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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

May 02, 2006

Simultaneous e-book releases?

Fictioneers have been DIYing for years too (as have our comic book friends). Novelists, short-story writers & their publishers are often simultaneously releasing free e-books to complement/promote the printed versions.* As usual, the genre writers seem ahead of the curve here, but even mainstream publishers are picking up on this idea.

Here's a note from a novelist offering such a split edition:
I've just stumbled across your website, and am heartened to find some other people who are doing exactly what I am. I wanted to write and ask if you might mention the release of my novel, which I'm offering as a free e-book download and as a handmade perfect-bound book from my website.

The book is called Idea in Stone, and it's an alternative, magical realist tale about Edinburgh, Scotland. [More info here.]

Now I'm going to add DIY Publishing to my daily RSS feeds!

--Hamish MacDonald

I wrote Hamish back to thank him for his announcement & to recommend Jim Monroe's great site (which I've recommended here before) No Media Kings, since Jim is the go-to guy for DIY fiction ideas. Turns out, Hamish knows Jim too & just wrote an article for No Media Kings about DIY book publishing. (Hamish, check out Lulu.com if you're still interested in POD--far & away better than Cafe Press qualitywise, & without the censorship.) Cool.

* Resident Fiction Consultant (a.k.a. my husband) & I have been discussing the difference of impact on sales for fiction & poetry a free e-book release might have: Since poetry books are shorter & generally collect several pieces they're more convenient to read electronically. Would simultaneously releasing a free e-book cut into the sales of the same book in print, assuming one's goal is to turn profit or at least break even? I think it might, a bit, but that many people will still enjoy/prefer having the physical object. Also, considering POD's classic advantage of a lower breakeven threshhold, it might make more sense for POD publisher to do this than those using offset/inventory warehousing systems. For authors/publishers not concerned with profit, there seems no reason not to release an e-book for free at the same time. Moria does simultaneous releases like this, though Bill actually seems to be looking at the print editions as a supplement to the free content of the magazine & e-chap series, not the other way around.

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