Guess who decided to wake up at 3:15 this morning. My wife heads for the hospital every day at that time, and he must have heard her leaving.
Otto needs to go outside when he wakes up, no matter what time that is. He's being very good about my carpets, but this involves me doing my part too. Potty time was followed by meal time, a big drink, and round of bite Dad's feet. Eventually he went back to bed.
My daughter is home from Sun Valley, and she likes to talk when she wakes up. I knew that would be many hours yet. What to do, what to do. The house is quiet, Otto doesn't need attention…
I whipped out another chapter of The Yak Guy Project. I set some wheels in motion for a larger event, and need to decide how much transition I need. It's important to get to the good part, but I don't want readers to get whiplash either. I didn't do word count again, but it's about ten pages of new material.
Otto stirred a few times, and I decided that short stories might be a better idea. I wrote one from start to finish. Hang on… Checking… 2204 words. This falls in a void for my personal descriptions. It's longer than a micro, but doesn't hit 5000 words to be a short story. It's kind of an ultra-micro-mini-short story.
Truth is, I'm very happy with it. With this story, I have enough material to put out another Experimental Notebook. I don't know about the total word count, and won't until I assemble it. I could have too many micros and not enough short stories.
Assembly is kind of a cool topic. I like to open with what I consider a good one. I like to end on a great story too. I'm of the mindset that if you write two stories, one will naturally be better than the other – even if they're both great.
The first story is important. It will likely be available for free in its entirety to anyone who reads the free sample. It needs to be good enough to make people risk 99¢ on the rest of the stories.
The last story is important too. It's the one they remember and could entice them to check out the novels.
Then there is the ending material, and maybe some of you have some input. In the first book, I included a section from Will O' the Wisp. This led to sales of that book, because I got comments that verified people bought it on that basis. All good stuff.
I am considering including a section from a yet-to-be-written book. The idea will be to whet someone's appetite for the next big thing. This could be a section from The Yak Guy Project, or it could be one more micro-ultra-whatever-story.
I'm thinking of including the short story called The Enhanced League as teaser material. I wrote this story for this book, and decided there were many stories in this environment. I pulled it and put it in a different file.
I don't have a mailing list, so this kind of enticement might not be that great. (I find mailing lists kind of spammy, and only sign up for close friends.) If someone can convince me otherwise, I might change my mind.
Would Amazon have a fit because this story is already published? I'm calling it a preview, but still???
Could I use one of the new stories for Macabre Macaroni in October on my blog? Amazon allows us to share excerpts. It would be an excerpt, but also an entire story. Thoughts? It would fit the Macabre Macaroni theme well, but also be a great enticement to check out the second Notebook.
To recap, I'm concerned about including one entire story as a teaser in the coming Notebook. I'm concerned about publishing a different one as an excerpt on my blog in October. Will Amazon have a cow when it's time to publish a whole book called The Enhanced League? Will they get torqued if I share one on my blog as an excerpt?
I could include a section from The Playground, but the first chapter is kind of dark. It doesn't reflect the entire book, it just spells out the stakes. (In a dark fashion, in case you missed that part.)
Alternately, I could include The Enhanced League, plus a section of the Yak Guy Project. I don't exactly know what Yak Guy is yet, but it's kind of got an alternate reality or alternate world going for it. What genre is that?
The day was broken up with bouts of Otto. Otto wound up on his back like a turtle. Otto found some socks to run around with. Otto pawed his outside water dish empty three times. I'm fine with that. I hit the novel while he was asleep and the short fiction while paying attention to the puppy.
Today was a good day. Ten pages of novel, a complete short story, and this blog update.
My poor wife has to work all weekend, so I'm going to try getting more done tomorrow. I have a Lisa Burton Radio post to assemble and schedule. I should start assembling Notebook #2 to get an idea of word count. I can write my intermission, which was well received in the last Notebook.
So what do you think about first stories, last stories, end material, Amazon policies, etc.?