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47North is a publishing imprint of Amazon Publishing, the publishing company of Amazon.com. It is the seventh imprint begun under the parent company Amazon Publishing, and publishes speculative fiction under three main genres: fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Its inaugural date is October 2011, when it launched with 15 initial books.
In October 2011, Amazon Publishing announced its seventh imprint, 47North, named for the latitude coordinates of Seattle, where Amazon headquarters are. 47North is an imprint publishing novels and shorter stories in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres; often collectively referred to in the publishing world as Speculative Fiction. To promote its initial launch, Amazon.com put out a press release on its website detailing the prospective books and authors it would be publishing, beginning in October 2011, with science fiction material beginning to be published in January 2012. To date they have published dozens of titles under all three genres.
When 47North’s publishing effort initiated in October 2011, it began by publishing Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin’s book Face of Evil, first in the two authors’ “Dead Man” series, followed shortly by several sequels in quick succession, with the remainder to be published one book per month thereafter. Also listed as notable at the imprint’s inauguration were titles like Against the Light by Dave Duncan and Resurrection by Arwen Elys Dayton, both published in January 2012. Resurrection was an out-of-print science fiction classic for years before 47North re-published it. Early on, 47 North featured the Foreworld Saga (a multi-book “historical fantasy” epic) by Hugo and Nebula Award winning authors Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear and an ensemble team of authors new and established. Also on the original list was Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson.
Other titles published later include books by Jeff Wheeler (author of Fireblood and the Muirwood trilogy), Mark Teppo (author of Sinner and The Beast of Calatrava and co-author of the Foreworld Saga), Aaron Pogue (author of Oberon’s Dreams), S.D. Perry (author of The Summer Man), B. V. Larson (author of Technomancer and The Bone Triangle), Ransom Stephens (author of The God Patent and The Sensory Deception), Ania Ahlborn (author of The Shuddering), Paul Jones (author of the Extinction series), S. G. Redling (author of Damocles), Mark T. Barnes (author of The Garden of Stones).
Other 47North authors include Dana Cameron, Evan Currie, Andrew E. Kaufman, Robert Kroese, Stant Litore, Neve Maslakovic, and Richard Phillips. The imprint has also acquired books in the franchises of the Star Wars, Star Trek, and Transformers universes, such as Star Wars: The Blue Prints by J. W. Rinzler, Star Trek: Federation – The First 150 Years (which was published in November 2012), and Transformers: The Covenant of Primus by Justina Robson.
There is no clear submission information on the company’s website, but it is possible for an author to be furnished with submission guidelines, should they wish to submit to 47North. These guidelines include an admonition to only submit proposals and manuscripts to one imprint or editor at a time. If an author is represented by an agent, then the agent should submit the proposal himself. Submissions should include the following information: title and author in the subject line (submissions are received only by email), a short synopsis of the book, a brief biography and bibliography of the book’s author, a full or partial manuscript (submitted as a Microsoft Word file, Times New Roman font, size 12), a list of comparable authors and/or titles, as well as any marketing and PR strengths. This information was received by courtesy of Amazon Publishing, and the email address for 47North can be found on the publisher's web page.
"Amazon customers have a huge appetite for science fiction, fantasy and horror books, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce readers to new and established voices in these genres," said Victoria Griffith, Publisher, Amazon Publishing, West Coast Group. "We are especially happy to have a diverse list at launch, and look forward to publishing across a wide range of subgenres." (Amazon Press Release on the founding of the imprint. ) Examples of the mixing of sub-genres include books like Aric Davis’ supernatural horror book A Good and Useful Hurt, published in February 2012. 47North, as well as its sister imprints, functions similarly to other large publishers and does not charge its authors; it is a royalty-paying press, not a ‘vanity press.’
As well as covering a wide and eclectic range of subgenres within Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror, 47North has followed the example of previous Amazon Publishing imprints in their methods of acquisition and publishing: acquiring and publishing popular out-of-print titles such as Arwen Elys Dayton’s Resurrection, as well as publishing several successful self-published authors such as Aaron Pogue (who self-published the Dragonprince Trilogy), B. V. Larson (author and self-publisher of over 20 books in multiple genres), and Jeff Wheeler (author of 47North’s new release Fireblood). In addition, 47North has begun experimentation in new methods of publishing fiction material, with the implementation of their “Kindle Serials” format, wherein novels are released in ebook format in predetermined installments.
Since its founding, 47North has published many well-known independent authors. For the most part these include authors with a pre-established platform of readers, who have consistently sold large numbers of their books. This strategy has been employed among many large publishers, especially Hachette (publishers for authors Michael J. Sullivan and David Dalglish ), as well as Amazon Publishing’s other imprints, especially Montlake Romance (Amazon’s romance imprint) and Thomas & Mercer (Amazon’s mystery/thriller imprint). Because of the popularity of many self-published authors in the speculative fiction genres, 47North has a large percentage of authors formerly and/or currently self-publishing. Authors like Aaron Pogue have cited higher-than-usual royalties, greater control, and helpful staff as reasons for accepting 47North’s publishing contracts.
The Foreworld Saga is regularly featured on 47North’s website, and is another prominent example of the unusual methods of the company in acquisition and publishing. The Foreworld Saga story, now published in three volumes in ebook and print formats, began as an experimental “online subscription service” led by well-known authors Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, and Mark Teppo. Eventually joined by several more authors, the group collaborated to write a massive, multi-storyline work of fiction, what co-author Mark Teppo called an “serialized work-in-progress” chronicling the birth of Western Martial Arts. After the project’s completion, 47North acquired the story and re-published it in its current form. The project now spans three novels (the Mongoliad Trilogy) and an ever-increasing number of shorter works by various authors in the collaborative group. All stories in the Foreworld Saga are now published by 47North.
Kindle Serials is an unusual publishing project developed by Amazon Publishing that revives the concept of the serial novel: a story format that has seen little use in recent times. Speculative fiction authors can submit complete or in-progress works to 47North’s acquisitions team, and if accepted, they work with the publisher to release their novel in several episodes over a period of weeks. Readers purchase an ebook copy of the book once, and subsequent episodes are instantly delivered to them for free. On the completion of the serial novel, it is re-released as a complete novel in ebook and print form. Kindle Serials published by 47North include Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic: The Thirteenth Rib by David J. Schwartz, and The Outer Rims by Clint Morey.
47North also publishes a wide array of short fiction (fiction not long enough to be considered a novel). In the history of publishing it has been difficult to publish short fiction because of the impracticality of printing short stories, novelettes, and novellas (outside of magazines). With the advent of the ebook, however, publishers are easier able to publish shorter works. 47North publishes many non-novel stories, some as portions of a larger whole (for example, the Oz Reimagined anthology, edited by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen), and others as stand-alone stories in various genres. Examples of shorter fiction published by 47North include Oz Reimagined: The Boy Detective of Oz: An Otherland Story by Tad Williams and Seer: A Foreworld Sidequest by Mark Teppo.