Recently, I’ve spoken a little bit about e-publishing. E-publishing is a wonderful thing that lets writers completely control their work. The cover, the editing, format, distribution, etc, etc. It’s also a great way for writers to get themselves out there without having to fight the good fight to be noticed by a publisher. Now, I am not saying traditional publishing is bad. I think it’s great and I have every intention of trying to get traditionally published. Honestly, the advertising and marketing that comes from New York is awesome and will potentially generate more sales for e-publishing. However, there is a problem.
Every story I publish electronically takes away from my race score. What’s a race score you ask? It’s a way of competing with other writers. The basic breakdown is 1 point for short stories, three points for partial novel manuscripts, and 8 points for full novels submitted to an editor. Simultaneous submissions don’t count. You can’t count the same story for each editor you have it out to at one time. If you send a partial manuscript out to five different editors, it’s still only three points. Dean Wesley Smith explains it really well in his personal blog. Once the story is taken off the market, you lose points. Thus you see the problem. Electronic publishing takes my stories off the market.
Fellow writer Annie Bellet and I have discussed this and come up with something that may work a little better. This focuses on stories published, not stories in the mail.
1 point for short stories, that stays the same.
3 points for short story collections of 5 or more.
5 points for novels
Repeats are okay for short stories, but not for novels. In other words if you have a short story for sale on its own and one in a collection, you can count it twice, but not for novels. If you have a novel on its own and one in an omnibus, you can only count it once. You also can’t count a novel more than once if you do e-pub and POD. In addition, you must sell at least 5 copies of the story before it will count and you can’t generate the sales yourself. No buying your own story, that’s cheating. This is, of course, still up for debate, but may prove beneficial in seeing who has the most success in the e-publishing ring.