Free copy of FWYCR paperback!

I’m giving away 5 copies of my new novel, Forget What You Can’t Remember, through GoodreadsFirst Reads program. “How can I be the lucky recipient of one of these free books,” you ask? It’s easy:
1) Sign up for a Goodreads account.
1b) Actually use your account; put in books you’ve read, are currently reading, want to read, write reviews, and otherwise participate!
2) Go here and click ‘Enter to win’.
No, really, it’s that easy to enter. Then, at the end of the month (ie: January 31st, 2009) Goodreads will work its mojo and semi-randomly select 5 people to receive free books. ((They have an algorithm and everything: “Goodreads will collect interest in the book, and select winners at our discretion. Our algorithm uses member data to match interested members with each book.”)) Then I’ll ship out the books personally to the winners, and they’ll bask in the wordy-goodness that is the new book.
For those of you who either a) don’t win, or b) don’t like paper books, but still don’t feel like paying: Please feel free to enjoy the free serialized audio version of the novel, either by signing up for the Modern Evil Podcast or by going to and signing up for either the default feed (which gives you episodes as I post them) or a custom feed (and get episodes on your own schedule). The free eBook version should be available in February, 2009, as well. Enjoy!

New novel complete!

(This post was originally created for and posted on the Modern Evil News (& Podcast) feed.)

Monday night I finished typing up the first draft of my new novel. (I’m still working on a name – what do you think of “Forget What You Can’t Remember”?) I wrote the entire thing on a manual typewriter, an Olivetti TROPICAL, which is to say ‘on paper, with ink.’ In between other projects and errands in the last two days, I’ve read the entire thing from start to finish. Out loud. Mostly to myself and to the cat. But it sounds pretty good, and I think it’s self-consistent, well-resolved, and perhaps yet another novel without an easy answer to the question “What’s it about?”

Briefly: It’s a followon to Lost and Not Found, though not a direct sequel. There are roughly two characters in common between the two books, and the main character from Lost and Not Found does not appear at all in this new one; it has an entirely new cast of characters and settings. It begins with the event that changed the world at the end of Lost and Not Found, and with zombies, but soon the story follows the characters to the flying city of Skythia while delving into the ways these various characters respond to both what has happened to them and the strange environment they now find themselves in. Going back to their old ways, moving on with their lives, lashing out against a system and a world they don’t understand, falling in love, or simply going a bit mad in a mad, mad world – the several interconnected characters’ journeys are really the heart of the story.

I’m about to start re-typing the whole thing into my computer. I haven’t decided how and when to first make it available, but I know for sure that it’ll be available in all the formats I have to offer: Paperback, eBook, and audiobook. I’m also planning on writing a companion book in November (for NaNoWriMo, actually), a collection of short stories which will tell stories somewhat perpendicular to the main thread of this novel. That is, where the novel follows closely the lives of its ensemble cast, especially re: the main progression of events, the short stories will help to build out the world the story takes place in, adding richness in the periphery of that story by telling stories that intersect with it. So, for example, in one chapter of the novel a superhero interrupts a mysterious, murderous heist at a Kwytzwyk Temple, and it changes his outlook on justice and ethics – and I want to write the story of the thieves, their previous exploits, and to give a lot more detail on the specifics of the Kwytzwyk religious practices and beliefs; all things that weren’t relevant to the main story of the novel, but which is a narrative with details worth exploring. (Playing around with a title for that gives me things like “More To Forget” and “More Memories For Forgetting”…)

DailyLit has apparently never heard of the long tail

So, I’ve been working on getting my books and eBooks around to as many places as possible lately. Putting them up in over half a dozen formats (apparently have to figure out how to make eReader, Palm Reader, and MS Reader compatible versions, as well) for free on my website, getting them available on Amazon for the kindle (done), getting them on Google Book Search (apparently even uploaded PDFs need to be manually “processed” so that could be a couple of weeks), getting set up at Lightning Source (which would include distribution, and for which I definitely want to have the MS and Palm versions ready, if possible – oh, and for which I’m faxing the paperwork over to them today), and emailing other eBooks sites to see if I can get my books up. I need to look closer at WOWIO and a couple of others, but so far I’ve emailed DailyLit and BookGlutton to see if they could put up my books. Each is either entirely or mostly free, having mostly or entirely Public Domain / CC works.

Heard back from DailyLit. Here’s an excerpt of what they said:

“… right now we are looking for works in the following categories:

  • Best-selling or critically acclaimed titles
  • Titles by authors who have a big following (especially on the web)
  • Works that are especially well-suited to the DailyLit format”

Which is to say, they’ve apparently never heard of “the long tail” … DailyLit would be an excellent service for the long tail of eBooks, since they have an even lower psychological barrier-to-entry than traditional eBook retailers; they send books to you via email in small, easily-digestible chunks. Everyone is used to getting daily emails these days, email newsletters, they check their mail, they read their mail, it’s part of everyday life in a way that reading paper books often isn’t, and reading eBooks on digital readers isn’t for everyone who doesn’t own one. DailyLit is a format I can imagine people would be willing to try new books out on, new authors on. DailyLit has a universal enough platform that all those niche books in the long tail, instead of targeting their eBooks at only the people with digital readers, or who are willing to read a full-length traditional eBook on their screen, they can target everyone who is comfortable reading email. Which widens their niche, I would think.

As we know about the long tail, each title may not be purchased very often. Yet if we make each of these less-popular, niche titles as widely available as possible to the most possible readers, they will see an increased possibility of success. (And DailyLit would see more volume of business overall.)

Alas, like traditional “Big Publishing”, DailyLit is only interested in you if you’ve already got a big audience they can tap into. Oh well. Their loss as well as mine.