Hi everyone! I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself and to welcome you all to the Meisha Merlin family! My name's Alan Siler and I do Marketing and PR (among many other things!) for Meisha Merlin Publishing. I've been in contact with Jean, Jacqueline and Cherri quite a bit over the past few weeks. I also recently signed up on the Simegen-L listserve. While I was awaiting approval for my ubscription, I went back through the archives a bit. I went back as far "The Big Announcement". I was a little surprised at the responses to the announcement: not at the exhuberance of Sime~Gen fans, but that so many of the people who responded knew of Meisha Merlin and had such wonderful things to say about us! That was very nice to see.
For those who are new to us, Meisha Merlin is an independent publishing company that was founded in 1997 and has grown very rapidly in the past 5 years. We started life in '97 with just two titles: an omnibus reprint by Lee Killough and a short story chapbook by Storm Constantine. The first title that we published in both trade paperback and hard cover was in 1999. In 2002 we have 21 books that are either out or are on their way, most of them in both hard and soft cover (the Sime~Gen books will be released in both formats as well). In our five years, we've released 61 titles total, our 2003 schedule is finalized, and 2004 half-way so.
I've told Cherri that we will be at WorldCon this year, so we look forward to meeting a lot of you. In fact, schedule permitting, I definitely plan to put in an appearance at the Sime~Gen party.
One of the things that made the Sime~Gen books so appealing to us, aside from the brilliant and utterly fascinating premise, is the fan base that Jean and Jacqueline have. As I was telling Cherri, the fans will be a key factor in the success of this project. Here's an example: When we signed on Sharon Lee and Steve Miller a few years ago, they came to us with a little trilogy of books from 12 years earlier and a group of hardcore fans that had been loyal to them for over a decade. Those fans rallied around the announcement that their favourite series was being reprinted and expanded with new titles, and were instrumental in helping to spread the word to new audiences. Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe ® novels are now our biggest selling series. Ace has just started printing all seven books in mass-market format, and that has increased our sales even more. The most recent title, I Dare, has hit the best seller list on Amazon (our first time ever!) and in Locus Magazine: in fact, in the June issue of Locus, I Dare was the only non-Tolkien title in the Trade list!
It seems that with the excitement of Sime~Gen fans, we have the opportunity to have the same thing happen again. Feel free to contact me anytime (either on list or off). I look forward to hearing from you, and meeting you at conventions. And I look forward to working together with you to make the Sime~Gen series a huge success!
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.