Every week, for about five years now, I’ve posted something about writing. I’ve strayed a couple times, but the bulk of my posts have been about the craft. It begs a couple questions: Why do I do it? What’s the point?
I have a goal in mind. Probably a wildly irrational goal, but a goal nonetheless, and reaching that goal means I’ve got to generate book sales. To do that, I’ve got to keep cranking out new books. Over those same past five years, I’ve averaged two new books per year.
This year, there might be four.
In mid-February, I released an expanded version of my collection of inter-related, western short stories. The revamped and retitled book is simply called Greeley. There’s a cover shot below.
Yesterday, I released the ebook version of my memoir textbook, The Naked Truth! (Telling Your Story Without Showing Your Ass!) There’s yet another cover shot below. And, it won’t be long before I’m able to release my textbook on novel writing in ebook form as well.
You’ve probably noticed that, technically speaking, none of these books is actually “new.” Well, yeah, that’s true. Ya got me.
What’s happened here is something you’re going to see more and more often. Recycled material offered with a shiny new cover and/or in an enhanced format. In the case of my textbooks, these will be the second and third ones available in ebook form. And they come with a significant price drop–from $14.95 (plus the ever-present shipping and handling fees) down to $4.95, delivered instantly. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know the ten dollar difference isn’t coming out of my pocket!
While I continue to work on something really new, a sequel to… Nah, can’t tell ya, yet. But while thus engaged, I now have additional opportunities to market existing stuff. More titles, more sales, and hopefully I can take a few more baby steps toward my goal.
The decision to re-do the Greeley stories may be of interest to those of you with shorter novels, formerly tagged as novellas or novelettes. The market for shorter fiction has grown significantly. For most genres, work weighing in under 90,000 words (90K in publishing jargon) was considered too short to sell as a novel. That dropped to 60K not too terribly long ago. Now, 30K word “novels” are popping up everywhere.
And, with more and more people listening to audio books, the shorter stories give them more variety at a lower cost. Win-win!
Does that mean it’s okay to write shorter stuff and put it on the market right alongside the longer stuff? Sure. But if you’re smart, you’ll at least make sure it’s ready. Don’t just pump out crap. There’s already way too much of that available.
Take the time to edit your work, or have it edited by someone who knows what they’re doing. Get a good cover. There are plenty of tools you can use to do one, and if you just don’t trust your creative side, there are plenty of places you can go and get a good one done for you–and just for you.
Now, quit foolin’ around and go back to work!