Happy November, everybody.
As anyone who’s followed this blog recently knows, last week I released my latest short story, “Hole for a Heart,” just in time for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed it, if you read it (it’s hard to imagine you enjoying it if you didn’t read it, but I suppose it takes all kinds in this world).
I apologize for the fact that I haven’t yet released the audio of my short story “Prometheus and Chiron.” It’s simply very difficult to seize the moments to accomplish such feats, given that I work full time five or six days a week, with a nearly-two-hour commute in each direction, and of course continue writing every day as well. This all tends to leave me rather fatigued, so on the weekends I mainly decompress (though in boring ways). I do mean to release that audio, but it does need to be edited before I can do that, and I don’t want to rush it. If you were to listen to it as it is now—even if I combined the separate tracks—you might be amused, but I don’t think that you’d particularly enjoy the story, and that’s obviously my hope for the process.
Speaking of enjoying stories, and thinking about the fact that I just released “Hole for a Heart,” I’ve been considering something slightly new going forward. As you know—as is obvious—I’ve been writing and releasing short stories here on my blog, for free, for everyone to read who might enjoy them. I feel good about that. But it’s difficult for me to tell just how many people are actually reading the stories when I release them that way, and I’m inexcusably lazy about following my WordPress stats. I much prefer comments and Likes.
I’ve been toying with the idea of simply releasing each of my short stories as a Kindle e-book instead of putting each one up on my blog. I had a friend who worked in marketing, and that friend said that often people are less inclined to take advantage of something that’s free than they are if you charge them—or words to that effect. This has something to do with human psychology, the idea being that people assume, if something is free, that it’s valueless. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it does bring up another benefit to the e-book notion, which is that it can be a way for my blog to receive support from people who like it.
Obviously, I aspire to the status of being a full-time writer*, able to make my living solely from that process, so any way I can reasonably do this would be an enormous boon**. The idea is still in embryological state, but what I would probably do is release the stories as e-books, but would charge the minimum price for them, which was ninety-nine cents the last time I checked. Anyone who can read my stories on this blog could read them through the e-book format, because the Kindle app is free for download, and can be used on any computer, tablet, or smart-phone (nowadays, I do most of my own reading on my phone, because I can carry around a library of fifty or sixty volumes in my pocket, including a Complete Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and many other lengthy compilations alongside more contemporary fiction and nonfiction). The cost of one story thus published would be far less than that of one cup of coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.
Also, it’s not as though you wouldn’t be getting value for your money. My “short” stories tend to be fairly meaty beasts—I think “Hole for a Heart” is almost thirty thousand words long—so no one would need to feel gypped out of their dollar. Eventually, of course, I’ve always been planning on gathering my short stories into another collection, once I have enough of them, and that would be released in both e-book and hard copy format. That’s a way down the road, however.
In the meantime, work has of course resumed on “Unanimity;” indeed, it did so the day after I finished “Hole for a Heart,” and has not ceased since. After that, as I might have written here before, I think I’m going to write a modern fable of sorts called “Neko/Neneko,” a light-hearted departure from the very dark landscape which is “Unanimity.” And wither then? I cannot say, though eventually I need to write the second book in the “Mark Red” saga, and I really want to start work on “Dark Fairy and the Desperado,” which is another idea, like “Mark Red,” that I had originally intended to do as a manga (then I realized that I just wasn’t into that process enough to go to all the very significant effort of both writing and drawing my own manga series).
No matter what, though, I write, and shall continue to write, until the day I die (whether I’ll continue to write after that is beyond my definite knowledge, but I somehow doubt it). For those of you who enjoy my writing, I guess that’s good to know. For those of you who don’t…well, one wonders why you’re reading it in the first place.
*From a certain point of view, I suppose you could say that I already am a full-time writer. I write about two thousand words a day, five or six days a week, so it’s not as though I’m just dicking around here. But I would like for that to be not merely my labor of love, but also my job, if you will.
**And we’re always on the lookout for enormous boons.