The Journal, Monday, November 13

Hey Folks,

Well, this should be an interesting week. This is a convergence week for me, when several different events, sequences, and changes are coming together to consume blocks of time.

I went to Benson this morning to renew my driver’s license and combined that with a shopping trip to settle our cupboard and refrigerator accounts after this past weekend. By the time that and a couple other necessary chores were done, that was the morning. It’s now approaching noon.

On Wednesday morning, I have to head for Sierra Vista (Fort Huachuca) to renew my military ID card, and while I’m there I’ll take care of a few other things I need to get done as well.

Then on Thursday afternoon, I’ll go back to Sierra Vista for an eye appointment. Mona will be with me for that one since my eyes probably will be dilated. Ugh.

So this will be a fragmented week at best.

I keep saying I’m going to talk about my new challenge, but this edition of the Journal is getting long so I’ll plan to do that tomorrow. I know you’re waiting with bated breath. (grin)

Topic: Content Marketing

In “Of Interest” today, Linda Maye Adams talks about writing free for discoverability. I want to say, for the record, I don’t write free.

And why should I? Why should any of us give away our work for “exposure”?

After all, have you ever heard of a mechanic, even when he’s opening a new garage, offering his services free just to get his name out there? Or a plumber? Lawyer? Doctor? Fine artist? Musician?

So why should we?

So again, I want to say, for the record, I don’t write free.

But I can’t.

This Journal goes out every day and has done for almost the past two years. And I’ve been posting to one website or another (often two or three at the same time) most often on a weekly basis since around 1998.

I also occasionally donate an article (usually a reprint of a posted article) to a writers’ group magazine.

Of course, that’s all nonfiction.

But I can’t even say I haven’t offered up fiction free. Remember my 70+ week streak of publishing a new short story every week, free, on my website?

I’ve also donated novels and even whole series to various groups and individuals, all without being paid with anything but “exposure.”

So I’m not really in a position to cross my arms over my chest, set my chin and advise against giving away work for exposure.

There’s enough piracy out there that you’re giving away a lot of your work anyway. The title of one recent article in The Guardian (a worthless rag IMHO, but still) reads, “We’re told to be grateful we even have readers.”

What I will say is this: Be intelligent about your charity.

• There’s nothing wrong with using “free” or “steeply discounted” TEMPORARILY to interest readers in a series.

• There’s nothing wrong with sharing what you know, especially if you enjoy doing so and feel you have an appreciative audience.

• There’s nothing wrong with occasionally giving away something you’ve written for whatever reason you choose.

But frankly, the term “writing for exposure” smacks of a scam to me, especially when it comes from a major publisher (like HuffPo). Outfits like that make tons of money from your writing, but they’re ethically and morally bankrupt when it comes to sharing the wealth, a concept you would think a place like HuffPo would understand and eagerly endorse.

But back to the topic for a moment. Over the course of my free short story of the week, that gambit had no measurable effect on sales. Nor did any of the other times I gave away my writing. Not once.

The few times I’ve offered novels free, either on my websites, in my blog posts, or at retailers, I also saw no significant effect on sales.

If I tried “content marketing,” I think my own rules of thumb would be

• If the market to whom you’re submitting your work is making money on it, so should you;

• Look over the market (paying or not) carefully to be sure your work won’t be published among stories that are poorly crafted compared to your own; and

• Check the “reach” of the market. If you’re writing for exposure, be sure the market has more than a handful of subscribers.

Beyond that, if you figure it out, let me know.
***

For the rest of today, I’ll begin a copyedit on a lengthy work, I’ll read a bit, and I’ll work out the final details on the challenge so I can write about it here tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Thanks to Alison Holt (see https://alisonholtbooks.com/) for pointing me to this movie trailer of great interest to writers: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6225520/.

See “Discoverability Adventures: Week 2” at https://lindamayeadams.com/2017/11/12/discoverability-adventures-week-2/.

See “A List of Fonts by Women” at http://www.victoriarushton.com/fonts-by-women.

A special treat for you who follow this journal. See “Betty Boop for President” (a film) at https://archive.org/details/BettyBoopForPresident_201310.

You can see many more BB videos at https://archive.org/search.php?query=betty+boop&page=2.

And finally, straight from Backwards Bizarro World, see “New York graffiti artists triumph over developer who destroyed their work” at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/nov/09/new-york-graffiti-artist-win-lawsuit-5-pointz. There is no mention of the so-called “artists” having defaced the legal owner’s property to begin with. Ahem.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 880 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 880

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 2238
Total fiction words for the year………… 451680
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5430
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 173493
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 625173

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 715 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

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