Winter’s world just got a little bigger

by M.J. Hearle

One of the most thrilling things that happened when Winter’s Shadow first came out were the emails I received from international readers expressing interest in my book. Of course any interest at all was exciting, but at least I could understand when it came from an Aussie. The book was, after all, available in stores across the country so it was perfectly conceivable that it might peak someone’s curiosity.

International readers, though, really had to be die-hard fans of the genre to be aware of Winter’s existence and I guess it’s a testament to the book’s passionate Aussie fans that there was any awareness at all for them to pick up on. In those first few months after the book’s publication not a week would go by without an email from someone in the US, Canada, UK, Romania, Vietnam etc. asking about where they might get a copy. And so it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to give them a definite answer.

I can finally announce that Winter’s Shadow and Winter’s Light will be available for digital download internationally probably by the time you read this. That means whatever your location, you’ll be able to hop onto iTunes or Amazon and purchase a copy to read on your computer, tablet or smartphone. A year ago, when my publisher first offered this option both my agent and I balked at the idea. There seemed something lesser about having the book be nothing but ‘1’s and ‘0’s floating around in cyberspace. A book had more significance when you could actually place it on the shelf.

In the ensuing time though, my perception has shifted considerably. The concept of reading books on a device no longer has any stigma attached to it, if it ever did at all. I’ve downloaded digi books to my tablet and enjoyed reading them just as much as if I’d read them in the traditional format. Ultimately, it’s the words that matter, not the medium where they exist. I’ll never stop reading books – the rustle of the pages is something I’m just not willing to give up – but I’ll happily pick up a tablet when that’s more convenient. And I guess that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day – convenience. If international readers are curious about my book they’ll no longer have to hunt for links that offer free shipping (though that option still exists), they’ll be able to download it immediately.

From the moment I knew Winter’s Shadow was going to be published, I dreamt of being able to share the story with the largest possible readership.

Now, I can.