Dark Boundaries is my new WP blog. For my fiction. Not quite a blog, really, because I’m focusing on pages, and haven’t even decided whether to write blog posts. It’s still in development while I figure out just what features I want to include, but there’s a fairly hefty amount of reading there, right now. The front page is a gloomy introduction, and there’s a page about the slave world in which Hidden Boundaries takes place. There are also four chapters of Hidden Boundaries, free for anyone to read.
My whole approach to promoting my upcoming fiction has evolved so haphazardly that I didn’t realize until very recently that it was an approach. But it is. Off the wall and iconoclastic, as is almost anything I do, mostly without even intending to.
First came the serializing on Live Journal. It was a shorter, less developed version of what will be on Smashwords soon, and it answered several questions. Did I have the courage to put my fiction out where people could read it? Yes. Could I develop a readership that would be eager to buy if I ever got around to revising and expanding it? Yes. Could I reduce the possibility of plagiarism or pirating by posting an early version rather than the finished version? Maybe.
To tell the truth, the first two were the only ones that concerned me when I started posting. But learning about the issues of plagiarism and pirating put me on guard. There’s only so much you can do to protect work that you publish on the web, but you do what you can, and hope for the best.
With Hidden Boundaries nearly finished, and a head full of information and opinions about platform-building and promotion, it was time to start looking professional. Recent posts and discussions about whether we’re blogging for other writers, or for readers, pushed me a bit faster toward setting up a blog just for the fiction. Readers want the real stuff, not the nitty gritty of how and why you’re writing it.
I fully agree with those who say that if you wait until the book is out to start promoting it, you’re too late. Certainly, blogging about writing will get you an audience, and in that audience is potential buyers. But you can’t depend on your little circle of blogging fans. Lovers of fantasy aren’t going to buy your dark hard-bitten book full of angsty characters, no matter how much they believe that writers should support each other. And they shouldn’t.
The majority of my potential buyers are the people who are already familiar with my fiction and are looking forward to more. That’s why the first four chapters of Hidden Boundaries are posted on WP for anyone to read. And that’s why I’m just about to hop over to Live Journal to post that information.
When will Hidden Boundaries actually be published? Sigh. When the cover is finished. Early next month? My fingers are crossed.