HUGE BUNDLE DIGITAL BOOK SALE, TODAY ONLY

Submitted the challenge by Spoonflower’s deadline, so hey, back to HUGE BUNDLE DIGITAL BOOK SALE, TODAY ONLY. 🙂

Also known as: I Can’t Believe How Long the Last Day of the Trump Presidency Is, I Really Need Some More Books to Get Through The Day Flash Digital Sale

I don’t think we have bandwidth to set up a Shopify page and all that today, but if you’d like to get in on this, let’s just do it via PayPal (which also takes credit cards).

I just need to know if you want:

a) just 3 books of fiction ($11.99) (Bodies in Motion is immigrant fiction, The Stars Change is a science fiction novella, Perennial is an illustrated romance story)

b) fiction + Feast ($34.99)

c) fiction + pre-order of Vegan ($34.99)

d) fiction + Feast + pre-order of Vegan ($60 –> bargain, but note that there’s significant overlap between Feast and Vegan; you’ll be getting about 40 new recipes in Vegan)

PayPal to m@mamohanraj.com or Venmo to @MaryAnne-Mohanraj, noting the e-mail address you’d like the books sent to. Will default to PDF + Kindle when I have it, but if you’d prefer ePub or PDF instead of Kindle when possible, let me know that too. If you can comment below, I’ll know to look for it! Whew!

I only slept three hours last night, but I think tracking PayPal and sending files back out is within my hazy capabilities. 🙂

Writing / Press Release Calendar for 2021

So, making a writing / press release calendar for 2021, as I try to move Serendib Press towards producing more texts. It’s complicated! Some things I need to confirm schedule with other people before locking it down, but trying to figure out an optimal schedule can’t hurt. If I have the release dates planned out, then we can then work backwards from those to figure out production and publicity schedules for all of them.

One big thing I’m planning to add is a Patreon tier aimed at supporting RPG modules in my sci-fi universe, with a goal of sending Patrons the base game in January (I’m going to give it a revision pass today, but it’s in pretty good shape now, so I should be able to send it out tomorrow), and then a new module (each one set on a different planet, I think, ideally each tied to a different short story), every month in 2021.

That should serve a triple purpose for me — helping to build up the Patreon support (with the goal of moving towards more writing, less teaching), helping to keep me focused on that world and those stories, doing more world-building, and serving as publicity for the forthcoming Jump Space anthology. Also, RPGs are fun. 🙂

We’re also bringing out the MRAH podcast, Vegan Serendib, a digital edition of my very first book (for the first time), an expanded edition of Marshmallows of Serendib (since I’ve come up with a bunch more recipes), possibly with a picture book, and coordinating publicity with a picture book and the SF collection from other presses.

Calendars. The master calendar is my friend.

*****

January 1: Jump Space RPG: (Patreon-only)

February 1: Mohanraj & Rosenbaum are Humans podcast launch (video access for Kickstarter & Patreon supporters only)
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

February 7 (tied to Valentine’s Day): Torn Shapes of Desire (erotic fiction and poetry, reissue of my very first book in its first digital edition)

March 1:
Feast of Serendib book birthday
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

April 1: Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

May 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

June 1: Vegan Serendib
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

July 1: Fingers and Spoons picture book

Aug 1: Sri Lankan SF/F anthology
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

Sept 1: Jump Space book (Constellation and Riverdale Avenue presses) — Jed Hartman, is this the timing we’d planned on?
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

Oct 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

Nov 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

December 1: The Marshmallows of Serendib expanded edition release
+ possible Marshmallow picture book?
+ Christmas Star story as picture book?
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

Chock-Full

The last of the December treat boxes have gone out, at the top Interstellar level, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive how much I can jam into a large Priority Mail box. Chock-full! I couldn’t fit it all into one photo — there’s a sweets layer, and a bath layer, and a textiles (infinity scarves, tea towels) & stationery (greeting cards) layer. I hope the recipients are delighted. 🙂 The next boxes go out in March — theme: Unicorn Garden.

I’m limiting the number of these I offer, because I want to be sure not to exceed my capacity, so there’s only 2 subscriptions left at this level currently.. Reminder that if you sign up at any of my Patreon levels for a year (what a great gift!), you get 4 quarterly shipments sent to you, AND 10% off for the annual subscription. 🙂

Tentative Publishing Calendar for 2021:

January: Mohanraj and Rosenbaum are Humans podcast launch

February: re-release of Torn Shapes of Desire: Internet Erotica, digital edition, Serendib Press, just in time for Valentine’s Day. My first book, coming back — blast from the past. 🙂

June 1: Vegan Serendib, woot!

Fall (or maybe August, so we can have it out in time for classroom orders? I’m not sure what the ideal timetable is for picture books, when teachers and libraries are placing their orders): biracial child picture book

*****

TBD: Jump Space collection (Constellation Press)

TBD: Assuming You Survive Fantasy Graphic Novel, Volume 1 (co-authored withMargaret Treanor Frey)

TBD, but I’m thinking December 1: Sri Lankan speculative fiction anthology

An Anthology of Sri Lankan Speculative Fiction

And while we’re talking about book projects and presses, I’ll note here that I’m planning to publish an anthology of Sri Lankan speculative fiction in 2021. I haven’t put together a call yet, and there are fair number of details to be worked out, but I’m excited to bring together homeland and diaspora authors in a collection that showcases our best work.

I’ve already confirmed a story of Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s for inclusion (which reminds me, I have to go pick up a copy of his “The Salvage Crew”ASAP, looking forward to sinking into it over the holidays), and I’m hoping to secure stories from a host of other fine authors.

I always wanted Serendib Press to publish people other than myself, and I think I’m finally in a position to start moving forward with that. Really pleased that our first project along those lines will be a Sri Lankan one; it just feels so appropriate. 🙂

Now I just need a title. Dammit. (Suggestions welcome.)

(And if you’re a Sri Lankan speculative fiction author, please drop me a note at mohanraj@mamohanraj.com — I want to be sure you get a copy of the call for submissions when it’s ready.)

The Vegan Serendib Timeline

I woke up thinking about how goofy it was to be pushing so hard to get out Vegan Serendib for Christmas. I mean, yes, we COULD do it, and Christmas sales are significant. But it would be very hard, and not done well in terms of promotion.

I ended up sending this message to the Serendib Press team on Slack, copying it here in case anyone is interested in how a teeny tiny press figures out a little bit more about how we ought to be doing things.

We’ll make it to professional eventually. Someday, I’d love to publish other peoples’ books too, but I figure we should make all the mistakes on my books first. 🙂

*****

Hey, team. So I’ve been thinking about the timeline for Vegan Serendib and I think it’s putting too much time pressure on all of us to get that done, especially me and Stephanie, and there’s really no reason we have to have it for Christmas. We might get a few extra Christmas sales, but it’s not worth doing it badly or killing ourselves.

So I had another thought — since this is the second edition, one thing we could do is set a launch date for say, May 1, 2021, which gives us a proper six-month timeline for promotion. You can start working now on the press releases for that, and start sending them in the next few weeks, giving us a chance at some magazine coverage. We won’t have physical copies to send out right away, but should have them by end of the year, I think.

And then another thing we can do is start taking pre-orders AND say that anyone who pre-orders we’ll immediately send them a digital copy of the first sampler edition of Vegan Serendib (bonus), so they can start cooking right away. Then they’ll get the full volume next May. I think overall, that makes a lot more sense. What do you think?

If we do this, then I think the next step is to ask Stephanie to go back through what we did for Feast, and make a calendar for what we’re aiming to have done each month in the next six months. Some of the things:

OCT/NOV:
finalize 40 new recipes (MA)
retake photos as needed (MA)
revise intro materials (MA)
talk to Ingram Spark and figure out what they need and when (Stephanie)
draft new press release for Vegan (Stephanie?)
draft back cover copy for Vegan (Stephanie?)
ask Jeremy John Parker to do final cover design (and pay him) (Stephanie)
figure out who we want to send copies to for review (Stephanie)
put up pre-order page for Vegan (Stephanie?)

plan some kind of holiday promotion for both books (Stephanie)

DEC:
redo interior design (Stephanie)
re-index (can we do this in house? Anyone here interested in learning how to index?)

copyedit and proofread (Darius or Emmanuel or both? check with Jed re: errors from Feast we want to correct here too)

EVERY MONTH:
keep making cooking videos — maybe one every two weeks (MA and Darius)

start writing food essays and sending them out (MA, who needs deadlines for this clearly, so maybe one every two weeks)

JAN/FEB/MAR/APR/MAY (promotion):
set up virtual cooking classes?
book more virtual events?

depending on COVID, maybe an outdoor in-person event in May for launch day?

And heck, while we’re calendaring, we can look ahead to the NEXT book, which should be Gluten-Free Serendib. Let’s say we aim for December 1, 2021 launch of that.

JAN/FEB/MAR:

develop recipes for GF (MA)

APR/MAY:
design / index / copyedit / proofread book (Stephanie and team)

draft press releases for GF, update press database, send out first wave

etc…

Ten Minute With

“Ten minutes with… is a special series presented by Coode Street that sees readers and booklovers from around the world talk about what they’re reading right now and what’s getting them through these difficult times.

“Writer, professor, and Strange Horizons founder Mary Anne Mohanraj chats with Gary about…”

Episode 523: Ten Minutes with Mary Anne Mohanraj

Ten minutes with… is a special series presented by Coode Street that sees readers and booklovers from around the world talk about what they’re reading right now and what’s getting them through these difficult times.

Corvallis Gazette Times Piece

And this piece appeared in the Corvallis Gazette Times (Corvallis, Oregon):

Sri Lankan food offers strong flavors

Mary Anne Mohanraj missed a lot of things when she went off to college, but the thing she was most homesick for was her mother’s cooking. When her parents immigrated to Connecticut from Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1973, they brought with them their fiery curries, coconut sambols and countless rice dishes.

We Made it to Sri Lanka’s Daily News!

I’m finding myself totally curious about how newspaper articles work, because Gretchen McKay’s terrific piece on A Feast of Serendib has made its way from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Sri Lanka’s Daily News! Would she have pitched them this piece? Do newspapers keep an eye out for pieces of interest and then buy reprint rights? Inquiring writer minds want to know. 🙂

But regardless, delighted to have such a lovely piece in the homeland major paper!

Mary Anne Mohanraj: Keeping the flavours of Sri Lanka alive in USA

Mary Anne Mohanraj missed a lot of things when she went off to college, but the thing she was most homesick for was her mother’s cooking. When her parents immigrated to Connecticut from Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1973, they brought with them their fiery curries, coconut sambols and countless rice dishes.

The Fun Part of Being a Writer

It’s definitely more efficient to have distributors getting books into stores, to have people ordering from their local indie bookstores, from Amazon, etc. The bulk of my book sales should come from there, hopefully!

But there is something very satisfying about getting up in the morning, signing a book, sticking in a postcard or two, putting it in an envelope, with a cute little sticker on the back, adding postage, and walking it down to my mailbox on the corner. Very fun part of being a writer.