Monday, 2 November 2015

Reissues and Original Fiction - and a few thoughts on paths to publication...

After a lot of soul searching I'm going to be issuing some novellas and novels on my own. Soul searching sounds a bit knobby, but it's true in this case. For a few years now, I've been striving and chasing for a 'big' deal, and working with publishers to that end, to build up a publication history with a view to submitting, when I can, to agents and the larger publishers. I'm still doing that. It's always been the ultimate goal.

But, I think, goals and reality are two different beasts. Do I want a big publishing deal? Yes, of course. Will I get one? I have no idea. Is it worth sacrificing income in the meantime?

No. It's that last question that's the kicker. I can, and do, make money on self-published titles. I want them with publishers, in paperbacks and hardbacks...but why? If I'm honest? Largely, because they look good on my shelf. I think, at this stage in my career, certainly, ebooks are going to far outsell paperbacks. If I had books in ASDA, maybe that would be different. Simple fact is, though...I don't.

I've been watching a lot of writers over the last few years, some I know, some I don't. People I think know what they're doing and who are much better at self-promotion than me. Matt Shaw and Iain Rob Wright have been doing this very well for a few years. Edward Lorn and Brian Keene, J.A. Konrath...but lots and lots of people are either independently publishing work, or at least dabbling. Tim Lebbon, Keith Deininger, even Stephen King. Stephen King could probably do whatever he wanted and manage just fine. I can't.

Self-publishing no longer excludes writers from a traditional publishing deal. In fact, many people I know have been offered 'traditional' routes after proving successful in what people think of as 'indie' publishing. Scott Nicholson, Colin F. Barnes spring to mind. Indie novels aren't the weird uncle nobody wants to talk about any longer. It's more than possible to make money, to sell books, on your own. I still have a traditional publisher (DarkFuse) who are brilliant. Other publishers who've taken chances on my novels (Crowded Quarantine Publications, Grand Mal Press, Evil Jester Press) have been wonderful for me, too...but I write more than five books a year...they can't publish all of those...and nobody (nobody) wants a reissue originally out from a small or independent publisher.

I have novels going through the submission process with publishers at the moment, and that's fine. But I've finally come to think it's high time I embraced this 'hybrid' approach fully - no greater weight to either route to publication, but equal. Both are good for me, but there's something about the indie side that appeals to me. Control over the product from top to tail is a big bonus when writing is your main income.

I'm a pretty slow thinker, when it comes down to it, but this is how things are going. For the few years (five or so) I've been watching, learning (or trying to) and seeing which way the wind's blowing. I don't think it's entirely decided yet, but you can guess stuff like that, and passing up earnings when you're trying to make a living...I can't do that any longer.

So, Death by a Mother's Hand - I'm issuing that myself, without going through a publisher first.

I've already reissued some novels that have reverted to me this year, and I'm doing the same for one novella and three novels when I get the covers and formatting done. The novella is 'The Walls of Madness'. The novels are 'A Home by the Sea', 'Rain', and 'The Estate'. And, in the future, when I feel it's appropriate, some horror will go to publishers, but some, I'll issue as originals directly to Kindles.

For the first time (first time I've ever done it with a horror novel, at least) I'm going to put an original horror straight on the Kindle, too. It's called 'The Dead Boy'. It will be something new for me, trying to promote a horror entirely on my own...but I think it'll work out just fine. I'll post updates on here, from time to time, about progress, and this new direction. Probably more detail, as always, in the end of year round up. If you're interested, look out for it. If you're not...fair enough. We've all got our own thing going on...

As always, love you. But, in a new, weird twist...buy my books! I think I'm gonna be hungry.

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