So, my friend Michael Thomas Ford, author of such books as Jane Bites Back and Z and What We Remember, among dozens of others (literally dozens—the man is prolific), has written a new novel called Lily. You won’t be able to find it in the stores, though. Michael’s going a somewhat unconventional route that’s becoming more common: funding the publication of the novel via an Indiegogo campaign. He’s got two days to go, and he only has about $150 more to raise. I think he’s going to make it, but just to make sure, bop on over and check it out, and then come back, because I’m pondering things.
Back? Right, then. I think it’s interesting that a successful writer (I hear you scoffing, Ford—zip it) is choosing to go solo to publish a book. I hesitate to use the phrase “self-publishing” because, even after the writer who made millions self-pubbing on Amazon (for the life of me, I can’t remember her name and I’m a bit too lazy to go look it up; besides, I’m trying to stay on a roll) and the dramatic increase in self-published titles over the past several years, it still carries a stigma. I don’t think that stigma is always deserved—bad books can be put out by a big publisher as easily as by the author.
Ah: Amanda Hocking. I just remembered what her name was.
Most Indiegogo or Kickstarter book campaigns that I’ve seen (and I readily admit here, I am not an expert on any of this; I’m just a guy with a keyboard and a propensity to procrastinate) have given away a copy of the book along with some collateral giveaways. What’s unique here is that this is the only way to get a copy of the first edition of Lily. Will it get a second edition via a mainstream publisher afterwards? Who knows? So that’s why this piqued my interest. Well, that and the fact that it’s a book by Ford and I like to support people I like.
I don’t have to tell you that the publishing industry is evolving. (And if I do, then where ya been, Rip Van Winkle?) As Ford says on his campaign page, “the publishing world has changed in dramatic ways over the past few years. The old model isn’t working terribly well for most of us, and I believe it’s time to explore other avenues for getting our work into the world.”
Would I ever do this? I don’t know. Right now I don’t think I have enough of a following to make a success of something like this. But I’m not saying no.
What about you? Have you self-published anything? How did it go? How many copies did you sell?
(Ooh! Someone else just funded him! Now he’s only about $100 away!)