Tuesday, July 13, 2010

David Carnoy: from iPhone app to hardcover publication

In an interesting article for Publishing Perspectives, CBS Interactive Executive Editor and nascent mystery writer David Carnoy shares the intriguing publication journey taken by his debut thriller novel KNIFE MUSIC, and discusses how he negotiated the leap from DIY (do it yourself) digital publishing to conventional print publishing.

Carnoy originally released KNIFE MUSIC as an iPhone app (it was first rejected on grounds of obscenity). It eventually went on to sell 30,000 copies as e-books for the Kindle and Sony Reader, and paperbacks from Amazon’s BookSurge (a self-publishing service provided by the online bookselling giant). KNIFE MUSIC's digital publishing success then attracted the attention of The Overlook Press, which has just released Carnoy's mystery debut as a hardcover. Apparently KNIFE MUSIC may be the first iPhone app to actually turn into a publishing contract.

In the article, which is well worth reading, Carnoy also discusses how publishing has and is changing in the digital age, and how some authors are finding they need to be much more hands-on when it comes to the 'selling' part of the publication equation. "In this DIY world, you’ve got to bury your pride and occasionally be the reporter and the subject of your own articles," says Carnoy, who goes on to conduct a Q&A with himself about the journey he took.

You can read Carnoy's full article/Q&A here.

The blurb for KNIFE MUSIC says, "Kristen Kroiter was 16, a high-school sophomore injured in a car accident. Dr. Ted Cogan had saved her life when he treated her in the ER six months ago—but now police detectives were questioning Cogan about her, in intimate detail. What was going on? What had she told them? That’s just it, the cops said. She hadn’t told them anything. She had died. Looked like a suicide. And Cogan was in a heap of trouble.

Tense and twisting, Knife Music is the story of a doctor struggling to clear his name after being accused of raping and causing the suicide of a young girl. The novel pits Cogan, a 43-year-old surgeon and self- described womanizer, against Hank Madden, a handicapped veteran detective. From the outset it’s not clear who is victim and who is victimizer, as the usually dispassionate Madden grapples with his long-suppressed prejudices and his obsession with bringing Ted Cogan to justice at any cost—to the doctor or himself."
You can read more about Carnoy himself, and the research he undertook for the novel (including donning scrubs to get behind the scenes in trauma centres), here.
You can read the first couple of chapters of KNIFE MUSIC here.
Do you think authors need to become more tech-savvy and hands-on to succeed in the changing publishing landscape? How do you decide what books to read? Are you a fan of any of your favourite authors on sites like Facebook? Do you get many of your author/book recommendations online? Do you like the sound of KNIFE MUSIC? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. In short I think authors will have to become more familiar with technology and social media - in ten or twenty years I think the publishing landscape will be unrecognisable from what it is today. That said though they have to really understand the new stuff not just sign up for a blog and a twitter account and have at it because most of the authors who do that indulge in nothing but BSP which is plain boring. I don't have a personal facebook account and never will but I do follow a few authors on twitter and read a few author blogs - though I have to say I have stopped following loads more than I follow (due to the aforementioned BSP overload). The only books I've read from authors I have discovered online are where their blog/twitter feed has interesting content and I feel that I might enjoy their fiction writing too.