Monthly Archives: October 2013

Do you have the final version of Rx?

Just a quick update to make sure everybody has the right version of Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, as I still come across new reviews or comments from people who are just now finishing the serial. The serial was never intended to be the final product, so if you want to read the actual book that the serial helped produce, you’ll need an update.

For those of you not familiar with the saga of writing Rx, here’s the extremely succinct version: This whole thing was totally fucked.

Here’s the slightly longer version: I tried something that I thought was a good idea, but turned out to be more hassle than it was worth.

Here’s the extremely long version: Rx was my first book, and I didn’t have any experience with the process, much less the kind of effective beta readers that are pretty vital for a successful manuscript. Since digital distribution and serials were just starting to get popular, I thought I’d take advantage of it and try something new. I wrote Rx in three parts, and released each as an entry in a serial novel. The catch being that I ran quite a few giveaways of the first episode, and offered feedback incentives for the next episodes. So you could snag the first episode for free, then leave me some helpful feedback, and I would get you the second episode for free when it came out. If you left feedback on that, you got the third for free.In effect, if you wanted to help me improve the book, you could get whole thing without spending a time. And if you just wanted to participate in the experiment — watch it unfold without contributing — you could pay as you went, per installment and never be out more than a few bucks.

If you’re wondering why you, as a reader, never got that opportunity, the reason is simple: I never thought Rx would go beyond a very small group of loyal fans. At least not at the serial stage. I thought everybody who read the episodes would only do so because they heard about it through my columns or my social media accounts — in which case they’d see my many explanatory updates about the experiment and get the chance to participate. But the book got away from its little niche, thanks in large part to positive word of mouth. That’s a hard thing to be upset about.

But I am sorry to those who paid for and read an unrefined product, unaware of the experiment and thinking it was supposed to be a polished story. I don’t have anything to say if you bought the full book and didn’t like it – it had it’s problems and that’s your right. Maybe we’ll connect better next time. But if you just read the serial, or one of the early versions (here’s a spoiler-free way to tell: if your book has a prologue, it’s not the final version. If it doesn’t have an epilogue, it’s not the final version.) you can message me at rxthebook at gmail dot com and I’ll send a final eBook copy your way. There are substantial changes from the early versions, most notably an entirely different ending and that aforementioned epilogue.

I can’t really apologize for writing Rx this way – the book isn’t perfect, but it’s better than it would have been if I hadn’t tried this release schedule and received this feedback. And I can’t even call it a failed experiment, because it was actually worthwhile for me as a writer — if only because I learned not to ever do something like this again. Conventional release schedules for this guy from now on. But it honestly never occurred to me that people would be stumbling across obscure, self-published serial novel cyberpunk eBooks from first time authors and just jumping right into them with complete trust. I mean, holy shit, what kind of free time do you have? I can’t even promise to read all of the DANGER: POISON labels on the back of my cleaning products. God bless you for your willingness to try new things – you’re keeping indie authors going – but you ended up being collateral damage for my stupid experiment. You at least deserve to see the final product. Hit me up.