To answer a few of the questions generated by the previous post, I approved the sketch today for Maelstrom and now the artist will start layering in the colors. When the artwork is done, I'll put it on the website. If all goes well, it will look perfect and no additional template-tweaking will be necessary.
Once the art looks right, I'll finish adding content to dead links, add some other content if anyone has further recommendations, and then I'll start trying to build a larger audience. I have some ideas for that, including web advertising, word of mouth, social networking, and maybe some fliers or posters on bulletin boards at the universities near where I live.
For the immediate future, the site content will consist of short stories, posts by the band members, and reviews of their shows. Obviously since the band isn't real, I'm the one writing all those things. The woman doing my artwork has agreed to let the "band" interview her at some point, so that's going to be a lot of fun and I hope it will result in some business for her.
As for the novel, it's currently available only to friends who request it and only in electronic format. I anticipate doing a final round of edits before making a decision what to do next. What I usually do is a perfunctory query of maybe ten or so agents to see if there is interest out there. If my concept doesn't get any nibbles, I post the novel online and make a print version available via Lulu. I don't know if I'll do Maelstrom this way, but it's the most likely scenario.
I may, however, decide to skip the querying and go straight to web and POD. Traditional publication is a tough business to break into and it can be a real time-suck, with no guarantee of success, no matter how good your book is. Publishing is a business like any other and if your story isn't perceived to be a solid money-maker, it won't get picked up.
I think Maelstrom might be just right for the current market, but traditional publication comes with a set of obligations that would probably be incompatible with how I live my life right now. It's an additional consideration as I ponder where I want to go with this book. It was great fun to write and I want others to read it and have as much fun as I did, but I don't want to lock myself into a whole new world of commitments and deadlines that will take the joy out of writing.
I hope this explanation helps. Share your thoughts and ideas! Maybe we could have Maelstrom do a bunny benefit at some point, with or without a real fund-raiser. They're anxious to make the big time and will put their name out there any way they can.