Planning for the Future

Okay, Ethshar and serial fans, I’m thinking about what I want to do about future projects.

The fact is, regular advances have been dropping as paperback sales nosedive, and the big publishers have become far harder to sell to if you aren’t a young woman writing about vampires. Small presses, on the other hand, have been cashing in on the rise of ebooks — in many cases, more effectively than the traditional big houses — and have more money available than ever before. Self-publishing is also more viable now than at any time in the past century, thanks to ebooks.

So I’m planning to switch more of my output (possibly all of it) to non-traditional routes — the difference in money is no longer the overwhelming thing it used to be. I’ll be writing more Ethshar novels and other stuff I want to write, regardless of whether anyone in New York thinks it’s commercially viable.

But do I want to do these as serials-followed-by-small-press, or should I just write ’em and send them straight to Wildside and/or FoxAcre without bothering to serialize them? Or should I self-publish?

Do you guys like the serial format, or just consider it a necessary evil to get the stories you want to read?

As for small press vs. self-publishing, I’m not sure any of you guys care; the big difference there is whether I want to do all my own editing and formatting and marketing, or let a publisher take a huge slice of the money in exchange for taking all that work off my hands. A small press means there will be a hardcopy edition, probably cheaper than if I self-publish one, but the ebooks will be about the same. If anyone has advice on the subject, though, I’d like to see it.

Another question: Are you guys only interested in Ethshar, or would you be willing to pay for other stuff, too? Not sequels to twenty-year-old science fiction; I’ve learned my lesson there. But I have several other projects I’d like to write — The Dragon’s Price, for example, which is a big ol’ fantasy novel I wrote fifty pages of and then put aside as Not What Tor Wanted. Or more of the Bound Lands series that started with A Young Man Without Magic and Above His Proper Station — I had a dozen plotted, and more than a hundred pages of On A Field Sable written, when Tor dropped the series.

I’m considering maybe putting those on Kickstarter, and writing them if they attract enough pledged support.

Oh, incidentally, watch for several small-press reprint projects coming up — Wildside and I are discussing Tales of Ethshar, collecting all the short Ethshar stories (including the first chapter of The Unwanted Wardrobe), and a bunch of mini-collections of my short fiction are in the works. We’re also discussing reprinting assorted novels that aren’t currently in print.

So — here’s your chance to tell me what you want to see from me, and in what form. Talk to me.