OMG: K.M. Robinson

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

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 and maybe this K.M. Robinson. I suggest you start by perusing and studying her “books” website at Take your time. There’s a lot there.

Then move on to her author/instructional website at 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

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Curious About Becoming A Fiction Author? Here Are 10 Things You Should Know…” at THIS!  READ  THIS!

See “Why Are We Afraid Of The Dark? New Study Has An Answer” at Um, ’cause stuff can hide in there. No study needed.

See “Reddit users recount their creepiest experiences.” at Story ideas.

The Numbers

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.

10 thoughts on “OMG: K.M. Robinson”

  1. Hi Harvey! Thanks for the link to K.M. Robinson’s article and website. She does an amazing job.

    Okay, be warned because now I’m gonna whine. LOL. I look at all that awesomeness (her website is fun and energetic and colorful) and I immediately feel like … I need a nap. To me, it’s exhausting.

    In the interest of being transparent, I need to disclose the fact that I struggle with several health issues including pernicious anemia (which really wipes out a person’s energy levels).

    One thing I especially loved about Dean was him always saying that writing the next book was the best way to work on discoverability. Music to my ears.

    I took the Media Kit workshop from him and it was really good, of course, but all the marketing stuff just made me wanna curl up in the corner with a bottle of brown sugar bourbon.

    I have a bazillion articles (and books on my Kindle) about marketing as an Indy writer but I just get overwhelmed.

    I wonder if there is a more gentle (less frenetic way) to market our books ~ or am I just fooling myself and wimping out?

    • Hi Maggie,

      Yep, you’re wimping out, but I can talk. I wimped out long ago. Like you, I decided to just write the next book and let marketing take care of itself. My decision was based on my age, health, and family history. Plus I get tons of fun writing the stuff, so that’s a big part of my “pay.” That’s why I say maybe one of my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will enjoy marketing. If they do, the sky’s the limit.

      I too learned “just write the next book” from DWS. Ironically, after asking me whether he could include one of my novels (and me agreeing) in a high-power anthology with some other selected authors, he decided against using it because I don’t have as many followers as the other authors did. Obviously, he and I saw that situation differently.

      He saw it as not being ‘fair’ to other authors who had larger followings because they market more or better, get paid ads, etc.

      I saw it as the perfect opportunity for “big” guys in marketing terms to help out a little guy. I was surprised and saddened that Dean decided not to go that route, especially given his “writing the next book is the best marketing” advice. I’ve often wondered what those authors would have decided if he’d asked their opinion.

      If I were to start marketing tomorrow, I’d probably start with some of the free courses on K.M. Robinson’s site because learning more never hurts. But there are two books you probably already own (as do I), that are always mentioned in “how to market” discussions. One is about marketing to Amazon and the other is about treating writing as a business. (I don’t recall the specific titles.)

      IMHO, you just have to decide to market, and then take the first step, then the second, then the third and so on until you build up a routine. But one that doesn’t interfere with your writing. Good luck.

    • Hi Maggie + King! Don’t worry, lots of people get overwhelmed when they see others doing a lot of things at once, but I’ll tell you a little secret: I finish my work days by 10-11am. I have my businesses so streamlined that I can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time and then have luxury time for the rest of the day.

      I did the heavy lifting up front, meaning I put in my time to do a lot of work at the beginning of my businesses so that now I can live a very chill life. I learned how to streamline my businesses, create systems and structures so that I could automate a lot of my work, make multiple streams of passive income, and I learned how to get better at my crafts so it wouldn’t take me as long to do things like write a novel, edit photos and videos, create content, etc.

      I didn’t start out as fast as I am now—it was a process that I had to grow into while also working a 9-5, taking care of sick and dying relatives, and being responsible for a lot of things that weren’t my job to handle while also running multiple businesses. Because I put a lot of effort in years ago, now everything is very easy and I have the freedom to travel, take on new projects, learn things for fun, etc.

      Sometimes it feels like a big, overwhelming task to do the things we want to do in life if we don’t have a strategy to improve our work, shift things into an automated capacity, and actively learn how to take work off our plates while still being present and engaged, but I highly encourage you to shift the mindset from “I can’t” to “what can I do right now to make this easier for myself a month from now?”

      A lot of people focus on the present, but by realigning our actions today with where we want to be in a month or a few months, we’re willing to deal with the “hard stuff” now in order to not have to deal with in the future.

      I encourage you to push yourself a little each day. Not a lot…a little. By stepping just outside of what is comfortable every day, you train your body and mind to step up just a tiny bit at a time. For example, when I teach people who to write faster and stronger, I have them find their average daily word count for a week. Then for the next two or so weeks, I tell them to write 100-500 words more every single day…force themselves to get that tiny bit of extra in. It’s uncomfortable at first, but after a few days, that little creep forward because less painful…and then it becomes comfortable. When it’s not easy to get that extra few hundred words, it’s time to add another 100-500 words. Our goal is to make it slightly uncomfortable to push ourselves toward a new, attainable goal, and then once we meet it, add a little pressure again to work ourselves up in increments.

      If you’re dealing with health issues, you of course can’t be pushing yourself too hard, which is why allowing yourself the freedom to do it in controlled increments is important. Small goals allow things to be attainable, but small goals add up in the long run.

      And if you struggle with your writing that could also mean you need to reexamine the way you’re writing. I always tell my students that if it takes longer than a few months to write a novel, they’re writing the wrong way *for them* and they need to try something else. We each have a different path to success, so if you find how you’re working to be draining, it might be a good time to start testing other approaches. Maybe dictation would be easier on you than typing. Maybe you need to realign your schedule so you’re writing during the time of day you have your most energy (I thrive first thing in the morning, slow down in the afternoons, and despise functioning in the evenings, so writing late slows down my productivity)

      I fully believe if something isn’t allowing you to thrive as best as you possibly can, it’s time to really examine the choices you’re making and the actions you’re taking and see what small and big steps you can take to make things just 10% more effective for you and grow from there.

      It’s not an overnight change—it takes time—but you’re in control of your own success and if you know shifting things will make it easier for you in the long run, take the hit of a little extra work and discomfort now to change everything about how you function in the future.

  2. Hi Harvey! Thanks for your candid response. (I was afraid you were gonna say I’m wimping out. LOL).

    And thanks for the Adam Croft recommendations. I already had “The Indie Author” but picked up “The Indie Author Checklist” today. I have all of Joanna Penn’s books too. Now I just need to read them and, like you suggested, just take a step at a time so I don’t overwhelm myself.

    By the way, I purchased another potentially good book today called “Whole Book Marketing: An Indie Author’s Guide To Selling Books” by Victorine E. Lieske.

    I was attracted to it because of this paragraph: “It might be a tough concept to understand but you are not selling a book, you’re selling an experience. At least fiction writers are. If you write nonfiction, you’re selling information. Regardless, I want you to stop thinking that you’re trying to sell books like a person might sell pain medication or soap. The experience you are selling is unique to your book, and a reader can’t get that experience anywhere else.”

    Anyway, it goes on but I really liked the author’s perspective on that.

    Thanks again.

    • Sounds good, Maggie. I kind of question Lieske’s use of “sell” rather than “license,” but in the end, whether her advice is valid will depend on it being put to use. Well, that and luck.

  3. Yes, I write quickly. I’ve developed strategies in all of my businesses that allow me to get a lot done while also having a lot of free time. The more you create systems and funnels within your businesses (writing or otherwise) the more you hone your skills, learn where you can automate, and create passive income, develop free time, and are able to do your work with the least amount of stress possible. 90% of what I teach is completely free to the public and my courses and mentorships are for people who want their hand held during the process of leveling up their brands and businesses, so I literally give people the “what to do” for free and then if they want help/oversight/specific-to-them strategy, that’s when they can work with me in a paid capacity.

    Anyone can grow better, they just have to put in the work and effort—do the heavy lifting now to thrive and live a time-luxurious life for the rest of their future.

    (Side note: you’re always welcome to reach out for comment on things like this)

    • Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, young lady, and congratulations on your success. As I wrote in an earlier comment, if I were to start marketing tomorrow, I’d probably start with some of the free courses on your website because learning more never hurts. There are reasons that probably won’t happen, but thank you for paying forward so much to those behind you on the path.

      Re “reaching out for comment,” if I did that for every writer/marketer whose name or website I promote here because I believe they have something beneficial to teach my writer friends, I wouldn’t do anything else. I very seldom make an entire post about one person. That’s quite a lot all by itself.

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