Perhaps an update is in order as I’m sure you’re all abuzz about what sort of shennaniganry I’ve been up to since vacating my Do Some Damage post. You may have seen some cryptic notes from me on Twitter and Facebook regarding a short story collection called BREAKFAST ANYTIME and it’s current status in the Kindle store at Amazon. This is just the opening shot in what I hope will be a major assault by my creative output on the emerging e-book market.
I’ve never been much of an early adopter, I always fall toward the middle adopter, right before the tipping point where everyone jumps on board. It was this way with publishing in ezines, publishing an ezine of my own, blogging, and the aforementioned Twitter and Facebook. I’m far from the first person to give this ebook self-publishing a try, and even now some of my crime fiction colleagues like Neil Smith, JD Rhoades, Chris Holm, Dave White, Steve Torres, Allan Guthrie and others have started to poke it and see what squirms. But so far there hasn’t been a huge wave of authors I know going this route.
This is something I was actually against for a long time, as I thought it was a lazy way out for those who didn’t want to put in the work to be published, or who weren’t ready. And I still kind of feel that way, but hey, if it wasn’t for hypocrisy I would’t have to post here about. But I look at what happened when I started publishing short stories online. To that point I’d been sending every story I wrote to Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Those were the two big markets and the only ones I knew about. Then, as I heard more about the online zines I thought the same thing: easy out, don’t want to work, etc. But then as my stories grew more mature and still weren’t being picked up by the Big Two I started getting discouraged. These were stories I liked and had worked hard on and knew people would enjoy. Knowledgeable friends had read them and encouraged me to submit them to the top tier online journals. I did, the stories were picked up, and people did in fact enjoy them. Then as I got even better, my stories started appearing in print and I began receiving money for my work.
Now I’m in a similar situation. I don’t have the disgust of traditional publishing that many Indy authors have, in fact, I’m still wooed by it and would like to be part of it. I want to see my book in stores, and hold it, etc, etc. But for right now, I’ve got some novels and short story collections I think people would enjoy but that haven’t been picked up by traditional publishers for whatever reason. I’m not dumping everything on my harddrive into the open, there are some novels and short stories on there that deserve to stay hidden, but my first novel (16 drafts over 4 years) and my third novel (7 drafts over two years) are good enough for me to put out there and expect people to pay me for them. And then both of my short story collections are composed of stories that have already been published, including a few that were selected for year end anthologies. So I’m confident I’m not putting slop out there.
I’ve got more I want to write about this, but I think I’ve prattled on too long as it is. Tomorrow and the rest of the week will find more posts of this nature describing my excitement, frustrations, and fears about this whole shebang and, hopefully, culminate in the publication of my first novel, LUNCHBOX HERO.