This Here’s The Story About Billy-Joe and Bobbie-Sue

I started an informal poll over on my facebook page, but I seriously doubt I’ll get more than a few responses to that. I also doubt I’ll get any responses here. But I’d like to talk about my reasoning for asking in the first place, and see if that prompts people to comment after all.

Alright, So the thinking is, if you publish often enough, you’ll build a sort of critical mass behind your name brand and people will start picking up your work when they realize you have a lot of it, and that you aren’t going away anytime soon. Basically, they get curious. It’s not like back in the day when you bought a book in a store based on the cover art and the cheeky blurb on the back. You STILL have to have those things in place, but the market and the emphasis is different. In the self-publishing world, you ARE the store, and if all you have are a few slim volumes on the shelf, most folks are going to leave in a hurry, not having read or bought anything. Confidence building is a key asset in self-publishing.

At least, this is what I’ve been told.

Personally, I’m still working at this. My shelving device is probably a little hard to understand, but I have indeed published a double-fistful of things, and have lots of promo art for covers to up-coming novels on display as well. But you can only ask folks to wait for so long, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the general perception of my work is that it’s long on promises that don’t deliver.

The thing of it is, there really are a lot of books in development. I’m not saying I’m writing and revising ten novels all at once. More like four or five, and they weren’t all started at once, so they’re all in different stages of production. Some that were started ten years ago are still in the first act. Others that were started just a few short years ago are approaching completion. Writing is a funny process, particularly when you indie publish through ebook sites like Smashwords and POD publish through Createspace, the way I do.

I’m not saying I think the traditional book publishing industry is dead. But it’s lost a lot of its grip on the market, and I actually believe that’s a good thing for the many writers out there who were told they simply weren’t good enough by the capriciousness of the editorial sphinxes who chose instead to publish Fifty Shades of Gray and Twilight.

Do I think my work is any good? I’ve had people tell me so. Do I think my work is as great as the literary giants of classic literature? I don’t know. How many of us can fairly claim to be this age’s Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare or Mark Twain or what have you? It’s kind of pointless anyway, because most folks aren’t that comfortable reading classic literature, and prefer modern material in modern voices, for good or ill.

I don’t even claim to be as good as Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman or Tad Williams or any of the other women and men I read sporadically and call influences.

But I believe my work is good. It should appeal to some people. Maybe even you.

The APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO is a novel in the sense that it has three distinct acts (two more or less finished, third on the way) that tell parts of the same story, but are pretty far apart from one another, and don’t necessarily need to be bound in one volume. Picking up with chapter one of Act Two will not answer any of the lingering questions of the last chapter of Act One. So in that sense, they are not linked. They DO tell part of the same story, but it’s partly metafictional, and the second act rarely touches on the main characters of Act One.

So, does it sound plausible to separate them, at least for now, and publish them in three chunks, before collecting them for those that didn’t read the individual volumes beforehand?

Either way, I see the book being finished some time this year. It’s just a question of whether there is any demand for the parts tat are ready to go, because the third part probably won’t be done before the end of summer, or perhaps even by Christmas. And this really isn’t the book I wanted to bank on this year. It’s good. I like it. A lot, actually. But it’s a strange bird indeed.

So there you have it.

Again, the poll, such as it is, is here:

Thank you for reading.


Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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