If you're ever stuck between a rock and a hard place with the same thoughts pin-balling around your head never amounting to much, simply stop and go do something else.
Such a thing was enforced on me this past weekend and somewhere amongst the busy-ness, my head figured a lot of things out. Or rather, my head went back to an answer it had some six months ago that I went on to overthink, finally coming out of the other side with the wrong answer. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say 'a badly timed answer' because it's still a good answer, just not the one I need right now. Let me explain.
A while back I had a plan that looked something like this:
Short stories: fair game for publishing in magazines, online and eventually in a collection published right here.
Novel: keep it held back to push at the publishing world using the traditional model.
I also figured - probably because I love books so much - that it would be ‘noble’ to not make any of this available digitally. If you want the book, you buy the book.
It all sounded simple and worthwhile - and it is, but across this last weekend, I asked an awful lot of people how they read books these days. I was only halfway through my straw poll before I started choking on the pie. It appears that more people than I thought read on a tablet or a phone these days. I knew it was a lot but I also figured these people still loved the physicality of books… and they do, but they don’t love them enough or at least not in the same way that I do.
One thing is for sure - burrowing into this sure is complex and I am not the man with the correct answers but I am not entirely wrong either.
Thus I have rethought and rewound:
1. The Family Of Noise has been withdrawn from sale on the Bad Hare store. It’s doing the rounds with agents at the moment and I want to see what will happen with it. We’ll file that under pending for the time being. I think it’s going to be a long process.
2. The Day The Sky Fell Down will shortly be available to buy at amazon and iBooks (sometime over this coming weekend) along with Black Dye White Noise. I can’t swim against this digital tide, it’s a pointless exercise but sometime soon (not that soon) I'll also make both of these available as limited edition hardbacks from here with some nice extras - but there are still a few copies of each ready to roll as softbacks.
That should cover all the bases and also keep my soul happy over having physical product available that’s worth owning.
So that’s my pie eaten and I didn’t even leave any crusts. It’s tough out there in the new world but the bottom line is I want people to read my work - what format readers wish to choose is not up to me, and I should have known better. Digital devices are not going away any time soon that’s for sure but it was heartwarming to think everybody else stacked their homes to the roof with books as well.
Maybe I need to get out more but one thing is for sure - it's about time I stopped talking about anything to do with publishing and got on with writing. So be it.
The world may not have been like this when I found it but it damn well is now.