The traditional publishing industry is a tough go, isn’t it? Books that would sell twenty years ago are now getting passed up in favour of retreads of books that are proven sales magnets. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing – it’s just the way the industry works now. You can’t blame a business for making business decisions, after all. I hang out on writer’s forums and I see a lot of writers kvetching about how no one wants to take chances or produce “art”. The industry isn’t in the business of producing art, they’re in the business of making a profit – something that is damn hard to chase after these days, and is getting harder all the time. It’s not like books are the hot entertainment medium du jour, after all; in fact, in terms of the major forms of entertainment, I wouldn’t be shocked if they came in dead last.
This is all just a long-winded justification for my making the decision to self-release my second novel, Prospero’s Half-Life, on Halloween. I’ve been told by a few that it’s good, but it’s not what the industry is looking for in terms of it’s post-apocalyptic tastes. That is, it’s not the Creed to Divergent‘s Bush, and it’s not by someone with a track record of magazine sales (as are several of this fall’s wave of literary post-apoc). Too much Algis Budrys, not enough Veronica Roth, as it turns out. In the past this would be what is quaintly termed a “trunk novel”, but these days there’s little point in stuffing it into a trunk and letting dust gather on it. There are people out there that will enjoy it, and for them I’ll put it out there.
In addition, I’ll be putting out a few shorter pieces – the kind that are a little too long for an obscure author to sell to the magazines, 10,000 + words. The first of these I’ll be announcing in a post shortly.