So I started poking at the Thing With The Goblins yesterday, and realized a couple of important facts.
I’m proud of it.
People who liked Digger may like it.
It’s a novella at best.
It’s never gonna be middle grade or YA or anything like that, which is the only way that 40+K novella gets to be a normal book.
This makes it about as marketable as ringworm in the usual markets. Novellas are just not a great length to work with.
My agent loves it. She’s tried to sell it a couple of times to all kinds of different places, and there is just plain no home for it (barring that moment when I am so wildly famous that people will fight to publish anything I write, which is likely a fictional boundary.)
So, with her blessing, gonna try to self-publish it.
As I’ve said before, self-publishing is awesome at the stuff that self-publishing is awesome at. A small weird story with a small weird audience strikes me as the sort of thing that it’s likely to be awesome at…and while I grit my teeth and whimper at the work involved in Actually Doing All That Pre-Press Crap Myself…at least at the end of it, I’ll be able to talk more sensibly about the process than I do from the “Well, I had this webcomic…” front.
A few notes, before you ask!
1. No release date as yet. Believe me, you’ll know. *grin*
2. Please hold all “Does this mean we’ll see X now?!” questions until the end. I am thrilled that y’all have stories you want to see finished. That’s enormously gratifying as an author. But I have a very very very good career in trade publishing, and it’s the market I default to. And also I may get to the end of the goblin thing and go “Oh god! No! Never again!” We’ll see how hard it is to do right.
3. No, there will not be a Kickstarter. We just took a lot of money in for the Digger omnibus. I’m not asking anybody for money for anything until every single one of those books gets delivered, and that includes Santa Claus.
4. Probably 2.99, maybe 3.99. It’s a novella, after all.
5. Smashwords and Amazon.
6. It will be under a pseudonym. This is purely because “Ursula Vernon” is now known, to over a hundred thousand kids, as a children’s book author, and there’s a real tendency to just buy anything that comes out and assume it will be children’s book stuff. I’ll start censoring myself just in case, and that’s the road to a crappy book.
Plus it’s no bad thing to have a secondary name out there. It’ll be easy to find out that it’s me, it’ll be all over my various sites, it’s not a JK Rowling thing, but it’ll hopefully be a handy genre separation thing. I’m leaning toward something like “T. Kingfisher” that is so obviously a pseudonym that nobody thinks twice about it. (My buddy Mur suggests “T. Supervolcano.” The T stands for “The.” We may have been drunk.)
7. This will be e-book only. Mucking around with print volumes is more trouble than I personally can bear.
8. It will not be illustrated. I illustrate a LOT of books, and I’ll be honest, the joy is harder and harder to find. Given the chance to not illustrate something, I’m inclined to go “Oh god, yes!”
Anyway! So that’s what’s going on here. I’m excited, with a healthy dose of “Oh god, now I finally have to figure out layouts…”
(If anyone has any links to good tutorials on manuscript layout for e-book format, let me know!