Last week, I posted the first ‘Climbing the Publishing Ladder’ piece. After I finished writing it, I had some comments about the future of the publishing industry.
Everyone agrees that we have entered an era where both writers and distributors have more options for publishing books, regardless of their form. When I wrote last week’s post, the old drafts originally had a paragraph discussing nano fiction and the short story market.
Online magazines such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed Magazine and many others provide amazing short stories for readers, especially those who would like to read more but don’t have the time to tackle long series (or books)!
So I can safely say, there are a diversity of options to transport you, the reader, to different worlds that have some long or short journeys. The question I asked last week was to print or not to print.
I have a suggestion which I fully intend to comment on in the future once I learn more about the publishing industry and share it with everyone here.
So, future writers could follow what Alexandre Dumas did when he wrote The Count of Monte Cristo. Chapters could be published weekly, serial form, to be bought directly or in magazines in e-book format. Think of it as your weekly Naruto chapter. When the story is complete, the whole e-book or printed book will available for readers.
I have some basis for this suggestion.
In my last week post, the podcast I linked also shared some perspectives from the hosts. I forgot who (sorry) mentioned they were contracted to write a novella in-between books for the fans. By releasing chapter by chapter, fans will have something to keep them going and…let’s face it, fans are not the most patient of people.
So instead of waiting years between books while publishers, agents and editors worry about their author’s particular brand, this might help. However, this also puts incredible pressure on the writer. Once you publish that chapter, no way can you go back and re-edit it.
So, here’s my alternative to the alternative. Authors can slowly move towards this approach. For example, say I have a book deal for a whole novel (I hope) which is say…60 chapters. For a little over sixty weeks (let’s forget the Christmas week, other holidays, etc), my readers will be reading my first book series, while I’ll be working on the next installment. By the time the first installment is ‘finished’, give the fans a few weeks off (for dramatic effect), then begin releasing the next installment’s chapters.
Its just an idea. I’d like to look at the following issues first before building on it:
1. Current trends in publishing
2. Talk to other authors, readers, agents, editors and just about anyone interested about this idea
Stalk Watch the e-book sales figures
4. Consider the contract implications for the author and pricing strategies for chapters and complete books
5. Consider other changes such as advances from publishers