Like everyone, I’ve been hearing about digital publishing, e-books, self-publishing, etc., for some years now. This week marks the first that I step into this realm. I’ll be putting out a short story called Legs as a standalone across all e-reader formats, with even a chapbook-style print edition. This is a little scary, because it’s all new territory, and there’s somewhat of a learning curve.
Thanks to fellow writer friends jim pinto, Guy Anthony DeMarco, and Quincy J. Allen, who helped grease the tracks on this little train, Legs will be available any minute now across all e-reader formats. I’ll put up official announcements once all the books formats have gone through the distribution channels successfully.
Of course, I expect the sales to come rolllllllling in.
Well, not really. The average e-book, most likely published by Joe Inexperienced Writer, with cover design by Little Sister on her high school’s copy of Photoshop, sells about three copies, according to statistics I have seen.
The key for me is to just keep putting work out there and letting the marketplace do as it will.
This venture is also scary because Legs could be somewhat of a controversial story. It’s dark, sexy, and twisted. It was actually sold to an erotic horror anthology a couple of years ago, but the publisher pulled the plug on the project before it could be completed. So this story is ready to lurch into the world.
I also felt this step was necessary because after the success of my Kickstarter campaign for Sword of the Ronin, I needed to jump into the self-publishing arena to prepare for that project (which is still in the editorial phase). I entered this project as a learning experience, and if I sell some copies of Legs along the way, I got paid to learn the ropes.
Another impetus was some experiences and conversations I had with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch at their Anthology workshop in Oregon a few weeks ago. I had the opportunity to visit the offices of their own publishing enclave, and learn a lot the business of publishing and the bottom line for all of us: how to make money in an extremely difficult career choice. (Who am I kidding? I didn’t choose to be a writer at all. It chose me.)
The publishing world is changing so quickly, no one knows what things will look like two years from now. Traditional publishing is not going to die, but it behooves writers to get their work in front of the public, to put the ball into play, as my agent once told me.