Self Publishing comes in a number of forms, print and electronic, and I’m not limiting myself. Or trying not to.
In my last post on Self Publishing, I noted a couple of serials on this blog, both of which are going to become e-books. I have no intention of taking either of them down from here as I think it’s important to be able to sample someone’s work before you drop some hard earned money on their stuff, even if it’s only 99 cents (the probable price point of Thorvald’s Wyrd). I think serials are fun, too, and read a few each week when I can find the spare moments. There’s something about delayed gratification on a cliffhanger that they figured out for TV shows a long time ago. Three or four months is too long to wait for a new episode, but a week is enough to build some nice anticipation if you know the next piece is coming.
I’m also going to be starting a new serial on Friday. Yes, I’m well aware the old one isn’t done yet, but this is a Christmas story and if I don’t start it until Turn the World Around is over, I’ll have to post three times each week in the weeks before Christmas to get it up in time. Too crowded. So the first scene of Branch Santa will debut on Saturday, October 15th. I’ve never been sure whether to classify this story as Science Fiction or Fantasy as it has elements of both, but it’s certainly not Science-Fantasy. I’ll let you guys decide. I should say it’s sort of a Christmas story. Only a small part of the story actually happens at Christmas, but it does involve Santa Claus in a big way.
Next up on the possibilities list is a children’s book. Carrie the Catfish, which certainly needs a better title, is a six thousand word Fantasy story I wrote in response to my youngest daughter’s request for a mermaid story. It’s not what I had in mind when I started writing, but it’s what I produced, and if the Pink Princess was disappointed in the near total lack of mermaids in the story, neither she nor Nature Girl has expressed any unhappiness with the story, and both have repeatedly requested it to be read to them. The question is one of illustration at this point. I’m trying to talk my wife into it, a woman of considerable artistic talent. She, on the other hand, is trying to talk me out of even thinking about her for it. I’m not quite sure why. However the debate ends, I’d really like to share this story.
My other debate is short story collections. Graceland is a themed collection and I’m absolutely going ahead with that. The debate here is over un-themed collections. I have more than enough good stories (in my opinion, at least) to manage several short story collections. Limiting myself to one Fantasy and one Science Fiction, I could select 90-100 thousand words worth of stories, some previously published but many not, to fill the two books pretty quickly.
Traditionally, single author collections have been a hard sell, even harder than anthologies, unless you’re a really big name author. And they’re nearly always lumped in with anthologies.
Ah, but there’s that word again: traditionally. And while the word isn’t the antithesis of what I’m trying to accomplish, the point in my mind is that just because something hasn’t worked for traditional publishing doesn’t mean it won’t in the new landscape. There are certainly collections out there, especially in e-formats, and I’m repeatedly on record as saying we’re in the early stage of a golden age of short fiction, so I think the question I should be asking myself is why not?
Unless, of course, I want to try getting at least some of these stories in front of magazine and anthology audiences first, which I do. I’m still debating with myself, but I think when I produce the first Small Realities (or whatever the title ends up being) collection, it will likely wind up being a more equal mix of reprints and new work, leaning at least a little towards reprints.