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Use the Speed of Digital to Experiment

experiment!Here’s one place where you might choose digital only: to experiment.

Because it’s so easy to publish your own digital book (or novella, or short story, or poetry chap book) why not put one together right now?

Yes, the words in it should be good stuff. Yes, it should be professional enough so your readers are enjoying the words, not stumbling over them.

But why not test the waters? Thomas Watson, Jr., the man who made IBM a household name, said “Success is on the far side of failure.” If you want to succeed, fail faster. Do something wild and unpredictable and see how folks react.

And if they don’t, tweak it. Try another angle. Go the opposite direction.

The thing with digital, as with a website, is that it’s easy to test, change, test, and repeat.

The more you experiment, the more you learn. And who knows? You might accidentally discover penicillin.

Here’s My Experiment

I’ve been writing one of my Chandleresque cozies right out in public, over at my personal blog. There are 42 chapters posted, with about 15 left to go. Some of you have been reading it as I write and post it. It’s a little scary, giving people the first draft, unedited (and sometimes unproofed.)

It’s also a little scary, giving it away when I fully intend to sell it.

Here’s what I did: today’s post is the “all is lost” moment. Our hero thought he’d hit bottom a little while ago, but then the bottom fell out. Readers can either continue reading it, absolutely free, as I post a chapter a day for the next two weeks, or they can buy the book and finish it tonight.

Digital: What Else Do You Need to Know?

What questions have been raised by this week’s posts on digital publishing and ebooks? What did I miss?

Give me a shout and we’ll fill the gap.

5 thoughts on “Use the Speed of Digital to Experiment

  1. This is exactly what I’m working on right now: I’ve pulled all the poems from Silver Morning Song and am making a file for publication of a smaller booklet, within weight limits for standard mail. So it will cost $2 to mail rather than $14. (I’ll use the front cover Ken designed.)

    I’m trying to prepare a print-ready file, but hadn’t thought of making a digital version as well. Maybe I’ll have to go back over what you’ve posted and give it a try, as you say. Or maybe still do the whole ms as the digital version.

    Glad to hear you’re settled into your new place — and that you’ve finished A LONG, HARD LOOK. Looking forward to reading the ending!

  2. I finally found the time to finish reading your digital publishing posts! I’ve been away for Easter, and then I had a lot of work and house cleaning to do…

    It clarifies a lot of things, thank you! I took a quick look at Smashwords’ website, and there doesn’t seem to be a French version, right?
    I’m in Canada, and writing in French, so can Smashwords work for me?

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