Product for the Experiment

I’ve made a business decision to see what might happen as an Indi Author/Publisher. As I want this to be successful, I cannot just let things fall as they may. So, it’s time to make a few hard decisions. I need to go into this with a plan. A full business plan will come later, which I will post, but for now I need to get started on a few other details.

So, let’s start with something very basic: A business must have something to sell.

Hehe, a pretty obvious point, yet one of great importance. It is not something to be overlooked or dismissed with an “of course”.

For a writer, it has big implications. Projects planned. Release dates scheduled. All the incremental steps along the way planned out. Writing and revision takes time. So do the other parts of the process. That means a good lead-time before the release date.

I want to start releasing product somewhere between January and March 2011. The exact dates will be refined towards the end of summer, but I needed a target to aim for right now.

However, I also made the decision to share the process for others. Who knows, perhaps something in the way I plan, write, and revise a project might inspire and help another writer.

Because of that I didn’t want to simply take a project from my hard-drive to use to illustrate the experiment. They are already completed. It would be difficult to share the process as I may not remember all the steps the project went through.

So, that meant a new project. A project I could share in “The E-Book Experiment” from start to finish, that could be finished in time for a target of January to March 2011.

The above might seem like small things, yet they aren’t. Business decisions are not made in a vacuum. Likewise, the product a business produces is not chosen randomly.

Having taken the time to identify the very basics, I now know a few very basic, but very important, items to keep in mind. Knowing those limitations, and working within them, will give me a better chance at success.

For instance, the release target dates present a bit of a problem. To start a book right now and have it completely polished by the beginning of 2011 is possible for me if life is calm. But life isn’t calm right now and I don’t expect it to be for quite some time. So, writing a typical novel of 70,000 to 100,000 words is simply not possible. At the same time, I don’t think this experiment could really be satisfied with short stories.

Enter the novella.

A novella is typically defined as a story between 17,500 to 40,000 words. I’ve written novellas for ages in fanfiction. It’s a very comfortable length that allows the author to tell a meaty story without it dragging on for days of reading. But, I’ve never written anything original at that length because of the problem of finding a market for it.

Now there’s a market. One of the great things about e-books is that the novella has come out of near non-sellable obscurity to make a dramatic resurgence. For a new project, it would be wonderful to try it out.

The novella has the added benefit that I can, with good conscience, price it low. A low price point for the early work my writing business produces is exactly what I want.

Can I make a novella as successful in my original writing as I have with fanfiction? Time to find out.

Now I have parameters in which to fit a project. What project that is, I don’t know yet, but it has to have the following qualities:

* New project
* Project must be ready for release somewhere between January to March 2011
* Novella length (17,500 to 40,000 words)

Time to go fishing for story ideas. Or sparklies? My Muse loves sparklies…
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NOTE: For the writing aspects of the series, I’ve dropped “The E-Book Experiment” from the first part of the title. Some of the blog titles were going to get too long otherwise.
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“The E-Book Experiment” chronicles the business and creative side of an experiment with the business opportunities new technology and creative outlets now afford content producers. Will it fail? Will it succeed? The only way to know is to approach it with a solid plan and try. No regrets!

I hope the details of this journey will be a help to other authors. As the process proceeds to selling the final products I will also share hard data that might be useful in the decision making process of other authors who recognize that only they can take charge of their careers. For a listing of all the posts in this series, please click here.

If you find this information useful or interesting, please encourage others to come on by and visit.

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