I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. Amanda Hocking and Konrath have been made much of (and have made much out of themselves) as the poster/tentpole children of a brave, new, exponentially expanding market for self-published ebooks, raking it in hand over fist, generating buzz and dreams and misconceptions wherever they pass. But they appeared on this stage fully formed. They were already successful, hugely so, before most of us heard anything about them. We can go back and read about how they did it (as much as they’re willing to share), but we won’t be getting the whole story, and what we do get will be all distorted by the rah-rah haze of success. (So, nephew/son/grandson/husband/cousin/brother, when you going to write the next Harry Potter? Bleh!) And by now it’s completely unclear whether what they did will work for anyone else, because the market they’re selling through is so new and changing so rapidly. Nor does it make any sense to compare them to grassroots print self-publishing successes like Christopher Paolini (and certainly not to Rowling), because there was barely any market in place for them to target/advertise to/gladhand.
All of which makes me very excited indeed to watch Jay’s epublishing debut, because it gives me (and you, too!) the great advantage of observing from the ground up, from the inside. Yes, of course, I’m rooting for him because he’s my pal and I’m already vested in the whole ebook thing. But I also know (because I read all that stuff about Hocking and Konrath ad nauseum) he’s got a lot going for him. I know how much thought Jay has put into this. He’s a brilliant, lovable guy who keeps an entertaining blog and knows everybody. He’s incredibly prolific. He knows how to spin a yarn. I know how much heart he puts into his writing, and it shows. I guarantee Death Match will be fast-paced and gritty with a gripping emotional core. Frankly, he’s a better writer than Hocking and Konrath put together. Which may or may not mean a thing in this context. But it will be fascinating to watch. I can’t wait to see what happens–not just in the next couple of weeks, but when he puts out the next book and the one after that.
Should you care to watch him too, Jay’s blog, where I hope he will regale us with further news of his forays, is at ridlerville.wordpress.com.