Archive for November, 2012
You are either in or you are out.
THE FAILED CITIES (DEFINITIVE EDITION) is now live and available for purchase for any and all of your digital reading devices. You may now exercise the option to shut me up and simply…
If you’re still here I assume you want to know more.
I have made this ebook as widely available and given you, as my customer/reader, as many options as I possibly could for both buying and reading it. You decide what’s most convenient for you. You can get it in the Amazon Kindle Store, you can get it on Smashwords, or you can buy it directly from me. If you exercise the latter most option you’ll receive a bundle with the epub, mobi, and pdf versions of the book and the money will go directly into my pocket.
I have disabled DRM and allowed sampling wherever and whenever I could. I’ve enrolled it in Amazon’s lending program. Share it as much as you want. The audio version of The Failed Cities Monologues (about two-thirds of the content in the Definitive Edition) will also and for as long as they exist remain available for free on Podiobooks.
I am going to humbly and sincerely ask a few key things from you, my customers, today. It’s my hope and belief these asks will not be too incredibly taxing and you’ll take the extra step to help the book and me.
Here’s what I need you to do.
1) Buy the book.
2) Enjoy the ever-lovin’ mother-truckin’ fuck out of it.
3) Review AND rate it on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Reddit, and/or any other applicable venue. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
4) Tweet about it. Blog about it. Facebook about it. However you get down on social media or the internet in general, DO THAT THING.
5) Personally recruit one friend and/or family member you think or know will dig the book and give them your strongest recommendation/coercion tactic to buy it.
That’s it. Tallied out you’re looking at (minus Step #2) about fifteen minutes of your day. I will be forever in your debt for that slice of time and the effort spent within it.
I want to thank everyone who has and will continue to support and evangelize this project. I want to thank all of the fans that have kept the Failed Cities alive over the last six years. This book would not exist without you. I also want to thank everyone who helped create and make this ebook the very special product it is: Scott Pond, Brand Gamblin, Scott Sigler, Helljack, and everyone who contributed to the afterword.
That’s it. I’m done. You’ve had it all. The rest is only for you.
This is the conclusion to everything that’s about to follow: I don’t give a fuck what everybody else does.
You can stop reading now if you want. It’s cool.
Next week I will be releasing an ebook. It’s called THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION. I’m releasing it entirely on my own. This happens virtually every day. If anything I can perhaps lay claim to this book being a notch swankier; it’s not just a novel, it’s a novel plus a lot of extra content, both fiction and non-fiction. It’s a special edition, an omnibus edition. I plan to set the retail price at $9.99 in all digital formats.
Did I just make you blink?
If I did, please keep reading. If not then I reiterate that you can stop now.
I was recently speaking with Evo Terra, founder of Podiobooks where the meat of this ebook, The Failed Cities Monologues, is still freely available. Evo is a good guy. Evo is a smart guy. On my first podcasting track at a convention he was the one who showed me around and introduced me to everybody who was anybody. He made time to attend the first public reading I ever did, and stayed after to give me some insightful notes. We hadn’t talked much for a long while before I decided to release this ebook, and yet when I did his first response, without hesitation, was, “What can I do to help?”
I tell you all this to say I like and respect Evo a great deal. I don’t like or respect many people. When he talks, I listen.
This was his reaction, verbatim, when I told him what my price point is for the forthcoming Failed Cities ebook: “JESUS! Seriously?”
He elaborated. The ebook marketplace, he explained, is the land of $2.99. Asking ebook consumers to pay a 3.3x mark-up on that, especially for a self-published title, would be a “big, uphill battle.”
Everything he said was dead-on. Every point he makes is 100% accurate.
The price of THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION when it is released next week will be $9.99.
Still, Evo is such a smart guy that even I questioned my position after such a strong reaction. I consulted a best-selling author friend of mine who owns and operates a very successful imprint of his own that moves a lot of his original ebooks. Included in the discussion was his right-hand woman who runs that imprint with absolute aplomb. He recommended a price point of $2.99 with the reasoning that it would snag new readers. She said she would pay a top price of $6.99, but that were it her book she would charge $4.99.
Very smart people. Very experienced and knowledgeable people. Very valid, savvy points.
The price of THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION when it is released next week will be $9.99.
Coincidentally, just yesterday and as I was preparing to write this a friend of mine tweeted a link to this blog post about precisely this issue. It is very well written, well researched, and well thought-out. If you want to have a lengthy and successful career self-publishing ebooks I highly recommend you read it and follow many of its tenets and examples.
I repeat: the price of THE FAILED CITIES—DEFINITIVE EDITION when it is released next week will be $9.99.
Because I don’t give a fuck what everybody else does.
Look, I’m not going to launch into an obscenity-laden diatribe about ebook pricing and my opinions of what it should be. Obviously I think the idea a novel is only worth a dollar or a few bucks, especially based on the logic that there are many other novels and many of those are bad, is ridiculous. And any argument that ends up centering around popular usage in any form makes me go a big rubbery one.
This price point is not a political statement. I’m not calling you out if you charge less for your shit. I’m not challenging the industry or the marketplace. Frankly, I don’t wish to be part of either, nor any groups, clubs, tribes, or brotherhoods. I just enjoy writing things. I enjoy it when others take something meaningful from that writing. Finally, I enjoy making enough money to allow me to write more things while at the same time not doing much else I don’t wish to do. Add to which I’m sure I did write a blog post about this pricing debate in the past, back when I cared very much about all of those former concerns I’ve listed, although I honestly can’t remember. And it doesn’t matter.
I could point out some logistical anomalies. In June I released a short ebook called SUNDAE in the Amazon Kindle Store that has sold very well and been very popular with a lot of people. I set the price at $0.99 without giving it a second thought. I had no overhead, it only took me a few weeks to write, and it was a short story. The Failed Cities ebook, by contrast, contains literally twenty times the amount of content that SUNDAE does (not to mention professional editing, cover design, formatting, etc.). If we were going by simple math, shouldn’t I charge twenty times as much? Obviously not. Even I find the idea of charging $20.00 for a self-published ebook just north of insane.
Perception is funky, tenuous glue.
But here’s the bottom line: it is simply not worth it to me to charge any less for this particular book. Monetarily, temporally, spiritually, whatever… simply not worth it.
How you deal with that is entirely your concern. I expect nothing from any of you, nor am I entitled to it. That door swings both ways, as well.
I think that’s a pretty fair deal.
I don’t have a digital book imprint. I’m not trying to start a company, build a brand, or spark a revolution. I do have another book I’d like to put out there, and if and when I do I plan to charge a little less, because it’s a different book with different modeling points. I assembled this definitive edition for the fans of the Failed Cities, and for fans that got on to my work and I afterward. I chose to put a little more than a little extra into it. I know you guys and gals will pay the price point for the book because it’s worth it to you. I don’t feel at all as though I’m bilking you because I know the book is worth it.
You and I, we’re good.
That leaves everybody else. Would I like new readers to buy it? Absolutely. I’d love nothing more than to check the stats at the end of next Wednesday and find I’ve moved five thousand copies. That would be amazing. I neither expect that to happen, nor am I in any way depending on it. I am going to release exactly the product I wanted to create for exactly the demographic I have at exactly the price point that makes sense for me. I’ll either learn that there is enough demand out there for me to have done this and to keep doing it, or I’ll learn the market can’t support it and my time will be better spent elsewhere.
I’m good with either of those outcomes, and I’ll still be glad I finally gave the Failed Cities the treatment it deserves.
If you’re a fan, I know you will be, too.
To the rest of you: I’m aware the publishing industry spent many years giving you the impression the exorbitant prices you paid for books was based on production costs. I’m aware much of that same industry, as well as every digital upstart and self-publishing author have conditioned you to pay at most a few bucks for the same book in digital form. I’m aware there’s a sickening glut of fiction, both corporate and independent, out there for you to choose from that is often dirt-cheap.
I’m aware of all these factors.
But I don’t give a fuck what everybody else does.
Ultimately though, and disregarding all of that, what it comes down to is this: I refuse to operate in or even be a part of a landscape where my novel is worth less in the same format than a Fifty Shades of Grey sequel.
In that context I guess I do kind of give a fuck what everybody else does.
So, yeah. I have written a lot of fiction set in this world that many people seem to enjoy. Much of it is available in audio form for free if you’d like to have a listen. I have collected all of it into a special edition ebook that I will be releasing next Wednesday in every digital format known to man. I believe this book is worth ten bucks out of your monthly entertainment budget.
If you agree, please buy it and it is my sincere hope you find it the premium escapist fare I intended it to be.
If you disagree, don’t buy it. It’s that simple. It’s not a big deal. We’ll still be cool.
Actually, there was nor is any fail. It’s just a clever pun.
All right. It’s not wholly clever. I’m on vacation. What do you want from my life?
SFX Magazine is one of the top names in British speculative fiction. I recently had the good fortune to be interviewed for their blog about the impending release of THE FAILED CITIES–DEFINITIVE EDITION coming November 14th to e-reading devices everywhere (especially yours).
It was conducted by the mighty Alasdair Stuart. We talked about all things Failed Cities past, present, and future. I say many interesting and insightful things about my own work, the work of other brilliant speculative fiction authors, and the craft of speculative fiction in general.
I also make some very funny jokes about orgasming whales and Tesla coils.
It was truly an honor and a privilege. I want to thank Alasdair Stuart, in my opinion one of the top spec fic journalists in the whole of the world today, for hooking the whole thing up and asking a sick question.
Enjoy, and be sure to pick up your digital copy when THE FAILED CITIES–DEFINITIVE EDITION drops in two weeks time.