Today I took the plunge, and put my first story up for sale on Smashwords- Froggy Went A Courting:
At a mere 99 cents!
This is where I've really joined the publishing revolution. Do it yourself? Heavens to Murgatroyd!
And the reason is a group of writers who have been preaching for some time that writers have choice, that all those countless hours we spend toiling away might actually be put to use, by putting up our good work so that readers can find it and even compensate us with a few pennies.
People like Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler, with their conversation in Be the Monkey.
And Dean Wesley Smith, with his trilogy of terror:
New World of Publishing
Think Like A Publisher
Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing
And many others. Okay guys, some of us have been paying attention. And we've changed our strategies...
A year ago, I was still looking for a traditional big publishing house, likely in New York, to publish my first mystery novel, A Memory of Grief. I'd spent years writing good queries, researching which agents to send to, and did everything properly. Had some interest from some pros, had an agent for 2.5 years, but still no sale. Years of wasted time.
Then along came a small outfit, a startup publisher, and they asked me if I wanted to take a chance and publish with them. After weighing the pros and cons, I did, and this last Summer, Briona Glen Publishing released my first book in print (and as an ebook).
I was over the moon, but didn't stop there. I finished the edits to book 2 of the series, A Fall From Grace, and now that's going to be out very soon! Two good books published six months apart.
HA-- try that with a big NY house-- if your name isn't Stephen King!
Hey, pretty good, but why stop there? I'd published over 20 short stories, some really good ones, but once they appear, they dissolve after a short time and don't get seen. But the guys mentioned above have been saying-- get that stuff up, folks! Your backlist is a goldmine!
I hear ya! And so I'll put stories up for sale, as singles and collections. They won't be hiding anymore, they'll be read.
In fact, I've been so inspired, I decided to go absolutely nuts. It's because of these guys, I swear!
Dean Wesley Smith was trying to write 100 stories in a year, while also doing his books. Life got in the way, so he couldn't finish. But he proved the method, that working writers can produce a lot if they get over this notion they HAVE to write slowly, and only put out a book (or two) a year.
So I'm picking up that torch and running. I want to be a full-time fiction writer, so here's what I'm going to attempt for the coming year, while I'm still keeping my day job.
The 2012 Challenge
First, the Book of the Month Challenge- I want to put out books (ebooks first, and we'll see about print) to the tune of one new book for every month of the New Year. I can't write good novels that fast, so a few will be novels, and the rest will be story collections. Still, it's 12 books.
Which leads us to Part II of the Challenge.
Second, I'll have a story put up for every week of the New Year-- 52 stories by the end of next year. I've got just 1 so far. Long way to go.
So there you have it-- 12 books, in addition to my two novels, and 52 stories-- an insane schedule.
Since I have only limited time, it's going to mean full-out crazy.
Too much? Maybe. But I'm fired up with writing religion, and a desire to play in the Big Leagues. You can blame it on those guys who've been egging us on to do stuff like this. By way of thanks, I'll be buying their books to support them, even if I'm cursing their names by the end of next year!
So check back to see how I'm doing.
Smashwords and Amazon allow you to sample the work before you buy, so check out the writing.
And wish me luck-- I'm gonna need it!