I've been trying to get a semi-definitive answer on the following question, but no one seems to have an answer. What would be the ramifications of an author querying a novel in one genre while self-publishing a novel in an unrelated genre via digital means on Amazon and the like?
An author, Nick Harkaway, pointed out that selling something in the range of 20K to 40K words wouldn't cut into any potential deal a press wanted to cut with for the hypothetical print book. True?
True, but let's all settle down and realize that once you're published, you have sales numbers and a track record.
And when you sell 20 copies of The Beast That Ate Cleveland (a rhapsodic love letter to the Mistake on the Lake) I have to explain to an editor why that doesn't translate to you're going to sell only 20 copies of your thriller.
And frankly, that's not the stuff I want to be talking about with a debut author. I want you to be fresh, unsullied, and brimming with enthusiasm. I want you before publishing reality has beaten the innocence out of you.
Now, if you sell 2 million copies of THE BEAST BITES CLEVELAND it's a different matter altogether.
The thing is, authors ALWAYS think they're going to sell more than they do. ALWAYS. You are NOT the exception to this rule and if you learn one thing today, I hope it's this: you never get a second shot at making your publication debut.
I'm a big fan of aiming for where you want to end up.
There's nothing wrong with publishing shorter works on Amazon first, but it's not some sort of golden ticket to a big-ass book deal. Not even close.