LNH/REVIEW: Kid Review's Roundup - September 2014

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Oct 19 13:59:03 PDT 2014

On 10/19/2014 4:29 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> On Sunday, October 19, 2014 3:20:14 PM UTC-4, Andrew Perron wrote:
>> "The final issue of the miniseries, and indeed, apparently the final
>> issue of the series as a whole on RACC. It seems that Tom is moving to
>> ebook-only releases after this. As you can tell from the Dynamite
>> Radical posts, this isn't a strategy I'd go with. I absolutely respect
>> Tom's decision, but I'm curious about the reasons why, and what he
>> thinks is the best strategy for us small-scale self-publishers - or even
>> if he thinks there *is* a 'best' strategy."
>Well, a quick correction-- it's *not* e-book only. The primary format is
 > actual, physical media, and indeed I've sold something like four times as
 > many of those than I have the e-book versions. I don't even have an e-book
 > reader myself.

Interesting - I would have thought that the e-versions would have been a 
bigger seller, for a relative unknown.

> As for the reasons why-- well, there's a few...
>(1) Writing for a book/novel is inherently different than writing for
 > serial publication. Not better, necessarily, but different-- and more in
 > keeping with where I want to take the characters and their world.

That's a good point - and RACC is definitely serial-based.

>  (3) People are more likely to buy something if they can't find it for free,
 > and less likely if they can. To be clear, I of course have no problem
 > writing fiction without being paid for it, as a hobby or community service,
 > and I'll continue to write free fiction for a long time, I think. But if I
 > want to get paid for this particular fiction-- the Orphans of Mars-- it
 > doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make it all available for free. Cheap,
 > yes; free, no.

The thing is, I'm not sure that's actually true. I'm looking at the webcomics 
model, where freeness encourages an audience that's then willing to subsidize, 
through collections like these or other outlets. (I'm wondering whether the 
fact that you've sold more paper books is a reflection of a lot of your 
audience having already read it in electronic form.) Of course, I'm not quite 
following that model either. There's not a lot of real data or analysis as to 
which of the many available Internet-age models are better, and...

>  I figure with the current amount of Orphans material already available here
 > on USENET, a curious reader can gauge whether or not it's their kind of
 > thing, and then pick up the new books (or not) as fits their fancy.

...this is also a good point.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, it's pretty open! Good times.

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