In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* K.M. Robinson
* Of Interest
Quotes of the Day
“[W]riting … is the smallest part of being successful in this industry, whether you’re traditional or indie published. The vast majority of it is marketing, engaging on social media, handling edits, reading contracts, communicating with design professionals, and interacting with fans.” K.M. Robinson
“I’ve been both traditionally and indie published, but my career and financial security in this industry is heavily due to my indie work.” K.M. Robinson
“If reviewers do it accurately, the post will only help other readers decide yes or no to a book, and therefore offer no feedback to the author, and if they pen a review incorrectly, it’s unqualified advice for a writer.” K.M. Robinson
Reader Peggy K. sent along a link to an article by K.M. Robinson, a fiction writer and author of multiple bestsellers. You will find the link in “Of Interest.”
The article is extremely interesting and informative. In it, Robinson says a lot of things I’ve read or heard before about how to make it in this business, but she says those things in a different way. A way that makes sense. I urge you to read it.
Most of the article is about marketing. In the list in the first quote of the day above, she mentions “marketing, engaging on social media, … and interacting with fans.” All of those are marketing.
She also mentions “handling edits.” I agree witih that one too, if she’s talking about copyedits. But “handling” them is only a matter of accepting or rejecting each suggestion the copyeditor made. If she’s talking about any other kind of edits, anything at all that has to do with content, I say you don’t need an editor. You need to learn to defend your work.
Finally, Robinson also mentions “reading contracts [and] communicating with design professionals.” If you’re fortunate enough to have to deal with the first, hire an IP attorney to go over the contract for you and with you. As for communicating with design professionals, either do that or learn how to do your own design, whether book cover, book interior, or whatever.
As I told Peggy in my response, “I agree with every point [Robinson] makes. I don’t do all of them, but I agree with all of them.”
That’s true. I don’t do all of them—I don’t do hardly any of them—yet I recommend that you do all of them (other than maybe the book signings before you get super famous).
The thing is, we each have our own path. I am quite a prolific fiction writer, and for me, that’s enough. I suspect the first grandchild of mine who is willing to do the work of marketing will make a ton of money on my books. And that’s fine.
I write because I love telling stories. I would also love to be a multiple bestseller, but if that happens for me, it’s going to happen generically, from readers stumbling across my books, liking them enough to tell other readers, etc.
But I’m not normal. I won’t discuss my severe personality flaw or its source, but trust me when I say it’s there, and it precludes me annoying or schmoozing others into buying my books. That just isn’t my place. And by and large, I don’t do social media. (I have a Twitter account I literally never read, and I post to it maybe two or three times per year, usually with a link to a blog post.)
The big takeaway here is that to be a successful Writer, you only have to write. But to be a successful Author, you have to learn the business—especially marketing—and then TREAT it as a business.
In the article, I strongly recommend you read Robinson’s point 9, “Social Media Presence is a Game Changer.” (I don’t think she mentions Facebook at all.) Read it as many times as necessary to make it sink in. And as she says in point 2 on marketing, “[O]nly take advice from qualified sources who have had trackable success three times or more so you know it’s a strategy and not a happy accident.”
Bearing that advice in mind, I strongly recommend you do what I do when it comes to writing stories if 1) you want to have fun writing fiction and 2) you want to write prolifically. I wouldn’t lie to you about what great fun it is and how freeing the non-process of Writing Into the Dark is.
Speaking of which, I don’t know K.M. Robinson’s writing process, but she said she’s been writing for only 5 years. If you add up the number or books she’s holding in the picture on her site and divide by 5—well, she seems pretty prolific to me.
You don’t even have to write novels to be prolific if you don’t want to. According to Frank in a comment a few days ago, I “wrote 33 stories (83,220 words) into the dark between April 16 2014 and Oct 25 2014.” Sounds pretty prolific, doesn’t it? Yet I was writing one short story per week.
So yes, listen to me if you want to learn about writing. Not so much when it comes to business. If you say the word “business” within a hundred yards of me I’ll fall asleep. For business, marketing, etc. I recommend you turn to Kristine Kathryn Rusch (her blog is at kriswrites.com) and maybe this K.M. Robinson. I suggest you start by perusing and studying her “books” website at https://kmrobinsonbooks.com/. Take your time. There’s a lot there.
Then move on to her author/instructional website at https://kmrobinson.com/. It’s a tour de force in marketing and more, and there’s a lot of free content. Unlike a lot of authors, I think she really does want to help, and not just in exchange for money.
Take your time there too. There’s even a lot of free content. And unlike K.K. Rusch, from what I could tell K.M. Robinson didn’t mention politics or say anything disparaging about anyone even one time. She focuses on the topic at hand.
Young Ms. Robinson seems savvy as hell to me. Learn from her. If I was anyone other than me, that’s exactly what I would do. And I might even pop some anti-snooze pills and try a few of her business recommendations myself. (The timing seems right, what with me recently standing up HarveyStanbroughWrites.com.)
Talk with you again soon.
See “Curious About Becoming A Fiction Author? Here Are 10 Things You Should Know…” at https://www.eviemagazine.com/post/curious-about-becoming-a-fiction-author-here-are-10-things-you-should-know. THIS! READ THIS!
See “Why Are We Afraid Of The Dark? New Study Has An Answer” at https://www.iflscience.com/why-are-we-afraid-of-the-dark-new-study-has-an-answer-60088. Um, ’cause stuff can hide in there. No study needed.
See “Reddit users recount their creepiest experiences.” at https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ntofxm/what_the_scariest_true_story_you_know/. Story ideas.
The Journal…………………………………… 1120 words
Writing of The Stirchians (novel, tentative title)
Day 10… 1330 words. Total words to date…… 28459
Day 10… 2337 words. Total words to date…… 30836
Total fiction words for October……… 39028
Total fiction words for the year………… 159410
Total nonfiction words for October… 19920
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 173140
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 332550
Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 68
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this Journal, among many other things, I promote Writing Into the Dark. WITD greatly increases productivity and practice, and provides a rapid ascension along the learning curve of Craft. This is not opinion. It is all numbers and facts.