It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Since Thanksgiving. And I see I still have some readers. I’m honored, I really am.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been, well…I’ve been working and writing as usual…and I’ve been thinking very hard about this article by Jane Friedman. I’ve explored the rest of her site a bit, but it all comes back to that article.
What I’ve decided, after all that thought, is that I’ve been going about all of this the wrong way.
When I started Dreams of the Shining Horizon, my primary goal was to gain a wider audience for my writing. I had a lot of other things to say – things I’d been waiting to say for years, in some cases – but ultimately, the goal was to get the word out about my fiction. I was inspired by people I knew, and knew of, who had started out by blogging and ended up publishing.
What I didn’t understand was that I had it backwards. Those people had started with a passion, and a desire to share it. They would have been satisfied to blog indefinitely, but they managed to build a body of material and an audience that allowed them to publish. Me, I had a body of material, and I wanted to build an audience, and it seems that there’s a different path for people like me – a different set of steps. And I believe it’s time I started following those steps.
(Long past time, really. That article may only be a few months old, but I’m sure that articles like it have been circulating for years. And of course, some of it should have been common sense. I mean, I’m trying to build an audience, but the name of my blog doesn’t even reference my brand?)
What all this amounts to is that change is coming.
I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to launch matthewkeville.com with the New Year, like I might have hoped. There are some issues with the domain registration that I need to resolve first, then of course I need to build the actual site. In the end, rough estimate, I could be looking at maybe March.
(For the record, if you want to follow Jane Friedman’s instructions yourself, and you choose Bluehost as I did, get your account there as your first step. They are also a domain name registrar, and you can register the domain name for your Author’s Website through them, and not have to transfer it from another registrar like I’m going to need to do.)
I have at least two more major posts to go at this blog – two more things to say – but once matthewkeville.com goes up (I’ll definitely let you know when), I’ll be shifting operations over there. I hope most of you will follow me when I go. I won’t be starting entirely from scratch: I’ll be reposting my reviews, my writing theory posts, my autobiographical posts, and anything else that seems relevant to authoring, so there will be plenty to read right from the get-go.
Oh. Something else that will be changing: the way I’m marketing my writing. I’ve cancelled the auto-renewal on the KDP Select membership for Hometown and The Truth of Rock and Roll. Once the current period of enrollment ends, I’ll be putting them back up on Smashwords (and all associated websites), plus maybe one or two more. I had to try it, but the benefits of the KDP Select program – and there were some, make no mistake – didn’t outweigh losing other channels of distribution.
At the same time, I’ll be taking all of my short stories down. There have been some sales, but on the whole, putting them up piecemeal, one at a time, hasn’t done anyone any good. Instead, I’ll publish them in collections once I get together enough on a particular theme. That way, I’ll be able to provide them with real cover art, instead of pictures downloaded from Shutterstock, and people will be able to read more in the downloadable samples than the title page (seriously, this is something else I should have seen before. A 10% sample of a 7-page story is not enough to get a good idea what the story is about!). I may post new short stories in the blog section of matthewkeville.com before I put them into the collections. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to handle that.
I don’t know if you can tell, but as much as I’m excited and hopeful about all this, I’m also a bit frustrated and tired. I know it’s a serious character flaw, but even if everything works out exactly the way I hope it will – and I know just how slim the chances for that really are – I’m not the sort of person who can look at my mistakes, shrug, and say “Welp, it got me where I am today. I have no regrets.” I do regret. I count every mistake and wrong path as time gone from a finite lifetime.
Still. It’s New Year’s Eve. I will curse the lost time and cast myself into the future.
We’re down to the last few hours. Let’s watch it burn, and hope something better rises from the ashes. Happy New Year to you all.