Friday, March 04, 2011

My Kindle Renaissance...

If you've dropped by the past month, you know I'm putting stuff up on Kindle and hoping for sales - I haven't advertised my wares yet, I the first wave of products, my short story collections, isn't completely out the door, though I think I've made a good start: One collection, a Precinct Puerto Rico novelette, and a stand alone short story about the Devil. Still, before this month is over, I'll have another collection or three up and running and will have started work on getting some novels up - a couple of previously unpublished novels and possibly some of my backlist. It's my understanding that novels are where the money is and since I can attest that it certainly isn't in the short story side of things, I'm inclined to believe it.

This is an interesting development for me. I have five half completed novels that I had stopped work on. I didn't stop work because the books were bad or because I lost interest. I stopped work because my agent and I agreed these books weren't as marketable as other projects. And by marketable, I mean that editors at publishing houses didn't think they could make tens of thousands of hardcover sales at $25 a pop. They're probably right. Especially during hard economic times plunking down that kind of cash for someone you've never heard of has got to be hard. And for a publisher to front me that kind of advance would take a great amount of faith on their part - not faith that the book is good since they have the entire ms in hand when they decide, but faith in consumers.

So not meeting the sales threshold a traditional publisher needs me to meet means I've got to find another way to get good stories out to readers and Kindle helps me do that. Knowing that I can get my novels out to people (and get paid for the enormous effort that takes) means I'll be finishing up those novels I had put aside. I'm glad of it. I hate writing 40,000 words only to set the ms aside.

Not to mention that among the five books I'm talking about are two straight-forward science fiction books. That's a stretch for me. Will I sell a hundred thousand copies? I hope so. But will I write books that I previously never thought I'd get an opportunity to finish? Absolutely.


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