The Daily Journal, Friday, July 5

In today’s Journal

* Kris Rusch, Patreon and licensing
* Writers should be paid for their work
* Call for first readers
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

As writers, we’re entering a new and exciting age beyond publishing, and we’re being led (not surprisingly) by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (see “Of Interest”).

Frankly, I feel sorry for writers who are not currently signed up for this Journal or for Kris’ Business Musings posts. If you’re a friend to your writer friends, please share this post widely.

Specifically because of how important Kris’ Business Musings posts are, I just headed over to her Patreon page and signed up to donate $5 per month. That small donation will get me Patreon-only posts plus her Business Musings, Writing, and Publishing posts as soon as they’re finished.

For example, at the moment, she’s already posted (on Patreon) “Business Musings: The Story (Rethinking The Writing Business Part Three).” It’s an overwhelming, eye-opening, imagination-stirring post.

If you’d like to see it before next Thursday (when it will go public), I recommend you head over to her Patreon page yourself. Seriously, you can’t learn this stuff too soon.

As just one example of the potential of licensing, I have a close writer friend (who shall remain nameless) whose main character in a series created a particular self-named cocktail.

Of course, that cocktail existed only in fiction. Well, up to a point.

Turns out a major restaurant created a new cocktail named for and based on the lead character in my friend’s ongoing series. I’m sure it’s a passive mutual-trade relationship.

Probably the restaurant sells at least some of those cocktails to readers of my friend’s books because they’re readers of his books.

And probably my friend gains new readers for his series because the actual physical cocktail exists in that restaurant.

By which I mean, with any luck at all, when the server takes drink orders and the customer asks about that particular cocktail, at a bare minimum the server tells the customer briefly about my friend’s series and the protagonist for whom the drink is named.

(If that isn’t currently how it works, I hope my friend will ask management to insist that it works that way from now on. You know, for the mutual-benefit thing.)

Disclaimer: I haven’t talked with my friend about this, so honestly I don’t know whether he and the restaurant management are working from a signed licensing agreement. I’m using this only as a real-world example.

Please bear with me.

The thing is, my friend has provided a license to that restaurant to sell that drink based on part of the story and the main character he concocted in his head.

Even if there was no signed licensing agreement between them, he still provided that license.

I’m admittedly still an infant regarding the ins and outs of licensing, but let’s go there for a moment:

How much would that same restaurant have paid for the license to sell a cocktail named for a character from a Stephen King novel? Or named for a character from a Nora Roberts novel? Or, had he asked, named for a character from my friend’s series?

I know. My friend isn’t Stephen King or Nora Roberts. But you (and I and my friend) need to let that thought go. Because that really isn’t the point.

The point is, the license in this case isn’t about the author and his or her. In this case, the license is all about the particular cocktail and the character. And both of those are my friend’s intellectual property (IP).

IP has value, folks. My friend’s IP has value. So does mine, and so does yours. Start thinking in that direction.

Wow. My mind is swimming with possibilities, and I’ve only started.

In a related note, all writers should be paid for their work.

One of the most pervasive myths out there among beginning writers is that their work is worth nothing. That they should write and publish for “experience.”

You know, just like brand new plumbers or mechanics or doctors or lawyers work free for experience. Yeah, right. See where I’m going with this?

Yet thousands and maybe millions of writers fall prey to the follow-on myth that they should not be paid for their work, or paid only in copies.

But no other professional would accept that, and in an ironic, ludicrous twist, even we writers would never expect them to.

You don’t pay a plumber by taking a photo of the new pipes he installed and sending it to him. You don’t pay the mechanic by sending him a recording of the sound of you engine running.

You don’t pay the doctor who delivered your latest baby with a photo of the infant, and you definitely don’t pay an attorney with a copy of the will he prepared for you.

We pay other professionals from whom we obtain services in money, and writers deserve to be paid the same way.

Yes, even beginning writers or writers whose work you’ve never read before (like plumbers, mechanics, doctors and attorneys you found in the Yellow Pages).

But writers are paid in royalties from book sales, right? How should we be paid otherwise?

Well, for one example, the often-vaunted Patreon.

I’ve thought about setting up a Patreon page myself, but their terms of service statement (TOS) stops me.

Those terms include a potential rights grab.

DWS and Kris Rusch know about this and still use Patreon, but they’re also very careful about what they post there.

The thing is, I know me. I tend to share more than I should, so I just can’t bring myself to use Patreon.

Of course, Patreon is quick to say they would never actually take anything that doesn’t belong to them, but I learned awhile back to pay attention to how the contract (TOS) reads vs. what someone in the publicity department says.

The fact that they legally could take for themselves something I wrote (or at least tie me up in court for years) keeps me from signing on the dotted line.

So I set up my own version of patronage on my main website with a link from the Journal.

My “Rewards for Patrons” page mimics Patreon in many ways, but everything is within my control. With it, I’ve eliminated the middle man.

But not to worry. You can actually get much more from me directly than you could ever get from me via Patreon, because all of my fiction and nonfiction are included.

I’ve also decided to start a new series of topics that will be available only to those who are patrons. You can see that on my patronage page (see below).

You can view the levels and rewards at I hope you’ll drop by and take a look.

Another way to read my work is to sign on as a first reader. As you know, I’ve been on a novel-writing binge for a few years now.

As a first reader, you’ll get to read every new novel as I complete it. Typically I finish at least one novel per month. Yet your task as a first reader will be only to read for pleasure, then let me know if anything pops out at you as you read. That’s it.

If you enjoy my fiction, this should be a no-brainer. If you haven’t tried my fiction, this is an excellent opportunity to sample it.

If I select you as a first reader, your name will be listed in the credits of any books for which you serve as the first reader, and you’ll also receive the “clean” version of the book on the day it’s published, in your choice of Kindle, Nook/Apple or PDF.

Finally, I’m also pretty generous with my first readers.

Have questions about writing or publishing? Ask them. I’ll respond.

See another book or books of mine you’d like to read? Let me know. Chances are I’ll send it to you free.

Maybe best of all, if you’re a writer and you think I write well, this is an excellent opportunity to study (or ask about) what I did and how and why. Or we (you and I) can even go further and put together a mentoring session specifically suited to what you need.

You’re never too old or too advanced as a writer to learn. And frankly, unless you’ve written a lot more than I have, I can teach you things that will be useful to you.

If you’re interested in becoming a first reader (or in mentoring, for that matter), email me at and we’ll talk about it.

And thanks for reading.

Rolled out at 3:30. Wrote the stuff above, walked back and forth, house to Hovel, to take care of the babies in various ways.

As I went to sleep last night, my WIP was strong in my mind. The POV character and others were racing around doing things. But I was just too tired to get up and come to the Hovel to write it all down.

My final thought as I drifted off was that I had to remember all that stuff. Which of course was a conscious, critical mind thought and was therefore ridiculous.

It’s like being determined to remember an “idea” because they’re so precious.

Only they aren’t. Nor were the story directions etc. that were running through my mind last night.

Again I had to remind myself to trust the story, my characters, and my subconscious mind. What the story needs will come through my fingers as I need it. How long have I been doing this now? Forty-some novels? And each one better than the one before?

Yeah, it’ll come. (grin) To the house again at 6:30 for a break. Back to the Hovel to work more on the stuff above, and finally to the novel at a little after 9.

Nope. Some bad news descended. Not on me personally, but on the family. No more writing today or maybe for the next couple of days.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Business Musings: The Licensing Business (Rethinking The Writing Business Part Two)” at

Not specifically about writing, but see “Top 10, 20, 30 Movies” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1730 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1730

Writing of Marco’s Way (novel)

Day 1…… 2159 words. Total words to date…… 2159
Day 2…… 1014 words. Total words to date…… 3173
Day 3…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 3173
Total fiction words for the year………… 354511
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5720
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 189920
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 544431

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31