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Not Since The Printing Press…

¡Viva La Revolución!

Yep, I said it and I’m not the first. There is a true revolution happening in writing today. Like my title says, not since the printing press was invented have writers seen the freedom they now have to print their words the way they want to.

That last part is key: “the way they want to”. Not the way an editor wants, not the way a publisher wants, not the way an agent wants and not the way critics want, but the way they, as artists, want.

I’m, of course, talking about ebooks. Specifically fiction, whether flash, short, novella, novel or epic, ebooks give the writer the freedom to publish how they like and when they like. No longer are writers beholden to the whims of some outside entity that has their own agenda, psyche, tastes, lack of mental health or reasoning skills, or just hasn’t had their second cup of coffee. Writers get to make the decisions about their work just like back in the good old days.

Now, I have been on the fence with ebooks for quite a while. Why? Because it all hadn’t sunk in yet. Also, because there wasn’t enough evidence that ebooks were a viable business model. And that is a huge point for me: a viable business model. They gots to makes the cash or I ain’t interested. But now there are many authors that are making great sales with their ebooks: JA Konrath, Nathan Lowell, Lee Goldberg, Michael R. Sullivan, Amanda Hocking. All are killing it with ebook sales each month. The pudding has shown the proof. (For more details check out Mr. Konrath’s site and all the guest posts and links here)

So what does this mean for me?

It means I am now in the ebook biz! Check out the “Buy The Fiction” page above and give it a click or the links to the right. I have put out two short stories at $.99 each to test the market and get my feet wet. I want to understand the process well before I put out a novel.

Of course, just putting it up on the Kindle store doesn’t mean something will sell. You still have to have a good product, good cover and good marketing. Up the quality of all three to great and your sales will go up also. Now, I think I have good products. I know I have good covers. And the marketing? Well, that’s part of what I’m doing now with this post and blog. But, most of all, it’s what my podcast is now for!

In the beginning, when I first started podcasting, I was following the model of others: write book, podcast book, market podcast, get many subscriptions, capitalize on subscriptions and success of podcast to get publishers interested. And that’s what I did, resulting in my first novel, DEAD MECH, to be published. Then what? Well, that’s a whole other story or blogpost.

A year ago, the above made sense. Now? Not so much. The deal is that podcasters have been trying to figure out a way to monetize their podcasts and only a scant few (if any) have found success with it. Now, at least for fiction writers, the ebook makes monetization 100% possible! The podcast model is now full-on marketing for the fiction! Not just a way to market to publishers or agents, but direct marketing for the ebooks! Price those ebooks at the sweet price of $2.99-$4.99 for novels/collections/anthologies and $.99 for short stories and you have yourself a winner. All the marketing you have to do for the podcast in turn translates into marketing for the ebooks. Add some extra marketing for the ebooks and you can have yourself some decent sales given time.

I know many of you will say, “But what about…?’ Well, the “What about”s are the same as they ever were, whatever those may be. Reality doesn’t change, just our freedom to control our own distribution and marketing of our art. You still have to work hard, you still have to make sure you are putting quality out there and you still have to keep the hustle going indefinitely. That’s business folks, and if you can’t get on board with that then don’t bother with ebooks. Commerce is commerce and the time tested rules still apply.

Lucky for me, I LOVE commerce and I have a plan!

What is that plan? Well, that’s for another time. In the meantime I will keep posting about ebooks and insights I find as I start this journey. I’ll be blunt about sales (once I have some) so you can learn from my mistakes, successes, failures and luck.

This should be one heck of a fun ride and I look forward to sharing it with all of you!

Cheers!

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