Ed Greenwood is best known by fans of fantasy novels and gaming as the bearded creator of the Forgotten Realms universe for Dungeons and Dragons. Over the past 30 years, Greenwood, who lives in an old farmhouse in eastern Ontario, has published more than 200 fantasy and science-fiction novels. This fall, he is launching an unconventional publishing group of his own, called The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG), where he will focus on titles—as well as games and art—involving newly created fantasy worlds.
“Over the years, Forgotten Realms and gaming have taken me all over the world and made me all sorts of new friends," he said. "That, for me, is the payoff—the fact that I’m not alone, sitting there creating this thing in my head.”
The first book published by TEGG will be Your World is Doomed by Greenwood himself, with cover art from Eric Belisle. The book, to be published on Halloween, will be the first set in a demon-filled urban fantasy world called Hellmaw. Working with other writers, Greenwood plans to publish novels in genres ranging from space opera to spy thriller to steampunk. TEGG will also produce games, jewellery, costumes, and other objects inspired by these fantasy settings. Greenwood has already signed up more than 100 authors, 30 game designers, and 50 artisans interested in getting involved.
Wisconsin-based ACD Distribution, a major distributor of gaming products, will handle TEGG books and other items. Meanwhile, TEGG has reached a deal with Trajectory Inc. for e-book distribution, and Trapdoor Technologies for enhanced e-books. The books will be available in all formats simultaneously. The publisher has also reached a deal for first serialization rights with the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, which will publish the first three chapters of each TEGG book.
The finances is where TEGG differs from a traditional publisher. According to Greenwood, everyone from the authors to the artists to the distributors (and himself) will receive a percentage of the overall profits, instead of advance payment. “They are partners in this, not employees,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do, to get away from the huge capital investment up front.”
Greenwood is also partnering with Toronto-based dark fantasy publisher ChiZine Publications. Co-publishers of ChiZine, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi, will write story arcs for new fantasy settings; they will also get authors from their own stable involved in writing. “It means their authors get to play in my settings,” explained Greenwood. “We didn’t want to poach writers away from them, because I don’t think that’s a nice thing to do. I want to work with my friends, because Canadian genre publishing is a really small pool.”
Greenwood has ambitious plans for the next 10 years, involving more than a dozen distinct fantasy settings and 50 books published each year. He’s already begun mapping out each series, so that authors and artists can jump in and request to be involved with whichever one interests them. “I am going to sleep very little,” he said. “But on the other hand, I’m going to be doing what I love.”