Friday, October 1, 2010

The eBook Experiement

Twas a lovely day in Michigan. Fall is just about the only time you see such beautiful skies. It's my favorite time of year. I kept the cold that I may or may not have at bay with some really good authenic Sichuan food, which cost me just about half of my eBook profits for the month.

Which leads me to my update on my eBook Experiment.

Up until now I've been screwing around. I admit it. Yes I've put in a lot of time, but mainly for fun and to avoid writing. My first couple of ebooks were off-genre works that I consider my own personal brand of pulp fiction. I haven't spent money on it, not even on the covers. Although I have started putting out my more commercial work I've still kept the efforts pretty low key. And the results are also low key. I've been selling about 50 books a month.

My promotional efforts have been largely a matter of schmoozing on forums, and posting book descriptions on designated promotional threads. And even that is probably as much for my blog as my books.

That's about to change, although not in a big way. Not yet.

I have decided that when the work-in-progress is ready, I'm going to do a book launch. This will probably happen in March, although I won't know for sure until I see how the revisions go. (As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am discovering layers that add so much to the story that I have to slow down and work on them. And I'll have to raise the level of some other things to keep the tone consistent. But it will be worth it.)

In preparation for this, I will do some practice runs for my current books, especially Have Gun, Will Play. I plan on offering a paper version. I bought some advertizing for later this fall. I'll be doing some guest posting and participating in more online panels and interviews.

I will also make use of NaNoWriMo. I plan to set the WIP aside in November, so I intend to write lots of blog posts and short fiction during that month. The goal is to have a large well of quality material for a blog tour during the launch, as well as material to make sure I can keep this blog interesting when I'm busy.

The thing that excites me at the moment though, is short fiction. Writing short fiction is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer. It's a chance to expand your skills, try new things. It also is the one form of advertising that pays you. And if you put it out there on the market, so that editors see and approve (or not), it keeps you honest.

I'll talk more about each of these strategies later. For now I'll just mention the blog Two Ends Of The Pen, where Deb Martin will be holding a series of author panels, in which six writers will answer a single question. Her first panel is up today, on whether plot or characters come first in the planning of a story. I didn't participate in that one, but I will be in a few of the upcoming panels.

I know a lot of writers read this blog, and Deb has said I can invite more in to participate. You can find more information on the Panel Thread on Kindleboards. You don't have to be a member to read or participate in the panel (although you do have to sign up for a free membership to post on the thread).

No comments: