Thinking Outside the Book-Shaped Box
I sure hope Twitter is still around in the 25th century. What an amazing tool for discovering gems on the Internet you couldn’t hope to stumble onto otherwise (sorry, stumbleupon). I received a tweet from Nadene Carter, a lifetime book-lover that now runs a small publishing house. Checking out her blog, I see a recent post on how to help your publisher market your book in the 21st century (It’s so jarring when I write the current date after spending so much time researching Molly).
Out of the seven wonderful bits of advice Nadene offers, I reckon I’m batting around .500. Well, I’m pretending to bat .500. I don’t have a publisher yet (but, hey… I’ve only been looking for three days!)
What the entry really got me thinking about was the potential for publishing via New Media and outside the traditional trajectory. See? I’m already thinking more like Molly. Using creativity and positive-thinking to try a different approach.
Here’s what I was thinking: First, the books come out in a serial format, instead of one giant chunk. Each section would be around 30 pages (10K words) and have a basic beginning and end with a little hook to keep the reader enticed. At the end of ten sections, you have a completed work (and it just so happens, my first two books have this precise format).
You give the first section away on the Internet via your blog, scribd, etc. After that, each section is a mere $0.99. Half a cup of coffee. Two sticks of gum. One third a comicbook. The sections are released on your website with PayPal, cc, etc. and on the Kindle (their lowest price option is $0.99).
After 10 sections are released, you give away the epilogue (which hooks them for the next book) and they only have to wait another month to continue the journey! Meanwhile, that first book is bound and printed and sold via traditional means, on your website, at book conferences, in brick-and-mortar stores (if your book catches on enough) and to loyal fans that want a hard copy.
The constant micro-transactions replace traditional royalties. You stay connected with your reader year-round. It’s all about developing an excited fanbase that spreads the word. And at these prices, the entry can be an impulse-buy, not an agonizing internal debate.
I don’t know if all stories are perfectly suited to this sort of scheme, but Molly’s sure is. Look at the wonderful changes she’s already inspired in me! I was never this creative before I started studying her life.