Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Geez, That Was Quick

(No, that’s not what my wife routinely says. Not routinely.)

It’s only been six months since Wild Bill made its appearance in the e-booksphere. Hardly enough time, one would think, to have written another book and gotten it ready for public consumption. Approach with caution. This $2.99 might not be any better spent than the dollar store earmuffs that fell apart the third time you put them on.

Well, there’s a story behind that.

I’ve been backed up for several years. (Not like you’re thinking. Two cans of V-8 a day take care of that for me. Now relax and let me get there.) Early on in my writing efforts, I heard what sounded like good advice: keep writing. So I didn’t stop after the first book was done and I looked for an agent. I kept writing while the agent flogged the book to all the big publishers. I even kept plugging away when a smaller, but highly respected publisher of crime fiction strung me along for two years before sending me a two-line, grammatically incorrect rejection.

Agent One and I parted ways amicably when I decided to take the tone of my stories in a different direction than she was comfortable with. I wrote while I found another agent, and while she pushed what had been the second novel around New York houses. We parted ways when she declined to send out Wild Bill, though she indicated she would be happy to pocket her 15% if I found a publisher on my own. Since querying is my most hated part of the process, I declined and we each went on to other opportunities.

I made a half-assed effort to find another agent, but by this time I’d done my research on what happens after you get a contract, so my enthusiasm was somewhat lacking. Kept on writing, though. About a year ago I’d learned self-publishing an e-book was less odious than carrying hod up a ladder, and looked into having Wild Bill  formatted. All that time I kept on writing, though I had started taking summers off.

Now what I have, in addition to Wild Bill and Worst Enemies (available on Thursday for a paltry $2.99; you had to know you couldn’t get through this without more shameless self-promotion) I now have five books gathering dust on my hard drive, plus enough shorts and flash pieces for a collection, and the work-in-progress. I figure I can keep writing at my current leisurely pace for four more years before I get caught up, assuming I drop a book every six months.

Not that I’m OCD, or anything.

Rest assured, the quality of my writing (such as it is) will not suffer.  (I know some people are thinking, “How would we notice?”) I’m dedicated to producing the same level of entertainment for a measly $2.99 per installment. Two ninety-nine, folks. I looked it up on the Internet and was shocked to learn that’s less than three bucks! With summer approaching, no one wants to damage their e-reader with beach sand; beaches are for paper books. That’s why Worst Enemies is available now, so you can get it read and go on with your summer without worrying about the Three Esses ruining your expensive Kindle: sand, salt, and sea gulls.

Some day you’ll thank me for it.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I suppose it is better for us that we have ebooks now. But perhaps not. I can't decide whether it leads to more disappointments or less.

Dana King said...

I vote for less. I can now bite off as much as I want, on my own schedule. No one is telling me how great something is going to be if I cut this, merge these two characters, change the ending, or spend my advance on promotion, then not have it work out. I do what i want, when I want, and it works out, or I doesn't. Given reasonable expectations, my odds are pretty good.