I have this story called “I Can Fly”. You can see it over there in the sidebar. It’s very short, like 2k words or something. When I put it on Smashwords I was hoping I’d get the same kind of closure I got with Mon Petit Ami. I did get some, sort of, but not the same palpable sense of release. I decided to take it off Smashwords and give Amazon’s KDP Select a chance to earn me a piece of their Prime lending pot.
(Aside: KDP Select has been a waste of time for me. None of my three publications has ever been borrowed, so basically I’m giving Amazon exclusivity for free. Great racket they have going there. I won’t use it again.)
A couple of months ago I read ICF through for the first time in a long time. I downloaded my two shorts to test on different apps, and on the Kindle app I encountered the problem, which was the damn ending! And yes, I’m really mad about it!
I hate writing endings. I struggle with the ending every time and never feel satisfied. If I have an ending in mind when I start, I’m not light on my feet enough to switch it up when the story takes me in a different direction. If I don’t have the ending, that keeps me from finishing at all.
I guess that’s why I got the closure with MPA. It couldn’t be published until I got the ending right. It finally came around, mostly satisfying, published and BOOM, closure. “Oooh, must have been because I published it! It’s out of my hair and out of my mind, because I put it out there. This is a sure-fire way to get rid of those nagging stories I can’t stop editing!”
With ICF, I did fix the ending, but the pacing was bad. And this is why they say let your stories sit a while before you read them again, and to print them out. The different format–a Kindle reader app–and a few weeks gave me the separation I needed to see why I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
But so once I was to that point, Skin & Scales was racing down the track. I thought, that’s fine because I Can Fly is in KDP Select. It’s exclusively on Amazon and at 99 cents. Nobody’s borrowing, and it’s highly doubtful anyone would pay a dollar for a story of only 2,000 words. ICF could wait while I focused on S&S.
So that’s what I did. And then two days after I received my first real copies of Skin & Scales somebody paid a dollar for I Can Fly! Huzzah! Finally, a sale for this little story. Then I felt guilty as I realized I hadn’t fixed the ending yet. Bummer. I hope they don’t hold it against me.
Anyway, this lit a fire under me. If people were going to be paying, it better darn well be the best I can make it. I took the laptop to the park with us so the kids could play and I could plug in at the pavilion. I reshaped the ending to I Can Fly with little trouble, much to my relief. Only thing is, now it’s pretty obvious that the title for this new story should be “The Girl for Me.” Not pretty obvious, really obvious. But I already have a cover I’m satisfied with! People already know it by its old title! What do I do, what do I do??
I already changed Black Veil Angel to Skin & Scales pretty abruptly, but that was before publication. I’m glad I changed it. But I Can Fly is an established title. I guess it can be transitioned a couple of ways–maybe a subtitle, or in the description I can say “formerly I Can Fly”–so as not to confuse those who’ve already downloaded it.
Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it.