It’s been quite some time since I gave you an update on what’s happening, and what’s to come. I regret this, but it couldn’t be helped. Today, I’m prepared to share with you what the future holds.
My work on my sixth novel is complete. There’s still lots of publicity to do, but the story is finished, and in some stage of the print-setting process now. Vigilante is very different than anything I’ve ever done, and in all honesty, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. It proved to be a very difficult process. But I’m pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you will be too. It’s quite a ride. It’s also the most provocative thing I’ve ever done, and I suspect that reactions to it will be all over the map. It will be in stores around late June or early July.
With Vigilante completed, my contract with Bethany House Publishers is ending. I was only contracted up through this book, and the revolution that the industry is undergoing (see below) has caused most publishers to stop putting out stuff that isn’t a sure thing. In my case, it means that my speculative fiction no longer fit with their agenda. I have nothing but love and respect for Bethany House, and I’ll miss all of the fantastic people there.
Now it’s time to move on.
2) SO WHAT’S NEXT???
This is going to require a little explaining, so stay with me.
The publishing industry is in the midst of a major upheaval. Now that ebooks are easily available through ereaders like Kindle and Nook, the game has radically changed. Established procedures — like the length of time required between writing a book and readers being able to buy it, or the amount of money that writers and publishers can make off of their work — are out the window.
Writers who don’t spend a lot of time on the bestseller lists are left with two options: A) keep trying to do business as usual and hope that things somehow work out, or B) jump feet first into this brave new world and embrace the exciting possibilities it holds.
I’m opting for B.
Many writers see this new publishing climate as a challenge. I’m viewing it as a world of new opportunities. Such as a chance to break out of the confines of Christian Publishing and experiment with new mediums and new technologies. Longtime followers of mine will know that my aspirations as a writer extend well beyond anything I’ve done up to this point.
I’m signing on with Stonehouse Ink, a “new media” publisher that specializes in the production and promotion of ebooks. One of their fundamental principles is that they sell ebooks for considerably lower prices than their competitors — usually their ebook titles average around $2.99. The philosophy is simple: lower prices mean more sales.
Think about it: You’re online and reading about an ebook that interests you, and then you see that it costs around $10. Compare this to seeing an ebook that looks cool and then you see that the price is under $3. (That’s less than a cup of Starbucks!) Three dollars is a much easier instant purchase to justify than ten.
But beyond the publishing model, there’s a second twist. My first title with Stonehouse is going to be a Young Adult novel!
Grown-ups, don’t let that “YA” label rattle you. YA is where some of the hottest and most exciting fiction is coming from these days, and as such, is an area I’ve been dying to jump into for a while now. Nothing is too high a concept for YA; you can literally write just about anything you can imagine. (Heard of The Hunger Games? Eragon? Percy Jackson? Incarceron? Or maybe a little-known series of novels about a boy wizard? All of these are YA novels.)
YA fiction is usually written no different than grown-up fiction, with the same style, the same tone, the same level of suspense and drama and what-have-you. The one difference is that the main character is a young adult.
My first YA novel — the next thing I’ll be publishing after Vigilante — is a YA novel called Corridor. It’s a high-concept, standalone tale that’s among the most exciting I’ve ever dreamed up. And it will be about half the size of one of my adult novels.
The fast turnaround times of ebook production — not to mention the shorter length of YA novels — means that Corridor will be finished and ushered through the production process much quicker than what I’m used to. I’m already at work on the manuscript, and we’re anticipating a publication date of sometime this year. That’s right: 2011 is the year you’ll finally get more than one Robin Parrish novel!
I’ll announce a firm release date as soon as we have one. But trust me when I say: Corridor is going to change everything. I’m still the same writer, I still write speculative suspense/thrillers, but Corridor‘s concept is so far outside the box that the box is nowhere in sight!
If Corridor is a success, then we’ll build on it with more books published through Stonehouse Ink. I have a storehouse of ideas — both YA and Adult — that I’m dying to get to, which include a number of multi-book series. Corridor is the perfect test run for this new publishing model because it’s completely self-contained.
Oh, and if you don’t have an ereader or just aren’t interested in reading an electronic book, fear not. You won’t be left out in the cold. Corridor will also be available as a print-on-demand, paperback that you can order from an online retailer just as if you were buying a traditional book from Amazon.
3) AND THEN…
Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now is another serialized, online novel. This is how I got started in publishing, and I really loved telling a story in installments or episodes that readers can get on a regular basis, because it’s akin to taking readers on a journey over a set period of time.
So I’m going to do it again. Later this year, after Vigilante, after Corridor, will come something that we’ll call Project TRK for now. This online novel does have a real title, but I’m not ready to reveal it yet. I’ve got a lot of big surprises up my sleeve for this one, so I’m guarding my secrets for now. Just trust me when I say… it’s going to be killer.
The plan for Project TRK includes launching a website that’s dedicated solely to this serialized novel. The entire story will be 100% free to read there, one chapter at a time. I anticipate long, episodic chapters, probably posted about every two weeks. Imagine the structure of a television serial, where every other week you come back to find out what happens next.
TRK‘s chapters will be made available in a variety of formats so that you can consume them in whatever fashion is easiest for you. When the last chapter has been posted, I’ll assemble the entire thing into an ebook/print-on-demand novel that can be purchased.
You may wonder why I’m so interested in writing a book that, if you follow along as I post it chapter-by-chapter, will cost readers nothing. There are a number of reasons why this gets me all tingly with excitement, and I’ll explain them when we get closer to TRK‘s debut.
This should start up sometime in the second half of 2011. That’s right: this will be my third project in a single year!
4) WOW! ANYTHING ELSE?
You better believe it. There’s more to come. Lots more. I have ideas for stories and new methods of delivering them that are keeping me awake at night, they’re so crazy/cool. There may even be a few surprises along the way, while I’m working on the stuff listed above. (If you’re not yet following me on Facebook and/or Twitter, now is the time, because that’s where you’ll find out first about new stuff as it arrives. I also recommend subscribing to my newsletter.)
In the meantime, watch this space for much more frequent blog posts (my goal is at least two a week), where I’ll regularly update you on my current progress, take you behind the scenes of how all this stuff is being created, and (hopefully) provide some inspiration for other creatives out there.
Welcome to the next phase, dear reader.
Hold on tight — a whole new ride is about to begin.