Announcing: The Gateway Essentials!

You’ll have seen some new cover styles popping up wherever you buy your eBooks and you might have wondered what, if anything, they meant?

We’re glad you asked! This week, we launch a new initiative on the SF Gateway: the Gateway Essentials.

There are now more than 3,000 titles in the SF Gateway.  Our aim – which was to build the most comprehensive backlist library of sf and fantasy ever assembled – has in large part been achieved.  Of course, there are authors we would love to feature who are unavailable because the rights are held elsewhere, or because we haven’t yet been able to finalise an agreement, but we’ve achieved more than we could have hoped for when we launched Gateway in 2011.

It was always part of our promise to authors that if we included their work we would include all of their available work (provided they were happy for it to be republished).  Often an author’s favourite among their backlist is not their bestselling or most famous book.

But that very success has created its own problem of discoverability within those 3,000 titles, and to help with this we are launching Gateway Essentials – around 500 of the 3,000 titles which we would recommend as the first titles to try from a wide variety of the authors.

If you have never read Robert Silverberg (say) and want to sample his work, the first port of call should probably be his titles in our SF Masterworks collection.  But there are only three titles (so far) – The Book of Skulls, Dying Inside and Downward to the Earth – and excellent as they all are, Silverberg has been at the top of his profession for more than half a century and there are more than 80 of his titles in Gateway.

Where to go next?  The Silverberg titles in the Gateway Essentials list are one answer.  There are twenty of them, which we have selected for initial inclusion, any of which should potentially appeal to any reader.  We have given them all new and distinctive covers.

Once you’ve raced your way through those, there are still plenty of Silverberg novels and collections left to try, but we’d hope that, by then, you’ll know his work well enough to read the descriptions of the others and decide which to enjoy next.  And if you want to try other authors, their Gateway Essentials titles (and Masterworks, if any) provide a tried and tested first experience.

To begin with, we’ve chosen to spotlight on our homepage four titles whose covers have received a face lift, marking them out as books we think make good introductions to the authors in question:

Over the coming weeks we’ll be spotlighting more Gateway Essentials on the blog, and you should see the covers update on the Gateway website. These new editons are already available via all of your favourite retail sites. We’ll be working away to add the Gateway Essentials to the authors’ pages with the goal of making it easier than ever for you to discover accessible entry points to our authors and to navigate the bewildering array of titles we publish.

Happy reading!