Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's up, Jeff?

You've surely noticed a major renewal to my main novel 'Feeding the Urge'. 
New cover (admit it, it's a badass restyling), larger page count, and interior design.
But why?
Simple, my creative side won against the marketing one.

In origin, Feeding the Urge (an 80,350 words novel) had a paging of 296. Browsing among similar books, I found that my book had to compete with cheaper comrades (most were around 8 to 12 bucks for a paperback). Being new to the self-pub market, I decided to change the fonts and style to lower the number of pages and had it sold at a competitive price of $ 10.00.
Nonetheless, times are changing and readers, too.
70% of American readers download their books on portable electronic devices (Kindle, Nook, iPads, etc.) mostly because of cheaper prices (with promotions you can even get free e-books) and storage capacity. The same trend goes on in the UK and Germany.
However, I'm a big fan of printed paper; love holding in my hands a physical copy, sniffing its aroma and looking at it standing on a bookshelf.

Two weeks ago I received a copy of Feeding. 
And was immediately disappointed.
171 pages of tightly fitted words, each one stumbling on the other, with readability deign of a legal agreement document. The cover looked cheap, out of a copy shop.
Had I spent seven months conceiving my monster to have it look-like sh@t?
No way.
My artist side kicked in; I sedated my creature and had it again back at surgery. New cover, a more professional interior, added an introduction, an author biography, and general editing of the front matter. Then, I went for the meat. Returned the fonts to Times New Roman (12 points, bold), added a blank page after each chapter; allowing the story to flow more fluidly, and finally won against a personal curse (the first line of my novel always came out corrupted by Word, no matter how many times I had corrected it, this darn 'auto-correct' typo kept showing in all versions).
I took some rest and that's when my marketing side blew in.
'Now it's going to cost more! Nobody's going to buy your book when they can get novels at 10, even as low as 7 bucks,' it whispered.
So what?
I don't care. That's my baby lying on the trestle table; I promised it a great look and all the skills and attitude it deserves. Let it cost 100, I don't give a fart. Nobody's going to buy it? Whatever.
They'll buy the eBook version (less than a cuppa coffee at Starblokes, if you ask), they'll pirate it, they'll do whatever they want. I want my physical copy to look good; as good as one of Crichton's trade paperback, as good as a real damn book, not something out of the corner copy shop.
'You'll have to order another proof copy,' protested Market-Head.
I'll do. I want it. I want my book to look perfect; for me and my readers. Listen, you logical-minded number-crunching fiend, there are people out there who care for a nice-looking book. Should they like my Kindle or Nook version, they will buy it in physical form. Because that's what I do when I really enjoy a book; I want it to touch it.
Maybe, no one is going to pay 15 bucks for my paperback edition right now, but in the near future, when I'm sure they'll do, I want them to get in their hands a paragon of the paper industry, something I want to be proud of.
So shut up and lemme work.

Feeding the Urge is now as it should have been from start: 300 pages long, with all the right info at the right place.
Buy it or don't buy it, I like it that way.

For those curious about the 'First Line Curse', here's how it goes:
'Somewhere, beyond a wall of made of Reason and surrounded by a trench dug out of Ignorance, lays another world.'
Five editing of it and always there, mocking me after each upload. Yet, finally I won (I checked it, it's no longer there!)


  1. Good for you, and I agree: if someone reads and loves the ebook, they'll shell out some dough to hold the real thing and to shelve it carefully and lovingly between their favorite authors where it belongs.

    Your First Line Curse made me laugh. I've only published one book thus far, so I'm new at this, but that first dang page gave me fits. Find the missing word, take it down off Amazon, fix it, republish it, realize I'm missing a comma, take it down, fix it, republish it, suddenly "there" is spelled "their" and I have a hissy fit...etc. It really is a curse.

    Melyssa (from the same Goodreads group).

  2. Thanks for reading my rants, Melyssa.