No, not an item of apparel. Although it does sound like something a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series might wear...
As promotion for my new novella, Ready to Run, which drops next Tuesday, I was going to write a short prequel starring the hero, Bryan Keeton. The story would explain how and why Bryan ended up in the tiny Apocalyptic town of Luxor, Texas. I did something similar when Yours, Mine and Howls came out, and it proved to be popular with readers. Several people who've reviewed Kiss and Kin and Yours, Mine and Howls said they bought the books after reading The Nanny Years on my blog and at Smashwords.
So, here it is four days before Ready to Run drops, and I’m nowhere near finished with the prequel (I’m calling it Ready to Hunt. Yeah, you want originality, go see PG Forte.) I think I’m going to finish it anyway, and self-publish it on Amazon and Smashwords, along with The Nanny Years. I kind of got the idea from Janet Evanovich (not personally, of course, though I wish. I think she’s hilarious. She makes me snort.)
I haven't read a Stephanie Plum book in a while. (Does she still leave her gun in the coffee can all the time? Is she still flipping from Morelli to Ranger and back again like a pinball? Yeah? That's sort of why I quit reading her.) (Team Ranger, BTW.) But I have noticed that she's published a few books in the series "between the numbers," and I thought that was a very clever idea.
As everyone knows, because I bitch about it so much, I'm a slow writer. I'm currently working on Seth's story and the Galveston steampunk. I'm making progress on both but it's slow. And once I submit Seth's story to my editor it could be months before I hear back from her, and once I'm done with the steampunk, it needs to be edited as well, although I think I'm self-publishing that one.
But I can write twenty to twenty-five thousand word short stories fairly quickly. If I self-publish these for .99, I'm growing my backlist, keeping my name out there, and not losing readers. Plus it just feels like it would be fun; there are characters I think deserve their own stories, but not necessarily full length ones. Or maybe I'll just want to explore this or that aspect of my world a little further.
I'm already thinking of what I'll write about when I'm finished with Ready to Hunt. I'd love to do a historical starring Dec--something from the Elizabethan or Regency times, perhaps? Dylan could use a short story. And I've been thinking about Eloise, the fae chick who got kidnapped by Kuba's gang in Kiss and Kin. I don't think she's dead. Should I do a "futurical" starring Becca? No, that might be creepy.
I'd like to get opinions on my idea, both from authors and readers. Lots of authors are taking the self-publishing plunge but most people I know are putting their backlists up; I don't know many who are doing original stuff while also being published through a house. And would readers pay .99 for 20K stories? I think they would, but I haven't asked anyone.
So now I'm asking. What do y'all think?