Late last year/early this year, I serialized an Elis O’Connor prequel novella over at Patreon. It was supposed to be a longish short story for Halloween but, well, you know how I write–so I ended up with a novella that took some months to complete.
It’s been through revisions, editing, proofing, and it’s now available in paperback. The ebook will be made available to all patrons on July 1 (the day before the next full-length novel, Witch Hunt, starts serializing).
Anticipating some FAQs here!
Will it come out everywhere in ebook?
Unlikely for the time being!
Blood Ties did not sell well at all, which I could deal with–new series, a little different, needs time to find an audience–but it also ended up being among my most pirated books within a couple of months of release. I’m not spending a year (or more) of my life on something to have it stolen more than bought and end up with $200 for my troubles.
That said, I like writing Elis’s stories–the homicide is quite relaxing. So they’re exclusively Patreon serials for the foreseeable future.
Couldn’t patrons just upload the books to piracy sites?
I mean…someone could? It would be highly inadvisable of them given my propensity to hit the nuclear option and cancel things over being justifiably upset when people are stealing from me.
I also have, at present, fifty-two active patrons who currently have access to files (a handful of others who are “patrons” but whose payments are declined, so they’ve lost access). I have a lot of tricks for figuring our pirate identities and I am very good at it so, again, highly inadvisable for a patron to do such a thing in these circumstances–it would not only jeopardize my ability to continue on Patreon, and therefore my entire career as a writer, but it would actively harm me. And there’s a strong likelihood I would know exactly who did it.
If money’s a concern, aren’t you losing a lot more by not releasing these stories as ebooks?
Yep! One thing I value more than money, however: my sanity. I can’t work on something with the full knowledge it’s going to be stolen the moment it’s available. Mentally, it fucks me up and makes it hard to work. Remember Livi #5? Yeah. That.
So my options are: a) cancel the series entirely forever and ever, or b) place them on Patreon and put them out as paperbacks to decrease the likelihood of theft so I can at least tell the story.
Guess what I picked.
Blah blah paperbacks are expensive.
Sorry! Wait maybe five years or six years, when I get the series finished, and I’ll look then at releasing the ebooks formally.
In the meantime, serials are for all patrons at $1/month+, and you can get a year all at once for like <$11 and have access to everything, so…there’s that?
So I’ll really get the full novella and other stuff for $1, and I can cancel right afterward?
Well, the final’s not going live until July 1, although the zero draft will remain. And, I mean…you could. And some people do. I think it’s kind of shitty to pledge for a few minutes, download everything, and immediately cancel–I mean, it’s a freakin’ DOLLAR A MONTH–but you do you, I can’t police it.
After July, the novella will be bumped to the $5/month+ tier, FYI.
Is this a ploy for more patrons?
Nope! I’d say the majority of my patrons are there to support my writing regardless of what I’m posting. Again, Elis’s book didn’t sell well, so I highly doubt many are signing up just for her.
You sound really bitchy here and it’s off-putting when you talk about piracy, despite the fact that I do not steal.
Sorry! I don’t like punishing everyone for the actions of a few, so this is why I still try to have other options: paperback if you really need it, or Patreon. It’s that or it sits on my harddrive and no one reads it.
I also understand there’s a kneejerk reaction to yell at me that “not all readers are thieves”–which, I mean, I literally am not saying–because someone always does, but consider for a moment how “not all men!” that sounds when you do it.
Also, believe it or not, but a lot of thieves hit my site and blog. And follow me on social media. Wanna know something interesting? Last year when Blood Ties popped up at two popular piracy forums, I complained on Twitter that one of them was a site I had no recourse for removing the file from, and how I was cancelling the series. And immediately the book’s whole thread on that forum disappeared–which is funny considering how the moderators will never take anything down from there. Hmmm…
So there you have it! How to continue with Elis’s stories, if you’re so inclined, and what the dealio is with them now.