Business Musings: The People in Your Office

So, it happened again. A big name fantasy writer made his fans angry because the next book in his series hasn’t appeared in years. And, in a passing remark, he compared the comments fans make on his overdue book to those comments people make to their unemployed adult child about getting a job or to their single grandkid about getting married. Patrick Rothfuss made the […]

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Business Musings: Rip Van Winkle Syndrome

I remember how overwhelming it was for me to make the transition to mostly indie. I’m not entirely indie. My short fiction is still hybrid, as is all of my work in translation. But I can’t see any situation where I would ever go back to a traditional publisher for my novels. The contracts are awful, the lack of support profound, and the benefits nearly nonexistent.

The traditionally published writers who are being cut loose or who are being offered terrible deals are just beginning to realize this. And they’re at a complete loss as to what to do.

I feel for them. I really do.

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Business Musings: Tempest in a Bestseller List

There’s less reason to game the Times list now, however. The list has bifurcated so much that you can climb the top of one of the many lists with sales that my first novel (which didn’t even sniff at the list) blew out of the water in its first week twenty-five years ago. Big publishers don’t make a lot of money on 5,000 copies. Indies do, compared to expenses. But big publishers do not.

So, the amount of work that someone had put into placing Sarem’s book on the bestseller list made no sense to me at all. Where was the profit here? What was the point? Bragging rights are nice, but unless you have money to burn, ordering 18,000 copies of your own book is pretty expensive.

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Business Musings: My Day in Negotiation

In dealing with movie and TV producers, and foreign rights publishers, and pretty much anyone who wants subsidiary rights to my book, I hold all of the power in the negotiation.

I know, I know. A bunch of you just did double-takes. How can I have more power than a Hollywood studio?

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Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 3: Aggressive Growth (Branding/Discoverability)

  Here’s the surprising post. Many of you who read this blog regularly probably think that I’m opposed to major marketing campaigns. I’m not. I’m opposed to them when they’re done incorrectly. What’s incorrectly? Pretty much everything you see from traditional publishing to most indies. You have to look outside of publishing to see how to do a smart, aggressive growth campaign designed to grow […]

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Business Musings: The Third 2017 Process Blog

My cat died in June. He wasn’t just any cat. He was what Dean and I call “a heart cat.” We have cats whom we love and cherish, and then we have special cats—the ones who simply take over our hearts and hold them hostage. Galahad was the best of the best, and we had him for fifteen years.

I’m telling you this not to get sympathy, but because Gally’s death factored into my process this summer. I knew he was going to go at some point, but he went fast. Fine one week, gone the next. Not as fast as our Ella, who literally died in an instant (vet thinks heart attack or stroke) in February, but still, faster than expected.

That, on top of the deaths of several friends since the first of the year, some close and some not as close as they once were, left me reeling. I hadn’t realized how down I was until I figured out that my writing had nearly ground to a halt.

In fact, the one thing that kept me going was the schedule I had drawn up earlier in the year…

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Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 2: Slow Growth (Branding/Discoverability)

  Writers always believe that they can become a bestseller if they only goose their sales properly. I actually had a brand-new writer scream at me once about this very thing. Back in the early days of Amazon’s Kindle, she had “sold” 50,000 copies of her only novel by giving it away for free. “I’ll take my 50,000 sales over your sales any day,” she […]

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Business Musings: Types of Brands (Branding/Discoverability)

I’ve been talking to myself lately. Actually, I’ve been talking back to podcasts, vlogs, and emails. Ever since I said I would be doing a series on branding, I’ve gotten links to great branding tips. (Please, keep them coming.) Every single link I received that dealt with branding from a writer’s perspective talked about cover branding. Lots of great information in each and every one […]

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Business Musings: The Ideas of A Cold-Fogged Brain (Discoverability Again)

I feel like I’ve been on a particularly grueling business trip, and am slowly recalibrating back into my office. I worked very hard in the front part of April as I prepared for the science fiction writing workshop I ran here on the Oregon Coast. Then the workshop happened. Lots of great discussions, great questions, great stories, and dedicated work later, we finished…and I got […]

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Business Musings: Writers, Scam Artists, Agents, And More (Sigh)

Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water… I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes […]

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