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Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Great Adventure: My First Kindle Release--The Skeleton Project

Steven Curtis Chapman has a song that I've always loved called, "The Great Adventure." It vividly captures the fact that being a Christian and living a life following hard after God is indeed, The Great Adventure. Not "A" great adventure. THE Great Adventure, the one we were made for.


Sure, other adventures can be exhilarating, thrilling, and captivating. Rock climbing, white-water rafting, skydiving--cool! But, while memorable, those adventures cannot compare to the adventure God has called us to*. So what is this adventure? I believe it's when God has given you a talent or gift, a special ability plus a fervent desire to do something to influence others to find and follow Jesus, bringing glory to God. It's something that sends the "tuning fork of your soul" into turbo hum.

Writing is the Great Adventure for me. God in His grace, saw fit to let me get published back on 2005, and it was a dream come true. Nine books (so far) came out of that venture with traditional publishing houses. Back then, traditional publishing was the way to go...pretty much the only way to go. But there was (and is) something wrong with that model of publishing. As I see it, the two major flaws of that system are 1) how books are acquired  and 2) how authors are compensated.

If you sent a manuscript to a publisher, it often came down to one person's opinion as to whether or not your story ever became a book. One person. If that dude had a tough morning, ran out of coffee, or was peeved that his/her favorite team lost, your book might be tossed in the "no thanks" pile. Rejected. Cast aside as of little or no worth. Ouch. But that's a flaw. A HUGE flaw. How else do we explain the host of bestselling authors who were rejected multiple, multiple times before finally getting a contract. Stephen King, for instance. How would you like to be one of the editors who rejected King? Ouch. So, that's a huge flaw. After all, one person can hardly hope to know what millions of readers, scattered all over the world, will find enriching and entertaining.

Solution: let the readers decide.

The second flaw in the system is how the creative talent is compensated. In traditional publishing, authors get paid a very small percentage of what a book sells for. That was the biggest shock to me when I first published. With eyes as big as saucers, I happily signed the first contract sent my way. But the royalties were much smaller than I'd ever feared. In most cases 10-15% of net sales. Sometimes it comes off of gross sales (which is better by far), but in the CBA, it's usually off the net. See the issue? The artist gets a very tiny percentage. 80% or more goes to the publisher. Granted, the publisher has many mouths to feed, many employees involved in the production, distribution, and marketing of a book. But still, there is no product if not for the author.

Solution: compensate authors with a fair royalty rate.

Enter eBooks. The world of publishing has changed. The Matrix that we were all living in has been exposed, and we now know there's a better way. With eBooks, anyone can publish. ANYONE. And that means that readers decide which authors are entertaining. With eBooks, authors can earn between 35% and 70% royalties. eBooks solve both problems.

So, while I am not abandoning traditional publishing, I am diversifying. It give me an absolute thrill to announce that my very first self published story is now available on Amazon Kindle.


The Skeleton Project. It's a series of short stories (each 5,000+ words) that I began writing around the same time as The Door Within. They are supernatural thrillers with a touch of humor and self-parody. They are pure escapist fiction...with a heart. Here's the synopsis of The Skeleton Project:

Mystery, humor, horror, suspense, and supernatural--the ingredients of a read-me-under-the-covers kind of story. The Skeleton Project is a series of supernatural mysteries in the same vein as the X-Files or The Nightstalker shows. Written to be enjoyed by readers from sixth grade to senior status, you'll find these tales are a little serious and a little tongue-in-cheek. Please note: this is a series of short stories, minimum 5,000 words.

Episode 1: File #0001 is about the mysterious circumstances that led the FBI to form The Skeleton Project. The most secretive branch of the Bureau, the Skeleton Project searches out the paranormal and supernatural cases that are far beyond the means of regular law enforcement. In Episode One, you'll meet two of the Skeleton Project's finest agents.

Obsessive, bend-the-rules Special Agent Oswald "Oz" Pershing is forced to contend with a trigger-happy new partner, Rachel Minnis. Together, Pershing and Minnis travel to Spud City, Idaho solve a series of supernatural pet abductions. Haunted by memories of his own loss, Pershing must juggle alien spacecraft sightings, the demands of breaking in a new partner, and the expectations of his volatile Chief Inspector. And all the while, the ultra secretive and ultra dangerous group known as The Executors watch over these two agents and weigh certain fateful decisions...

If you've enjoyed my stories in the past, I hope you'll try out The Skeleton Project. And, if you'd like to help spread the word, I'd really appreciate if you could mention the series and drop a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc. That kind of word-of-mouth really helps! Join me on The Great Adventure.

If you'd like to consider purchasing The Skeleton Project, Episode 1: U.F.F., just click the link below, or you can use the graphic link button in the sidebar. Never alone!


Awww, mannn, what if I don't own a Kindle??? Don't worry, Amazon has you covered. There are a whole bunch of FREE reading apps you can download that will allow you to read Kindle files on just about anything you own! Just click the link:


So, if you don't have a Kindle, no worries. You can still enjoy The Skeleton Project on your device of choice! Thanks for being faithful readers and joining me on this adventure!

*Note: it's quite possible that God has called to be a Christian influence as a rock climber, white-water rafter, or skydiver. I'm not putting down other adventures. God has a place on His wall for everyone.

10 comments:

DrummerGuy said...

YAHOOOOO!!!!!!!
You know what I'll be reading this afternoon :)
This. Will. Be. Awesome.

DrummerGuy said...

Just finished it.
Awesome! I loved it! Can't wait for more!

Megan said...

Congratulations Sir Batson! I wish I had a way of reading ebooks right now. It sounds epic. I will definitely spread the word.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey, DrummerGuy, thanks for getting it. If you get a chance, could you post a review on Amazon. You'd be the first! :-D Thanks!

And Megan, I think there's free software you can get from Amazon to be able to read the file. But hopefully, I'll have it available in other formats soon.

Jake said...

I'll have to check this out! Looks pretty awesome. :D

I feel similarly about traditional publishing. The thing that eBooks don't have, however, is marketing. You've sold tons of books, Sir Batson - I've sold less than a hundred for my own eBook novella. Marketing is a big deal for the young writer, and thus I'm still considering the traditional route for my full-length novels.

I did, however, have a remarkably similar idea as you. I'm in the process of revising (and brainstorming cover art for) four serial short stories (science fiction) to release on Kindle for 99 cents each. Interesting that we had the same idea. :) Great minds think alike!

Memzie said...

Wow! Exciting, Mr Batson! I can't wait to read it!

Congratulations for your first self-publish "book"!!!

Taisia said...

Yay!!! Can't wait to read it! It sounds GREAT!

Caleb Painter said...

Just bought it! I'll post a review on my blog after I read it!!!

Gregory J. Downs said...

Ha, wonderfulness. This is a moment long in the waiting.

@Jake- that isn't necessarily true. With book bloggers and Goodreads.com, you can do your own marketing... and unless you're a 'big' author in trad publishing, you don't get a ton of marketing anyway. At the very least, you can self publish your novels while you're still querying. It's better than doing nothing, and may actually help you get picked up.

ericgevans said...

@Jake and @Gregory,

Very interesting comments, both of you. I had the same thought that Jake did when I read Batson's post, that he had quite an advantage when it came to self-publishing since he's already a published author. He already has a readership. But what you say, Gregory, is that that might not necessarily be true. I've been thinking recently how I might break into publishing. I'm quite a ways off yet; right now I have a large collection of poetry, a few short stories, and a children's novel idea floating around in my head. But this at least gives me some food for thought. Thanks for your thoughts, both of you.

Grace and peace to you,
Eric