Ebooks can ‘mine’ the archives of great writers: The case of Kurt Vonnegut

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Traditional publishing typically turns to the archives of important writers after their death.

Posthumous traditional Kurt Vonnegut titles include:

  •                 Three anthologies of previously unpublished short fiction and nonfiction
  •                 A book of his correspondence edited by Dan Wakefield
  •                 A collection of his writing from the Library of America
  •                 A forthcoming book of his paintings from Monacelli Press

And more projects in the future.

Digital originals from Vonnegut’s previously unpublished or uncollected works have created new title assets which have supported cross merchandising of the entire Vonnegut catalog in print and digital, including his more famous works.

Basic Training, a 50-year-old never published novella, made worldwide news as a Kindle Single.

Basic Training and the four chapters of Vonnegut’s unfinished final novel were published by Vanguard Press in both print and e-book as You Are What You Intend to Be: First Works and Last Works.

The Kindle Serial Program published a collection of unpublished fiction and nonfiction titled Sucker’s Portfoliowhich has been a Kindle 25 title as well as a Kindle Daily Deal.

And now If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young by Kurt Vonnegut edited by Dan Wakefield turns Vonnegut’s commencement addresses into a compelling narrative which captures Vonnegut’s spirit, attraction to young people and unique voice. Commencement addresses are not typically the fare of books. Steve Jobs can cause an Internet sensation with one commencement address. Here Vonnegut gains the full support of Amazon – a Kindle exclusive, Amazon print on demand, Audible audio download and Brilliance DVD audiobooks – to expose this book in graduation season to millions.

RosettaBooks, which has initiated all of these Vonnegut digital originals, for this newest project has partnered with Democrasoft, developer of WeJIT.

Vonnegut is well known for his “Vonnegutisms.” The back of this new book lists many of Vonnegut’s most famous short quotes. The WeJIT invites Vonnegut fans to contribute their own favorite Vonnegutism. We are forming a direct bond between Vonnegut and his legions of fans.

New (social) media indeed – all achieved with an author who died in 2007 without the need for a medium.

Expert Publishing Blog
Arthur Klebanoff

About Arthur Klebanoff

Arthur Klebanoff is the founder and CEO of RosettaBooks, a leading independent eBook publisher. RosettaBooks offers 500 eBooks worldwide including such classic titles as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey as well as the major works of Kurt Vonnegut, Winston Churchill and Arthur C. Clarke.

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