Wednesday, March 11, 2009

eNovels for Nerds

I've decided it's past time for me to join the electronic age.

Five years ago, I gave myself the assignment of spending five years learning to write the kind of fiction that would further my life's goal:

helping smart people be happy

I have achieved my goal, and have now completed ten novels, one of which has been published as The Aremac Project. All of the novels are written about smart people and their struggles to be happy. They're intended to make the learnings from my other books and my workshops come to life in a new medium. So far, they seem to be working that way.

I've achieved something else besides my original goal: I have learned more than I wanted to know about the fiction publishing business.

Most of all, I've learned how hard and slow it the business is, and how difficult it is to break into. For example, one of my fellow writers just sent me statistics on his responses to queries about his crime thriller: 93% of the editors simply did not bother to reply, even with a short email. My own success rate (at just receiving a reply, even in an enclosed, stamped, self-addressed envelope) has only slightly better.

From the editors' point of view, there are good reasons for this rude-looking behavior: they are simply swamped with manuscripts and queries from would-be authors. And, even when they do reply, and even when they do accept the manuscript for publication (a much lower percentage still), they usually require years to get the novel in print. And, once it's in print, chances are it won't stay in print for more than a year or so.

I've decided I'm too old to put all my chips in that game. I'll still seek print publication by some publishers, while at the same time, I'm publishing some of my novels in eBook format (pdf) sold through my website for the value price of $4.99 apiece. I invite you to visit the site and try one of them. (I always give a money-back guarantee on all my work.)

I would love to have your feedback on the store itself, as well as the form and content of the novels. If this approach is well-received, I'll put some more of my novels up there.

So, visit and take a look. As time goes by, I'll report here on the outcome of this experiment.