Grass (Sales) Always Greener… But Where?
Up in Portland today at the Beaverton Powell’s Bookstore for a signing with 24 other writers. Great fun.
Tonight I have another topic that follows what I talked about last week, and that I’m going to touch on here tonight below.
Also went past 100,000 total words written this month, not counting words answering comments.
Up way early to make it up to Portland by 3 p.m. But the signing was fun and dinner was a blast afterwards.
And I made my 10,000 steps after I got home at 11 p.m., also did the assignments for the workshops and watched a little television and then did a good section on writing at 1,350 words in just over an hour.
I also had a nap or two in there after I got home, which helped.
DECEMBER ONLINE WORKSHOPS
All workshops have openings.
Class #51… Dec 7th … Advanced Depth
Class #52… Dec 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… Dec 7th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #54… Dec 7th … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… Dec 8th … Character Development
Class #56… Dec 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #57… Dec 8th … Plotting With Depth
Class #58… Dec 9th … Designing Covers
Class #59… Dec 9th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… Dec 9th … Designing Book Interiors
Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.
Topic of the Night: GRASS IS GREENER…
Lots and lots of talk from newer writers lately about how they don’t want to spend the time it takes to learn how to be a decent storyteller.
And heaven forbid they might have to work a day job to write like the rest of us did for decades.
So what they are saying is this: “I know what sells (because I am smarter in a year than all of publishing) and I’m going to go over there (imaginary land of what sells over the fence) and write it (because I am God’s gift to writing and can write anything.)
I have been hearing this for almost forty years.
This is nothing new.
How it used to go (romance writers, remember this insult?) “Hey, romance is trash and it is easy to write, so I’ll just lower myself to go write romance to make some money.”
Anyone with a brain or a real understanding of how difficult good romance is to write would laugh at those idiots. And, of course, the idiots with that attitude would fail and be gone.
But the writers who respected the genre, who loved it, who wrote with passion, are still going.
But wow was that insulting to romance writers.
During my years as a media and ghost writer, I was insulted in the same way all the time. It went like this:
“Hey, that Star Trek stuff is trash, and is easy to write, so I need some money and will go write a Trek book to make some easy money.”
Actually, writing Trek or any other media is the hardest writing there is next to ghosting because fans need to have character voices right. And writers with that “it’s easy” attitude don’t have the skills in character voices or syntax or even sentence structure of characters to make Spock sound like Spock, let alone Kirk sound like Kirk or McCoy sound like McCoy.
And heaven help the delusional writer if they ended up with Janeway, Tuvok and the others on that ship, or other series ships.
I was hired numbers of times to fix those idiots’ books in different franchises. Not kidding.
And ghosting. Authors who think that is easy are laughable. They can’t even see their own voice, let alone take their own voice out and write in the voice of a bestselling author, let alone plot like a major bestseller.
Now, today, we have this imaginary “write to market that will sell” thing happening in the indie world. And I notice it is always beginning writers who think it will be easy.
Beginning writers who wouldn’t know what would sell if it bit them.
Indie writers who think, without any real learning, that they can make a living because they heard someone else did it.
So I figured it was time to actually say, in no uncertain terms, writing to market (whatever you think that might be) has been through time (and still is) flat stupid.
Now, if you think I am wrong, great. Enjoy your very short career and the rest of us will wave goodbye in short order.
Write what you love, what you enjoy, what you want to read, with no thought to your lackluster knowledge of “market” and let the readers come to you.
And if you are doing that and have a dozen or more novels and your sales are not good, then question a number of things before looking over that imaginary “greener” fence.
— Are you writing stories that hold people? Can you pace your books, do cliffhangers, and get readers caught up in your story and not let them go?
— Do your covers look like a five-year-old did them with bad fonts, horrid spacing, and no branding?
— Are your blurbs passive, talk only about your “wonderful” plot, and make readers not want to buy the book?
— Are you limiting your sales by how you market, or by putting your work only in one store?
And so on…
Your own pasture just may be the green one and you don’t even know it. And if you can’t help your own books sell that you love, how do you expect to do it in another pasture?
As I have talked about numbers of times, stop watching the numbers, pay attention monthly to the money, and focus on learning to be a better storyteller.
Is this fast? Nope.
Is this easy? Nope.
Will you make a living quickly? More than likely not without luck.
But at least in five to ten years, you might be making a solid living, enjoying what you write, and building a following of readers who love what you do.
What you do.
In your own green pasture.
The Writing of GRAPEVINE SPRINGS: A Thunder Mountain Novel
Day 1…. 2,450 words. Total words so far… 2,450 words.
Day 2….5,300 words. Total words so far… 7,750 words.
Day 3….7,100 words. Total words so far… 14,850 words.
Day 4….2,250 words. Total words so far… 17,100 words.
Day 5….6,300 words. Total words so far… 23,400 words.
Day 6….2,450 words. Total words so far… 25,850 words.
Day 7….2,700 words. Total words so far… 28,550 words.
Day 8….2,100 words. Total words so far… 30,650 words.
Day 9….1,450 words. Total words so far… 32,100 words.
Day 10…2,750 words. Total words so far… 34,850 words.
Day 11…2,250 words. Total words so far… 37,100 words.
Day 12…1,150 words. Total words so far… 38,250 words.
Day 13…1,250 words. Total words so far… 39,500 words.
Day 14…1,100 words. Total words so far… 40,600 words.
Day 15…5,100 words. Total words so far… 45,700 words.
Day 16…4,400 words. Total words so far… 50,100 words.
Day 17…1,100 words. Total words so far… 51,200 words.
Day 18…1,350 words. Total words so far… 52,550 words.
Totals For Year 3, Month 4, Day 22
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 833
— Daily Fiction: 1,350 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 57,450 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words
— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 18,000 words
— E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 1,300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 451 e-mails. Approx. 25,700 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers
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