So I’m sitting here thinking to myself that formatting ebooks through Smashwords engenders more headaches than I had originally hoped. I’m dealing with it, but it’s such a slow process to go from submitted to correctly auto vetted to approved… and even then, it doesn’t seem to yield much in the way of improvement to sales status. I’ve been involved with Smashwords since October, and I’ve only sold three books.
Now, I know that it’s my job to promote my books as much as possible, and I’m doing as much as I know how, which I’m willing to concede probably isn’t enough. But somehow, I’d rather hoped there would be just a little more help behind the scenes, so to speak. I know they don’t have staff over there selecting books and promoting them or anything like that. It’s pretty much the opposite of promotion, really. You just sort of throw your book on the conveyor and watch it disappear around the corner, never to be seen again. The best I can do is continuously promote them myself and hope my name recognition factor increases over time. Doesn’t leave much time for editing and especially for writing, though, I can tell you that much.
Well, LinkTales volume one is really a novella with some reference material for the rest of the series. I could have included other short stories and chapters and such, but those really felt like they belonged in the next volume, given that they were written for books that didn’t get published, where The Dark Guild actually did get published in a less-complete form. The version that now inhabits volume one is still in some respects incomplete, but it’s going to stay that way until the full novelisation happens, and that’s going to be a little ways off, because there are several books in line ahead of it.
It’s also contingent upon whether people actually take an interest in the story and tell me they want me to continue it. I know that’s not how these things are usually done, but really, you have to see it my way: I wrote the story for a roleplaying game that was published eight years ago. From where I’m sitting, it’s in the distant past. I published it in this form simply because I needed to start collecting my various works and putting them out under my own banner so I could make a little money off of them. The Link: West RPG sold out in its first printing, but it tanked in its second printing and as a consequence, I made no money from it. Not one thin dime.
A cynic might say I got paid what it was worth, but personally, I happen to think it’s a pretty neat story, and there are several other stories waiting to be told that connect to it, which I will be telling in the next volume, or down the road. Some day, a full novelisation of The Dark Guild WILL happen, simply because I need it to. But for now, it’s just a bit of unfinished business for me, and if nobody else takes an interest, then it will get done in my own sweet time.
As for Terminal Monday: Under Observation, well, I’ve talked about this one a lot, but maybe I can tell you a bit about the details you might not get from reading just the novella.
For one thing, there’s the ongoing drama of Nurse Andy, whom readers of the full novel (due out in a week or two) would know has been Richard’s on-again-off-again girlfriend while he has dealt with his separation and his perilously-threatened career and reputation as a writer. Andy wants to be a writer too, and she’s started a great piece of space opera, which she has been getting Richard to coach her on writing, at the advising of Richard’s ex-girlfriend (from long before his failed marriage), Wanda.
Wanda thinks Richard’s sci-fi is still the best she’s ever read, despite the fact that his only piece of published sci-fi was stolen out from under him by his former writing partner, David Mender, whom she briefly dated after her relationship with Richard fell apart. The fact that Mender has gone on to write about a dozen more novels to the series, each one less enthralling and original than the last, has a lot of people thinking Richard should take his case back to court before Mender finally sells the series rights to Hollywood, and Richard gets cut out completely.
As for Richard’s failed marriage to Kara, he still loves his wife dearly (don’t let the fact that he sleeps around a bit after his separation confuse you; we’re not all puritans, and neither are we evil for the lack of piety), but she feels she can’t trust him anymore, because of an indiscretion he made early in their marriage, involving a former friend of hers. When Richard runs into Wanda, Kara immediately suspects he will start sleeping with her again, and rather than wait for him to prove her wrong or right, she kicks him out of their Brooklyn apartment, and he winds up staying with his drummer, Drake, until he can get some money and a place of his own.
The story may sound a bit soap operatic, but it’s really a very involved and engrossing story with lots of twists and turns and, let’s be honest, more than a smattering of fairly graphic sex. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but personally, I found it a very rewarding book to write, and I’d love for people to read it.
The novella is really a tool for me to hopefully lure people into reading the whole thing when it’s finally available, but if they read no more than Under Observation, I’ll still be happy, because I think the novella is one of the strongest pieces of fiction I’ve ever written. At approximately thirty-nine thousand words, it’s certainly not a short piece, and it has a lot of little parts, which I have carefully broken up into hot-linked mini-chapters for your convenience. I didn’t have to do it, you know. It’s really meant to be read as one long piece, but honestly, 39K is a lot of text to read all in one go.
Alright, I think that’s enough book promotion for today. I have some other stuff to do before my wife gets up, so I’m ending it here. Thanks for reading.