Sometime between going fetal last night and cracking eyelids this morning, A Rock and A Hard Place went live on Smashwords. And it was already getting downloaded, so, um, cool.
I kind of laugh about the "new ebook world" news going around, because Sasha and I were doing this in 2004, and we weren't pioneers then. But that said, many things are new and different now, which is why we decided to experiment with a DIY ebook.
Why not try to sell our fabulous idea to a traditional print publisher? Well, anthologies are a tough sell. And we wanted to write tie-ins to existing series we had, and to cross-promote to readers of ours who had read one but not the other. The chances of getting a deal for an anthology that ties in to a series published by another publisher were nonexistent.
Why not try to sell our fabulous idea to one of our established epublishers? Because we probably wouldn't have gotten a release date this year, for starters. And because something really is new now, and we wanted to experiment with that.
What's really new, then? The author-to-reader direct distribution opportunity for ebooks. In 2004, if you didn't sell to a big name epublisher, you were not going to reach readers. Even two years ago, this was still pretty much true. But with the advent of Amazon's Kindle publishing, and B&N's PubIt, and Smashwords with distribution to all major etailers (including Diesel, Apple, Sony, Kobo), that changed.
It is now possible to reach a lot of readers on your own. And we wanted to see what kind of results we got trying that out.
That said, the amount of work involved in publishing that is not writing is enormous, so it's not something to just leap into. The time we've spent in discussions, working with a cover artist, getting formatted files, learning the upload process, not to mention time spent seeking out private editing and going through the process, has not been a small investment.
But we did it. And now we have an ebook. And I expect we'll learn just as much from the next few months as we have up to this point in publishing it.
Best of all, we got to write something together, which we have not managed to do before in 6 years.