Our 3.6 Loyal Readers will have noticed two new books out from Yr. Obt. Svt. I am happy to report that my health is unusually good so far this month, except for stubbed toes and similar trifles. While this good fortune holds, I want to see what else I can finish and get out the door, to hold the interest of the Amazon ‘also-bot’ now that I have attracted its attention.
What I am hoping to do is a variation of the so-called Liliana Nirvana technique, so named by Hugh Howey. The original technique was used by romance writer Liliana Hart, with great success, and has been successfully replicated by a number of other authors. Ms. Hart, who is perhaps less inclined to be wilfully silly than Mr. Howey, calls it her ‘five down, one in the hole’ technique. It works like this:
Annual releases are too slow to build on one another. And not just in the repetition of getting eyeballs on your works, but in how online recommendation algorithms work. Liliana suggests publishing 5 works all at once. Same day. And she thinks you should have another work sitting there ready to go a month later. While these works are gaining steam, write the next work, which if you write and edit in two months, will hit a month after the ‘hole’ work.
This technique catapulted Ms. Hart from unpublished to earning a living in a few months.
There’s just one problem: I can’t use it.
You see, the purebred Liliana Nirvana requires that these be your first five books, and that they all be published on the same day. I haven’t got five books ready to go at once, and at this point, I can’t afford to wait until I do have. Also, my existing books have attracted some readers and acquired some reviews, and I don’t want to lose that by unpublishing and re-releasing them (which, apparently, is a variation of the Technique that has been successfully tried.
What I can do, though, is build on the momentum started by The Worm of the Ages and Style is the Rocket, and put out several more books as quickly as I can. It’s a question of which projects are closest to completion, and which ones are likely to yield the best return on a small investment of time.
Going over my stuff in drydock, I see the following unfinished ships, roughly in order of how close they are to completion:
- Another essai collection, more general in nature than my previous ones. Tentative title, Superversive: Essays on Life, Language, and Literature.
- The ‘pilot episode’ (novella length) of Where Angels Die, samples of which have previously appeared in these pages.
- A collection of pieces by H. Smiggy McStudge – if he will consent to write two more of his snarks, which, I think, will be required to fill out a book.
- A novella called The Stone Sword, which is set in the same world as The Eye of the Maker, and reveals the previous history of a few of the characters that you will (eventually) meet in volume 2, The Grey Death.
- The Grey Death itself, resuming (at long last) the forward motion of the Magnificent Octopus itself, The Eye of the Maker.
This last project will take at least a couple of months to finish. The first four can be done in a matter of days or weeks; and if I work very hard and luck holds, I may be able to put three of them out by the end of June – which would give me a sort of soft-pedalled Liliana Nirvana, spread out over a full month.
I invite the Loyal 3.6, and all and sundry, to offer your suggestions. Which of these books would you like to see me release, and which do you think I should concentrate on? Or do you have another idea, involving something I have overlooked? All comments are most welcome.