Friday, April 19, 2013

Publishing options

When I first published Blood from Sand, I felt the need to share the event with a couple of friends.  You see, the world of Torin Pah was my idea.  But it was an idea that was going nowhere.  So, I shared it with these friends, who were also writers of fantasy.  Together we fleshed out my initial ideas, and laid the foundation for publishing an anthology set in Torin Pah, and featuring stories from all three of us.  Blood and Sand was to be my first entry for that, with two more stories planned.

However, things being what they are, we have all gotten busy with other things, and not just writing.  Long story short, the anthology has sat on the backburner for so long, the heat seems to have dwindled to almost nothing (though both have expressed interest in trying to get it done eventually).  Meanwhile, this story sat collecting virtual dust for several months.

I had a special place in my heart for this story, because it was actually my first attempt at a female protagonist, with mild romantic elements.  It was kind of a new direction for me, and I have been eager to get it out there and see what people think of it.  So, when the idea of SASE came up, I dug this story out, dusted it off, did a bit of fine-tuning, and put it out for the world to see.

Anyways, back to my friends.  One of them has recently published a serial of stories about a teeneage vampire.  His take is very not-Twilight (think more like World of Darkness).  And he made a couple of good points.  First, by eschewing Amazon, I was neglecting a large marketing opportunity.  This is very true, and I have to take that into consideration.  Second, he reminded me about Smashwords, which I had attempted with my first couple of stories, but backed out in order to take part in Amazon's KDP program (which has netted me nothing to date).

So, here's a possible revised plan.  I will continue to publish stories here, on my SASE page.  However, I will also publish at Amazon (removing them from KDP) and Smashwords.  The price point for all of my stories will go up in those areas to $1.25, as well.  I'm fairly confident in saying that I think my stories are of better than average quality, and deserve to be priced a bit higher than they have been.


As a related aside, I am currently working on a third Gortek and Pekra story, this one more focused on Pekra, and the renegade dwarf, Bofdak (if you haven't read Pekra and The Orc Way, you should).  I gave the verbal pitch to my wife, and she is excited to read it.  I also have ideas for the sequel to Blood from Sand, as well as one for Blackskull's Captive.

With recent events in my personal life, I have a renewed motivation to start scheduling writing time.  So, here's to hoping I can get more organized and start acting like a writer.


Keith West said...

Just a thought on price. In various posts on his blog, Dean Wesley Smith makes a strong case for pricing short fiction at $2.99. It has a lot to do with the difference in royalty rates below and above that price point, although there are other reasons for doing so as well. You might consider raising your price. If you feel that $2.99 is too high, you could consider an enhanced edition with extra content such as background on how you wrote the story.

Just a thought.

Christopher Blanchard said...

I haven't researched self-publishing enough to have a really strong opinion on this. However, going after a larger market never seems like a bad idea to me.

All that said, though, one thing I do know about selling things is that you need marketing. This is especially true in self-publishing. No matter how big Amazon's market is, if you don't find a way to let people that are not your friends and followers on Facebook know about the book, it won't sell. Have you thought of advertising on writing podcasts? I'm pretty sure some of them are fairly cheep.

In any case, I wish you much luck. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

In about a week and a half I will be done with school and then it will be full time writing! I can't wait.