February Online Workshops Start Monday!!

FEBRUARY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

All February Online Workshops start next week and all have openings. So still time to sign up. And yes, the new Discoverability workshop still has openings.

Each workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do. Great workshops to take going into the new year to jump-start your year.

More information and how to sign up for a workshop is under the green button or under Coast Workshops tab above.

All workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #11… Feb 2nd … Making a Living
Class #12… Feb 2nd … How to Write Series Novels
Class #13… Feb 2nd … Discoverability
Class #14… Feb 2nd … Character Voice/Setting
Class #15… Feb 3rd … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #16… Feb 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 3rd … Productivity
Class #18… Feb 4th … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 4th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 4th … Pacing

NOTE: Discoverability #13 is a New Workshop.

FEBRUARY AND MARCH WORKSHOPS SIGN-UP UNDER THE GREEN TAB.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

-

 

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 31

Year 2, Month 6, Day 31 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day off of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

NOTICE TO ALL FEBRUARY ONLINE WORKSHOP WRITERS:

If you are signed up for a February online workshop, you should have gotten a first letter from me. If you did not, write me.

And still room in all workshops for February. I honestly thought Discoverability might come close to filling, but nope. Still lots of room.

Today was a work day all day as was yesterday. However, I did get some writing done tonight. I am putting an issue of Smith’s Monthly together and needed to finish a short story, which got me about 700 words between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

And then for an hour I started through the corrections that Kris wanted me to do on the Thunder Mountain novel Warm Springs. She didn’t see where I had cut all the stuff, but she wanted me to put in some more character stuff in a few places, and in an hour of going back through the first part of that book I added in about 400 words.

So a grand total of 1,100 words today, none on the new novel.

Month sucked for new words, that’s for sure. But  a bunch better than last January, so that’s a win.

I also had some very interesting discussions today. But mostly I just sat alone in my WMG office and worked on workshop stuff, and then came home and did the same thing, with a side trip to go to the grocery store around 10 p.m.

So a standard day. Lots of things got done on the work and workshop side of things.

Topic of the Night: Why the writing was low this month.

I am of the belief system that when a month is below goals for a writer, the writer should spend a little time trying to figure out why. Any business would do that. I don’t do this every month. Only on months when the writing was below expectations.

And I am not talking about sales, which I can’t control. But I can control my production.

So what happened for me in January?

A number of things, actually. First off, the year-end business stuff just takes a bunch of time since I am the CFO of the corporation. And we now have a physical store with a ton of inventory and so on. We have seven employees and two locations not counting our home, so WMG Publishing is not a small business anymore. And with almost 500 titles, any kind of calculations on books takes some real time.

So in other words, my day job took extra time. Most of you understand that.

Then I headed to Vegas to play poker for five days. (Yeah, I never said anything about that here, but there was no writing because I just took some time off. I did say that. Even though I am doing this writing in public, there is a lot of my private life I just don’t talk about. Including my health for the most part. No one needs to come here and hear me whine about health stuff. (grin))

So when I got back from Las Vegas, I was totally screwed up on sleep schedule. And speaking of health, I think I got a touch of that flu going around as well. It didn’t knock me down because I’ve had the shot, but I think it winged me as it went past, and I lost a few more days in there where work was difficult at best.

So add in all the normal business stuff, my sleep schedule being off, a slight touch of the flu, a week of vacation, and the month got chewed away. That’s called normal for all of us. Living. Just nature of this writing beast.

So I didn’t write as much as I wanted, but I did get two books out. My novel Edward’s Mansion is now out, and Smith’s Monthly 15 is out finally. Some subscribers will be getting it on Monday and paper will be mailed later. I also turned in and got back Smith’s Monthly #16 and am turning in on Monday Smith’s Monthly #17. The magazine will be back to a regular monthly schedule and on time in March.

And I put together five collections. So a decent month there.

So my total word count for the month (not counting comments on blogs) is 96,450 words.

52,100 words of that was fiction, 4,000 words nonfiction.

A week off, some slight sickness, a ton of year-end work, and I look back and go, could have been better, but it sure could have been worse. So not a bad month. Just an expected month.

Last January was a tough month as well. I also traveled to Vegas to play poker in some tournaments last year and had other stuff happen and only did 34,150 words of fiction and 66,200 total words. So this January is a huge increase over last January. Success.

Now moving forward again into February. Last year February was as bad as January, so I should be able to get ahead of that again, with luck.

Stay tuned, got some fun stuff coming, including a free short story every week as I talked about yesterday. That will start in the middle of the month and my Patreon supporters will get the story for their devices. Everyone else will have to read it for a week online. (grin)

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 31

— Daily Fiction: 1,100 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 52,100 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 18,950 words

— E-mail: 53 e-mails. Approx. 800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 919 e-mails. Approx. 21,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in February. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 30

Year 2, Month 6, Day 30 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day off of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

NOTICE TO ALL FEBRUARY ONLINE WORKSHOP WRITERS:

I had hoped to get out all the first letters to everyone tonight, but it will be tomorrow evening now. Just didn’t get everything done. Came close. (grin)

And there is lots of room in all the February workshops, if anyone wants to jump in. They start next week.

Even room in the new Discoverability Online Workshop, which is turning out to be a great one as it shapes together.

As for my day, well, up early, and from pretty much the time I got up, it was one of those days of moving fast and getting a lot done. Banking, mail, and work at WMG Publishing.

I did workshop stuff today on the new Discoverability Online Workshop. And I worked on getting the February workshops set up.

That was it. All afternoon, a break for dinner and a nap with the white cat, back to WMG Publishing until late continuing. Then home to watch a little television, do a few more things, and then call this a night.

Back at the writing tomorrow night, and everyone in the February workshops will get the first letter tomorrow evening.

Night.

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 30

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 51,000 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 18,150 words

— E-mail: 19 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 866 e-mails. Approx. 20,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in February. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 29

Year 2, Month 6, Day 29 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day Three of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

Wow did I get a ton of stuff done again today, but not a lot of writing.

Headed out around 1 p.m. and got the mail and ran to the store and then met Allyson and Kris for a lunch meeting. Then back to WMG offices for more meetings.

At 6 p.m. Kris and I headed down the coast for a nice drive. It was another beautiful day here. (Sorry East Coast folks.) We got some supplies, then went out for a nice dinner, then did some grocery shopping, and made it home by 9 p.m.

I then headed back to WMG and worked on finishing up the Reviews Lecture. Got it all done and will announce it in a day or so.

I got home around midnight, did a little e-mail, then headed to watch some television. Back in here around 1:30 a.m. Finished up some e-mail, took a short nap in my reading chair, then got to my writing computer a little after 2 a.m.

I managed a solid 1,200 words by 2:45, just typing as fast as I could. Took a short break, started up again and after 400 words my mind said “Enough for the night, got to bed.”

So only 1,600 words today, but I’ll take it. And the mystery novels continues to twist into near bizarre land. And I’m barely ten thousand words in. Oh, oh…

Topic of the Night: My Patreon supporters.

I wanted to first say thanks for being patient with me as I set this up. Everything promised for supporters will start for the January issue of Smith’s Monthly. That’s the one just back from the proofers and that I am formatting, so you will be starting to get updates from me and such shortly.

Also, starting in February, more than likely the second week, I will be doing a weekly free fiction story on the Smith’s Monthly web site. It will be posted on the site for one week and then replaced with a new story. Free for anyone to read. I will announce each story here with a link every week.

However, for everyone who is supporting me at certain levels on Patreon, (I will add it to the levels when it starts.) I will send you a copy of the story days ahead of posting it on the web site, so you can read it on your own device at any point. Plus I will send copies of major articles ahead as well.

And in February, not only will I finally be getting to the chapters on the new Sacred Cows book (I have three basically written, just not posted), I will be doing a new craft book called “Writing into the Dark.” It is a book that will go along with the lecture, add to the lecture, and be able to stand alone as a craft book.

I will be posting chapters here as I write them, but I will send them ahead to the Patreon supporters.

So again, those of you who jumped on early with Patreon, thanks for being understanding as I get this entire thing up and running. Trust me, it will be worth your while. And I really, really appreciate your support.

—–

Total for novel CALLING DEAD

Day 1… 4,700 words… Total to date… 4,700 words
Day 2… 4,200 words… Total to date… 8,900 words
Day 3… 1,600 words… Total to date… 10,500 words

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 29

— Daily Fiction: 1,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 51,000 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,850 words

— E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 847 e-mails. Approx. 20,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in February. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 28

Year 2, Month 6, Day 28 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day Two of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

Wow did I get a ton of stuff done today. Up early for me again, and more than likely will continue this through the weekend and into next week.

Headed to the mail around noon, stopped to get some lunch for later at a deli, then headed to WMG Publishing. I got one Smith’s Monthly loaded and another started on the formatting, I worked upstairs on some stuff with Allyson, and worked on a lecture.

A very busy and full afternoon. Headed home around 5:30 and managed to do some e-mail and then write for about 45 minutes. I got about 800 words done before heading to the nap with the white cat, then dinner, news, and dishes.

Then a little more e-mail before heading back up to WMG Publishing around 9 p.m. to finish up the new lecture. Home by 11 p.m. and worked another session of about 1,100 words of writing before heading to watch some television at 12:30 a.m.

Back to my office to write around 1:30 a.m. and after a little dinging around, I managed to get another 1,100 words done by 2:45 a.m. Short break, then another 1,200 words finished before 3:45 a.m.

This is one twisted novel I am working on. Of course, so far the other two Cold Poker Gang mystery novels have been twisted. But those took a little time for my subconscious to introduce the twists. On this one it’s twisted from the start. Kind of fun.

And, of course, I have the standard fear now of not knowing where it’s going, how to solve the crime, who is the bad guy, and things like that. Not a clue. Just digging the Cold Poker Gang in deeper and deeper.

So 4,200 words. Another decent day.

Topic of the Night: Sales Numbers Overall and Agents as Well.

Part one of the topic of the night is the fantastic work that Hugh Howey and Data Guy are doing with the Author Earnings reports. Stunning stuff. They are the only ones who are even pretending to try to get data on all of us who work in the shadow industry of publishing.

WMG Publishing is one of the mid-sized publishers they graph. We have almost 500 titles. Not a one of our titles uses an ISBN for electronic editions. We use ISBNs for paper, but not for electronic. And over the 500 titles, we sell a lot of electronic copies of books every month. All not tracked by anyone in publishing.

If you have not read this report and been following these reports over the last year, go now to the Author Earnings web site and take some time and read slowly. We all need to stay informed and what these two are doing has its flaws by the very nature of going with only one bookseller. But it is a great slice across the field of data that has extreme value.

And how they take apart how traditional publishing measures data is wonderful to read.

http://authorearnings.com/report/january-2015-author-earnings-report/

A Second Must Read of the night!! Kris just put up her new Business Musings post tonight. If you ever, ever, ever had a thought of hiring an agent, you must read this blog.

You wonder why for a few years here I beat on agents with post after post to try to wake up writers. Well, Kris, in this post, as she has a way of doing, goes directly to the center of the matter. Agents are not lawyers and yet they negotiate contracts for clients, which is practicing law without a license. Up until this last spring, in New York, that was such a minor offense, no one bothered to care, even though writers were constantly getting hurt. But most writers had no balls to sue an agent and if they did, the agent settled with non-disclosure agreements.

Now, suddenly, New York has made the practice of law without a licence a felony. Punishable by time in jail and everything. I think if I was a New York agent, I would be scrambling to get the hell out of the business right about now.

Read Kris’s blog for a clear vision of the problem. And writers, those of you who have been screwed by bad contracts negotiated by your non-lawyer agent, you now have a very large club in your hands.

http://kriswrites.com/2015/01/28/business-musings-sure-i-trust-you/

—–

Total for novel CALLING DEAD

Day 1… 4,700 words… Total to date… 4,700 words
Day 2… 4,200 words… Total to date… 8,900 words

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 28

— Daily Fiction: 4,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 49,400 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,150 words

— E-mail: 18 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 831 e-mails. Approx.19,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 27

Year 2, Month 6, Day 27 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day One of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

Lots of running around all day, but as has been happening lately, I was up early for me, meaning before noon. Around five I finally got tired of running around and came home.

By 5:30 p.m. I had answered my e-mail from the afternoon and moved over to my writing computer to try to get a jump at this new book. I looked at what I had done, scattered over the last week and just tossed it out.

I had started in the wrong place and I knew it. The Cold Poker Gang novels have a certain pattern to their openings and when talking with a friend this afternoon, I realized I hadn’t followed the pattern.

So I tossed away the other start, went back to the pattern of the first two Cold Poker Gang novels, and got 1,000 words done before 6:30 p.m.

The title of this book is CALLING DEAD: A COLD POKER GANG NOVEL

“Calling Dead” is a poker term. It means you call a bet with cards that have no chance of winning. Regular poker players do this all the time with the excuse “I just want to see your cards.” Or something equally as lame.

Professional poker players seldom call dead unless pot odds demand a call no matter the cards. (And no, I will not explain pot odds to you. Get a book. (grin))

So after that new start, off I went for the standard nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes. By 8:30 p.m. I was back in here and by 9:30 p.m. I had another 1,200 words done and the book was finally up and flowing.

I have no idea where this is going, but I had, at that point, already backed my characters into a nasty spot.

Took a break, then back at it and by 11 a.m. I had another 1,300 words done. Out to my reading chair to take a nap, then off to watch some television with Kris. I got back in here and to writing by 1:30 a.m. and by 2:30 a.m., with my eyes drooping from exhaustion, I managed another 1,200 words.

So 4,700 words on the book. Finally back up and moving again.

Topic of the Night: Tossing Away Words

Understand that I am writing into the dark on this book. I had maybe 3,000 words done (I didn’t count them or care) on a false start which had ground to a halt and just didn’t match the pattern of the other books in the series.

So since words are not sacred, I just tossed them into the garbage can and started again.

How did I know to do this? Honestly, it just felt right. (I’m writing into the dark remember. How would I know anything else?)

How often do I do this? Once every eight or nine books it seems.

How do I know my critical voice wasn’t causing this? Simple: I’ve been doing this writing thing now since 1974 and I know when that ugly critical voice pops up. It doesn’t show itself much with me anymore. My creative voice has far, far more power these days.

Helpful Hint: One way to know when critical voice is not involved. When you get more done after you make the change. Critical voice’s only goal is to stop you. I made a change that allowed the creative side to flow, so I knew for certain it wasn’t a critical voice change. Simple measuring stick.

So I wrote original words and tossed them away and they are on my monthly total below, but they are not part of the novel.

As so many beginning writers fear, I’ll answer the next question: Did I waste those words and that time?

Of course not. Writing that false opening got me to the correct opening for this book. Remember, I do not plan books out ahead, I just start writing.

And every word is practice in one form or another.

Words are not carved in store or sacred things to be worshiped and put up on some pedestal. They are simply tools to tell a story.

I am a storyteller, an entertainer. The first tool was wrong, so I tossed it and wrote more tools that I hope will tell the story my subconscious seems to want me to tell. We shall see.

—–

Total for novel CALLING DEAD

Day 1… 4,700 words… Total to date… 4,700 words

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 27

— Daily Fiction: 4,700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 45,200 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,350 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 813 e-mails. Approx.19,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 26

Year 2, Month 6, Day 26 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Interesting lesson today. I spent all afternoon at computers up at WMG Publishing working on various stuff, including formatting Smith’s Monthly.

And then came home around 5:30 p.m. and spent another hour at the computer, then a break for dinner, news, nap, and dishes and went back to the computer to do all the work on workshops to finish up the week on that.

By the time I got all that done around 1:45 a.m. with a few short breaks, my eye was strained and I was exhausted. So the writing took a hit today because I just don’t want to push the eye strain. I only have on eye left as it is, so I have learned to be careful.

Sometimes I can do that much computer work and get to the writing, but lately that’s too much time in front of screens. So tomorrow with the writing.

But a couple fun things did happen today. Allyson did the two new covers for my novels coming out later this spring. So below are the novel covers for my Thunder Mountain series.

Also, Jane in the audio/visual department at WMG did this nifty video for the Thunder Mountain series. I’ll put it up here at some point.

But for tonight, here are the six novels in the time travel Thunder Mountain western series. Edwards Mansion just came out today.

Thunder-Mountain-ebook-cover-e1382227128967Monumental Summit webAvalanche Creek webThe Edwards Mansion webLake Roosevelt ebook coverWarm Springs ebook cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

——

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 26

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 40,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,550 words

— E-mail: 38 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 799 e-mails. Approx.19,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 25

Year 2, Month 6, Day 25 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Well, right now I have to be the poster child for not writing much fiction. (grin) But no worry, I’ll be back at it quickly. Finally.

Up very early once again, just as with days before. Spent a few hours working on Smith’s Monthly formatting, then went to the writer lunch at 2 p.m. Usually I can barely crawl out of bed for that meeting, but today I was up and got a couple hours of work done before the lunch.

Then Kris and I headed down the coast for a drive because it was a beautiful day here. Almost 70 degrees and sunny. Stunning coastal beauty, too pretty to waste inside.

I have lived her for over twenty years now and I never get tired of this coast. Especially on January days when it hits 70 degrees.

So we did some errands in Newport to our south, then had a nice dinner, then headed home. By around 9 p.m. I was doing the workshop stuff.

And then some television, then back to send off the last stories to the editors for the anthology workshop here at the coast. Writers are writing for that at the pace of a story per week. Two weeks left.

You want some practice at that, take the short story online workshop. (grin)

So that took me up to around 2:30 a.m. and since I got up so early, I’m tired.

Tomorrow things flip and I get to the novel.

I’ll let the post about the reasons why I won’t sell to traditional publishing stand for another night as the topic of the night. Back tomorrow with a new one of those.

Update 3:10 a.m…. got back to some writing a little faster than I had expected. After I finished this I went over to my writing computer and managed 600 words on the novel. Good sign. The book is going to fire right along.

Thanks, Kris.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 25

— Daily Fiction: 600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 40,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,150 words

— E-mail: 46 (plus a bunch of “got it” e-mails and forwards that I won’t count) e-mails. Approx. 1,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 761 e-mails. Approx.17,700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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The New World of Publishing: Top 10 Reasons Why I Would Never Publish Traditionally


Got an interesting question last week when sitting having dinner with an old friend. He wanted to know why I said I would never go back to publishing novels with traditional major publishers.

Now over dinner, with my friend having no background in what was happening in publishing, that question because impossible to answer. So I muttered something about bad contracts and moved on.

Now understand, I published over a hundred novels with traditional novel publishers and made my living doing that for a few decades. So why not now? What changed?

The industry changed, that’s what. Traditional publishing is flat not what it was when I was selling books to it a decade ago. Not even close.

Let me go through my personal process here on what changed for me and give you my ten reasons. Now granted, each reason opens up its own can of worms. But for this article, I just sort of went light over each of them.

Note: I have no problem at all with publishing with traditional short fiction magazines. They are different in all ways. So this article is about me and traditional novel publishers.

Where to start?

Reason #10… How about I start with time? I am in my mid-sixties, and back when I was selling novels under a bunch of names to traditional publishers, I thought nothing of waiting two years to see a novel in print. In fact, the time was so long between finishing the novel and seeing it in print, I normally had just forgotten about the book and written another ten novels.

So traditional publishers taking so long is just not something I want to deal with anymore at my age. When I finish a novel now, in about a month it has been proofed and formatted and cover done and is in print in Smith’s Monthly and two months after that it is in print standalone so readers can find it. I like that.

Reason #9… Editing. If I sold a book to a New York traditional publisher, I would be stuck with an editor who hadn’t yet been born when I started selling novels. And this “editor” would need to try to tell me how to “improve” my book because the editor would feel that it was his or her job.

I am flat not interested in working with someone on my book who hasn’t learned as much as I have forgotten about storytelling. Once again my life is too short.

Reason #8… In traditional publishing, copyediting is farmed out just as indie writers farm out copyediting. The difference is that I control who I hire to copyedit my books and in traditional publishing I don’t. I can’t begin to tell you how many days and weeks I wasted fighting a bad copyedit.

With my work in indie publishing, I hire and pay for copyediting of my work through WMG Publishing and I like the copyeditors working there. And they treat my work with respect. They are not copyeditors who want-to-be writers who think I can’t write, so I need to be rewritten. Now granted, my writing is far, far from perfect, but it is a ton better than some want-to-be copyeditor’s writing. Every day.

Reason #7… Reversion clauses in contracts. If traditional publishers had a sunset clause in their contracts for say seven years, I would consider putting up with other issues at times. But trade publishers don’t.

A reversion clause is when you can get your book back from a publisher. In modern contracts, that does not exist in any real way.

So say I sold a science fiction novel to a genre publisher for a $10,000 advance. (I will under modern copyright law and standard genre midlist contracts, get my book back in 35 years no matter what the contract says.)  So that means my book, if it does not earn out, will bring me in about $285 per year average, all paid in the first three years as advance payments of about $3,333.33 each.

Say I indie publish my book and make the electronic price at $5.99 which means I get $4.00 a sale. And say for most paper sales I get $4.00 a sale as well, and say for audio I get $4.00 a sale (to make this math easy.)

So at those rates, to make the same amount of money I would make from New York, I would need to sell 71 copies of that book in some form or another each year for 35 years.

In other words, to make the same amount of money as a $10,000 advance, my indie book would need to sell about 2,500 copies over 35 years. I had indie novels published last year that sold more copies in that by a ways. Wow, how stupid money-wise would I have been to have sold them to traditional publishing?

And that’s assuming I got a $10,000 contract. Holy crap is that high these days. Back in the days I was working for traditional publishers, I very seldom did a book for under $25,000. Yet in genre these days, $10,000 per book is high.

Reason #6… Non-compete in contracts.  Seriously, why would a publisher put this in a contract? As much as I write, I could never, ever sign one of these. I have no idea why any writer signs these clauses. But writers do.

Reason #5… Life of copyright terms of contracts.  Again, this means 35 years if you know copyright, which almost every writer reading this does not. (See reversion clause part above.)

Reason #4… Money. I can make a ton more money writing and indie publishing my novels and stories than I ever could or did with traditional publishing.

Reason #3… I can get my books out to far, far, far more places and into more stores and more countries around the world as an indie publisher than I ever could through a traditional publisher.

Reason #2... Control. In indie publishing, for good or bad, I have a measure of control. Instead of some bored editor writing the blurb for the sales force, or some “let’s-try-him-out” artist doing a cover, I get to write my own blurbs and either do or approve my own covers.

No control in traditional publishing at all for 99% of all writers. The top 1% might have some control, but none of the rest of us do. Traditional publishers just don’t have time to give us that control in any measure.

And the top reason, the most important reason of them all…

Reason #1… I can write what I want, when I want, at any length I want, on any topic I want, in any cross-genre I want.

It is called “freedom” for those of you in traditional publishing. In fiction-writer land, it is heaven and a great dinner when you are hungry all wrapped into one.

Summary

For me, there is no chance in hell I would ever even send a novel to a traditional publisher as long as the publishing landscape is what it is at the moment.

Now, understand that I have some writer friends who sell novels to traditional publishers. And for one of them, I actually understand the reasons.

But sadly, most writers pick traditional publishers for two reasons that don’t come into play in my life. They go traditional because of ego and fear. And ego and fear are often wrapped together.

I have no fear about writing or indie publishing. I love writing, but I sure don’t think my work is anything special that needs to be anointed with a magic editor-and-sales-force wand in New York. I’ve been in those offices and there is nothing magical about them in any way. Just desks and cubicles and overworked good people who are fighting the good fight in a bad corporate system.

And trust me, if I had ego, I wouldn’t have written so many media books. Or ghosted for writers who couldn’t do their own books.

So I feel no pull to the lure of the traditional publishing Siren Song.

I’m a writer. I love to write. And now, thanks to this wonderful indie world, I don’t have to put up with all the crap from traditional publishers. And I make more money this way as well, which honestly sort of surprises me.

That’s my top ten reasons why I would never sign a traditional publishing contract.

Have fun with the writing. I sure do.

———-

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 6, Day 24

Year 2, Month 6, Day 24 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Up very early again, just as with days before, ran around town after doing mail and getting some lunch for later, and then I went to WMG offices and spent all afternoon working on formatting Smith’s Monthly formatting.

Almost got it.

Then at six I headed home. Then a nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes.

Then by 9 p.m. I was in here working on the post above this one on my reasons I would never sell a book to traditional publishing.

Got that done around 11 p.m. and went to watch some television. Back up here and resting by 1 a.m.

So around 2 a.m. I decided to just put up the post and do this short blog and head to bed one more night early.

Topic of the night is the post above.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 6, Day 24

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 39,900 words  

— Nonfiction: 1,500 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,000 words

— Blog Posts: 300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,750 words

— E-mail: 13 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 715 e-mails. Approx.16,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 3 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more this month.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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