An experimental way to publish a novel, or, “artificial dissemination”

From Kevin Brennan … on an interesting promotion/publication idea he and I were discussing recently.



I have an interesting idea a-brewing. A mere notion at this point. Maybe a whim, an impulse. Possibly just a funny feeling.

I was chatting with Susan Toy recently about book marketing and how difficult it is, and I mentioned that I’d just about had it with all the usual methods. It’s pretty clear that social media isn’t ideal for it because everyone sees you as spamming. And blogs are great for your brand, but potential book readers don’t really flock to your blog and then run out to buy your stuff. Advertising is expensive. Bookstores don’t like indies. Your friends and family can only do so much for you, word-of-mouth-wise.

In short, it’s hard out there for a book pimp.

So I told Susan that I was this close to putting a book out one copy at a time to readers who would accept a “pay what you want”…

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7 responses

  1. Appreciating all the comments! Regarding the pdf issue, since I want illustrations and I want to keep the formatting budget low low low, I’m working on ways to make the pdf presentation look great. My testing so far is promising, with the only problem being that you can’t change font size with a pdf. However, the page itself looks super-professional, with graphic chapter titles and interesting paragraph spacers. I’ve also managed to get the type to a very readable size.

    That said, since this will be a genuine one-on-one deal, I’ll make other formats available, which may or may not be able to include the pics. Calibre now allows images to be inserted, so I’ll run some tests!

  2. No one has any idea how many times I have heard the words “But we’ve never done it that way before … ” (mainly from publishers) when I’ve offered my new ideas or suggestions, so it’s always with great please that I am able to discuss these possibilities with someone like Kevin Brennan who is willing to listen and think things through a little further.

  3. “book pimp” That made me laugh. New ideas are always worth a look. Who knows? That restaurant in California has done quite well for years letting people pay what they can or want to.

  4. Ummmm. Not a fan of PDF which isn’t a good start based on Kevin’s proposal. Although, piccies are always good. I suspect people probably like set prices. Deciding whether or not to pay one or two or three or ten bucks is all too difficult. And personal.

    Interesting. Different thinking. Worth a whirl? Why not.

    1. It’s always refreshing to come from a different angle altogether whenever debating old ideas and new (possible) solutions.

      1. I think the difficulty is being ahead of the times, which, this idea may be. Direct sales as a principle is brill. I’d think about epub versions too. Slicker than pdf, but … a mac thing.

      2. One of my friends always said that if I ever thought “inside the box”, it was with all the flaps of the box wide open! Have always been out of step with this dinosaur business of publishing and selling books.

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