Last week I set up the Diaper Fund as a way to track my progress towards buying a set of cloth diapers by April, through selling my writing.
Within two days of launching the Diaper Fund, you generous people brought me to within 5% of my goal. So far I have $288 of my $300 target.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed. There's still a little ways to go, and once I pass the diaper threshold I can start putting money towards a car seat or a change table, too, so I'm still going to be coming out with new products after Flare Fiction 1 is released.
Plus, in case you haven't heard yet, everything in the FiftyWordStories.com Store is 25% off for the month of December.
Again, thank you, and Merry Christmas!
As you may know, Larissa is currently pregnant with our first child. The baby is due in the first week of April 2012, and we're so excited!
Larissa is currently keeping us afloat by working at a local boutique hotel. I'm job hunting, having recently completed my Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Victoria. When I'm not searching through job postings and sending out resumes, I write various forms of fiction and post them here on my blog, at FiftyWordStories.com, and, since about a week ago, at Special People.
Most of what I write gets posted online for free, but I do also sell a few things here and there. With the baby on the way, though, it's becoming more and more necessary for me to find a way to contribute to preparing for his or her arrival.
So as of today I've set up the Diaper Fund. The goal of the Diaper Fund is to raise enough money by selling my writing to pay for a full set of cloth diapers by the time Baby arrives. That's going to cost about $300, according to Larissa, so I've got my work cut out for me!
If you'd like to help me reach my goal, please swing by the TimSevenhuysen.com Store or the 50WS Store and see if there are any products that interest you. I have more projects in the pipes, too, so check back again later if you don't see anything you want right now.
You can track the progress of the Diaper Fund on its own page.
I've put together the cover art for Feel-Good, and it's now officially ready for pre-release this Monday!
The photo for the cover was taken by Rudoni Productions. You can see more of his work on his Flickr page.
In my previous post, I mentioned that the centrepiece story of the collection, which I have now titled Hands-On, had gotten just a little bigger than I'd originally intended. Well, not it's even bigger. The final word count is just under 7,000. It took Larissa about 25 minutes to read the whole thing (and she liked it!). As I explain in the Introduction to the collection, Hands-On feels, to me, more like the opening couple of chapters to a novel than a short story. I've tried to make it as self-contained as possible, but it doesn't seem to want to be self-contained, and who am I to tell it what it can and can't be? Maybe it will eventually turn into something longer; for now, I think it's still worth reading as a standalone.
So: Hands-On is definitely the central feature of the collection, but there's plenty of other good content in there, too, and I think you'll enjoy it all. I'll be emailing early access copies of the collection to the people on the early access list this coming Monday, and creating a page where you can buy the collection as a pay-what-you-want download, as well.
I'll have some more news about any special offers soon, and possibly some details on my future plans for these collections.
I just finished writing the first draft of the centrepiece story for Feel-Good, my upcoming short fiction collection. That accomplishment means that the only thing between here and its release is editing, polishing, cover design, and layout. Exciting!
At this point, here's what the content list for Feel-Good looks like:
- One 5,000-word short story.
- Six to eight pieces of flash fiction, between 200 and 500 words each.
- One piece of 555 fiction.
- Three or four lighthearted poems.
For comparisons' sake, the contents of Living and Dying totalled around 5,000 words, all told. Feel-Good should end up at around 8,000 words. You asked for more, and you're getting it!
My goal is to have Feel-Good ready for members of the "Early Access List" by next Monday, July 25, and for regular release the Monday after, August 1. I expect July 25 to also mark the beginning of "preorders", including bonus offers, etc.
Follow me on Twitter for more detailed updates as we approach those dates.
It's a strange thing, trying to apply a business model to what has, until now, been purely a creative outlet. I've been running FiftyWordStories.com for almost two years, and during that time I've posted over 500 stories, almost 100 of which have been written by guest authors. It's been so much fun hearing from and talking to readers, and watching visitor numbers slowly but steadily rise.
And now I'm trying to turn my hobby into a business.
Well, sort of. It's very important to me that FiftyWordStories.com is a source of entertainment first, and a store second. I've been running the site completely out-of-pocket for two years, and I have no problem continuing to do so, but I feel that I have a product that's worth something, and I hope other people agree.
So on Sunday, I'll be launching the FiftyWordStories.com Store, integrated into FiftyWordStories.com, and on Monday I'll put Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One on sale. Here's how it's going to work.
I've been releasing some information about how the book will be available, and a little bit of that has changed. On Monday morning, you'll have the following options:
1) You will be able to order a copy of Volume One in print for $12 plus shipping via Lulu.com. There will be a link to my Lulu storefront from the FiftyWordStories.com Store.
2) You will be able to purchase and download a Volume One ebook bundle directly from the FiftyWordStories.com Store for $4. This bundle will include all three available ebook formats (PDF, ePub, and mobi), as well as a high-quality image of the cover. I'm not going to force anyone to pay multiple times to get the ebook in multiple formats.
3) You will be able to buy a Kindle-viewable version of the book directly from the Kindle Store for $4. I realize that it seems a little strange to offer this when you can buy all three formats bundled together for the same price, but a lot of people feel comfortable buying from the Kindle Store, so I want to make that option available. I recommend buying the bundle, not only because you get all of the formats together, but also because I receive more money that way, instead of surrendering a large part of my proceeds to Amazon. However, if you contact me and I am able to verify that you bought the book from the Kindle Store, I will send you the other formats, as well.
This is what I'll be offering at the beginning. I had mentioned previously that it would be possible to buy the book in print from Amazon and digitally from the iBookstore, but as things have developed and I've done a bit of research, I've determined that both of those options aren't likely to be worthwhile.
I have some ideas for where things could go from here, but it's all going to depend on how people respond to the book. A strong response may push me to make my stories available in some new ways, but if there isn't much response, then I may have to rethink how I'm going to go about this. Time will tell.