As you are probably aware, my poem, “Once Upon a Time,” which told a clichéd fairy tale while also being composed of clichés, was Freshly Pressed here at WordPress. (Thank you, WordPress, and all the wonderful bloggers here who supported my humble effort. I’m extremely grateful.)
Is enough, enough? Or should I dig up the past?
Just in case, I have begun another, to be titled “Beating a Dead Horse.” What do you think? Do you really want more clichés?
In the comments for the original, a couple of people suggested getting it illustrated and publishing it. For me, of course, that means publishing it myself; but I might hire an illustrator and cover designer.
I’m not sure if there is a demand for it. The original was very popular, but also free here at WordPress. I would like to leave the free version up permanently. So if I publish the story, the customers would basically be paying for illustrations and the convenience of holding it in their hands. I would include the two poems together, and depending on page count (in color, the paperback price becomes expensive if I go much beyond 40 pages), would like to add additional material so there is some new content, too. (Obviously, this precludes an e-book edition from being in KDP Select, if I leave the originals online for free.)
Does it seem worthwhile? I’m not worried about recovering the cost in the near future. I would pay for the cover design and illustrations as a gift to myself. 🙂 But if I go to the trouble, I would like the published version to sell periodically and provide enjoyment to people. Maybe the free poems on WordPress are already enough? (I would keep the price of the published editions as low as possible, like 99 cents for the e-book.)
If I did this, I could also make an anthology. I have a few short stories and other poems that I could combine together. The anthology would be black-and-white in print (but color as an e-book), and a much better value to the buyer. I wonder if an anthology may help to get a couple other of my short stories read.
One major hurdle I have with my short stories and poetry lies in the categories. I tried publishing one short story, “Why Do We Have to Go to School?” It’s really an interesting dialog between father and son with many twists and turns, though it probably sounds like something much different than the actual story (that’s a packaging problem, plus not one of my better covers). I didn’t find a good category for it on Amazon, but even if I did, I suspect that it’s just not a popular topic.
Another story I have in the works is called “Romancing the Novel.” This is based on one of my very first posts here at WordPress. You’d have to be one of my original followers to have seen “Reading & Writing with Passion.” (There is a link to it below.) I continued this idea, making a romance out of a man and a book, and even telling half the story from the book’s point of view. Several months ago, I hired a cover designer to make a cover for the paperback, but have yet to publish it. I’m a bit concerned about the category.
With this cliché concept, many people seem to like it, but I have concerns about the category, and whether or not it would sell. Maybe bundling all of these ideas together would be a better value, but then finding the anthology could still be an issue.
I guess the real solution is – as I often discuss here on my blog – effective marketing. I market my math workbooks and self-publishing workbooks, but more than doing my own marketing I enjoy trying to help and support other authors. I’m primarily a nonfiction author, since I have expertise relevant for that. My humble short stories and poetry are a fun hobby.
To what extent do I want to market my fiction? I guess that’s the question I have to ask myself, especially since I prefer to use my free time to help or support others or to do my nonfiction marketing. All fiction authors probably feel much this way. Is your work good enough? Is there an audience for it? Mainly, how much do you believe in your work? Enough to perfect it, share it, and especially to commit to marketing it?
If you’re inclined toward the negatives here, please feel free to share your opinions. You won’t offend me. 🙂 I definitely don’t want support for the sake of support.
It’s far easier to advise others as to what to do than it is to make the best decisions for yourself. With that in mind, I give you the opportunity to offer some advice.
I suppose it ain’t over ’til it’s over. 🙂
Something I learned about KDP Select is that you can put out up to 20% of the exclusive material for marketing purposes. I’m not sure if that remains true for poems, but it comes to the percentage of their sample. That’s how I was able to put some of my novels on Wattpad. Not that it did me any good, I should add.
That’s a good point. I’ll have to do some word math. 🙂
I have often looked at your work…your 30 books or so, and thought, “Oh wow, what I really should be doing is writing some useful information, not fiction.” I guess that fiction is useful if you are able to find the right audience and please them. It has entertainment value. Targeting a market is, I believe, a much greater challenge. My expertise in a thirty year career in Nursing have influenced my writing, I am sure. I think you do a great service to the community. Seriously I do!
Fiction and nonfiction both target a specific audience. Sometimes there is even overlap. For example, if you write novel that largely involves the nursing profession or if you write a nonfiction book relevant to nurses, there would be some target audience overlap. Fiction and nonfiction are different, yet still share much in common. The issue I have with the little fiction I’ve written thus far is that the audience is substantially different from the audience to which I’m presently marketing my nonfiction. That’s a challenge, but has some interesting features, like the parent who buys a poetry anthology, looks at my other books, and realizes that her son could use some multiplication practice (fascinating, perhaps, but not as significant as reaching the target audience directly). I really appreciate your support. 🙂
That sound cool though…thinking that you can actually build on the audience that you have. I could see that working out in many ways.