Sorry for the late post, but I’ve been busy; we’ll talk about what I was busy with a little later, but if you read the title of the post I bet you can guess.
First, though, let’s talk about Poetry Summer! Last week’s poem was “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” by Lewis Carrol, which was awesome and fun and kind of long and made me hungry for oysters. Alas, the next time I will feasibly eat any oysters is…October, maybe? At World Fantasy in San Diego? I’m brave enough to eat sushi in Utah, but oysters are another matter altogether; When I put them in my mouth I want them to still be dripping the seawater from when an old bearded man in a sou’wester pulled them out of the ocean.
My friend Brian, with whom I’ve been doing this, has been aiming at (and missing) “Ulysses,” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, almost every week, and he has sworn in his wrath that this week he will finally do it. Given that Tennyson is awesome, I’ve decided to memorize a Tennyson poem as well, but I haven’t picked one yet. I’m kind of hoping to avoid “Charge of the Light Brigade” just because it’s so obvious, but on the other hand “The Lady of Shallot” is really long (plus, if I memorize that one I’ll have to recite it while floating down a river, and then Gilbert Blythe will see me and I’ll feel SO EMBARRASSED). So anyway, I’ll do something Tennyson this week, and then, because theme weeks are fun, next week will be Shakespearean sonnets, and the week after that will be Harlem Renaissance. If you want to join us in our theme-ishness, plan accordingly.
Now, let’s talk about ebooks. Last week I asked for advice on how to put together an ebook: how to format them, how to post them online, the whole shebang, and I got a lot of good advice, and I’ll be compiling that advice into a post sometime soon. Now, let me tell you why I was asking.
Many years ago I wrote a book, which I thought was pretty good; it was actually the first book I ever submitted to Moshe Feder, the man who would eventually become my editor at Tor, and he rejected it; this was smart of him, because it was not very good. I really liked that book, though, and I’ve revamped it a few times over the years, and last year I got it to the point where I thought it was good enough to finally get published, so I sent it to my agent and she loved it, and we sent it around and found a lot of editors who loved it, but we only managed to actually sell it in one place: Germany, obviously, since that’s my main market. The story in every other market, and every other publisher, was inevitably some variation of this: the book is very weird and quirky, and one editor would fall in love with it’s quirkiness, but could then never convince any of the other editors to take the risk and publish it. This told us that there was obviously some kind of market for the book, just maybe not a very big one and certainly not a mainstream one. This, we decided, sounded exactly like the kind of situation where a self-published ebook would be the perfect way to go.
I’ve been fascinated by the ebook revolution, and I’ve wanted to dip my toe in the water for a while now, and this was the ideal opportunity. There is still a chance that we can sell it to a traditional publisher, especially with the renewed interest brought on by the German sale, and I’ve given my agent a few more weeks to see what she can do. Once we hit WorldCon, however, I will officially launch the book and start selling it online; I’ll be pushing it very heavily at WorldCon and DragonCon, and of course online. If we manage to land a traditional publishing deal for it later on, huzzah; the state of ebooks right now does not preclude the possibility of a print deal after the fact. What I’m interested in seeing, though, is whether or not a self-published ebook, for an author like me who already has a pretty good platform to sell from, can mimic or outright replace the income from a traditional print book. Obviously it can, because it’s happened before; my goal is to see how duplicatable that kind of success really is.
And what book, you ask, will I be selling online? I’ll post more info in the future as we get closer to the launch, but if you’re a Writing Excuses listener and you’ve heard us talk about “the vampire bunny book,” well…it doesn’t actually have vampire bunnies in it. See? Even the nickname is quirky.