The Nameless Horror

As Malcolm Gladwell has been saying during the past few years, the internet is good at forming weak, not strong links. Commitment on the net is shallow. This is the same for events and for purchase of books, and also for reading the content of any post. People click “like” on articles they’ve never read, befriend people they’ve no connection with.
This is long, but worth reading: Ewan Morrison is, I think, spot on with 'Why social media isn't the magic bullet for self-epublished authors'.

The arrival in Harrogate is always something of a culture-shock after London. Hordes of savage brutes roaming the night-time streets, knuckleboys on the rampage looking for blood and carnage – ugly scenes that would make even the most hardened war correspondents run screaming straight back into their mothers’ arms.

Leather, Tossers & Ebooks

I wasn’t there for "Tossergate" at Harrogate, but I’ve seen the story making the rounds today and read Stephen Leather’s response (and, unlinked, seen talk of how he said he uses sock puppets on blogs and forums to promote and review his own books - another thing for another day). But not being at a place has never stopped anyone on the internet writing ill-informed responses to things, and happily mine were written months ago.

  1. On pricing and cheap ebooks: this and this. (Verdict: agree largely with the baying mob.)
  2. On piracy and DRM: this (Verdict: agree largely with Leather and apparently with Steve on DRM.)
  3. On not needing proof reading “because fans will do it for you”: @Suw covers it somewhat in a comment on her Forbes piece here - “Don’t treat readers like beta testers.” (Verdict: anyone who does get their - usually paying, definitely non-volunteer - readership to fix their shit because they can’t be arsed to do it first is a tool.)
  4. No one, anywhere, ever, should write the word as “eBook”. It’s not a proper noun or a bloody trade name.

And now back to eWork.

In Which I Have A Story To Tell You

Both literally and figuratively. The short short version is that if you visit this happenin’ place then you can start reading Murder Park. A new installment will go up every Monday and every Thursday until the whole story’s online. For free, gratis, zip, nada, for your enjoyment.

Then, and only then, will any full, complete, downloadable copy appear (apart from anything else, I’ll be polishing as I go, and I’ve yet to hear back from the esteemed Mr Quertermous, who’s kindly agreed to serve as editor, as to whether or not the later parts of the story are any good at all, so there might be some work to do on it before we get to those parts).

Received wisdom has it that a difficult-to-pigeonhole story needs time to find an audience. This way, it’ll get that time in a way it won’t if it’s instantly digestable and forgettable. Hopefully, anyway; it’s not as though I actually have any idea how it’ll go. I write short chapters and lots of them, so it seemed a good fit for regular serial form anyway. It’s also no secret I don’t like the current (and long-term unsustainable) self-publishing with Amazon model (or the contract terms Amazon use). This is a way to try to bypass the whole ugly mess and go direct to readers without relying on luck and x-thousand free downloads and reviews and all that shite. With the bonus that I can CC-license the thing (and everything else I’ve done, incidentally) to make it legal to share as much as you like.

If you have no idea what Murder Park is or why you should care, that’s cool. The whole story is on the project’s ‘about’ page. Essentially it’s a book I had to mothball at the two-thirds complete mark when my publisher couldn’t offer another contract for quasi-cyberpunk-thrillery-urban-weirdness because, no matter how much they loved it - and my editor knew it was a tough sell to start with, but liked my previous two novels enough to pay me for them anyway - it’s very hard to sell that stuff through stores. Stopping work on something when you’re that far in - and it’s good, too - is a real downer, so I picked it up again earlier this year to finish and get out the door.

Basically, give it a read and see if you like it or not. It costs you nought but a few minutes of your time. I won’t take offence if you think it’s balls.

(And while there are characters in it that may have appeared in earlier work, it’s not part of a series and it’s not a sequel to anything. It was always conceived as a standalone story.)

On a related note, there are some new old stories available in Ye Olde Fictione Shoppe and new editions of the couple of things that were there already (adding nowt, for those few of you who know them, but an updated afterword to AYLB, but throwing in the sequel fragment as a bonus to HBJC; the initialisations will make sense if you look). And matching the same redesigning effort that’s gone into everything else, has had a lick of paint and if you’ve not seen it I shunted my photography stuff into a sort of quasi amateur portfolio thing here a while back.

Uh… and that’s it! Go, read, enjoy, you lovely, lovely people, you.