Monday, October 18, 2010

A Grand Experiment

I can't put it off any longer without being a coward. I'm taking a first step into the heady world of indie publishing.

There comes a point where no amount of research is worth as much as a little personal experience, and that time has come. I've crunched the numbers, worked out the logistics, and read everything I could find on the subject, and the conclusion I am forced to reach is to Go For It.

Amongst those sources have been Dean Wesley Smith and Joe Konrath, who know what they're talking about. I urge you to check out those sites if you're wary of self-publishing (as distinct from vanity publishing) by default.

So what is this grand experiment? I've taken six of my very best short stories and published them as ebooks. I have some very specific performance goals for them, and if it works out, I'll expand along these lines. Let's call me a hybrid writer: I'll still be writing short stories for submission to fiction magazines, many of which I read regularly and would love to see my name in. But I'll also be writing for my own magazine, which has the toughest editor in town: me.

I wouldn't be taking this step if it weren't for my confidence in the quality of my writing, a confidence hard-earned over the last two and a half years of daily writing. I've knocked out my First Million Words (and burned them!), and now I'm digging into the Second Better Million. And that's what you're getting with these stories, that and my assurance that I will never, ever waste your time. Or waste my own time wasting your time.

If I seem a bit nervous, I'm not going to pretend that it's not nerve-wracking to start something new...but it's also exhilarating.

From Dean Wesley Smith's Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing:

But the challenge is great fun. If you aren’t the type of person that goes at something that seems impossible and says, “Oh, why not, let’s try,” then you might want to find another job to chase.


Skeptical? No worries, we can make this as painless as possible. There's two easy steps you can take to give my writing a try:

1. Read "Preemptive Mercy", a flash fiction on Smashwords for free.
2. Comment on this blog, noting in your post which of the Available Stories most intrigues you, and I'll send you a coupon code letting you download that story for free from Smashwords so you can see how you like it. Comment on this or future posts (only one coupon per day, though). Note: if your profile or blog doesn't have your e-mail address visible, shoot me an e-mail after you comment so I can send you the coupon.

250 words? Yes
Project "Untitled"
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Reading - ?



  1. Did you REALLY burn them, or did you just delete them off your hard drive?

    I'm not trying to be cute, either. I'm truly interested.

  2. Let's not ruin the grand poetry of the bonfire with the mundane reality of the Delete key. But yes, considering that I deleted all the completed pieces off my computer but kept all the hand-written notes, that's essentially the situation.

  3. That's pretty cool. I've deleted things myself, as a way of "starting from scratch." I don't think I've crossed the million-word mark yet, but I'm close. I wish I'd kept track of my word count.

  4. It was a zany exercise in Daily Writing which really propelled me forward as a writer.


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