Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mike Heppner's Experiment

Mike Heppner was published in 2002 to critical acclaim. His second novel fared well. But by 2007 he was having trouble placing his work.

From the Christian Science Monitor:
'"I was frustrated," he remembers. "No one was biting anymore. I felt out of the scene. I wondered for a while there if I should just give up."

Part of the problem, he knew, was the shrinking demand for literary fiction. Sales across the country were slumping, independent bookstores were shuttering, and most publishers had not yet discovered how to best reach a Web audience. Still, Heppner had been a writer for 15 years, "and if you've been doing something for 15 years," he says with a laugh, "it's hard to stop."'

His solution was to publish his next novella, 'Man Talking' on-line (I have started reading this and think it's excellent), then the one after that with a small press, and to release his third to random locations across the US.

This sounds an intriguing experiment, and I see some similarities with my own situation, so I shall be interested to see what happens next.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Yes, an interesting prospect. Have you seen this one from a small press in Massachusetts?

http://lowebrow.blogspot.com/2009/01/give-take.html

Thu Feb 05, 07:56:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

No, I hadn't. Looks really good. I think small presses are very much worth investigating. Thanks Lee.

Thu Feb 05, 08:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Ian D Smith said...

Good post. Thanks. I'm interested in Mike's: "I was frustrated ... No one was biting anymore. I felt out of the scene."

Authors often complain about life after publication. Hype is a highly addictive drug.

Thu Feb 19, 02:57:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks for visiting Ian. I don't think Mike was complaining about lack of hype - most authors don't get that much!

I think it was more the sense of not being involved in the book scene any more, the lack of contact with people in the book world, that sort of thing. That's my take on what he said, anyway.

Thu Feb 19, 03:09:00 pm  

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