Doing some publishing work. Trying to get the 2 books in a collaborative series I’ve worked on over the past (almost) decade ALL OVER THE WEB. The first one has been out for a while, but I’m giving it some love to other platforms in preparation of the release of the second.
I’m trying out some new platforms (Google Play Books, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and more). I also want to have a non-retailer giant friendly version. Something that’s more direct. It’s also something that I want to be able to use with my personal giveaway stories that I do regularly (I’ve crudely been using Dropbox).
I’m finding Gumroad might be the sweet spot. Any Gumroad users on this site? Anyway…
I’m setting it up two ways for my personal usage: one link in the Gumroad store for purchasing, another “discount” link I can use that offers the same book for free.
Here’s how that looks:
- $0.99 version of my short story The Experiment: https://gumroad.com/l/experimentnaw
- FREE version of my short story The Experiment: https://gumroad.com/l/experimentnaw/naw001
You do not need a Gumroad account to purchase/download. After you purchase, the email address you provided will receive a receipt with a download link. Save that email for yourself. And because I’m nice, there’s no DRM on the ebook. That way you don’t have to worry about “too many” copies locking your file, or it only working in certain apps, or whatever.
Feel free to click the links and use it. Let me know what you think. Is it nice? Is this a process you wouldn’t mind going through if you were purchasing an ebook? And no, you don’t have to give me $0.99, you can use the freebie one. This is a test.
I read this article lately, and it got me thinking about some of my recent decisions about my story sharing. I’m greatly summarizing this article, but basically, giving away free stories is bad for the indie industry overall and it devalues your own work. There’s actually a lot to unpack in the article, and I don’t disagree with all of it, and most of it just makes me think. But it did inspire me to write about what I’ve been doing lately, my free stories, and why I do it.
Over the past few years I began to focus inward on being better at writing with the purpose of publishing/selling. But I also wanted to always put forth stories out there for free. Not because I don’t value my time I put into these stories. No, a part of me looks at the reading landscape, the digital one, and I realize how wonderful it is that we can have stories so quick at our fingertips–in some cases cheaper than a paperback. It’s a different literary landscape than what existed when I was a kid.
But cheap is still money. And for a lot of people, cheap is still not good on the budget. That’s why while I work on stories for publishing/selling, I also work on other stories that I will give out for free. Or like the I Will Kill You for $5 project, one person pays me $5 to write it, but the end result is available for free and for all–so only one person pays for it.
I like to think of it as creating my own personal online library of my work that anyone can access and download the files for free. These are not public domain, you can’t remix or sell them, but you can read them as much as you like. And own as many copies as you like. And email a copy to your friend who you think will like it. They are DRM free.
I’ve also been trying to think of a way to make my next work that will cost money available for free to those who can’t afford it. I don’t know that I’ll want to just drop it in the online library, but I very much want to be accessible to lower-income and poor people as a writer. Because even the less fortunate deserve escapism–an argument could be made that they deserve it most.
I may write more on this, because there is still some stuff bouncing around in my brain after reading the article. But by no means do the words “an urgent warning” come to mind. 🙄
I wanted to share some thoughts I learned about publishing over the past two years. What happened over the past two years, you ask? I was shopping our collaborative novel GUN around to publishers off and on in those years. It wasn’t an always on experience, and sometimes I felt bad about that. And sometimes I’d research a publisher, and then decide not to submit the manuscript to them, and feel bad that I hadn’t submitted, because each time the manuscript got rejected or didn’t get submitted it just drug the whole ordeal out more. Continue reading