Agile is all the craze in the software world. “Agile” jobs have gone up 2,000,000% in the last three years. (No, that’s not a typo.) And while I’m not a software geek, I find myself a bit surprised at the aptness of this phrase to publishing in today’s market.
Or rather, it should have been, but it wasn’t. After a bit more “agile thinking” I changed the cover to make my own line up better with the beautiful ones designed by Sourcebooks. The day I changed the covers, the book started selling. I didn’t change the marketing, I just let go of a cover that I’d ever so carefully designed and branded to match my other books. Same love story, far more sales. (Night Stalkers #3 “Wait Until Dark” out 2/2012 & Angelo’s Hearth #2 “Where Dreams Reside” out 4/2012).
Then I wanted to write a short novel (1/2 length) in the “Night Stalker” world. After it was finished and proofread and fixed, I published it in under 12 hours. My first dozen sales happened on one site before I was done getting it on the other sites I load to. It’s not just being agile to keep up with the market’s technology changes. It’s also thinking about your customer (a key part of agile software design). What do they want? Another story in a successful series about a side character they liked.
Did I need to take the traditional 1-1/2 to 2 years to get to market as I did with my traditional sales? No, I took 12 hours (including the print layout and full front-and-back cover design). Does it have the huge reach of traditional press? Not yet. I’m leveraging my self-pub sales off the traditional sales, but they’re both going to grow. It doesn’t happen overnight, some of my self-pubbed books still don’t sell but occasionally.
Somewhere in there he designed and built two houses and rode a bicycle solo around the world (that last wasn’t really on purpose, but it happened anyway). He started his first novel while on that trip.
A half dozen novels exist in SF/F, a foodie thriller, and romance. His Night Stalker series was just named Top 10 Romance of 2012 by Booklist and earns rave reviews. Somewhere along the way he picked up an amazing kid and the best wife a writer could ever dream up. He lives and writes in the Pacific NW.
For more information about Matt and his books check out his website