Yesterday I posted about self-publishing a local history book. Niche works like that are ideal candidates for self-publishing. An author with the will and skill can more effectively reach his or her target audience than a publisher, even a specialty publisher, and be more financially successful with it in the process.
Yet that’s not what prompted me to start yesterday’s post, so let me pick up where I left off: I’m thinking of self-publishing some fiction. A short story collection or three. Digitally.
My thought is, why not? These days print outlets for short fiction are few and far between. Most are already digital, and many are fly-by-night. Short story collections are generally only viable for established authors. While I’ll have a second book out this year and will be contributing to a third (which I cannot yet announce), that’s neither fiction* nor does it make me “established.” It just means my name is on a few books. Big whoop.
I’d like to get this stuff off my chest, though, but also don’t want to merely drop it onto a website. It may be ego talking, but I feel like the work deserves more than that. Outlets like Amazon’s Kindle publishing program would allow me to set a low 99-cent price point, to make distribution easy, and to reach people I otherwise wouldn’t reach. Most of all, it would allow me to call this stuff “done” once and for all because once it’s out there, that’s it. It’s done.
I’m realistic about the idea, mind you. And by “realistic” I mean “would be thankful if I moved even 50 copies.”
And that’s fine. I’d not be doing it for money. The truth is, many of these stories have been sitting around in my archives doing nothing. No one is reading them. They want to be read, though. I want people to read them. So why not?
I’d prefer traditional publishing. It was, is, and remains my goal. Excited as I am about the surge of self-publishing these days, yeah, I feel like being traditionally published is still … well, as I said yesterday, that’s another discussion so I’ll leave that thought unexpressed.
The bottom line is, I’m considering putting some of my short fiction out there. Don’t know if they’ll be interest. Don’t know if I’ll have the will or energy to bother promoting it (and without some promotion it will die a quick death). But still, I’m thinking about it.
So we’ll see.
*All three published or soon-to-be-published projects are nonfiction. Crossing into fiction is important to me. It’s not enough for me to have little bits of brief fiction out there. I need a book. A real book. That’s the goal.