Friday, May 31, 2013

Latest John Higgs news!

Here is the latest news about author and RAW scholar John Higgs, although some of it is particularly applicable for folks in Britain:

(1) For a limited time, his Timothy Leary biography, I Have America Surrounded, is available free for Kindle at Amazon UK.

The American Kindle version has been yanked but a new version will be available soon. (There were issues with the previous publisher.)

(2) He will be speaking about Robert Anton Wilson at the Secret Garden Party Festival in Cambridgshire July 25-28. Details here.  The talk is entitled, "The Great Robert Anton Wilson!" (His book about the KLF is about RAW, the most unusual and interesting rock biography you will ever read, is almost as much as it's about the eccentric band.)

Higgs has bitten the bullet and put up an author page on Facebook (please "like") but he also can still be followed on Twitter.

(3) Now,  the big news, and everyone gets to take part: The First Church on the Moon, a sequel to Higgs' acclaimed novel The Brandy of the Damned, will be released as an ebook in a month or so, and Higgs plans to make it available to everyone for free.

Higgs, hard at work on a big new alternative history of the 20th century to be brought out by a major publisher, explains that giving away a novel for free is surprisingly difficult:

"Yeah it'll be an experiment and probably not a sensible one but I think I'll just release The First Church on the Moon ebook for free worldwide. If I got it published properly it would be 18 months or so before anyone would see it, and that's awful. If I was to to self-pub it myself I know full well I'd fail to do all the hustling and review begging that you need to do to sell copies. But if I stick it out for free then I've got no idea what will happen to it, it might sink like a stone or it might get a word-of-mouth thing going. As books go, this one is full of mischief so it seems fitting.

"But putting books out for free is a difficult issue. There's the problem that people will just assume that it's shit - that their starting position will be that it has no value, and hence a burden on their time. In some ways a free book has to be better than a paid one to get over that hurdle. There's the likelihood that it will reach people on a completely different wavelength to you, who flick through it because its free and then slag it off... but as I say, this book is full of mischief and I suspect part of it wants that.

"And there's the whole 'devaluing literature' thing, and annoying your peers... But whereas my non-fiction stuff, especially the 20th Century book I'm writing now, are the result of a lot of work, research and thought - and hence well worth the cover price in my opinion - The First Church on the Moon was just a sheer joy that fell out with no trouble at all, and it almost seems dishonest to charge for that. It seems more in keeping with spirit of the book to make it a thank-you gift for those who have supported me by buying Brandy of the Damned and The KLF."

1 comment:

Internotional Tim said...

Nah, J...don't listen to that voice from the publishing twunts whose planet has already been destroyed by the Post_Samplists.

This isn't that different from putting out white labels or those publishing twunts putting out review copies.