Yes. That means exactly what it seems to mean: come on over to Plain & Simple Press and check out my new, ever-so-profitable (to you!) marketing scheme: GIVING AWAY books to you and all your friends, relations, lovers, and enemies. For free.
Y’know, I’ve had several books in progress for quite some time. Two of them are now finished. One is still wandering around the veldt.
But… Y’also know that I find the present publishing landscape profoundly discouraging, far more so than it was in the Good Ole Days when all you had to do was engage a talented agent to get your Fine Works of Literature published. I’ve sold two books on my own — academic presses are pretty easy — and one through an agent. All three, we might add, to real-world, heavy-hitting publishers.
But my last agent passed on to her Heavenly Father some years ago. At the time I was so engaged in my academic career — which mostly entailed teaching and managing university programs — that I failed to bestir myself to find someone to take her place. And of course when one reaches one’s dotage, hiring a literary agent is about as lost a cause as getting hired by a company or government agency that will pay you a living wage.
Therein lies the problem: marketing. I am not a marketer. I do not want to be a marketer. And so I do not market. Thus the golden words — five real books and an uncountable number of “romantic erotica” squibs — rake in about $15 a month. Wowzers.
Yet I write.
I write because I am.
That’s what writers do.
One recent day it struck me that if I’m not going to make any fortune on my written opus, I might as well…not make any fortune. Why not simply give it away?
Selling on Amazon is roughly the equivalent of giving your work away. Why pay Amazon for the privilege?
Why pay anyone for the privilege, when you can give your books away yourself? That, after all, is what a website is for: giving your writing away. No?
An acquaintance of mine does exactly that, with the result that he sells far more books off his own sites than he ever could sell on Amazon…and he doesn’t have to split the proceeds with that vast heart of darkness. Exactly how his marketing plan works, I do not fully understand, though I study it. Someday I may figure it out. Or not.
Meanwhile, I write.
It’s always gratifying when someone reads your work. That, after all, is why you write. More or less.
Not for any pecuniary reason. Really.
So. I’ve decided I’m going to give these things away.
Plain & Simple Press will post a chapter or a section of each book every few days. You can read them at the site blog, one chapter at a time. Or, if you’d like to read a whole book online, you can go to the site’s pages dedicated to the respective Great Works:
An e-telenovela about people who live ordinary lives as citizens of a vast interstellar empire.
Brings twenty-five years of writing, publishing, and academic experience to bear on issues that most concern people who want to be writers.
Sassy, staid, off-the-wall, matronly, bitchy, conservative, liberal: with you I share the wisdom of the ages. The ages of a very long life.
Alternatively, you could buy one of these books in its entirety! I can provide it to you as a PDF, an ePub, or a printed paperback, handsomely designed and packaged. The Complete Writer and If You’d Asked Me are all set to go: come on over to the site for more details. Ella’s Story is a true work in progress: you can follow it as it grows. I expect there’ll be several Empire books: watch for them.
Don’t go gestalt: Go whole hog! Buy a book…feed a writer.