And no, I’m not talking about how I feel about gay marriage. I’m of the position that there’s no such thing as “gay” marriage, but only marriage, and if two people want to tie the knot there’s no reason why the state should intervene, provided those two people can afford the marriage license and aren’t blood-related. So enough said about that.
No, the position in question is what I’m going to do about this whole ebooks thing. I haven’t decided against it, so don’t think I’m reversing myself, but I am reconsidering exactly what I’m going to sell and when I’m going to sell it.
My thoughts began to evolve when I posted that entry on self-publishing costs. When you’re talking about $1,000 or more in up-front expenses, you have to pick your battles carefully. I don’t know about you, but $1,000 is a lot of money to invest in a dream that may never become a reality. You wouldn’t drop $1,000 at the blackjack table, and the odds of winning there are actually better than they are in the ebook market. This is definitely a situation where it’s smarter to look, consider the height of the jump and then go for it only if you think you can make it without breaking your legs.
I had considered selling westerns, but after consultation with my agent I think that idea is going to go by the wayside. I still like westerns and want to write more of them, but the fact of the matter is that my “brand” is crime and therefore the books I sell should reflect that, whether the books are published traditionally or independently. There’s time to diversify later once my brand is well and truly established.
Consequently I’m shelving the western idea for the nonce. If I’m going to spend serious money floating something in the ebook marketplace, I’m going to go for the most likely prospects in my catalogue. To that end, I think my debut novel will be a little something called Juárez Dance.
I wrote Juárez Dance a couple of years ago. It was right after I finished The Dead Women of Juárez, actually, when I was still flush with success and saw Mexico, Mexico, Mexico as far as the eye could see. The novel has to do with an American who hires out as a killer and does quite well for himself by Mexican standards. He maintains a nice apartment in Monterrey, patronizes classy prostitutes and generally enjoys his mostly solitary life. When he takes on a contract that may or may not end with an assassination, he gets tangled up in the relationships of a wealthy family and is led down a very dark path in the name of love, or something like it.
The first draft of Juárez Dance was pretty good, but it had some issues with the ending. After giving it a thorough rewrite back in January, however, it is a much stronger piece of work and will appeal to people who enjoyed The Dead Women. It’s different, but not that different. For that reason I think it’s a solid go-to for self-publication.
I guess we’ll see how it goes.