Social Media actually can be cool
One thing that I didn’t expect (mostly because I never considered the matter) was that other authors might find their way here to the Veil War. Now, this is early days and I’m not claiming Steven King as a fan – though that would be super – but among the people who have signed up for the email are individuals that have published their work!
Since that is something that I aspire to myself, I find that pretty awesome. As I’ve been moving down this path, I see that there is a growing number of people looking to publish electronically as a strategy rather than merely as a fallback. In other words, the idea that you would consciously attempt to go an all electronic route and not seek a print contract as Plan A, and not some sort of 21st Century equivalent of the nasty old vanity press.
I’ve gone on a severe information diet recently in aid of being able to write more. I’ve cut my google reader feed to the bone, and I’ve stopped reading a lot of things that used to be daily fare. So, I’m not exactly going to read these myself in the next couple months. But I swear, they’re right at the top of the list. The very top. But since you all obviously have time to read things published on the internet, you might be interested in checking these out:
- George O’Har has a couple books out, and more on the way. He appears to be vastly more credentialed than I, with deep ties to the academic-industrial complex. He’s an Air Force veteran, which makes my Marine characters (but not me) giggle a little on the inside. But The Thousand Hour club is pitched as a road novel that happens after the protagonist takes Winter Survival School. Hmmn. George is on Twitter for you to follow.
- Steve Umstead writes straight up science fiction, at a price for which there are special terms. It’s gotten good reviews, and looks like the kind of thing you’d like if you like what I’m writing. He’s also got a blog, over here, and seems to be the publisher of several daily digests at paper.li
- E. Royce White has a couple short stories available for free. Free! Just go over to smashwords and download them. He also blogs at Practical State.
Quite a few of our commenters and subscribers have blogs – something that is not surprising at all really. Check out Isegoria, Madd Medic, The Interface, Pondering…, and Rocket Jones. If I’ve missed anyone, let me know.
Late breaking! Must credit Veil War! Loyal reader Charles Stewart wonders if he qualifies for inclusion on this list!
I had to laugh, his curriculum vitae starts with West Point ’69 and goes up from there. MD, Multiple degrees, multiple books, many articles, professor of emergency medicine – if only for the fact that I have all the files for the Veil War, I’d think he’s more qualified than I am. You can download “Maxillofacial Trauma,” “Blast and Traumatic Brain Injury” and other articles for free on his website, and find links to books like the Weapons of Mass Casualties and Terrorism Response Handbook. I think I’ll know who I’ll be bugging with questions about the effects of combat trauma.
And since I mentioned degrees for Charles, I should add that George O’Har was also an electrical engineer and has a Ph.D from MIT, and is a professor at Boston College. Only fair.
First I want to compliment you on your work. Your underlying premise of the plot is sufficiently unique to be genuinely interesting. The story flows naturally and with good detail so that the mind’s eye can fill in the blanks and follow everything quite well. This is, IMHO, one of the hallmarks of a good author. Let me suggest you connect up with the people over at Baen books (www.baen.com). They have a free library of sci-fi books (most of which I’ve read) and frequently the first one or two books of a series are there and the rest of a series are available for purchase electronically for a very reasonable price (a nice strategy that let’s one sample an author’s work and then purchase those that are of interest; um, yes, that is experience talking; they do the paper publishing route also). I strongly suspect that given the quality of your first effort here, they would be very interested in signing you up for the present and future works, and would be able to advise you on things like cover art. The fact that your first work is essentially “public domain” (I’m not a lawyer, so that may be the wrong word) with your putting it out on this blog would not be a problem with them either. And talking about “social media,” the other nice thing about such an association is connecting immediately to a large audience interested in this sort of thing. They even have a Baen Community/Bar that facilitates such discussions (I do not participate in that for various reasons, time being one.) Many of Baen’s offerings would fall into the military sci-fi genre, as does your present work. I look forward to the continuing saga! (Oh, and thanks for the mention of my own humble blog, which serves as a hobby in an entirely different vein.)
Thank you. I’ve considered the Baen Books thing – obviously, the general thrust of their publishing choices is right in line with what I’m doing here. I’ve read a lot of the Baen Free library, and I’ve paid a fair chunk to read webscriptions, ARCs and even bought real, physical books from time to time. I have even gone so far as to sign up for Baen’s Bar and was this close (holds fingers very close together) to posting this in the slush pile there.
The only thing that stopped me is the desire not to be locked down. Publishing in the slush pile basically gives Baen right of first refusal on anything posted there. Not that I am against going with them in principle, I just don’t want to be locked down. And the benefits of posting in the slush pile – constructive criticism and error correction – well, I figured I could get that here. And have.
This work, btw, is not public domain. I have a copyright there at the bottom of every page. It is offered free, which can be considered “published” but it is not offered rights free. At least not yet. I am sympathetic to the creative commons idea, but haven’t figured out exactly how I want to approach it. Even though the story of Captain Lewis is being offered here for free – the complete novel will involve other, parallel story lines. So if I end up going with a publisher like Baen, the fact that I have offered part of the novel for free will likely not be a serious impediment.
There’s certainly a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m not sure how things will fall out. It seems the major trade-off is audience size / author cut. I could offer the story for sale here, and get 100% of the money. And sell a fairly small amount of copies. Or get in with one of the big six, get my book printed up nicely and make much less per copy, but sell thousands or more if I’m lucky. My intuition is that the Amazon electronic publishing route is a happy medium – more visibility, and still a 70% cut. And the option of going print later.
Again thanks, and glad you like it.