Sunday, 11 September 2011

"The Ambition of William Chow" Republished on Smashwords

Boy, talk about walking a fine line.

The Plaid Raccoon Press today uploaded a replacement version of the vignette "The Ambition of William Chow,"  the second installment in the collection STORIES, from the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series. This piece is available free of charge at It was originally published through Smashwords on August 15, 2011. The only difference between that edition and this one is the Publisher’s Afterword included at the end of this edition of the story.

One of the realities of Smashwords is that it doesn't really generate a great many sales. It's a terrific place to publish e-books and to distribute them to major vendors such as Barnes & Noble (Nook), Chapters/Indigo (Kobo), Sony (Reader), Apple (iPad, iPod, iPhone) and Diesel (various). It's also a terrific place to distribute free samples of my work in order to reach new readers and familiarize them with Donaghue and Stainer. However, it's not a great place to generate a lot of sales and reviews. So far my free offerings have attracted a horde of folks looking for free downloads (which is great, that's the idea!) but only a few so far willing to buy Blood Passage and only one review, of the aforementioned "William Chow."

It's that review, by someone looking for a free download ... and the fine line one has to walk.

L.L. Clark, the other partner at The Plaid Raccoon Press, has appended a Publisher's Afterword to this version of "William Chow" explaining the purpose of the story. It serves as a bridge between "Tom Donaghue," the first story in the collection, and "Knock and Talk," the third story. It also develops the reluctant relationship Hank Donaghue has with the local brotherhood of the Triad organized crime group and provides insight into his character. Finally, "William Chow" is described as a vignette, which Wikipedia defines as "a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting." As such, it doesn't have the beginning, middle and ending one might expect from artistic works that adhere more closely to the Aristotelian ideal.

All hoping to address the concerns raised by that person looking for a free download. Hoping to change their mind about boycotting my work for having left them hanging and wasting their time over a question of form.

I leave the final judgment up to you, because that's how it works. I just hope the Raccoon and I have successfully walked that fine line and kept things professional, while trying to explain the objective of these short pieces.

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