Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Ebook: Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie

Last year I acquired a Kindle so I could more easily take multiple books with me while traveling. I quickly discovered that while I love books, I also love the convenience of an ebook reader and now read from it more than paper books. I've been busily adding ebooks to my personal library ever since. For that reason, I've decided to do the little extra work to make the books prettier and offer them to other readers, too.

Yesterday on Amazon, I launched the first book in a "Women in Folklore" series I have in the works. The first volume is The Fairy Tale Fiction of Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie. I've scanned and edited the texts of Ritchie's nine fairy tale revisions, all short stories or novellas from her Five Old Friends and Bluebeard's Keys and Other Stories.

I've also written a new introduction and added "Bluebeard's Ghost" by her father William Makepiece Thackeray as well as her introduction to The Fairy Tales of Madame D'Aulnoy. Some of these pieces are available on SurLaLune, but many of them aren't. Most are unavailable in an easily readable--or proofed--format on the web.

Ritchie's work has remained obscure but is an intriguing entry in the long timeline of women and folklore. A few scholars have studied her fairy tale writings, but mostly she is overlooked. I include a reading list in the book, too, for further reading.

If I find there is an interest in this and my other upcoming titles, I will consider offering them in other electronic formats (ePub, Sony, Microsoft, etc.) and even print editions. The electronic versions can be offered at less expensive prices, but I understand the appeal of a printed copy. I imagine most of these titles will be of interest to a very select and small audience, so I've decided not to use the traditional route of publishing them with an established publisher. I prefer that method for most books I read and purchase myself but most of my planned titles are cost prohibitive for a publisher. This volume, for example, would be roughly 700 to 800 pages in print. Paper facsimile reprints of Bluebeard's Keys alone are usually priced in the $40 range. This ebook offers that title, plus another full book and several extras, some unique to this publication.

The next SurLaLune title will be available within the next week and I will write more about it here when I launch it.

If you are interested in this and other titles--I know I haven't announced them yet, but soon!--please post here or email me to let me know about your preferred formats. I'm doing all of the work on these books myself excepting the cover designs by my wonderful husband. That means all of the work from research to compiling to editing to formatting to writing is mine, so I would like to know where to focus if there are specific demands or interests. Otherwise, I will just continue with my own interests and instincts.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Heidi,
    I would love to be able to buy and read this book, it looks brilliant, but I'm in the UK and we still don't have Kindles over here (and aren't likely to for the foreseeable future because the wireless technology they use is incompatible with the network we use in Europe). I wondered if you'd considered a service like for producing a printed version. I've ordered books off illustrator's websites through them, they're lovely quality, and it's my understanding that the person putting the book up there only has to buy one copy and then anyone can go on and order it from anywhere in the world. A quick look at their pricing here ( shows a maximum of 440 pages, so for a book of this length I suppose you would need two volumes - it's just a thought and if you don't go down the road of producing printed versions I'll make sure I buy the ebook when the Kindle finally arrives here or when my budget can stretch to a sony! Claire