To mix Peter Pan with the 70s Kung Fu show, the world is changing grasshopper – publishing is changing and we writers are having to make it up as we go along. So, for us it is second start on the right and …
Next weekend I’ll be at Supanova in Sydney. When ever I appear at event like this, people come up to me and ask are you the author of the T’En books? When I say yes, they are delighted to meet me and pull out much battered copies of the T’En books for me to sign. (Since I wrote the book under a slightly different name, I find this amazing). What makes it even more amazing is that the original trilogy came out 10 years ago, yet they remember and are excited to hear about the new trilogy.
They complain that they can’t get the books or that they never found the last book, which sold out, then my publisher dropped me and didn’t reprint. (Who makes these decisions?). I have the rights back so I’ve been tossing up whether to release the original trilogy as e-books and sell through my website to tie in with the release of the new trilogy next year, The Outcast Chronicles.
Because I have a background in graphic art, I get all excited by the idea of updating the covers to something more like the new trilogy. I know I’d spend far too much on them and I’d really just be doing it for the sake of playing with the artwork. I do miss that.
But in all seriousness, writers have to ask themselves, can I make my back list work for me? Now that we have web sites and blogs we can reach readers, plus we can get distribution through Amazon and Smashwords. We can become our own publishers, at least with reprints of back lists.
You may have already seen this. It’s is an interesting conversation between Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath on self publishing, e-books etc. (Warning, it is a bit blokey). Barry Eisler is the guy who turned down half a million from his publisher to self publish and he makes a convincing argument.
As part of my (timid) exploration of e-books, I’m giving away a couple of little e-books on my web site. These are two short stories that were Highly Commended in World Best anthologies.
On a slightly different tack, I’ve started writing the new King Rolen’s King trilogy. It’s funny, it is like meeting up with old friends. I know the world. I know the people. They’ve grown since the first trilogy and become more interesting as they’ve matured. It feels quite natural to plunge into their lives again.
Do you like coming back to worlds you’ve written and characters you know, and picking up the narrative reins or do you prefer branchingout into entirely new worlds and characters?