As those following this blog have probably noticed, I’ve been churning out short stories of late. It seems to be my mood, and it suits my available time fairly well, plus gives me a sick sense of accomplishment (though I did describe it earlier to someone as the aftereffects of ipecac of the word processor; I sit down and *blarp* there’s a story, *barf* there’s another one, *gag* one more, which is probably not a very pleasing image to contemplate for long). Having churned out a semi-decent number of them, many of which seem to share a couple of central themes (those being more character-based than plot-oriented, a sense of unfairness or injustice to them and on the whole being a grouping of “getting things out of my system so I can be clean and fresh”), I’ve decided to put them all together in one place for easy access.
Among the internal debates I’ve had on this idea, central was “why publish them as a collection, when interested parties can just click the blog links or head over to Wattpad and see most of them?” The answer to that one is a little self-serving and more complicated internally than it seems, but the basic reason is simplicity and prettiness. I can open one file on Kindle or pull one book off the shelf instead of scrolling through lists of blog pages or chapter updates individually or digging through reams of printouts. I figure some of you out there might also appreciate that convenience. Prettiness is the opportunity to make them look how I want, to flow in an order I’m happy with. Also, there’s just something more satisfying about holding an actual book in your hands when compared to clicking through links or holding a stack of 8×11 printouts.
That most assuredly does not mean I will be pulling these stories off the assorted websites. You are still more than free to read them, 100% free, on their original (or semi-original) homes. They are, by and large, the same content (barring the moments where I catch typos or decide to fiddle with the grammar a bit). You are not penalized for finding the existing method of reading them acceptable. If I was that concerned about it, they wouldn’t have been posted here in the first place. They would have been hoarded for the moment I wanted to collect them or do something else with them.
The real issues for me right now (aside from the ever-entertaining job of editing, which I despise) are the cover art (which has minions working on it as we speak), the finalized order of the stories and, of course, the ever-dreaded marketing, which has been, is, and probably always will be my severe weak point.
Thankfully, since throwing Darkness of the Soul to the wolves at iUniverse some three years ago (which sounds like a terrifyingly long time until one remembers that I started writing it twenty years ago, and finished it ten years ago, and damn I feel incredibly old right now…) I’ve had the opportunity to see how it can be done. To see what other people have tried, what seemed to work and what didn’t. To have gone back and made some tweaks to my existing works in an effort to improve them and raise the awareness and “want” level of them. To learn about new technologies and media formats and how those might help.
So, in part, this post is seeing what the weather is like for some of that. Would any of you out there support a Thunderclap for preorders on Insomniac Nightmares, the final release, or both? Anyone who wants to give a nudge and a nod or an interview or review in their corner of the blogosphere? Should I do preorders, or just throw it in the pond and let what fish come take what they will? What seems like an acceptable price point for a collection of (roughly, as the final number may change depending on whim and red-pen-itis) 13 short stories? (For the record, I’m currently contemplating 99 cents for Kindle, $6.99 for 5×8 paperback.) Does anyone want to see my ugly mug on YouTube, either talking about the stories or perhaps reading them or just babbling about being a creep packed into a corner with his computer and an overactive imagination? Any other ideas, suggestions or general pointers on aspects of the process I (probably) missed the last 7 times around and will likely biff again?
As always, I wouldn’t be anything without you folks. The crazy people who click on this blog, who click on my books, who flip through them (perhaps with red pen or highlighter in hand, ready to take me to task), who Tweet or FB or e-mail me and remind me I don’t live in a creative vacuum. So thank you again.
Last, the art minions tell me that one of the potential covers is ready; let me know what you guys think.