Sep 9, 2010

I For One Welcome Our Angry Robot Overlords

Angry Robot is the newest kid on the publishing block. Originally born of HarperCollins UK, they made a big splash in the UK before being adopted by Osprey Publishing Group earlier this year. After a slight transition period, they've re-emerged ready to take over the world. As of September 1st, those lofty aspirations are firmly directed toward another prodigal son of the British Empire, the U.S. of A.

Now, if you happen to know anyone born after you, they are most likely more comfortable with technology and far better at it, than you were at a comparative age. Angry Robot, along side Pyr, represents the gold standard of what an internet savvy publishers should be. Not only have they embraced the blogosphere with their frequently updated blog, they've also organized one of the best virtual street teams, suitably referred to as their Robot Army. I also think every Angry Robot author is on Twitter, which is surprisingly uncommon.

But that's all just good marketing. Where Angry Robot really sets themselves apart is their willingness to embrace the digital publishing revolution. Where larger older publishers insist on price points to rival the hardcover editions and locking down their books like the newest Harry Potter manuscript, Angry Robot's eBook approach embraces 3 key principles:
  • DRM-Free
  • Sensibly-priced
  • No territory restrictions
And that's not Terry Goodkind "sensibly-priced" at $39.12, that's $3.99 for a Kindle edition, half that of the physical MMPB. $3.99 is about the same price as a substandard fast food meal and is definitely within the impulse range that is critical for less established authors. I don't think a text-only eBooks should ever go above $5.00 and Angry Robot seems to agree. And when you buy their book, you can keep their book none of that DRM nonsense that locks a book into the life of a single device.

Regarding the catalogue itself, I'm not going to lie to you and pretend that every book in the Angry Robot batting order is a home run hitter. I like Angry Robot and their approach to publishing but they don't pay me anything.

On the other hand, I have read enough of the Angry Robot books have no qualms about saying that, while every book might not be perfect for you, you will absolutely love at least a few books in their eclectic catalog. And those aforementioned home run hitters do exist, specifically in Lauren Beukes' Moxyland, a veritable Jackson Pollack of ideas and Kaaron Warren's profoundly disturbing portrait of a sociopath in Slights. Out of the several Angry Robot books I've read so far, those two were the most impressive.

If you are interested in finding some quality fiction at a decent price from a publisher worth supporting, here are the main titles leading the Robot Army's charge. 
September (Available Now)
Kell's Legend - Andy Remic
Moxyland - Lauren Beukes - My Review
Sixty-One Nails - Mike Shevdon - Review Planned
Slights - Kaaron Warren - Review Forthcoming
Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero - Dan Abnett
Winter Song - Colin Harvey

October (Available September 28th)
Angel of Death - J Robert King - Review Planned
The Bookman - Lavie Tidhar - Review Forthcoming
Crown of the Blood - Gav Thorpe
Edge by Thomas Blackthorne
King Maker: The Knights of Breton Court - Maurice Broaddus - Review Forthcoming
Nekropolis - Tim Waggoner - My Review

November (Available October 26th)
Book of Secrets - Chris Roberson
City of Dreams & Nightmare - Ian Whates
Damage Time - Colin Harvey
Road to Bedlam - Mike Shevdon
Servant of the Underworld - Aliette de Bodard - Review Forthcoming
Soul Stealers - Andy Remic

1 comment:

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