Archives For ebooks

Experiment #2

January 19, 2012 — Leave a comment

Twit Publishing is going to go against the grain on this one:

We’re going to do the unthinkable.

We’re going to . . . make our ebooks only available through the Amazon Kindle for the 90 days Select period. Mainly just to see how it goes.

Why, you may ask?

I’m glad you asked, I may say.

1. It’s a huge market. With the number of kindles out there, you get a lot of eyes. We’ve always been there, but Prime gives you a little more leverage for making your own freebies. Now, whether or not there is going to be just an expanded class of people that ONLY download books for free… well, people are like that, aren’t they? There’s always going to be the groupon-style addicts who, rather than supporting something with their money, struggle to find the next free item.

2. Quite frankly, I had issues with BN.com and how they cataloged our three PULP! books. I mentioned them on the facebook page, about how they essentially group them as different editions of each other, rather than as three distinct books. So, I am considering going to them after the 90 days are up. In fact, I likely will.

3. I’m retooling our PULP! books, and rather than submit them multiple places, I’m going to do a test case on Amazon. Inputting more links and metadata information to the books, like links to the author websites, blogs and twitter accounts.

4. It’s only 90 days. I look at it like any distribution agreement you’d have to enter into with a brick and mortar wholesaler. Importantly, though, we still are able to sell our print books through any retailer, online or off.

Overall, I want a readership to connect more fully with our authors, so the authors can become more recognizable in the long term. It’s mutually beneficial for all parties involved. They’re able to build more of a readership that they can take and hold onto. Quite frankly, it’s up to them on whether or not they want to keep the readers with us, or move on. It’s their decision, and the readers are part of their payment. If Twit Publishing can accomplish this goal by leveraging more free giveaways, then we will.

I love/hate this time of year!

First of all, Twit’s offices (our little, old apartment) gets colder than a polar bear’s tits starting right around now. Last year we had the gas heater running full blast with a space heater blowing full on in the living room, and still only managed to get the temp to 55 degrees. Luckily, last winter was unseasonably cold, so we’re not likely to have a repeat.

Second of all, this is the time for re-examining the year that’s just passed. You go and poke through its remains with a stick, turning over both the good and icky parts, and try to see what was worth learning. It’s like a messy, primal vivisection of your previous mistakes and accomplishments. Or, at least the way you remember them.

(as a side note, isn’t it kind of interesting that people have stopped writing journals, instead turning to blogs? But blogs aren’t like diaries. You can’t put your real deep down, dark desires or true feelings about your boss, your family, job, love life on a blog. Because, well, this shit’s public. I mean, I can’t go back and look at Twit’s blogs and examine my year. These are all focused on the company, not on me personally. And, on top of that, I still can’t examine what’s really going on in the company. We keep stuff under wraps, the same way anyone else does. Am I right, or amiright?)

And, finally, this is the time for resolutions.

What a crappy word, right? Resolutions. Doesn’t even feel right in the mouth. Say it out loud with me. Resolutions.

But, like I said, this is the time for them. So here’s mine:

1. Release three more kick-ass anthologies. Two PULPS! And one Dieselpunk.

2. Release our first novel and a couple novellas.

3. Release a bunch of free short stories.

4. Grow the fan base.

5. Blog more.

6. Guest blog somewhere. Wouldn’t it be nice to check your regular blog and see a post from yours truly?

7. Tweet more, even though I hate it.

8. Sleep less. Seriously, I like naps. A lot. I need to stop napping so much and, I dunno, sleep at night instead.

9. Finish my own novella. A couple, actually.

10. Start a diary. A real one, where I catalog day-to-day activities: “Wrote for an hour, argued with Chris about word choice in my short story for five hours, ate some green beans while crying softly for fifteen minutes. Napped.”

So, that’s it for me. Just a measly ten.

How about you guys? Do you have any? Or are you content to live your life exactly the way you have in the past?

Cause, if so, that’s lame. Real lame.

P.S. Did I mention all our stories are 99 cents now through most popular ereaders? I’ll post the links as soon as all the price changes have kicked in (in the meantime, here’s the kindle!)

No, that’s not ninety-nine dollars. There’s a period between the dollar sign and the nine!

We’re going down to ninety-nine cents because, honestly, we can. With ebooks, the marginal cost of product is zip. Zero. Nada.

Witness the awesomeness that is Twit Publishing Presents: PULP! in all its $.99 cents glory!

Thrill as you’re able to buy all three and get 38 freaking stories (or 200,000 words) for less than your next meal!

But, seriously, I adjusted the prices upward as a “why the hell not?” kind of thing.

Well.

A few days ago, Chris and I were sitting on the porch having a beer and smoking a cigarette, talking about the  release of future books and a few other projects that are forthcoming (details will be posted here, of course), and he said, “You know we wrote in the forward that we’d never price our ebooks very high, right?”

I’d completely forgotten. Completely. Forgotten.

So the prices changed back, at least on the Kindle.

It’s like the wild west out here in publishing land.

There’s no real rhyme or reason a lot of the following:

  • Pricing
  • Length of books/stories
  • Publishers

These are just some random notes inspired by a bunch of different blogs. Like this one, this one, this guy here, and (strangely enough) this one.

OK, so the first one is the blog for a man named Seth Godin. Here’s a really great video by Mr. Godin on Ted.com. As a side note, if you’ve never watched anything from Ted, do what I did while I was single: get really hammered on a lonely Saturday night and watch about 30 in one night. You’ll have almost a gazillion ways to not be interesting to cute girls the next day (and an awful hangover).

Seth Godin is heading up the project behind the second link. It’s funded by Amazon to find news ways of publishing in the digital age: cheap hardback books, low margin, books moving faster to print. Amazon wants to use the kindle to reposition the book, electronic or otherwise, as the major cultural cornerstone it deserves to be. Or, well, people think it deserves to be. I mean, if the market-place of ideas drive the book out of the cultural sphere in favor of a better form of personal expression, books wouldn’t really deserve that spot anymore. Now would they?

The third one is about 6 maybe future trends in ebooks. Lots of ebooks not being finished reading (which kind of speaks to how shitty future books will be… am I right, or am I right? right?), smaller payments, lots of bloggers writing books, no publishers or editors (which likely means more errors and poor grammar. Now I just sound like I’m sniping), and books that are written quickly and sent to market almost as quickly. Also, lots of books will be shorter. I think we’re going to start seeing 50K as the high end of number of words per book.

Look out! We’re in novella country!

The final one is about Dutch TV hosts slicing meat off their bodies, frying up the flesh, and eating it while looking into each others eyes.

Seriously. Cannibalism is legal in the Netherlands. What an awesome place, right?

But, the reason why I bring this up is the nature of media and entertainment in our culture. I mean. Wow. Just wow.

(thanks to Ryan Sheffield for the last article.)