Archive for July, 2007

Michael A. Stackpole Selling New Fiction Online

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

It looks like Michael A. Stackpole is experimenting with direct e-book sales on his site. I’m very interested to see how it works out (and I hope it does).

Jed and the Titanium Turtle is a short story “about America and how it deals with a bunch of alien visitors who are ‘here to help.'” Sounds like it could be worth the $2 he’s asking.

Also available are the first two chapters of The Grand History, a fictional non-fiction history of the DragonCrown War. This is going for $1 a chapter, and may be the more interesting experiment. You’re only going to sell this to the subset of people who read the DragonCrown War books liked them enough to want to read meta-fiction in that universe. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy this type of work. I just think it has less commercial appeal, which makes it perfect for this type of sales model. I hope it works out because I’d love to see more of this type of thing.

The setup seems similar the one Holly Lisle uses in her shop. On the other hand, Mr. Stackpole is focusing on fiction, and short works. This immediately brought thoughts of micropayments to mind. iTunes has shown that the $1 granularity works for online sales (at least in huge quantities), but last time I looked into it (which was a few years back, and I was focusing on comics at the time) a decent micropayments systems for sub-dollar amount sales still hasn’t emerged.

All the works are currently only available as PDFs (just like Holly Lisle’s). This is a bummer (for me) because I can’t easily read them on my eBookwise 1150, which I’d prefer. I already work and write at the computer (although I’ve been doing more longhand writing lately). Extra on-screen reading is too much for my eyes. Since PDFs don’t let you resize the text and have it re-flow that means I’ll have to print them out. which is what I do with his excellent writing newsletter The Secrets. I don’t mind printing those out since I keep them indexed in binders to make it easy to refer back to them.

None of these are really issues I expect anyone to just solve, let alone authors selling their own stories for a couple of bucks. I do wish reasonable tools and standards were in place so that a more flexible solution would be the obvious choice.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to giving Jed and the Titanium Turtle a read later.

Laura Tegan Penney

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Photo of Laura and Jason

Born: July 12 04:02am EDT
Weight: 7 lbs 10 oz
Height: 20 inches

Links of Interest (July 2nd 2007 Through July 11th 2007)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
LOLTrek
Star Trek + LOLcats. You has want laugh? This be super funny.
How To Write The Great American Novel
Informative instructional film (no, not really, but it’s funny).
uncluttr
Derek Gaw’s wonderful search front end to Amazon.com (currently in alpha).
New Books, late June 2007
Locus Online’s listing of new SF/F/H books for late June 2007
Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars
This may be the best page on all of Wikipedia.
Open standards for social networking
Interesting commentary Marc Canter. from I know I wish all these things out there talked to each other better and/or supported OpenID.
jQuery 1.1.3: 800%+ Faster, still 20KB
The newest version of jQuery is available with 80+ bugfixes, increased performance, expanded selectors, and more.

Go Listen: 7th Son: Book Three – Destruction

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

The final book of J.C. Hutchins 7th Son novel trilogy starts today! Available (sometime today) for free at jchutchins.net or podiobooks.com.

Update: It’s available now!