Business Musings: The Fourth 2017 Process Blog

  I’m almost terrified to write this post. Shortly after I wrote the last one, my year imploded—and it had been a tough year anyway. Until today, I had actually forgotten that I had written the third process blog. All of the things I developed lasted about two weeks, before I tumbled off the edge of the universe into real life for a while. I […]

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Business Musings: Rethinking A Title

  I blame Marvel. As I finished my Kris Nelscott/Smokey Dalton novel, Stone Cribs, I realized that the victim in the book, Valentina Wilson, was one amazing woman. And she needed a story arc all her own. I knew how she was going to end up, and who she would be years after the events in Stone Cribs, but I needed to write the story […]

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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: How To Expand Your Target Audience 1: Choices (Branding/Discoverability)

Most writers—most businesses, in fact—believe that they must actively grow their audience. And that belief is a mistake.

In your writing business, as in all business, there is no one-size-fits-all model. That goes to everything from building a business to building a brand. Even if you’re in the same field as someone else, your business is different. What you do with that business is based entirely on your goals for that business.

Um, what? you might ask.

Yep, expanding an audience fits into your business goals, not just into branding. Change happens all the time in business, but growth happens only when a business actively pursues that growth….

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Business Musings: How To Build A Brand 2: The Intermediate Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

So when I write these posts, I feel a deep frustration. Because my brand, in almost all of its forms, is extremely messy.

These posts, as I said from the beginning, are for me, writing to myself about all the various things I can do to improve my branding or, in most instances, take control of it.

If I were in the lucky position that most of you indies are in, I could define my Rusch brand from the beginning as something that spans genres, that uses a multitude of styles, that promises quality of a certain type, but never compromises on some things….

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Business Musings: Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap

So much of the writing advice we get comes from a set of assumptions that are no longer true. I’m not sure if they were ever true. But that’s for another blog post. (Or maybe I’ve written that post already.) Anyway, the assumption is that our culture is monolithic, that we all read the same books, and we’re all influenced by the same writers. Maybe […]

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Business Musings: Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams

In March, Marie Force announced she would no longer chase the bestseller lists when she released her latest book title. She wrote a great, honest, and direct blog about her thinking, and I urge you to read it all. In the blog, she describes a trajectory of obsession and disillusionment that is very familiar to me. I’ve gone through that range of emotions several times […]

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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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