter
“The Good Brother” by Brendan DuBois
“The Elevator in the Cornfield” by Scott William Carter
“The Red-Stained Wishing Tree” by Eric Stocklassa
“The Scent of Amber and Vanilla” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Play the Man” by Dan C. Duval
“Eyes on My Cards” by Dean Wesley Smith
“H-Hour” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
“Sole Survivor” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Death Takes a Diamond

When a contract comes in on another assassin, Mary Jo must discover why. Assassins don’t kill assassins.

With four ancient-order assassins working together, anything becomes possible.

Sex, murder, and diamonds. And pretty much in that order.

Only Mary Jo Assassin can deliver all three with a smile and a vodka orange juice drink in her hand.

The Tower

So many mysteries in the past. So many opportunities as well. As Portals, Inc. uses historians to test its time travel devices, historians use Portals to test their theories.

Neyla believes the 17th century discovery of the dead Princes near the Bloody Tower will tell her who murdered the boys centuries before.

Thomas Ayliffe believes he can pull off the crime of the century—any century.

All three agendas collide in a story about crimes and criminals, past, present, and future.

The Racing the Clock Storybundle can be found here once it’s live.

For more information on Fiction River Presents subscriptions, click here.

So, race on over to Storybundle and see what fabulous deals await!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Publishing Challenges and Miracles


I’m going to let you in on a little publishing secret: Our best laid publishing plans sometimes get thrown a curveball. This most often happens with established series. Series branding is a very important aspect of publishing. The design (cover and interior), the way the books are titled, the way the books are numbered…all of this is essential information that must be as consistent and informative as humanly possible so that the reader (newfound or longtime fan) knows that each book is part of that series.

But what happens when a brilliant author tends to write out of order? Well, she’s brilliant, so you accommodate, but sometimes you must work miracles to do so.

The author I’m talking about is the amazing Kristine Kathryn Rusch. If you’ve followed me (or her) for years, you’ll know that the Retrieval Artist series encountered such an event. After Kris wrote Anniversary Day and Blowback (the eighth and ninth books in that series), she realized that they were not standalone novels but rather books one and two of what would turn out to be an eight-book story arc we named the Anniversary Day Saga. This meant we’d have to republish the first two books with the saga information (and some other additions). We did that in late 2014. The rest of the saga was published in 2015. You can find all of those books here.

Republishing those books in 2014 wasn’t a huge deal at the time, although we were locked into our original title and subtitle information because that’s tied to the ISBN, which is tied to your sales rankings and algorithm data. It’s a big deal to publish a book under a new ISBN. Plus, the old book never disappears in this new world because of third-party resellers, so it can be confusing for readers. We don’t like to confuse readers. Ever.

But I encountered a huge problem with that 2014 decision last week, when I went to drop the price of the paperbacks on Amazon from $18.99 to $14.99. I could successfully drop them on all of the titles except one: Blowback. For some reason that one book wouldn’t accept the update because of the series information from first publication and it wanted me to add a number 9 (as in Retrieval Artist series, book 9) to the cover and interior. No other book in the entire series has that. The Book Two of the Anniversary Day Saga was confusing the bots. Clearly, they thought, it was book two, not book nine. Sigh. After much investigation and discussion of our options, I managed to outwit the bots and get the price lowered. It’s not ideal, but it’ll do for now.

With an inventory as large as ours (700+ titles), managing our books is a full-time job that we don’t yet have the staff for. We will, but not yet. For now, it falls to me to get creative. Fortunately, I can be very creative.

This skill came in handy again recently when we were faced with publishing the newest Diving Series novel—a 263,000-word behemoth called The Renegat. It’s a fantastic book, worth every word, but the challenge came in figuring out how to fit that many words into the KDP publishing restrictions on page count so that we could publish the book direct to the Amazon universe. KDP has a strict 776-page limit.

When we ran the book using our established interior design parameters for the Diving Series paperback novels, it came in at 1,000 pages.

Originally, when faced with that information, we resigned ourselves to only using Ingram-Spark, which allows for more pages. I was still out on medical leave at the time, and we couldn’t figure out a way to cut 225 pages from the book without cutting content.

But once I returned (and, more importantly, my brain power returned), I decided to give it a go. I was an award-winning designer long before I became a publisher, so I was the best suited to such a task. But as publisher, I’m also the most expensive employee we have, so that was a call I had to make. And thanks to an amazingly successful Kickstarter for the Diving Series, we could afford me doing a redesign. So, I did.

A lot of this is very technical design stuff, but the short of it is, I redid everything: margins, fonts, type size, tracking, leading…. And I individually adjusted at least a quarter of the paragraphs in the book to gain space and reduce page count. This is not something you can do with the fancy new publishing software we happily use for other projects. And I still had to keep the feel of the Diving Series paperbacks, because the branding is so important. I leaned on all my professional design experience to pull off a miracle.

And pull it off I did. The new proof of The Renegat is exactly 776 pages (the max KDP limit). I’ll be honest, I was pretty stressed there toward the end that I would have to go back to the beginning and shave more, but it just fit.

(Brain surgery, you are so four months ago!)

This redesign has caused a slight delay in our Kickstarter reward fulfillment of the paperbacks, for which you have my humble apologies, but we’ll get things to you as soon as possible. And in the end, you’ll thank me, I think. The new book has a 2-inch spine (well, 1.94 inches, technically) and weighs 2.5 pounds. I’ve shared a photo of my 9-year-old daughter reading it. She thought it was pretty awesome. But we’re all glad it wasn’t any bigger!

The Renegat will be released Sept. 17, but you can preorder it in ebook here. And if you supported the Kickstarter, you should already have received an electronic copy. If you haven’t, please let us know here.

And now, I have a very large proof that I can’t wait to review.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.