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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Writing, Mysteries, Bundles, and the Contracts Book!

I have lots of fun stuff to share. I hope you saw that the latest Diving novel is out (and the Recommended Reading List has returned). I also have a story in The Best American Mystery Stories 2016, edited by Elizabeth George. I love her work, so I’m particularly flattered that she chose a story of mine. If you haven’t read “Christmas Eve at the […]

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Business Musings: An Important Notice on The Non-Compete Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Writer Teri Kanefield emailed me after reading the non-compete blog and mentioned that non-compete clauses are mostly illegal under California law, with rare exceptions. She also suspected that they were illegal and thus unenforceable under New York law.

She had reasons for that. I asked her to send me a few citations, so that I could essentially try to recreate her argument, although I admit, as a non-lawyer, I felt uncomfortable doing that. Then she suggested doing a guest blog for me on this topic, and I jumped on it. She’s written it in the form of a letter. It’s fantastic.

I want all of you—indie, hybrid, traditional, with non-competes and without— to read this letter, which follows. I will give you each some non-legal advice on what to do after you’ve read her letter at the end of this blog post.

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Business Musings: The Grant of Rights Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

As I’m revising the old Dealbreakers book, I am finding a lot of material that no longer applies. 2011-2013 was a transitional period in the ebook revolution. Traditional publishers didn’t know anything about ebooks, and writers had a lot more leeway in what they could do.

Now, things are so different that some of the contracts I’m touching feel toxic to me. I want to wash my hands after holding them.

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Business Musings: Long-Term Thinking: The Option Clause (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

For all the dreams of having work last forever, writers are their own worst enemies in making those dreams come true. And the mistakes happen in the little decisions.

Let’s take the option clause…

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Business Musings: Know Your Rights (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

I recently got an email that sent a chill through me. It was a newsletter from a traditional publishing organization. This organization is geared toward publishers and editors, not toward writers. The newsletter was essentially an ad for an upcoming seminar that will teach publishers to understand intellectual property and expand their rights business. Why did this send a chill through me? Because the one […]

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Business Musings: Personal Paradigm Shift, Again

As I wrote earlier this year, the changes in the publishing industry continue to smack me in the head. I learned the old publishing industry very well—the one that existed from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. I survived the early 2000s, and then indie publishing came along. I started this blog—in a different form and under a different blog title—in April of 2009. All […]

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Business Musings: Buggy Whips, Pollsters, Collisions, and Us

I’ve been very frustrated in the last several weeks because some of my preconceptions got blown out of the water. I’ve been dealing directly with some traditionally published writers for various projects, and some of the things I’ve encountered have been head-shaking. I’ll be blogging about a few of those things in the future, with the names changed to protect the—innocent? Ignorant?—I’m not sure which label to use. Suffice to say some of the things I’ve run into are simply and completely unbelievable to me, in 2016….

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Business Musings: Authors Guild 2016 Letter

I want to support what the Authors Guild is doing here. I really do. I believe this “conversation” needs to commence. Writers—particularly writers of the Take Care of Me school—need to understand that their publishers and their agents are not their friends. Those two entities are in business for themselves and will devise contract terms to benefit them. But…

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