In today’s Journal
* Start a Writing Career
* I finished one
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Start a Writing Career
I’m one of those writers Dave Farland talks about in his article, linked in today’s “Of Interest.” I don’t worry a lot about sales. I follow Heinlein’s Rules. I write, submit to a market or indie publish, and write again.
But marketing and sales? The very concept puts me to sleep, with the exception of two rules:
1. The opening of a book sells that book, and the end of a book sells the next book. So I worked hard to learn openings and endings. And I worked hard to let my style come alive so the reader would make it all the way from the opening to the end.
2. You must have an attractive, genre-specific cover and great sales copy (blurbs, etc.).
But I’ve never done the pro-active thing Farland talks about in the article. I’ve never bothered to build a list of folks who are willing to spread the word about my books when they’re released or pre-released. I’ve never built a list of readers who are eagerly awaiting the next book in a series or genre.
Don’t get me wrong. My loyal readers are out there, and I appreciate them more than they know. But I can’t name them. And I’ve never emailed them (“the list”) to let them know the next book is coming and when to expect it and, “Oh, by the way, would you please tell all your friends?”
In other words, I don’t know many readers personally, and the ones I do know are writers. And for whatever reason, writers in general don’t buy fiction written by other writers they know. I’m not putting them down or disrespecting them. I’m just stating a fact.
There are a few exceptions out there, of course. I’m an exception.
For example, before I study with a fiction writer whose farther along the road than I am, I buy and read some of his or her fiction to be sure s/he can practice what s/he’s preaching. Really, beyond the basics I learned from Dean Wesley Smith (he opened my eyes to how very much I didn’t know), I learned most of what I’ve learned about writing by reading and studying works by the masters whose work I admire: Hemingway, Allende, King, Burke and Higgins just to name a few.
And yes, I also regularly buy fiction from writers I know personally but who are not “big names” and whose work I like. But again, I’m an exception.
So now, after reading Farland’s article, I’m thinking I need to do more on the business side. Maybe I need to put out a separate email newsletter (separate of the Journal and my other blog). Maybe through the publisher’s note at StoneThread Publishing. We’ll see.
I’ll start by making an appeal to those readers I can identify (if I can identify them) on Amazon, Smashwords, D2D and elsewhere and try to create a list. And I’ll make an appeal to the subscribers to my blog on my author website (though I suspect most of them are writers too) and see what happens there.
I already announce pretty much all of my writing on this Journal. You guys can spread the word if you want, but you already know that. (If any of you actually are fans of my fiction and would like to be added to my official “list,” please let me know via email at email@example.com.)
Anyway, it isn’t something I can bring myself to really fret over, but I will give it some thought. Every little bit helps, I guess.
On the other side of that though, I’m being “paid” by being fortunate enough to write the stories in the first place and to pass along some of what I’ve learned to other writers. My heir(s), I suspect, will be the ones who will rake in the piles of cash. There are a few readers and business minds among them, so I hope they do well.
Either way, I’ll pass-on to them a multi-million dollar spreadsheet full of IP. Not kidding. Whether they make coffee money or something more from that IP will be up to them. At that point, I definitely won’t be worried about it. (grin)
So all of that was a long-winded way of saying I hope YOU have enough business sense to build a list. Farland not only says you should (as many do) but actually tells you how to do it (as most don’t). So don’t miss that article.
I finished one of the short stories I started a day or two ago, but not the other one (yet), and I didn’t write anything new yesterday. Meh, no biggie. I should finish the other story today, and even more importantly, I hope I’ll start at least one new one if not two or three.
Talk with you again when I can.
See “How do You Create Your Career as a Writer?” at https://mystorydoctor.com/building-your-writing-career/. I wish you luck with this.
See “Henry Kuttner” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/henry-kuttner/.
See “The Real Aerial Battles That Inspired Star Wars” at https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/air-battles-became-star-wars-1-180975832/. I found this while I was reading the physical magazine, then looked it up online so I could share it with you.
See “International Church of Cannabis” at https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/international-church-of-cannabis. Obviously from the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up department.
The Journal…………………………………… 910 words
Writing of “Turnaround” (short story)
Day 1…… 1092 words. Total words to date…… 1092
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX (done)
Writing of “An Inch and Three-Sixteenths” (short story)
Day 1…… 1481 words. Total words to date…… 1481
Day 2…… 176 words. Total words to date…… 1657 (done)
Writing of Body on the Beach (novel, working title)
Day 1…… 1135 words. Total words to date…… 1135
Day 1…… 1409 words. Total words to date…… 2544
Total fiction words for the month……… 19911
Total fiction words for the year………… 335194
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12820
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 150390
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 485584
Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 12
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 50
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 213
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31