The Daily Journal, Sunday, July 14

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* According to my friend Phillip McCollum
* The Journal is on a diet
* Update: We’ve learned tons
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Quotes of the Day

“If it weren’t for received ideas, the publishing industry wouldn’t have any ideas at all.” Donald E. Westlake

“The most frightening monsters are the ones who do not look like monsters at all, not until it is too late.” Kali Wallace

According to my friend Phillip McCollum, it’s now possible to use Apple’s proprietary publishing program Vellum on a PC. If you’re interested, read “How To Use Vellum On A PC” at

The Journal is on a diet today and is therefore woefully thin. I suspect this diet will last about as long as most diets last.


We’ve learned tons of stuff since Thursday through the Licensing Learn Along. Almost overwhelming amounts of stuff. And all of it useful, not because it answers questions but because it gives rise to more questions. It’s more of a new mindset—a vastly expanded new way of thinking—than anything else.

I couldn’t begin to explain in any satisfactory way even if I wanted to. Suffice to say that “My sense of excitement was well-founded” is a huge understatement.

And I was wrong about my earlier estimates of my IP too. I estimated that I have around 300 individual bits of IP. That’s true, if I count only fiction and only what I’ve written in the past five years.

But there are also

* poetry collections and poems
* nonfiction books
* humorous and serious essays
* and (OMG!) blog posts, even if I count as “important” only those that touch on a specific topic.

All of those are individual intellectual properties (IP). Oh man.

Nonfiction can be licensed far beyond the books I’ve published and the audio lectures I’ve recorded, for example to other instructors and institutions.

Poems or bits of poems (or things my characters have said) can be licensed to greeting-card companies, t-shirt and ball-cap manufacturers, etc. ad nauseam. Likewise with excerpts from essays.

Fictional characters, worlds, settings and situations can be licensed to an almost unlimited number of products (books, yes, in ebook, paper and audio, but also to online and board games, slot machines, pinball games, toys, etc.

And so on.

Our first task is to inventory everything. (Fortunately, I have a decent start on that because I’ve kept fairly meticulous records over the past five years. I’ll now pass that task off to Mona, who welcomes it.)

Another first (simultaneous, intertwined) task is to brainstorm new and different (to us) ways to license that inventory.

Yet another first task is to create (notice I didn’t say “write”) more stories, more IP.

Our second task, once the inventory is as complete as we can get it, is to decide which characters, worlds, settings and situations to focus on. And study and learn trademark.

Our third task is to prepare marketing and licensing materials (often the same thing) for those items on which we decide to focus.

There are other ways to go about all this. This is our way, one that suits how we think and how we do things.

I’m glad Mona’s along for the ride. We both are blessed with extremely good but different organizational skills that should enable us to complement each other.

Now all we have to do is divide the workload, and that’s progressing nicely thus far as well, though we both know we have a long way to go.

An interesting note—If you’re locked into traditional publishing, none of this will be useful to you in that world unless you managed to retain at least some rights to your work. The only upside is that traditional publishing won’t make any money off licensing either unless you’re an extremely well-known author. (Trad Pubs don’t have a clue as to the true value of all the IP they have locked up.)

If you’re in that boat, I strongly recommend you begin creating content that does NOT go to traditional publishing, that you control completely, so you can use it. However, as always, feel free to do what you like.

Rolled out way early at 1:40 this morning. My little girl cat was sleeping with her tiny head on my left forearm, which made it more difficult to get up. (grin) But I was wide awake, so I managed it.

This morning while it’s cool I’ll finish cleaning out the bay next door to the Hovel. Later today (I hope) I’ll begin moving larger storage items from the Hovel to the bay and rearrange the Hovel a bit.

Still later there will be a little more learning from DWS on the Learn Along before we switch into the Licensing Transition class. Plus some discussions with Mona about some organization stuff I sent her this morning.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Welcome to The Wonderful World of Self-Publishing Part 1 (of 4)” at

See “The Weird, Wild, Inimitable Noir of Donald E. Westlake” at

See “What Are We Missing?” at

See “What Fiction Teaches Us About The Allure of Cults” at

See “Oh the Horror of It” at

For something precious, see “The Silence” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 860 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 860

Writing of ()

Day 1…… 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… 16190
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 200390
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 554901

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