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Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear March 10, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in e-books, nostalgia, sense of wonder, serial fiction, VIPub, writing.
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We are entering a new era. Every author can be a publishing company (VIPub!) and those topics and genre deemed unprofitable by the major publishers and their increasingly failing business model can be delivered directly to the readers. So what if the audience is only a few thousand? For the author, that’s good enough. And for the audience that’s paradise!

Last night in Mike Stackpole’s “office hours” in Second Life, he said that he’s come to the conclusion that, on the basis of monetary return, all fiction ought to be put out in digital form, especially books by first time authors. The argument is compelling. A new author might see $3000 for a first novel (and, for the record, that’s what I got for my first book in 1975–times aren’t getting better). Put it up on Kindle for $5, get $3.50 for every sale, sell 10 a month and in about 2.5 years you’ve made the same as the publisher would have given you, with the added benefit of steady income (of course, the publisher would have given you the lump sum up front, or some variation on that). Benefit for the author? The book is all yours. CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Blurb, a lot of places afford you the ability to do print on demand, if you want a dead tree product. But best of all, from my perspective, is the ability to see how the book is selling and to immediately get a sequel or additional supporting stories out right away. A publisher would take 18 months for that sequel–after your book has been out of print for 17 months, making a sequel the same as a “first novel” in the readers’ minds. Series books are especially blessed with VIPub. The first titles are still available if someone stumbles onto a later title but won’t start reading without beginning at the beginning.

I did nine Nick Carter:Killmaster books in the early ‘80s. Loved doing them. They were work for hires, which meant I got the $2500 upfront money and that was it. I did one title in the Baroness series that was suspended in 1979 before my book was published. Consistency kept the audience; a publisher deciding action/adventure books aimed at men were passe killed it. To this day there is a yahoo group devoted to the Baroness series.

And the Nick Carter spirit lives on in a new name and series with Lee Goldberg’s Dead Man books. That it is in the top 100 on Kindle speaks to the readers’ hunger for such titles. It may not be the serial fiction I mentioned yesterday but it is series fiction promised from some mighty fine writers (I know Bill Crider did the Nick Carter book, Coyote Connection, and might have done more and does fine mysteries. James Reasoner is one of the top action/adventure writers. Lee’s Monk books are sometimes better than the fun TV series entries.) You want adventure. Here it is.

And a bit of whimsy from an old timey magazine, copy courtesy of Mike Montgomery.

Weasels Ripped My Flesh

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