Testing the waters

Hello, all.

Progress has been a bit slow on the next book, I am afraid. (I’m about 33,000 words in, or about half the length of Jade. That would put me at about a quarter of the way to my target length.) It has been a while since I gave you any updates, though, so I figured I would take this opportunity to get your thoughts on a thing or two. I’ve gotten a lot of reviews and comments since last I posted. Some were justifiably critical, but most were very positive. A handful have even remarked that it is a shame the books aren’t available in print. In the past I had looked briefly into what would be necessary to have some paperbacks made, but at that time it didn’t seem worth the effort, since I’d had a grand total of four sales. The time may have come to revisit the area.

Naturally if there were a print edition there would be some differences. Foremost, I wouldn’t be able to offer Book 1 for free. Considering the sheer number of pages in the book, in fact, the minimum price is going to be pretty darn high. A quick estimate puts it at $10+, which I personally think would be a tough sell. Since my readers wouldn’t have the ability to download corrected editions free of charge, I would want to wait until I had a professionally edited manuscript before shipping it off to be printed. (In all fairness, I should have done that for the ebook version, but it is doubly important for the print edition.) It would also be a good idea to get a snappy cover made. There would be decisions to be made regarding what form factor I should shoot for, what typeface, what font size, and no doubt a few dozen other things I’m not even aware of.

All of the considerations above boil down to a fair amount of money and a fair amount of time. Since both of those things are very valuable resources, I’d like to know what you folks think. Should I give the dead tree version of self-publishing a try? Most of you are reading this because you already own and have already read at least one of my books, so I wouldn’t expect you to buy a second version of the same story. The real question is, do you think that printing the book would be worth my while? What benefits do you think there would be? I’m interested in your opinions, so if you have a thought you’d like to share, please comment.

3 Comments

  1. I’m trying to get everything new that I read in ebook format now. The only hardcover (or paperback) that I plan on buying in future is the concluding entry in the WoT series, and that’s because I already have every other volume in physical format.

    How about an omibus version of the trilogy in paperback – that would allow you to keep the opening volume ebook free – sort of as a teaser.

    1. Interesting… I hadn’t thought about releasing it combined. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll have to see how the costs compare. Regardless of whether I do it combined, separately, or not at all, it is my intention to keep the eBook of Book 1 free in all of the retailers that allow me to do so. I just won’t be able to make the actual paperback free. Doing it omnibus style will certainly avoid the inevitable backlash I would have gotten for charging for one format and giving the other away for free. Good thinking.

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