So, we’re looking at the end of 2010, and it’s time for me to announce some major changes to my upcoming serial fiction. This will affect both my blog and my web site. The order of stories in the queue should remain close to the same as I’ve outlined in previous posts, but starting in 2011 I will be dropping the free serials. So the first paid serial will be Confessions of a Zombie Lover, the sequel to this year’s first dark fantasy entry, Zombie Punter.
There will still be links to new chapters of my serial fiction coming, but instead of posting the text here, I’ll post a link to the chapter on Smashwords. A free preview of the first few lines will be available for every chapter, but readers will have to buy the rest. I decided on Smashwords because you can get a file for every ereader DRM-free. So no matter how you prefer to get your fiction fix on, they will cover you. Also, you buy once, and you have access to all the file formats. Even if you switch machines or readers, you will always have access to all the files. They’re a good indie store, and I’m hopeful to send more of my Kindle and Nook readers their way instead of to Amazon or B&N.
A major change in my policy will be requiring a minimum number of buyers to be met per chapter before I release the next chapter. (If a chapter unlocked on the same day it’s released, I suppose I might wait a day or two before posting the next part.) I didn’t want to give up my regular schedule or hold my work for a ransom, but I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I need to make enough money from my writing in 2011 to earn something closer to a part-time tech job. So that means turning more casual readers into regular customers. Second, this encourages regular readers to spread the word on stories and become vocal fans. If I’ve set a 50 sale minimum, and the sales hang at 45, it’s in the reader’s best interest to talk about the book and interest other readers. These stories were completed long before I posted them, so if a book dies after one or two chapters, it’s because the readers decided not to support the project, not because I ran out of stuff to post. (And if that happens, I suppose I’ll stop asking after two months and try another title, if no titles are completed in 2011, I’ll just quit writing serial fiction. I may also look more seriously at alcoholism as a hobby instead of writing)