Monthly Archives: January 2013

Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Twenty

Hey all.

Well the final edit is finally done, over and out, finito, out the damn door, here’s your hat – what’s your hurry? If anybody ever tells you that they love the process of rewriting, they’re lying. They’re like one of those people who says that they love to diet, adore clearing, one of their fave things in the world is getting up at 5 am in the morning to work out. As I said earlier, they’re lying.

So my work is done and now it’s Miller Time. Nope, it’s time to officially begin promoting Night Town and you know what?

I’m looking forward to it.

I’m NOT lying!

Ask me in a month or so when nobody is getting back to me and my self esteem is that of a a teenage girl who’s asked 5 boys to the Sadie Hawkins Dance and they’ve all said no. I might not want to do it anymore then, but if I don’t promote Night Town, nobody else will. And if you notice the postings getting shorter and fewer, please call me out on it.

As I said at the beginning of writing my blog, this is the new publishing frontier. No longer do authors sit in their cloistered study, slip a completed manuscript out the door, and ignore their readers.

This is the world where writers get out there and meet their public to talk about their work, the process of writing and listen to readers’ feedback. 

One of my initial plans is to get a firm pub date (publishing date) from Greg Ioannou at Iguana Books and then set up a large selection of readings at book stores, book clubs and begin a blog tour organized by Iguana’s publicist and all around publishing whiz Emily Niedoba.  Do you remember her from before?  The gentle shark who everyone listens to? Emily (bless her heart) is handling the blog tour details.

I’ll begin close to home, so that means Toronto and south central Ontario farmland, and later I’m planning on Vancouver, Halifax, Hamilton, LA, New York etc. Anywhere I can organize readings at stores, book clubs and schools.  And anywhere I can find a bed and a cheap car rental.

I’m going to take Night Town on the road and I might even bring my dog. I’m doing the whole thing old skool in a sense, only I’ll be selling eBooks and drag along a few boxes of printed ones as well.

So that’s one plan of attack. There are many others that you will hear about, but right now I’m really pleased to have the book out of my hands and into those of Alexa Caruso one of Iguana’s copy editors. 

It’s exciting to begin working with Greg and his team to see what kind of a kick ass publicity strategy we can dream up, to build a lot of excitement about the launch of Night Town.

You stay warm, cuz me I’m cold.

I wonder what I’ll look like after the sales trip?



Adventures on the eBook Frontier – Dispatch Nineteen

Hey all

It’s the new year and I have a question for you. Do you think it’s possible for a group of people to collaborate on a novel?

In the world today many things are open source, with all kinds of people contributing their unique skills to bring a better product to market. Think about the Internet itself. I don’t think it would have come into being had it not been for a group of  nerds determined to create the darned thing.

It needed a crowd to make it happen.

Can the same thing be done with a novel?  Is “we better than me?”

Let’s start off with why it might make sense.

Unless you’re Jonathan Franzen, if you’re a writer of fiction, the chances of an advance are practically nil. However if a group did it, you’d be spreading the time and risk around.

What if you had the writing of a novel broken down into a chain of command? And what would that chain look like?

First somebody has to have the idea. Let’s say it’s an historical piece about Sir John A Macdonald pushing the railway through Canada and all the trouble he runs into.

That person posts their idea and looks for other writers (say three) to build a very loose structure.

Then it goes to the researchers (two) who hit the libraries sifting through piles of source material, pulling out intriguing details nobody has heard of before.

Now’s it’s back to the structure folks who sexy it up; and then off to the wordsmiths who write the sentences.

Everyone on the team reads the novel, does a final critique and it’s finally in the editor’s hands (two) and product creation is complete.

Do you think it would work or would it get nasty?

Do you think a group of people, here I’ve got nine or ten, could write a good story?

Or do you think there is something in fiction that requires one person to see it from being a tiny seed of an idea all the way to a book inhabited with living breathing characters.

In olden days I scoffed at this product notion, insistent that a book required a single focused vision to make it truly feel alive. I felt that you couldn’t strip a novel down to simply the sum of its parts and build it like you would a deck.

There is a point to all of this. When Night Town is out the door, I begin on another novel that I’ve already written a first draft of. I’m currently noodling about possibly doing it open source.

What do you think? Do you think a collaborative fiction model would work? It hasn’t really been done before. At least nothing that readily springs to mind.

Let me know your thoughts…