Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Insane Thoughts I Have

I maybe ought to just make this a feature, eh?

But this insanity might have some (or at least one) coherent utility point... So see that... I might be insane, but I'm USEFUL!



Have you heard of this series/book? (a video from him)

I believe it is post-apocalyptic, they are claiming 'the next Hunger Games'...

This guy wrote a novelette... didn't promote, but found sort of a cult following... so in NaNoWriMo wrote MORE of them... and Kristen Nelson approached him about foreign rights, movie rights... He'd turned down other agents, but she was saying stuff he didn't think he could do on his own, so he signed with her.

Now he has a movie deal with Ridley Scott... foreign rights up the gazoo, and Simon and Schuster has bought his PRINT rights while letting him keep his digital rights (dream, right?)

I listened to a Simon & Schuster rep, and SHE SAID (cue BIG IDEA) one of the tricks to his success was publishing serially.

Say what?

He has 5 novelettes out, all of them were up for $.99. Except the first... it's free

Now to do novelettes, or as I call them, novellas *rolls eyes* (though it looks like a novelette is shorter than a novella) you need to have full stories in each... but the idea of say... doing a play in 3 acts and having each wind up... that's reasonable, right? So instead of ONE book for $2.99, you sell 3 (totaling $2.97)--so for the READER it is a deal... and as a promoter, you can offer the first free... Now for the AUTHOR, you have to look at this as an investment... the percentage you get too keep of each $.99 book is smaller than for $2.99 books (less than half)... but THINK how many more will try if the first in a series is free and then they can buy... or think about 5 or 7 or 10 books at $.99, instead of stopping your story...

Now not all stories merit that many parts, but when I recently did my list of 'potential works' SEVERAL were apocalypse books. I LOVE the theme... (his are POST-apocalypse... but if it is interesting AFTER the world ends, why not during the end, eh?)

So I am toying with the idea now that 1) Shot in the Light could be published this way... it would work well. It is more than 500 pages, so... in 4 novellas maybe? I already SEE a solid break that I suppose is closer to the 1/3 mark... I can come up with another break... in fact I know where that is, too, when I think on it... okay, it would be in 3...

But the system also fits really well with the one I'm writing, which I am far more inclined to see going on quite a while.

I may not... but I may...

And if I do, it doesn't mean giving up on doing some stuff traditionally at all. I still want to. I just think for THIS kind of thing, the serial format might really rock.

In other news. WANTED: Australian YA Romance Writers!!!!

I neither write romance, nor am in Australia, but it seemed to me I had a number of friends who might be interested in this:

"Random House Australia is launching HOOKED, a hot new digital-first romance imprint for readers aged 15+.




Donna Hole said...

Really, I think the serial rocks. That is, of course, my own bias because I'm a short story lover, and I enjoy a serial. I've subscribed to e-zines for the serial, and when that ended, I was disappointed.

I think the short story/novella/serial is coming back into style. I could be biased due to my own love of the genre.

Go for it Hart. See what happens. I'm of the opinion no writing forum is a wasted effort. You may find a new fav writing niche, or just enjoy the distraction. Does it matter as long as you had fun writing it?


M.J. Fifield said...

I like the idea of a serial. I could never write one myself, but I applaud those who can and do.

Jill Haugh said...

I really admire your gumption Hart. Marketing makes me clench my teeth and contemplate switching to decaf. I must work on my patience with the publishing world and all the hoops we must jump through just to get read! Sigh.
~Just Jill

j welling said...

Serial is a great format for fast-paced compelling writing.

Of course, any format is good for faced-paced compelling writing.

Good luck.

Old Kitty said...

I say take the NAKED plunge and go for it!! Yay! Take care

Christopher Allen said...

Very interesting ideas!

Sarah Ahiers said...

I've heard good things about Wool, but i haven't read it yet.
I think the business model is sound, and if i were considering self publishing at this point in time, i'd lean towards something like that

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know someone who's done a series like that - he'll be happy to here series like that are in now.

mshatch said...

Interesting. This is something I may have to consider.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Like Donna says, "Go for it." Sadly, it is usually only the first time a concept is used that works well. But you will always wonder if you don't try. I wish you luck! :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think it's worth a try, Hart.

Southpaw said...

I think it is a great idea.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! That's Awesome! I've already committed myself to doing a trilogy of books with my current series, but I can definitely see where this would fit with another story that I've been working on when I'm feeling distracted.

Helena said...

Hey, writers from Charles Dickens to Stephen King have published serials, and if this is the best way to tell your Shot story, then jump on in and do it. And may you get dream publishing and movie rights offers as a result.

Damyanti said...

Re the Random House call, I'd be cautious. I've been hearing pretty nasty things about their imprint Hydra.


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I second Damjanti's caution on the RH imprint - they've been up to some hijinks lately. Just make sure you do your due diligence.

As for serials... OF COURSE Hugh's success has re-validated the serial as a model to follow. Interestingly, his serial releases got longer as they went (only the first couple were actually novelettes) - the last one (in the first set) being 250 pages, the length of a novel! Part of what he DID do, though, was respond to reader desires to read more... and he wrote like a madman, cranking out those 5 serial installments in just 3 months. He's an amazing inspiration.

I don't think there's just "one" way to do a serial - in fact, writers are experimenting all over the place. RaShelle Workman just finished up a 12 part serial that she wrote-as-she-went. John Scalzi is releasing his 12 part serial (through a trad press), but I believe those were all pre-written. Those were all short - about 12k apiece - unlike Hugh's. The Yesterday's Gone series is another successful example who released quickly (1-2 weeks apart) but were longer - more like 30-40k.

The idea of serials is NOT the same as breaking up a novel. Episodic storytelling is much like a TV series - there are lots of ways to do it, but readers/viewers are not going to be happy (generally) with one story broken into a bunch of parts, where it just stops and you have to come back later to read the rest.

It will be interesting to see what you think after you write (or revise) into serial format! I know I've learned a lot about the form in writing Debt Collector (and my other novellas before that).

Great post!