I began work on Dreamdarkers several years ago, first written as a blog experiment—a daily post that served as a chapter in a short story. That wee bit of fun promptly took on a life of its own. Now this long while later it has finally reached maturity, at least in the sense that any writer can achieve: no one ever completes a work of poetry or prose, but rather they abandon it, for to do otherwise is to spend eternity on a single piece. At some point a writer must walk away from it lest they tweak and edit and modify and redact until death.
Thus The Breaking of Worlds Book I: Dreamdarkers has reached its age of abandonment. The story must continue, something it can only do if I move on to the next book in the series. (Not to mention unrelated books I want to write!)
But finishing a book opens a whole world of drama for a writer. In the archaic world of publishing, one must find an agent, then a publisher, then jump through hoops trying to make the book “acceptable” for publication. And in making it acceptable for publication, the work becomes something other, something else, something new, for it no longer is what the author wrote but instead is what a publisher accepts.
Does it need to be that way? Therein lies the question of the hour.
In pondering how I might handle Dreamdarkers (because, by golly, I want to get the story told, a long story, a story that only begins with this book), I’ve decided to toss out some random thoughts on what I’ve considered beyond the entrenched mode of publishing a book. Not that I mind jumping through hoops to get published, but crowd-sourcing opinions never hurts.
Publishing through the existing industry means perhaps a good advance and not worrying about distribution and marketing and the like. It’s also painful.
So let me tell you what I’ve been considering…
Whether daily or every other day, post a chapter of the novel here on my blog. The first three chapters would be posted as public, available for everyone to see and read.
When it’s time to post the fourth chapter, allow people to decide if they want to continue reading it. If they do, they can pay for it.
Paying for it means they can continue reading it here on my blog, but they can also receive either a printed copy or an electronic copy as well. This provides a more comfortable reading experience while also allowing purchasers to remain involved in whatever comments conversation is happening on each post.
It’s that simple.
No, it wouldn’t give me a big advance, but it would get the series started, give people a try-before-you-buy opportunity by reading the first three chapters for free, and it would let me move on to the next book instead of tinkering with this one while I look for an agent and publisher.
Yes, I understand the financial implications of going this route. I also understand what print-on-demand and e-book publication mean with regards to income and brick-and-mortar (bookstore) availability.
But honestly, the publishing industry is too entrenched, too good-ol’-boy, too slow.
And son of a gun, I want to tell some stories! I want to share! I want others to read what my imagination keeps creating.
So from an orbital level, how does this sound? Too silly? Too limited? Or what?
Please be honest and forthcoming. Tell me what you think. I’d like to move forward as quickly as possible. I want to keep writing.