Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Listing!

Cool new site, Kindle Mojo, has "A Memory of Grief" and "A Fall From Grace" now listed on their site, with many other good books. Great place to find Indie authors!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes

Here's a great little post on The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes. It's a breath of fresh air, because we thnk success comes out of nowhere, that people just get lucky.

The truth is, success usually comes from long hard work. You work long enough, and don't quit, and eventually the luck comes along for some. Not for all-- there are no guarantees.

But as one philosopher said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

Failure seems a dirty word for some. But we learn a lot from failure. Someone who has never failed hasn't done very much, because when you reach high, you're bound to fall short quite a bit of the time. But it's that perseverance that makes some finally reach the lofty goals, the ones who keep at it long after the others have given up and gone home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The War of Art

New book for you that is now required reading for any creative person.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is hands-down the best, most motivating take on writing and overcoming resistance that I've read. And I've read a lot of these type books.

The best recommendation is that I wrote before I did this post-- I overcame the resistance, and got it done. So it worked for today. Tomorrow we start the fight against resistance anew.

Read it, learn it, live by it. You will understand why it is that you are holding back.


Someone who does get it done on a regular basis is Chuck Wendig, author of the Terrible Minds blog, a top-notch blog of writing issues. Chuck is funny, vulgar, and dead-on with his advice. He gives you good lessons while you laugh at his wordplay.

And today his novel Blackbirds has been released. Check it out-- and buy it if you like it. He's worth it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Traditional Publishing Is Dead

Well, don't take it from me-- take another data point from author Mark Terry, who compares his pitifully small six-month royalty check from his big NY publisher with the whopping one he got for one MONTH from Amazon for his ebooks.

As the traditional world of hardcovers shrinks, the world of ebooks expands. One technology fades, another gains prominence.

There are still a number of people who want paper books in hand-- this is a good thing, and will not go away. Just the ones who always made a profit while keeping writers impoverished will be the ones who suffer. Am not seeing a lot wrong with that...

And Kristine Kathryn Rusch talks about how the big publishers are responding-- by making their contracts worse for the writer than ever! Just can't drive them away fast enough!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Show vs Tell

One reason to pay attention to the blogosphere is that with judicious screening, one can find good advice.

A site that is entertaining, helpful, and thought-provoking is the Terrible Minds site of Chuck Wendig. He's often quite funny, but also gives good writing advice to help the medicine go down.

And so he's done it once again, with an explanation of Show vs Tell, one of those things you'll hear ad nauseum if you're a writer.

He breaks it down to describe what the differences are, and how they matter in writing.

Yes, required reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Plot and Character

Last week when my interview aired on Author Radio, I'd said that plot was critical. I didn't mean that character was any less so, just that I concentrated on creating good, believable plots in my novels.

After reading the blog of noted mystery author Jane Haddam (I'm now a big fan-- she's a brilliant thinker and blogger), she said that she didn't think plots were all that important, the story was all about the characters.

So I thought about it, and we're both right. Yes, you have to have three-dimensional characters in your book, for without real ones, plots don't matter. For proof, study a lot of genre fiction from years past. Characters cannot be cardboard, or walk-ons. They have to live and breathe, and matter.

But without any action, any point, it's just so much academic fluff. Mere descriptions of people aren't enough, one needs a story. It's the framework which these characters move within.

I recently read two more blockbuster best-sellers with plots of immense stupidity. (I blogged on this awhile back.) Once again, it made me mad, as if the author and publisher had nothing but contempt for the reader. Where is this supposed, much vaunted editing quality that New York Big Publishing is supposed to provide? These dumbass plot idiocies would not have made it out of my editing/critique group.

Do people really not care if the plot is laughably dumb, as long as the writing is otherwise good? To me, it's all a package. If you've got really stupid stuff in there, I stop and roll my eyes, and consider the writer has not their job properly.

I've always said I don't write badly enough to have a best-seller. Two more data points of proof...


In other news, here's a flash for all those who defend Big Traditional Publishing as the kindly, gentle, fairy godmother who cares for all writers. It's Vincent Zandri telling us about his experience. "Hating Amazon and What Random House Did to Me and My Family..."
(Would love to show this to the clowns on Absolute Write who said that publishers would never let a book fail.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Getting By On A Writers Income

Some of the most frequent questions I get asked about writing these days is "How are the sales?" and "Have you made any money yet?"

Well, sales are good, but I don't have immediate data on exactly how many at this moment. My publisher deals with different distribution outlets, and they report after the fact, and at different times. With Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Diesel, and other places, you've got reports (and money) coming in weeks or months after the fact. Still better than traditional publishing, which can be longer than a year.

And we've got books out at bookstores, but those are slow. Without a name, it's tough to sell in a place with thousands of other books, most of whom have authors the browser knows. And most pay after sales, so you have books that the publisher has paid for, sitting there.

So nope, no huge sums of money yet. Trickles right now, but then again, it's a marathon, not a sprint, and I've been in print less than 10 months. Still building an audience, one reader at a time.

For a good perspective from a traditional pro, here's Lawrence Block on Getting By On A Writers Income.

Update-- just to show once again how great minds think alike, NY Times best-selling mystery author Debbi Mack posted this link as well! Guess this has quite a resonance for those of us seeking to make a living writing fiction.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview is Up!

Very cool- my radio interview is up today on Author Radio (all day long), where I talk about the writing process:

It's a good one- give a listen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to be a full-time writer- and interview tomorrow

The irrepressible Chuck Wendig has another great post, on how to be a full-time writer.


And tomorrow, Wed April 4th, my interview goes up at Author Radio. It's on all day, so give a listen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Great Review!

Got a great review of A Fall from Grace today from Cathy Speight, of Cath 'n' Kindle Book Reviews.

Seems she rather liked the book, and wants to read more of the Zack Taylor series (a regular happening among discerning readers-- ;-).

Hey, when someone who's a power reviewer says about my book:
"This was a well-written mystery, well-paced and well-constructed," you have to love it!

Check it out-- she gives a brief synopsis without putting in any spoilers.


And just for grins, Joe Konrath posted a wickedly funny April Fool's blog yesterday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Upcoming National Radio Interview

Been another busy week, too much going on. Been spreading myself too thin again, not enough writing.

My life's just like that. There are some people who keep to a thing known as a schedule. Have no idea what that is. Ah well.

So-- my interview in Author Radio is being aired this Wednesday, April 4th.

And just for you writers out there who need book covers, the guy who does the good ones for Joe Konrath is having a sale! Ebook covers for $150, from Carl Graves, who does great work: