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Friday, September 30, 2011

We Midwife Mark Osmun's Press Release: Piggybacking Onto Public Domain Dickens

In a smart move, Mark Osmun recently ePubbed his prequel "Marley's Ghost" along with its source-code, Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol." In a series of Facebook posts, I pointed out to Mark he seems to have created a genre and ought to stake a claim to it. Here's his press release, which, I now realize, I can claim to having midwived. (I believe that is the right usage):

Thanks to the advent of e-publishing, there’s a new trend coming to the publishing world―prequels, paired with their public domain originals. The beginning of the Literary Two-Fer.

Publishers may have thought of this before (say, pairing Ahab’s Wife with Moby Dick) but discarded the notion: the increased page-count would wreck the bottom line.
But that hurdle is gone now.

First to realize this new e-pub advantage is Mark Osmun, author of Marley’s Ghost the 2000 prequel to A Christmas Carol. First published traditionally and reaching #126 on Amazon’s bestseller list, the novel went out of print. So Osmun brought it back, first as a print-on-demand book (via Lulu) and then as an epub book for Amazon’s Kindle ( But this time, he added all of Dickens’s original Carol, a perennial bestseller.

“There’s no added cost in producing both books together,” said Osmun, “so why not give readers both novels?”

In addition, the marketing potential increases dramatically. Since A Christmas Carol is a perennial bestseller, pairing it with Marley’s Ghost gives readers a bonus at no extra cost and helps Osmun’s sales.

Look for mainstream publishers to jump on this strategy once they learn of it ( perhaps Wide Sargasso Sea & Jane Eyre; Wicked & The Wizard of Oz; Finn & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, etc.).

Upon hearing of the new approach, author Don Wallace (One Great Game) quipped, “Imagine the possibilities: my bawdy limerick, plus The Bible as a bonus. But he's (Osmun) done it and now the floodgates are wide open.”

“The trouble with being the first to do something is that it’s not a trend until others follow,” Osmun said. “But watch: others will follow. It just makes too much sense.”

Marley's Ghost & A Christmas Carol

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