Monthly Archives: May 2014

Go Fund Yourself

I subscribe to an ezine put out by Randy Ingermanson – “the Snowflake Guy”

The latest turned me on to this crowdfunding thingy: the-ultimate-crowdfunding-course-for-authors

Yeah, they are crowdfunding a course about crowdfunding. Shake off your hall of mirrors flashback and carry on.

I come at it from this place in my head: Instead of writing fiction, I am doing query letters, chapter outlines, and synopses. Finding an agent, selling the manuscript, the publishing process, and getting marketing support is a PITA. Because I’ve got a business background, I’ve been hesitant to self-publish without professional help. If more authors start themselves up and build a following, then the industry has more opportunities to offer bigger advances and better support to those that want to cross over. Everybody wins!

Crowdfunding publishing setup costs and maybe getting a little crowdfunded advance? Now that is a disruptive self-publishing revolution, I tell ya’. This could be interesting, especially when one considers the economics of it all.

I checked out a couple of great posts explaining the here-and-now cash value of what a book earns over time in words that a dumbass writer like me can understand.

One is from Courtney Milan: know-what-your-rights-are-worth

One is from Jeff Posey: What’s Your Novel Worth? NPV and Cash Flow

Assuming one is stubborn as hell (check that one off for me), not shy about marketing oneself (check two), and willing to invest come cash to ensure one’s writing and published product is not a steaming pile of used spaghetti (see crowdfunding scheme above), one might earn a cargo hold more cash by going indy.

Those who know me personally will recognize my having said some of the above before, but the idea of crowdfunding a manuscript publication effort never occurred to me. I must admit that one particular friend of mine might have mentioned it before, but my skull was too dense for it to inoculate my thought process.

Wow. This could be it. This could be the real indy writer revolution. My opinion is that, rather than being the death knell for “traditional publishing,” it is something that will enable worthy authors to get well-deserved attention and for the industry to better focus its resources. After all, nothing alerts publishers to the potential value of a writer better than the author’s past and present earnings.

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Go short yourself

While I am searching for the story and characters in my next novel, I decided to do something new: short stories.

3000 words? Sheesh. I could write a 3000 word story with my smartphone. Easy as pie.

I should mention that I can’t bake worth a crap.

What I figured would be a day or so of thinking and writing turned into about a month worth of self-education and intense scrutiny. Shoving an entire character/story arc into 3000 words is not light work. This is especially true when my Inner Critic keeps trashing everything that gets typed up.

I should have taken the sage advice I read somewhere which was to just pound out an entire draft before making a single revision. Just hammer out the hamburger and get the story on the page. Spit it the #@*% out. Then go back and turn that 6593 word steaming pile of feces into a nice, tight <3500 word story.

I once shocked myself while changing out an electrical receptacle just to see what it felt like. That might explain a lot of things about me, but it also demonstrates that I’m the kind of guy that will take a bite of something my buddy tells me tastes horrible. Sea urchin, for example. True story. An even more telling thing about me is that I later discovered ultra-fresh sea urchin can be kinda tasty, meaning I was stupid enough to try that stuff more than once. I also learned that, when travelling to exotic locales, if you are enjoying what you are eating you might not want to ask what it is.

Of course I didn’t take the advice.

Next time, I’m barfing out a whole story before I even think about revision. Really. Promise.

(fingers crossed)