Business Musings: Data Diving

Writers obsess about how many people they have on their newsletter, whether those names are “good” names, what kind of marketing they should do for those people, what kind of writing they should do because of the newsletter, whether the last marketing campaign brought in “good” names that converted to real dollars, whether five impressions with click-throughs and buys are better than fifty impressions with click-throughs and no buys yet.

If we end up obsessing too much…

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Business Musings: Control, Control, Control

I am fully aware of the fact that the problems I’m having are problems I would have traded up for thirty years ago. I’m also fully aware that these problems aren’t really problems at all.

They’re opportunities.

I’m hardwired to jump at opportunities. One of my biggest complaints about my agents, back in the days when I had agents, was how many opportunities those folks failed to jump at. Or screwed up. Or ignored completely.

And yet…

I’m a writer first, and as a writer first, anything that puts me behind on getting to my fictional worlds irritates the hell out of me.

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Business Musings: The Second 2017 Process Blog

  We finished the annual anthology workshop on Saturday. Forty professional (or professional quality) writers, gathering for a weeklong discussion of the fiction they wrote, and networking, and all kinds of fun things. Lots of great discussions on what makes good fiction. Lots of great discussions of craft and art and short fiction in general. Lots of great discussions on the changes that are looming […]

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Business Musings: Writing with Chronic Health Problems

Because dozens of you have asked me, both privately and in comments, how I write with a chronic health condition.

There really is a trick to the writing while chronically ill. But the trick is personal, and it’s tailored to each individual person.

So, more personal stories—and then tips.

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Business Musings: Writer Finances Versus The Paycheck World

If the indie writers who made a lot of money in 2012-2014 had followed this advice, they’d still be writing and publishing. Sure, their incomes would still be down, along with their sales, but their careers would continue.

What happened to these writers?

Well, they will say that their sales went down to unsustainable levels. Those writers will say there’s no point in continuing now that they can’t make the same kind of money they made in 2013. Those writers will say that writing, as a profession, is impossible.

And it is, if you don’t understand money management.

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Business Musings: The People in Our Offices

I’m tired. Emotionally tired. My world is changing, and personally, I wasn’t prepared for it. That my world is changing while the greater world—the real world—is also changing is just serendipity, I guess. I’ve blogged about the larger changes, just a bit, talking about how to write in dark times, but some of that post is also about writing while bad things are happening to […]

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Business Musings: The Indie And The Bestseller

The letter from the indie writer encapsulated a lot of things that are happening in the field right now, and I thought I’d analyze those. I also figured it was timely, considering this indie writer wasn’t the only writer in the past month who had sent me email about recommendations on their prose from other “more successful” writers.

I don’t know what it is about the beginning of the year that brings out these insecurities. Maybe it’s the fact that many of us use the end of the year for reflection and then try to plan the upcoming year.

What struck me about this indie writer, and the reason I’m using her as an example, is that this incident is ramped up from the usual incidents.

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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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