Jim C. Hines (jimhines) wrote,
Jim C. Hines

Another of Jim’s Self-Publishing Plans

Kind of a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I’ve been thinking about another way I might self-publish.

I’ve got an anthology invitation sitting in my Inbox.  These days, I rarely write short fiction without an invite.  Much as I enjoy short stories, I just don’t have the time.  But even with an invitation, there are no guarantees.

I’ve worked on some invite-only anthologies where the approach was, “If you’re invited, you’re in, no matter how much we have to work with you to get you there.”  I’ve seen others where a large number of invited authors were rejected.  (I remember the outrage from some big name authors who were rejected from Sword & Sorceress XXI.)

So with this invite, I know it’s not a sure thing, and that makes me nervous.  I’m planning to do a goblin story, and I know one of the two editors is a big goblin fan, but what if the other one hates my goblin humor?

And then something clicked.  Jig the goblin has a good-sized fanbase.  I could always set up some sort of crowdsourced funding model online.  Maybe micropayments of $1, or I could post the first half and see if people will pay enough to match the 5 cents/word rate for the anthology, or just post the whole thing with a PayPal tips button, or who knows.  My guess is, if I do it right, I could probably make as much or more than I would from the anthology sale.

Wait, what?  Is Jim C. Hines saying you can make more money self-publishing than by selling to a commercial publisher?

Maybe.  In this particular case.  And I obviously don’t know for certain.  But there are several factors to consider:

  1. I’ve built up a bit of an audience with my commercially published fiction.  There are people who trust me as a writer, and are therefore willing to pay for my work.
  2. The Goblin Quest books have sold tens of thousands of copies, and a lot of people would love to see another Jig story.
  3. I don’t have the biggest blog on the Internet, but I’ve built a pretty good following, so I have some means to get the word out.
  4. I’ve only outlined the story, but if all goes as planned, there will be zombies.  And few things pack more messed-up entertainment value than goblins vs. zombies.

I doubt this would work as well if I posted an original story, one not related to my books.  I know it wouldn’t work as well if I were an unknown author, or one without any sort of readership.  But in this situation, I suspect it could work.

It’s probably a moot point.  While I’ve been rejected from invite-only projects before, it’s the exception rather than the rule, which means the goblin/zombie tale will probably show up in a year or so when the anthology hits the shelves.  But if it does get rejected, I’m no longer worried.

It could even be fun.

What do you think?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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