Somewhere, I’m told, it is Spring.

tomatoes-in-snow-hat

However here, it is still too cold to put tomatoes into the ground, unless I want to resort to things like cold frames or water jackets or smudge pots or whatever, which I most certainly do not. It is unseasonably cold around here. My Mason Bees have yet to hatch, which is annoying, as my cherry trees are in full bloom, and that was sort of the point.

So I see a number of people commenting on our resolution with Night Shade and Skyhorse. One question I saw (which I have seen elsewhere) is “Why don’t you self-publish your novels like you do your comics?” Well, we could, of course. But we don’t want to. Aside from the base concept, publishing comics and publishing books are two entirely different things. It’s an entirely different market, served by entirely different distribution networks and governed by rules that we really don’t know enough about.

Plus, and this is important, it’s really nice to have money coming in without having to worry about whether it’s more than we put out. As I have said, a thousand times before, printing is expensive. If another corporate entity is willing to foot that bill, along with the bill for editing, shipping, cover art, and advertising, then more power to them!

In addition, there is a thing called “perceived value”. Putting it simply, People in the Entertainment Business will pay more attention to a property if other people have indicated that they think that it has the potential to make them money. Sure, I could self-publish my book, and do very well with it, but I’m not floating anyone else’s boat. However, when Titan (for example), actually invests money in our book, they are saying to the world, “Hey, we think this thing will make us money.” Ideally, then other people will go, “Hey, Titan usually knows what they’re talking about– can we get a piece of that?”, and soon you’ve got Girl Genius underoos®. Plus, if you do everything yourself, then no one cares how well you do. But now Titan (to continue our example) has a stake in how well we do. It is in their best interest for Girl Genius to become a pop culture juggernaut, so hopefully they would place ads, sponsor book tours, and bribe reviewers (Just kidding! No one sponsors book tours anymore). This is also why it would be much better if an established company stepped up and did a Girl Genius video game, or movie, or line of laboratory glassware, instead of us doing it ourselves.

Now this is not to say that if the book publishing business becomes as horrible as the comics publishing business we won’t bite the bullet and Do It Ourselves, but until that happens, we’re perfectly happy to leave it in the hands of the professionals.