March 2nd 2012
Many moons ago – 10 whole years, in fact, which is a lot of moons – my first ever novel came out. I was exceptionally pleased to have it accepted by Razorblade Press, awed by the Chris Nurse artwork, and hoped that this was indeed it: my foot on the ladder, a springboard to greater things, a mixed-metaphor on my way to becoming an established author.
It didn’t turn out quite that way. The book was badly typeset – legible, but annoying all the same, and then there were publisher problems far above and beyond the usual. Without descending into libel, let’s just say I took my rights back. Which meant that not very many people got to read Heart, despite it getting some really good reviews in several of the right places. It simply wasn’t there to find.
It so happens that after 2011′s splurge of Morden-related bookage, 2012 will see precisely nothing from me in print. The Curve of the Earth is due out 2013, and Ignite most likely in 2014. Which seems a shame – for me, I lose some of the momentum the Metrozone has managed to create, and for you because, mad fools that you are, you seem to like what I write.
So this is what I propose to do.
At some point in the near-future (the next couple of months at the latest), I’ll be releasing the full, unaltered text of Heart as .pdf, .epub and .mobi files. These will be for everyone, free and gratis. The reasons for simply giving these away are twofold. Firstly, this book owes me nothing. It was professionally proof-read at the time, I made the artwork that goes with it myself, and having read it through again, and I know I write better now than I did then. Secondly, as a bit of an experiment: I want to see what happens. Because the book doesn’t owe me anything, I can afford to see whether or not it boosts my profile, my sales of other books, or both. I may put up a ‘tips jar’ button on the site.
At the same time, I’m going to make a print edition available through a pod publisher (I’m currently looking at two, to check on quality. I’ve received one so far, and I’m pleasantly surprised – actually impressed – at what I’ve got). I’ll try and price these sensibly, and may even do a paperback and a hardback option, so that if people really like the book, they can own a physical copy (the price point will probably be around UK£10 for the paperback: 280-odd pages, trade paperback size). I don’t want to hold onto stock myself, because I simply don’t have the storage space, or the will to stare at a big pile of books that may well end up going nowhere. Besides, I’m supposed to be WRITING THE DAMN NOVEL, because that’s what I get paid to do.
How does that sound? Is there anything else you’d like to see while I’m still at the planning stage? Do you think I’m mad for doing this? Is it a good mad, or a ‘brave’ mad? I look forward to hearing your responses.