I’ve brought Rumpled, my Rumplestiltskin retelling, through what is close to its final revision … for now. That is, I’ve implemented everything I intended to implement based on feedback from my writer’s group, and am ready to send it to someone who has never seen it for a proofread (my eyes might fall out of my head if I read it one more time at this point.) I still need to format it for Kindle and do a little more work on the cover, but in the meantime, I’ve uploaded the “beta” version to Wattpad. It’s free there, so I’d be delighted if you checked it out!
Last week, I read this fascinating article from Curiosity Quills Press about giving away books for free. The author’s strategy is to offer her books for free for the first 12 months of their release. Her reasons for doing so, including much higher reading rates and establishing a fan base for later books, are pretty compelling.
As I plan to release my first self-published ebook, the article gave me a lot of food for thought. I plan to go with Kindle Direct publishing, which means that I can only offer the book for free via Amazon for a limited amount of time. However, I plan to price it very low after that — around 99 cents — for several reasons.
- The book isn’t very long — about 26,500 words. Small book, small pricetag.
- The price is low enough for people to take a chance on it, or make impulse purchases.
- It’s still more than the book is earning sitting on my hard drive.
My decision to self-publish as an ebook is actually tied quite strongly to the book’s “inbetween” length — too long for short story markets, too short for novel markets, but “just right” for an ebook. Add to that some questionable practices amongst ebook imprints even with the big-name publishers, and going solo just seems to make the most sense.
And I think I might try Lizzy Ford’s strategy of getting the book into as many people’s hands for free as possible. Back when I wrote Aladdin and Gargoyles fan-fiction, I didn’t know a thing about marketing my work — all I did was write it, and push it out there for the world to see. My fan-fiction won me a lot of fans and admirers, including other authors who wanted to write fan-fic that included characters I introduced. I spent hours writing the stories and posting them, all completely for free. But the reward of being read was thanks enough. And, of course, the reward of creatively expressing myself.
At my heart, I’m still a writer who longs to share my stories. The main reason I’d like to earn money with my writing is so I could spend more time doing it, and less time doing other things to earn money. But a wider readership, even without a price tag attached, is still more than I can accomplish by keeping my stories in my own head and in my own house.
Since early 2009, Scribendi, an online editorial services company, has been one of my most steady freelance clients. The experience of working for them has only improved over the years, as they’ve raised wages and begun offering other juicy incentives for helping out during especially busy times or receiving positive feedback on an order. But perhaps one of the things that has impresses me most about Scribendi is their dedication to improving their clients’ writing. This isn’t an organization that wants to keep clients dependent on their services; it’s one that believes it can be most valuable by guiding clients to become stronger writers on their own … even if that means they might eventually outgrow Scribendi’s services.
Along those lines, Scribendi is currently putting together a series of writing ebooks. Their first one, Effective Business Communication, has just been released. Most of us have probably had days at work where we hit “send” too soon on an email or CC’d the wrong person, causing embarrassment at best or downright humiliation or harsh reprimands at worse. We’ve had days where we’ve stared at a blank screen, inert at the thought of beginning that big report or grant proposal or marketing plan (I’ve had tasks stay on my to-do list for weeks, not because of lack of time, but because of how daunting the blank screen is.) Since most professions require written communication of some sort, this book can be helpful to anyone who has a job or is looking for one. And for a few days, you can download it for free. Enjoy!
My latest post, a reflection on rules vs. Jesus, is up on Young Adult Catholics. If that’s not enough Catholic readin’ for you, today and tomorrow, you can also download the collection of short stories that won the Tuscany Press prize for Catholic short fiction for free. I’m headin’ over to get my copy right now!
Hey, folks! Do you remember many moons ago when I entered the Tuscany Press contest for Catholic fiction? Although my manuscript was retained (and later rejected) for their young adult fiction startup, I did not win any of the prizes. But now you can all check out who did! For tomorrow and Wednesday only (probably today and tomorrow by the time most of you read this, so let’s just say March 12 & 13 to make it less confusing), you can download the winning novella, The Book of Jotham, on Kindle for free. If you need to know more about the book then that it’s FREE, here’s a synopsis:
Jotham is a mentally challenged man-child who, like the other apostles, follows Jesus as Christ carries out his ministry and experiences death by crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Yet the other apostles—the dedicated Mary, Peter, Thomas, and the rest—while they care for Jotham and look out for him, don’t understand why Jesus loves him so. Thomas even says, after Jesus offers a parable, “I don’t see why all the pots can’t be strong and beautiful.”
Jotham may be different, but through him, we come to see Jesus and Jotham not just with our eyes, but also with our hearts.
You can bet I’ll be gettin’ one!
On the editing front, I am loving NaNoEdMo and immersing myself in Rapunzel without the stress of having to write it for the first time. But as is wont to happen in the course of revision, there are times when I have to write something totally new. This has been fun for me when it constitutes adding new content or significantly changing content in scenes I’ve already written, but today I had to write my first scene totally from scratch, and man did I balk! It’s still not finished, but it’s hard to go back to that “first-time-out” stage again, without the abandon of NaNoWriMo. My inner editor is here, guys, and you want me to write something new?
I didn’t finish the scene, but I’ve got a whole hour and a half for it tomorrow.