So, I announced this on Twitter the other day, but I’m planning on dipping my toes into the world of being a Hybrid Author, meaning I’ll both self-publish and trade publish books.
I’ll be starting with four short stories/novellas set in Ellada, the world of Pantomime & Shadowplay. These stories will be part of a series called Vestigial Tales, and each centres around a piece of Vestige. For those who haven’t read the first two Micah Grey books, Vestige are bits of magic or technology left behind by a previous civilization. The current inhabitants of Ellada and the other islands of the Archipelago use these artefacts, but have no idea how they work. So once they break, that’s it. Some artefacts are merely decorative or toys, and others are deadly weapons.
All of the stories are set before the events in the Micah Grey series, and thus they can be a good starting point for people who haven’t read my books, and will also fill in some extra details for those who have. Three of the four stories will feature familiar names and faces – two will feature Drystan, the white clown, and one will feature Cyan, who joins Micah and Drystan in Shadowplay. The remaining story is set in Imachara, the capital of Ellada, but does not have any overlapping characters.
Here are the titles in their most likely publication order:
“The Snake Charm”
“The Tarot Reader”
“The Mechanical Minotaur”
“The Card Sharp”
The lengths of these stories will range from 5k to up to 25-30k.
I’m quite excited about the project, but it will be a side project. My main goal and energy is still going into finishing manuscripts to be traditionally published, but I love having the opportunity to explore self-publishing. I think it’s an exciting time to be an author, in that there are extra options at our disposal and more ways to explore getting stories into the hands of readers.
There is a chance I’ll be self-publishing a novel as well in the future, and if I do, then I’ll hopefully learn a lot through self-publishing these short stories so that it’ll be easier to launch a longer piece of work.
I’m currently in the process of commissioning artwork and finishing the stories. I’ll be blogging occasionally about my progress. I’m unsure of exact dates, and there’s still much for me to learn and decide. I’m hoping that once I get going, the stories will be up roughly every six weeks.
If they prove reasonably popular, I’d be more than happy to keep putting up stories as long as I have good ideas. As a writer, I often have little pockets of time where I’m waiting to hear back from betas, my agent, and editors on things. That’s when I can work on shorter work without impacting my larger schedule.
From a writerly point of view, there’s a lot about the publishing world I can’t control. These various novel manuscripts I’m working on now – I don’t know if they’ll sell. But I can control these short stories and know when they will go up and control most aspects of them (except, of course, whether or not they sell once they’re up). I’ll ensure they are a professional, well-edited product. I’ll be able to see what amending prices does, and all of that I can apply to marketing my traditionally published books.
And if these flop, then no harm done. I’ll be a little out of pocket but will have commissioned some lovely artwork and worked on stories that I believe in and that will only deepen my understanding of the main world of Micah Grey. If I break even, gain some new readers for the main series, or make enough to cover some of the lattes I drink as I write in cafes, then I’ll consider that a success. Anything more will be a bonus.
So…more to come soon. I plan to be transparent on costs, initial sales, profits, mistakes I’ll make, and what worked for me. I know I’m not the only trade published author who is interested in the magical Hybrid land. I think I’ll learn a lot, and am more than happy to share that with you. I hope you’ll enjoy following my progress, and that you’ll pick up the Vestigial Tales when they’re available.
If you have any questions, ask away. Or, likewise, if you have any good resources to share, feel free to pass them my way as well.