Monday, February 13, 2012
Ebook Launch and Giveaway
At long last, I am pleased to announce the publication of two ebooks, “My Morning Glory and other flashes of absurd science fiction” and “The Wedding Album.” The first is a collection of three flash fiction stories first published in the British science journal Nature, and I’m giving it away for free. The second is a novella first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction and probably my most popular and widely translated work to date.
In order to make a splash, I’m giving away the “My Morning Glory” mini-collection for free, along with a bonus short story (see below). Because of Amazon’s proprietary exclusivity rules, I’ll have to do this in two phases. First comes Nook. Download for free until Monday, February 20. And then from Thursday, February 23 through Monday, February 27, download them from Amazon for free.
Not to make too big a deal about it, but this is more than just a book launch. It’s also the launching of my new role as e-publisher. The synergistic, skill-extension effect of the personal computer and the Internet has finally caught up with authorship, and all hell is breaking loose. With the introduction of the Kindle only three years ago, the traditional barriers to book manufacture and distribution have been battered down. Tens of thousands of aspiring authors have rushed in where only traditional publishers used to tread. Now, literally, anyone who’s ever wanted to publish a real book (in both digital and POD editions) and sell it around the world can do so at minimal cost and fuss. (Grammer, speling & punctuation is optional ;)
Suddenly there are channels to put books into the hands of the reading public that do not involve traditional publishing. Trailblazing authors have already racked up digital bestsellers without NYC’s input. Traditional publishing is reeling with the changes and trying to adapt, and someday it may figure out a new business model (transmedia novels, anyone?). In the meantime, we mid-list authors of the old regime are scrambling to stay afloat in the new. One thing many authors are doing, now that we’ve been given the tools, is to bring out our backlists in ebook format. I’m giving that a try; in my case I only own the ebook rights to my short stories, and I’m only planning on e-publishing these few. (You can already buy “MMG” and “TWA” along with 8 other stories in my Del Rey collection, Getting to Know You.) If all goes well, I may self-pub my next novel, Camp Tribulation, (partly because I’m doubtful any legacy publisher will touch it--it’s that good!--or, maybe it’s no good at all; I don’t know; still too early to tell; it’s about two years away from completion).
One may wonder why I am e-publishing “TWA.” After all, it’s been reprinted about a dozen times and translated into five foreign languages and is easily found on pirate sites. Hasn’t everyone already read it who’s going to read it? I hope not. The fact that it has done so well for so long suggests that, given a little nudge, it might have the right stuff to find new readers on its own who may become new fans.
A literary agent once said that in order to make a living by writing fiction these days, an author needs 20,000 fans. (I think the agent was Donald Maass.) I don’t know how accurate the figure is, but it sounds about right. If it is, I still have a lot of recruitment to do.
I expect that anyone who regularly checks this blog has already read “TWA,” but maybe you know someone who hasn’t. Maybe someone who received a Kindle or Nook for Christmas or Valentine’s Day and is searching for something good to read on it. If so, please do me the fannish favor of passing this link to them.
On the other hand, unless you have a subscription to Nature (or belong to an institution that does), you may not have read the flash fiction stories. Please download “My Morning Glory” at no cost, with my compliments.
So, Nookies, get your complimentary copies now! And Kindlers, go to Amazon beginning February 23. (I'll post a reminder.)