I’ve long been a proponent of diversification when it comes to my writing career. I’ve written original novels for major US publishers. I’ve written original novels for major foreign publishers. I’ve dabbled in writing comics, written role-playing game supplements and rulebooks, and have ghost-written for a major on-going series. I’ve even put together a project strictly for the mobile phone market. The more irons I have in the fire, the more successful I will be, has always been my thought process.
Which is why over the last week I made the decision to jump into the digital realm with both feet. Noting the success that fellow writers such as Joe Konrath and Lee Goldberg have had with selling their back list on Amazon.com, I followed suit and created Kindle editions of several works, including my debut novel Riverwatch, a novella, More Than Life Itself, that was previously only available in the UK market, and all three books in the Templar Chronicles series – The Heretic, A Scream of Angels, and A Tear in the Sky.
To help them stand out from the crowd, I commissioned new cover art, something eye-catching and provocative. Along with adapting them for the Kindle, I also used Smashwords to create editions in other formats, most notably for the Sony Reader and the various Palm devices.
I must admit I hemmed and hawed over putting up the Templar books. The first, The Heretic, is the only one that has seen publication in English. (Editorial changes at my publisher prevented the next two books from seeing the light of day, despite the fact that the series hit the bestseller lists in Germany, was optioned for film production, sold to three different books clubs, and was adapted into a comic book series.) I was concerned that making them available in digital editions would prevent them from selling elsewhere, but when it came right down to it, I finally decided that I really didn’t have a lot to worry about in that regard. And more importantly, I wanted the fans of the series to finally be able to have their questions about the fate of certain characters answered for them.
Next week, I’ll also be serializing Riverwatch for free on my website and the first of several different iPhone apps of my works should be available on iTunes.
The point of all this is to try and reach readers that I might not have reached otherwise through more traditional means. Do I know what is going to work and what is not? Of course not – but that’s the point of diversifying like this in the first place, to test the waters and see where they take me.
So tell me – what new mediums/formats/platforms are you most interested in?