Communion Of Dreams


V.
February 25, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Kindle, Marketing, Press, Promotion, Publishing, Science Fiction, Writing stuff

And in the penultimate entry of the interview Q/A series:

5. Give me a sense of both the pitfalls and encouraging moments encountered in process of publishing this book – there was a bit of a false start previously, right? You embraced several means of delivery – traditional ones but also free PDF downloads and subsequent Kindle editions. What benefits have you seen from using multiple platforms and how do you feel such an approach fits with the current state of publishing and the written word?

Twice this book was almost published in the conventional sense. The first time it made it through the submissions process for a large publishing house, to the imprint which handled some offbeat science fiction. At the very end of that process the executive editor told me she liked the book, but that they had decided to “go a different direction” in the coming year. I found out later that that meant the imprint had been shut down as part of the conglomeration which owned the publishing house consolidating the whole business in reaction to market conditions. The second time a small start-up “geek fiction” press wanted to publish the book, and just as we were wrapping up contract negotiations the publisher stopped communicating with me. Well, they went under – and the book before mine was the last one they published. In both those cases, I was elated to think that Communion of Dreams was going to be in print, and went through the whole process of preparing the manuscript and getting it ready, making changes requested by the publisher – only to have it fall through at the last moment through no fault of mine. That was hugely disappointing.

After the second instance, I just couldn’t face going through the whole process again of trying to get a conventional publisher. It’s a slog, with little or no predictability and huge delays. But we’d been through the experience of getting Her Final Year self-published, and I knew what was involved with that. I decided that since I had a manuscript ready which had been prepped for publication, that I might as well just publish it myself. I could not do any worse than the two previous near-publication experiences had been.

The free PDF downloads were a way to build a base of readers, and there were in total some 35,000 downloads of that version. Whether or not that would help or hurt sales of the Kindle edition (or the paperback one) is pure speculation. I guess we’ll see.

I don’t have a lot to add to that, but do want to note that the local paper is tentatively planning on running some kind of story related to this series of questions on March 11. It might just be a mention, or part of a larger piece, or possibly even a review or feature – we’ll just have to wait and see. When it runs, I will be offering another “promotional day” when people can download the Kindle version of Communion of Dreams for free – so keep your eyes open!

Jim Downey

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