A new short story, and thoughts on releasing works

May 11, 2011 Uncategorized

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been working on a new short story.

It is complete, although the final draft is closer to a novella at just under 20,000 words. The edited version I got back has a few changes, but not many which is a good sign. The real problem is deciding on a title. My working titles are not good, but luckily publishers tend to change the name before release.

Now there’s the question of how to release it. The short story I had planned could have been sold to a magazine, but there’s less demand for 20,000 words. (For other short story writers, Duotrope is a useful resource about open markets).

I could release it as a e-book myself. I’ve had some interesting experiences with e-books: My books on Smashwords (both Arrival and other titles as work-for-hire or under pseudonyms) regularly pull over two thousand downloads in a matter of months. Feedbooks gives slightly less. On Amazon’s own site my publisher’s sales figures for Fire Season are rather less impressive, even though it’s only been out for a month. Part of the problem seems to be Amazon’s regional divisions, e.g. using my account I can’t see what price my book is in the US, far less “gift” Kindle copies to reviewers as many request.

To complicate matters, the royalties that most markets pay for this type of fiction are low. Effectively I’m chosing between a publication credit and a new audience, and income, and while I’d love to write for the art I do have bills to pay. If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know I had to make a similar choice this time last year.

At the moment, I’m leaning towards Smashwords, just because it’s where I have the most readers. However, I still have to decide on a new title, because if I release it myself I don’t have a publisher to come up with something better.

“Tuesday_idea” is not a great release title after all.