The Daily Journal, Monday, July 22

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Some Thoughts on Me Writing Fiction
* Topic: As You Consider Publishing Audio Books
* Patronage
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Quote of the Day

“You must write.” Robert A. Heinlein in Business Habits for Writers

Some Thoughts on Me Writing Fiction

I almost named this section “Life Rolls” or “Placing the Blame” or something dramatic like that. I can’t even call it “Why I’m Not Writing Fiction” because that wouldn’t be accurate either. And I can’t bring myself to call it whining, though that’s probably all it is. (grin)

The truth is, I’m not writing fiction recently because I haven’t felt like writing fiction. Well, I have but I haven’t.

Oh, I’ve started a few things, but each time, I set them aside at a few hundred or thousand words in. My mind is drawn to some other situations that are going on right now: things that are external to my life as a fictionist.

But they aren’t really life rolls or even life swells. They’re only a series of disjointed situations that draw my attention away from having fun with my characters.

So I probably won’t write today. I don’t have any other commitments, but I have all these things on my mind. For example…

Overall, I have some anxiety about being so far behind the learning curve when it comes to reinventing StoneThread Publishing AND learning licensing (AND copyright AND trademark).

It’s all necessary and timely, but knowing that doesn’t keep me from feeling a little overwhelmed. Like if I stood on a beach and watched a tsunami come in, I might feel a little moisture.

On top of that (and also as part of it) I’m turning over the reins of what has been “my” business for the past two decades. I know myself well enough to believe relinquishing that control creates some anxiety too.

And then there are normal life things.

Tomorrow I’ll get lower-spine xrays. See? This is nothing earth-shattering, but it’s something I can’t shake out of my head at present.

The xrays will inform a consultation with a surgeon on August 2nd. I’ll get the doctor’s input, which I hope will be a frank risk-benefit assessment.

Then Mona and I will have to make a decision regarding a medical procedure. The decision will be to do it now (accept the risk now) while my ticker’s acting like it’s supposed to, or hold off until later when it might not be minding its manners—which of course might cause the surgeon to decline.

And then weaving through all of that is a personal situation one of my sons is going through. You never stop worrying about your children.

And then there are a few other situations. I’m looking to buy a new (to me) pickup and doing some other things.

So the thing is, I’m free and clear to write today, and there will be many other days between now and the return of clear skies when I’m free to write. But my mind is scattered in too many directions.

So I think I need to make a command decision. I think I’ll just flat set aside all attempts to write fiction until all this stuff clears up. I suspect all of it should be rectified (or rectified enough, or I will have settled into it enough) by maybe August 10th or so.

Then maybe I can set some goals and forge ahead again. Of course, if any of this changes I’ll report it here.

And the Journal will continue. I’m just that stubborn.

Topic: As You Consider Publishing Audio Books

This situation started awhile back. It’s developed now to the point that it’s crucial enough to warrant its own topic, versus being merely mentioned in “Of Interest.”

It’s difficult to imagine publishing anything in any format these days without considering selling through Amazon (as one retailer).

It’s also becoming increasingly difficult to imagine publishing paper and ebooks without publishing an audio book as well. Audio, as everyone notes, is a rapidly growing market.

But via The Passive Voice, there’s a brouhaha brewing between Amazon and some authors regarding Amazon’s new “Audible Captions” program on audio books.

In a nutshell, Audible (an Amazon company) wants to “use machine learning to transcribe an audio recording for listeners, allowing them to read along with the narrator.”

I strongly recommend you read “Amazon’s Upcoming Audible Captions Feature = Unhappy Publishers” and the comments. This will both illuminate the problem and give you The Passive Guy’s take, which, thus far, is that it’s no big deal.

Then for an opposing argument (and lot of useful links) read “Someone Disagrees with PG – Again.”

As you’ll read in the first article above, the big publishers are strongly against what they see as a rights grab. (So are a lot of us tiny publishers.)

The Passive Guy makes some (maybe) valid points in the other direction, that this is really no big deal. Again, you’ll see that in the first article above.

On this rare occasion I agree with the big publishers and disagree with The Passive Guy.

Due to the binding nature of contracts (including terms of service), to me business is black and white.

If Audible wants to transcribe or “caption” an audio book, they should license both audio and transcription (or captioning or limited-print) rights to the work in question. They could easily do so by giving authors the opportunity to opt-in for a larger royalty share.

To my mind, allowing Audible to transcribe any non-public-domain audio book without having licensed the right to do so is at least a very slippery slope.

The bottom line, as always, is to be sure to read and understand the contract or terms of service (which is also a contract) before you sign or commit to anything.


I offer many free resources for writers, including this Journal, the blog over at my author site, and many of the items on my For Writers page. If you haven’t visited in awhile, you’re missing some things.

Those resources will remain free. However, I’m a professional writer. If you find value in any of these resources, please consider Becoming A Patron. In the alternative, you can make a one-time or recurring contribution via the Donate (PayPal) button at the top left sidebar of either website.

You might also find added value on my Patronage page—my equivalent of Patreon—where I’ve recently added two new rewards. If you have time, drop by and look it over.

Thank you for any support.

Rolled out at 3 this morning, wrote the stuff above, watered some plants, did some other early morning stuff.

Off to the business office now (the house) to check out StreetLib’s and PublishDrive’s upload requirements.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Why Self-Publishing Authors Should Consider Establishing Their Own Imprint” by David Wogahn at

See “Writer’s Block, Oh No!” at

I encourage you to visit Four Knights Press at If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find some writing tips from Dan Baldwin’s weekly bloggette. Browse. Enjoy.

In case it might help, see “42 Writers’ ‘Rules for Writing'” at I note with dismay the author failed to mention Heinlein’s Rules. Probably she’s never heard of them.

See “Got Attitude” at

See “Colin Mobey’s Leadership Coaching” at

See “13 Ways to Use a Book Award for Marketing” at

Via Linda Mae Adams, see “27 Hard-Won Lessons about Writing from New York Times Bestselling Authors” at

For a great deal more, explore the Writing category of Smart Blogger at Note: Some of this you might find useful. Some you should ignore.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1270 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1270

Writing of ()

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 25540
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 209740
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 568477

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

4 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Monday, July 22”

  1. Harvey, I’m thinking of you and wishing you well through everything you’ve got going on at the moment. Just like any other job, there are times when you can run the full court press and times when you have to pull back and catch your breath. But you know all that, so I’m not too worried about’cha. The rest of us will try to hold the fiction-writing fort while you’re tied up (I hit a new record of 2,200 words during my hour session this morning).

    Also, I’m officially a patron. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long and I’m also slightly embarrassed that I’m giving you a pittance of what you deserve for all you’ve shared, plus your constant encouragement…but my “allowance” has been cut while we save up for a house down-payment. 😉

    Best of luck with everything!

    • Thanks so much, Phillip. And congratulations on the new word-count high! Excellent! Your characters must really be pulling you through the story.

      And your donation is not a pittance, my friend. Thanks again.

      • My pleasure, Harvey.

        As for the writing, a lot of it is related to your recent inspirational comments (about me nearing a new plateau), an inspiring speaker I met at my writer’s group on this past Saturday (an indie author making six figures), and the overall momentum I’ve been building over the last month.

        Most of all, it’s this newfound trust I’ve found in myself.

        I’ll dig into all of this during a blog post at some point, once I feel like this is the new normal and not a dream…but needless to say, I’m pretty excited about what I’m doing these days.

        • The beauty of reaching new plateaus in this business is that only you, through your efforts, can reach them. Conversely, only you can keep yourself from reaching them. When you do, it will be more of a rear-view reflection a sensation of having arrived. (At least that’s how it is for me.) You’ll be writing along and realize, “Huh. Things are different now. When did that happen?” And it will feel GOOD.

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