Monday, July 9, 2012

Why an Ebook?

Let’s face it. We all know that I published One Crappie Summer as an ebook because I couldn’t find an agent interested in it. I didn’t ask all of them, but I did ask a few. Agents who read the book said good things like, “Love the story, but Kate needs to be younger for me to sell this.” “Kate really needs to be younger so this fits the YA market.”

Kate, sitting on the boat dock
behind the cabin she rented from a
fishing guide named Skeeter.
For one agent, I tried to write her younger. And then the agent said, "This isn't realistic. A high school kid wouldn't photograph a dead body."

Of course she wouldn't.

Because Kate is not younger. She’s 22. She just graduated from college. And can’t find a job. So she has to go back to her old one where she writes how-to stories for the annual crappiethon. As in fish. And it totally sucks. Until she finds a dead body but not the shooter. To figure out what happened, she enlists some frat boys for help. And all goes well until they find themselves needing to do one little tiny breaking and entering…

One of the problems more than one agent mentioned is that this novel fits into the category very few authors publish in…the category between YA and chick lit. A protagonist needs to be 16 and coming of age or 28 and needing to make life happen before the big 3-0. But I believe there’s an audience, though, even if it’s small.

Of course exceptions exist. Dianna Peterfreund, for one, whose books I adore. 

I have another reason for publishing this book as an ebook. When I was a teenager, I could buy novels for $3. And even though that was a “few” years ago, I could afford $3, and I don’t think it’s fair that novels cost so much more now. I love that Kindle books can be downloaded for less than $3.

When I published a textbook recently with a big publisher, we had a long discussion about the price point because the book is a crossover title written for students and professionals. We all know textbooks cost much-much-much money, and I wanted the book to be affordable for anyone who needed it.

I’m being vague about that book because I’m up for tenure this year at my job that pays the bills, and writing novels doesn’t jive with my research field, so I have to keep the two worlds separate for a little while.

So there you have it. A three-in-one post: You now know: (1) C.J. Branscome is a pseudonym; (2) I write novels secretly at night when no one is looking; (3) I’m completely stressed out about getting tenure. (Well, that last little bit just goes without saying, don’t you think?)

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