BlogLit to eBook to "real" publisher?

I guess this goes here, more than over in "writing".


I read a similar question on another forum and am curious about people on here: has anybody written a blog "book", then progressed to an eBook, then to publication by a conventional press, with royalties and all that jazz? (Or even skipped the eBook step?)


Do you know of other writers (other than those already famous) who have followed this progression?


I did. I wrote STREET for a year before Gryphonwood Press made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It's not an easy road to go down, but so far I'm glad I did.


Regards,

Ryan


Way cool, my man. Congrats.

Would you say it's a harder road than just playing the query game?


Anybody else?


Thanks, Linton.


I'd say it's a different thing entirely. Going online/small press is like starting your own restaurant in a back alley somewhere, while the query game compares more to buying a lottery ticket -- you might be really good at picking numbers but conditions have to be just right for you to have a chance of winning. The restaurant, on the other hand, takes loads of constant work. Not only has the food/writing got to be great, but you need to attract your clientele away from bigger, flashier, more famous places and through your door.


It's difficult being a writer and a businessperson at the same time. I know I struggle with it. However, I also know that I could've been shopping STREET for years without any success, never getting the published credits I needed to be taken more seriously.


All in all I'm happy with the success I've had. Things are going along, I'm moving up in the world, and people are enjoying the stories I create -- enough to pay good money for them. Of course I want more, but the way things are right now, I really shouldn't complain. ;)


Regards,

Ryan


Well put, the alley vs lottery thing.

I realize it's unfasionable to say anything other than "hard work always pays off" on writer sites, but in fact, a contract is closer to a lightning strike.


Glad you've managed to get it both ways. Good luck with it.


John Dies at the End started as a free web serial which was online for YEARS before the author put it on CafePress (while still keeping it free). The an indie pub, Permuted Press, did a 10,000-copy run of it (and sold out) while still allowing David to keep the story free to the public online. (The edited version was only available in print, I believe.) About a year after that he landed a major book deal with Thomas Dunne books and is, as of this post, #552 in sales rank. That's with preorders - the book will be released in five days. When he landed the big contract it was at the cost of the online version, but in David's opinion more people will find out about, and thus read, the book with that contract than they would if it stayed online with no pro marketing push behind it.


Have I mentioned David Wong is my hero? He's the reason I put Peacock King on the internet. His book is my favorite novel. It is genuinely scary, utterly hilarious, completely wrong and amazingly original. It's so good that it deserved four adverbs in one sentence.


What helped Wong a lot was that he ran a popular website - Pointless Waste of Time. However, the JDatE thing was actually viral word of mouth and a ton of people found out about the book who never went to PWoT. He just had something that people talked about and made references to, and his fans brought him all the way to publication through their fervor for his work. It started out as a short story one Halloween, became a regular thing each Halloween, and then progressed to a weekly serial publication each year in the months around Halloween. Somehow it turned into a full cohesive story during all that. It's kind of weird to read the Permuted Press version, in fact, because I remember David's story from when it was just a bonus short on his website. It still comes across great.


http://www.johndiesattheend.com/


Uh, anyway. That's JDatE. If you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan.


Oh! The first chapter of the sequel's available online now, and the website has a bunch of other content. Also, the Cracked forums (David is a writer/editor at Cracked now, so all the PWoT stuff migrated there) are pretty awesome and have a section for writers and readers.


I recently sold my online story Losing Latitude to a very good small press publisher (haven't signed the contract yet so I won't announce who it is), but after listening to what agents have to say about it. Most publishers don't care. You might have to take your story down if you sell it, but so what.

I took mine down, and I am now posting the prequel Under Ottumwa at corycramer.com and using it to promote a novella I sold to Damnation Books (both ebook and trade paperback)called Symptoms of a Broken Heart.

So, while there are a few stuffy publishers out there that only accept 'virgin' material, I would just ignore them and post away.


-Cory-


That is about what I figured. It's hilarous that people think a publisher will pass on a desirable, proven property because it was online when you have people like Doctorow pre-viewing everything online.


And the obvious answer of stopping and starting over (or prequesling seems like a cool way to go for a writer. Thanks for your response.