Today is the official release date for JC Hutchins' Personal Effects: Dark Art in US Bookstores. My copy is shipping from Amazon very shortly, and I can't wait to get my hands on it and sift through all that mystery goodness - oh, and to read it, of course.
If you've been living under a rock for the past few months and don't know what PE:DA is all about, start by watching this video by the author:
And if you're not already, then you should be listening to the exclusive Prequel Novella, Personal Effects: Sword of Blood.
Hutchins is also regularly updating his site today as PE:DA marches up the chart, with an all day online party. If you're in the US and can get to a bookstore, go grab your copy and email JC a photo of your with your book, so he can add it to the growing page of happy fans.
But there's another very important thing to remember here: For a few years now, writers like JC Hutchins, Scott Sigler, Mur Lafferty and others have been entertaining their growing fanbases by releasing their work for free as podcast novels. Creating anything as involved as an audiodrama takes a huge amount of effort, energy, time and passion, and all of this for virtually no reward in the short term. Getting a book deal is more than just a payday for these writers - it's a vindication. It's proof that the fans who are so willing to gobble up their stories for free also want to see these writers succeed, so that they can put their day jobs aside and focus, full-time (instead of at between 10pm and 3am), on writing more great stories to entertain those fans.
That's what this is all about. There is a nut here to be cracked, and it's not just about Hutchins, or PE:DA. It's about showing the publishing world that there is some good to be acheived by relinquishing their greedy clutches on writers' material, and adopting new business models that make the most of today's wired society.
I know that I wouldn't be writing this blog had it not been for my stumbling across the free (and stunning) Audiobook Drama Hoad's Grim by Jack Kincaid late last year, and I wouldn't have bought PE:DA either, because I never would've heard about it.
Hutchins et al are at the forefront of a revolution of published fiction as we know it. We'll look back on these heady days in years to come and be inspired by their vision and their sacrifice.
This is the future of fiction, folks. Make yourself a part of it.