retracting my previous statement

According to my blog stats, a few of you likely saw the last post which is no longer there.  This was a key example of me jumping the gun and posting something before I had time to process it properly.

Actually, maybe that’s only part of the truth.  Let’s find out together, shall we?

If you did not see the previous post, it was concerning my decision to release The Final Study of Cooper M. Reid as a Kindle release.  In theory, it seemed like a good idea.  The story was complete and had even been published by a small press last year, making me think the story was at least sorta-kinda good.  I did up a cover that I was fairly pleased with and went through formatting hell for about a week (those of you unfamiliar with Cooper need to know the story is abound with footnotes, transcripts and the like).

It wasn’t until I posted the blog and looked the final document over (the mobi file, ready for release) that I realized a handful of things, all of which frankly got me mad at myself.

First, I was not releasing Cooper M. Reid for Kindle because I thought it was great timing.  I was releasing it because in following with the lessons were are being taught as indie publishers, it makes sense to get as many titles into the virtual marketplace as you can.  I will admit it (while looking away)…this was essentially the only reason I even considered it.

Not to say that Cooper M. Reid won’t see his way onto the Kindle at some point…but that leads me to the second reason.

I am not 100% happy with the cover art and the formatting is “just okay” at best.  I refuse to put something out there that has my name on it that has been approached as half-assed.  Still, there I was,blowing the trumpets and parting the clouds to let Cooper through.

The last reason is perhaps the largest (and has many facets).  First and foremost, I released The Masks of Our Fathers just a little over 3 weeks ago.  To release Cooper so soon after seems highly suspect that maybe it’s not just about getting my work out there.  I have no problem telling all of you that I check the sales numbers for Masks more than I probably should.  I think any writer would be lying if they said the number of units sold didn’t matter.  With Masks, I love the book and feedback has been great.  Had I also released Cooper on the heels of it, the “marketing” behind Masks would have suffered and it wouldn’t have been fair to what has become a very close and personal book to me.

On top of all of that, there is the line-up of the coming year.  The Bleeding Room is coming in August.  Birdwatching from Mars will absolutely be here before us silly Americans start blasting out fireworks in the summer.  That’s a lot of marketing, word of mouth and effort.  Why weaken the push behind it with another Kindle book that I just threw out there for the sake of adding another Barry Napier title to the Kindle pile?

Meanwhile, instead of saturating the virtual market with every title I possible can (yes, I have considered Debris for this route, too), I’m going to focus on my daunting pile of WIPs.  I am still steadily at work on Sleepyheads. I am nearly done with my second book of poetry.  I am working on a collaborative effort that has been and will remain to be hush hush.

So for now, Cooper M. Reid will remain as he/it is.  For those not in the know, The Final Study of Cooper M. Reid was published as a limited edition chapbook through Strange Publications last year. (And, if you’re interested, I believe there are still a few remaining). While I feel confident that he will get the digital treatment at some point, it won’t be in the immediate future.

For now, I’ll focus less on the marketing and more on the writing…something I would have surely lost sight of if the side of me that constantly feels the need to check my sales stats had its say.

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3 comments

  1. Barry, only you know what’s right re: timing, etc. I’m beating myself silly prepping more stuff for Kindle, writing new work, submitting. But someday I might be Amanda Hocking (fat bloody chance). 😉

  2. What Aaron said. Only you know what’s best for you. And I don’t envy your having to format a dossier for the Kindle! But you are right, that the more you have available, the better chance you have of getting noticed. Let’s hope “The Final Study of Cooper M. Reid” is available in Kindle format soon.

  3. Keep listening to that instinct of yours.

    And nothing’s wrong with tracking numbers. Especially since you have so many WIPs cookin’, you can track your progress and fine tune your marketing strategies.

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