Recommended Reading List: January, 2017

I spent the first part of January line editing a Fiction River volume, watching disaster movies, and reading romance novels. I cannot explain any of this, except that I enjoyed all of it.

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Business Musings: Writing in Difficult Times

Sometimes, art provides a different perspective, a new way of thinking about important things. And sometimes, we just hang out with a little boy wizard fighting a big powerful evil because it entertains us.

This is not light stuff. It is not unimportant. It is extremely important.

As I said, I wrote about this in October. But I didn’t tell you how to keep practicing your art in difficult times. So let me add that.

So…how do we do our jobs when our world is on fire?

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Business Musings: The Data Divide

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the Digital Book World Conference last week as Data Guy made his presentation. He brings data to a world still stuck in the 19th century. As I read reports of the reaction to his presentation, I saw continual insistence that publishing is about “gut instinct” and the ways that data undermines the art […]

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Business Musings: 2016 Disappointments

As I write this in early January, fourth quarter numbers for all big businesses are just starting to trickle in. The whining about 2016 has commenced, some of it justified, some of it not.

The numbers aren’t just in for the major publishers; the numbers are in for indie writers as well. And the writers who crunch numbers are having varied reactions, often depending on years of business expertise.

I have a hunch that when all of the numbers arrive toward the end of this month or so, we’ll find out that 2016 was truly a mixed bag….

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Business Musings: All Romance Ebooks & Visions of The Future Part Two

I’m not here to discuss the merits or lack thereof of Booktrope or ARe. I did that in other posts. What I need to discuss here is the future.

You see, these closures were right on time. And several other closures will follow in the next few years.

Some of the upcoming closures will be predictable. And others will catch us all by surprise.

Why am I saying this?

Because …

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Business Musings: All Romance Ebooks & Visions of The Future: Part One

So, given that it will take a huge fight to get paid, assuming that ARe will be forced into bankruptcy, what do I advise? I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

I am, however, a small business owner who has lost tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars as an unsecured creditor when other companies have gone out of business.

I’ve been there, folks, and I’ve see what it does.

Here’s what I think you should do…

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Recommended Reading List: December, 2016

Found lots of great reading in December. Here’s what I really loved.

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Business Musings: The First (?) 2017 Process Blog

I was staring down the barrel of 2017, trying to figure out my writing projects. And I realized on Tuesday that the reason I couldn’t just dive in on Monday was because I hadn’t…oh, crap…defined myself.

I had defined myself in general. That’s easy. I’m a writer first, and to me, that means all the writerly things I do and have done from the old Star Wars book to new fiction I’m writing (from the romance short to the Diving universe to the historical mystery I just finished for the next Lawrence Block antho) to this blog and all the nonfiction.

But I somehow did not handle the specifics of being a writer very well in 2016.

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Business Musings: Patreon

I had to start analyzing why I couldn’t pull the trigger on a Patreon account.

It came back to what I could comfortably ask for–and what I wanted the account for. Searching other people’s Patreons only confused me. Everyone had great ideas and did great things, but I couldn’t see myself doing things like that for long. Or if I did, I could see those things consuming me and my time…

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Business Musings: The Hybrid Learning Curve

In talking to hybrid writers, I did miss something. It only concerned a handful of writers, and most of them only wrote one series. These writers would email me after they had indie-released a new book or two in their existing series, and complain that the series wasn’t growing.

When these writers were traditionally published, the series grew well. Each book sold better than the last. Now, even taking into account the year or so of sales, the books sold at the same number of copies or less than the previous volumes had.

I couldn’t figure it out…

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