Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My little experiment stumbles forward

So, as I've recently mentioned, I'm experimenting with self e-Publishing. So far, I can safely say my agent's job is more secure than it was ten days ago, because I have numbers to back up my impulse to remain with an agent, and keep publishing through trade publishers like Nightshade and Apex.

The novelette experiment, a story too odd in many ways (an odd length, a gay main character, grotesque and gruesome subject matter) has stumbled onto the Nook at Barnes and Noble, thanks to someone showing where to go to do it. (Thanks, Paul!)

This little novelette has also garnered exactly one review, from Paul Jessup, at the site:

Paul Jessup says, "McDermott is at the top of his game in this one, and it will haunt you for days afterwards. Really great stuff"

Here's a link directly there, if you want to know how many stars it got from Paul:

In a totally related note, my sales remain in the single digits. The low single digits.

So, there's a lot of hype in the world about the eBook revolution, and I can say that I honestly have done more promotion of this little novelette in its first week then I did for NEVER KNEW ANOTHER, and my sales in the first week for that book, published through Nightshade and available wherever books are sold, has a pretty significant difference in units sold. (Specifically, more than two units have sold.)

I'm going to leave my little experiment up and out in the world, because this is an interesting experiment, even if it is not a lucrative one. I have heard that you have to give people time to find your book and see if something happens. Naturally, I did not expect to stumble into riches through self-publishing. (In fact, I'm doing about what I expected to do with this, if not less, and am relieved to see my anti-self-publishing prejudices justified by SCIENCE!)

Okay, the experiment must continue. There's something funny about my eBook: the cover. If I want to take this experiment to the next level, I'm going to need a cover that's built and designed "better", with an image that might have something to do with the actual story.

Anyone want to volunteer to make a new cover sometime next month? I'll pay you with free books.


Anonymous said...

The way into people's pocket books is for them to see that other people have read and reviewed your book. This is how it works with me and knitting patterns. $5 bucks for a downloadable pattern may not seem like much...but when 2000 knitters decide they all want to knit it at the same time it is. This wouldn't happen with out my thoughtful test knitters, great pictures, and people deciding it is beautiful.

How does this relate to books? Not totally sure. I know that if it were me I would search out some highly visable reviewers and give them free copies. Blogs that review with HIGH comment #'s would be a great place to start. I kinda trashed a book on my blog once but weirdly it got the attention of Tad Williams (Because it was his friend *sigh*) which oddly got me free copies of his new books and those he's writing with his wife.

Just a random thought. :)

J m mcdermott said...

As this is an experiment, there's phases of things I'm going to do, in stages, a little at a time so that the effects of any one thing have time to turn into results or not.

I have a schedule of giveaways planned, that will ramp up a little bit every week.

It's an experiment, not a business plan!

(But, and this is important, the experiment would be useless if I wasn't putting my best work out there! I think this is one of my better short stories.)

Anonymous said...

lol I got at everything pretty intencely. as my husband says I "don't enjoy anything unlesss 'I am' good at it" :)

Anonymous said...

Recently I picked up 'Last Dragon' off my shelf (it was read with pleasant surprise quite some time ago) and wondered if you had written anything else. It seems my timing worked out well for me. Picked this up last night. It was nice to see that 'Last Dragon' wasn't luck. Looking forward to picking up 'Never Knew Another.'

P.S. There is another review up for this.