I've got something serious to talk about.
I know, I know ... serious is pretty far outside my wheelhouse. I promise to be relatively brief. Please bear with me. Thanks.
This week I made the decision to enter the e-book of Monday and the Murdered Man into Amazon's Kindle Select Program. This is a pretty exciting program that lets Amazon Prime members borrow my book for free, it also offers me various promotional and publicity support options (which is plenty exciting for me at least). But there are downsides. During the promotional period, Monday and the Murdered Man, the e-book will be available exclusively from Amazon.
I am philosophically opposed to exclusive deals. I think they're bad for industry in general. Exclusivity did incalculable damage to the comic book industry (which as you might well know is near and dear to my heart). Going back a few decades it wasn't so hot for the Betamax either.
So, all in all, this decision is out of character at best and downright hypocritical at worst. That being said, I thought I'd share some of my thought process on the matter. It mostly comes down to voice and reach. I'm an opinionated fellow and I've got a lot to say. I'm also impatient and I'd rather not wait 10 years to become an overnight success if I can avoid it. Marketing is a big part of my plan. Infinite Marketing in Infinite Diversion (Roddenberry forgive me) is my basic strategy. I'm going around to conventions and book clubs and book stores, and libraries and anything else I can think of. I'm posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter and +1-ing on Google +. If people want to listen to me talk, I will go forth and talk to them.
At first blush this line of thinking should fly in the face of going exclusive. You can probably see why this whole mess is giving me a brain ache. The thing is, I know I can't do everything all at once. I can only speak in one venue at a time and I'm comfortable with that (although if anyone has any ideas on how to get around that limitation, I'm willing to listen).
By focusing for a while on Amazon sales exclusively I am hoping to get more exposure in the largest e-book arena, hopefully more exposure will get more people reading and listening, more people reading and listening hopefully gives me a chance to share my thoughts, ideas, and philosophies about How Things Should Be (tm and patent pending) with a wider audience. Enlightened self interest for the win? Hopefully.
In the eternal battle between pure artistic integrity and becoming a shameless sell-out, I definitely lean towards the shameful. I rely on my friends, editors and fans to tell me if I go too far. I figure that as long as I'm producing a quality product, it's my fiduciary duty to sell it as well as I know how. And let's be honest with each other, shall we? I could use some more money off this project. My day job is running a game store, which is only slightly more profitable than writing novels (which is only slightly more profitable than wishing real hard for it to rain zinc).
So will my nefarious plans for financial solvency and minor celebrity status succeed? That's an excellent question and one that I am keenly interested in. Stick around and we'll find out together. In the meantime, I have a lot of writing to do.
Thanks for listening and I'll try to be funnier next time.
February 25th, 2012