In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* A major new resource
* Topic: A Toast to New Beginnings
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers
Quote of the Day
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Daniel J. Boorstin
Yesterday, I moved the large monitor for my business computer back up to the house since that’s where we’ll be doing most of our learning. (See the topic below)
My new partner and I also started some preliminaries: setting up a new web-based email address for the business, etc. In the future, all royalty payments and payments for direct sales of books, etc. will go to that email address (and that PayPal account) instead of to my personal account.
Payments for any copyediting, tutoring or other stuff I do (besides writing) will continue to go to my own PayPal account. Though I seriously doubt I’ll be doing anymore copyediting. I won’t have time. (grin)
After that, I worked to bring the StoneThread Publishing website up to date. Swing by and take a look if you want. It’s much cleaner and more geared toward readers.
I found a major new resource. I urge you to check out Jane Friedman’s website, the expansive https://www.janefriedman.com/. Scroll down just a bit to see a slideshow of Latest Blog Posts.
Tons of advice here, and mostly (from my quick perusal) not biased against indie publishers. Still, you have a mind. Take it along when you visit. Take what you see as good advice and leave the rest.
For just one quick example, see “Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published” at https://www.janefriedman.com/start-here-how-to-get-your-book-published/. This includes a pictorial overview of major genres and subgenres.
Even in posts dedicated to publishing through a traditional publisher, you can glean gems that will help in your indie publishing business.
Topic: A Toast to New Beginnings
This is mostly personal. I share it here because I see all of you as friends. But more importanly, I share it in case you might glean an idea or two from it for yourself and your own writing business.
I’m hyper excited about reaching a new plateau. This one is marked by a new partnership and the first time my writing business will actually become a real business. (Finally. With over 100 long works and almost 200 short stories already out there.)
See, I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing in the business end. More often than not, I felt completely overwhelmed.
And usually when I feel overwhelmed, instead of plunging into learning more about business (frankly, a topic that puts me to sleep), I plunged into the next writing project. (grin)
As Charlie Brown put it a few decades ago, “There is no problem so big that it can’t be run away from.” (grin) That was basically my philosophy.
But as I was explaining to my wife a couple of days ago (grinning all the while), the stars have aligned in the past month or so.
First (or first and third), I supported a couple of Kickstarters, each of which reached several stretch goals. Meaning my tiny investment in those earned me (among many other Writing lectures and workshops) the Advanced Business Lecture Bundle and the Advanced Negotiations Lecture Bundle.
That was pretty much Bingo, though it hadn’t quite sunk in yet.
Second, Dean offered to let me learn-along as he and Kris explored the Licensing Expo. This wasn’t just business (as usual, yawn) but learning about new possibilities. And that excited me.
Between Dean and Kris, they have already posted around a hundred 5-8 minute videos about what they learned at the Expo.
I haven’t watched even one yet. I was holding off for some reason. (The reason is coming.)
Third, Dean offered to let me continue to learn along with him, Kris and WMG Publishing as they make the transition from publishing to licensing over the next year. So there’s at least a whole year of videos yet to come.
One major focus of the transition will be how to find and approach companies who might want to license MY stories, MY characters, MY settings, MY situations, etc.
And it finally hit me.
Wait—are you freaking kidding me? I have a publishing company too! And now I’m in on the ground floor of this transition stuff! Now I’m really excited!
But remember, even the word “business” practically puts me to sleep before the first syllable is out.
Then the final star fell into place. I asked my wife whether she might like to go into business with me.
Although she’s written and published a memoir (A WonderFull Life) and although she’s an avid reader, she isn’t interested in the slightest in writing fiction.
But she’s sharp as a tack at business.
Together, we can turn my pecking away at the laptop into a real, honest-to-goodness business, something I know for a fact I would never do on my own.
As Dean often says, when you reach a certain point with your writing, you have to ask for help. So I did. And a miracle happened. In short, I made a new business partner.
From today forward, my bride and new business partner, Mona Stanbrough, will run StoneThread Publishing.
Once she said yes, I bought her a paper copy of DWS’s Think Like a Publisher to bring her up to date on the actual publishing end. (Yes, I recommend it.)
Handing over all control of what had always been “my” business wasn’t a flippant decision, but it was an easy one to make. Mona can see things from a business standpoint that I would never see. Putting her completely in charge was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.
I’ll spend a day or so bringing the publishing website up to date, spend about an hour teaching her a few shortcuts she’ll need to do that in the future, and then I’ll be what you call Hands Off. (grin, and Thank God)
With her natural mind for business, she will enhance what she already knows by learning along with me through all the Business and Negotiations and Licensing stuff I mentioned above. She’s as excited as I am, if that’s possible. (grin)
I’ll listen to all the business stuff too, but it will make more sense to her from the gitgo. Therefore, as I said, she’ll be completely in charge. I guess you could say she’s the CEO and CFO and HMFIC and all those other initials. Me? I’m thrilled just to be in charge of the production department. (My wife named me the Director of Creative Operations.) (grin)
Despite our almost giddy excitement, we don’t have any illusions about this. We know it will be a lot of work and we know it’ll take us awhile to build our business. But we also know to make it happen, we only have to keep coming back.
This. Is. Huge. In fact, it’s life-changing even on the writing end.
For starters, it will free me up to write more even as I’m learning about the business end.
As a side benefit, it will also free me from Heinlein’s Rule 4 (“You must put it on the market”) regarding my short stories while simultaneously increasing my production.
At present when I finish a story, I have to stop, create a cover, write a sales blurb and a promo doc, then publish the thing. It interrupts my fun, and frankly, that just sucks.
Now when I finish a story, I can ignore Heinlein’s Rule 4 (sort of) and ship it off to the Prez.
* She’ll decide which genre it belongs in and submit it to the appropriate print magazines for publication.
* She’ll set up a “reminder” thingy through some kind of calendar (shrug, I have no clue) to give them 3 to 6 months to accept the story, then send it to the next market on her list.
* She’ll make sure the magazine pays pro rates, is the right “fit,” and so on.
* She’ll check to be sure the contract contains a snap-back rights-reversion clause.
All I’ll have to do is sign the contract when she puts it in front of me and says “Sign this.” (grin)
If the story isn’t accepted for publication, she’ll send it off to the next market and the next. When it’s garnered a certain number of rejection slips (or when rights revert after it’s published) And When She Says So, I’ll slap a cover on it and we’ll indie publish it.
But I said this would bolster my production too, didn’t I? (grin)
In addition to continuing to write (and publish, groan) novels, I’m setting a new goal to write one short story per week. That will begin next week or the week after. (In the back of my mind, I’ll probably be interested to see whether I can surpass my previous record of writing at least one short story per week for 70 weeks.)
And as I said earlier, when I finish a short story, I’ll just send it to my business partner. (grin) Then I can move on to the next story.
Because it would be silly to post this and not talk just a little bit about goals.
My first personal goal (as a writer) is to have at least five more novels published by December 31 of this year. Yeah, given that I write a novel on average in 3 weeks, I’m fudging a little. (grin)
A second personal goal to have 25 more short stories written and out to market by December 31 of this year.
For the overall business, our goal is to have increased our annual income from writing (fiction and nonfiction) by at least 30% by June 30, 2020 (slightly less than one year from now).
That last one is a hybrid dream-goal. Dreams are desires that are outside your control. Goals are desires that are within your control.
We can’t control who buys our books and stories or how many we sell, so that part is a dream. But we CAN control who we offer them to and how often and where and how we offer them, thereby greatly increasing our chances.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to learn and practice as a writer, thereby holding up my end. (grin)
There you go.
See why I’m excited? At long last, StoneThread Publishing is gonna be all grown up.
I wish the same excitement for you.
Talk with you again tomorrow.
See “Business Musings: The Story (Rethinking The Writing Business Part Three)” at https://kriswrites.com/2019/07/10/business-musings-the-story-rethinking-the-writing-business-part-three/. Note: This is one you could have seen a week ago on Kris’ Patreon site. Just sayin’. (grin)
See “OUT WIT IT!” at http://prowriterswriting.com/out-wit-it/.
See Penny Sansevieri’s “A Short and Sweet Beginner’s Guide to Securing Amazon Reviews” at https://www.janefriedman.com/securing-amazon-reviews/.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1750 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1750
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… 13470
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 197670
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 552181
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