Today I am starting online publication of another fantasy novel, Tamao. I am doing this a bit differently from Ice Yearning. Tamao is free to read, and updated in daily installments, with a new piece going online every day at midnight Japan time. Most days, the new material comes to between five and six hundred words, but on Sundays you get over a thousand, to complete an episode.

In order to start on New Year’s Day, and still have seven installments in the first episode that finish on a Sunday, there will be two updates every day for the next three days. From next week, the normal updates will start. I have a buffer of written material (although the novel isn’t finished yet, just planned out), and the updates are automated, so I can’t just forget. If the web server is working, the updates should appear on schedule.

Although the novel is free to read, I do want to make money off it, so there is some advertising on the pages, and a button to tip the author (that’s me). If people actually prove to be interested in reading it, I will think about other, paid, things I can offer. Yes, this is another experiment in online publishing. Given the meltdown of paper publishing at the moment, I think this is a good time to be trying alternatives. If paper publishing recovers, I might give it a try in the future.

In the meantime, please enjoy Tamao.

Ice Yearning Chapter Two Up

The second chapter of Ice Yearning is now online. Yes, that means that the first chapter has been paid for.

So far, the money has mainly come from people who know me already, but that’s not really too unexpected at the beginning of a new venture. I do need to broaden the range of people reading it, though; my friends and family probably don’t want to pay for the whole thing. So, in a couple of days I’ll be starting some advertising. I have the data for a month without advertising, so I’ll be able to see what difference it makes, and make intelligent decisions about what kinds of advertising to use.

Here’s hoping that at least some of it works well.

Ice Yearning

I have written a fantasy novel. After writing a lot of RPG books, this was what I wanted to do next, and a month or so ago I finished. Since then, I’ve had a few people I know read it and make comments, and I’ve made some revisions as a result. (And caught some more typos.)

Now I’m going to publish it. However, I’m not going to do this the normal way. I’m going to publish it on the web. You can read the first chapter of Ice Yearning right now, free. That’s a link to the relevant web page, in case you hadn’t guessed.

However, since I’m a professional author, you can’t read the next chapter until I get some money. So, I’m asking people to pay for the current chapter. Once I have enough money, the next chapter will go online, and the process starts again.

One advantage of this method is that I don’t have to worry about piracy. I’m releasing the chapters under a Creative Commons license, so it’s legal to distribute and share the released chapters, as long as you don’t make any money off them or change them. I’m still the only person allowed to do that. This means that, once the whole book is paid for, people will always be able to read it.

This is, you might guess, an experiment. It is possible that I will make almost no money off the novel. That, however, is a risk that I take every time I write something; there is a company that owes me $3,000 for writing I did almost three years ago, and I’m starting to suspect that they’ll never pay. (I’m not going to name them until I’m sure, though. $3,000 would be rather nice right now.) On the other hand, I’m not the first person to try this. Greg Stolze has used a very similar model to publish RPG material, and Alexandra Erin is using another version for a very-adult-themed fantasy novel. I am aware of other people doing similar things, as well. No-one I’m aware of is using exactly my model, but I’ve just tweaked it to suit my novel and my preferences. Nevertheless, this is hardly a well-established model yet, so this is still an experiment.

So, this blog post is the first bit of the publicity campaign. Please have a look at Ice Yearning, and if you like it, please pay for the first chapter.