Now that that's out of the way...
I just sent "Judgment Cove" off to the e-presses at both Amazon's Kindle Store and Barnes and Noble.
When I decided to take the reigns and self-publish, I knew that it would be more work, and I also knew that I would have greater creative control over my stories. Is it taking longer to finish my projects? Absolutely. Am I completely friggin' pumped at the results?
You bet your sweet backside.
I was forced to submit "Judgment Cove" about 10 times to each store, using a trial and error method to ensure that it formatted correctly in each store. (Beginner's tip? All of those page breaks that you meticulously placed for the Kindle edition? Yeah, they're completely useless at Barnes and Noble, so just save a copy of the final draft before you start "kindlizing" your book, and use the regular old final draft as a starting point).
After I finish a project, it's normal for me to take a look ahead at what I have next on the docket, and in this case it is an audiobook version of the very story that I just kicked out of the nest.
I have found a place online to help me out with production and payment processing. The costs to produce each disc will be pretty low, allowing me to price it at a reasonable amount. I realize that we are in a down economy, and I'd rather have the story entertain as many people as possible rather than make me a little more money that I would probably just blow on gas like everyone else.
I have plans to produce other items from this site as well-posters, t-shirts, etc. I am not going to create a ton of items, and each one will have alot of thought behind it.
For instance, I plan to create one "souvenir" shirt from each of my stories, be they 6ooo words like "Where I Can't Follow", 18000 words like "Judgment Cove", or 40000+ like "pre://d.o.mai.n.
They will not simply be t-shirts with the title of the book on the front/back, because 1. That would be tacky as hell, and 2. No one would bother to buy them. You have to be Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King, or JK Rowling for that to work, and I am under no illusions.
The idea that I had would be to produce shirts that were worn by characters in the story.
For Where I Can't Follow, it will be a shirt for "Dean's Auto Body", the body shop owned by the protagonist in the story.
For Judgment Cove, it will be the white polo shirt that the Camp Counselors wear.
For AZTLAN (an upcoming tale), it will be a "Property of (Currently Unnamed Fictional University) Archaeological Dept. XXL shirt.
The point is to create items that further engage the reader, to let them own a tangible piece of the story.
Of course, I will turn a slight profit from each sale, but as I already stated, I'd settle for making less than a dollar on each item to maintain the slim chance that at some point I might unexpectedly see one of them in the wild (in the possession of someone I didn't have to bribe to wear/use whichever item they bought).
That, as thoroughly unlikely as it would be, would make me feel like a rock star.
So this store will initially include audiobooks and shirts, but I might add things slowly after that.
I also have a script already written for a book trailer for Judgment Cove, which is just abstract enough to catch a viewers attention, while remaining truthful to the story.
And I have to get it all done in a timely manner, because along with editing AZTLAN and listing it for sale as an ebook, I will need to write another short I'm going to either call "Wingman", or "auto/correct" before the second week of September, which will be my vacation.
And of course, my online serial, "D4RK R3QU13M", has been terribly starved for attention lately too. I plan to begin rectifying that this weekend, watch out for the completed Prologue!
On this vacation, I plan to bang out a large chunk of pre://d.o.mai.n in the hopes of having it in print (through createspace) by the end of the year. Or, I might hold off on publishing to send out a few query letters first and see if there is any interest.
If not, I already have Plan B ready.
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