Scott Nicholson embarks on a Blog Tour today for his new novel, Disintegration. He’s also giving away a free Kindle DX to one lucky person. To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with a valid email address. You can only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. Scott is also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Complete details HERE.
Take it away, Scott.
Disintegration is a novel that never should have been published.
If the world had its way, and there was a merciful, caring God, the machineries of fate would have kept the novel in a bottom drawer. I wrote the crime thriller five or six years ago, as a way to vomit darkness from the belly of my soul while my life was bottoming out. It was so terrible (not as in “awful,” and after a couple million words I think I know the difference) that I couldn’t even write the ending, even though I knew what had to happen. I put those last pages off for a couple of years until, finally, having an unfinished book proved an even greater sin than doing what I had to do.
So I pounded that last nail in the coffin and that was that. I never sent it to my former agent, though I did try one publisher before realizing there was no way in hell I’d ever use a publisher again unless they were paying me six figures.
My life turned around, and,maybe it’s not coincidental, but the publishing industry I’d known had continued its plummet toward the bottom. Sure, it’s great for the top three or five percent, as it always has been, but the final chapter for most writers ends “died sick and penniless, without the rights to his own books and nothing in print.”
I really struggled with the idea of self-publishing about a year ago. I’d been indoctrinated at the feet of all those scolding writers who kept saying, “Only hacks and amateurs self-publish.” I’ve never minded being a hack but I do like making a little money for all the hard work. It was also getting increasingly hard to get a real deal, and the genteel, nurturing industry became a place where agents and publishers no longer even bothered responding at all. I know times are tough but plain old rudeness is unacceptable to me.
So after researching the Kindle phenomenon and hearing some success stories, I finally bit the bullet and published a couple of out-of-print titles at the start of the year. Sure, it was a slow go at first, but The Red Church made a surge and hit #1 in both the “Ghosts” and the “Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy” categories. Not bad for a book long since left for dead by New York. And my daughter was mightily impressed to see me on the bestseller list ahead of Stephen King and C.S. Lewis.
Sure, it didn’t last, but it was enough to inspire me to put out four original novels that I’d been sitting on for a couple of years, as well as some story collections. And The Red Church has hit #1 in “Ghosts” two other times, something that never happened under the old way of doing business. And I get paid every month, straight into my bank account, instead of maybe nine or fifteen months after the contract says I should have been paid. Assuming there’s any money to be paid.
I even got to revise my U.S. novels to release for the U.K. Kindle, and as soon as I get my rights back, they will be available in the U.S. and under my preferred titles, too. I don’t have any gripes with my former publisher, but I just can’t understand not having the books available for sale at all, in any format. It just seems like dumb business.
But this I have learned: publishers will always do what is best for them, not for you. And you as a writer should always do what is best for you, not for them. It hasn’t been easy, but at this point I feel more professional than most of the publishers out there. And readers get to decide whether I’m worth supporting.
To get back to Disintegration (on sale for 99 cents for a limited time only), I was reluctant to release it because it was so bleak. And I’d even marked a point in the manuscript at which I’d revise the last third of it, to make it more like all those other predictable books where everyone lives happily ever after. But my wife said, “Somebody might need that message.” And the early readers have been enthusiastic, so I am glad I was rescued from my desire to be liked.
Disintegration. I think all the pieces are back together now, but I have this little story to remind me of that era. What I can remember of it, anyway.
(P.S. Grave Conditions, the graphic novel anthology featuring Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, Stephen Susco, JA Konrath, William harms, and more, is available for direct order at Haunted Computer as trade paperback or PDF download, and can also be purchased at Amazon. It’s taken more than two years to compile and publish, and now I understand why so many publishers have breakdowns, get terminal diseases, develop addictions, and go bankrupt. But I think this collection is worth it.)