As I write this, just after midnight and a few minutes into Halloween here in the Seattle area, NaNoWriMo is less than a day away. I've been scurrying along the past couple of weeks trying to make sure I would be ready, and apart from the thing that matters most — the story I plan to write — I think I'm sort of ready. I re-read the book for which I will be writing the prequel, and I created a blank project on Penflip to hold my novel. Now I just need to figure out what I'm actually going to write! Read on for a little more about my NaNo prep and plans.
My novelette Wolf Block is not my main focus for writing, but I did dust it off and put some work into the story this month, in a couple ways. One way was to create a print edition, which you will see at the above link. As a very small book I doubt it will get many sales (if it gets any at all), but it's there for the many people who do not like (or know how) to read e-books.
Another way I worked on the story was to write a spin-off short story, "The Silent Wolf," that looks at things from the prisoners' viewpoint. After getting some valuable feedback from beta readers, including Ashley Carlson (author of The Charismatics, who also provides editing services), I posted it for my patrons on Patreon. Read on for more details about that short story.
Although I don't have much time for blogging as I try to get caught up on projects before NaNoWriMo arrives in a couple weeks, I wanted to share some thoughts about my most recent release, No Fanfare. It's been on the market for about a month and a half now. It was experimental right from the start, even before I decided to publish it, and I might as well share some results even though the experiments were not rigorously constructed. As seems fitting for the "no fanfare" title, the story itself has had no significant response from readers and thus, in a sense, all of the experiments eventually failed. Read on to see what I mean.
On this blog I have mentioned Bitcoin severaltimesbefore. The idea of accepting Bitcoin for my books has been of interest to me pretty much since I first learned about Bitcoin. I was (unfortunately) hesitant to buy Bitcoin... back when I could've bought 1 BTC for ten bucks... and thought that selling something would be a good way to get some Bitcoin. Then I could experiment with those funds to learn more about Bitcoin itself. Turns out that was not the right decision to make at the time. To date, I've sold all of one copy of one 99-cent book for Bitcoin, so it's basically gone nowhere. So far.
I'm either tenacious or an incurable dreamer, but I believe that it's at least possible to sell a meaningful number of books to buyers paying with Bitcoin. So, I wrote a book about it. It's not a long book, and it's not really done yet, but you can read what I have so far right here: Selling Books with Bitcoin. Read on for more details about this new book project.
Published writers, are you tempted to offer your services to other writers who are still working toward getting their books on the market? They need help with editing, formatting, cover design... you know there's a lot involved in creating a quality product. If you're thinking about doing that, I can relate! I felt the same way, and I acted on it.
After hearing about other indie writers being ripped off for basic services, and having my own experience self-publishing my books, I decided to make life harder for the sharks by offering better services at vastly lower prices. Originally this was focused on children's books and was on a pay-what-you-want model (but not free). I eventually created Crenel Publishing to provide, as the tagline goes, "publishing services for a digital world."
It seemed a slam-dunk decision. I have a solid technical background and have been publishing digitally since before the Web existed (and thus before Amazon existed), and I could provide technically-correct, author-sensitive services at reasonable prices. Everybody should win, other than the sharks... right? What I didn't expect was an inherent conflict that would loom as my client list started to grow. Read on to learn more about what I now see as the service-provider conundrum.