Monday, April 21, 2014

Business and Writing

Many modern businesses run a particular model of short-term thinking. They deal with investors and stock, and play a game where they predict a dollar amount of how much business they'll do in a 90-day timeframe. The stock price will go up or down depending on how close the actual numbers match the prediction. If things look dicey, a common occurence is to game the system by juggling the numbers to make sure they line up more or less according to prediction.

This is all a silly game. The economy goes up and down, and huge deals involving millions of dollars can take months to sign, and hundreds, if not thousands of people are involved. So many factors, and everyone tries to maintain an illusion of control over events.

Many bad decisions have happened to force things into a particular timeframe. Products get released before they're fully tested, corners get cut, mistakes are made in haste.

Something similar can happen in the modern world of publishing, too. Writers push a work out the door before it's ready, or expect certain earnings and sales within a short timeframe. They obsessively check their "stock price" (sales) every day, sometimes hourly. If books are not flying off the virtual shelves, some writers despair.

Again, a silly game. Many good books take time to garner word-of-mouth and to rise to the top of to-be-read piles. Writing and publishing now should take the long view- and some people think a 5-year window is too long. They want instant success, instant riches. That's not what this game is about. Sure, some have done it, and some of those with inferior products.

Just keep writing and publishing quality works, do what promotion you can, and don't worry about the sales in the short term. You want your business around for a long time, so don't cut corners. Take the time to make the work good. More than good. Make it memorable. Make it to last, not to make a quick buck off the fad of the moment.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Story Sale! Our view confirmed! Big BBC Sci-Fi Show Coming!

Well, I've just sold my story "Dead Man's Hand" to a publication on my third continent! Voluted Tales, out of Australia, joins publications in North America and Europe as places that have accepted my stories. The remaining ones may be tougher to get into...
Should be up within the next month- will send out the link.

In other news, our guest post on Giving Our Way to Success on Joe Konrath's influential publishing blog gets confirmed on another big blog from Joanna Penn today, on Why Indie Authors Need A Team. Absolutely right, and one of the things we were pointing out in our post. Joanna Penn is one of the people we give a shoutout to in the post as one who helps other writers with her information sharing.

And this Saturday, the BBC America channel is showing The real history of science fiction, a 4-part series. I believe it starts at 10. Check it out- looks awesome!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Featured Again- Alumni Magazine

Well, my alma mater is taking notice of my writing. They profiled me in the latest issue of the online alumni magazine. Nice to get another mention.


Addendum- they've announced their Commencement speakers for this year (not me- yet).
Writer Tess Gerritsen and singer/songwriter Dave Mallett.
Just so happens I've met them both. Cool! Saw Dave perform at a concert and got his autograph on a record album- so you know how long ago that was!
And I met Tess at the Bouchercon conference last year. Her work to support Alzheimer's research nudged me to make a donation, which then got me a guest post on the influential publishing blog of Joe Konrath!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Big Time

Great news today- I'm featured on the prominent website of Joe Konrath, one of the gurus of self-publishing. I've got a co-written guest post with Vlad V. and we discuss how to give your way to success as an Indie writer. Check it out, and feel free to leave a comment. Oh yeah- there's some special deals for you for checking it out...

This is The Big Time- like getting an at-bat in the Major Leagues. And we knocked it out of the park.

We've got some excellent comments already, and people have found value in our message. The idea of joyous cooperation and collaboration, rather than fearful competition (fostered by Big Traditional Publishing) is resonating with more and more people.

Everybody does better when everybody does better (saying of Jim Hightower)

We've got a lot of people we work with. Folks like Chris Obert of Pear Tree Publishing, who puts together author signings and the New England Author's Expo. The owners of Books and Boos bookstore in CT, where they host author signings and include them at their showcase table at conventions. The New England Horror Writers. The Sisters in Crime. Librarians. Reviewers. Independent bookstore workers.

It's a great New World of Publishing, and savvy writers are working together to make things better for everyone. Viva La Revolution!